Hi, I thought it was time I started posting here rather than just getting frustrated and potentially abandoning pieces...
I'm stuck on this one: I spent a long time on the figure and pose but the background has gone all smushy and I'm not sure what to do. I plan to render the girl quite a bit more but I don't want to move on without doing something with that background ~ I'm not aiming for anything detailed that will take away from the character but I think this one looks like colour soup rather than an autumnal forest scene like I'm aiming for.
I was kind of thinking those spiky shapes might be standing stones, and I'll flesh out those bird shapes in the mid ground. I know I want to keep the pale blue against her face because I think that makes it stand out.
Basically apart from that I'm really unsure of how to go on.
Any kind of critique is very welcome and thanks in advance.
Also I forgot to rename the thread title, I lose.
Last edited by Wynniemaru; December 1st, 2012 at 04:26 PM.
A couple of things that stood out to me; Her eyes are scarily far apart, her neck is quite long, her right arm seems too long (and is definitely longer than the left), her ribcage is rather massive and she seems to be missing wrists.
Having said that, I do quite like the way you've rendered it so far, clearly you know how to color. Now you just have to work on planning and building up your illustrations before doing so . Did you do any thumbnails for the composition of the piece? Color or value sketches? I'm guessing you're mostly lost because you've skipped important preparations, or, if not, that you didn't plan it out quite enough yet.
Thanks, you've already given me a lot to think about! It's so strange how you just don't see these things until someone points them out.
I do have a terrible habit of jumping straight into pieces and I'm starting to plan with thumbnails and sketches, but this is one I just started because I was inspired by the music I was listening to. I've grown attached to it though and I'd like to finish it between my more serious work, so thanks again for the pointers!
Agree with Lhune completely. Also, her facial features might be too spaced out vertically compared to the size of her head. The musculature of the neck is missing, particularly the sternomastoid would be a welcome addition.
The textures on the various materials (skin, hair, cloth) all look a little too similar. That's something that could use some work as you polish it up.
Her left arm looks pretty uncomfortable. I tried out the pose myself, and when trying to have my wrist in that position, it was doable with the least amount of strain if my elbow were out to the side, rather than pointing backwards.
The dagger she's holding looks fairly dull. Is it supposed to be made out of steel? If so it should be much more reflective. Rather than just being blue, consider the colored surrounding bounce-light and how that affects the appearance of the blade.
Same critiques as the folks above me, but I must say the rendering thus far is pretty damn good. Her left forearm does look far too scrawny though, and I'd recommend reposing how she's holding the knife since it's misaligned right now.
Amateur Artist. Professional Asshole.
Lookit the Pretty!
Rule #1 of depicting soldiers: KEEP THE DAMN FINGER OFF THE DAMN TRIGGER.
Unless you want a full on Autumn blaze of colour, perhaps drop or desaturate your background.
The top half is quite summery and the bottom half a little too red.
Use complementary colours, the autumnal leaves (more orange) would give you a pretty close match to your green. Trees (to my eyes) carry a wonderful purple tinge in autumn with atmospheric perspective.
It really depends on what you are after?
Quick scribble with a reduced (saturation) autumnal palette
I've not really touched the figure, just muted some of the colours:
Last edited by Venger; March 19th, 2012 at 06:04 AM.
Thanks so much everyone. I'll consider carefully everything you've all said and battle on. Especially that left arm, I've started redrawing it (and realigning the knife) and I'll update as soon as enough has been worked on.
Hexokinase, I'm not sure what you mean with "her facial features might be too spaced out vertically compared to the size of her head". Do you think it's that her head is too small or her face too big? She certainly does need some musculature!
Thanks Venger so much for the sketch-over. It's really helped make sense of that background.
You know, I'm thinking now it's not even autumn. I started in the autumn last year, carried on in the winter when I wanted it to be summer, so summer kind of crept into the canopy? I've never even been sure what season it is, but I'll put more thought into it next time. I think I'll leave this one late summer, early autumn, when the leaves are just turning.
Thanks again all, I'm so glad I got up the courage to post!
On a side note, the bottom of her nose might be a bit too small for the skull, but that might just be me.
Right now everything looks muddled because there is no depth. First put in the furthest, palest blurry blues, then start layering forward getting more saturated and more defined. Some tree trunks or something with definition and perspective would help as well. Think about how the lines and values will balance the composition with your character.
I've been working on this on and off in my spare time, but I'd really like to finish it over the weekend!
Any advice or obvious improvements?
Any kinda critique is welcome
Not sure if her head is too big. My eyes are so tired.
Last edited by Wynniemaru; December 1st, 2012 at 01:58 AM.
The last iteration is better: there is more contrast and it doesn't look washed-out anymore. But you are still making very, very wobbly anatomy. You are uncertain about nearly every visible structure, from skull to wrist, and it shows.
Do some anatomy studies in this pose to check where the actual muscles are and how the form is built. Get someone to model for you.
I'll agree, I am uncertain. I'm catching up with my anatomy after misspending my youth thinking I was way too cool for that stuff. (SO definitely not cool).
I'll agree that it shows. Could you be more specific?
I've been working from myself as a model, from the mirror and several photos. Do you think this can be improved with another render where I pay more attention to the forms or do you think the problems are fundamental? Do I need to be resizing things and dragging them around?
I can see the wrist needs some bringing-into-existence. Her arm is like a stick with no musculature at all (unusual for a warrior, even a skinny one). Is her head too big? What about the way the features sit on her face? Are her cheekbones too sharp?
Im way too used to this image so it's difficult to see these things. I really want to get it out by Monday though.
The only real remedy for that is learning the underlying structures that make up the body: bones, tendons and muscles, in their interplay. If you know what structures lie there to create the form, it will enable you to see the subtle and near-invisible.
I recommend "Drawing the Living Figure" by Sheppard as a supplement to a textbook on anatomy.
I hope it's ok to post again, I did more work on this today.
Not sure what else to do before the deadline on Monday.
I just wanted to start off by saying I'm really impressed by how much you improved this piece. It is moving in a good direction now I think.
The problem is as you said. Her arms don't seem to have any musculature to them. She is a rogue-type character, so I wouldn't expect huge rippling muscles haha, but there should still be some substance to her arms. If you move the dagger and angle it more inward you can adjust the movement of the wrist and fatten up the rest of the arm appropriately. That will also help to avoid the feeling that I'm getting right now from how she's holding that dagger like she's about to drop it. You should really find a reference for her arm, especially the hand.
Her cranium also seems too small to match her face so I made it larger. I don't feel her head is too big for her body, but someone else may feel different. Perhaps you feel that way because her arm is so small?
Here's a paint-over to help explain!:
My comments come a bit to late in the process, but you should try to keep your poses open and avoid having limbs and torso kinda merged into each other.
a) Your characters will look more dynamic
b) They'll occupy the space better
c) The action will be easier to read.
There's a lot of different ways you can do that, I just did a quick paintover
Your rending and colours improved a lot! but it was easier to understand what was going on in your first WIP. The legs/skirt area is a bit confusing as to what overlaps what and where the leg is (it blends with the background right now). If you ever have time, I think it'd be worth clarifying that area, maybe a subtle highlight could help?
Gaaah you guys are awesome T_T
I have a couple of hours to work on it before submitting, I'll definitely sort out those arms and that cranium to the best of my ability. And give her a firmer grip on that dagger - all the better for slicing people with.
I'll also address the issue of her legs/skirt area freiheit, I totally didn't think of that.
When I saw your paint over I was like WOAH, the composition is so much more dynamic, and you've given me a lot to think about. I do think the wide open pose isn't right for her character, as she's quiet and reserved. But its something I definitely need to work on with some of my more outgoing characters.
l'Aria, now I keep laughing imagining her with super strongman muscles xD
My pose is more dynamic, but you can still apply the same principles to other poses (well...maybe not now since you're so far in :p). For example, your first draft showed the back hand, which allowed a better understanding of where it was and what it was doing (even if it as a bit strained), your dagger-holding hand also works better in your first draft (the slight tilt feels more natural, it's also better proportioned). When you think about it, your original pose only needed maybe a bit more though on the dagger arm placement, and the hair being swept away enough to show a bit more of the arm.
of course this isn't some sort of godly rule and there's plenty of reason not to apply it, but if you do, you'll develop your eye for silhouette and it'll be quite handy for composition.