Art: Requesting critique

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  1. #1
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    Requesting critique

    Hello, my name is Lukas and I feel like I've come to the right forum!

    When I got to know there is a job called "Concept artist" that combines both my hobbies, I knew what I would want to become. I still pursue this dream and do what I can to make it come true. Atm I'm finishing school with a major on art and English class, have a job as an advertisement designer and plan on studying at the Games Academy in Berlin.

    I know I have still alot of time ahead of me to improve, but I feel like with 18 years, I should have accomplished something already. I also know that as a concept artist it is not enough to be good at drawing and once I'm done with school I want to spend my time on learning 3D programs such as blender, but for now I'm most concerned with my art.

    I strongly hope someone who reads this could have a look at my work and give me a honest critique about it and if I'm good enough for 2D concept design.

    http://lukaskuhn.daportfolio.com/

    I especially ask for critique on my brush stroke economy, composition on the environment pictures, anatomy and values! I think especially my values aren't good yet, I'm not confident enough to take strong black or white tones yet..

    Thanks alot for everyone who took their time reading this!

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  3. #2
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    Hey man, your work is definitely getting there. I would suggest focusing on gesture studies and proportions. The rendering is getting there but is pulled back a lot because the proportions are way off.

    After that I would focus on understanding color theory. Like hots and colds and how to mix them in your image and what not.

    Other then that your off to a good start though with some of the train of thought.

    I hope this helps

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  5. #3
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    Hi Lukas, i think you're a bit confused about concept art in videogames.
    I'll explain something might be useful to your career in videogame making. Actually concept art in short is the process of creating entire worlds with your mind. That's it. When you're asked to do a concept art about something by a client what you do is to create a world for that something. I'll make you an example if you ask me to create a building i have to think about where's that building, what kind of people build it and for what purpose, how does it function and who's living there or who's working there and even what kind of technology makes it function... what does it look like come after all this stuff. Now why do i tell you this? Cause most young people tend to confuse concept art with illustration or with random shaping things. Well illustration is a side of this career path, if you're not the type who likes to think about all this stuff and just draw super cool character in great fashion poses to advertise the next bad ass movie or videogame then this might be your career. Anyway the difference are huge in terms of what kind of things you're going to make and the time you have to do it, when doing concept art you will surely make lots of sets, buildings, vehicles, props, creatures and some characters. In illustration you will make lots of characters and sets (it's not more easy as a job, it's just more easy in terms of design).

    Talking about your current portfolio... you're drawing lots of characters in there and it's ok cause probably is the thing you know better (you surely do know more of an human being than an alien world with weird technology and flying creatures) but if you really want to learn to do concept art you must focus on perspective and anatomy (proportions of things) and start to do a lot of environments.

    To conclude here's a tip about character designers and 3d modelers, as a concept artist probably you don't have to build a single 3d model in your entire career. Is a good thing to know how to build a 3d model cause your work will be to deliver a product that can be build as a 3d model but it's not necessary. There are software houses with 3d modelers that can do concept art but in most cases they'll prefer to have a guy that's working and delivering every day something (as a concept designer) to be build in 3d for their game, is part of the production pipeline efficiency, a 3d model who's modeling can't do concept art in the mean time you know.


    Anyway i hope i didn't forgot something vital, i'm here if there's something else you want to talk about. For your technique Tomahawk Monkey have told you pretty much everything needed

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  7. #4
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    Did u actually worked on journey? o: if not i suggest taking that out of the portfolio.

    -We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.

    -Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.

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    Edit:
    @Tomahawk Monkey: Thanks alot for your reply! I will try to improve on proportions and do more studies.What do you mean by gesture studies? Natural poses?

    Thanks for the tip about the color theory. I now see that my lighting almost not varies the hue.

    Again thanks alot!

    @HitsuSan: Thank you for writing such a big reply, it means alot to me!
    I guess my understanding of art is influenced by DeviantArt and art class and so I treat what I do as Fine Art instead of conceptual art. I will try to focus more on developing sketches and varying scrabbles etc. Because I really dont want to "just draw super cool character in great fashion poses to advertise the next bad ass movie or videogame", not to mention that I don't desire photorealistic rendering which would be needed for such promotional art.

    Thanks for pointing out that my portfolio is flooded with humans! I will try to get more diversity with interior, props and animals. What do you mean by "you surely do know more of an human being than an alien world with weird technology and flying creatures"? I don't think thats an excuse for not drawing much else, pros surely never saw an alien either but design some.

    About the 3D stuff... people suggested to me that I'm more employable when I can not only design but also create content and companies rarely have more than two concept artists. But my ideal wish would be to be this concept artist, so I'll focus on art again and drop 3D for a bit, thanks for pushing me back!

    Again thanks alot for your reply, I'll keep in mind to improve on color, proportions and diversity. Maybe one last question: Do you have a tip for my brush strokes? It seems a bit messy to me as it is.

    @rem92: Of course I did not! These pictures are recent and I didn't want to post my portfolio here with so few environment pictures.

    ____

    Okay, I now finished a picture and tried to incorporate better shading/indirect lighing with more variety in hue, tried to establish a focus point on the skull, different materials, composition by rule of thirds and balance to the right (total failure?). Could it be that the high amount of red in the hand drags the attention from the skull to it instead?

    I'm very unsure about that hand. I worked a long time on its proportions and think its now okay. But still feel like its not entirely right (but that may be due to my cartoonish finger poses). It may also be due to the lighting.
    In the end I felt like the picture was so busy that any overly detailed background would be distracting and I couldn't think of anything decent.


    Requesting critique

    Last edited by Undercurrent; April 9th, 2012 at 04:38 AM.
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  9. #6
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    It's a problem that afflicts every new account as much as i know, don't worry it will go away eventually ^^ just use the advanced reply and copy what you've wrote before posting. Anyway, another illustration! Be aware that we tend to look lights things instead of darker thing and your hand is in light (and the closer to the light source) so our eyes will go there first. Don't be afraid of backgrounds and foregrounds, anything you see is composed by foreground (generally something between your eyes or camera and what you're looking at) a middleground (the thing you're looking at, in this moment your monitor) and the background which is something near and under your middleground but (sometimes might be not in focus but not always). Keep the general rule that the closer they are the darker you want to draw things near you, obviously it's not always true but knowing this rule will enhance so much your paintings.

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  11. #7
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    I edited my last post and added my original reply as you said~

    As one can see I didn't think of an actual room when painting this, so its no surprise I had a hard time with a background... I know thats the wrong approach, an actual painting should be made from fore, middle and background from the scratch.. but thanks for the tip on foreground=always darker. I noted that somewhen but didn't know it was a rule.

    So things closer to the light source are always more attracting? I'll have to remember that when establishing focus, thanks.

    Do you think lighting (color modulation) and proportions worked out well in this one?

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    Well not much, you've done some mistakes. That skull would be most in shadow or that hand have to be more lighted in the palm. That glove is red but the skull is reflecting an overcasted blue light from environment that's not so strong (cause nothing else in the picture have such a strong blue light on it) and can't be a self shadow tone cause it will surely be colored in red cause of the glove. Anyway don't mind so much this kind of mistakes right now, using colors and understanding light is the most difficult thing for an artist.

    "you surely do know more of an human being than an alien world with weird technology and flying creatures"

    What i mean is simple, everyone can only draw something that can understand. As a human being the first thing you can understand is yourself. That's why if you give a piece of paper to someone randomly that can't draw and ask him/her to draw something most of them will draw simple shapes or simple human forms, no one is going to draw a steam powered walking island. This has nothing to do with lack of fantasy, you simply can't draw an hydraulic piston powered by steam if you don't know how it works in reality, but you will always know how a human work cause you're a human

    Back to the 3d thing, that suggestion will work only in small companies that prefers people that can do more than one thing (cause like this they will pay you one time to do two different jobs, in house), but this thing can't be applied to freelancers or with big companies. Anyway every good concept artist will know a lot about 3d and every good 3d artist will know a lot about concept art. It's a complementary job, we do concept art for 3d rendering or matte paintings for 3d environments and they do 3d objects and environments from concept art... this it's natural. I can go more in deep talking about 3d knowledge for concept artists but you don't need this kind of stuff right now, it's too early cause you don't know yet how to do concept art anyway.

    A little tip, you'd better learn how to render something in a photo realistic way cause if you have to show a design and you don't know how light works you can screw up pretty easily. The human eye is extremely good to catch wrong things (cause we are used to look at right things all the time, if something is off we know that subconsciously) and if you make a mistake in rendering something, even if the general design is correct, our eyes will perceive that as wrong. It's something to keep always in mind, you'd better show to people (i mean buyers) only things that you're certain of because of this fact.

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    First off, thank you HitsuSan for taking so much time and giving me such detailed replies. This is the first time I recieved satisfying critiques on my work, thanks alot!

    I will try and wrap my mind around everything I learned from this thread and apply it to future projects of mine, especially doing more concept art rather than this more or less fine art I did until now.

    When I spoke about photorealistic rendering, I ment that I feel like a style like this http://sinix.deviantart.com/#/d4ogdjh seems for me more realistic to achieve (for now, who knows what my stuff will look like in ten years) than this: http://adonihs.deviantart.com/galler...et=24#/d2ntgxe . Looking at the enormous attention paid to the skin texture. (and again, both are humans.. lol)
    I probably have used the term "photorealistic rendering" wrong. Of course I want a realistic lighting etc in my pictures to make it believable but I dont dare to aim for such an amount of detail as in a photo-like painting.

    Anyways, I will now concentrate on everything I learned from here and draw draw draw

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    Good but keep in mind that when you know the technique there's no difference between those two images, at the exception of time spent. It's not a difficulty matter, it's a time matter, obviously in concept art you don't have 8 hours to spend on those kind of details for a single concept (probably your client will never waste his money in having you doing that stuff instead of making 8 concept in the same amount of time ).

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  16. #11
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    Hey it's me again

    I watched alot of FZD on youtube and I (guess I) have learned a bit. Here is a recent image I did in ~5 hours (and another full day breeding over the colours every other hour until I ended up with this version here). I tried to go for a heated up and poisonous atmosphere. Thoughts, critique and advice would make me a happy little tryhard artist.

    Requesting critique

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  17. #12
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    Cool! Looks pretty good.
    I did a quick paintover with some pointers.
    I'm not as awesome as most of the people here, so take it with a grain of salt. But might be useful anyway

    Requesting critique

    First I added an overlapping stone. Makes the picture look more 3d.
    Then I added a lot of green fog from the lake thingie. Gives more atmosphere and also some more depth.
    The upper part of the weird thing in the lake needs to be greener as it's primarily lit by the lake.

    Because all the color in the sky comes from the atmosphere of the planet and space is black you can't really have dark objects there. So I made it brighter.

    Hope it helps Good luck!
    /Hannes

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  19. #13
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    Nothing to say about the lighting, Hannes he's right that green pool is a direct light source (even if not so strong) so most of the close environment such as the little island must be filled with bounce lights. The composition is wrong in both versions, in your version (Undercurrent) you are overweighting the left side of the image. Those two human figures are drawing the attention away from the main subject which is wrong cause i've got an eye going to the left and an eye going to the right... In your version (Hannes) you're framing the image to the center too much, the viewer eyes see that there's something on the left and the right (something with primary light sources so must be important) but the eyes are divided in 3 parts...

    Remember guys if you're making a composition be sure to frame it properly and think about what you're doing, the focus point must be very clear.

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