Creature Portrait
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  1. #1
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    Creature Portrait

    I spent about 5 hours on this one, nose is looking a little bold. Rip into me please don't hold back.

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  2. #2
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    Please take this crit with a big grain of salt! You hit a nerve of mine. Now if only I had the technical skill to follow my own advice.

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    Well, as long as you don't mind ripping: It's boring. I've seen creatures like this (humans that have been distorted to be more bloblike) often enough that they don't interest me anymore. I'd redo the concept before worrying about the technical side of things.


    FWIW, here's the tips that I come back to when I'm trying to do the same thing. Hopefully they'll give you some ideas.

    - Before you go on, you could save a copy to experiment with. Maybe you could emphasize the things that make the character unique: the weird ear, the bizarrely circular mouth, the way that the jaw seems concave on the near side. In fact, maybe try a bunch of things! Exaggerate them more until it turns into a monstrosity. Understate them until it looks mostly human: just "off" enough to be profoundly creepy. Mess around with distort and spherize and whatever tools, then treat the results like thumbnail image and re-draw it. Pick the version that makes you feel something (disgusted, creeped out, on edge, amused? Anything besides passing interest) and post it back up.

    - Maybe it would help to have a story in mind while you do this. I heard that tip re: backgrounds and animations in separate threads, and it's an excellent idea. Who or what is this? What's going on? Is he a human who just gave up? Then there would be a lingering dismay behind the blankness of his eyes. Is it a zombie? Then instead of lingering dismay, there might be lingering shock. Maybe both. (Shell-shocked into blankness...) Is it nothing but a mindless monstrosity? Then maybe absolute blankness would work better.

    And if the picture's only purpose is to show an interesting creature, that's fine. I love those! But make sure that it's interesting.


    ETA: As an sidenote, I just realized that I like the thumbnail view a whole lot more. I think it's the facial expression, but it might also be the solidity/volume/values; they look a lot better in the thumbnail.

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  4. #3
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    Just to augment Furiana's post, I believe the main difference between the thumbnail and the large size is that in the large size, the guy's eyes are blank with those hazy highlights, whereas in the thumbnail, the highlights look like the whites of the eyes which makes the guy look like he's looking at the viewer, totally changing the feeling of the image. A lot more connected and creepy looking, so I would suggest doing that (giving the guy human-like eyes that are looking at the viewer).

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  6. #4
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    A picture is worth a thousand words so I did a draw over. I'm not sure exactly what you were going for with your guy, but here's my take which illustrates I think the key points you should look out for:

    -With a portrait like this you can go from your darkest darks to the strongest highlights of white to really pop your figure and the anatomy.

    -Some of the anatomy in the face was still pretty fuzzy so it's hard to determine what's holding him together. If you're going for blobby, skinny, muscly, scaley, or decaying let us know with hints of fat folds or hanging skin.

    . I loved what was happening with the ear. I say emphasize it with more red tones and translucency.

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  8. #5
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    Not sure if the people above me talked about this issue but i think your starting your painting with soft brushes making your picture vary soft and hazy, which in turns makes your entire image bland without anything to "Pop out". When starting out try more solid brushes and when you get to a good point then blend in the colors, that way you can have more a grasp of where this image can go or what things to blend or leave with hard strokes.

    rainblades example is perfect. see how he's strokes don't really have falloff most of them are hard brushes with opacity set low or higher.

    Also since he's a monster/alien type creature you can experiment with diferent skin textures to make him even more intresting. Maybe even adding drool coming out his mouth and/or nose.

    cheers

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  10. #6
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    @furiana - Very good points, usually I go through more of a developement process to give my 'creatures' more character and looking at it now it is very obvious to me that it is lacking. I find that it is not till I look at my digi paintings half a day later that all the flaws in it show. But I decided to post this up straight after I'd decided it was finished. Unfortunatly I wont have the time to work on this guy for awhile, if ever.

    @wooblood - When I was painting him I was playing with the idea that he was blind. Therefore he probably wouldn't be looking at the veiwer. also when I started him I was thinking of him holding something upto his mouth to eat which would've made the scene more understandable. But I never got around to that.

    @Rainblade - I love what you have done with the paintover it really clarifies ways I could go about giving him more substance and you have corrected some problems I had with the face's structure. Awesome.

    @LuckyDevil - I did start with a chunkier brush, you can see the strokes around the nose area. Once I had finished painting I went around the outside with a smudge then overlayed some canvas textures onto the image which really did smooth it out. Overall I got close to the look I wanted to achieve, which is the creature kinda looming out of a foggy hazy swampy place, but it has made it somewhat bland. If I was to try this again I would try keep the focal point chunkier and stronger in colour much like Rainblade's paintover is.

    Thanks to all.

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  11. #7
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    I find the same thing with the flaws. It drives me crazy. eekolite recently reminded me to step back for a while when working, but it sounds like you already know what you're doing...

    I hope you'll be doing a sketchbook, btw! I took a look through your other threads, and the concepts came across well in those, esp. the human/cyborg. Just because the swampy fog haze didn't work this time doesn't mean it won't work next time, you know? And I want to be there when you get it right, even if that's on another picture. Forget bland; you'll know how to do it better. The fog'll make it epic instead!

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  12. #8
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    Haha thanks Furiana. Yea I should be doing a sketchbook reasonably soon when I get the time. Me and a school friend are working on a graphic novel. The whole thing will be released online to view and I have so many sketches and half finished digi paints to upload that I have done for its development. If your serious about keeping up with it I'll make sure I remember to IM you when I get it started your critical opinion will always be welcome and I'll make sure I return the favour.

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  13. #9
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    Sounds fantastic!

    And definitely send me the message when you do. I've got this thread bookmarked, but better safe than sorry: there's a lot going on around here!

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