Composition help- Angel of Death
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  1. #1
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    Composition help- Angel of Death

    I apologize ahead of time for the blurry picture and the glare from the flash.
    I've run into a bit of a snag in that composition in my preliminary sketches looked a lot busier than it is looking in the actual painting. I'm still in the blocking out phase of this piece, and I'd like to make any major fixes that need to be done before I start getting more into the details, so any help would be very much appreciated.
    I've also attached a hastily Photoshopped pic as well to show what sorts of things I'm thinking about putting in. The original plan was to have the skeletons reaching out of the water towards the angel, but I'm starting to think it won't be enough.
    I'm not entirely sure about doing the water, so if anyone has any more interesting ideas please share.
    Thanks in advance for any advice.

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  2. #2
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    Desert, maybe?

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    The right side of the painting feels a little empty to me and draws me off a bit. I believe what's causing that feeling is the bright clouds that overwhelm on the left side of the sky and taper off to the right. You may want to put some object to frame your painting so that it keeps the eyes drawn where you want them. Darker, stormier clouds may be one way to help, but that's up to you.

    As for the water, I liked the idea of skeletons. Perhaps crashing waves would contrast with the angel's serene expression and add some action into the piece.

    I hope that just gives you a couple of things to consider. There's a lot of different things you can do here.

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  4. #4
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    Janos is offline Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on Fu! Level 10 Gladiator: Equites
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    One thing I learned here on ca is to avoid tangents, for instance the angels head is touching the clod element. A tangent isn't very nice on the eye, so try putting the cloud higher up or in this case further down. Also check your image for other tangents.

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    Thanks for the comments, guys.
    Yea, the cloud is definitely getting changed as soon as I figure out what to do with it- Its been repainted about three times already :p
    Ever since I started with sketches for this I've been toying with replacing the column she's sitting on with a gnarled dead tree. In sketch form it looked too busy, but I think that might help break up all of the space at the bottom a bit better. What do you guys think?
    RedPen: I am planning on making the water choppy, however its proving to be a challenge. That's also been repainted half a dozen times :p Can't seem to get it right, even with a million photo refs. Anyone got advice on painting waves?

    I have literally all day every day for the next four days to work on this, so I'm really hoping I can make some significant progress.
    I'll try to post more pictures as I work.

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  6. #6
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    Zazerzs is offline ....bing me the bore worms Level 7 Gladiator: Samnite
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    break it back down to simple shapes and directions,

    what you have now is a pole on the left side of your picture, the angle is looking straight, the pole is straight, its all very static.

    I did a supper messy scribble over the top. just a thought: maybe it'll be helpful

    have you done a series of smaller thumbnails to work out the composition before going to the larger piece? if you haven't its a good idea, much easier to figure out the major issues on a smaller scale before jumping into the final larger piece.

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  7. #7
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    Choppy, foamy water is definitely difficult to paint, in my opinion. However, in my own painting I found this tutorial very useful. It's for photoshop, but halfway down there's talk of painting waves and clouds, so the principles are all the same.

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  8. #8
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    Zazerzs, I think the static-ness is a lot of what has been bugging me. I did do thumbnails, but unfortunately it looked a lot more interesting when it was smaller. Thank you for the paint over- it was indeed useful
    I'm leaning more and more towards the tree idea, since it would break up the composition much more pleasingly.
    I did a quick paint over with the tree to see if it works. What do you guys think? (sorry- don't have a tablet at work and my mouse drawing leaves much to be desired :p)

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    RedPen, you just saved my sanity, I think. I've been looking at hundreds of references and ripping my hair out :p

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    Here's an update. I think its starting to come together. Let me know what you all think.

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