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I'm designing our college's Literary Magazine, Baily's Beads, and want to make sure the cover turns out as best as I can make it. That being said, please tear this apart.
It's obviously not done, so don't just say 'it doesn't look finished', haha. The text was an after-thought, and is only there for placement. Feel free to tell me it sucks, but I already know. Do you think that's an alright spot to put the title, though? Should the text stand out and be a 'font', or should it be incorporated into the image somehow?
The inside is going to be a flip-book of a bird dropping seeds across the pages and then plants growing from those seeds. I uploaded what I have so far on youtube, but you can't really see much other than the general movement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJnmnMWSFrg
I think you have to work on delineating space(=depth) a little better because it doesn't read too well. Use drawing, texture, colour whatever works, like you did in the "Nagy painting" in your DA.
Also, I would'nt be afraid to put another farther bird on the front part of the cover. You don't have to remove the closer one though, it's the same bird but at two different moments, all in the same painting. As far as I know it's quite an old trick used to say in one image what would take two or more and considering the two sides are not often going to be seen simultaneously you can take that liberty.
The text: I'd put it in the middle and leave the sky alone. So I'd put it on the mountain slope just under or in the big middleground cloud. 100% opinion, feel free to ignore.
The animation: Cool, really, as a nitpick I'd say add more seeds rather than just one so it can't be mistaken for the other thing that birds drop while flying.
and as far as it looking like the bird is pooping, I'm actually kind of glad, since really, when birds do drop seeds, it usually is from digestion and not just being kind enough to carry seeds around
I want to second what SouMeng said just to emphasize how illegible the overall image is at this point. I saw the green hilltop, and the white clouds, but I sort of thought the blue/yellow clouds might be smaller hills and everything under that water? The yellow lining underneath the blue clouds sharpens those edges and contributed to me reading that as a shoreline, possibly.
I think if you increase the contrast/color in the land under the clouds, it will fix most of that issue. Also maybe add in some hint of a sky back behind all those clouds.
I'm not particularly liking the wing positioning of the bird, as it looks like a snap taken in between strokes.
The flip book is pretty nice, but does it all have to be so teeny? I think it would be more satisfying if the bird and the seed and maybe the plants were all bigger within the frame.
Hey, I upped the contrast and cleaned it up a bit. Any better, or is it still hard to look at?
Thanks for the feedback, feel free to give more.
Does the bird look unnatural? I wanted it to look like it was flying. Maybe I'll blur parts of it to push the movement? Do my clouds look like clouds at all?
To answer your basic question about texture in digital painting, for the most part, I think it's the same idea as in traditional painting. Straight up and down strokes will have a texture different from speckled strokes which will look different from circular strokes, etc., etc. Also, you could try different brush hardnesses depending on the texture you're going for. And then you mix in variations in brush size, value and color, and the world is your oyster, really.
The image is improved and I'm liking that almost cell-shaded look on the main clouds. The big thing I'm not really getting is, what are you going for in this painting? What are we supposed to think, or feel, or enjoy when looking at this? That should really guide you on how to approach the painting and what focal points are important, etc. Right now, I look at the birds, the hilltop, the close clouds, and I'm feeling "hmmmm...".
Also for specific suggestion, the closer blue-green and yellow clouds are still mismatching with the white clouds in the bg. I suggest clearing up most of the sky where those white clouds are (using a similar hue as used in the blue-green clouds) so those close clouds stand out on their own and that upper part will become clearer/less claustrophobic. I think the area under the clouds is still too oddly hazy looking.