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"Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
Please, comment. I want to get at least few critiques of the new shading before I start finalizing the face and hair.
You're doing beautiful work on this but you may have to excuse my knee-jerk reaction, but I would think that it makes sense to have her use both hands to hold the blade up due to it's weight and thickness. Those weapons are meant to be held with two hands whereas a weapon with a smaller blade imprint or lighter construct can be done with one hand such as a rapier.
What you could do is have her hold the blade in one arm and let it rest on the other forearm. For instance, she could use her right arm to rest it over the left arm's gauntlet, aiming to the enemy.
The footwork is important so that it is 'martial' in nature. Since I'm a fencer myself, my front feet is pointed straight while my back foot is pointed to the left in 90 degrees in an 'en garde' position (for right handers), while the right arm holds the blade up, pointing to the opponent's neck or face. EDIT: my back arm is, by the way, held up for balance purposes in a classical position, however today's modern sports fencing, they usually keep it down for reasons on speed and reaction.
Just my two cents.
I tried to make painting of this character in more realistic pose here http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=183120, but I was taking flak both from realism crowd and manga fans and in the end I gave up.
I'm trying to give the face more defined shape... Eyebrows are missing at the moment.
Pretty please with sugar on, tell me what do you think about the new shading of face - the face is why I'm posting this...
I refined shading on face, added eyebrows and changed leather to be a bit less bright.
I tried to reduce hard edges on face to give her a bit less harsh/younger look.
No matter what I do, skin on my paintings (this being the best example) doesn't look like skin much, more like clay. I tried to add hilights, but it starts to look like wet clay or porcelain. Any suggestions? I'm painting it without reference, so I'm unsure what is actually wrong with it.
I think you need to research the colors of the face a bit more.
If I remember correctly the forehead area tends to be more yellow, the cheeks more red and the chin more blue... and all of it work well with a green under painting.
On a side note, please do not start multiple threads regarding the same piece.
I merged this thread back into your original one. You can still get help with the face topic without taking up multiple threads.
Looking back at the piece, the two main things I see are the flat colors (what I was talking about above) along with a lack of visible structure to the face. You have really general shapes without addressing a lot of the underlying structure. If you were to go back and adjust the form a bit, I think it will read a bit more as human.
Hey! I definitely saw and added this to my favorites on deviantart awhile back!
I love this piece! But you obviously are frustrated with it. (TOTALLY understand that feeling) So I will try and help... When it comes to faces and skin, the best advice I have would be to look at a reference photo. I really don't see any other solution. You don't need to copy it, just reference it. I would start by finding a face of a woman you really like and study it. Paint it. Try and replicate it and understand what makes her face attractive to you. Then compare the face to yours on this character. What is different? What is missing? Try and notice the SUBTLE changes defining the structure of the face.
I think the reason she looks "clay" or "porcelain" is because her face is so smooth? I don't think the problem is color so much as it is structure. I really just think studying some reference images would help tremendously.
I hope this helps! I really sympathize with your struggle. It's SO FRUSTRATING!
EDIT: Oops... guess I didn't favorite it, just commented on it. *Adds to Favorites* I really do love this!
Last edited by cuptow555; April 14th, 2010 at 03:22 AM.
You might try adding in some more light up front. As it is, you’ve got your key light behind the character, and you’re letting everything else be lighted by ambient light... which will make your highlights look wet since there wouldn’t be enough light to create highlights without the character being wet. Also, human skin is full of different colors; it’s not just a single color. The forehead area has a slight golden hue to it, the area around the eyes and nose is pinker, and the area around the mouth is… sort of bluish. This isn’t all the time however, since skin does reflect the colors around it.
Now, as a personal preference, might I suggest giving the lady some hair? Good hair makes women so much more… well, womanly.
Find some good reference, and you will have less problems. Good reference always helps! A lot of people get hung up on trying to do the whole thing without any resources, and that's admirable, however I think a little reference will help you finish this off on a happy note, and ease much of your frustration. Hope this helps.
So I tried to gave the face more realistic colors based on photo reference. I looked at it for so long that I completely lost sense whether the result looks natural or not - please, tell me your opinion...
Here's my crit:
1. Conceptually, I like to see a character in a real environment. I understand the character much better when I see her in her own world. It's difficult. It means rethinking the composition, her stance, what she's doing, narration. But it makes for a much stronger work. Character sheets are nice too, but then you don't need the stance, just have her stand straight, front & back - it's information more for a modeller to use. Also, Having held a claymore, I know those things are very heavy. I don't know the fanart origins, but for such a realistic rendering, it's strange to see such a thin arm holding such a heavy sword one handed at such an angle. You may want to rethink the style you're going for.
2. Little things. Overall, I think this is pretty good. Maybe not professional yet, but you're definately making progress. I don't think I could do better digitally. People have been talking about her legs. Her right leg isn't in perspective relative to the stance. It's twisted a bit to the right. Try standing in front of a mirror in the same stance, and see how to make it more natural. I prefer her original armor as it's shiny, something different, well executed, and it stands out nicely. The rest of her outfit could use some detail work. Her torso and limbs need more creases to reflect her form, her arms and pants shouldn't be so reflective. They also seem metallic, but accidentally. Her hand holding the sword is too small. Her face seems plastic and stiff. Her nose seems snubbed, her skin textures mottled. Her ears hang low in relation to her features. Her hair feels plastic, clumped to her head. The fasteners on one boot should be visible on the other, but they're not.
I'd keep doing more figure and portrait studies and come back to this.
I ditched the face I made yesterday and painted a new one... I also did some basic shading on hair.
I know several parts of body need tweaking/finishing, but I want to finish head first.
I like the new face better! It's, well, nicer. Much nicer in fact. One thing that helps me see any flaws or inconsistancies when I've been looking at a painting for too long, is to get a fresh perspective on it. Flip your image, turn it upside down, look at it backwards, whatever- but checking it fraom a different perspective will help you identify problems you didn't notice. I'm doing this very thing on a portrait as I write this. It always helps me, hope that it helps you.
Some minor things are throwing the face off for me a bit. Her eyes, nose, and lips seem to all be on SLIGHTLY different angles on the face. One eye (one on OUR right) looks a tad high.
Could just be me. Won't take long to fix. Rendering is looking great.
Blending should not wreck plane information, the temptation with soft features is to blend but then lose the directions of the "grain" so to speak or to end up with one merged rounded form, make sure you know what direction your blending is facing and the concept of how "tight" it is might also help.
Keep that loomis face plate diagram in mind. Your latest face looks better but I liked the face in post number 11, without too much smoothing.
I like the overall idea, keep going at it and perfect it.
Last edited by George Abraham; April 22nd, 2010 at 10:29 AM.
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