Character Contest 59 Winners!

Many thanks to everyone who entered Character Contest 59 - Pisces, there were some great submissions. I've gathered together some of the ones I found particularly noteworthy as our slate of Finalists; I hope you enjoy them!


First up is BClouser's "Prison Fish", showing an interstellar criminal finally brought to justice. I really liked the whole helmet apparatus, along with the nifty prison-orange-uniform-in-SPAAAAAAACE concept.

DBlade's "Aqueous" (the non-Photoshopped version) was one of the best "classic" Pisces arrangements, with two very cool looking biomechanical "fish" surrounding a central figure. The surrounding ocean environment is great, too, particularly the clever use of some of the cloud elements colored and positioned to look like water.

Frevoli's clever "Pie-Sees" pun totally puts me in mind of a Dick Tracy villain, complete with the bizarre head and glowering henchmen. I love the masks on those guys, they look perfect.

I thought GamerMage did a great job putting together an entire poster, complete with great copy, cool images, and a really nice layout.

Kytana's "Pisces" really blew me away. Amazing setting, awesome fish, fantastic pose, and the off-kilter frame adding to the drama all combine for a truly epic feel. Just amazing.

LogosGal also put together a really neat poster, this time for that childhood favorite candy, "Pisces Pieces". A very clever idea done extremely well. Glad you found the blog here eventually, LogosGal, welcome aboard!

MLS continues his "Zodiac Commandos" series, which he describes as a "Cheap GI Joe knockoff" but which you and I know is actually cool all on its own. You can see the entire set here if you're of a mind.

PapaKroc continues his outstanding run of well-conceived and well-executed images with his "Pisces". The figures themselves are posed very well, the hair is quite convincing in the way it seems to flow in the water, the bubbles breaking the plane of the background circle, all contribute to an outstanding "classic" interpretation.

I loved Pesky's use of colors and patterns (particularly in the skirt and the tattoos) on "Atta". She's got a real attitude, though I would encourage Pesky to check out the "How to put an item in your character's hand" link at the top of the HM3 window 🙂

I've commented before on how much I like the way Sean David Ross assembles backgrounds, and this entry is a great example of what I'm talking about. You've got a real progression of levels here, reinforced by both the positioning of the elements themselves and the colors used. You get a fantastic sense of depth and space, so the figure feels rooted in her reality.

Sutter Kaine must have channeled Robert Palmer's "Simply Irresistible" video for this one!

I've included Tarkabarka's "Fish Lady" entry mostly for the awesome shark and shark-riding gear. That's a great idea and really cool. I do wish we didn't have the big black gradient over on the left side, or what I suspect is a mostly-transparent white overlay washing out the details, because I'd like to see it all framed and clear. But that shark harness is awesome.

UnknownBlackPaper's "Another Time" is just lovely. A beautiful composition, innovative use of non-traditional elements to create the fish, and an almost lyrical sensibility. Just beautiful.

I love it when people think outside the box, as Zarae did with this great blade given to a young mermaid. The concept is great and the execution here rocks. Really nice job!

Finally, Zyp's "Deep Blue" evokes a wonderful sense of impending horror.

Sometimes these contests involve a lot of agonizing as I go back and forth between a number of entries, unsure which to choose as the winner and why. I even have called my wife in to help decide a time or two, and it's not unusual for buddy John to get a call asking him to weigh in.

Then you have contests like this one, where a single entry just leaps off the screen, grabs me by the throat, and chokes me till I can call it the winner. And that entry this week belongs to Kytana! I thought it had drama, action, great composition, an awesome fish, a very convincing pose seen from behind, and an innovative layout, all of which combined to draw a gasp from me when I first saw it. Simply an outstanding illustration, thanks so much for sharing it Kytana! Let me know what you'd like for your prize either in the comments below or via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the right column.

Congratulations as well not only to all our Finalists, but everyone who was willing to share their work with us by submitting an entry. Well done everyone!

39 Responses to Character Contest 59 Winners!

  1. unknownblackpaper

    Congrats Kytana!

  2. Man, waaaay outside the box peeps!!! LOVE IT!!!!
    Congrats Kytana! Awesome! Zyp, scares the crap outta me…awesome as well. UnknownBlackPaper is gonna eat us all alive if we don’t watch out…like that freaky fishcreature in Zyps pic. Amazing stuff.

    Hell, every entry is just pushin the limits. Holy talent.

  3. Very cool entries. Grats to the winners.

  4. First Grat to everyone who contested and especially Kytana, when i see that picture i tell to that picture is AWESOME.

    Second. My computer was very slowly when i used the 14 pattern, and i very angry that time and i don’t really finish the back side.

  5. Nick Hentschel

    I can’t seem to impress anybody……

  6. Congrats Kytana!

  7. ooo a mention, that doesnt happen
    congrats folks

  8. Congratulations, Kytana! I can’t argue with Mr. Hebert’s decision. Your piece is awesome.

    @Tarkabarka: I like what I saw. Maybe you could repost a complete piece later.

  9. great job everyone! Really nice entries.

  10. I haven’t posted on a contest in a while before this one, but I’ll happily congratulate Kytana on the win. It was one of the ones that I simply said “WOW” when I opened it.

    @Nick Hentschel: Dude, don’t beat yourself up. At this level sometimes it’s about a few details that make the image just pop. You’ll get there. Don’t fret it. BTW, Nice collection of blades.

  11. Congrats, Kytana; that is truly cool.

    Gotta say though, my favorite was Zyp’s. That is just… wow. The sheer black deep sea, the lighting effects, everything. Just awesome.

  12. Oh, thanks a lot. I have worked six hours for that. It sounds like crazy but this time a have a fix(fixed?) idea. So i have tried out the right pose and it was not so easy. I think the fishmonster was not so difficult like the water in the background. So thanks and thanks for the gratulation.
    And i don´t sure about the price…i would post tommorow when its ok.

  13. Congrats Kytana! Awesome job! Again,amazing work by all! There were some really fantastic images this week.

  14. And sorry i forgotten. I have no favorite so i gratulation the other people too!

  15. Woo! I made the finals! How exciting! 🙂

    Gratuliere, Kytana! Das Gemälde ist sehr fantastisch!

    I’m glad Jeff’s judging these and not me; I think I would have had a much harder time choosing between some of these. Great job everyone!

  16. Nick Hentschel

    Thanks, Worf, but I’m still getting to work on my “Aries” drawing, well in advance. [Heh, heh…..]

    I *would* like to say that Zyp’s “Deep Blue” is my favorite of the finalists, not only because of its elegant construction, but because, for some odd reason, I find that girl really, really attractive…..

  17. Me, Myself & I

    Herzlichen Kytana Glückwunsch! Nun verdient in der Tat. Das war mein Lieblingsbuch, sobald ich es sah.

  18. Nick (5, 16): Now you know how I feel every single zodiac contest. Still, nice to see the character contests are sucking you in. That’s how it happens, you know.

  19. Sehr gut, Kytana! The picture’s tilt and the way the monster twists add to the action.

    Personal favorite is Zyp’s Deep Blue. The attention to light and shadow is incredible.

  20. Oh foo, I had entry in mind for this one but forgot all about it with a busy workweek. Well, I doubt it would’ve stood up anyhow. Great job all!

  21. Congrats to Kytana for a very strong image! Great Job! Kudos to all the finalists.

  22. I’m really sorry I missed this… lol. The irony here kills me. I am a Pisces and missed the contest, but made the Aquarius contest… which is my mother’s sign. I don’t know what this means lol.

  23. Congrats all around, there was some really good stuff this time around. 🙂

  24. Damn, this might be the best contest winners collection I’ve seen. I think I like GameMage’s entry the best, followed by Zyp’s, then Kytana’s.

  25. Great entries! And a great winner! Congrats Kytana!

  26. Always as awesome to be mentioned in the honorables! Congrats to Kytana for a well deserved win and HUGE Thanks to all who liked my creation.

    I will win one of these someday! 😀 Wont stop ’til I do 🙂

  27. Fantastic work, Kytana! Absolutely loved it.

    But I also want to give a shoutout to LogosGirl, I absolutely love your pic, it’s so cohesive and convincing and original.

  28. @Nick Hentschel (5) This is the second time my trying to write this, because I have this weird “undo everything you’ve done” key on my computer that I can only find when I least need it and am not looking for it. Anyway…

    I’ve experienced that frustration. In something like 2 1/2 years of submitting for contests in HM3, I’ve had two or three honourable mentions, after dozens and dozens of entries, that each took two to three hours to make. It can feel like rejection when each week I check to see if a pic I’ve made is on the list and it isn’t. It feels like all my hard work was for nothing.

    However, I’ve learnt through submitting old pics in the Open Critique Fridays that Jeff thinks I do good work, it’s just perhaps not exactly in a genre that really grabs his attention. And that’s okay. We all sometimes say, “You know, that piece of work is well done, but it’s not my favourite, and I can’t put my finger on it as to why.”

    I didn’t enter this contest. For a very long time, the only time I used HM3 was to make things for contests. And a lot of the time, I was trying to create things for contests that really didn’t catch my interest. Now, I’ve started in on a long-term project that will likely never have anything to do with a contest. I’m liking this, because I’m creating just for myself.

    And that’s the key. Create to make yourself happy. Then, if someone else also likes it, that’s just icing. 🙂

  29. Thanks, Whit! 😀 Glad you like it!

  30. Oh, and one more thing to Kytana–I just did find the hidden Pisces sign–and using a yin-yang sign to represent it no less, total genius.

  31. @Whit(28): Good words to live by. I’ve just started entering these contests but I’ve vowed to only create characters I need for my own campaign settings. My main goal with entering the contests is to win the chance to choose new assets for the program so I can more easily create the characters I need. It’s also a way to practice new techniques and perfect your HeroMachining.

  32. I hope i am understand right that i can every price choice i will? Then i should like have a white rabbit like Alice in wonderland but without cloths.

  33. Kytana, do you mean like this: http://4mothers1blog.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/alice-white-rabbit.jpg

    Or like this:
    http://alexsfunplace.com/ADF/coloringbook/images/AliceWhiteRabbit.gif

    If neither, can you please give a link to an image of what you want? Thanks!

  34. OK Kytana, thanks! It’s on the list. One last question, how do you want it posed? As in, do you want it standing front-on looking at the viewer, or off to the side like in the movie poster? If you do the standing front-on view, you could then add items to it as clothing but the other way would probably look better in a scene. Up to you.

    And just to confirm, you want the rabbit to NOT have clothing as drawn, correct?

  35. I decide without cloths because i think about to clothing itself. So in front-on is it better.Sorry when i can´t explain better.
    I think the best is when the head a little bit side. But ok its your turn. As you think is the best.

  36. 91minutecrusade

    Hey, Jeff. I don’t have access to facebook, deviantart, photobucket, or any of those image-upload websites, but I would like to share some creations of mine with you. Any ideas?

  37. 91minutecrusade

    Sry, updated email on this one. don’t know if that makes any difference but u know, either way

  38. 91minutecrusade: Sorry man, you’re going to have to have a web site that hosts images. You can’t even use Dropbox.com? I am assuming this is some sort of firewall situation like at a school or something. Anyway, without access to some kind of publicly accessible web storage space, then you’re not going to be able to participate in any of the contests.