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  1. #1
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    Need Help. Get me through "the push"

    Hey guys. Started this with all sorts of enthusiasm the other day and then... nothing. I need a little push.

    I've been trying to create more "professional" looking art lately and I'm afraid she'll fall short.

    I think it's almost to the point of being recognizable, so here it is:
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  3. #2
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    Some of the forms can still be defined more around the buildings to make things pop out. Have some hard edges around foliage can help and slowly lead to the focal point.



    Here is Ryan Church example.

    Keep going I would like to see the next polished stage.

    Make a sketchbook happy, feed it a tip to improve!

    http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=85628
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  5. #3
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    Yeah I agree. I've gotten a little lazy about my harder edged shapes and my solid shapes recently.

    With your Church example as inspiration I decided to go over everything and figure out what my big shapes really are. I left the shadows on the side of the buildings pretty soft, but intend to do some interesting rubble there. I get more positive feedback from stuff like this: http://attachments.conceptart.org/fo...1&d=1222063712 where I use much harder shapes and build forms. I have abandoned optical blending as of late...

    How's my perspective? They're gonna be ruins, but I want it to be believable.

    Now I need Short Round. I hope people get that .

    EDIT: Ew. looks like I lost a lot of saturation there. Glad I'm working digitally... I don't have to wait for it to dry before I glaze it!

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  6. #4
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    Careful there friend, don't hard edge everything or you'll lose the wonderful looseness in the original. I'd suggest picking a focus in the city, and have it be completely hard edged, high contrast and as you go further away have the image kind of degrade back into the looseness, except for a few hard edges on the light facing sides of things. Just my opinion though.

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  8. #5
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    Some thoughts, maybe not exactly helpful for making progress ...

    I personally think hard edges work if they don't look like crap. And in this case they don't. I've seen many paintings where edges are plenty hard everywhere, just with less details and contrast. One thing I would say though is try to push those distant trees even further back in aerial perspective.

    Also, I'm not entirely convinced that the castle is the focus of this story/image. We are very much withdrawn from the structure, looking from behind the curtain of the dark woods. I can easily see a character being the focus of this piece, maybe standing on that little island on the right side.

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  10. #6
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    I'm with Truepinkas. Quigleyer, you have such luscious brush work when you go loose, you shouldn't give all of that up. A little "lost and found" is a good thing, have some loose fun in some areas, and just pick out a hard edged detail here or there. Then put a lot of your care and clean edges into the focal point. Personally I find pieces that are too crisp and defined everywhere are really boring to look at.
    To be honest, I really liked the atmospheric quality you had going on in the first version. Your color palette just rocks as always, and I think if you had just worked out the structure of those buildings, it was headed towards a really beautiful piece.

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  12. #7
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    Oooh lovely colours and brushwork! I agree that you should pick out a suggestion of detail on the main two buldings but don't paint over your existing strokes, keep the sketchiness of it, I can see lots of brickwork shapes already and my imagination is doing the rest.

    The idea of a person in the mid ground is good as well, that might pull it all together...maybe also a suggestion of trees in the city?

    Good luck pushing it further, looking really good so far!

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  14. #8
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    I actualy feel inclined to agree that the looseness was a positive quality of your first version that you might want to hold on to. I am already imagining the bricks and stone textures of the ruins. What would happen if you threw some sort of photo texture on it?
    From what I have seen of your art, you don't like to do that, but I'm curious as to the result.

    On an unrelated note, I can't deal with the cliffs up front too well. The reason being is that they end so ubruptly and have a really clear "top". I was hoping you would embrace the chaos a little bit and make the grass and walls of the cliff blend together more ambigiously.

    Right now it looks like someone cut a perfect line in your ground with a giant laser you know?

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  16. #9
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    Thanks guys. I probably couldn't stay "clean" with it if I wanted to anyway . Getting messy with some textures, most of which will be painted over. And over. And over. Also trying to figure out the cliffs and their exact colors and how they're gonna work in the composition.

    I'm also seriously considering a figure, as mentioned by MeDrawUc. Like reading a tablet or some sort of stone in on a rock on that cliff on the right. OH GOD. SHORT ROUND?

    Pavel- working on those cliffs buddy. I'm not a smart man and often I "build" with the most basic of 3D forms to try and figure out how things work in space. The straight up and down was also somewhat of an attempt to emphasize how high the cliffs could be, and how dangerous a fall here could be as well.

    Do I need a rope bridge?

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  17. #10
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    Well, you already lost that loose brushwork of the foliage, I think it was better (the first version). Otherwise just define those parts of the city hit directly by the sunlight (these parts should be cristal clear), keep the rest of the city a bit less defined and keep those lurking dark shapes in the ravine It will be a kickass work, keep it up!

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  19. #11
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    pushing stuff back further. This is my last act of this painting for the night.

    Tell me if that works. Everything was way too flat for me, so I had to do something more drastic. I'll even put some lighter shapes behind the ruins.

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  20. #12
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    Careful, you're losing your colors and your textures again. I understand it's a push and pull sort of endeavor as you find your way around the scene but I'd say don't use black, white or grey anymore. If you want low saturation, fine, but make it a color.

    IMO the middle ground form the second most recent one is better, somethign about that bulbous round rock formation bugs me. Also on the dark foliage on the left, you should shoot some light holes in it to reduce it's visual weight. It's leaves after all, I'm sure some light is peeking through.

    I'm keeping my eye on this one. Cheers.

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  22. #13
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    I really like the new cliff edges, but the new rock "island" looks like a big stone cock!
    I prefered the original formation with the beige stone in the first version.
    I also enjoyed the tree on the right more in the first version

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  24. #14
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    When working so loose, I approach like your first example - and then hard edge the focal point. From there on out you can play around, but as long as your focus has that punch and refinement you're usually going to be pretty good. Hard edging outside of that can send some mixed signals. Looks like you fixed up a lot of that though. If you don't hard edge your focus, you hard edge up close and then blur (subtlety is king here) the background for depth and you can still have a beautiful scene... though perhaps with different impact.

    On your structure, it gets suddenly very bright with little diffusion around it, I'd sprinkle some more lights from your source around on the ground, but not as brightly, like those lights fade out a bit.... one example of this is your stone bridge walkway thang - perfect spot for a liiiittle extra light for sake of depth.

    I'd add in some more mid-tones on that structure, something between the bright and shadow spots that give a little more softness to the shape itself. I'd even sneak some other little shapes into it so that it hints at a more indepth design work that perhaps we just can't see from our distance. Tiny light reflections/refractions. They don't even have to be bright, it's just to break up shapes and add more visual fun

    Good colors! Don't go too grey or lose too much texture though, gonna be hard to find that balance but you'll find it's worth it.

    Great piece full of lots of potential! I like where this is going and I hope you keep it going.

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  26. #15
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    hey there! lovely colors and brush strokes you applied there. I'm as well curious to see where you'd take this piece to. Right now, I think you should bring back the trees silhouettes at the back of the building. It seems so empty without them, maybe this is one (of a few things) that made this piece seems flat and further more, it made the weight of this piece too much to the top side. I say you should focus the pushing at the building there and later think about somewhere else to push.

    Well it's my opinion, I hope it can be of some help
    Keep pushing, friend

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  28. #16
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    Trupinkas- heard and understood. REALLY appreciate it. Trying to bring some color in, but might have to begin "glazing" over it after I get a little further.

    Pavel- yeah I gotcha. Changed the big stone cock thing to a set of stairs that still stands after the rest was broken off. I hope it's working. Thanks for your critique.

    cmalidore- Thanks Chris, big help here. In the nick of time, too . Tell me your thoughts on the temples here. Did I go too far? Have I not gone far enough? I'm currently working more and more lights into different areas, as you suggested. Thanks a lot for your opinion!

    witcrack- the tree silhouettes are back, but will be coming back more and more gradually. I'm trying to see about adding some elements to the bottom... see below.

    The stairs might actually be out of scale at the moment.

    The figure is me playing around. I'm weary of adding things into the composition randomly like that, but I feel the bottom needs something to add interest. I was thinking a group of like three people instead of that shrub shape... but maybe I'll still have a shrub shape at their feet?

    I dunno about the figure. Tell me guys- working? Not working?

    Anything else is, of course, free game as well.

    EDIT: I understand the silhouettes of the foreground elements seem under developed at the moment, but please realize I'm doing a "digital ala prima" here. Working in painter requires me to use fewer layers. When you pile up too many it gets slower and slower, and there's no guarantee that dropping layers will produce the results you've achieved after fiddling with layer opacities. The silhouettes of the foreground foliage are going to be touched last, but they will likely remain quite dark.

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    Last edited by Quigleyer; August 27th, 2010 at 01:27 AM.
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  29. #17
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    I apologize for this bump, but it appears When I updated that my image wasn't moved to the top. Furthermore it says that I wasn't the last one who replied.

    Yes, I refreshed my browser. Bump because I'm looking for more crits and suggestions.

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  30. #18
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    Significant update, I like it. the structure has a chunky look about it now which i feel fits very well. few things for you to consider (just my opinions feel free to ignore). I Can't post my current project fror a few weeks, so i'm living vicariously through your thread LOL. This is going to be a smashing piece when done. What's the native resolution and size of this image?

    The shape of the 'damage' on the ruins vaguely looks like the silhouette of a very large man who appears to be fiddling with the base of the ruins...might want to change that.

    How do you feel about rays of light/shadow? This is a jungle type scene, so there's lots of moisture/particles in the air to catch the light. Perhaps you could have shadow rays being cast off the ruins.

    Your shadow color shift is too drastic between the middle ground and the ruins. In the cliff jutt shadow from the ruins you see a small hint of blue, but I'd bring that out a bit more to help in the transition.

    I greatly enjoy the figure so far, but be careful, he could very easily become the focus of the image, which is not your intent. Make him a silhouette with maybe some week lighting, but keep him in the shadows and try to avoide even medium strength highlights on him.

    Alternatively, if you really don't want a figure in the image, how about a skeleton on that area? explorer who never quite made it to the temple? Maybe a broken rope bridge between foreground and middle ground?

    Last edited by Truepinkas; August 27th, 2010 at 05:55 AM.
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  31. #19
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    Yeah there definitely need to be signs of a rope bridge. Feel free to visit often, by the way! Thanks for your ongoing advice.

    Will try to integrate the environment together more as well. Adding blues to the background, but allowing some light to hit the middleground rock at the moment.

    Shadow/light rays are a good idea. That's probably going to be one of the finishing touches, though.

    After a discussion with a friend and some trial and error I came up with this. I think it fits the scale and doesn't detract from the focus of the composition.

    Oh yeah, resolution is 300 dpi. and nearly 1800 by 3000 pixels. Not too big at all .

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  32. #20
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    A little more serious with the texture...

    Updating often. Hope is cool.

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    Last edited by Quigleyer; August 27th, 2010 at 02:27 PM.
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  33. #21
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    oh man, this is looking fantastic bro!
    I am glad the penis is gone, the foliage looks great, and the silhouette is a great addition as well!

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  35. #22
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    The image looks nice overall, good work. Although the focal point is already clear now and the viewing direction is flowing nicely (from bottom upward), you can still push and define the building. One suggestion from me is the mid-greyish background in front of the figure (if he's facing to the building there) can be darken still, the contrast value of them is relatively around the same level with your focal area (the ruined building and the forest behind it), imo.

    You've done awesome work and I bet this would be a good piece. Keep it up, you

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  37. #23
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    Nice work! I might add small changes of value on the character where light might barely hit, or small indications of gear, like a belt or tucked in shirt/ or pouch, just a suggestion.

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  39. #24
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    http://www.artisticways.com/quigles.jpg

    Hey Quig, that link is what I'd likely do. Now remember I have a tendency to contrast a lot. I have a habit of throwing in too many darks, so keep that in mind BUT my personal approach would be to contrast and darken the foreground just a lil bit more to pop out that depth.

    My other concern is the parallel lines created by the trees in this foreground. I didn't approach that in the image above, but that's because I've had a lil too much wine and don't quite trust my own judgment heh (oops). Either way, I feel that they are just a little too tight in framing in the temple, not quite sure what I'd do, but some shaping to throw that off a little may not hurt. I'd get a second opinion on that though.

    Other than that, this is a great looking picture and I think it shows a more mature artistic approach than we generally see from you. I really like it.

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  41. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmalidore View Post
    My other concern is the parallel lines created by the trees in this foreground. I didn't approach that in the image above, but that's because I've had a lil too much wine and don't quite trust my own judgment heh (oops). Either way, I feel that they are just a little too tight in framing in the temple, not quite sure what I'd do, but some shaping to throw that off a little may not hurt. I'd get a second opinion on that though.
    it.
    That was something I was beginning to wonder about myself. Almost got the issue to slide by . I think you're right. I could probably slant the other ones (our right) and have them landing on the mid ground rock. If I take it away it's too wide open... I'm really at a loss as to what exactly should be done, so I'm gonna try out a number of things and stick with what works best (probably nothing ridiculously different).

    I also need to work a little more "perspective" in there as I seem to have gotten a little liberal with my looser actions on the foreground rocks.

    Their tilt also seems to have gotten me to use those as the borders of the canvas and it created a tilt. I waited way too long to flip my canvas since last time and woa. Does anyone notice it and is it that bad? Keep in mind I've been staring at this thing for a lot longer and have a difficult time seeing this, even if it looks easy- so please voice your opinion on this, guys.

    Oh yeah- I also did what cmalidore suggested and tried to strengthen the contrast between background and foreground. Might need to make the foreground a little darker still, but I'll play with that the next couple of rounds.

    Thanks!

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  42. #26
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    I'd be reluctant to go too dark on the foreground - When I do it I tend to be verbally abused (and probably rightfully so) by those more knowledgeable than I haha, too much black and you will damage definition. For now at least you seem to have a nice balance.

    I think you've caught anything else I was thinking of, perspective didn't seem like a big thing on this one - but there's a hint of it that perhaps brushing up on will improve, and so on. You're on the right track.

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  44. #27
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    Quigleyer,
    this is looking really nice. I don't think the diagonal bars framing the focal point is a bad thing at all. I think it adds a lot of dynamism to the composition. The only issue I have with it, is it tends to lead the eye off the top of the page. I think all it needs to remedy this is something to lead the eye back into the composition. Here's one example of what I mean. You could do it a lot of other ways though.
    Also that piece of ground in the midfield is tilted a little bit, (I fixed it in this paint over). It's very subtle, you could probably just leave it as is.

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