So, here's the work I've done so far on the current EOW on ConceptArt.org . This is just the comp stage, but it's nice to feel an internal progression in how I approach things.
The premise is to create a "Great Wall" of sorts. I've chosen to create a pestilence wall. One side is going to be completely charred/burning/plagued, while the other side is going to be a bit natural. Though, the natural side will see some affects from the wall, such as a receding tree line, a few unfortunate dead animals, and a slight creeping of blight from the wall.
The first iteration was fun. I got to play around with my new 6D Wacom pen a bit (this thing is awesome! I wish it had buttons on the side, but I'm getting over it), and I used some of the illustrious Daniel Dociu's brush settings (a flattened palette knife shape, opacity set to pen pressure, and full hardness), which I'm really falling in love with. It works very well with the rotational capabilities of the 6D.
After a little external crit and a larger amount of internal crit, the second iteration represents my idea much better. Giving the wall a much stronger foreground element made it feel more imposing and megalithic. Putting it on the apex of a mountain crest (derived from some reference of the Great Wall of China) gave it a greater sense of separating, and using some photo ref for the forest (don't worry, it will largely get painted over) gave it even more depth in terms of the concept, itself. Using a more head-on perspective also allowed me to play with the atmosphere in the distance to a greater extent. I'm pretty happy with the direction this is taking. We'll see if the rest of the process continues to be worthy of the strong start I've got. Through my readings of Digital Painting 2, I've noticed that ALL of the artists in the book go through a very organic process of adding and removing elements in any given piece, so that has helped to free my mind a bit. I don't HAVE to get it right the FIRST try! Digital painting is so forgiving in this respect, too. Concerning further progression, I may extend the frame a bit to give a wider view of what's happening on each side of the wall. We'll see how it affects the compositional balance...
[Update] I DEFINITELY want to widen it, the more I look at it. I want to give much more attention to the left charred side. I'll flip the axis a few times to make sure it stays balanced. The natural side could use a little more room, too (the foreground wall feels a little too weighty).
As always, I'm open to C&C!