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Kill or be Killed by godwinfj Kill or be Killed by godwinfj
"What truly, is our culture of fear perpetuating? What are we protecting? When you are called to duty, will you kill or be killed?"

This piece is formed of the culmination of thoughts, emotions and experiences from my two years spent under mandatory national service in Singapore's armed forces. Through it, I was exploring issues rarely touched upon due, not least, to the perceived horrifying realities of war - issues pertaining to the citizen soldier's psyche, his freedoms versus perceived duties, and the functions as well as validity of a standing army as a deterrent force.

February 2008
Photoshop CS2
Revision of an old idea that was horribly executed. I'm not going to show it here but you can find it in my blog archives.

Download for larger view at 1400px. Detail crops here.
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KornReloaded Featured By Owner May 3, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
Love the emotion. Great work!Giggle 
kbfan Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
I'm sorry but the soldiers face looks funny.
Deviator101 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2015
Really makes you think. But I personally believe militaries are needed in this dangerous world becuase their will always be trouble makers, well a least until God fixs everything. But it does raise interesting questions: What would you fight for? What would you KILL for? I have my own ideas on whats worth fighting for , but I wonder if others would agree?
CreeppingDeath Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014  Student Digital Artist
awesome work mate
Sev808 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Holy fuck! This is amazing!
Nukechaser24 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013
I lived in Singapore for four years as an expat. I actually recognized the uniform in another one of your works, but I didn't know if it was just coincidence or not. I love all of your work and your philosophy towards war, and I especially like this one, the way you use light and shade and perspective is amazing, it captures the horrific, gritty pandemonium that a war in such a small urbanized country with such an advanced military would mean.
cmcvs Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
A masterpiece indeed!!!
Zurthuryx Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Fantastic without a doubt. I love the first-person perspective. I've never seen a painting with done in that manner before. You can almost hear the gunfire, explosions, and the cries those who are dying.
Aniphine Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2012  Professional Writer
Very powerful scene, I can almost her the shouts, the gunshots, the explosions and the blaring alarms. Great work. :clap:
adirtyjob Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
FUCKING AMAZING! it looks so god damn real i feel like i should duck and cover
searching4somewhere Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is really really amazing. The details are spectacular. And the perspective really makes me feel like im on the battlefield.

My only complaint about this piece is that you have the soldiers wearing forest camo in an urban setting
Other than that this is amazing
GoldenQueen Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
Oh my god, this is the most beautiful (can I even say this since it's showing such a scene?) and the most stunning picture I have EVER seen!!!
It totally involves everyone who looks at it... and it looks so realistic, it's scaring me. great angle, by the way. You're a fantastic artist.
Insuyr Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing o.o
Mightyleeron Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2010
idk what to say about this picture i just love it so imma fav :o
GambleLover Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome piece
lwjsg Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
damn awesome piece of art :D great job!
RayneR27 Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2010  Student General Artist
WoW ... just WOW ! !
thetask Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2010
wow, feel totally involved lokking at it... very intens and technically outstanding of course
2nitewepartay Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2010
hozhexuan Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2010
Nice :D

But if this really happens in Singapore, we'd be screwed already.
REKOIL7 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2009
you got sar80 and bradly
REKOIL7 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2009
i pick my rifle and shoot those fuckers down
Lion-fang Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
wow, that is packed with so much emotion. It's like you can feel what's going on. Great job with this :) :+fav:
Xerces Featured By Owner May 25, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
This deviation has been featured in my journal. Please let me know if you would like it removed. Find it here--> [link]
cottoncritter Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
This an absolutely amazing piece, very realistic and the details are spectacular. One could only imagine the horrors of war, I'm sure. I myself have thought about joining the Army, or the Air Force or something. I feel a calling.
OrbitalVelocity Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2009  Hobbyist
Another amazing piece.
Xerces Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
incredible detail. such a moving scene as well- so sad and brutal but fantastically carried out. well done
Shydrow Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2008
Simple amazing the details the message the emotion you dude have captured everything to make a master piece in here
ShiNiQ Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
you have an amazing eye for detail. What was the original canvas size ?
Hadarniel Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2008
Amazing work
It's a very powerful image, with a great sense of story-telling and motion
RaneZ Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2008
willymerry Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Truly, amazing.
Blackburnart Featured By Owner May 29, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
the index fingers on both men look strange, apart from that its amazing.
brinjal Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2008
Dude this is awesome! How much reference did you use, if at all? Coz the lighting is like amazingly accurate. The colors on the hands look like they were done by a skin shader in some advanced 3D programme! Also how did you do the soil textures? Photo overlay? The rifle *cough*SAR21sucks*cough* is like absolutely stunning- love the rimlighting. The camo net on the helmet is also damn well done- there's even sub-surface-scattering (translucency- sorry, that's 3D jargon!).

I think, though, the running man's legs are slightly off- the left one's too short, especially his thigh. If you kept the layers intact, simply Liquify it into proportion! If you've flattened it, just leave it coz it's really nice already.
godwinfj Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2008
Thanks! Haha yeah I know the legs are wacky, but I don't like altering works much after I've posted them, and that was actually a problem I've been trying to fix to no avail throughout the whole process of painting. It's just odd to envision due to the perspective, and the obvious lack of reference heh.

Which brings me to the next point, I used quite little of it in the way of composition elements. I did have pictures of the hardware of course: rifles, helmets, webbing, BX, spent casings, general anatomy etc, but the environment (save for the smoke), lighting, perspective and all were not referenced. The soil was painted with an initial splatter brush and then I went over the detail by hand with a normal small hard brush. You can see most of the strokes here:

And being quite into games I'm fairly familiar with the better-known 3D jargon, so it's cool :)
JunkbyJen Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2008
:wave: Hi there! Your wonderful image has been featured in my weekly Article Digital - Friday Favorites - 7th Edition [link]
Don't forget to pick up your stamp while you're there to show you've been featured!:heart:
godwinfj Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2008
Oh, thank you :)
Akajork Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2008
one of the most amazing paintings Ive seen in a while..
AkirA6001 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2008  Student General Artist

such a good picture...

i love the way you did the soldiers in the background too ...

and the dirt on the air where they're running

Awesome! (y)
TownOfWolves Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2008  Professional General Artist
Love the overall feeling of a chaotic moment frozen in time...very effective. Also, lovely job on the skin...overall, I feel like it could have maybe been cropped in just a little tighter, but your version here works pretty well, so no worries. ^^

That debris and cityscape kick my arse. Love the detailing, despite the fact that they're faded out enough to be seen as background...lovely job!

The front most figure is bugging me just a little...probably because I can't isolate exactly why. ^^; Maybe the foreshortening is a little off? Gah...I really hate mentioning things when I can't either offer a solution or isolate exactly what I mean. X_x

On the whole, awesome awesome work! Keep it up!

godwinfj Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2008
Ohnoes now that you mention it I'm beginning to see more that's wrong with it haha! Bah thought I got it right this time.
Actually I've always felt the foreshortening and perspective was odd, mainly because I didn't use full modeled reference apart from the hands (my own), so everything from the wrist up was pretty much imagined. And now I realise he's floating a little, but oh well we can always blame the terrain.

Thanks for your comments though, much appreciated :)
psyfre Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2008
Great execution and description.
Stratox Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
no habia pasado por aca
exelente trabajo
godwinfj Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2008
Hi there, I do not understand any of that (other than vaguely "exelente"), but thank you anyway.
Stratox Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I understand you
But not to write :p
Good gallery men!
sxd-gfx Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2008
very cool, great atmosphere indeed :) maybe misses some sharpness, but the blur also gives a certain feeling :D
absolute-chaos Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Damn... thought i was going to be the first artist i knew of which painted a pic with the SAR21. Ah well.

Great piece btw, excellent shading and atmosphere
godwinfj Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2008
Thank you! Hehe had to throw in a Bionix and HDBs too.
eighty-three Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
Amazing, how long did it take?
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Submitted on
February 29, 2008
Image Size
286 KB


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