Another newbie - Kindly requesting critique

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  1. #1
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    Another newbie - Kindly requesting critique

    Greetings

    Irrelevant Ramble:
    I've been lurking on the page for a while but haven't really had the courage to post here as I don't want to intrude. However, I am trying to learn to do digital paintings with... at least... some... realism, which is hard.
    I find myself kind of needing some critique and I don't seem to be able to find people who could do that. Therefor, please give me any advice you may have on this picture. Though my ego may suffer heavy crushes and wither like a cheap newspaper in the sun, I shall try to be graceful.

    About the Picture:
    Made in Photoshop and it took... a good long while to make. I... am not very good at describing my pictures. I wanted to show a pretty boy who is a bit of a git?

    Anyway, feedback greatly appriciated and thank you very much in advance.

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  3. #2
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    Nice picture, I like the little details, like the little blemishes on his skin. His head looks disproportioned because his nose is too long, generally the nose should be the same length as the forehead and the chin and lips. Also when you shorten the nose be sure to lift the ear up as well, because it's on the brink of being too low. The armpit looks a little too dark and deep, but maybe that's just me. He looks like a skinny git to me, it's spot on xD

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  5. #3
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    Hello and welcome!

    So far your rendering is looking pretty good. The anatomy is slightly wonky though - the face seems too long to me right now. Mostly in the nose area, I think. It might possibly be a shade too narrow too. Also - don't be afraid to add texture to the skin. I like that you threw a few freckles on there, but he looks sort of plastic-ish at the moment. A nice splatter brush (or similar) should help you get a more realistic texture.

    One of the biggest most helpful things I've picked up here from the awesome people at CA is that, when you're painting shadows/highlights, you NEVER use black or white to paint them in. It makes your paintings look flat and lifeless. Shadows and highlights are always shades of colors, never black or white themselves. Take the armpit in this painting for instance, you could have used a darker gray/purple/blue instead of the flat black and it would have had a more flesh-like/realistic look to it. When painting shadows, there isn't an absence of color.. Just an absence of light. The reverse is the same for highlights, which is why you should use darker/lighter shades of color instead of simply just white or black.

    It's a good start and I look forward to seeing more work from you in the future.

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    Hm. Let's see. You've got some underlying proportion problems, especially with the face. Nothing serious, but it's worth looking at Loomis or somebody like him -- someone who teaches handy measurements for the proportions of the face.

    Specifically, the ear is a bit low, the nose a bit long, the distance from the nose to the mouth a bit short. It's not egregious, but it is off.

    At this stage in your progress, working with references is often a good idea, too. The armpit, for example, is not a black hole -- there's anatomical stuff that goes on in there.

    But don't despair. It's not a bad effort. You just need to brush up on the basics a bit more at the beginning before investing time in polish. I like the pale, icy color scheme particularly.

    I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
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  9. #5
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    Thank you very much

    You are right about the nose *tears hair* I keep forgetting these sort of things, and the nose is right pain in the rear end to do for me. Well, now I may actually remember it, thanks!

    Hmm, I actually didn't use black but I suppose all the sawing back and forth the armpit ended up black anyway after I was already blind to it. I have real trouble with spreading the shades nicely.

    Few excuses though: his hips are thrusted forth a little but I think I didn't pull that off too well. His head is also tilted up a little but I know I blew that one, try as I might. Hence the ear... however now that I look it's way too low regardless heh... heh...

    I got them Loomis books! They've been an inspiration. I also use references but I rarely show them off in public. They don't feel... mine... somehow.

    But, thank you, again for taking the time!

    Edit: Ack, about the skin texture. I really want to add texture but I don't know how to go on about it I've tried to look for tutorials and such but I don't seem to find a satisfactory one. When I try on my own, I just get icky looking splotches that don't really look like texture at all but like... I used a speckled brush in an attempt to add texture heh.

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  10. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by noretus View Post

    Edit: Ack, about the skin texture. I really want to add texture but I don't know how to go on about it I've tried to look for tutorials and such but I don't seem to find a satisfactory one. When I try on my own, I just get icky looking splotches that don't really look like texture at all but like... I used a speckled brush in an attempt to add texture heh.
    Adding textures isn't an exact science; everyone does it differently. I know that, when I do textures, it sometimes depends on how I want the feel of the piece to be over-all that determines how I go about adding them. Fooling around with the overlay/multiply setting and the opacity settings on layers can sometimes give you a better blend.

    For skin textures, I tend to go with a layer set on overlay with a very spread out splatter brush to add in the lights (adjusting opacity to blend as needed) and also a layer on multiply to add the darks (again, adjusting opacity to blend). Once I'm happy with those, I'll usually go back and paint in some more flaws by hand, just to give a little more interest. Layers are your friends. Don't try and go at it all in one shot - the skin has many layers itself so it only makes sense that one might need a few layers to imitate the look.

    If I'm doing a speed paint, the chalk brush can give you a grittier/more textured look too. Also, to make a piece look realistic (especially with humans), the imperfections are what'll give you that extra boost. Even the most beautiful people in the world have flaws, it's what makes them human.

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    Quote Originally Posted by intrinsik View Post
    Adding textures
    ...

    ...
    in the world have flaws, it's what makes them human.
    I'm actually trying to work away from layers. I used to have a different layer for just about everything but when I'm doing the more painty-stuff, I try to keep digital-trickery in the minimum. No offense to anyone, I just don't want to learn to be dependant on some of the comforts of digital media. Maybe when I have more constant and better skills, I can forgive myself for them I have this ( maybe silly ) principle that it's ok to take the shortcut if you're already experienced on the longer and harder route.
    One of the reasons I have trouble finding a tutorial, heh.

    Ahh, my problem is that I can't even properly explain that which ails me. I see what I'm supposed to do, I got plenty of high resolution photos which allow me to see the pores of their skin if I wish and yet I just can't translate it into the picture.

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    I have this ( maybe silly ) principle that it's ok to take the shortcut if you're already experienced on the longer and harder route.
    Nah, that not silly at all, its very good.
    Having too many layers may sometimes hinder your work rather than make it easier.

    You should try grisaille painting to help you with your coloring.
    Grisaille is putting color over a b/w painting, Sycra demonstrates the technique masterfully without multiple layers (at least i dont think there are) in this video.

    Good luck

    Visit my sketchbook here
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  14. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by NecroPhone View Post
    Nah, that not silly at all, its very good.
    Having too many layers may sometimes hinder your work rather than make it ....

    ...
    this video.

    Good luck
    Thank you! I'll have to try that sometime, though I've been a bit suspicious of that method.

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