Okay, I finally managed to do that ‘courage-screwing’ thing I mentioned a while back, so now that my competing days are over (for this go-round, at least), I thought I’d take a look back. I just hope I don’t offend anyone with my observations….
#1 (“When you wait for someone who has gone, you wait in vain”): Nice one, and a great start! I like the subdued colors, and that up-and-to-the-right flow gives it a sense of movement, even though everyone is just standing around. Waiting.
#2 (“Small clumps often topple big loads”) Okay, I honestly don’t know what to make of this one; I guess it’s a bit too obscure for my provincial mind-set. The rather sinister lighting is a nice touch, though.
#3 (“Arguing with women….”) Another bit of zaniness that we’ve come to expect from you, Totte! Great job! (And I’m sure the guy on his knees groveling went over well with the ladies!)
#4 (“Attack is the best defense!”) Another excellent job, Totte! Well framed, lots of action…. I could actually feel that punch! (It hurt.) Just another great piece of work!
#5 (“My home is my castle”) This is wild, very ‘Mad Max - Beyond Thunderdome’! A really, really great render!
#6 (“You should talk to farmers peasant wise….”) Okay, full disclosure: I voted for Romney, so you pretty much lost me with the Obama angle. But I love the Victorian hooker, and that ‘March of the Penguins’ bit - priceless! Typical Totte!
#1 (“A watched pot never boils”) Beautifully bizarre, and a great juxtaposition between the flames and the steam. Just all-around nicely done!
#2 (“You can lead a hick to water….”) Another beautiful render - nicely composed, love the colors (predominantly blue), and the subject speaks volumes! (Although, as something of a ‘hick’, myself, you’re cutting awfully close to the bone there!)
#1 (“A bird in hand….”) Delightfully quirky, and an excellent use of a truly off-the-wall hodge-podge of pulled items. The subtlety of its lunacy (pun intended!) is striking!
#2 (“Ladies First”) Excellent job! Dark, sinister, and there’s a lot going on there. An image that demands to be studied carefully, with a lot of surprises in store for anyone with the courage to do so.
#1 (“The road to ruin….”) Nice composition, excellent back-story, and scantily-clad women never hurt, either!
#2 (“An ounce of prevention….”) For some reason, this reminds me of my college days (and in case you were wondering, yes, I spent a fair chunk of it at least semi-blitzed!) It’s just so bizarre, surreal, even. Way to twist my brain into a Mobius Pretzel!
#1 (“We’re fools whether we dance or not….”) Wow! Just… wow! The colors are beautiful, the atmosphere is perfect, and the sentiment it expresses is just plain moving. Fantastic work! (As usual, I might add.)
#2 (“Seeing an owl in the daytime….”) Another awesome piece of work! The glowing owl’s wings are the defining touch - simply perfect!
#3 (“Never pick up hitchhikers….”) Wonderfully silly, Luci! You turned that ‘strange brew’ of a draw into something… even stranger! Touche!
#4 (“Lao Mao, I have a feeling we’re not in Canton anymore”) Another superb composition. The colors, the subdued lighting, the promise of what lies beyond that portal…. Just wonderful!
#5 (“Accept hospitality, but always pitch your tent”) You’ve done it again, Luci - turned out a fascinating image, and managed to confuse the hell out of me, all in one fell swoop! The water is well done, and the expression on the man’s face is simply priceless! (But where the hell is all that water coming from!?)
#6 (“If you build it, they will come”) Probably your best of this contest! The colors, the action, the mix of the mundane with the fanciful - everything you’re best at, all rolled up into one delicious render! Simply stunning!
#7 (“Tread cautiously in strange lands….”) You just keep doing it, Luci! An excellent composition that tells a a deeply satisfying story. The ‘culture-shocked’ expressions on the cowboys’ faces are priceless! And the oh-so-serious expression of the ‘guide’: “Don’t trust that bird; he’ll crap on your hat and sing like it’s funny!” Another beautiful job!
#1 (“If at first you don’t succeed….”) A deliciously whimsical composition, and the story is simply sublime! I guess ‘persistence pays off’!
#2 (“S**t happens”, et alia) I can’t help but admire someone who can multi-task! This is a great one, and it works on so many levels! I can practically smell the donkey-poop!
#3 (“A horse in the hayloft….”) This is very well done, especially given the bizarre mix of items you had to work with. Good job!
#1 (“Many hands make light work”) A beautiful, seasonal piece; nice arrangement of your drawn items into a coherent theme. Very well done!
#2 (“Play music with feeling….”) This is just beautiful! Well composed, the color and lighting are pitch-perfect, and the overall mood is almost sensual. Like I said: just beautiful!
#3 (“Hear the cuckoo mid-March….”) Another nice one. Perfectly seasonal, and well-framed. The background is just plain awesome!
#4 (“The right tool for the right job”) I really like this one, mainly because I have a rather sentimental attachment to the Dystopian Console Station (it famously saved my butt in a previous RRRR challenge). But you gotta wonder whose ‘s***list’ this poor schmuck ended up on to pull this duty!
#5 (“Choose your last wish carefully”) I like the lighting and the composition, but I’m especially curious as to what the first two wishes were! And that’s the beauty of this render: it poses so many provocative questions.
#6 (“His bark is worse than his bite”) Do you seriously expect us to believe that!? This one is great! The image tells a great story, and you made great use of your random items.
#7 (“Good friends, close friendship”) Man, she better not be getting ready to shoot the dog! (MelanieL will have your guts for garters!) A great quasi-apocalyptic render, and very well staged - except for the direction that gun is pointed, of course!
#1 (”...the elephant in the room”) This one is great! About as subtle as a baseball bat between the eyes, but I often feel that subtlety is wildly over-rated. This is RRRR quirkiness at its finest!
#1 (“There’s no reason to walk on the branches….”) This is just delightful! Colorful, fanciful, whimsical…. Just an all-around great image!
#2 (“Every man loves the smell of his own farts”) Okay, this one is just flat-out hysterical! The expressions are telling - especially the old guy in back; he’s enjoying himself way too much! I can only imagine what weird mental process took those random items and evoked that saying, but I’m probably better off not knowing! A palpable hit!
#3 (“He who wants everything will lose everything”) This one is excellently creepy! It practically screams Tim Burton! I like it!
#4 (“Laugh and the world laughs with you….”) It’s the little things that make this one so precious - that ‘I sleep with the fishes’ balloon is absolutely priceless! Sentimental as all get-out, and it works!
#1 (“A man’s best friend is his dog”) I love this one! It reminds me of a Renaissance painting (a Titian, perhaps?) A beautiful blend of color, composition, lighting and effects. Well done!
#2 (“Never look a gift horse in the mouth”) I’ve already mentioned how much I like this one, but I will add this: If I had drawn those items, there is no way I would have come up with that scenario (regardless of what Luci said!) The whole concept is simply inspired!
#1 (“A little birdie told me”) A very good one, in my view - a simple composition that hints at a real story behind it; the dragon’s guilt-ridden posture says it all! (“I done a ba-a-a-ad thing!”)
#2 (“My grandmother always said ‘She who hesitates is lost’....”) Yeah, I’m kind of curious about that punching bag in the garden, too! A nice render, though, if a trifle confusing; the flowers add a nice bit of color, and the shadows around the wishing well add a touch of mystery. Nicely done.
#3 (“End of the Story”) This one is just plain good; it’s a nice arrangement, the shadows are vell done (and man, I know how tough shadows are to get right, mainly because I almost never do!), the soft colors, the air of almost inexpressible sadness that suffuses the whole scene…. A really good image!
#1 (“It’s like being at the kids table at Christmas….”) This is… interesting. Scary in one sense, whimsical in another. The pastel colors soften the ‘Troll-jolt’, and the winter scene through the window adds a nice, ‘homey’, touch. A busy little vignette. Good job!
#2 (“If it weren’t for bad luck….”) Oh, man, this one is just… depressing. (And trust me, I know from depressing; I should, I’ve been dealing with it for nearly forty years. That’s probably why this image disturbs me so much.) I’m no huge fan of Aiko, but I sure don’t want to see her come to this pass. Don’t mis-read me; it’s a great, rather surrealistic render, with some highly complex imagery, but…. as I said, depressing.
#3 (“The line starts back there”) Okay, you redeemed yourself with this one! It’s really funny, and so universally true! Excellent job!
#4 (“Be careful what you wish for….”) Another excellent composition! well played! The Faustian bargain is a never-ending lode to be mined…!
#1 (“My kingdom for a horse”) This one is intriguing, in a ‘Salvador-Dali-on-bad-dope’ kind of way. There’s a lot going on, with great use of the drawn items, and the colors and lighting are very welldone (IMHO). Good. Weird. Good and weird. Both.
Well, that’s what I’ve come up with so far. I know it isn’t over yet, so I’m sure I’ll have something to say about others (including those that were submitted while I was working on this magnum opus).
And if you want to take that as a threat…, go right ahead!