Selina
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    Selina

    Ok...have at it!

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    This bears a striking resemblance to a piece by Dan Dos Santos. Was this your intention?

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    Boobs hanging off of a bare ribcage are awkward at best. If the skin over her ribs has rotted away, why are the boobs perfectly intact?

    Okay, even if I accept the weird logic going on there, that transition could still be handled a little more gracefully. The way the ribcage juts over the skin of the stomach is also visually strange. Same with the neck; if those are vertebrae, they shouldn't be visible in the front of her neck like that. As it stands, it looks like some weird triple Adam's apple?

    As far as technical issues: The purple sky may be too saturated. Try desaturating it, while upping the saturation of the purples in her clothing. The pants kind of blend into the stone wall behind them, and saturation might help a bit there.

    Meanwhile, the plants are looking very artificial because they're too saturated. They're taking focus away from the undead girl.

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    This image is very, very like Don Santos'.. Perhaps the plants, waist location and the electric thing in the back isn't, but man.. that is very alike. Is this a study?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeBurns View Post
    This bears a striking resemblance to a piece by Dan Dos Santos. Was this your intention?
    Absolutely it was.

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    You seem to claim it like being completely yours on your website though.. careful with that.

    Anyway! Those highly saturated plants take away a lot of the focus. If there would seem to be a focus in your image it'd be the blonde hair of the girl, seeing how the rest of her is all grey and grey-purple and black. So I'd tone those down a bit to get that focus back up to her face.
    Those breasts also seem like they've been glued onto her otherwise zombie-like ribcage and throat, maybe there's a way to make it all seem more like a whole?

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    Well to be honest, I've seen this composition so often that I didn't think there'd be a problem. Louis Royo uses it plenty as does just about every known painter. Every painting looks like another on some level, right?

    Well obviously not in this case. I pushed it far too close to the inspiration. So let's fix that first. I don't need Don Santos coming to my house, slinging black magic at me, forcing me to retaliate in an occult battle which could threaten to eliminate both sides. Besides, I'm a poor sorcerer.

    So one option is to move the moon and break up that center line as shown below. What other simple things can we do to break up the Don Santos-ness of the piece?

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    Perhaps I can redo the gate as well. Any other suggestions?

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    Thanks for the concern all, but it really isn't anything to worry about.
    There may be a fine line between derivative and infringement, but this piece easily falls onto the derivative side of things.

    Obviously, derivative work still isn't a good thing by any standard... but to a certain extent, all things are derivative.
    Given the the lack-luster composition of my own piece, it's hard to blame any one else for using the same motifs.

    That said, once an Artist shares his work with another, it's purpose is the Viewer's pleasure...
    and if THEY find it too derivative to appreciate, then the Artist missed his mark.
    Not only did he fail his own artistic potential, but he failed his Viewers as well.

    Jack called me out of concern, unnecessarily, but politely none the less.
    I have no problem with homages, so long as they are done in the spirit of camaraderie and not competition.
    We are all just trying to learn, and emulation is one of the easiest ways.
    Just don't make a habit of it!

    That said...
    I think all the crits are quite valid, and moving the moon does help it look much less derivative.
    I didn't understand the glowing bones concept until you told me.
    I am attaching a paintover of a value scheme that I think would better help clarify that concept.
    Again, do not just copy the paintover.
    Instead, assess the changes, question why they work, learn from it, and find a way to make it YOURS.

    Good luck in your development.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSillustration View Post
    Thanks for the concern all, but it really isn't anything to worry about.
    There may be a fine line between derivative and infringement, but this piece easily falls onto the derivative side of things.

    Obviously, derivative work still isn't a good thing by any standard... but to a certain extent, all things are derivative.
    Given the the lack-luster composition of my own piece, it's hard to blame any one else for using the same motifs.

    That said, once an Artist shares his work with another, it's purpose is the Viewer's pleasure...
    and if THEY find it too derivative to appreciate, then the Artist missed his mark.
    Not only did he fail his own artistic potential, but he failed his Viewers as well.

    Jack called me out of concern, unnecessarily, but politely none the less.
    I have no problem with homages, so long as they are done in the spirit of camaraderie and not competition.
    We are all just trying to learn, and emulation is one of the easiest ways.
    Just don't make a habit of it!

    That said...
    I think all the crits are quite valid, and moving the moon does help it look much less derivative.
    I didn't understand the glowing bones concept until you told me.
    I am attaching a paintover of a value scheme that I think would better help clarify that concept.
    Again, do not just copy the paintover.
    Instead, assess the changes, question why they work, learn from it, and find a way to make it YOURS.

    Good luck in your development.
    That paintover makes it about 80 gajillion times better.

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    Selina WIP

    Based on everyone's (especially Dan's suggestions) I've made the following changes.

    I'd always wanted a blue glow, so I followed the example used with the red glow. I kept the tower, but washed it out. The brightness and constrast of the background were reduced as well as the saturation.

    Finally I put in the fog, which reduces the saturation of the plants.

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    I had no idea the bones were supposed to be glowing through the skin. It's a bit better now, but still not really reading as a glow. The blue glow is not really casting light on anything around it. It looks like you attempted to do so on the breasts, but the reason it's not working yet is because the "lit" areas aren't actually any brighter, despite the fact that they're receiving light. They're just more saturated.

    Also, in the paintover, the girl is backlit. I know you don't want to copy it exactly, but that lighting scheme is much more successful, casting the girl in shadow and allowing the glow to really contrast and show through.

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    Soulweaver: So you suggest it be more like this?

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    That's a bit better. The hair especially looks better. But don't be afraid to push the dark values on her even further, and make that glow really pop.

    Meanwhile, the gray areas of the moon and mist are starting to compete with the girl for attention. Usually gray doesn't call attention to itself, so I'm not sure why this is happening. Maybe because they're the same gray as her skin?

    All the details are in place, so from here on out I think it's just going to be a balancing act to get the values right. Throw the image into grayscale from time to time, and you may be better able to judge what needs to be darker and what needs to be lighter.

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    I love her hair in the latest version.

    Do you think it might look better if you made the shape of her finger bones clearer? I was thinking maybe that if you tapered the glow in the middle of the long part of her finger joints to imitate the shape of finger bones it would look awesome. To me, right now, it looks as though someone's shining a light on her fingers.

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    I had no idea her bones were meant to glow! It's so much better now with the face dark and the glowing eyes and the bones lighting up her skin.

    I was thinking about your plants still though. They have been toned down and they demand a lot less attention as they did, but there's still something off. Maybe it's the wirey scrawnyness and I'm not quite sure if they are placed against the wall or in front of her. Maybe the plants should be a bit more dark-ish and grey too, like a slightly green version of the colour of her pants, and I wonder if it'll look more natural if you added some plants or different kinds of plants. Might be me just nitpicking though, but they do stand out still..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soulweaver View Post
    Meanwhile, the gray areas of the moon and mist are starting to compete with the girl for attention. Usually gray doesn't call attention to itself, so I'm not sure why this is happening. Maybe because they're the same gray as her skin?
    I'm pretty sure it's because her face has lost a lot of contrast. I'm going to check that out.

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    I redid the face and it looks like I was right about the lack of contrast being the problem. Thanks guys.

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    Wow this piece has come a long way, and I'm really liking it! I think it would be neat to do a little something with her nails, maybe give her long nails with purple nail polish, maybe a hue somewhere between her pants and her lip color, that would add even more interest in her as a whole. Nice work!

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    The lips seem kind of flat right now but it has improved a lot!

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    It has come a long way. If you want those bones to really look like they're glowing through skin, then you're going to have to soften their edges a bit. Also, extend the glow into the upper edges of the breasts, and have it diminish as the tissue gets thicker. I know the hair is till roughed in, but remember to keep its edges soft as well (check out how Dan handled in in his PO).


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    Ok here's the latest version of the "Selina" picture. I want to thank everyone who's helped so far, particularly Dan Don Santos himself.

    The face has been totally redrawn at this point and a whitish outline was added to enhance the sense of backlighting. Re-lightening the face helped preserve the focal point, I think.

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    So are her ribs shining onto her fingers and face, or are they glowing? There's such an emphasis on her glowing ribs, so it seems odd that her face and fingers would glow, but not from the bones.

    If her face and her fingers aren't supposed to be glowing but reflecting light from the ribs then they really don't look like it.

    Last comment about it, I promise.

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    Ok here's where we're at. Unless we find something truly aggregious I think this picture is done.

    I had to redraw the hands, slightly reposition the breasts and give them more definition. I also intensified the skull aspect of her face, because the hands were fighting it for visual dominance.

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    I think the red glow was working way better in means of bringing a great contrast between warm and cool colors.

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    Well, as much as I liked the red glow, I had two problems with it:

    1. The color scheme for the character was definitely BLUE
    2. Red was Dan Don Santos' suggestion, and while it's a good one, I felt that doing that (after all the criticism I'd already taken about being too derivitive) would make the piece less my own and more his.


    Normally, I wouldn't care, cause I'll always take the advice of a superior artist, but here it didn't seem prudent.

    So I went to other way and warmed the colors of the background instead. As long as it still reads as "nighttime" I really wasn't attached to the colors of the background.

    I've posted both for easy comparison purposes. But unless there are any obvious steps that should be taken, I'm prepared to declare this one "done."

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    I'm not liking the dark lines drawn on the cheeks (around the jawbone) and elsewhere. If the bones were glowing through the skin, that wouldn't make any areas darker than they otherwise would be, i.e, without glowing bones) None of them would have dark outlines. They would have faded edges and be brighter where they are nearest the surface, as Mr. Elwell stated. I would also make the spinal vertibrae in the neck less bright than the ribs, as the neck bones are further back, towards the rear of the neck. If you think it's done, that's fine, but I've taken the liberty of doing a quick paint-over to show what I mean...

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    Quote Originally Posted by dashinvaine View Post
    I'm not liking the dark lines drawn on the cheeks (around the jawbone) and elsewhere. If the bones were glowing through the skin, that wouldn't make any areas darker than they otherwise would be, i.e, without glowing bones) None of them would have dark outlines.
    You're absolutely correct, but there was one problem. It took focus away from the face and put it on the hands because they were now the area of highest contrast.

    I tried to de-emphasize the hands as well, but this resulted in the figure loosing it's crispness. Also, it toned down the ghoulish nature of the figure.

    I can't figure out how to meet both those goals, so I've decided to preserve the figure's ability to leap from the canvas. If someone can help me figure out how to meet both goals, I'd appreciate that.

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    Are you smudging the hair? try using light wisps or strokes ( if you have a tablet) instead of using the smudge tool, cuz it kind've looks blurry.

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    Hmm...I'll try that.

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