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  1. #1
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    Solemn Skies - Critique GREATLY Appreciated!

    Solemn Skies - Critique GREATLY Appreciated!

    A commission I finished just today. I'm curious as to you guys' takes on it, as I find myself drawn towards dragons, fantasy, and stormy weather! : P


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  3. #2
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    Remember that the rocks will have high specularity like the creature's flesh does, so some of those rim lights/ highlights work be on the rock too.

    I am not into how some of the raindrops curl back up at the bottom (like next to the wing) Might want to clean them up and get it looking more rain-like.

    Adding some contact of where the rain is bouncing off of the character would add a lot too.

    Lastly, the neck feels too bulky. It is almost as large as the ribcage, which would make it really off balanced for flight.

  4. #3
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    I got a tad lazy with the rocks.. Gah, Looking back, a lot of this does look a bit rushed. x_x

    I admit, I became sloppy with the rain. I have little patience when it comes to that.. *Blushes* That, and this is pretty much my first piece with rain.. I do believe I'll go back and fix that.

    I was almost afraid to do the contact with the bouncing water, as I didn't want to pull it off too strongly.

    As for the bulky neck... Yeah, anatomy fail. xD

  5. #4
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    I feel like the head is huge compared to the body and the seated position seems almost completely fake. Based on body shape, I would look at meercats for your inspiration. I would splay the toes on top of a rock. Where you have a dark patch on the dragon's right foot translates to my eyes that there is no rock there. The rocks are all one piece. That would never really happen that way. Little reference here would help a lot. I hate painting rocks, and I'm not very good at it, but I've always seen it done by painting the main shape and then carving the rock out of it. But it's the little details that make it really pop.

  6. #5
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    Ha!

    Nice. Hope to see an update!


  7. #6
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    Blarf. I always hate looking back on this stuff. XD Looking at the head, I did see how it was so big compared to the body... The whole position, AGAIN, was laziness on my part.. The toes are a minor fix, so I'll splay them tomorrow when I get home.

    The rocks.. I had no reference for. I pretty much painted this on the spot while up at my dads. No internet up there.. And it's nothing but sand where he lives.. : P I'll be sure to look up the rock references tomorrow and keep you guys updated.

    How can I prevent these awkward mistakes in the future?

  8. #7
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    Practice, and draw more from life.

    You could also post your line work for critique before starting in on painting to get the underlying structure down better.

  9. #8
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    Just thought I'd add a few items that have not already been mentioned. First, the only light source I can determine comes from above the dragon, and, for the most part, your highlights are in the right place, but then you have the wing reflecting back on the body...as if the light source was in front of the dragon. That's OK as long as it's consistant throughout the piece.

    Alos, you could use a little more dramatic lighting. try making your lightning more contrasted with the clouds. By doing so, you could also add some highlights on the dragon for a more sizzling effect.

    I added a paintover to show a bit of what I was referring to.

    In response to your question...keep drawing. Doing anatomy studies of humans and animals will help. Looking at other people's work does as well, but nothing will do you as much good as continually drawing and making tweeks along the way until you're mostly happy with it (I say mostly, because, I'd never finish a piece if I waited for totally happy).

    Good work, keep it up!
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  10. #9
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    Hey man, thanks a bunch! I'm always trying, and to tell ya the truth, this one was rushed a lot more then intended. : / The idea had been sitting around for a while, and I wanted to produce something for my commissioner - God bless him; the patience of a saint, I say! - so I came up with this.

    Looking back on it, there's one thing I can totally reprimand myself for; don't rush your art. Thank you so much for the paint over, it makes things a lot clearer.. But then, what should I do for the apparent highlights from up-top/the side? (Arg, consistent light source is another of my faults!)

    And, the lightning is supposed to be, well, VERY distant, far away, I didn't know how to much convey this besides making it fade. Sharpening it up makes it seem closer and more in the foreground, so again, I'm nervous as to how I should fix these few errors (That I can) on my part.

  11. #10
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    I think you should keep to top side highlights and lose the shadow of the wing. That's where the light source confusion lies. Darken the body and make some of those highlights on the top side sparkle. It's rain....highly reflective.

    Your desire to have the lightening distant doesn't work with the angle you've chosen. If you were looking at the dragon from an angle just above his level looking down, it might work, but that's not what I'm seeing. It almost looks like you're looking up at him a bit. It's on a dragon that's on the top of a mountain. there's not much atmosphere left for it to be distant. Besides, dull and rainy is well, ...dull and rainy. LIGHTNING! Now that's screams power!

    You could also make some of the clouds have lightning just behind them in the back ground creating more depth.
    Why do something good for someone you don't even know?...because you can.

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  12. #11
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    i'm thinking maybe all of your values are just too close. Look at it from far away... or just shrink and see what you can make out. If the big picture isn't there, don't move forward.
    "She took the ice cube trays out of the freezer. What kind of a sick bitch takes the ice cube trays out of the freezer?"

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  13. #12
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    Solemn Skies - Critique GREATLY Appreciated!

    Quick redline for the feet, got rid of the wing shadow; undecided as to how to continue further with the rest of him, and, could you guys explain to me a bit more about the lightning? I'm terribly confused about that. : x

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  15. #14
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    Oooh.. I very much like that contrast. But now, I'm thinking of taking away my main lightsource altogether, and just muting down the highlights... What do you guys think? Brighten up the lightning in the image, as Arshes showed for an example, or just taking them away altogether?

    I wanted to try and convey a sense of depth with them, but I do believe that, ultimately, I've failed in that aspect.

    Also, Quigleyer, do you mind elaborating further on the subject of the values?

    All you guys' feedback is very much getting me motivated! C'mon, keep it coming. :3

  16. #15
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    I think what he's trying to say is that your colors blend into each other so much that there's no contrast. It makes the illustration lose any sense of purpose. If you can't take a step back and look at the illustration and know what the artist wants you to see, then it needs more. It all depends on how good you want to be as an artist. The step from where you are (which is leaps and bounds above the average Joe) and where the guys with galleries on this site is big...and I'm right there with you.

    I'm starting with anatomy 101, looks like you might want to look into color and composition. You can't get that in a critique. This is where the real work starts. Do some tutorials, find a mentor, bust your dragonballs and you'll find that you are capable of amazing things! Good luck and keep posting!
    Why do something good for someone you don't even know?...because you can.

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