Need some advice! Please Crit!
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  1. #1
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    Smile Need some advice! Please Crit!

    Name:  reedwip.jpg
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    This is my Original Character named Reed. I'm in the process of coloring him and would really love to get some critiques.

    I spent about 15 hrs. on this so far and still have a long ways to go. The abs were the most difficult part to color. It always ended up looking like "W's" or shiny balls . After re-coloring the abs about 4-5 times I've finally got it to look like this and I'm still not quite happy with it! Another troublesome part was the neck and color bone.

    So if anyone got any advice/tips on how to color the abs and neck or if you see any other imperfections please let me know. I'd really appreciate it!

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    I think where his hand is resting on his shorts looks a little forced, but the rest is beautiful. Gorgeous coloring job. :]

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    What you have isn't bad, but my advice would be to find some photo-reference for the lighting--i.e., a similarly posed figure in an outdoor setting. Right now there isn't much of a sense of light and shadow in the piece---and that makes it difficult to render forms.

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    ditto on the lighting. he doesnt feel 'connected' with the bg. also, the little random hairs for facial hair looks good on sketches, but when you fully render the picture like you did, the random hairs look awkward in my opinion

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    Very nice! You might do this when you add the eye brows but he may need more shadow where the forehead and the nose connects.

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    His right hand looks contrived. Definitely needs more structure.

    Elbow structure is incorrect: the biceps are not connecting in the right place, and there is no hint of the forearm muscles. Collarbones are too straight and incorrectly placed - there is a mismatch between them and the ribcage. Shoulder arcs are misplaced and do not support the deltoids correctly. Sternocleidomastoids are contrived. Some other anatomy is off.

    The shadows are likewise all contrived. This is all unconvincing guesswork so far. Think of where the light is coming from!

    Squint and look at the picture. You'll see that the sky and the figure are not only the same brightness, but almost the same hue as well. Unless your figure is glowing under its own power, it cannot be brighter than the sky!

    In short, stop guessing and work out the general lighting in a small thumbnail, work out the anatomy, work out the lighting on the anatomy, then return to the painting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arenhaus View Post
    His right hand looks contrived. Definitely needs more structure.

    Elbow structure is incorrect: the biceps are not connecting in the right place, and there is no hint of the forearm muscles. Collarbones are too straight and incorrectly placed - there is a mismatch between them and the ribcage. Shoulder arcs are misplaced and do not support the deltoids correctly. Sternocleidomastoids are contrived. Some other anatomy is off.

    The shadows are likewise all contrived. This is all unconvincing guesswork so far. Think of where the light is coming from!

    Squint and look at the picture. You'll see that the sky and the figure are not only the same brightness, but almost the same hue as well. Unless your figure is glowing under its own power, it cannot be brighter than the sky!

    In short, stop guessing and work out the general lighting in a small thumbnail, work out the anatomy, work out the lighting on the anatomy, then return to the painting.
    Wow! That was harsh... I've actually used a reference to draw this. So this is very far from just "guesswork" my friend. As for the "Sternocleidomastoids" I don't even know what the hell that is but I'm sure you used it to make yourself feel "smart," good for you!

    I'm basically a self-taught artist, I'm really a graphic designer. So I don't know all the names of the muscles in the body.

    I do agree that his collarbone doesn't match up with his ribcage, so I'll go ahead and fix that.

    As for the lighting, I was thinking on using 2 different light sources. But if it doesn't work out, I'll just create a new background to make him blend in more with his surroundings.

    I do agree that the elbows look a bit weird, so I'll look into that and try to fix it. Thanks for the advice! (Well, some of it.)

    Next time, when you give a critique, state both the good and the bad or try to be "gentler" with your words so you won't come off as a jerk, k?

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    I don't think what arenhaus said was harsh, it was a critique, and it was mild compared to some critiques I've seen! Don't take it personally The artists here are phenomenal and if you take what they say and apply it to your work, you will be as well!

    The Sternocleidomastoids is the muscle connecting the jaw/ear area to the collarbone area. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sternocleidomastoid_muscle

    Good start! The coloring is looking very vivid.

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    arenhaus didn't come off as a jerk... A jerk would say your work is useless, give it up, you are blind or whatnot. You got critique. You know, the flaws are the ones those should be pointed at in order to improve the picture in question. A minimal style comment pointing out some flaws often seems to be harsh, it's true, but don't be rude to the one who offered crits using up some of his free time.

    By the way, I was surprised about the flowering comments. I agree with arenhouse (till the extent my still beginner self is able to determine it).

    I can't put my finger into it but the figure seems to be made of plastic... Beautifully rendered plastic, I admit I'd love if I could do that.

    Last edited by shiNIN; April 27th, 2010 at 10:07 AM. Reason: I wrote arenhaus's nick wrong. My bad.
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    Definitely do not take things so personally SyreetaG. arenhaus's critique DEFINITELY could have been worse. He at least took the time out to give you some honest, sincere feedback. And I'm going to have to agree with a lot of what he said. It may seem "harsh" but the truth can be harsh sometimes. TRUST ME we've all been there. But yeah...

    My first impression is this piece just seems so... uptight. LOOSEN UP a bit! The way you painted this gives me anxiety for some reason LOL! Everything is SOOOoooo perfect and smooth and overworked. I can tell you like zoom in on each section and have to make it PERFECT before you can move on to the next part. Like for the eyes example. Why not IMMEDIATELY just throw them? I would HIGHLY recommend taking a break from this and doing some gesture drawings. Go to DeviantArt or Flickr or whatever and find some nude stock photos and do EXTREMELY quick studies. Like 30 second drawings. Draw FAST and move all over the page. Then do 1 min studies... then 5 min studies. Do tons and tons of them! It might sound weird but its something that helped me TREMENDOUSLY in art school.

    The problem with the way you work is you spend SO MUCH time on one part that if you realize later the proportion is wrong you have to go back and change it and its like "UUUUUGH" By moving around the "page" constantly it will help you see mistakes in the beginning. If you start at the right eye, for example, and work for 2 hours making that eye PERFECT... then move on to the left eye, spend 2 hours making that eye PERFECT... then you step back and will realize the eyes are placed in the wrong position or something and just wasted 4 hours...

    The best advice I learned in Art School was CONSTANTLY move around a painting. If you find yourself obsessing over one area, STOP and move to a different spot.

    But yeah, you have the talent, you just need to loosen up! DO THOSE GESTURE DRAWINGS! You won't regret it.

    I KNOW this is cheesy and gross self-promotion, but it's the only way I can think of trying to explain what I mean by moving all over the page. I do "speed paintings" or used to... well they're not really speed paintings, more like time lapsed recording of me digitally painting. But watch this one and notice how I move all around constantly. I'm DEFINITELY guilty of getting stuck on section like an eye or mouth, but when I notice I'm doing it I will immediately take a step back and work on something else. You can see starting around 0:50 that I start laying in the BASIC colors of her face and I start zooming in on her eye and get stuck there. I realize what I'm doing and I zoom out and notice the proportions are off (after getting locked in on her face) and so I SCRRIBLE IT OUT! I feel like you are afraid to do that. DON'T BE AFRAID!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOPBbjD-WQw

    BTW I am DEFINITELY no expert and am guilty of doing everything I've listed above. I am still struggling with painting and am constantly learning so yeah... Just wanted to throw that out there.

    I hope some of this helped a little bit! GOOD LUCK!!!

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    @ goldilockz, shiNIN, cuptow555

    Thanks a lot for the advice and help! I really appreciate it.

    It's hard not to take his critism personally after he called my work "contrived" and accuse me of "guesswork." Especially after spending a lot of hours working on it, coloring and re-coloring parts of the image, and studying a reference to make sure I'm doing everything right. The line that got to me was "This is all unconvincing guesswork so far." That one pissed me off... I'm not gonna apologize for my response, cause he could've said everything he said in his post in a nicer tone and I wouldn't mind at all. Anyway, I'm over it.

    cuptow555
    You're absolutely right! I do spent a lot of time focusing on one part of the painting! I do it all the time. I push myself to do the best work possible, 'cause I want to see my skills improve and become a better artist. I'm always striving to make my work look "perfect." Sometimes I think I'm pushing myself too hard because I always end up frustrated and angry that my work isn't perfect enough.

    I did look at your speed painting video. It was very interesting to see how you create your work from start to finish, I really enjoyed it. After checking out your video I looked at other people's speed painting vid's. It was all very inspiring. I didn't even know those vid's exist on youtube, thanks for introducing me to them!

    I will also take your advice on doing quick gesture drawings, If it worked for you, maybe it'll work miracles for me!

    Thanks again!

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    Gomen kudasai gozaimashita. I was under an impression you wanted critique, since you posted this in the Critique forum under the headline of "Need some advice! Please Crit!", so I mistakenly omitted the proper appeasements.

    If I may presume a moment of irrelevant commentary on what your illustrious self most certainly knows much better than your humble servant, your industriousness has, for reasons too sublime for the lesser minds to comprehend, chosen to deviate from the normal human anatomy in this most excellent picture.

    You say you are a graphic designer as if that makes you exempt from the requirements of lighting and composition. You say you used "reference" as if that makes you immune from misunderstanding said reference. But you do seem to have misinterpreted a few things. Check the shape of collarbones and attachment of deltoids, the structure of elbow joints, and the muscles of the ribcage. The nose does not quite match the eye sockets. The rectus abdomini muscles are kind of formulaic, too.

    The sternocleidomastoids you completely misunderstood; they consist of a rounded band of muscle stretching from behind the ear to the sternum (attached with a narrow tendon) and collarbone (attached with a deeper, wider base), a fusion of two slightly crosswise muscles. They are quite thick and straight; you have drawn very narrow, crisp, curved ridges in their place.

    Overall, the impression I get is that of a naive visual copy, not of well-researched and well-understood structure of the body. Which is why I said it was "guesswork" and "contrived" - you can get guesswork even with reference in front of your eyes, if you don't quite know what you see. Sadly, it matters little how much time you spend on your work. If the result is not that great, no one will care whether you spent a whole year perfecting it. They'll just see it's not that great.

    As a tip: it is easier to paint a figure into the background than to paint a background to match a figure. The background provides the environment for the figure, so it is easy to figure the lighting and colors out. The opposite is, well, very tricky. No sense make your task harder.

    Another tip: don't let your work become too precious to you. Sketches must be cheap; they are tools for figuring things out, not treasures. You should never hesitate to test things with a pencil on another scrap of paper, or a tiny color thumbnail, before you proceed to alter an expensive, detailed painting. It's simple economy.

    Last edited by arenhaus; April 27th, 2010 at 10:11 AM.
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    goldilockz, shiNIN, cuptow555 - thanks for help and the most constructive attitude!

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    I know the feeling when someone works on something several hours wishing to create something epic... I did it a few times. It was usually a fail... Drawing is hard...

    The fact you used a reference and spent many hours on the pictures, fortunately, doesn't mean it's correct. We criticize what we SEE. We may be wrong, of course, especially the beginners like me.

    Knowing the muscle names are useful here.
    I know many of them and I'm a programmer who wish to draw nearly perfect humans one day. It's not a must and you needn't to know all but knowing the names of the most important ones helps in some situations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arenhaus View Post
    ... If I may presume a moment of irrelevant commentary on what your illustrious self most certainly knows much better than your humble servant, your industriousness has, for reasons too sublime for the lesser minds to comprehend, chosen to deviate from the normal human anatomy in this most excellent picture...


    Completely unnecessary. I agree with a lot of what you said, but you don't have to come off as so arrogant and rude.

    Your first post was not rude at all IMO, but this one... took it a little too far.

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    Not only SyreentaG, but arenhaus can be sensitive too... He reacted in a more ironic style (instead of calling names). I can understand it (and try to feel ashamed that I found the first half of his post amusing. I fail). He must be mature to change to a serious style later and wrote really useful advices.
    I had a period when my little wrong wip drawings were "too precious" to me *shudder*.

    I hope that we won't scare off SyreentaG... It's normally a cool place where one can learn a lot and SyreentaG's attitude has some nice sides, there are some skills and wish to improve... We've seen really bad ones already (neverending excuses without taking a single advice and extreme rudeness, we were called elitist faggots by an unskilled copycat ), this case is different. Right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by arenhaus View Post
    Gomen kudasai gozaimashita. I was under an impression you wanted critique, since you posted this in the Critique forum under the headline of "Need some advice! Please Crit!", so I mistakenly omitted the proper appeasements.

    If I may presume a moment of irrelevant commentary on what your illustrious self most certainly knows much better than your humble servant, your industriousness has, for reasons too sublime for the lesser minds to comprehend, chosen to deviate from the normal human anatomy in this most excellent picture.
    Thanks for validating my original response to your critique! I had you pegged as a jerk. Admittingly, I could've been wrong about you seeing as I don't know you at all, but this response seems to validate my opinion about you, so thanks!

    I could return the favor and be as insulting and rude to you and your artwork, but I'm not going to go that route as I see it as being juvenile and immature.

    Last edited by SyreetaG; April 27th, 2010 at 01:14 PM.
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    ^^; I think this doesn't need to carry on any longer. He could have worded it better, but the reason you can't take it personally is because people don't really know your intentions or the time you put in (or didn't) into your work. It might sting, but it's best to just be a little more detached I think.

    That being said, while you don't need to know every single bone or muscle in the body, I think the most glaring problem has already been stated in that it's the lighting. Another thing you might want to consider is to not define the abs too much, and kind of let the natural shadows and light do that for you. They're a little blockish atm, and could probably benefit from not having too harsh of highlights.

    It's sort of a minor detail, but the thumb could be pulling on the rim(?) of the pants a bit maybe, or at least look like it's interacting with it a little more (maybe tucked in a little, etc).

    "It's not rocket surgery." _Sebudai
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiNIN View Post
    Not only SyreentaG, but arenhaus can be sensitive too... He reacted in a more ironic style (instead of calling names). I can understand it (and try to feel ashamed that I found the first half of his post amusing. I fail). He must be mature to change to a serious style later and wrote really useful advices.
    I had a period when my little wrong wip drawings were "too precious" to me *shudder*.

    I hope that we won't scare off SyreentaG... It's normally a cool place where one can learn a lot and SyreentaG's attitude has some nice sides, there are some skills and wish to improve... We've seen really bad ones already (neverending excuses without taking a single advice and extreme rudeness, we were called elitist faggots by an unskilled copycat ), this case is different. Right?
    I'm not going any where. I will finish this piece and post updates. I could take criticism as long as its delivered in a polite and helpful manner. Whenever I give critiques, I try to word it in a way that is helpful and won't discourage an artist from completing or fixing their work. I didn't disagree with what arenhaus said, it's how he said it, is what bothers me. It makes him come off as someone less than nice. As you can see I did agree with most of the mistakes he pointed out.

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    Maybe I was wrong in being so sarcastic. But, well, when a person asks for critique and gets it and then begins complaining that it was not delivered in the manner they wanted it to be - with sweetener - and going right down to personal insults, even calling names...

    SyreetaG, this is conceptart.org. This is its critique board. This isn't a place to seek admiration; it's a workshop. It is normal here to discuss what could be improved in posted work, straight. People here help each other to improve their skills. We are all in the same mess, and generally we don't think we are too good to learn from others - it does not help improvement.

    Four people, in good spirit, have taken time and effort to review your work, give you specific pointers, advise you on methods, give you general tips, hint on your counterproductive attitude, even explain terms that you could have looked up in Google yourself but instead preferred to keep your haughty I-cannot-be-bothered stance. You say you were "reinforced" in your opinion? Well, fine, you are entitled to your opinion. I am sure you will find many admirers who'll serve your delicate taste much better than the unpalatable me.

    All luck to you in your endeavors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cuptow555 View Post


    Completely unnecessary. I agree with a lot of what you said, but you don't have to come off as so arrogant and rude.

    Your first post was not rude at all IMO, but this one... took it a little too far.
    *sigh* After she got all defensive and made personal slurs in response to what was blunt but valid - I can substantiate every point! - critique, I couldn't resist the temptation to turn on the sarcasm thrower at her character... My bad, I know, I know. Must resist the impulse...


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    Quote Originally Posted by arenhaus View Post
    *sigh* After she got all defensive and made personal slurs in response to what was blunt but valid - I can substantiate every point! - critique, I couldn't resist the temptation to turn on the sarcasm thrower at her character... My bad, I know, I know. Must resist the impulse...


    Lawls! I understand arenhaus

    And SyreetaG you need to build up a tougher skin, the world is NOT a nice place, no matter what industry you are in! It's REALLY hard, trust me I can relate to you more than you know. I have had MUCH worse things said to me in person and in public critiques during art school. It's just something that comes with the territory. If you immediately put up that wall you will go no where with your art and you will be the only one that loses.

    So yeah... enough on this topic! *facepalm*

    Can't wait to see an update of this piece!

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