View Full Version : Valtteri - Nordic Tomb Raider

05-04-2010, 05:56 PM

I've been wanting to enter one of these challenges for a while and well...now I did! :dance: It may seem kinda obvious that I'm doing a nordic tomb raider since I'm from Finland but actually I was gonna do the classic south American or African jungle tomb first...but then I thought I kinda like the look of the nordic mixed forests and have long wanted to paint it, so I thought I'd do something with it.

But enough talk, here's the first stage of painting...


Hope the picture shows...

05-04-2010, 06:07 PM
I'm actually quite well on my way in the painting process already...so I'll just put more work in progress stages here. The first one was just a scribble to get a sense of where everything is in the picture...and these are some initial values. I do the first stages with this new favorite brush of mine. It's supposed to emulate the look of thinned oil paint...


05-04-2010, 06:25 PM
And one more. This is a bit further...there's the tomb now. I wanted it to almost blend in with the rocks around it, and then I wanted these menacing beings stalking the raider but so that only the viewer knows of their presence. Oh, one more inspiration for this picture was the film The Descent. I wanted the kind of feel that was in the beginning of the film. My menacing beings look more like cheap Miyazaki rip-offs though...but you'll be seeing them later :hmm:


06-04-2010, 01:35 PM
Wow looking cool! Great start looking forward to your next update :)

06-04-2010, 01:41 PM
looking good man, waiting for more updates

06-04-2010, 06:40 PM
Nice...I'm thinking this might belong in the matte painting section of this months' competition.

06-04-2010, 07:02 PM
i think valtteri is setting up for destructive painting approach, no matte, eager to see more

06-04-2010, 07:33 PM
Hey thanks everyone, you know for a moment I wondered if it DID belong to the matte painting section BUT...as vnmribaya put it, it is just a setup for a destructive painting approach :) Never heard that term before actually, but that's what I'm doing. Basically painting it over again once I have that base...although, I do leave patches of photo elements if they look good as they are. Is that against the rules? :hmm:

Well, I'll keep updating anyway. This is last night's stage:


I noticed I went a bit overboard with the detail so I already began toning it down. At least in more unimportant parts...

10-04-2010, 02:56 PM
Well, so much for my toning down of detail...anyways, this is where I'm with it now.


10-04-2010, 05:38 PM
Wow :). I love the trees, the placeholderlike ones actually look really good =).

Those nasty little things look pretty neat as well, especially the treeclimber.

Ps: brush seems awesome as well, is it a custom?

10-04-2010, 05:55 PM
this is coming out very nicely. :D

11-04-2010, 04:59 PM
Hey, thanks again. Umm, which brush exactly? :) There's a whole bunch of custom brushes at work there...but most of them are custom so it's safe to say that yes, it's custom. Anyway, umm...I think I'll call this finished now, in fear of ruining it. Been battling with it long enough already. But here it is:


The ascent.

12-04-2010, 10:06 AM
That's some gorgeous lighting coming from the left, love the mountaineer too, very impressed with this :)

12-04-2010, 10:22 AM
hey nice work, great progress and composition.

12-04-2010, 12:33 PM
I do the first stages with this new favorite brush of mine. It's supposed to emulate the look of thinned oil paint...

This one...

Cool style btw, you did this one nicely :)

12-04-2010, 03:54 PM
It is absolutely gorgeous! I love how the light is interacting with the vegetation. Masterful work.
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13-04-2010, 10:13 AM
I feel like a broken record with all these thank yous but thank you all :)

About the brush...at first I was gonna say that it is a custom one but then I started thinking what the atual definition of a custom brush is. Cause that one I just modified from a standard Photoshop brush. And half of the look is achieved by using it with the multiply mode. I can put the brush up somewhere if I manage...once I get my machine working again.

Also, I was wondering when there will be a finals thread to put my picture in? Or if there already is one and I've missed it...

13-04-2010, 06:16 PM
Please do :). Please PM when done.

I think they'll add a finals thread when it nears the end...

Tirael K.S.
14-04-2010, 02:25 PM
Great work! Realy interesting color solution

15-04-2010, 10:02 PM
I like the rock formation. I am curious where you are going with this...

15-04-2010, 11:22 PM

Umm, going with it? I thought it was done... :) Well, I did think of a few things I could do still but I'm sick and feel uninspired right now...although I did have a burst of inspiration to do a concept of the mountaineer/raider as a woman. Since THE Tomb raider is a woman and I wanted to kind of clarify the look of the character even to myself.


And Hula, I'll get back to you with the brushes, I promise. I'm just too easily distracted, sorry :xx:

16-04-2010, 03:01 AM
wow she has a sweet sense of adventure about her.

16-04-2010, 03:26 AM
agreed! She's got the curiosity vibe about her.
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16-04-2010, 05:49 AM
Nice. Looks really good. Might want to do something more with the cap... Define the forms a bit perhaps?

16-04-2010, 11:44 AM
Looks so classical in style and colourings......like an old masterpeice, really nice painting, can't wait for more :)

16-04-2010, 01:44 PM
beatifull valtteri, she s beatifull. simple draw an very expresive, i really like it.more geaaar!!cheers man

Howdy Partner
16-04-2010, 02:22 PM
Its looking really great! Its a really realistic take on the theme!

16-04-2010, 02:34 PM
Like the textures and colours.
very good work

Tirael K.S.
17-04-2010, 08:24 AM
Great! The pose n colors is realy awesome

20-04-2010, 03:20 AM
Hey Valterri !
great job !
I was thinking about your work and I found this picture for the cave entrance (it's certainly not the best one, but it's just for the idea).
it's just a suggestion, but maybe if you create something like this it can create a creepy, wild, mysterious and lost jungle atmosphere !
up to you !
your job is well executed, it's just suggestion anyway !


20-04-2010, 08:46 PM
Thank you everyone for your kind words.

I've gone PAINTING CRAZY. I felt challenged by vnmribaya's more geaaar outcry. So, I gave her more gear this time. Although I guess by gear you meant GUNS...and I only put in climbing gadgets :blah: She still doesn't have a whole lot of gear but...well, I'm not that good with gear :) I actually like this one a lot more than my first attempt but I just painted it and didn't concern myself with wip stages and stuff.


And Rievilo, that's a fine idea. MAYBE that example reminds me more of the amazonian jungle type tombs...then again it might be interesting to try it in the nordic setting. I was going to put some carvings on the doorway but...I don't know what happened to them :blah: We'll see.

Tirael K.S.
21-04-2010, 06:26 AM
Great work! Interesting style and colors. Maybe add robe to hold her body when she climb

21-04-2010, 01:37 PM
Fantastic painting style and really nice colour variations, wonderfull stuff :)

21-04-2010, 01:59 PM
that looks awesome valtteri! i ask for more gear becouse the first scketch she looks a little bit to horsewoman, ajjaja now she looks great man! and have all the gear she needs, nice painting stile, keep it comming

21-04-2010, 05:18 PM
right on the money . wow :D

aby arty
21-04-2010, 06:53 PM
beautiful valtteri.

i agree wth what ya said, vnmribaya is one such artist who acts like a steroid , he will make u want to become excellent. his talent flows out and touches , thats why its encouraging to have him around.

the caps angle looks a lil troublesome but i dnt thnk it will be of much issue.
trees look a lil flat just touch up the trees in the fore front with a daker green to give depth.

i really love ur style though, i though it was very gorgeous story book and i was a part of it.

keep it up

21-04-2010, 09:32 PM
your use of custom-brushes is wonderful. it gives every painting a unique style. hope, we'll see more of that!

22-04-2010, 06:33 AM
Cool stuff :). Looks really interesting, but I think the first one looks a bit more "complete"...

23-04-2010, 07:16 AM
Yeah, it does...and that's just my problem with it :) I hate it when I ruin my work by overworking them. But the first one is still my official entry. These are just for fun.

aby arty
23-04-2010, 07:33 AM
just checked out ur first one its even cooler.
but really love this one wth the climbing lady. the beauty of ur strokes is highlighted in this one.

it would be great help if u could share how u go about ur brushes.

26-04-2010, 08:41 PM
Hey I really like your style! You are a reference to take into account, and I'm sure you will be in the winning list. I like a lot your work with custom brushes, I hope one day IŽll be able to define such good brushes as yours.

26-04-2010, 08:44 PM
very good. rock textures are really awesome. and I really like the tomb raider.
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27-04-2010, 11:56 AM
Ghaaa, too much to do. All the while trying to keep up with this thread...but I do my best :) About the brushes again...I'd say one third of that look is the brushes used. The other two are how you actually paint (like physically...) and a more or less linear workflow.

I only recently realized the importance of the flow parameter over the opacity one, at least when dealing with natural brush looks. I used to put pressure controlled opacity on pretty much every brush but something always seemed "wrong" with them. I concluded that they make things look unnatural and machine-like, and there's nothing really wrong with that if that's the look you're going for. I guess the fact that there isn't a real world equivalent to the opacity parameter is what makes it so...you can't really control the opacity of paint mid stroke, particularly not by how hard you press on the surface. Watercolor loses opacity with each stroke but again it's not controlled by pressure. I used to completely disregard flow but now I'm its biggest fan. We'll see how long that phase lasts...

I also used to scan real brushstrokes and use them as templates but not that many of them work very well...other than as little finishing touches. I guess you generally don't want to use just one brush all over a painting. Mix it up but use the more intensely textured ones sparingly. In fact, try to avoid overindulgence in all areas :) Being an extremist I learned it the hard way.

Well, that was a lot of text. I'm not sure if it answered any questions or interested anyone. But there it is.

And thanks for the kind comments again. I really appreciate it.

29-04-2010, 03:57 AM
Really nice technic, love the natural feeling of your final work! looks like traditional Oil on Canvas... Congrats.
You are so good with your brushes man, keep it in!