Im not very good at landscapes, theyre a weak point for me and I don't like doing them once I'm thoroughly into development, due to procrastination on my part. However I'm really hoping to drag myself through this one, on the condition that everything goes 'right' along the way. I dont want to get 2/3's through and think, "Oh noes, Ive completely messed up ____". Hence why I'm sticking the process in the critique center - I really hope you can grill me and set me in the right direction
I've put the sketch layer on and the light source so you can better judge the picture. The lower part of the cliff (the bit under the cut off white line) isn't finished because my confidence fizzled out on it.
Well, you really need to know where your horizon line is. Depending on the way the piece is set up, you might not be able to see it, but you need to know exactly where it is. Currently, the perspective of the buildings suggests that the horizon is at about the same height the sun is, but that would mean that the sun is almost gone, which would change your lighting a lot and make the mountain in the background shorter. Based on everything except the buildings, the horizon line looks like it should be right about halfway up the painting, so you may want to repaint the buildings so that all the curved horizontals are curved upwards, not downwards, since they'd be above the horizon line.
I'd also strongly recommend blocking in most of the major areas before you go in and detail any one thing. If you spend this much time on the midground before doing anything at all with the background, there's a tendency for it to look kind of...quilt-like. Patchwork. Like two separate paintings that happen to be sandwiched together. Try to work out the palette of the whole painting first, or at least get something somewhat close to it, and then go in to detail and refine.
On a more specific note, I'm seeing some weird light hitting the bottom and side of the cliff/ledge. I'd imagine you were trying to get the rim light from the sun, but it just looks like you've got a huge bounce card underneath the cliff, lighting it evenly from below. If you want to rim light it, go in with a pretty small brush and just touch the outline. With the sun at that angle, most of the cliff is going to be in shadow, and perhaps even silhouetted.
Compositionally, this isn't bad. If it were me, I might make the background mountain face the other direction, though. And...well, I'm kinda addicted to this sort of thing, but I'd probably put a ledge or something in the foreground that indicates where the observer is standing. Just a little hint of it at the bottom of the painting.
Thanks for the critique Datameister, it was really helpful and has given me a bit more ground to work upon now. I havent done as much as I wanted to with this one since my schoolwork has been piling up like no tomorrow.
The block is very rough, just so I know what colours Im using. The problem is Im ok at colour theory, but Im not great so the colours dont feel right on this. Can anyone comment?
To summarise, Ive put the horizon line in, flipped the mountain, blocked the pic and had a go at fixing the light at the bottom of the cliff. However Im extremely stuck on what youve said about the perspective...really, I dont know where to start with this. If anyone could do a quick paint-over, it would be greatly appreciated, because on that subject I cannot imagine where to begin.
Also added a little stick man at the bottom of the steps, as that is where the only character in this landscape will be.
Just in case it isnt apperent, the cliff is very high up, probably about as high as one third of the mountain. If this isnt obvious, tell me how to make it so
Critiques are welcomed fully, anything to improve this thing.
For colors: well, I'd recommend going a little more yellowish in the brighter and/or closer parts of the greenery. Then you can push the distant areas further back with blues and so forth. Also, for the waterfall, use reference. That's crucial in all of this. It's easy to think in your head, Oh, of course a waterfall will be blue! But looking at a photo provides you with real information - namely, that waterfalls are usually light gray, with fairly soft edges, especially in some places. Also, I really think your sun placement is problematic - it would tend to turn everything into silhouettes if it were right there, and it'd be a brighter, warmer-looking sun.
For perspective: well, I'd highly recommend studying the subject. There are a lot of guides online, and if you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to try to answer them. I'm not THE best with perspective, but I understand and use most of the common principles. In the case of your painting, what I was saying is that the four cylindrical structures look wrong. I'll try to do a paintover tomorrow if I remember, but basically, you want all those lines that are curved down to be curved up instead. On a cylinder like that, those lines will curve "down" if they're below the horizon, they'll look straight if they're at the horizon level, and they'll curve "up" if they're above the horizon. Since these are above the horizon, they should curve up.
However, the perspective on the relative heights of the mountain and the nearby cliff is correct, so good job on that. Remember, whatever appears level with the horizon is actually at the exact same height in the world of the painting. In this case, our "camera" is 1/4 or 1/3 of the way up the mountain, since that's where the horizon line is, and the top of the ledge is just a little higher than that. So you've done that correctly.