I've been working on this thing for little whiles at a time, with lots of time in between the times... Errr, yeah.
Anyway, I 'm starting to have my doubts about certain aspects of the picture, and I find that's kind bad for my motivation.
These are roleplay-characters of my friends and myself, and because I'm taking some liberties regarding design here and there the idea was to absolutely wow them enough for it to not matter so much. In short I'll be needing whatever advice you have that I can keep in mind to finish this work and make it look fabulous. I've been staring at this thing for quite a while now so no doubt there's a whole lot of things I simply don't see:
Thanks in advance! I'll try not to be Mopey MacSad when you demolish this thing...
Hm. Well. The working bits are working. The finished bits of the fur collar. Her hair. Nice.
Her face has some fixable asymmetries (the ear and eye on the right are higher than their counterparts on the left, for example).
I think the main problems are compositional, though. The three figures and the background aren't playing nicely together. They're like four separate paintings. The warrior figure is too small and jammed up against the frame. The dwarf figure is *way* too small. The striations in the hills are screaming for attention.
I'll step back and see if anybody else has some useful suggestions for fixing it.
I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
I think your composition feels really cramped with those mountains, and the hooded guy being so close to the edge of the image, and also being so close behind the girl. I’ve done a bit of a paintover to sort of give them some breathing room. I’ve also centered the girl, and made the two guys behind her form a sort of triangle shape- which would be more apparent if you looked at the scene from above. This kind of positioning makes it feel more to me like they’re a team and have each other’s backs. I think you should also work on getting the anatomy down, and consider adding some more value. Finally, check and make sure that your wind direction is consistent.
Thank you for these quick replies and for your time. I know I don't post very frequently in this forum so comments are all the more appreciated.
Striations ey? Had to look that word up. I think I have some on my belly.
Before I dive in again and throw the composition elements around (I might not go with the near-symetry your proposing though, David_a_ray) - care to specify which anatomic issues need addressing? There's some I can see, but I'm checking. Don't want to post updates with the same mistake returning each time...
This is looking OK...the girl's eyes are way up in her forehead and she's got a pig-like snout. Might want to fix those. JPEG below.
Compositionally, it seems like there's a lot of "dead zones" where nothing much is going on. If this is intended for a book cover where you'll need space for the title and other type, that's fine--otherwise, you might want to consider either cropping more closely to the figures or else putting some real time in rendering details--particularly on the snowbank and mountains, which feel jarringly scribbly to me.
Eh, I don’t know that I’d put the eyes as low as Giacomo did. They look to be pretty well placed. I believe the problem is that here ears are too small, and her nose is just a tad too long. See what happens if you make the ears longer-going upward- and move her nose and mouth up a little bit too. This is the type of problem I see people run into a lot in Skyrim's character creator. Basically, Giacomo was correct in where he moved the eyes, because of where the girl's ears are. The upper part of the ears should connect at the head around the same height that the eyes are. The earlobes should be around the bottom of the nose, and the very top of the ears should be roughly where the eyebrows are.
Last edited by David_a_ray; February 14th, 2012 at 02:31 PM. Reason: Clarification
I like the look of the girl, reminds me of Tony DiTerlizzi. I think the fur on her left our right should be blowing the same direction as her hair.
I also like the layout that David A Ray suggested.
Don't get discouraged or give up on it, keep going.
"We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of the dreams." -Willy Wonka-
DiTerlizzi huh? Funny you should say that - my boyfriend told me the same and I'm not even doing it on purpose, but I do like the man's style. Good catch on the fur, btw.
Here's an experiment I did with a smaller file (because my DAMN MACHINE can't handle the big one as easily)... I was planning on turning the picture into a gift for our Dungeonmaster so what I got now is a desktop wallpaper, but I might try out some other things as well.
I've placed the individual characters closer together than David_a_ray suggested, pushed back the mountains a little by making them lighter, tried to fix the face...
I wonder if the eyes appearing to be at different heights is something optical, possibly eyelash-related... I checked with rulers, mirrorred the eyes (by which I learned that that was how I did them in the first place before I painted in the lashes and the lights, by the way)...
I find the face is still a bit strange-looking, so I'll probably keep working on that after this, but with the real-sized version.
Finding the right size for the male characters is hard, dammit! I definitely need everyone's opinion on this.
Still need to paint something in the background on the right, because it's totally empty there, but I figured I might as well let you guys know that no, I'm not getting discouraged, I'm going for it.
I like DiTerlizzi's work a lot, but I don't see any resemblance at all. The guy in the hooded cloak does look sort of Brom-ish, though.
If you're not going to lower her eyes, you might want to consider raising her nose and ears and widening her face so she doesn't look so walleyed. I'm not saying you need to completely classicize her face, but until you bring the placement of her features somewhere in line with the general canon of human proportions (consult Loomis, Bridgman, Burne Hogarth and/or many others if you need help) it's going to look amateurish.
Hey! I really like what you've done with the new composition, though maybe think about some sort of background element to even out the right side with the left. I also like the woman's face... yes, it's a bit elongated, but it gives her almost an elfish kind of ethereality that I think is gorgeous! The one thing that's really bothering me is the Myrddraal's--I mean... the... guy's... arm... it looks oddly stunted to me; in fact, like his entire arm is only about the size of his head... this might be a trick of the fabric, but it's really disconcerting.
I think the old face with the new adjusted ears would look the best.
I know you cant make everyone happy with the look, but if you could just make me happy that would be awesome
"We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of the dreams." -Willy Wonka-
@ Giacomo: Brom-ish? Thanks! ... I guess... He's great but I find his designs a bit creepy...
@ EtherealDC: I just found out there's a chance this girl is indeed supposed to be some sort of an elf after all... And here was me thinking I was dealing with a 'human' fire genasi... I've sent a mail asking what it's going to be, so I can settle on the ears.
About the arm... good that you mention that. If people are going to think he's deformed, well, can't have that. I'll change the design a bit so that it's clear where his elbow is supposed to be.
@ -BE-: Much though I'd like to oblige you, because the girl's player might make a big deal out of what she had in mind for the character (and because she seems to have re-written the background story again, oh my) I think it'd be best after all that I give the face a big overhaul after all - clothing design is one thing, messing with the face another...
Anywho, anyhow, after a good deal of browsing ways to proportion heads and faces, measuring, drawing lines and doing paintovers, I found out where I botched it:
Tadaaah! Perspective. Started out with it but forgotten all about it halfway it seems...Still don't know how that happened - my punishment for putting this thing in the freezer too many times too long ago. It sure explains the ears a little...
I'm going to reflect a bit on where I'm going to take it from here - keeping the perspective or ditching it. I supposedly wanted her to look like that because she's such an incorrigible stuck-up nnnngggg, but now I was doing the thing with the three characters each holding their head different...
Will start working and updating as soon as I'm able.
That looks a lot better...I'm not sure what "perspective" had to do with tilting her eyes to a more reasonable pitch--but whatever your motivation for doing it was, it worked.
It was the reason why she looked so pig-snouted, too.
Really nice what you did there, the changes in the composition worked for the better,
For suggestion, you can add mountains in a third plane and almost lost in the fog for the background on the right,
and i still think your mountains on the left get a lot more attention than your characters, like David A Ray suggested, i think you should resize them.
"Happiness is not a goal, it's the road"
If that's the perspective you have in mind then remember that the bottom of the ear attaches to the head at the same level as the base of the nose. So they should be a lot lower. You'd probably get the corners of her jaws a bit lower as well since they're generally somewhere below the level of the mouth.
Also I'm not sure why you're so concerned about keeping that mountain in the composition. I don't feel like it adds anyting to the picture. If you want to show they're in the mountains you can just hint at it in the background and people will still get it.
I'd also try and introduce a bit more color to it. In overcast weather colors tend to get more saturated. If that's supposed to be a fire in her hands you should add some red to it. The way it lights up her face doesn't look right. The white fur to the left would probably get a lot more of the light than her face does. And the right side of her face probably wouldn't be lit by the fire at all since her hand is preventing it from reaching there.
Anyway... I'll stop complaining now. I think this piece has potential. It just needs some more work. Keep it up.
I boosted the dramatic a little to make a point, but everything has volume, form and shape that you haven't brought out (fur, hair, facial structures)
Something to look into - (shoot some ref)
On a side note - if its windy then it will affect everyone - your caped guy needs more work to fit in with the scene (also wheres the rest of his spear?)
Agh! Why do I subscribe to this thing when it doesn't even alert me of new posts?
You raise a good point, EtherealDC - your suggestion looks very nice and I'm certainly going to try and implement that.
I'm a bit embarrassed to inform everyone who's been so very helpful that I've had to put this thing in the freezer for a bit in order to work on something else for the time being. I'll make sure to continue this thread once I get to work on this picture some more, hopefully before too long.
In the meantime, I put up another thread here if anyone wants to C&C, or just 'see' that other thing. Thanks in advance!
You probably turned email-notifications as a default choice off, because you'd get spammed.
You can tick all the threads for notifications, and at the bottom you have a drop down menu, which gives you plenty of useful options.
It's not the most intuitive design (ah the beauty of vBulletin) but it's so useful in keeping you up-to-date with what you actually care about.
So - this has been a while. I very much wanted to show everyone that I haven't abandoned this thing, and once again I'd like to thank everyone for their sound advice so far.
Still plenty of work to do here, but I'm getting the feeling there's light at the end of the tunnel. If I'm doing anything really stupid here, right now would be a good time to tell me!
Her nose is seen from a low-rise angle while her face is somewhat facing us straight on, her ears are straight on instead of being from a side view which makes them very dramaticaly detached from her head (which is quite possible... Just not very aesthetic :p). The guy who's head is in a cloak has a very harsh high light on his cheek and chin but no light source to cause it, It's a bit distracting.
Face ref would benefit your central character:
gals with hair in the wind, because long hair is heavy:
(If you can, look at Disney animator's studies for pocahontas' hair)
Thank you, Freiheit. At this point though I wonder where I'll get the extra patience to return to the face again, because god knows how many iterations I went through trying to make her look like my friend's character and I'm not even showing any of those attempts.
I might fidget with the nose sometime in the near future, a little, maybe. Those are some nice ref photo's there though, yum!
Anyway I think this is the last pass I'll show everyone here, I think the picture came a long way and I hope some of you might feel that their efforts to get things through my thick skull have payed off a bit.
Thank you all for contributing!
Last edited by Ahnem Mee; August 20th, 2012 at 07:13 AM.