Demonic Chick WIP
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    Demonic Chick WIP

    A WIP painting of a demonic chick. She will have a bit of clothes later.

    I tried to capture woman body as well as possible while keeping loose and quick style. What do you think about the result so far?

    I also tried to put her into slightly seductive pose, does it work? The grey thing beside her is sword, not tail >.<

    Edit: Now I see the shading on breasts looks weirder that I thought at first, I will have to do something about it.

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    I would say ditch it and try again. The pose is really too vertical and the legs are really, really long. Looking at it again, you could lose the horns and the legs and make it a mermaid/snakewoman creature. The torso is ok but needs work and the fish/snake tail could add a lot of flow or gesture to the pose.

     

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    I think this one is workable if you choose to keep at it. I'd bring the horns further ahead. Alongate her hands and feet and define the arm that is behind her. Right now it is hard to tell if she is carrying a sword or that is her tail. Demons are disproportionate anyway. Go with your gut, I wouldn't give up on this one just yet, lets see where you can take her first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Razorleaf View Post
    Demons are disproportionate anyway.
    Really? Damn! And here I have been drawing them proportionately all these years. I guess that's what's wrong with mine.

     

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    First off, she's off balance to her left. Second, I just tried to take the pose, and there's no way I can get my arm like that without moving my shoulders, so you're gonna have to make the chest at least slightly 3/4 to make it work. Third, while it's not a bad line of action, you could probably strengthen it more and add more contrapposto. Really get that S-curve working for you, it's a little dull so far. Finally, I don't really mind the proportion thing much since the leg length is exaggerated but not too extreme, but the feet hanging like that bug me a bit. Remember to put them in perspective when you start refining the image.

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    I agree with Nezumi, twist the torso a bit and push the curves a bit more. I also think the long legs suit her, being a hot demon chica and all. You could probably play around with the arm a bit too instead of just letting it hang there, maybe have the hand touching her thigh or face or hair or something. I really like the warm skintones in this by the way, looking good

     

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    I agree with Bai Fan. If you don't want to start over completely, a lot of overpainting is needed.

    For one, the pose does not read as seductive -- to me, she looks unsure and awkward. Secondly, it is a bit (pardon me, but I have to say it!) boring. I myself have this very problem, so trust me when I say I know how easy it is to fall into this habit. Look at the pose you've selected: standing up straight, full frontal, feet together, arms hanging at her sides, head almost full-on. Boring! What is she doing, and (most importantly!) why? If she really absolutely must be standing there with her feet together and her arms at her sides, at least give the camera angle a unique twist! Set a mood, show some indication of what's going on.

    I understand that this was just "fast and loose", but the last thing I want to point out is your technique. Your shading style looks very muddy, and I've found that this is typically due to a lack of confidence. Own your strokes! Know where the light hits her and why. For example, look at the left side of her belly -- it seems like you aren't sure how the light should be hitting her, there. Just make up your mind, and stick with it! Use bold, confident strokes, don't be afraid to use strong lines.

    Anyway, I hope my advice helps, a bit. Keep up the hard work!

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bai Fan View Post
    the legs are really, really long.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nezumi Works View Post
    First off, she's off balance to her left.
    Opinions about pose and mood can differ, but why do you give critique that is patently wrong? Attached picture shows that legs are classic 4/8 of height and that she is not off-balance.

    If you must write critique without actually checking, then at least write that you *think* the legs are too long, not that they *are*.

    I will give thought to changing the pose.

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    Okay, crabby. I should have said looks off-balance, and on reflection that's probably because of the lighting on the belly making it look like the upper body is receding rather than being a right-left matter. I apologize for my mistake, and I won't bother commenting on your threads further. Not worth the combativeness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nezumi Works View Post
    Not worth the combativeness.
    Perhaps I got a bit combative after reading Bai Fan's message which reads like "Throw this away and go paint what I would".

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter-NEST View Post
    Perhaps I got a bit combative after reading Bai Fan's message which reads like "Throw this away and go paint what I would".
    You'll find that in general, everyone here on CA is only trying to help you become a better artist. Sometimes "just start over" critiques feel harsh, but in my opinion, you learn more from failed attempts than from successful ones, so take it as a gift.

    I agree with Nezumi Works that it does look off balance. And in what I've seen from this section, his critiques are typically very spot on, helpful, and thorough.
    Everyone who's commented on this thread has used their own time in an attempt to help you rework this; why be difficult?

     

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    Well, in that case, here... let me rebut with a paint over of what I see. I do not see your character as an 8 head model. I see it closer to a 6.5 to 7 head high model. If you look at the breakdowns the femur of each of her legs is as long as her torso giving her the look of disproportionate anatomy because it is much longer than normal. Exaggeration like this is common and sometimes even pushed to show extra femininity or beauty (especially in manga and anime) but since you are claiming it is correct I am assuming that is not your intent here.

    The character looks off balance because it is off balance. Since her right leg is bent and you have painted that one heal is overlapping the other foot we can assume that the front foot is on its ball and the weight is not distributed evenly throughout the foot, meaning that you have your plumbline in the wrong spot. Moving it a bit to the left to a more accurate representation of where her center line should be shows that she is weighted too much on the image's right and makes it look like she would fall over.

    I never mentioned that you should paint how I would. I personally think that getting this painting looking right would take more work than starting over since you are at such an early stage of it... then I offered an alternative that could fix the parts that are working and add a lot of gesture and flow. The torso could be working if you ditch the legs and her right arm. Changing the creature to one with an easier, less recognizable form... especially one that you can have fun with by adding a lot of dynamism though the flowing curves it allows... could really improve what is right now an incredibly boring piece.

    But like Nezumi says, "Not worth the combativeness. "

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    The pose is awkward I agree with bai and nezumi. You cheated the measurements of the head to argue? This is twice now I've seen you take an unsupportable position after asking for critique. Not a good way to get help with your work; you're not that good to be that combative.

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    You cheated the measurements of the head to argue?
    This is too much - head is not spherical and becomes taller when the person is looking down. I would think experienced artists like you or Bai Fan should know that.

     

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    Hey Walter,

    First I wanted to say kudos on your painting technique. Not so much for it technical-ness (which is fine btw), but for it's distinctiveness. I knew within seconds who's art this was, and the only other thing of yours I've ever seen was the Fantasy Warrior. There are a lot of artists who wander aimlessly searching for their own 'personal look and style'. That is one battle I think you've already won.

    Second, something to keep in mind around here is there is a wide variety of crit styles ranging form the 'don't ever pick up a pencil again' to the 'It's perfect, don't change anything ever!!11!!', though most of us are somewhere in between. The thing to keep in mind is that it's your art, you choose what advice to follow and what to ignore. There's no need to get upset, no one here is trying to harm you, we all just want to help (we just go about it from different angles).

    Having said that...you seem to understand the technical intricacies of anatomy, probably from studying art books, or grabbing the pose form poser or some other digital machete. What I feel it's lacking though is that touch of life. Have you done studies of live models? Did you use a reference for this, or was it straight form your educated head/a poser like program? That's what I feel your missing here. for all it's technical accuracy it just doesn't 'feel right'. I'd recommend practicing gesture drawings to really get a feel for living anatomy and the kinetics of the human body.

    Best wishes,

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    I would comment but I hate being wrong.

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    Thanks, truepinkas - you really improved my mood. It's true, I'm more of a technical person and have a bit of trouble with the artistic part of art >.<

    But I'm trying very hard and the "it sucks, start again" is really frustrating me. Moreso that it doesn't really tell me how to make it better next time.

    I spent few more hours on it... Even if the pose isn't good it is still a practice in painting human skin.

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    Well I'm glad you didn't give up on it. And I like it!

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    Coming out great! I did a really crappy paint over, but it may help ya with posing or proportion...

    IMHO you should work more on her upper half. And maybe show her arm and type of sword.

    But hey, the colors and lightning are nice!



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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod.windt View Post
    Coming out great! I did a really crappy paint over, but it may help ya with posing or proportion...

    IMHO you should work more on her upper half. And maybe show her arm and type of sword.

    But hey, the colors and lightning are nice!
    That linked picture is dead.

     

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    I think you're taking the "it sucks, start over" the wrong way. I don't want to step on Bai Fan's toes here, but I suspect the thinking was that the original image was a thumbnail since you'd commented on it being loose and quick. It's easy to say "this isn't working quite right, take another run at it" when something's in thumbnail stage, since that's the point to thumbnails. They're quick and rough, and therefore disposable. So I don't think Bai Fan was being meanspirited in the slightest, but understandably saying "you could strengthen this, and the time to do it is before you invest a lot into the image". It's possible that you might not do a lot of work with thumbnails, and if so I can imagine it probably wouldn't come off so clearly from your point of view.

    At least that's the impression I get.

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    Yep, that was kinda the idea. Trying to avoid the piece getting to this point with so many things out of whack. I think it is funny though, because with all the "technical skill"... the things that looked wrong in the sketch look wrong in the rendered... but now they're shiny.

    Well done. Stuck to your guns and didn't improve a bit.

    I know that it will go in one ear and out the other, but here is one last attempt oh wise one. Breasts rarely aim forwards. Since the ribcage is not flat, breasts tend to hang off of it angled outwards. Nipples tend to follow the outward direction of the breasts... not aimed directly at us as seen here. And her right clavicle looks broken.

     

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    Just curious, is she intended to be in high heels when this is done?

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    She will have high heels and bra - her right clavicle is really wrong though, Im gonna fix that.

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter-NEST View Post

    But I'm trying very hard and the "it sucks, start again" is really frustrating me. Moreso that it doesn't really tell me how to make it better next time.
    I believe you are trying hard but you're not working in the right way, nor with the right attitude.

    It is important to understand there are some tried and true methods to studying and developing as an artist. One of the keys is to do many, many studies - of all kinds. Studies of elements and parts of anatomy, studies of composition, studies of value/lighting, studies of gesture, studies of long pose, portrait studies, clothed studies, etc. All of that knowledge/practice begins to come together and you can push toward more and more complex illustrations and scenes. You need to lose the idea that each piece you do has to be perfect - this will free you up from feeling defensive about your work and put you on the right track for growth.

    Think about it like learning to play music/guitar (I imagine your familiar with music - most people seem to inherently understand what goes into it). Musicians spend countless hours practicing little bits and pieces - working out fingering, rhythms, chord changes, etc. They don't spend a month on one song, hammering it to death, and certainly not at the expense of practicing other elements of development.

    As far as this piece goes, I agree with the comments on it being awkward and Bai Fan's original comment to start over was perhaps the best. The gesture, anatomy and balance are even a bit further off now. Her hips are way off - no tilt to them even though it looks like you tried to get that, which indicates you just need to work more from life or study anatomy and gesture as much as possible. There is no sense of contraposto that this stance actually requires and makes the female very alluring. Basically there are a lot of things that are off, as people have mentioned, and we could give you detailed critique on each thing but it really doesn't help when the understanding isn't there.

    So I don't know if that will help much. Some really excellent advice has been offered by some really great people. We all share similar experiences and interests and have far more in common than differences. IMO you should feel grateful they offer their time and learn to not take critique personally, or don't post work to be critiqued. Hitting the "Thanks" button would probably help too.

    You have potential I think, just need to step back and relax a bit.

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    Each new post leaves me stupified as I wonder whether the poster can be looking at same picture as I do. I'm not sure what else to say at the moment.

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter-NEST View Post
    Each new post leaves me stupified as I wonder whether the poster can be looking at same picture as I do. I'm not sure what else to say at the moment.
    Nevermind. I figured I'd be wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter-NEST View Post
    Each new post leaves me stupified as I wonder whether the poster can be looking at same picture as I do. I'm not sure what else to say at the moment.
    No, we are looking at the same picture. YOU are looking at a different picture - your own picture. All artists will find it hard to look objectively at their own work; this is why they will flip their drawing around, look at it from another angle/distance etc. Being able to see one's own errors is very important, and it's something you/all of us must practice.

    Marlee is right that generally, everyone on CA is out to help you - and all the posts in this thread are very valid and constructive.

    I put something together in photoshop to illustrate the points people have made so far. Also, a reference to Andrew Loomis' Figure Drawing For All It's Worth. You probably know the book already, but there you go. A little mannequin of my own, too; I don't think it's very accurate, but I hope you get the idea.

    1. See how the hips and shoulder have opposite directions? Tension!
    2. Stronger line of action.
    3. Tilt of the head gives attitude.
    4. Look at the legs - they protrude or retreat in space, as indicated by the ellipses in my mannequin.
    5. Turned the torso a bit, as Nezumi pointed out.
    6. Breasts a little lower on the torso.
    7. The reason Nezumi and others think she looks off-balance is because she's leaning to her left, while you painted the weight as if it was on her right leg! If the torso was leaning just a slight bit more to her right, it would solve the problem.

    Your rendering is pretty good; she looks solid, so that's good. So now when you ask for critique, consider it - if somebody says something is off, it most likely is. Consider WHY people point out what they do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter-NEST View Post
    Each new post leaves me stupified as I wonder whether the poster can be looking at same picture as I do. I'm not sure what else to say at the moment.
    Yup, they are seeing the same picture, and reading the same comments you are too. Let me use some cut and paste magic and show you the conversation from their perspective.

    You:"...What do you think about the result so far? I also tried to put her into slightly seductive pose, does it work?"

    Them: "I would say ditch it and try again. The pose is really too vertical..."

    "I think this one is workable if...Demons are disproportionate anyway...." - Hint, even this positive person is telling you the proportions seem off, and is suggesting the crutch of 'but it's not a human...'

    "First off...Second...Third..."

    You:"...why do you give critique that is patently wrong?... at least write that you *think*...I will give thought to changing the pose." - Hint, You're basically saying 'shut up, I checked it already and i don't care what you say'. Also you said you'd think about changing the pose. Not that you'd do thumbnails and try different things out, but rather that right now your not doing anything about it, don't plan to do anything about it, but you'll think about it.

    "Perhaps I got a bit combative after..." Hint, you're telling them that you decided you are willing to receive crits again, had you not said this, I thin the thread woudl have died right here.

    Them: "...everyone here on CA is only trying to help you..."

    *Here are more crits trying to encapsulate why it doesn't feel right, we're not always spot on, but clearly something is off and we're trying to nail it down for you.

    You: "This is too much..." - Hint, you're IMMEDIATELY back on the defensive, your not having a dialog with them about why you disagree, your again telling them to shut up, you've checked it and it's fine.
    ________________________________

    Do you see the pattern? The reality is crits are imprecise, they are opinions, feelings, personal perspectives. Being able to use them well involves a dialog. I can see and understand your frustration, but I can also see and understand their frustration. To them, there is something off, they want you to maximize the efficiency of your time, to get the most improvement per min put into a piece, each time they attempt to nail down the issues, you slap them on the back of the hand with a ruler...They are trying, it's just that in this case what feels so off that you got 18 comments in 2 days isn't as simple as a technical issue (although there are some of those).

    The art of critiques is just as hard if not harder than the art of art.

    Last edited by Truepinkas; April 16th, 2010 at 06:50 AM.
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    dpaint is offline Registered User Level 16 Gladiator: Spartacus' Retiarii
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    So it still looks awkward because you didn't fix the pose but the rendering has helped a little with the proportion. The face has big problems with drawing and lighting, did you not have reference and make it up? The light on her face is inconsistant with the rest of her especially around her chin.

    Here is the problem with the way I think you are using ref. You are picking ref and getting the idea from it instead of the other way around. If you would listen to people about developing an idea first through thumbs and comps you wouldn't have this problem. Don't go for ref until you have a fully formed idea of the image, subject and background. This way you avoid ending up with a pose that looks like a runway model who can't walk in heels with horns on her head. What is demonic about this image? Even for practice you need to put some effort into making something more than a copy of a poser model or someone elses photo. Dramatic lighting, expression, body language, this lacks all these things. Pose your own models this will foce you to make decisions about all these things from the start.

     

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