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  1. #1
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    Digital Painting Practice: Wolverine Redux (Overpaint and Study Added on 04.18.09)

    So, some of you may have seen the earlier version of this. Well, I scrapped it entirely and started from scratch. I tried to follow a lot of the advice that was given to me, however, I feel that the biggest reason for improvement here is the fact that I did an actual pencil under-drawing on paper instead of trying to just do it outright digitally. I got way more dynamic in form and value right away.

    Well, tell me where I need to work on stuff (I know the background is blah). Mainly, I'm looking for technique and execution critiques.

    Thanks!
    - O
    Last edited by ModurnDae_OZEL; April 18th, 2009 at 09:52 PM.


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  3. #2
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    Good work. The rendering of the forms is nicely done.

    However, he has the proportions of a dwarf. His head is huge and his limbs are very short. If this is a concept sketch for "Jim Henson's Li'l Chibi X-Men Babies," then it's fine. Otherwise it feels a bit goofy.

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  5. #3
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    Wolverine is supposed to be 5' 3" (not Hugh Jackman's 6'+). You ever met a guy who's 5' 3"? I used to work with one. On top of it, he was a competitive break-dancer and was pretty ripped. Despite having all of this bulk and muscle-mass his body still looked tiny and his head looked a little big. Kind of baffling.

    However, for the build here, I looked at the proportions of early 20th Century body builders for his because I specifically didn't want him to have "Olympian Ideal" proportions. Basically, he's seven-heads-tall instead of eight-heads-tall (and actually, I think Super-Hero Ideal is nine).

    (Oh! and don't forget his giant hair. A ton of volume was added when I put his crazy 'do on.)

    A link:

    Bobby Pandour, Early Body Builder

    - O
    Last edited by ModurnDae_OZEL; March 24th, 2009 at 11:39 AM.

  6. #4
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    Aside from the above posts, I think the anatomy's sort of stylistic. The head still seems a bit big, but there are exaggerations all around, so it comes off as intentional...though that may or may not be the case.

    Also, I don't think you've captured Wolverine's likeness all too well. I'm getting a few vibes of Abraham Lincoln in there, even.

  7. #5
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    You should listen to people's critique. He does look like a dwarf, or anyway a hobbit. Bilverene Baggins maybe. Anatomical proportion is the first area you need to study. Texture and tone, following that.

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dashinvaine View Post
    You should listen to people's critique. He does look like a dwarf, or anyway a hobbit. Bilverene Baggins maybe. Anatomical proportion is the first area you need to study. Texture and tone, following that.
    Except that, again, wolverine originally was very short. Since head size does not vary greatly compared to body size, it looks about right. I worked with a guy that was 5'2" and he had the same proportions, though he was more muscled (less defined though) A lot of that head is hair, though I'd say slope the brow a little more and play around with the face size; he's got a Frankenstein vibe going on. The vacant stare doesn't help.

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  10. #7
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    totally up to artist if he wants his wolverine to look dwarfish or not. in this case looks 100% intentional so i dont see a problem with that

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  12. #8
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    not a problem with intentionally making this choice, but if a lot of people see the image as looking odd because they think wolverine has a big head in it, is that the intention?

    A stylistic choice of the artist, absolutely, but I also though "oh, head looks weird" when i first saw it, it kinda takes away the focus from the entire image for me.

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  14. #9
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    Update!

    I did a bunch of tweaking to the head. I changed the hairline significantly (which I think gives the illusion of a smaller head), trimmed the back of the hair a little, sloped the forehead slightly, defined the knitting in the brow more, raised the lower eyelids into a slight squint, and shored up the left cheek-bone a little (to be more even with the right).

    Any better? Any less buggie?

    Jason Rainville:
    Thanks for seeing my point and thanks for the great advice. I looked at your website and I find your color work to be pretty amazing!

    Emerging:
    Thanks for the support to a contrary view. Also, I looked over your sketchbook on here and I really dig your monsters!

    Mimer:
    It's interesting that you bring up my intent as far his proportions being off-putting. Yes, I do want them to be that way, at least slightly. Being a fan of Wolverine and the X-Men for about 28 or my 32-years now (particularly the '80s Chris Chlaremont period), I've always been bothered that artists rarely depicted him in proper height or proportion to what his stats supposedly were. A 5' 3" man would not have the V-shaped, Olympian, physique of say Superman, Batman, or the (now deceased) Captain America -- and it should show. Wolverine should stick out like a sore thumb, not just because he's short though, but because he's also over 100-years-old.

    He should have the discomforting appearance of a walking anachronism, in my opinion. I do not take offense the the Abraham Lincoln jibe Tangleworm dropped earlier either; I wanted to remind people of the late 19th Century somehow and I guess I did.

    Thanks again to everyone for the advice and discussion thus far. Give me more input if you've got it.

    - O

  15. #10
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    Wolverine looks really good -very much like it was done in illustrator. I totally agree with most here, his head is too big, it's distracting b/c the rest of his body is so nicely done. Just cut copy, resize the head in photoshop-try it atleast, you may like it. Otherwise it rocks for the Elf community.
    cheers
    PS
    Ironically, I'm a guy who intentionally uses small heads and big bodies-check out my cap america in the crits.

  16. #11
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    I did it in Photoshop, actually. Blending at every stage of painting to give it a "no strokes" look while still having copious edging. I eventually want to get a looser, more stroked and textured look, but I'm used to pencil, brush and pen ink, and "filler" color (which I've been doing for about nine years of my 14-year-long career so far). The old techniques allow me to have tighter control with less work and that's made me a control freak. So, in the long run I hope to have a more painterly look to my work but I need to loosen up first.

    - O

  17. #12
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    I'm just not getting a sense that the shirt he is wearing literally envelopes around him. It seems collage pasted. Check the contrast between the highlights and shades of his shirt. Check your own shirt in the mirror. Especially the neck line...

  18. #13
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    I think his pecks are too round, and finish too high up his torso, I also think that his shoulders could do with being a little bit broader.
    You should reference the way clothing wrinkles when tight to the body, and also maybe try to refine what it is he's wearing. The detailing around the collar area suggests a woolen jumper/sweater or something, but the rest seems to be almost shiny.
    Its a great image though and I'm sure will be even better when you've completely finished it

  19. #14
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    it looks a bit better, i think youve still got that frankenstein vibe on the forehead though. could you show us a paintover of where you have his actual head under that hair?

  20. #15
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    So, it's been awhile. Life's difficulties (y'know, the effing economy) have kept me away from my loves and indulgences. Being jobless and desperate for a job will do that.

    So, in reply to the stuff that's been said about the style of the piece: I'm happy with it. This is the Wolverine I want to depict. I don't see his forehead as "Frankenstein-ish" or whatever, it's simply more naturalistic (read as: less idealized). I looked at a lot of old, meaty dudes to come to that brow-ridge/forehead ratio. And the muscle roundness? Look at Frezetta. Tight, round, bowling-ball muscles. It's a choice.

    Also, I posted an over-paint for the head size. That said, I'm abandoning this piece to move onto other, more personal work (as I have time). There should be something up in the "Studies and Works in Progress" section really soon.

    Attachment 650189

    Further, all of this fervent discussion over proportions and the like drove me to spend a few hours doing quick scale-studies of X-Men characters based on scientific data about human physiology in regards to height and proportion standards (which can vary greatly. I've seen a photos of a boxer named Jess Willard who topped 6' 6" who was only 7-heads-tall. Sh!t was ugly). Here that is:

    Attachment 650192

    The scale ranges from Wolverine at 5' 3" to Colossus at 7' 5". As you can see, I wasn't too far off with head size if you take into account the distortion I tried to mimic caused by depth of field. You can look up the comparative stats for each character several places on line (from left to right: Wolverine, Shadowcat, Rogue, Storm, Magneto, Cyclops, Sabertooth, Juggernaut, and Colossus).

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