I think this needs to be altered slightly. First off, I personally find painting onto a white surface daunting, Try blocking in a bit of colour to destroy the white. The sword resting on the gladiators shoulders isn't actually on his shoulders, drop it down a bit. And I would recommend using a harder brush to lay in large sections of colour, then get in about it with finer brush and get the details in. Please post it when you decide its finished as it is a good piece that deserves attention! Seeya.
I think the sword should be angled into the background - to me it looks like he's trying to shave the back of his neck. I feel that I should be able to see more of his legs between the robe. Right now I can't tell where the legs connect to the hip. I like his chest and his arms.
I'll post this in your sketchbook and the critique centre so you can't miss it.
Okay, well, I'll give you some of the major tips that have helped me with getting to grips with digital painting. What I'd do is go in with some more solid shapes and don be afraid to go over your original lineart. I like to do a loose sketch then block in the silloute with values, it will make it so much easier to see the form of the character and alter the pose quickly.
The first one is, kill all the white on a page. If its gonna be a rendered character on a white background then get rid of all the white on all the spaces you plan on rendering. At the moment all the colours look a little washed out because some of the white is still visible through the colours. What I'd do, is take some kind of midtone for each main colour/value are and block it in with an opaque brush to give it a more solid feel. Then, you can start adding shadows and highlights to sculpt out the form.
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As for the anatomy and pose, I'd like to give you a detaile paintover, but unfortunately my laptop has gone in for repairs.. so I'm gonna have to try and explain it in words. I'll give you a list of easy changes that will help this piece out. If it seems like I'm being harsh, well, maybe its because I am, but I hope you can get something useful out of this post.
1. The upper arm of his right arm, holding the sword is too squished together. If you put your arm in that position, as if holding a sword, it is more comfortable to have your forearm leaning back towards you. rather than away. Have his elbow thrust further out from the hand and his forearm leaning back in, that means you can stretch the upper arm outmore and have the muscles better defined, this pic kind of explains what I'm going on about, just imagine the angle of the arm slightly less steep and the hand grasping the sword.
2. As a whole, he looks too short for a typical hero figure, unless he's meant to be a dwarf or something. Typically, the legs need to be quite a bit longer, the halfway mark in the body is the groin, not the hips like in yours. Make his thighs and lower legs longer, and make sure the thighs are longer than the lower legs. this mark djurdjevic pi gives you a good idea of muscely hero proportions...also its totally badass.
3. The biggest problem for the piece as a whole is that it looks flat, if you desaturate the whole picture you will notice that everything is sort of light greys, even the areas in shadow. Coloured pieces will never look right if the values aren't right. To help this piece I would just desaturate it (make it black and white, if you are working in photoshop just press ctrl+shift+u), then work from there, colours are hard to get right at first and its a good idea to learn to get your values right first. Then I'd give the entire piece a grey tone and work from there. Greyscale is a much better way to learn to paint as a begginer.
4. Some things that should be symmetrical, like the helmet, aren't. Always flip your piece horizontal every ten minutes or so, the mistakes will jump out to you more obviously. It helps to keep correcting things. Also don't be too precious about anything, if you render something for an hour, then realise its completely wrong, you just gotta re-do it. Its no use getting too attatched.
5. The chest and stomach anatomy is a little funny
Never fret to use references anyone who tells you its cheating, well, doesnt know what they are talking about.
6. No face? an obvious one, but you can't keep delaying it. Every good piece needs a focal point, and in character art, more often that not its the face, or the eyes. Your eye needs an area of detail it can come back to and rest on, without a face, we remain uninterested and just move on. If you are struggling with it just use reference as well.
7. establish a light source. You don't want to just have that camera flash look, figure out where the light is coming from and block in areas of shadow and light. Also, remember to think about bounced light of shiny or reflective surfaces and learn how to render different materials differently. There are some useful links on the forum for that kind of thing but nothing works better than learning through observation. Do lots of life drawing of different objects and build up a good visual library.
8. costume design. Think about what kind of era's look are you aiming for. Research a topic and look for references, if you wanna add your own spin on it thats good. Just remember, all the best fantasy has some kind of grounding in reality.
For now, that covers some of the more obvious things but you can still think about little details like, how is that sword resting on his shoulders? and why that helmet digs into his neck? Of course there is the obvious keep studying anatomy but it would be stupid on my part to presume you don't already know that. www.characterdesign.com has some great full body poses under the photoset section. Some nude and some with cool costumes and props.
All in all keep on working on it, try to take some of the points I've raised into mind and don't forget to enjoy the process Keep on posting us with updates dude.
No problem man, one real quick thing that would really give this dude some cool heroic proportions, would be to have his hips thinner than the shoulders, check out that link I gave to the body building pics for a better idea. Its really nice to see you like the advice, its lookin better already.coming along nicely. I was meant to be doing some english essay or some other crap like that, and then I got a bit caught up and carried away givin you some crits. cya around man
been working on the legs which was difficult, and i found out his left are was too smal so i am changing it, im stll worried about the face but i know i have to work on it soon. i still feel the whole image is alittle skewd, but even after flipin it im not too sure how to fix it.
i wanna learn alot from this piece so i will finish it no matter how long it takes, but i think my next update will be monday since i got to do some school work for monday.
'Education is our passport to the future,
for the future belongs to the people who prepare for it today.' Malcom X
I think it's not so much the knees themselves as the whole leg/s. I tried measuring your figure's height using the head size and your figure's legs and knees come in at about the fourth head. I think they should be lengthened more, unless of course, as Miles_ said, he's meant to be a dwarf.
The way you've rendered it , you've gone from the brightest value to the darkest on every piece of his body , this make it hard for the eye to focus on one thing and makes the guy look like hes covered in oil or made from metal.
If you look at your own skin I'm sure it doesn't get that bright or dark on any parts of your body.
Try and keep the value range tighter and then use some light and dark to bring attention to certain parts like his helmet and arm piece.
It'd be cool to see you add a face
Keep it up.