Character Contest 41 Winners!

I believe we had the most entries ever in a HeroMachine Character Design Contest this time around, but I've finally sifted through the excellent submissions, distilling the Finalists and our overall Winner for "Character Contest 41 - Art Martial"! Thanks to everyone who took the time to enter, I had a lot of fun looking through these.

First up is Atomic Punk's "Blacklight Tiger". What really caught my eye about this one was the background. Coloring the figures like he did made for a very striking and novel effect.

Next is BNE's "Rnzhdsh", which also stood out for its background. The effect of hanging the weapons on the wall as if on a rack was inspired.

"Eviscerator" by Brambles is a great "Road Warrior" style pugilist, or possibly one of the cast of a "Mortal Kombat" sequel.

I'm not quite sure how Decolda got this flowing cape effect on "Venus" but I really like it.

DiCicatriz made what is, for my money, the definitive six-limbed blue-skinned Indian martial artist, "Santulana". I love the background, the tattoos, and the pose. A great all-around illustration.

Ian Healy's "Feng Shui" made me laugh, as always, but it's also a very good illustration. The setting is uncanny, a superb setting of the scene.

I chose two entries from Imp this week, starting with "Golden Phoenix". All of the details are great, from the sized leg wings to the green hair to the swirling grayed-out flame pattern. The only tweak I'd have made to this is to have put the flames over the weapon, made slightly transparent. Still, I really like this one.

His "Sam Adams" is wonderful, too. I love the idea of a Revolutionary War brewmaster ninja. Awesome.

Kabare's fantasy-based fighting elf "Alyne Sundier" works well, particularly the nice patterning of her outfit. Consistent colors and a tight composition make this a keeper.

Krimson also went for a "Road Warrior" style look with "Anaal Nathrakh", a very menacing looking fellow to be sure.

Martian Blue did a great posing job on "Shaolin", with a solid design to boot.

Me Myself and I used a tattoo-like effect very well with his simple, but affecting, "Tiger Claw".

First-time entrant "Morzan" did a fantastic job, with the only entry this week that made me say "wow" when I first opened it. I love the tiger logo used as a head, and it's perfectly matched with the fur collar to make a convincing effect.

Rancid's "Lady Thorn" has a lot of great elements, from the flower design masked onto the leotard to the simple but nice background. I particularly love the griffin colored and patterned to look like a building gargoyle, though, that's very neat.

SpiderCow2010's "Ka Pao" is a great scene coupled with a well-designed character. I really like this one, and the "Damn" in the background is just perfect.

Von Malcolm's "Jade" is a wonderful overall illustration, not just the character but the surrounding elements as well.

Finally, Von Malcolm took a more light-hearted approach by drawing the cast of my favorite show, "Seinfeld", as martial artists. Hilarious.

Which brings us to this week's overall winner, who receives their choice of either any item they like, or a portrait, to be included in the final HeroMachine 3 version. And that winner is none other than the very talented Gargoyle323, with "Geisha"!

Congratulations, Gargoyle, it's a well-earned victory. I thought "Geisha" showed a great sense of personality, a fantastic use of the program to make unexpected effects, and a solid composition. Good job!

Thanks again not only to all the Finalists listed here, but to everyone who took the time to submit an entry. This was a tough week to judge, there were an awful lot of worthy illustrations.

46 Responses to Character Contest 41 Winners!

  1. Galactic Ketchup says:

    Congratulations to Gargoyle, and everyone else listed above. πŸ™‚

    I was left UNBELIEVABLY stressed during this, I had another character that I had taken a lot of time on, but my computer kept on crashing before I could save it! 0_o

    Oh well, bring on CC42, and if my computee plays up again it’s getting thrown out a window.

  2. Galactic Ketchup says:


  3. Solander says:

    Oh… I just love the nice details on Geisha’s outfit. A solid character illustration. Good job Gargoyle, and congrats!

  4. Watson Bradshaw says:

    congrats to all the winners. Great stuff and unbelievably creative.
    next time Gadget, next time! :^)

  5. Me, Myself & I says:

    That is a great image Gargoyle. I was quite impressed when I saw it. If none of my characters win this contest at least its good to know that a deserving image won.

  6. Phatchick says:

    Lady Thorn has to be my favorite. Really fantastic art there.

  7. Hammerknight says:

    Good job Gargoyle on the win. Everyone had good entries.

  8. gero says:

    The dress on the winner is amazing. I can’t imagine how many layers that thing is!

  9. Me, Myself & I says:

    Hey Jeff,

    I’m bet that that Decolda used two shoulder capes (at the top and bottom) and the long pony tail (s) in the middle to get the flowing cape effect for the β€œVenus” character.

  10. Brambles says:

    Thanks for the honorable mention Jeff πŸ™‚

  11. Danny Beaty says:

    Congrats all!

  12. BNE says:

    Anyone else think Gargoyle’s looks like the Japenese version of the Statue of Liberty? Lol. Congrats to all, and I’ll try and come up with less complicated names for you to spell next time πŸ˜€

  13. Gargoyle323 says:

    WOW! What a surprise! I am thrilled that Geisha was selected as the winner! There were so many great entries this week,so this is an especially awesome treat. Thanks to Jeff and everyone else for appreciating the detail work I did with the robes. She was my favorite entry I submitted this week. Also,congrats to all finalists and all who entered for incredibly creative designs! Each contest gets harder to win because the level of talent gets better each week! Again,thank you all!!!

    *(Jeff,I’ll get back to you with what I want. I really have no idea at this time.)

  14. Gargoyle323 says:

    MM&I- I think Decolda used capes at the top and bottom and used the “Mr. Fantstic” arms from Body/Male Standard menu. Also thanks for your very kind words! I am a fan of your great work so it means a lot coming from you. Thanks,again.

  15. Gargoyle323 says:

    That should be “Mr. Fantastic” not “Fantstic”. I really should use spell check more often!

  16. Gargoyle323 says:

    BNE- I kinda felt that way when she was finished. I’m glad I didn’t raise one of her arms!LOL!

  17. Legatus says:

    Congratulations to Gargoyle. Geisha is fantastic. That dress is awesome!

    And looking at the others who made the list, I have to say that there were truly great characters to choose from. I am a bit disappointed that my Capoeira Cobra did not make it into the Honour Roll, but I guess I’ll have to try harder next time.

  18. The Imp says:

    Thanks for the honorables, Jeff. Congrats to Gargoyle; that must have taken the whole week to put together!

  19. VonMalcolm says:

    I can’t complain with Geisha: she really jumped off the screen for me too. I am in line with most of Jeff’s picks as well.

    Some others I really liked:

    The Golden Rose
    The Survivor
    Chang Lee Wong
    The Death Dealer? (I couldn’t relocate this one)
    El Completo
    Gora Natural

    Iq (Natural Martial Artist)
    Eviscerator (Badass)
    Ka Pao (Damn)
    Geisha (Something about her shoes doesn’t quite seem right to me, otherwise top 3, if not #1)

    Top 3
    Venus (Stylish)
    Kabuki (I have a thing for redheads)
    Sawafi (Desert Sinbad)

  20. VonMalcolm says:

    I forgot to add that there were many, many others I liked; the contest is getting tougher biweekly.

  21. Krimzon says:

    Wow! Thanks for the honorable mention with Anaal Nathrakh! I honestly didn’t think it would even get mentioned compared to the other amazing entries. Congrats to everyone and gargoyle! You all did a great job. I know it seems stupid but it feels really cool to me that I got mentioned. Thanks again Jeff. πŸ™‚

  22. Gargoyle323 says:

    VonMalcolm- I agree about the shoes. After I finished, something did not feel right about them. After I submitted the picture I realized that they should have been stocking covered feet with a split toe sandal. I thought about changing them and re-submitting it,but decided to leave it alone.

  23. Morzan says:

    Who-hoa! A honorable mention, thanks! And also congrats for everyone,especially Gargoyle, those details are amazing.

  24. Gargoyle323 says:

    Here are some of my favorites(and there are WAY too many to list them all)

    DiCicatriz(30)-Excellent overall look!

    Ian(41)-I thought this was a real possibility to win. Awesome!

    BNE(42)-Loved the weapons and great looking outfit.(Renzhe Dashi)

    VonMalcolm(47)-Wicked and fierce; I liked it a lot.

    Imp(51)- This one really caught my eye. Another I thought had a shot to win.

    Galahad(54)-Loved the setting and the placement of the armor on the rack. Great Idea!

    Spidercow2010(57)- Excellent scene!

    MartianBlue(103)-Great looking design.

    Morzan(117)-Loved the tiger head effect.Nicely done!

    DiCicatriz(136)-Awesome job on the sandstorm effects! Another I thought might win.

    DiCicatriz(178)-Loved this one! I feel a Kabuki/ Geisha team up coming!

    Atomic Punk(193)-Great effect and cool idea for the blacklight poster!

    Dave Clark(196)-The booth/room with the onlookers was a neat idea.Well done!

    Atomic Punk(201)-LOL! Nice use of colors and great all-around scene! Also(202)-Liked the feel of being right behind your character.Great effect!

    Haz(211)-I thought this was really imaginative! I loved the look and feel of this scene! There probably wasn’t enough detail to the main character,but it really caught my eye!

    Plus there were so many other worthy candidates! Great job by all! Also, I noticed there were a lot of first timers in this contest. Welcome and good luck in the future!

  25. The Imp says:

    @Gargoyle: Actually, looking at Geisha again, I think you might have been better off not adding feet at all. Something about the way they’re positioned makes it look like her legs are too short. If you’d left off the feet completely, it would’ve looked cleaner to me, as if the dress was covering them.

  26. Galahad says:

    @Gargoyle: Thanks for the compliment! Yours are consistently great, and this one is no different.

  27. Gargoyle323 says:

    IMP- You’re right. Looking at various pictures of Geishas, most had the feet barely poking out from under the robes. With how the hem is flowing(as if on the ground),it would have looked aesthetically more appealing to the eye without the feet.I should have used a shorter,straighter hem to use the feet properly. The feet were the thing I was never really happy with on the finished drawing. Thanks for the helpful feedback.

  28. Gargoyle323 says:

    @Galhad-Thank you. I was really impressed with the armour rack. I would have never thought of such a cool way to show off the armour,yet still be able to detail your character. Really great idea!

  29. Zforce says:


  30. spidercow2010 says:

    Congratulations to Gargoyle, and everybody, and thanks, Jeff, for the Hon.Mention. Looking at the entries I feel well & truly beaten, as if a flurry of devastating blows had been dealt to me by ancient masters of the deadly arts. In fact it was a little bit fright’ning (dee-dee-d-dee-dee deet deet)…

  31. abominal401 says:

    Congrats gargoyle!Really beautiful details on Geisha!

  32. Krimzon says:

    Yeah I feel the same way, spidercow. Everyone did a crazy awesome job. I esspecially love Rnzhdsh, with the background of weapons on the wall, as well as the “Old Master” look of the character.

    Everyone did a kick-ass job.

  33. Zforce says:

    Stopped by quickly earlier to see if I won anything lol. But after reading the comments and really looking @ the entries… It was a tough race. Congrats to Gargoyle and everyone who got chosen. Oh and thank you VonMalcolm even if you were the only person who liked my designs it’s enough to bring be back next contest.

    Shout Out to my personal favourites:
    -Ian Healy: Feng Shui
    -DiCicatriz: The Family Fu
    -MScat: Avatar Series

  34. Xavier Kain says:

    I think Decolda may have used one or more of the stretchy arms for the flowing cap i could be wrong but thast what it looks like to me

  35. Gargoyle323 says:

    @Zforce-I’m sure VonMalcolm wasn’t the only person who liked your work. The Survivor was a good looking character. I feel everyone who enters a contest is a winner because they are creating something that they like. There are always way too many people deserving of shout outs each week that it’s hard to single out everyone. I’m glad that you entered your first contest and look forward to see what you create in the future. Welcome aboard and good luck with future contests!

  36. Me, Myself & I says:

    Well said Gargoyle323 (35).

    @Zforce, I liked your Survivor and considering it was your first entry it was rather impressive. I particularly like that all of the lines and preportions are correct. All the angles on the limbs make sence, the belt isn’t a few sizes to small, etc. You apparantly have an eye for detail.

  37. haz says:

    Congratulations everyone! And especially Gargoyle! I love how you made everything in Geisha, the fan and headpiece especially, though the way you resized the flowers on the dress makes it look more like a pattern on the material than just one item plopped on top of another.

    Thanks for the compliment on Silhouette! It was fun to make.

  38. Gargoyle323 says:

    @haz- Thanks for the kind words on Geisha.I am really pleased on how the patterns turned out and that so many people liked the finished product.

    And Silhoutte was one of my personal favorites this week. It really caught my eye and I applaud you for a very creative image.

  39. DiCicatriz says:

    It’s an honor just to be nominated πŸ˜€

    Thanks for the shout outs everybody, it’s nice to know that people other than myself are enjoying these submissions. Lots of great work this time, everybody!

    Congrats, Gargoyle! Geisha looks terrific πŸ™‚

  40. The Imp says:

    Oh yeah, I’d forgotten about Silhouette! I think Jeff was remiss in not giving that an honorable mention at least…

  41. Kabare says:

    I congratulate all, who is part of the competition.
    I see a lot of great works.
    I’m very glad to chosen in my first competition.

  42. Melis says:

    holy details batman! There’s a lot I can learn from gargoyle’s picture. I’m going to have to try some of the techniques he used in my own pieces. great job

  43. Busy week, finally got time to stop in.

    @Gargoyle: Congratulations, excellent patterning.

    @All: Great works (as always). Too many favorites to list.

    Real stand outs for me were Galahad’s Ghost. I like the story-telling panels. Haz’s Silhouette. Morzan’s Divine Avenger. Rancid’s Lady Thorn. Worf’s DeathKick. DiCicatriz’s Family Fu.

    And special thanks for picking my Blacklight Tiger Poster. It just came together. I’ve been listening to a lot of Heart and Boz Skaggs lately. Got me thinking about the 1970s, martial arts movies, Bruce Lee, make-out vans. Then I remembered an old blacklight poster featuring Bruce. :9

  44. Wierdrocks says:

    I think Venus’s cape is the stretchy arms.

  45. Me, Myself & I says:

    OK Decolda, time to give up your secrets. Did you use the stretchy arms and with shoulder capes on the ends?

  46. Ha! Nice job gargoyle! Face is kinda iffy but man! That outfit is sweet! To bad mine didn’t win great job guys!!!

    Ever notice how the same guys get on the list? lol.
    Nice one gargoyle, again that outfit is awesome!