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Thread: Creature crits

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    Creature crits

    Hello guys, new to CA forums...decided to come here, because I really want to improve!

    Here is the most recent picture I finished. I wonder if anyone can help me how to improve it. I think the main problem is that my art always look a bit "cartoony" and I simply don't know how to make it more "realistic". Maybe the colours are problem? I also think the pose/wing looks a bit weird, but I can't really say why.
    Any advices, suggestions or any other sort of help you can give me in order to improve is very appreciated.

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
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    I can't really tell what this is or what's going on. Are these two separate creatures close together or just one with two heads? I can't grasp the anatomy of this thing at all - I see two heads, a tail and one wing...And then some tentacle-feathery things? Also, get some references for that lightning.

    Basically, use lits of reference and nail your creature's anatomy before making pieces like this. Hope that helps out.

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  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiralchasm View Post
    I think the main problem is that my art always look a bit "cartoony"
    Well, adding thick cartoon lightning won't help to make the image very realistic.
    Agreed with Foxtrot, if you want to achieve more realistic look, you need to use references and understand how things look and work in real life.
    Like, I don't think the problem with the wings is their pose that much (though it's not the most dramatic or convincing pose), but rather than that they look so tiny that they can't possibly carry such large body.
    And I don't think the problem are the colours as much either (though bright orange light isn't very realistic), but that the body of the creature doesn't follow the light. If the orange light is bright enough to reach the wings and colour them with orange, the the light should reach the belly of the creature and the underside of the wings too, not just rimlight everything. Also, there is no visible lightsource that would explain how the body is still visible, even though lightnings have the habit of lighting the sky and causing silhouettes.

    Also your piece reminds me highly of this piece http://gunnerromantic.deviantart.com...tisan-77062434 and it might be beneficial for you to study both yours and this one to find out what exactly makes the other work better and why (composition, lighting, scale, etc).
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    Last edited by TinyBird; July 6th, 2011 at 07:49 AM.
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    Haha wow, thanks a lot guys!

    I guess I'll get back to studying anatomy first, because they're supposed to be one creature, but apparently that's not easy to say at first glance.

    Also thanks a lot for pointing out what's wrong with lighting, yeah, I admit I had no idea how far should I make the orange light go and what amount of it should light up creature's underside.

    Also, there is no visible lightsource that would explain how the body is still visible, even though lightnings have the habit of lighting the sky and causing silhouettes.
    You mean how the head part and back are visible? The scales and stuff? I simply wanted to make them visible, but apparently lightnings were a bad choice for light source. Do you have any suggestions what I should've done for lightsource instead of painting lightinings?

    Oh and I have one more question , sorry if it's a bit dumb: do you think I should try to fix mistakes in this picture,( anatomy and lighting ), or should I just keep in mind your advices and critiques and think about them while working on new pictures and stuff?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiralchasm View Post
    You mean how the head part and back are visible? The scales and stuff?
    Yes, because considering there's lightning and there's the ground light and that one light right behind the thing's mouth, but for the rest of the body to be that well lit in such conditions (I mean that everything is covered with dark clouds so sunlight doesn't really work) there needs to be something giving light to the body that we can't see.
    And yeah, lightnings usually light up the whole sky a whole more lot that you painted, especially seeing how there's lots of clouds that should catch the light. And they would probably give off white bright light, instead of allowing the green of the creature be that visible.

    And if you just want to have the body visible, I'd personally go with sunlight or moonlight etc (it is in the sky after all). What sort of sunlight (slight cloudy sunlight, yellowish setting sunlight, dappled half sunlight etc) depends on what mood you want to go with. Of course that will also make changes to the colours. Or then have the lightnings and make the image look like it's lit by a lightning.
    or maybe just even with the reflected light from the clouds. that orange light is so bright that it should reach the clouds, which should reflect some of it back.

    do you think I should try to fix mistakes in this picture,( anatomy and lighting ), or should I just keep in mind your advices and critiques and think about them while working on new pictures and stuff?
    Depends on what you want. If you want to do this image, I'd suggest you do a bunch of studies, get references, do thumbnails, think of composition, etc, plan this image properly and re-do it from scratch.

    I also suggest you to go and get this book: http://www.amazon.com/Imaginative-Re.../dp/0740785508 as well as this if you want to play with lighting http://www.amazon.com/Color-Light-Gu...tt_at_ep_dpt_1

    Last edited by TinyBird; July 6th, 2011 at 10:24 AM.
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    Thanks again!

    I think I see what's the main problem about lightsources now. Next time I'll go with moonlight/sunlight for sure. Oh, and I made the scales green, because my original idea was that the creature is in fact dark green, but I thought that due to extreme lighting most of its body should be shown as black/sillhouete. Apparently I shouldn't have done that.

    I think I'll also get books then and try to learn from them. Thanks for suggesting them. c: I guess I'll try to recreate this and I'll post my progress here.

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    I agree that the lighting is one of main problems in this piece. Though one thing that's really bugging me is how dark the lightning bolt actually is. It should be allot brighter than it is now. I think you may need to recalibrate your monitor. Even after I turned my monitor to the highest setting everything still seemed to dark.

    So anyway I attempted to play around with the values & contrast. I'm really not too keen on how light from lightning interacts with everything else. So I'm not sure if it's correct. Probably a more stylized use of light, as opposed to being realistic. Well anyway I hope it helps.

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    your drawing has some fun colors, overall composition is ok. The biggest problem is that it isnt a design. it doesnt show any form at all. its a black shape with some green and orange shapes in it. its clear you try to do something very complicated while still you dont have the basic skills that are necesarry to communicate this idea.

    these necessary skills are: communicating form
    tip on how to improve on this: work on the basics. draw and render basic shapes (cube, cilinder, cone)

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    I think you may need to recalibrate your monitor. Even after I turned my monitor to the highest setting everything still seemed to dark.
    That is very true, I am working on my laptop and I always have max brightness settings on it. That's probably why lighning loooks fine on my monitor, but too dark on others. Also thanks for tweaking with it, I must say it looks more effective/interesting with brighter lightning.

    work on the basics. draw and render basic shapes (cube, cilinder, cone)
    Ok I think I'll try drawing/painting shapes from this thread. Is that what you had in mind? Or something else besides that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiralchasm View Post
    Also thanks a lot for pointing out what's wrong with lighting, yeah, I admit I had no idea how far should I make the orange light go and what amount of it should light up creature's underside.
    An action figure or statuette and a light source diffused by some orange cloth might help you with that.

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