Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mighty Empires Painting: River Tile

Today, I'm continuing with my sporadic posts on painting mighty empire tiles (and hopefully planetary empires as well at some point). Although I've already done all of the mountain tiles, I'm nowhere near finishing off the other general "green" tiles that include the forests, plains and rivers.

This tile features a river in a prominent position on the tile, so I wanted to try to emphasize its presence by highlighting some rapids and breaking water on its surface.

I need to go find a river to look at in more detail (or take a flight somewhere!) as I think I could have done better here. Whilst I know not all rivers are beautifully blue and vibrant, what concerns me is that I think I haven't paid any attention to fluid dynamics here. In short - the question that bothers me is this: where should I be highlighting along the river to make it look dynamic? Certainly I could imagine that there are rocks (etc.) strewn just below the surface and near the banks of the river ... but where exactly and how do they "typically" break the surface of the water.

I am pleased with the foliage though. I think I've captured a few neat transitions from one type of shrub or grassland locally dominating in one area to another. The scattered different shades of green are particularly pleasing as I decided I'd try just some subtle drybrushing with sunburst yellow to create an extra accented highlight in some areas. In other areas, I've basecoated in a dark green and inked in an even darker green to suggest dense, shaded foliage or just generally darker leaf tones.

The roads - presumably mud and dirt roads - are simply inked in brown and had a triple zero paint brush loaded with black go over the top of them with a steady hand.

I also like the field - perhaps it is a rapeseed or canola plantation (or some exotic alien food staple)? Either way, this is one of those comparatively uncommon instances where I've been moderately pleased with the outcome of using yellow paint! The farmhouse adjacent to the field (the L-shape) was a bit plain, but I didn't want it to detract from the river and the variations in the green foliage that dominate the rest of the tile.

3 comments:

Dan LaChapelle said...

Great job! It looks very realistic. You may want to consider adding "meander details" - the inside of a curve is sandy (as sediment is deposited there) while the outside of a curve is being worn away by the water.

Gotthammer said...

Large rivers tend not to have highlights like that, but areas of shade. This is unless they are rapids of course.

I'd just jump on google and look up 'aerial river' or the like for some source photos, or google earth even.

Here's a couple I dug up:
http://www.terragalleria.com/images/np-alaska/gaar0020.jpeg

http://static.travelmuse.com/docs/artwork/destination-page/idaho-page-snake-river-aerial-full.jpg

jabberjabber said...

Hi Guys -- thanks very much for the feedback & criticism! That's very useful to me :)

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