hey guys. Heres a painting I did last night. Trying to get into the habit of tightening things up a bit. Just your average spec-ops team looking for giant bugs in caves . Focusing on the character mainly. Please comment wherever possible. Cheers.
I like the rendering of the helmet and chest piece. But the antennae of the helmet looks to be in an unusual place if I am looking at the helmet straight on. (Also, looking at it again, his head seems really small, picture him in that pose without the helmet on. It would be a good idea to draw the body first and then clothe/armour it afterwards.)
His pose seems really stiff and awkward to me. His legs look flat and in an uncomfortable position. It looks like the thighs wanted him to spread out, but everything below the knee is in disagreement.
Also, from a real personal stand point, the two gun thing? I'm just not feeling it. Not only does it add to the stiffness of the pose, but it seems a bit cliched. Why does he need to have two guns drawn out if he is only targeting/aiming with one? He comes across less tactical and more wannabe-action star. Especially with that piece pointed in the air and his finger resting on the trigger. I'd be more afraid of his buddies behind him.
Having a single hand-gun as opposed to a large rifle like his team-mates should allow him a free hand. At the moment he seems just as encumbered as what they are; if not more so.
Last edited by Star Eater; July 11th, 2011 at 08:56 AM.
There's some really cool stuff going on in this, like the lighting, textures, the atmosphere etc, but I agree with Star Eater, the central figure is just not doing anything to earn his position as the focal point of this piece.
He's basically square to the frame, pointing the gun straight at us, he has no sense of weight bearing or movement in his legs or hips. I doubt you'd ever see a soldier standing this stiffly in the heat of action.
At least if he was doing a hero pose you could put some twist in the figure- think contrapposto at least.
The figure on the right is a much more interesting & dynamic pose.
Tom, I'm going to give a very broad critique that applies to a lot of the images you've been posting;
Your finish is nice, as well as the dynamics, but the basics still aren't there yet. There are a lot of fundamental concepts like gesture, balance, anatomy etc. that are simply being outpaced by your ability to render textures and shiny surfaces. I think it's time to not worry so much about pumping out finished concepts and get to some really solid studies of anatomy, gesture, form, lighting, things like that.
I strongly agree with Jason. When it comes to this piece, it's not really conveying that there is a cave and he is searching because he's facing us. It's more of a posing type of an illustration. I would change the image to be over his shoulder looking into a cave with maybe bus eyes glowing or something like that. Nice rendering.
Yep - Jason (and others in your various threads) are right on the money Tom. Oddly enough to get to the next level you'll need to go back a few paces. "Imaginitive Realism"...seriously. Also "Drawing Scenery". Also Henry Yan's figure drawing book.
Take your passion and ability with surfaces and rendering and apply that to more dynamic composition and gesture/action. Frazetta, Jones, Pyle, Joseph Clement Coll, Al Willimason, Mark Schultz...
Lighting in this is a bit chaotic and hard to read - strong blue from below, golden from above? But it is just sort of applied locally, like there is no sense of the golden light in general throughout the scene...
Also at least four major tangents.
Like I said, just need to step back a bit and develop a little more dynamic quality to take your work up a notch.
Edit: I meant to startt with my first impression: super stiff...but that probably came across anyway.
What would Caravaggio do?
Thanks for all your responses guys, you don't know how much this helps me.
Star Eater: Thanks for commenting man. I get what you mean about the head, how did I not see that!? lol. Yeah, he looks really stiff :/ I don't really know why I painted him in such a boring pose. Good points about the guns too, cheers
Marcatili: Thank you yeah, the pose sucks. Bit disappointed really because I know it's boring and I don't know what possessed me to paint him this way. I'll definitely do some dynamic pose studies. Thanks.
Jason Rainville: Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I'll start doing regular studies I think. Anything that will push me up to the next level.
DAMJAN: Cheers for the comment man . Yh, I get what you mean.
JeffX99: Thanks for the advice and input Jeff Always appreciated. I'll take a look at those guys and really try to improve on these factors. I think I need to challenge myself a bit more. Im gonna buy a few books on light and colour theory. Have you got any suggestions? I was thinking of 'Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter - James Gurney' as a staring point. Cheers
I definitely think Gurney's books are a great resource - I would get both. The "Drawing Scenery" book by Jack Hamm will help you think about environments and composition from imagination. Yan's book is great for getting a feel for gesture.
Hey Artfix - definitely not a full alumni unfortunately. I was fortunate enough to take a few classes when I lived down there and EA had an education allowance I could take advantage of. I've taken a couple more as well through scholarship. Yeah, I love Yan's stuff...one of my figure mentors gave me his book a year ago or so. That is a sweet technique man!
Last edited by JeffX99; July 11th, 2011 at 06:51 PM.
What would Caravaggio do?
"Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
Tom, I think you have a real nice attitude, it matches the skill of your rendering. You take crits like a champ. I think once you have mastered those fundamentals you are definitely going to have a great career ahead of you.