WIP: Jousting

Something silly again. I honestly spent about as much time trying to figure out the composition - particularly the angle of the lance! - as I have spent painting this so far.

All critique is welcome! Obviously there’s stuff I’m going to work on - the hands, some anatomy, the background details, but I’d especially like to hear if you can’t make sense of what this is, or anything to do with the composition more generally. I tend to make images that are a little hard to read, hoping that it encourages the viewer to spend a little time to figure it out, but I’m always a little nervous about being too obscure.


I really like it when the artist leaves out details so I can make my own interpretation. In this case, I can’t quite see what the sign is and I think there may be a downed biker in the background but not sure. Love those partial details!

Awesome idea and great execution! :slight_smile: :+1:

Critique: The fallen biker looks a bit like he’s melted or run over by a steamroller. Maybe work a little on the shading of his upper body?

Thank you, @Sooz and @Bleke. It seems my worries about the other cyclist were well founded. I’ll redraw him somehow. Maybe if he’s on his side it’ll be easier to read…

Perhaps naturally, my mind went straight to Armstrong. What a great idea/concept you have here. I also really like that you start with 2 values first, focusing on light/shadow and you mostly keep that in tact. IIRC a lot of the old masters approached painting this way.

I’m nowhere near on your level to offer real criticism, but as far as readability is concerned I think the downed rider in the background is clear? To me it’s obvious that they clashed and he’s the loser, owing to the lance next to him. Perhaps making the lance pop out more(more contrast between lance/rider, or putting them more apart, idk) would serve?

The most confusing part to me is the guy in the background on the left, who’s I assume pointing to the downed rider; but at first glance it looked like he’s holding a gun to me! :slight_smile: You’ve already mentioned hands, but I guess doesn’t hurt to confirm that; I think the right hand(from our perspective) needs more work? Or maybe it’s not even the hand, but the area surrounding it? It’s a bit vague what’s happening there.

All in all really awesome idea and execution.

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Thanks for the kind words @Mernandre ! I did some more work on what I felt were the hardest problems here.

I like the rider more now - the reason I had not painted him better earlier was that I didn’t see a way to really do it without also making him even more of a mess. Now I think the profile is better, although there’s still some tweaking to do with the bike - I haven’t found a spot for the rear wheel that wouldn’t interfere with the rider on the ground.

The horizontal elements at the background and the bike handlebars at the front are kind of unfortunately crammed into the same space and all the lines are very parallel. I’ll have to see if it bothers me enough to figure out a fix for it… Maybe I’ll go back to what I was originally thinking and have his left hand on the handlebar after all, perhaps holding his cap. Right now, I know it’s technically kind of a mistake, but I’m not sure it really is a problem. The hand behind the raised leg does need to be fixed somehow, though. I really like the light on the arm, so I’m loathe to do anything that requires me to move it, but…

So today I spent what little time I had to basically return to where I was before :smiley: It turns out I had accidentally / subconsciously rolled the camera here a little, and when I straightened the horizon later on, because that’s what you do, things started to go wrong. The rider lying on the ground is not strictly correct in terms of perspective, but I need him to be higher up in the composition because it looks wrong when his positioning is right. Go figure.


Well, what with the younger kid being sick at home and refusing to go to sleep at bedtime, I didn’t get a lot done with this. But I think I’m at the point where I can just start plopping in the details. I’m trying to really stick to just suggesting things, especially with the people. It’s pretty fun, I basically just spat out some random shapes with a spray brush, painted in some blobs for heads and then started trying to see what kinds of people come out. Only painted most of them until they just about evoke a person with an action of some kind, no further refinements coming on that front I think.

I don’t know about the man on the ground, still… It’s not great. maybe it’s just a rendering issue but I worry I’m going to get stuck on him. He’s a bit big, maybe that’s part of the problem. Repaint again? maybe.

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Can you bring him closer? Just a little bit should make him look a lot smaller.

OK I think I just beat myself into submission with this and feel OK about it. Now I’m going left to right finalizing this. Probably (hopefully) this is the last WIP :smiley:


If I may, blood is missing :thinking:
It was a small detail, but a great detail :slight_smile:
I hope you’ll keep it in final version :sweat_smile:


Not to worry, I will! I turned it off to better see what I was doing with the shirt. If anything, I wasn’t thinking about it because I consider the spatters temporary at the moment - there was not enough blood!

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