Known to the Finnish as Toukokuu (which means the month of Sowing), May is now officially upon us. As the sun continues to shine brighter in the northern hemisphere, this month sees Victory In Europe Day (VE Day) remembered, La Revolucion de Mayo celebrated in Argentina, an increase floral bouquet sales for Mothers Day in the United States, and Europeans will be treated to the musical delights of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Kicking things off in tremendous style with two entries this month is R. Bollinger. The first of which features trees in full bloom, with a majestic eagle swooping past a ghostly Richard The Lionheart. Here is how he created it:
“The image was started using Vue 5 Easel to make the sky, trees and eagle in 3D. Since we are near summer I decided to change most of the leaf colors to mid to light greens representing the transition between spring and summer by use of the color selective range. By now I had gained good depth but the eagle was starting to lose detail in the white areas. Using the dodge and burn tools detail was returned. The image was still looking too flat so I used the artistic/poster edges filter and set edge thickness to 1, edge intensity to 2, and posterization to 6. I really liked the end result and sat pondering in deep thought about the eagle and its power that man has seen in this predator since before the days of the Roman era.
“And how that power feels acting it out in use on the battlefield. Now it was time give this one a name! Looking it over I can see the power of an eagle in the war torn eyes of this man as though, he is ready as a predator to strike his pray from the good cover that summer provides. He is ready for an (AMBUSH)!!!”
In the second scene, troops are galloping into battle and towards the light of the setting sun, as the enemy approaches in silhouette. Here is how the image came about:
“In this summer night-time battle screenshot playing a campaign roll as the Holly Roman Empire. I whipped out the largest army Venice had with a powerful raiding charge backed by a large barrage of flaming arrows.
A night time battle can make the game look at its best by recruiting lots of archers before hand for dumping in a massive fiery chaos on an opposing army. In this image, the general is returning to his army after cleaning up the leftovers in retreat. This was one hell of a fun, fired-up summer night battle with the “Night Raiders”.
Michal Korycki sent in the following artwork and description (in Latin) all the way from Cieszyn, Poland!
“This picture theme is “Inquisition”, the name: “Inquisitio Haereticae Pravitatis Sanctum Officium” is “Holy Office of Inquisition into Heretical Wickedness”, and “Tu potes deinde es” is “you can be next”, I use latin. And about connection with May:
“In 29 May 1239 – start the mass burning by Robert Bougre, (this date – 180 heretics was burned, in this one Bishop). In 30 May 1431 – Joanna d’Arc was burned at the stake. Also I remember in May began in Spain new wave of Inquisition, the most deadly.”
After his debut in February’s competition, Gary Kendall from Southampton returns this month with a vibrant image that’s bursting with colour:
“I read somewhere that May Day marked the end of the harsh winter months, welcomed the beginning of summer and optimistically looked forward to the bright and productive months. Also, the flowering plant, The Lily of the Valley, is traditionally sold in France in the streets on May 1st. This was the inspiration for my entry this month. To cut a long story short it was created in Photoshop using a load of different layers and blending modes.”
Another fantastic effort Gary – keep up the good work!
Finally, Cezare White is back this month with our winning Medieval II shot. The intense colours of the horses are very striking against the bleached out background as the soldiers charge into battle:
“The main image consisted of a screenshot taken within the game. I have applied various filters and effects, using my favourite tool… Photoshop. I wanted to create a scene where the red and the rain stands out. “Rain falls before the blood pours” sort of a scene. All the troops ready for battle, spears up. Adrenaline pumping. It’s quite easy to make a decent image from a screenshot, when the in-game graphics are superb to begin with. Very much looking forward to taking more.”
A fine wallpaper image I’m sure you’ll agree, and one that’ll brighten up even the dullest of desktops. Here is the finished wallpaper artwork in all its glory, which is available to download in two sizes here.
I would once again like to thank everyone who entered our competition this month, and take this opportunity to announce the start of June 2007′s Create A Calendar Competition! You have until Monday 31st May 2007 to get your entries in, so take your time to come up with something original and creative. Once again, think about events happening in the month of June and any historical battles that took place. This month, one talented person will win a copy of Medieval II: Total War, Rome and Medieval II soundtracks. They will also receive a personalized piece of Total War artwork signed by the artist. For full entry details, click here.
For readers who have been following this competition since its conception, I have recently added a Create A Calendar Gallery to our MySpace Profile. Featuring all the great artwork that has been submitted since January, you are invited to leave comments and feedback for any images that you like.
Here is an extra little treat for those of you who have read down this far. After months of watching from the sidelines, SEGA’s own Alex Friend has been begging to get in on the action and submitted something rather special (don’t laugh) for your enjoyment. Curiously entitled “The inner workings of a tortured soul and his struggle to come to terms with the death of his friends in battle are tragically played out in the Didsbury May Day Festival celebrations”; here is some more info from the artist (and I use that term loosely) himself:
“I made it using my heart and soul man, heart and soul. (And Paint). I came up with the concept about half an hour ago. It struck me as a thought provoking and hard-hitting piece. After at least 32 seconds meditation I decided the concept could not be kept in the inner sanctum of my mind. It had to be shared. Paint was there for me to produce and share my masterful genius. It relates to the Month of May by having a May Pole as the central subject and the lynchpin by which this work is held firmly together, both in my heart and, no doubt, in the minds of the many viewers when it is first exhibited in the hallowed pages of TW.com and then, more than likely, while winning the Turner Prize at the Tate.”
Bless him. Thanks for sharing this thought-provoking image with us Alex, but please don’t send anything in for June’s competition!
Thanks for reading,