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  1. #1
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    Help with composition

    Hey, I tried submitting this image to Epilogue.net but it got rejected by their editors saying "Composition needs work". They usually give the short general one-sentence reason like this.

    So I am trying to figure out what is wrong and have been staring at it too long to figure it out.

    Any suggestions on why they rejected on composition?


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  3. #2
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    first thing that stood out is that the frontal view of the dragon's head doesn't seem right. furthermore, there's a lot of empty space. also, the render quality shifts heavily between the duck+foliage and the rest of the picture - the dragon seems unfinished, the grass stands out too prominently as a few clumps of drawn grassblades and a lot of grass brush in photoshop. and while the foggy lake and landscape might make sense, when put together with the rest of the aforementioned flaws it sort of looks like a shortcut to avoid the detail.
    i do like the top-right part of the picture, though.

  4. #3
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    I like the idea here. I agree with the above. I think that the landscape drops off too quickly. The horizontal band of grass is sort of boring too. I think the dragon is nice, but the silhouette is confusing and the foreshortening isn't 100% convincing. I think it's too linear overall. It's too easy to finish looking at the piece. I look at the duck, which leads me directly to the dragon, and then I'm looking at a hazy band of wood. This also makes the space feel really shallow. You've created nice diagonals with the two characters, but the flat, horizontally organized landscape negates them. Really nice job on that duck though!
    Please Sir, I'd like some more.

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  5. #4
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    Thanks for the suggestions.

    Here is what the Epilogue site says about their "Composition need work" comment.

    Composition needs work - The composition could be cluttered, confusing, or skewed. Here are some composition pitfalls to watch out for:

    Is the viewer's eye being led off the canvas somewhere? Strong diagonal lines leading to the corners of the canvas can have that effect, as can strong lines or forms with nothing else nearby.
    Is the composition top-heavy or bottom-heavy?
    Are objects arranged on the canvas so that the eye is led from one to the next, or are they just randomly arranged?


    So I am guessing they took issue with the wings of the dragon - mainly his lower wing.


    Not sure about the grassy marsh. Usually if that is a big issue then they give a reject reason of "Unrefined or lack of detail ". But I will see what I can do to fix that.

    With this image I was trying to establish atmospheric perspective. That is why the back horizon (forest/woods) found across the lake is hazy and blurred. There is also a smoky haze over the lake.

    I guess I can work on the dragons neck. Had troubles with that.

    Am tossing around the idea of adding stronger highlights on the duck to bring it foreward.

  6. #5
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    I really like both the subject and the composition, I think you shouldn't mind to what those people in the elite groups say, they usually don't know much in my experience.
    Here I've done you an over paint, try not to change much at the begining, but the dragon was looking to the wrong side, so I started changing the face and all of the sudden was a diferent dragon, oooops!
    Well, it's just another take since you asked for posible changes; but I really liked yours, so maybe you should keep it.
    I just cropped the composition diagonally to make the line of the two character more dynamic; added a darker value around the duck to contrast it more.
    Copy marged-copy pasted the dragon and move it a little further to place him in the auric region of the canvas.
    Then I used a few overlay layers to change a little the colours, so that it's not completly flat.
    Then copy all the layers, copymarged and add motion blur, then erased almost all of it.
    Added some fethers and dust and things that may fall with all that movement.
    Added some of the backgound colour with low opacity to the tail and back of the body so that it look further (so to speak, atmospheric perspective).
    A little blue on the grass since the bushes proyected blue shadows since my sky was peach.
    And change the dragons head to make it look to the duck, got carried and added horns and accidentally changed the face, etc...

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  8. #6
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    here's the one without the weird face...

  9. #7
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    Cool suggestion and image.

    I agree the dragons head needs about a 3/4 turn. Will work on it. Also like the loose/flying feathers and dust idea to create action.

    Thanks.

  10. #8
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    Now that's a paint over! I liked the original rendering and was going to suggest possibly adding the blur.
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  11. #9
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    I did a rather quick paintover as well, I didn't change the colors much, really love what lennon did with theirs in their paintover! The pose of the dragon seemed really stiff and unnatural, especially the wings so I completely changed those. Try looking for a bunch of references of birds of prey flying that you can refer to while you are drawing. I also shrunk and lowered the duck so it wasn't lined up straight alongside the dragon which wasn't making for a very good composition. This also made the dragon seem more imposing. Hope this helps!

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  13. #10
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    wow, that's cool man. I really like how you shaped the cost line giving tha upward curve. The dragon is superb; the pose is full of movement. no wonder you got so many cows.

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  15. #11
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    Ok, I incorporated your suggestions. Much thanks to GoldenSerpent!

    This is a rough paint over. Will add some detail to the water and shoreline.

    Before I go any further with detail. Does the composition look better and acceptable? Should I do anything with the dragon's main body, and left wing, tail, or just leave it?

    Thanks

  16. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimshred View Post
    Should I do anything with the dragon's main body, and left wing, tail, or just leave it?s
    I think yes, if not by moving it, at least by using value and colour to push it back. Right now it looks to be growing out of the dragon's back.
    Also remember to look the composition and image overall in terms of the values too. At the moment the duck isn't really popping forward from the image, it's competing in value with the background.
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  18. #13
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    If I can add something ( I hope I can explain it in my poor english) is you repetedly make things almost touch each other ,but they dont overlap neither have enough free space between them,wich can give a bad feeling, let me explain myself: in the first one you did, the end ( the tip) of the ducks wing was just touching the frame of the picture. and same for the dragong´s wing with the grass.
    You correct it and it looks much better but you did it again in the last one. the dragons wing is almost touching the duck and the tail of the duck is almost touching the dragon.This last one might be even work in you you advantage cause it gives the feeling of catching up with the duck.
    Maybe some overlaping? or separate them a little more?
    I hope it helps

  19. #14
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    Final image

    Hey, just want to say thanks to GoldenSerpent, Lennon, Tinybird, and everyone else for suggestions. I took everyones tips and incorporated them into my image.

    So this is my final image. It was approved by the editors at epilogue.net - they sure are picky over there.

    I have another image that was rejected that I will be posting soon.

    Thanks!

  20. #15
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    Well, cheers for that!

  21. #16
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    Hey jimshred, these guys in forum did a awesome critics. I've improved with the changes. I could let the brushes behind the duck with a little less contrast to give more depth. You dont have to try to finish the image quickly, take some time, its worthy. Try to understand how to paint grass and brushes, look to some impressionist paintings.
    Im sure you'll do a nice job next time.
    Keep it up!

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