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  1. #1
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    Unhappy In a land far far away- need crit

    I need a fresh pair of eyes. This is the winning image for last month's challenge over at ImagineFX but I really want to take it to the next level and make it a nice portfolio piece. That means I need some serious crit.

    What can I do better? I'm sure I am missing something, I've just looked at the darn thing too long! O_o

    Attachment 1251450


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  3. #2
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    really nice illustration. i can see why it won . Im no pro but maybe if you add some motion blur to parts of the dragon and her hair, u might get a bit more movement in there. I cant really fault much else. maybe you could go into abit more refinement in the clouds. hope that helps
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  5. #3
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    Hi, I find this image lovely, but only after some time of digesting some of its issues.
    Ill tell you what i think might be the problem>
    The dragon is too dark its very hard to read
    blue shade of the sky is the same as the shadowed part of the clouds.
    there is the tangent from dragons head to the girls head
    the wing at the right is too much cropped
    maybe some more interesting sky could help
    cheers

  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danilo View Post
    The dragon is too dark its very hard to read
    blue shade of the sky is the same as the shadowed part of the clouds.
    Are you sure it's not a monitor/browser issue?
    Because I can see the dragon clearly down to the details (though the neck/ear part still could go with bit more separation) and I can't say it's too dark at all and even the sky/could colours are at least slightly different.
    Because I had the problem of things looking way too dark on another computers Firefox, and everything looked different on Explorer and my own Firefox.
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  8. #5
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    I just keep thinking how tiny the dragon must be compared to the size of the woman?

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  10. #6
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    "really nice illustration. i can see why it won . Im no pro but maybe if you add some motion blur to parts of the dragon and her hair, u might get a bit more movement in there. I cant really fault much else. maybe you could go into abit more refinement in the clouds. hope that helps"

    I will definitely refine the clouds some then, as you are not the first to suggest it. Thanks for the tip. I'll have to play around with some motion blur and see what happens.

    "Hi, I find this image lovely, but only after some time of digesting some of its issues.
    Ill tell you what i think might be the problem>
    The dragon is too dark its very hard to read
    blue shade of the sky is the same as the shadowed part of the clouds.
    there is the tangent from dragons head to the girls head
    the wing at the right is too much cropped
    maybe some more interesting sky could help"

    Danillo- I am having a hard time understanding what you mean about the tangent with the dragon head and the lady's head. Could you draw a circle around the area you are referring to? Also, about the darkness, I will look on my husbands computer but I am wondering if it's a monitor issue as TinyBird stated. If my monitor is the problem I can most certainly up the brightness a bit to compensate. Thanks for letting me know. I forget to check my illustrations on other computers all the time.

    Now when you say the wing on the right do you mean our right? Should I open the scape of the illustration and include more background to compensate to show more wing to better the composition? I'll work on the sky for sure, but the image I looked at for reference did have the same sky color in the shadows on the clouds. I think it has to do with atmospheric lighting and reflection of the sky color on the shaded side of the clouds. I will lighten them and see how it all works together. Thanks for the crit.

    "though the neck/ear part still could go with bit more separation)"

    You are so right. It's amazing what a fresh pair of eyes can spot. Thanks! I'll push for more separation then.

    "I just keep thinking how tiny the dragon must be compared to the size of the woman?"
    LordLouis - You make a great point. I'll shrink her down a bit. Thanks so much for the crit!

    I'll post my changes soon.

    EDIT: I implemented the changes. I shrunk the girl, I added more details to the clouds and the castle in the background, I added more separation between the ear and the rest of the dragon, I lightened the clouds, and I tried some motion blur but it just didn't work out well.
    Last edited by Lithriel; June 9th, 2011 at 08:18 PM. Reason: Implemented crit changes

  11. #7
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    A paintover. Now the image is already well done. But it needs some work still. I'm pushing those angles a bit and the form of the dragon, anatomy etc. I would further use bats, saddles, women, and cliffs/mountains as references to further enhance the piece. I also felt it should cropped like so.

    Closed mouth maybe best.

    congratulations on winning the challenge! and keep learning

  12. #8
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    Good job - I see a few things that you might consider/push:

    1) Clouds don't read at all...I would definitely find some reference for them - sunset above cloud layer things.
    2) You have a very warm light source but all highlights and light planes are just lit white/light.
    3) I like the repetition of form from her hair, skirt and dragon tail - but I think the dragon tail has too much atmospheric perspective - it looks detached and almost like it would be from another dragon.
    4) Her hair is far too defined, making it look like tentacles. Should be much softer and more diffuse.
    5) Her head seems a tad large and it seems like we should see her right hip/thigh just a bit. Her left thigh is a bit ginormous too.
    6) There are a few near-tangents (better than full on tangents!). The left pinnacle and castle are both the same distance from teh wing - the right pinnacle basically combines with the dragon wing - in part because of placement but also value and color/hue.
    7) Dragon's wings are not in sync - not that they always have to be but in this case I would expect the same angles/bowing. Wings could use more thought out structure/musculature as well.

    Anyway, just my two cents - I know it is a lot but you can handle it.

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  13. #9
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    I like Prince's idea for the dragon head. And the clouds are an improvement, but I don't like the rest of his paintover. The tail especially is a confusing tangent. The contrast is a bit much. Removing ur lovely white blowing fabric is a step backwards. I dont mean to be hard on Prince however, because the head is great.

    I agree her head could shrink just slightly. I didnt notice any tangents that bothered me.

  14. #10
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    Lovely picture and a nice angle. No crits to give on the background or woman but I thought I might make a comment on the dragon.

    I like the way you've done most of it but I'd like to see a bit more definition in the join area between the wing and shoulder joint thats visible on the right. At the moment they look kind of mashed together and I cant figure out why. Maybe the wing is set too low down? What about lifting it slightly (and the other one to match) and adding a bit more muscle bulge to where the wing joins the body under the harness strap?

    Also second what Jeff said about the wings needing more thought in their structure. I'm thinking they need an extra bend between the shoulder joint and the thumb horn and maybe extend them out so they look bigger and longer because at the moment, they don't look like they could carry the weight of the dragon's body.

    Anyway, just some thoughts that came to me and I hope you don't mind me posting them. They're mostly personal preference and what I might do if it was my painting so feel free to ignore me if you disagree.

  15. #11
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    Thanks everyone for the crit so far. I want you all to know I have been taking everyone's crit into consideration and I've been working on this all morning. I'll post an update when I think I've gotten to the next stage.

    And yeah, I work on making up more musculature on the dragon. This is my very first creature concept ever, yes ever, and it's kicking my tail. But it's good for me! =D

    Thanks again!

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  18. #13
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    Congratulation again on winning the ImagineFX challenge

    some have said a few things to fix already.
    I will say the sky is showing so much open space that my eye wants to leave the painting once it gets their.
    what Prince911 did with the tail helps some.
    perhaps think about what you can do with the distant 3 dragons and moon to cut of all that open space and lead the eye back to the subject. the darker sky does help some

    and the mountain on the right side has less atmosphere between it and me than the dragon's tail which is closer to me...so it doesn't really make sense. if you liik at just the values you may see what I mean. I see you actually darkened it a bit from the original...i think that was a step in the wrong direction. lighten it and push it back into the atmosphere

    hope this helps some.
    a very beautiful image for sure

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  20. #14
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    Well I have done many many changes and I think it's better. Let me comment on some of the crit I received:

    Jefx99

    "Clouds don't read at all...I would definitely find some reference for them - sunset above cloud layer things."
    I worked on these the most from the same reference I used before. I hope they are better

    "You have a very warm light source but all highlights and light planes are just lit white/light."
    Haha, I fooled you! If you actually look all of the highlights are cream (except the whitest of lights on the white fabric which are less saturated). But if they don't look that way then perhaps I need to push them more. As it is, I did lessen the orange in the background to cast a more "white" light.

    "I like the repetition of form from her hair, skirt and dragon tail - but I think the dragon tail has too much atmospheric perspective - it looks detached and almost like it would be from another dragon."
    I agree. I tried to darken it but making it as dark as the front of the dragon was not successful. I tried to strike a balance.

    "Her hair is far too defined, making it look like tentacles. Should be much softer and more diffuse."
    I have to flat out disagree with you here but thanks for the crit. Hair should be treated like any other shape- chiseled out with planes. It's a common mistake I see with many artists today, rendering each strand or letting the hair flow unnaturally instead of in big chunks as it does in real life. If we were zoomed in, you would see more hints of strands in the highlight area and dark strands silhouetted against the background but I felt the distance warranted some simplification.

    "Her head seems a tad large and it seems like we should see her right hip/thigh just a bit. Her left thigh is a bit ginormous too."
    I don't see it but I trust you. I shrunk her head and chiseled in her thigh. I did have the thigh a lot skinnier after I read this crit, but it looked wrong. She has bulk as seen in the definition of her arms and I tried to keep a balance between the two. Not to mention, thighs tend to flatten out when sitting making them appear thicker. But if it needs more, let me know. There is a hint of her other thigh from the bottom at her crotch. The angle makes me think the rest is hidden behind her arms, but maybe there needs to be a sliver shown?

    "There are a few near-tangents (better than full on tangents!). The left pinnacle and castle are both the same distance from teh wing - the right pinnacle basically combines with the dragon wing - in part because of placement but also value and color/hue."
    I did try and lower the castle and get rid of the sharp tower to address the tangents, thanks.

    "Dragon's wings are not in sync - not that they always have to be but in this case I would expect the same angles/bowing. Wings could use more thought out structure/musculature as well."
    I totally agree with you here. I did think about it before hand, but I never addressed it. I hope it looks better now.

    "Get both of Jim Gurney's books if you don't have them already - they'll help you take your work to the next level."
    I looked online and couldn't find them for sale. Do you have a link?

    "Anyway, just my two cents - I know it is a lot but you can handle it."
    Thanks a lot for taking the time out of your day to help me improve. It is greatly appreciated. I've only been doing this for a year and a half so the "you can handle it" part made me feel all "yessss...." (just glad I don't look as much of a noob as I actually am).

    Danillo-
    thanks for the clarification. I did take some blue out of the clouds, thanks for that and thanks for the image. However I prefer the way the dragon's horns point straight to the girl- it was a conscious effort to pull the eye to the focal point of the image. I do not see any tangent or reason to alter it. I do like the way you have the wings, but after looking off of prince911's paintover and changing my composition accordingly the angle of the wings would have sent the eye right off of the page (it would have been directly in the upper right corner), so I chose to keep the lower angle. I do like your angle though. It totally works in that pic and if I hadn't already changed it after seeing hit crit I would have done it this way.

    Artfix
    "I like Prince's idea for the dragon head. And the clouds are an improvement, but I don't like the rest of his paintover. The tail especially is a confusing tangent. The contrast is a bit much. Removing ur lovely white blowing fabric is a step backwards. I dont mean to be hard on Prince however, because the head is great. I agree her head could shrink just slightly. I didnt notice any tangents that bothered me. "
    Thank you very much. I did try to do a new dragon head, but I felt the angle of his paintover wasn't quite right, especially the jaw. I did try and set the eyes more apart and try to follow the structure of the eye socket better because that is what I liked most about his dragon head paintover. I know it could still be better, but gosh darn it, making up dragon heads is hard. I spent a long time altering the proportions of it, even if it does look subtle.

    I did shrink the head. Thanks for the comment about the tangents, lol, I thought everyone was seeing them except me.

    Candra H:
    "...I'd like to see a bit more definition in the join area between the wing and shoulder joint thats visible on the right. At the moment they look kind of mashed together and I cant figure out why. Maybe the wing is set too low down? What about lifting it slightly (and the other one to match) and adding a bit more muscle bulge to where the wing joins the body under the harness strap?
    Also second what Jeff said about the wings needing more thought in their structure. I'm thinking they need an extra bend between the shoulder joint and the thumb horn and maybe extend them out so they look bigger and longer because at the moment, they don't look like they could carry the weight of the dragon's body."

    Thanks so much for the crit and I totally agree with everything you said. I lifted the wings and added more structure at the shoulder. I tried to add another bend in the wing but it just wasn't working. I will definitely remember to do this the next time I draw a dragon though. And about the wings looking too small, I agree. I stretched them out but then I felt you didn't see enough of them, they looked far too cropped off. The only way to make it work would have been to open the landscape and that would have thrown everything off *sigh* but yes, you are right.

    mugshotpro:
    "the sky is showing so much open space that my eye wants to leave the painting once it gets their. ...perhaps think about what you can do with the distant 3 dragons and moon to cut of all that open space and lead the eye back to the subject. the darker sky does help some"
    Thanks, and I totally agree. I added more dynamic clouds in the sky and added more dragons to lead your eye around. I think this helped a lot.
    "and the mountain on the right side has less atmosphere between it and me than the dragon's tail which is closer to me...so it doesn't really make sense."
    Right again, thanks again. I thought about this when I did it, but I left it in anyway. I darkened it though. I know it's not as dark as the rest of the dragon, and it probably should be, it just looked crappy darker. All of the sudden the structure looked off and it was a mess. If it's really distracting I can try and address it again. Thanks for your crit.


    TLDR:
    Attachment 1253186

  21. #15
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    unify

    all I did is put a gradient overlay on it to unify the lighting...
    Attachment 1254684
    the drawing and painting are superlative I just think the overall lighting can use some unifying color...

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