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This is just a quick scribble. I am trying to get better at composition, and I want to eventually turn this into something but I want to get the basic composition looking good first. I'm just looking for a critique on how this simple composition is working with object placement, value, size etc. How can I make this more interesting?
Cool. This is a good start! I like the colors and the textures a lot. The composition is working, in that you're using thirds to your advantage, and you've got some depth happening. Nice. The thing that's weird for me though, is the focal point- its the sun! Looking into the sun is uncomfortable at the best of times.
I would consider a few things- maybe finding some reference, and making the ground shapes of your hills a bit more interesting / natural looking. Right now they're your generic rounded lump hills, which is ok, but I think you can do better. Also, consider maybe using some sort of road/path element, or trees/rocks, or breaking up the ground in such a way that... it leads us through the composition, to the city in the distance perhaps.
Nice trees, also.
Thanks, I agree that the hills are too round. And I'm not sure I even want the sun in there, maybe I'll leave it out or move it.
Here's another quick idea I sketched out. How is the composition working here?
If you can't find one here. Try a google search for composition tutorials or rule of the Thirds. You probably did this already but in case you didn't. That could help.
Yeah, I do know the basic rules of composition, but when I try to come up with something straight from imagination and make it interesting, it's not so easy. I'm just trying to practice. I'll probably keep posting simple sketches here as practice so I can get feedback to help me with learning composition.
My own preference usually activates the foreground, something to ground the entire composition and give the eye an intentional entry into it. In your first piece the tree/brush on the right does this fairly well given its size and detail. The second one is missing this element, it jumps straight to the middle and background. For example, another building structure could start creeping in from any side of the frame, or even a flying vehicle of some kind. Just an easy way to further establish points of interest(rule of 3) and depth.
Hope that helps..
I really like the textures you're getting in the first sketch.. is that painter?
thanks for the help Alen. these were both done in Photoshop. The first sketch was made using brushes I created myself. the second is just a simple square brush.
here's another sketch. i'm really trying to improve my composition skills. is this any better?
You have good instincts for composition; now it's just a matter of developing an eye for scale change and depth. Some of the most useful rules of thumb, in my experience, are as follows:
1. Work in thirds whenever possible.
2. Try not to show two objects in different planes as being the same size; it confuses the eye and disrupts depth. Your first image is falling into that trap, with your tree and skyscraper being the same size on screen.
3. To further emphasize scale change, try to show a couple of extreme foreground details like beams, branches, grass, etc. This is optional, but does wonders. Silhouettes are also quite useful. I see you doing that in most of these.
4. Choose whether lighter values belong in the foreground or background, and stick with it. You've already got that one down. This can be bent or broken for the sake of varied lighting conditions; for instance, foreground shadow/midground light/background shadow, which focuses the eye on a specific point instead of leading the viewer off into the distance.
5. Use a wide value range and a simple color palette. You've also got that down.
Really, I see no drastic problems. I particularly like the cityscape. Keep it up. =)
Thanks, that was helpful. I'll keep your suggestions in mind.
These are nice sketches, and I think you're doing the right thing by focusing on composition before you start rendering. Quick studies like these are the best way to practice composition too.
I agree with most of the comments. Since people made good points, I won't repeat them. The thing that feels the most abrupt and unintentional is the lighting, especially in the first and third ones. In the first one you have this bright spot, and it becomes a focal point, but there isn't anything going on there. So you're directing the eye towards an unexplained point. On the third one, it's less bright, but this time it's centered and still, there isn't anything going on in there.
Lighting is one of the most important things when it comes to composition. I'd suggest looking at painters such as Edward Hopper, or photographers like Ansel Adams to see how lighting can be used as a compositional tool.
Again, your work looks good. Good job!
The edges in your last one need more distinction. Right now all your edges in the background and foreground are wispy. Make the edges of your tree in the foreground harder than the grass in background.
I'm working on a matte painting based off of this picture I took myself. I want to hear any critiques or suggestions you guys might have.
here's my idea. keep in mind, this is only a quick, rough sketch just to get my idea off the ground. at this point, I really have no specific design for that large tower, I'm just working on composition and placement of objects, and the overall idea of the scene. Please give me some advice if you have it. Is the composition working like this? All ideas are welcome.
Here are a couple of rough ideas for the building design. The final will be a 3d model integrated into the scene. Crits welcome. Anyone like any of these? Are they both bad? I'm still playing around with ideas.