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Comments and critiques please!
Commissioned piece for a short story. Still have a little ways to go, as the dude on the right and the window light are still in their experimental stage.
Last edited by ZombieMariachis; July 6th, 2010 at 01:12 PM.
Nice start. The room feels a little wonky/distracting because the ceiling-floor isn't parallel. The same with the opposing walls.
The woman needs to be more integrated into the scene - she seems kinda pasted in. The man on the right even more so - but you did say you're still working on that.
Hope this helps!
Clochette: Talent is the ability to work your ass off, you fool. You're right not everyone has it. Some people rather waste time in stoopid argument and trolling.
Interesting concept, and by themselves all the individual elements look pretty good. They aren't quite coming together in the picture though- all the characters seem to be lit by different light sources, and that strong streetlight in the back doesn't seem to be hitting anything in the room at all. By themselves, I think everyone look really good though, so just work on unifying the image now.
Definitely some quality work on the way here. Can't wait to see it finished.
Until then though, here's some notes:
1) As Bartdeco pointed out, the perspective is off: if it was your intention to slant the whole picture, it needs to be made more apparent, but otherwise it's just off. Additionally, the figures in the foreground both look too small compared to the chair and the guy sitting behind the table. Try enlarging them a little bit, and don't be afraid to clip part of the figures off the page!!
2) Who lives in a house like this? This place is boring and not captivating. It needs a human touch: photos on the wall, dressers, furniture, rugs, etc. Also is the floor cement? It's hard to tell. And given the state of that wall, maybe some debris and junk hanging around the apartment, maybe which got blown in by the wind or which is residual from the building's decrepit state? Not sure how those blinds are still so perfectly intact, either.
3) Lighting is on its way, but there's no focal point. I look to the woman, sure, but right now everything is pointing at her breasts, which is kind of an odd way to design a picture. Other than the red on her dress, everything is very washed out and in dire need of some subtle hints of saturation. Furthermore, the figures demand stronger silhouettes in front of the hole in the wall, given they are backlit. Sn extreme rim-light would be nice, as well as some bright highlights on the water where the streetlamp is coming through the hole. Really, some bright highlights period would sell this; key points of saturation create a feeling of light much more than white vs. black does, and as it is this image is feeling a little monochromatic. Push that background back, too. There isn't enough space between the wall and the outside world, and it's helping to wash out that character. Maybe darken the character up a bit, if you're afraid to push the outside values too light or dark? Worth testing, anyway.
4) This goes in with the lighting, but the people stand out too far from the background because they all are super hard-edged. They need to be lit in key places, and the rest of them should fade subtly in the shadows, blending slightly with the background.
5) Also, just noticed, the neon light is riding a bad tangent with the side and corner of that table, and the other corner is riding a tangent with the building.
Thinking I might provide a paintover if you want!
I think you could get away with the wonky room if you dropped the left hand bottom corner a bit.
The perspective of the room is not necessarily off. It's in two-point perspective. We are standing near the left corner of the room, so we are closer to the opposite left corner than to the right corner diagonally from us. This difference in distance allows the right corner to diminish compared to the left. (here's a photo of that effect) Although in that case the buildings in the background do not have the same perspective.
I think the main problem is the lighting. There are some inconsistencies, as someone already mentioned. Also, there might be a bit too much contrast in the street tones. I'd try to keep more contrast inside and let the outdoors be dulled a bit. One other thing about the outdoor area is that the fog on the right side looks "photoshop-brushed", so could use some more lovin. The last thing I'm noticing is that the face of the guy on the right looks a bit flat. I think this could be fixed by darkening the center of his face, since the light hardly reaches that part of his head.
I really like the overall mood by the way. Good luck with it
I think the perspective is fine if you just rotate it a bit so that it feels the viewer is level with everything. Right now it feels like I'm tilting my head a bit, like I'm drunk, or dizzy, or wounded somehow. If you want to tilt the whole image there needs to be a clear reason for it. Like a slanted horizon while flying an aircraft.
Other than that, I don't really believe the way these people are posing or their relationship in the room together. The two standing figures ignore the man sitting behind, and the one guy seems to want to grab the woman's ass. When you group these figures together, you're telling a story. So what do you want to tell? Are they talking to each other? Waiting silently? I'd rethink this.
Hmmm, the people is where the perspective is really off, not the room itself. Look how much bigger that woman is compared to the standing man! It's like she's sunk through the floor somehow. That dwarf of a guy needs to be taller, she needs to be raised and shrunk a bit, and then you need to go into all of this with proper lighting, which will be very tough, but well worth it in the end.
Lol didn't notice that before, but I see it now. And he's doing it suavely.Originally Posted by TASmithand the one guy seems to want to grab the woman's ass
The guy is quite a bit smaller. I thought to myself he probably could just be short. But there's no doubt his height creates a sort of unpleasing effect. Especially because the head of the woman is nearly level with the head of the guy.
Wow, tons of advice here! As soon as I get home from work I'll start working in some of the suggestions here.
Also, any paintovers to illustrate your points are very welcome!
The woman is actually the correct size, but the chairs I think are part of the problem. Those chairs are huge! Go stand next to a chair. How high does it go up on you? Maybe just above your hips? Imagine how big that chair you made would be in real life, and that table too. A little silly right? They're up to her bellybutton! The guy sitting and the chair on the left are correct, but the front of the table is out of perspective and it's throwing off the way that chair is designed. Because of that chair, I want to make the woman bigger, when the real problem is actually the table.
And yeah MeDrawUC is absolutely right. I understand two point perspective, but this is too exaggerated for the angle at which we are viewing. The line shouldn't be horizontal, but it shouldn't be this slanted. Rotating it should fix the image if you're careful not to make everything look like it is slanting the other way.
I just noticed her dress is riding dangerously close to a tangent on the edge of the image. Expanding the canvas or shifting the whole image up slightly might do the trick.
Also the destroyed wall doesn't seem to have any depth now that I look at it. Given the perspective, we should see more of the side of each brick and not just a flat line.
hope it helps! Paintover on the way.
My CA Sketchbook
My biggest complaint is the distant background needs more atmosphere. It's actually more sharp and defined then the foreground characters. After that I have to say the composition is pretty weak. Especially since noire is all about composition. This does not live up to the genre. This looks like something from that mafia wars app.
Don't Mind if I do. Notice how the two characters on the side blend into the environment, so the eye is never lead off track. I recommend old noir films. Orson Wells, Kubric and Scorsese are great examples. Sin City is a great comic to look at for this genre. Caravaggio is the absolute source of the noir composition imho.
Last edited by Raoul Duke; July 7th, 2010 at 03:48 AM.
The perspective of the table and chairs is different than the rest of the room. The fella sitting in back is proportional but the chair in the mid-ground is distorted to fill the gap between the two perspectives.
The left side of the page is heavier than the right. I would throw a light hanging from the ceiling, put a television or small bookshelf by or under the window. Throw some garbage on the floor.
The people in the foreground seem like they're meant to be memories of better times or apparitions. If that's the case, make them less solid. If they're supposed to be physically there, try blending them into the scene a little more. They look almost like paper cut outs.
"Astronomy offers an aesthetic indulgence not duplicated in any other field. This is not an academic or hypothetical attraction and should require no apologies, for the beauty to be found in the skies has been universally appreciated for unrecorded centuries."
i like the idea of moving the characters and croping the scene.
The thing that stood out to me immediately was that I wasnt sure what the background was. It actually isnt very clear. That might be because it lacks atmosphere so it isnt separated from the foreground too well.
It also bugs me that the man standing up has his hand out like he expects something from the woman. To me that feels out of place. The man sitting with the newspaper over his head has the right attitude.
Good work overall, just needs some tightening i think. Cool piece.
I think everyone's comments sum up the problems I've been having with a lot of my work lately. I can paint from life and references all day, but have great trouble planning out compelling compositions with no references.
I've just started getting back into painting after wasting about eight years with little progress. I guess I would just get frustrated due to the aforementioned problem and take bad shortcuts, or just give up altogether. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is thanks for all the help. I wish I would have found this place much sooner, as you all have opened my eyes to things I have been taking for granted.
I worked on the painting a little last night, but would like to do a little more before uploading another progress shot. Please keep the comments and paintovers flowing though, they’re helping a ton.
Alright here's a quick paintover with an explanation and, most importantly, a picture drawing attention to the biggest perspective issue of all!
Things that need fixing that I didn't do: fix the perspective of the room, the table, or the chair, fix composition and placement issues, make the focal point less on her breasts, add clutter around the room, and crop the image for a better look.
Nice spot there radioblur Here's my contribution to the same problem ZombieMariachis... as you can see, the fix is pretty simple, so it's definitely worth a go.
Update. Thanks again for all the help guys!