Here comes a long one, so make sure you have a cup of coffee or whatever. The colours are very good on this one. The gear you've designed looks terrific. I like all the details, but there are few funny things going on in the picture. First, Turins head looks quite big. Even if I "unimagine" the helmet off. It looks like 1/5 of the whole body. The way he carries the sword seems somehow unnatural. He doesn't seem to know where to keep he's scabbard, as it sways between his legs. Surely it might give funny ideas to girls, but he would propably trap himself on it in a middle of fight. Beleg instead has a very good, reliable pose. But if you study archers, they usually let the arrow from the left side of the bow (the arrows won't fall from aim). Although, Beleg's bow seems to be tilted about 15 degrees to counterclockwise, so it's logical to have the arrows on the right side as you've drawn them. Yet still I'd recommend that you fix them to left side and tilt the bow clockwise for the bigger piece. It's just because humanoid bodystructure makes it easier and more firm that way. Looks more natural too. I hope you don't feel that this rant is pointless. I just think that good fantasy has to be beliveable and well argued. And I'm trying to help.
I don't think you're ranting and I agree with believability in fantasy. I've never been one for armour and weapons that can't possibly make sense. I feel as I lose that capacity to be believe what I am looking at, I distance myself from the piece. I might find other things about it that will interest me but the whole piece will lack completion.
Now on to you're points. Turin was a tough one and I am still not completely satisfied with his stance or the way the gear falls. So he might change and proportions will need to be adjusted accordingly. The size of his head has more to do with the fact that the slight crouch I chose throws things off kilter and makes his head look to big.
The point you brought up about how Beleg places his arrows is simply that I used japanese archers as inspiration. They place their arrows on the right side of the bow. His bow started out asymmetrical as well, but changed on execution. So a question of western or eastern in look arises. Something to consider when or if the whole piece develops.
There were very clear choices to make concerning the geometry of this composition to define the relationship of the characters to one another. Sometimes these choices get in the way of realism. Would the sword be at that angle, would he draw his bow in that manner and so on.
Hope that gives you some insight on where I come from when I work. I'm glad you took the time to let me know what you think.
My pleasure on commenting, mate. I actually saw a documentary series just yesterday, where two brittish lads tested crossbows and longbow. The japanese bow was also introduced (and the way they shoot), and I felt a bit ashamed after my previous comments to you.
What comes to Turin, there are few things I could suggest, but I don't actually know what he is doing (beginning a swing with his sword, thrusting with the dagger, or just resting his blade?) I can still recommend that you take a look at poses from Lichtenauer, Fiore dei Liberi or other manuscripts about fencing with a longsword. They are a great help for chivalric artist. I wouldn't be surpised if those we're already familiar to you.
It's not so much about what he is doing as about the snapshot at this point. I've got to look into those manuscripts to see if there is anything I can use. I have to refresh myself on their visuals. I think my best bet is to see if there are modern photographs of fencing schools in a medieval fashion. I have a feeling that I will have to change my pov completely to satisfy myself.
Thanks for the help. I've got to scrounge through your site and the links to see if there is anything I can use. I'm sure I'll be able to find something. It's astonishing how many good reference photos you can find these days.