Taron's "Natives of the Lifeless Forest" Challenge Winners Site Announcements
By admin — Jun 04, 2009, 06:05 am EDT
Taron's "Natives of the Lifeless Forest" Challenge Winners
Taron's "Natives of the Lifeless Forest" was the first big challenge event here at CGHUB.com and we have all (Taron included) been blown away at the amazing response and fantastic entries! There were so many great entries that it made narrowing the winners down difficult, and just picking three for each category was an agonizing process for our judge. On behalf of everyone at CGHUB and Taron, we would like to thank you for being a part of this first event of many to come. Winners were solely chosen by Taron after much deliberation and final selections were not chosen by CGHUB.com staff or editors. A huge thanks to Taron for coming up with such a great concept and for taking the time to comment on the entries and for being so involved throughout the event.
1. Jukka - Forest Priest and the Natives
2. Jeff Simpson - Lifeless Forest
3. Fungi - Watcher of the Stream1. juhone - Forest GoblinThe 3d Winners
2. Codeman - Root of all Evil
3. marcinek - Explorer of the Lifeless Forest
Honorable Mention - Hakubaikou - Lifeless Forest
Best of Show - Jukka -Forest Priest and the Natives
Comments on entries made by Taron
Honorable Mention - Hakubaikou's Lifeless Forest
I fell in love with this piece early on, as it had also been one of the first pictures emerging on the forum. It had such morbid story telling, like an explanation for how those creatures evolved within the lifeless forest. It has a calm nervosity that is perfectly unique and the execution was tremendous (although I had a sharper version in memory). Either way, style, pallet, subject and idea, execution and sense of humour turn it into a favorite of my heart and you can not imagine what it did to me, when I've heard that there could not be a receiver for the award as she had left us so shockingly early. It's no use dwelling on life's tragic transformations, when we know that her powers will always be with us and she's given a great share of it to the pool of our existence and we will do all we can to make sure it'll reach as many of us as possible with this special award!
1. Jukka - Forest Priest and the Natives (Best of Show!)
Only immortal beings roam the lifeless forest. They've retired there and left their lives of powers behind. On the outskirts of the zone of infinite quiet, neighboring natives continue to worship those gods, while they are not afraid anymore. The mystical creatures have surrendered to the hopelessness of leading relentless fools. Hahaha, it's beautiful. Aside from the obvious artistic brilliance this picture has truely a spirit. Regardless as to whether I've interpreted it the way it was meant or not, I'm sure everyone has his own reaction and that's what only a real masterpiece can achieve. Congratulations!
2. Jeff Simpson - Lifeless Forest
This is one of the first entries that showed up on the forum and I find it as fascinating now as I've done right then, if not more. It has a certain artistic lightness and power, it floats on the energy of a whole-hearted artist and radiates the signature of some honest channeling. Despite minor hiccups or rather uncertainties, it still has a unique effect and shows a kind of subtle discontentment in an otherwise content situation. These fine tones or notes give it a richness that makes it stand out to me. It's a lifeless forest and this is a creature that had been absorbed by it a long time ago and simply maintains with some curiosity the remains of her former shape. A guest, the hawk or whatever it is, appears to have knawed on her corpse and died of the poison that killed her. So now they became allies of some kind. That's the story I feel when I see it. It carries the mind far beyond the image and still entertains visually enough to enjoy resting on it with your eyes. Great job!
3. Fungi - Watcher of the Stream
It's iconic somehow and very memorable, while sticking closely to the topic, somehow. I love the style and value the explicit power of it, the clarity and the tightness. To me it appears nearly androgynous, as it somehow has both masculine and feminine traits in all its shapes. It also doesn't celebrate itself, but tries to be direct and descriptive. That's to me a layer of maturity that has to be rewarded all by itself.
But frankly, except for the winning image it was nearly impossible for me to choose the runner up and third and so forth. I think I need a blood transfusion from all the bleeding I had from my heart, when I was just thinking about favoring one over another. You guys'n'gals have shown yet again what unbelievably talented artists you are and I'm sure, even if I somehow couldn't squeeze 32 people into the first place, you are winners out there no matter what! And to honour your mastery to which I bow whole heartedly, I want to write my comments to each and everyone of those of you, who I think should've won, too!
Normally I would've asked you for forgiveness, but frankly it was such a painful decision-making for me, that I feel I have to forgive you for all of you being so damn good.
Here's what I have to tell you:
Cupcake-weasel - Fallen Forest God
You've made one of my favorite images in the collection with your sense of design, style and beautiful execution. Minor details (the claw that lifts the trunk, the blue sparkle creature in the background) made it a little too difficult for me to justify having this one climb over the others, as they took some of the power away from it. While it wasn't necessarily any artistic deficiency, it simply brought too much life into the scene where there shouldn't really have been some. It feels a little like a forest after a fire, with moisture being ready to transform it back to life again. It didn't have the kind of strength at the end, while it feels like it could have. But we're talking about minimal weaknesses, don't forget that, please. Because right up until the end of my decision-making I had you on place 3 and in the beginning I saw you as a 1st place winner, too. I can't tell you the pain...well... I've said it above. Regardless, it's a masterpiece!
sb51075 - Hope in the Lifeless Forest
I had you right up there and somehow couldn't keep you there, while I still think you have created the second most brilliant manifestation of the topic. You've called it "hope in the lifeless forest", which has such beautiful irony, since it looks as though the plent is a ghost as well, whether that's how it's meant or not. I value the consistency this introduces to the whole spirit of the painting! It's defacto the lifeless forest and that's its creatures. Why are you not on 1st place, because you've opted for a more intimed moment and the grandeur of the winner was just too aggressive. And because you've somehow created something that is closer to the realm of illustration than pure and sincere art. I don't for a minute suggest you weren't sincere with this, but there's a certain insecurity that's so close to being gone. It's just this last tiny little snippit, while it doesn't even have to go, but it pushed you out of the tip top of it, where you should and will be. Naturally, as I've said above, you are already winners eitherway.
A word to everybody, inspired by what I wanted to tell sb51075...
If you participate in a challenge, always put yourself into the shoes of a judge for at least a moment and think of what kind of image could demand a first place. Many of you have done that successfully, much to my horror, but some of you have what it takes to be the winner already, but your choices are still very tame. When I was thinking about who should be on the cover of the book, I was looking for the most powerful image. Thank god the winning picture had that same power, too. So consider this: A topic of grandeur (landscape, nations, giant systems, any vast subject) is asking for an image that screams grandeur, too! The main subject wants to be featured with such strength, too.
noah-kh - Death Forest
Unbelievable, really, just unbe-freaking-leavable picture. I don't need to tell you, who it reminds me of, though. But aside from the familiarity of many of the elements, this is the work of a highly paid industry professional and if it is not, then you're doing something incredibly wrong and should get an agent! Excellent piece, but it didn't say "forest" enough and somehow fell inlove with itself so much, that the picture forgot to communicate with the viewer at some point. It's highly narcissistic and removed from coherend storytelling, overloading the eyes with a feast of glorious details that are all by themselves masterpieces and deserve to be featured, but they suck the life out of the whole to a degree where sincerity is the breath that got drowned away. I'm telling you all this while I have earth shattering respect of your mastery. Aside from that, I have just the same kind of respect for your dilligence, patience and focus. I could not testify to your originality, but I feel that it's in there, but well... a book with your image as cover could well be a smash hit with all fantasy geeks and barely any teeny could pass on that one without a big "wooaahhhwww". I think I've said enough right now, but if the topic was "Mechanical defloration of the young queen of the damned", you'd have no competitor! Phenomenal.
Matt_Rhodes - The punishment of the Lovers of Wealth
Topic missed "F". That would be the creature that eats the forest... no forest, no lifeless forest, hehe. But one of the most glorious images of them all. This is a poster and has what it takes to be a classic at that. Style and execution or so awe-inspiring. The clarity, the subtlety, the sense of essence and understanding of substance is beyond gorgeous and fist hammering powerful. The dying sun in the suffocation of the atmosphere, the blind rage of the greed-creature, the awkward ugliness of it and the toxic fumes... I deeply love it and bow to your brilliance! Congratulations, even if you've only one my deep respect and most certainly a page in the book.
Villano - Brides of the Lifeless Forest
How on earth can you have missed the first place, second, third and it took even a few comments to get down to you? How? You'll be able to pick a nice place anywhere in the world, build yourself a nice home and become one of the most important concept and fantasy artists out there. Book covers, Hollywood movies, comics (graphic novels, I apologize), you are probably already doing all of that, do you? But non of that is the reason for why you've missed it. I think in all it's perfection it is an illustration, depicting a haunted forest and not lifeless. This guy is casually walking through it with his pet-monkey (or whatever that is) avoiding the much expected sisters of doom, hehe, to get to his old teacher on the other end of the otherwise not so lifeless forest. The topic hadn't been "creatures of the lifeless clearing". And I'd rampage around the whole day to help myself from not breaking down in sweat and tears for not having this one win. The design, especially for me as I'm currently chasing after crabs almost everyday when I'm down at the beach, is utterly stunning and executed in such sensual mastery. The dominance you have going through you is intimidating and naturally humbling. I'm soaking up nearly every playful stroke you've made with so much confidence and you make me smile at the same time. I'm still battling with myself not to fall into the begging for forgiveness... perfection!
mrdream - Hibernate
Unreachable winner of a contest with great distance to any runner-up. Countless exhibitions of a high priest of fantasy art with skill and experience. But you really didn't even scratch the topic, except that there are plenty of trees. It's lord of the rings with a completely different idea about ...watchamacall them again... them tree characters, hehe. The weakest thing in the whole masterpiece is that guy hanging by a branch from the tree mid left... that somehow almost seems to be from a different much younger artist in it's stiff posture and flat proportional inconsistencies. Anyway, if you would've kept it tight to the creature itself and left it even more as a hint that you could just see that it was this kind of dino-tortoise giant, threw all of the goblins out, or what ever they are, it could've passed as lifeless. But this image and these woods are stuffed with an abandonce of life around winter time. Regardless...it's beautiful. I love a lot of things about it, but especially the creature itself and the screaming commander on the right as well as the nice anatomy details on the arm on the left. Lighting is simple but brilliant and so wonderfully consistent. Plenty of excellent effects in there as well that have highly artistic qualities and fortunately transcend the realm of fantasy illustration to pass over into a more classic and timeless category, dare I say "emotional". However, it has a forest and it's a masterpiece, so, well... it gave me headaches, too! (...about not letting this one win! Just to clarify.)
Teeth - Traitor in the Lifeless Forest
That's just cool. I really like the style. It almost feels like an old piece of tribal art that should not exist, hehe. I can see a whole book in your style to be very successful. I once saw illustrations from Ray Harryhausen and your image has that kind of feel. I guess it's the way you've dealt with the haze and the conceptual design touch of the characters. It has however a distinct touch and I count it to my favorites, too.
Sandara - What...is This?
What an excellent and original spawn toy that would make, haha. But the picture is marvelous and I really enjoyed it a lot! I've always been a big fan of bizarre and sharp shapes, having been introduced to fantasy art at a young age and you've celebrated them beautifully here! The choice for humour was a bit too clear and didn't quite have a necessary twist to make it really sharp, but it really all made a cute and comedic image I always like to remember!
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