I've started work on a new personal illustration and I was hoping to get some thoughts on this sketch. The intention is to move on to a fully painted piece similar to what I started on the girl. Note that the birds in the upper half are indeed birds and not just random scribbles. I'll have to redraw them, of course.
I'm looking for critique on everything But specifically I'm curious to know if people think the figure/pose is working, and I would love to hear thoughts about the colours as well - does it feel too monotone?
I should mention that I've drawn quite a bit of inspiration from Jeff Jones' wonderful Tarzan painting for the pose and mood (this one http://www.spectrumfantasticart.com/...1305846467.jpg)... I did change some things and also got on a ladder to try the new pose myself.
You've got a good start with the values, nice silhouetting and the colours are nice (subdued can work) the problem here is with the composition.
I guessing she's looking at the tower, and her staring at it is the dramatic point here right? The drama if being negated though by the fact that there doesn't seem to be a lot of distance between the two. The composition is undermined further by the focal point (I'm guessing her face) is almost centered.
You can probably improve this by enlarging her, reducing the size of the tower and moving her to the left more. A little fog over the tower never hrt either (the perspective on the top is wrong as well, should be seeing it from slightly below EDIT: unless she's really high up there, not sure exactly)
That foot idea is nice, but it's impossible. She just couldn't bend her ankle that way. You'll have to think of some other way to do it, like maybe have her legs turning towards us.
Thanks for the comment! You're right that something was off, but I don't think it's impossible to have the feet like that. There is supposed to be a slight turn to the hip, which might not have been apparent in the version above.
I went and sat on the uncomfortable ladder again and noticed some mistakes in my drawing. I was able to get into the pose quite easily on the ladder, so it's certainly possible. Hopefully with these changes it looks right. I also changed her right arm, since it was in a strange position.
Next up, I'll redraw all the birds. After that, I think I'll just move on to painting.
EDIT: Oh yeah I post slowly. Two new comments haha.
Jason - Great comment. I like the paintover although maybe it's a bit extreme. I will certainly implement your ideas. Thank you very much! Already noticed the perspective problem on the tower. Might have to tweak it more, not sure. I think I'll make it smaller like you did too, that looks good.
Elwell - I'm so glad our ankles aren't impossible.
Well I would agree with Ryer that both versions of the feet from the poster dont look right. You can see in Ryer's photo that her back foot is profile and thats as much as its going to bend. It would be impossible to see the second toe.
I do like it overall. I like the original composition and I also like what jason did. But in the original comp, there better be something pretty damn interesting about that tower. Whereas in Jason's, it would look fine if it was just a tower.
RyerOrdStar - I see what you mean. That's a very good photo ref as well; thank you very much for going through all that trouble. I appreciate it! I changed it now and I think it looks good. The dance is over.
Artfix - Yeah, good point about the tower. I've shrunk it and pulled it back a bit in value. I want it to be a secondary focal point at most.
And here's the update. Took a damned long time finding good reference for the birds and then a good while to draw them. I might have to tweak the scale of the birds a bit, make the lower ones seem a little closer.
her neck/head doesn't look quite centered between her shoulders which can make it look slightly detached. The one lock of hair that's in the wind is a lot longer then the rest of her hair and I personally like the tower from further away, but that's up to you. I think it's going to be a really nice piece
You still have the basic compositional problem you started with, and that Jason tried to fix, which is that there's just a big, static clump of birds hanging over her head. They echo the figure in size, shape, and placement far, far too much.
Just want to thank you all again for the comments. They really encourage me to do better. You've been a tremendous help.
freiheit - Thank you! Hmm, don't know about the head. Looks ok to me. I fixed the hair, though.
Anarchy3d - Thanks, I'm glad you think so Yeah, a centered figure can definitely be very effective in a composition. I do agree with Jason's point about the distance to the tower, so I'm pretty happy with her position as it is now.
Elwell - Yeah, I agree! I made some changes; got some overlap going and placed a few further away. Tried to make them travel into the picture - hopefully it helped.
Painting the birds is difficult.. I don't actually know what I'm doing haha. They seem a bit low-contrast-y and desaturated, but I tried to be careful not to overpower the figure. Maybe I was too careful. I wonder if I should bump up the lighting at least on the closest one... Also did a bit of work on her costume.
I'll try to finish the birds tonight. As usual, I would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for looking!
Progress is sloooow now... Cleaning up, refining, redrawing. And trying to handle difficult areas such as the face. And the hair; well, still don't know how to handle the hair.
Here's a few things I did, besides the obvious:
- Tweaked anatomy, made her shorter, shortened her right arm quite a bit.
- Repainted her sleeve and scarf.
- Made some changes to the trunk she's sitting on; quite proud of how that bit turned out actually.
My image looks terrible when I zoom in. Everything looks blurry, edges are bad... I wish I knew how to paint this in traditional media, because I can't seem to grasp digital painting. :<
It's going quite well, I'm just going to comment on the girl's legs. Perspective-wise, her right knee is supposed to be a little higher, making the thigh a little shorter and calf (i'm not really sure if it's called calf) a little bit longer. Her left leg is looking longer than the right one now, but it should look normal if you adjust the right leg.
The whole thing is extremely light for a night scene. The moon is not full either. I dont think being scientifically accurate is important but the contrast is very low even for a daytime scene. Good work tho.
The moon can be out during the day. I've seen the mighty day-moon...
I think adding a few more buildings to the tower was a good move, it sorted out the perspective for me (I had a hard time figuring out where the horizon was) I don't have much in the way of critique but maybe a suggestion; some texture in the lower background (under her, between her and the tower) that suggests foliage below could help create more of a solid base to the image. Everything feels just a little "floaty" and the branches and tower don't feel really connected with the ground. not too much, you probably want to keep the subtle atmosphere.
It's coming along well. I don't like the way the new hawk you've added obscures the contour of the tower, though. Also, be careful of the design and placement of the dagger scabbard, it's a little subtextually phallic now. Unless that was what you were going for.
Jason Rainville - Yeah, I was going for early evening or so.. Agree on the rest; though the subtle foilage in the bottom was tricky. This solution will have to do.. Thanks for the crits, extremely helpful.
Elwell - Thank you! Very grateful to get input from such a skilled artist as you I don't mind her clothes being a bit boyish, but the scabbard was a bit too much haha. The bird I moved a bit, but wanted to keep; the composition felt unbalanced without it, I think. Maybe just me.
Artfix - It's very strange! Thanks for your comments throughout!
Okay, calling this done. Took long enough, so time to move. Thanks to all!