Future Fights Smoke Elementals

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  1. #1
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    Future Fights Smoke Elementals

    Weird title.

    Just need a quick pair of eyes for this. It's based on a sketched pose I liked and I just sort of drew around it. I'm not sure how far I'll take it, but if anyone has the time I'd like some really in-depth crits on this one (I'm about to start another round of studies since I've been feeling too lazy the past few days. Would like to know what direction to take)

    The values bugged me early on but I think I fixed them a bit. I'm trying something I saw on ca here where most of the image is in the lower range so that the lights appear lighter.

    I included an image without the smokies. Thanks in advance.


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  3. #2
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    Not so much "critting" as much as thinking outloud here... The focalpoint as I see it is the contact between the swords, where I would want it to be her face. Great job framing her, but the contrast between the swords is hard to look away from.

    I think you're not there yet on her left foot, unless I'm reading it wrong.

    I wish her outfit weren't so drab in coloring, I'd be interested to see what would happen if her clothes and hair were lighter to distinguish her from the other characters. The other characters themselves might be a little more interesting with some variation of color between them.

    The lowest demon to the right, I wanna see more of him extend beyond her dress shape and into the that dark bottom right corner. That's not big, but I can see it adding a little more interest.

    I do think there are some really good things going on composition-wise and there is some nice figure drawing going on.

    Ok, so maybe I did crit, hopefully not to much. If you were inclined to crit back feel free to check the SB where you'd find endless material to cross-crit. Good Stuff Man

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  5. #3
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    I have a weakness for strong contrast .... I just love those opposing lights and darks so I can't comment much on your values. But I did note a few others things.

    1. When a woman lifts her arms her breasts do not remain rounded, the portion under the arm becomes raised.

    2. The woman you have depicted is very slender. It would be rare for her to have such an obvious "line" between her buttock and her thigh.

    3. Her leg seems disproportionate

    4. Her foot appears twisted. When a woman raises he leg behind her it is rare that she would also twist her foot sideways

    5. The right side of her dress appears to extend too far out, indicitive that one side of the dress is longer than the other

    6. There appears to be something off about this creatures buttocks

    7. The enemy is missing anything below the torso - there should be something to reflect his anatomy/size etc.

    8. I realize that the woman is very slender but her arms seem remarkably thin, almost too thin. To swing a sword would take muscle regardless of how small those muscles were

    9. Her face is slightly skewed

    10. "If" she is falling her hair would understandably raise above her ahead - but I get the feeling that she is in mid swing - drawing the sword back with an effort, ready to swing/slash forward - and in doing so her hair would extend directly out to the left of the painting.

    I hope these help!

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  7. #4
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    Thanks guys this is the kind of stuff I want.

    -------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    I think you're not there yet on her left foot, unless I'm reading it wrong.
    The foot in her dress is completely wrong and it's just a placeholder for now until I find some reference, same thing with her hands.

    I wish her outfit weren't so drab in coloring, I'd be interested to see what would happen if her clothes and hair were lighter to distinguish her from the other characters. The other characters themselves might be a little more interesting with some variation of color between them.
    It's good you mention colour because I've been having a hell of a time with it. Like most of my stuff I start out with a dull brown background to get some value and warmth in it right away, but with this one I just can seem to find a route to other good colours. A deep green seemed to compliment it, and I tried blue with the elementals but it was too jarring. I'll try some warmer/cooler variations of the colours and work up gradually I think.

    The lowest demon to the right, I wanna see more of him extend beyond her dress shape and into the that dark bottom right corner. That's not big, but I can see it adding a little more interest.
    That's a good idea, and it goes with Razorleaf's observation that the dress on the right is a little too large anyways.

    Ok, so maybe I did crit, hopefully not to much.
    NO! I want too much

    Quote Originally Posted by Razorleaf View Post
    1. When a woman lifts her arms her breasts do not remain rounded, the portion under the arm becomes raised.
    Ah, yeah I was going for that, but it looks like it wasn't enough. I'll un-round her mams

    2. The woman you have depicted is very slender. It would be rare for her to have such an obvious "line" between her buttock and her thigh.
    I see, I kept it only because I thought it added some form to it. I'll see if there's a nice looking alternative (dimple around the trochanter perhaps)


    3. Her leg seems disproportionate

    4. Her foot appears twisted. When a woman raises he leg behind her it is rare that she would also twist her foot sideways

    5. The right side of her dress appears to extend too far out, indicitive that one side of the dress is longer than the other
    Good observations. The leg especially looks wrong to me now. The foot like I said was just a placeholder and I'm going to redo it. The dress does look off as well, I had thought that it may have been one side being pulled over, but if anything the pull would be going in the opposite direction.

    6. There appears to be something off about this creatures buttocks
    I'm not sure if I see it, perhaps it might be skewed too much in the viewer's direction.

    7. The enemy is missing anything below the torso - there should be something to reflect his anatomy/size etc.
    I drew him out earlier in the piece to even see if anything would show. Aside from his wing, there would only be a part of his foot under the dress so I thought I'd just hide it. Now with the dress suggestion and bill's comment about that guy I think I'll reduce the dress so he'll just have everything shown

    8. I realize that the woman is very slender but her arms seem remarkably thin, almost too thin. To swing a sword would take muscle regardless of how small those muscles were
    Agreed, this was a holdover from the sketch. Will correct.

    9. Her face is slightly skewed
    In what way? I think it may be her mouth, I'll see if a new position helps.
    10. "If" she is falling her hair would understandably raise above her ahead - but I get the feeling that she is in mid swing - drawing the sword back with an effort, ready to swing/slash forward - and in doing so her hair would extend directly out to the left of the painting.
    I'm not sure about the action you described, right now she's just executing a high block. I'll consider adding more secondary movement to the hair.

    --------------

    Thanks guys, this'll help me get some more work done on this one, great crits Just one question: do these beasts come off as being made of smoke, or do they just look like they're passing through clouds? If not I'll try to distort their forms more.

    Keep 'em coming if you got em
    I hope these help! [/QUOTE]

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    My mistake Jason .... I saw her as raising her sword back and in doing so the enemy took advantage of the opening and lowered his blade. Now that you mention it though I can see how I made the error.

    I'm afraid that I did not get enemy-smoke at all. Sorry, but they look solid to me

    Last edited by Razorleaf; May 22nd, 2009 at 04:51 PM. Reason: grammar
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  9. #6
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    Rainville,

    I don't personally know you, but you have quite a reputation on these forums for being very active, if I'm not mistaken. I usually make it a point to check out your stuff whenever it shows up.... and here it is again. I think it appropriate to start out my critique with some generalizations on what I've seen through the years I'd been lurking here until now.

    You've made huge leaps and strides with the finish of your paintings. They look better and better every time and if I didn't commend you on this I'd feel like a huge asshole. I know critiques aren't about positives, but I feel an artist needs to hear when someone is surprised at the improvement of their work and this is one of those times.

    Keep in mind the two dimensional design of your painting. When you start thinking about your elements not as what they represent, but as simple shapes and angles you get down to the nitty gritty of dynamic compositions. It really looks like you took this into account this time, actually. That said, I think there are some things you might want to hear:

    Your figures don't oppose each other in angles, rather they run parallel with each other, at least for the most part. The swords do a decent job, being that they are just about perpendicular to one another. I feel, though, that if I turned this canvas 45 degrees counter clock-wise that I'd be looking at a bunch of figures standing straight up. Simply turning the angle of your image, while it does indeed help take away from the elements being parallel to the borders of your canvas, doesn't necessarily mean you're using the most dynamic possible layout.

    The human body (and... demon body) have a bunch of different appendages and such that can be used in different angles to help create more movement, and in turn more angles.... and in turn a more dynamic composition. See how her body can, for the most part, be defined with a single straight line from top to bottom (minus the arms and sword)? Putting her legs in more of a ready stance would separate them and give them more angles going off from the main line, allowing her to be more dynamic. The top demon is doing a better job, but 1/2 of him is being defined by the edge of the canvas, straight vertical and horizontal elements that can turn down the intensity of anything.

    I could go on and on about different parts of the painting and angles, but I feel like I made my point. Opposing angles, not just tilted angles of an otherwise static composition, help to reinforce dynamism.

    Pretty fucking sweet though. And nice pantie shot .

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  11. #7
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    Holy crap Quigleyer thanks That means a lot, the compliments and critique.

    I see now how similar the angles are. I think the worst culprit though is that guy in the bottom right, whose wing is confirming that angle. normally I might try to change the lady or the top left guy, but I think I'm just too far along on this and I don't care enough for it to do some drastic changes (I am curious though about what you said about her legs in a "ready" pose, not quite sure which direction that would be). I started with turning him and changing the direction of his wings, but there felt like a hole in the bottom right. I finally got my excuse to get a nice foreground element in to add some depth.

    So here's a small update. I saturated her a bit, erased a bit of some of the elementals (to show that they're smoky, but then congeal sometimes into hard shiny plates) added some more colour to the elementals, changed the leg and boobie, beefed up her arms a bit and some other small things;

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  12. #8
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    Hope you don't mind the paint-over and comparison ...

    "Creativity emerges only when the imagination is given the freedom it deserves."
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  14. #9
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    haha, I feel silly now for not trying just to... y'know, erase the line. I was trying to put some other detail in its place where none really needed to exist. Thanks for the graphic example

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  15. #10
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    I completely agree that it's way too far along at the moment to do such drastic changes to.

    I was kind of just saying that as a point for next-time around and I feel the changes you've already made to it since this morning are a step in the right direction with what you can do with it.

    It's not like it looks bad. Just food for thought.

    Edit: My bad- by "ready position" I mean (and I'm going to giggle typing it) with her legs spread apart more, one foot planted, all of that nonsense that action heroes or heroines (is that how you spell that?) do.

    EDIT AGAIN: Have you tried out some corner smoke in the foreground? Or, better yet, between her and the closest demon? I'm thinking this will help create more tension by simply adding another element and getting rid of more negative space, and also help... well not have the foot doing what it's doing right now by covering it up. I think "corner smoke" should be put into webster's dictionary, but for a visual example I used the fuck out of it here: http://i247.photobucket.com/albums/g...ienceWIP-6.jpg

    I think "corner smoke" could be more successful here, for you, because you wouldn't be covering up such a large area as I did. You'll also probably notice I didn't practice what I preached about the angles, but for justification's sake (and so you don't think I'm an idiot- this really was the only corner smoke image I have at the moment) it was so he'd be "falling back" more and it was before I fully understood all of what I said earlier. Didn't work out .

    Last edited by Quigleyer; May 22nd, 2009 at 11:58 PM.
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  16. #11
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    Love the painting so far Jason, and really can't add much to what's been criticized about it already. I'm still a bit unclear as to what's going on with the action though- I can see that she's blocking an attack, but what direction the monster's attack is coming from I'm not so sure about. Is he bringing his weapon down from above? His pose suggests that, but the angle of her sword to block him suggests (at least to me) that the swing is coming from the side.

    I have no idea if anything i just said makes sense . I could just be reading everything all wrong, so pardons if that's the case.

    Just to echo Quigleyer, yeah, the level of finish in your work is definitely getting better and better. Always a treat to look at your work man, keep it coming!

    -Sid

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