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This is my first post. Oh yeah! I'm currently a student studying 2D Animation who has a great desire to improve his concept art skills. This is a 45 minute speed contest drawing down in Photoshop for a Halloween Contest. Any and all critiques would be awesome!
The composition is a little simple but I'm not a pro so I can't really offer any critique there (besides, I kinda like it), but I think you need to go in there and make the figure of the guy a little more solid. He's not really weighted down that well and his posture is a bit off. I mean, I assume you're going for the "argh I'm a mean guy" look so... need to have a bit more emotion in his pose. Otherwise he looks a bit silly just standing there in the middle of a swamp with a bloody axe.
Also perhaps instead of using an eraser to draw the dogs muzzle in shadow (which doesn't look good) turn the dog's head to the side so we see it in profile. That way you don't need to resort to unrealistic tricks to show your audience that your badass character has a badass dog. Do you get what I'm saying? Half the battle in all images is clarity. You gotta be clear first. Everything else is secondary.
Apart from all of that. You really need to go back in there and add more detail to this piece. I can tell what everything is, and that's the start. But I think this would benefit a lot from more use of light to define the shapes instead of those unrealistic white lines in the middle of the shadows you're using to show things like his features, bandolier, clothes, etc.
So what am I gonna recommend? Why, what everyone recommends. Study anatomy, do still lifes, definitely work on your perspective and you'll see future pieces rapidly improve~. This is all I'm really gonna say because I'm not experienced enough to touch on any other things. Good start though .
Thanks a bunch for the critique HomicidalManda! I definitely need to study anatomy more intensively, especially with applying studies to imagination drawings.
And yes, your critique on the dog is spot on. I didn't quite know how to point it out. There's a saying in animation that states how if a pose/figure's action in silhouette is unclear, then the fully rendered figure in detail will be unclear. This would definitely be the case with the dog.