Sometime ago I posted a sketch I was working on and after some great critiques and comments I received I thought it will be good to post the final result for you guys to see it =)
What I was looking for in this piece is to create a calm atmosphere with some contrast between the right and left side, as if the character -Aru- were illuminated by some light coming for the right.
Any comments or critiques to this piece will be appreciated =)
kudos for your love to details and everything, but I see one big problem:
the character and his pose is really hard to see and the picture needs too much time to be read and my eyes just jump around, no peace and harmony at all.
The reason is, that there is good no contrast in:
His wing has the same importance as the tree several meters behind. The face the same importance as the lillies etc.
Everything has gotten the same amount of everything, the focus is not on the figure but on the bright spot there.
Another problem is that the light does nothing: if it comes from the right there should be shadowy places under his wings, lighter places at his wings.
It should make the shape of his body readable.
Also the light doesn't affect the saturation if his wings, it doesn't really ..illuminate anything. To set a mood, ambient light (which would also lead to more unitiy in the colors) could help a ton.
Each of these problem would need a lot of time to be explained and fixed.. maybe you could make your next picture with the help of the wip section?
There are really a lot of promissing things in this picture
Last edited by Kiera; February 28th, 2009 at 05:35 PM.
Thank you for your comment Kiera, but perhaps, could you explain to me at least one of the topics you pointed out for me so I could try and fix this drawing? You see, I really love this and I want to fix this as much as I can.
The easiest things to fix right now are:
– drop some details to get some peacefull places in there, especially in the shadows on the left and in the background further away, it will work because things that are further away are softer, have less contrast and look more blueish (think of mountains), things in the shadows also get fuzzy and less detailed.
- Play a bit with overlays and use color areas to get some more distance in there.
- Add aditional shadows on the figure, drop some details like those white shoulder things or that turquoise thing, they are unredable right now. Either that.. or.. crop the picture to get a bigger focus on the character and all his details..
but I really suggest to leave the picture as it is because it really is ok and just start a new one here on the forums with maybe another approach from the start.
Because this pic has deeper underlying problems:
No design and the details kill the big thing –
Things are not composed together but thrown randomly in there, no choices were made and this makes the pic very chaotic and hard to read.
I guess you paint by finishing little parts of your picture (for example painting one wing completely with light and shadow and details while the rest of the picture is still untouched)? This way you loose control, overview, concentration and you put too much unneccessary work into it.
Better start out with planing a composition by thumbnails like in the forest explorer tutorial and move in little steps from the general to the subshapes to the detailed things. If the big thing is good, you can continue polishing endlessly. Here's a good explanation what I mean by going from general shapes to details.
by a rule of thumb, a composition works when the thumbnail is interessting.
This is because contrasts make a picture look appealing.
What also works: Redline the general shapes you see in your picture. It works with almost every good picture (except on some children's books type of pics like "where's Wally?"). It's an easy way to check your composition.
Edges (here's Elwell's tutorial)
not everything needs the same amount of details.
Things that are further away often have less contrast and softer edges, some things almost dissolve in the distance (think of mountains).
Sometimes choosing softer edges is also a choice of design to make other things stand out - in many pictures an important area lies over calm planes, look at that example picture
realism here: things in the distance loose contrast and colors, look what tone the shadows of the oliphant have compared to the orks who run in front of it and those compared to the men in the foreground.
design here: for example the area around the oliphant has just a plain blue to make it's shape readable, the area around the lower branch of the left tree has no details at all to make the branch stand out. In this picture you can also see that the thumbnail is interesting, that you can easily redline the general shapes, another nice thing is that the details all point to the centre of attention.
last one: Grass is green, bark is brown, flesh is pink? nah, to get a mood across make use of references. Research how woods look like, look for a forest that seems to be the one you want and analyse what makes the mood of the picture work. Don't look for single pictures of elements you want in your picture but look at sceneries and how everything works together.
While painting, take a good look what colors are dominating, what color the trees have and what color light and shadows have. Most things have a completely other color than you would expect (I suggest to take that Lord of the rings picture again and paint down the colors that you expect the trees or the hobbits`faces to have.. and then really eyedrop the colors and see how they really look like.)
It could also help to take a look at how other artists solve some problems with painting woods.
It's just a suggestion how I would do it (I'm a fan of minimalism and bold, strong pictures) I'm no expert for environments and I'm sure other people could get much more out of this. (I wouldn't trust my colorchoice either because I use a tv screen to paint).
I basically just dropped all details to get an overview over the composition and to get a focus on the character, the lillies and the light from the right. From now on it's easier to get control over the color and to start to suggest details around the most interesting area (character and things in the foreground). The eyes now rest more on the character and the view doesn't jump around on random rocks or trees.
That's a lot of information in here and I really don't want to sound like an expert on art who is wagging a finger on other people, that's why I was a bit shy to tell all this.
I also remember that you posted the lines for the character and those were pretty cool. Just continue doing art
Last edited by Kiera; March 1st, 2009 at 06:44 AM.
Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on Fu!
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Kiera actually gave you the best advice ever, so you should just roll with that, though perhaps its better to start a new picture. Remember though not to start with details but with general composition and form.
Oh my, thank you Kiera! I never expected such a complete critique of my work, I see now all the fails this drawing has and, because of that, I decided I'm going to do a new piece with the same idea and concept but this time I'm going to post the process in the wip forum =) Thank you again
And Janos, yes, I believe also it will be good to start with a new piece, I'm still proud of this drawing but I'm going to try and make a better drawing