It took me about 7 hours to finished this piece. It's for a psychiatry book cover.
The issue is about Imaginable Ugliness and Intangible Beauty.
Hope you all like it, but C&Cs are mostly welcome.
very pretty....love the colours. My only issue is that some of the blending is a bit blurry....a harder brush would sort this for sure...also mabe have the shadows in the ear darker?...great work nonetheless...really dig the squiggly lines
Their is a nice feel to the character, and I like your color palette. I agree with daveneale about the blending, but that's a matter of opinion. My only crit is that the top of her head seems a bit short in the back, compared to the lower half.
There's an atonement of spirituality that centers on the character's psychological states. The structure of the artwork reminds me of Ray Bradbury's book cover on a certain version of "The Illustrated Man" where a man's torso is the location of many adventurous terrains and settings from the story. There's a slight horizontal spot above her right nostril that could be brushed over with the skin tone.
- The hair seems to be cut short by a storm cloud-like plume that rises above her inner being - my own interpretation. I feel an idea of human freedom when I observe the image, so I would suggest letting her flow into the borders of left image, further out of the boundaries. An alternative to that would be to give her uneven hair blown by unknown gales so that the proportions hint as to standing within the tornado of human psychosis.
- A tear down her right cheek?
- You could create an atmosphere above her head - the vision of a stormcloud with a lightning streak down the left side of the image.
I hope that any suggestions have helped. Work with what you've got, good luck.
Keep doing you
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im gonna try and put this as tactfully as possible, coz im not being a dick. but is the top one supposed to look masculine? coz there appears to be a trace of 5 o'clock shadow, particularly on the top lip.
This is a pretty gangster concept you have going and that being said:
-The chin on the woman sticks out too much it looks a little weird.
-The dots in the bottom right should be fleshed out a bit more.
-Adding some form to the hair. You go from these hard borders to nothing. Maybe have the smoke come around to form something.
Vulgar - Thanks a lot for the opinion... found them amazing.... unfortunately some I can not add because my director found that this concept solves well the Imaginable Ugliness and Intangible Beauty problem. But about the tear I'll add it for sure... but on woman's face down below.
Pocko - Haha! Great point!!!... And you weren't a dick... if I'm putting my chest at the fireline I'll be shot by someone... but you were great... I really found it strange but I didn't know what was it and you came and finished the mistery! Thanks a lot, dude! Cheers!
Neondevil - Changes, completely done, buddy!!! Quite nice! Peace!
Okay, here's the quick crit you asked for...
First of all in my other life I've been doing this kind of thing for years. Very high concept, very metaphorical, very design oriented. I would have used photos all the way through.
But since you are painting this, maybe you can use something related to painting to add to this. I'm not talking about simply the photoshop airbrush (which makes every thing look exactly the same... boring! Gotta watch out for the boringness of photoshop's tools.)
I'm talking about flying in textures, using ink spatters you've scanned in, geting some evident brushwork in there...
Now, please ignore the above at will. This is your project not mine. And it just struck me that taking the above advice can result in some heavy complex Dave McKean kind of stuff, (which I generally like, but which may be inappropriate for a textbook cover)
Generally I like the idea, and the drawing/painting, and the design of the central shape and how it seems to read...
This is a book cover about Psychiatry... You are illustrating normal and abnormal psychiatry contrasted with each other. (I think. Read on)
You are using the decorative string/hair/electricity to be a metaphor for negative brainwaves,which is a nice unique idea. Maybe put a greenish glow emanating from that string so we no it's "bad" waves.
What's your metaphor for positive brainwaves, eh? Have something in mind?
I've drawn a diagram over your picture, which I've uploaded.
The circles indicate spots that need to be thought about and worked on in terms of drawing and design.
The arrows indicate that the central shape isn't filling enough of the canvas. I think it was better earlier without the trees in terms of using the space.
Are you going to contrast those dead trees with a forest of alive and vibrant trees and flowers towards the top. It might make a beautiful design...
Know what I mean?
Top is happy girl in full "flower" with living things, trees grass butterflies flowers, sunshine, etc. and the design morphs as it goes down the page into craggy trees and "depression" and schizophrenia, rough textures, dark and cold colors..... Just an idea.
Either way the central shape is too small in terms of graphic design for the canvas.
The lower face is lacking in hard edges. It seems that the smoothness is working against the depression of that face. Why not, after doing a "save as" attempt to do a Very Brushy Painterly version of that guy looking down. That would contrast it nicely with the smooth airbrushed girl up top.
I would fly in some textures on the bottom areas to give it more grit. And I wouldn't, again, hesitate to fly in some photos of flowers up top, which you can paintover to make them fit in with the style currently operating in this piece.
This is a graphic design, after all. What matters is that it look good and describe/sell the book. Editors, in my experience, just want what looks good and explains the book attractively enough to sell it.
Some thoughts... Maybe that green blobby area that isn't defined yet can have something to do with Children who are psychologically damaged.
I put beams coming out of the girl's forehead because I thought she was in anguish. But the more I looked at this piece the more it occurred to me that she was supposed to be normal and the bottom half Unhapy/abnormal. Ignore the beams. maybe make her eybrows look less "disturbed" Is she happy or sad? Again, because of her slighly unhappy expression, the contrast with the lower head isn't as sharp.
Maybe I've got the metaphorical meaning of this piece all wrong. But if I did, that's your responsibility and you should spend some time clarifying what you are illustrating here.
Normal versus Abnormal is a solid concept for a cover. If the top girl is supposed to be sad, I wouldn't be able to explain your concept. So I'm assuming she's the happy one. If that is in fact your idea make it more evident.
To sum up... looking good, but get clearer on the concept and make the design conform to the concept as best you can. And remember, a cover should be "readable" from ten feet away. Don't think in terms of string or lines. Think in terms of graphic design and shapes.
Last edited by kev ferrara; July 31st, 2007 at 07:02 PM.
Kev summed up the design/conceptual crits really well, so I'll tackle a technical one. Although the woman's face looks much improved from the first version, she's still very harsh and masculine. Her eyes are small, her other features large, and she still needs more cranium. Her mouth doesn't follow the perspective of the rest of her head and there's something funny about the structure of her ear. Lastly, and most importantly, I can't figure out what's going on with the light source, and the shadow under her nose looks like a Hitler mustache. If you were working from a reference shot it would be very useful to see it. If not, you've done an impressive job , but it still needs work.
Also, since this is definitely still a work-in-progress, I'm moving it to the appropriate forum.
Kev - Thanks a lot for your unpayable help. I'm happy that I'm not doing the wrong way, so that's good news for me and also a great victory, since I'm away from college. I have no professors to light my way so you guys are patronizing my talents. I'll do as best as I can to improve this piece. You ahve my word! HAHA
Elwell - My dear God! It's a great honor to read something from you. In response about what I've done, I'm using references, so I'll follow your advice closely... Should I post the photo here for you to help me out with that?
Kev - Here are the brushy painterly strokes I added on the face at the bottom... it really improved the sense of sadness and depression in opposition to the girl at the top.
I have a question... Do you think I need to paint a soft smile on her face to increased a little the idea of happiness?
Elwell - The mustache is over.... my only doubt is about the perspective, what should I do?
Eric, can you repost this so we can see if this looks significant in the context of the cover?
Real nice, might i suggest shaving just a little more from directly under her chin?
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