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Here's my WIP for the Diablo 3 art contest! (due next Monday)
I'm still sort of a nub and I'd really like some help, especially on the BG and composition!
Thanks for looking! Criticism, advice and paintovers are very welcome!
I congratulate you on your ambition of this painting. There are things I like about it like the environment. The composition is nice too with that other spider coming in from the bottom.
However, the anatomy of the woman is so far exaggerated that it turns me off immediately. I also don't like that she is the only thing with line art. Why is that?
Her entire pose and anatomy should be referenced and redone. But I still think you could do that by the 30th!
I hope that doesnt sound negative, because I think you have potential, but I dont want to give u the wrong idea--the character does not look good as it is. Find some reference!
I really appreciate your honesty. I think she looks good.. but I'm sure you are right. I didn't use a reference at all. I'll see what mistakes I can find.
Are there any areas of the body in specific that you have issues with? (for my own improvement, I take your advice about redoing it to heart)
How would you approach *correctly* figuring out such an awkward pose?
The reason why there are lines on the girl and nothing else is I followed a tutorial, which said to use lines. Is it a problem if the characters have lines and the BG doesn't?
Last edited by simop; April 23rd, 2012 at 09:41 PM. Reason: clarification
I'm not exactly clear on this from your post: Is it primarily the exaggeration that puts you off, or is it some glaring anatomical errors? Obv. the hips and boobs are big on purpose, and the waist was meant to be Rob Liefeld tiny, for good or worse.
The following text may come off as harsh. You have been warned. It's all with the best intentions though!
The exaggeration is a big turn-off for me too, and that I'm female has nothing to do with it. The main problem is that no human looks like this. First the head shape: Look at a skull, then back at her head. The whole back of her head is like a melon on top of a face. The face is also quite creepy, it lacks softness and too much of the white of the eyes shows. The ears are at the back of the head/neck instead of in the middle, and the earrings are behind the neck. That, again, isn't realistic. Then the torso: It's absolutely totally impossible to bend the rib cage and the spine like that withouth breaking a substantial amount of bones. The breasts are a full-on view while the torso is turned away from us at a 3/4-angle. The bottom of the rib cage is shown above the belly, but the rib cage doesn't continue from there. It's supposed to be an egg shape, but that doesn't show here.
The legs are too short, which also is quite un-sexy, especially with a torso that long. Try standing like that, it's absolutely impossible. It looks like she tripped over something, and is falling awkwardly while still trying to capture a spider which is very far away.
What to do now? Start over, do anatomy studies and use reference. All these problems could be easily solved with use of reference. Try fineart.sk for refs. Reference is very, very important if you want a good outcome, but be careful to not copy everything you see in a photo meticulously. Have multiple references and combine the information. It would also help if you studied the skeleton and had a look at at least the most important muscle groups. Yes, quite a lot to do, but this is an ambitious picture, and a good result requires a lot of work. I wish you the best of luck!
This link might help you as well, here you can see how Gil Elvgren used models for his pinup paintings: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2011/04...and-their.html
Edit: Oh, about the lines: In the tutorial he has colored the lines, whereas they're black in your painting. Avoid black at all costs, in shadows and lines, when painting.
Great advice, thanks!
I'll start drawing now...
Aside from the anatomical issues that were already brought up, another problem for me is that it doesn't look like what she's carrying has much weight. Maybe it's intentionally like that and it's not supposed to be heavy, but the size of it seems to imply that it's at least a little heavy. I do like the way you did the tree in the background and the spider, they look quite nice.
The first few things that pop out at me are the distended head-shape, the fact that the depth of her back to her stomach is about four inches, and that her upper back is a very odd shape.
Here's an update on the background. Am I on the right track? Anything really not working? Does it need something? (besides a bunch more refinement, of course)
I would convert the image to grey-scale and concentrate on establishing form through light and shadow.
Grunler is right. You're painting everything like it is all individually lit by studio lights. You need to paint the light coming from the background and hitting objects. On the far side of the objects, make large groups of shadows. Then you can pick out bits where the light is hitting if u want. Don't make lights in the foreground as bright as in the background because you want it to be darker in the foreground. The exception is something highly reflective like the spiders.
I hope these paint overs help. I do like the painting--keep it up! Get more reference of forests!
Thanks for the advice - I will read it over when I am more awake and try to follow it. I think the atmosphere/light effect you showed is similar to what I was imagining, i.e. that's how I want it to look. I was thinking about many of the things you mentioned, so we'll see how you like this update here.
Here is an update with some work on the BG. I'm still trying to figure out the pose so here are two rough sketches to cringe at, and tell me if they inspire any thoughts about posing. Anatomy and proportions have not been checked; will be looking into that after I decide on the pose.
And now it's time to go to sleep
Ahh, looks like you like sculpting the forms with silhouettes rather than doing it via line. I'm the same way, doing line work on a wacom just doesn't come off as easy or natural to me and it seems many others prefer to scan in their stuff. A suggestion I have is to sculpt in your forms with very very low opacity and then constantly refine it until you have solid silhouette. You'll notice that you'll come up with some creative ideas for poses too by using this method. Once you start understanding and getting a feel for correct human anatomy you'll up the opacity so its less forgiving but quicker.
Also, use as big of a brush size as you can manage at the start.
Someone very good might be able to get this anatomy and gesture 85% correct without reference if you're REALLY good.
If you want it to look good, you GOTTA get ref!
DeviantArt is actually a very good place to start. The nerds over there love taking pics of themselves in all kinds of costumes.
And if you can't find a pose that fits, then you gotta do it yourself. Put a timer on the camera, and get in ur chonies, and take some pics. If you're a guy, that's ok because u will still get the torso, head, limbs in the right places.
I found this on deviantart in about 3 minutes of looking. You might find more. Go to photo/model/female...I put in the word tribal as search.
i agree with Grunler, cut your losses and convert to greyscale. Not to sound mean or anything... but you simply don't understand enough about form to paint an image like this well... and in colour. I can see that by the way you handle the forms on the figure and the spiders. there's no bounce light, cast shadows and you treat the shadows themselves like they where from Doom 3 (pure black), when in fact should be either more green, blue or skin colour depending on the distance and angle from another object in the scene.
also do more still life drawing and painting, as well as figure drawing and painting, also in greyscale to start off.
Ok, I was really just trying to come up with ideas for the pose. Think of them as stick figures. Will def use ref.
So converting to greyscale will help me understand and show the forms? Makes sense I guess.
Shadows' colours are based on nearby objects! Very interesting! I had been noticing that (good) painted shadows are generally lit by something. Will try to incorporate this. Honestly I was leaving the bouncing light "for later". I'll stop.
Thanks for your patience and continued support! I'm trying to learn while I do, and do to a high standard, so I'm sure you'll agree I need all the help I can get. lol
Edit: Nice job on that reference. Very appropriate. I'll have a look on there and see what I can find.
PPS Thanks for the paint-overs. I was really hoping to get some paint overs.
Last edited by simop; April 27th, 2012 at 10:58 AM.
Here's a little update to show what I've done so far today. A lot of it I haven't touched yet, but I worked on the overall lighting and as you can see, greyscaled it.
Hey again. I respect your willingness simop.
The values are looking better. Something I put in one of my PO's was how it should be darker overall at the bottom which is further from the light source. You made the bottom spider darker, but you're not doing enough.
Here are some pics of 'light fall off'. Light will be brighter from its source and then dissipate except in space which is why stuff in space looks weird. This fall off is what makes things look dramatic, and more like a film. See that rock at the bottom? Its much too lit-up!
Apply this studio light hitting the urn to all of the objects in your scene, as I tried to do in the PO. Except there is only ONE studio light, lighting everything.
There are three main properties of colour. Value - the most important by a country mile, and what can and should be learned in grey-scale imo. Then Hue, then saturation. the last two aren't essential to making an image read however they do add significant information and beauty, but one step at a time.
I think the image is already working a lot better. i would be tempted to paintover my thoughts but maybe later as i'm pretty tired. but the tree stumps and spiders abdomen are working much better.
However i would ditch the specular highlights unless that tree is supposed to be wet?
A problem that's been bothering me is that the spider in the middle, or any other objects for that matter, don't have a cast shadow, so spacially it feels like its floating somewhere. I understand that the lighting you're going for is very ambient, but just a bit of cast shadow will help defined where all your main characters/elements are located on the ground. i would suggest getting a friend to take a picture of you doing the pose you want- or asking a friend to pose for you! Finding the perfect ref at the right angle online is hard for me, so that's what I usually end up doing
and personally, I think rob liefeld is not a great place to look for inspiration when it comes to human correctness, proportion, or even tastefulness. Proportions and pose can be stylistically exaggerated, but they should still be consistent with correct anatomy.
First, I would establish a solid floor to your jungle and set up your major areas of light and cast shadow. Then I would gradually work from general to specific. Keep in mind the basics of figure ground to show structure: light against dark, dark against light. Maybe be more sparing with the details.
I'm not really an environment guy, but here's a paintover to show the idea:
No time to read your comments tonight, I'll get to them all in the morning (well technically it's morning already..)
No more ado, here's the update: Just starting to figure out the body. Also shown without. Criticize meeeee lo.\.l (still haven't quite finished up the lighting)
Thanks for all the help! We're in the home stretch - only 2 days left until it's due SUNDAY at midnight
dog-faced: Thanks for the advice you gave. I've been enjoying working in greyscale very much. Colour feels like an extra, unnecessary challenge now. Of course, I'm still excited to add the colour back into the grey image!
PS - dont' be a fraid, paint over it! muahahaha
Last edited by simop; April 28th, 2012 at 01:02 PM.
Here's another quick update. I've tried to smooth out the values, fix that overly shiny wet-looking tree (not sure which one was the worst, I worked on a couple of them), add some cast shadows (still need more).
Now I'm going to incorporate some more references into the girl and sharpen her up. All kinds of advice are welcome. Thanks for looking!
the bottom spider and that one unshaded leafs at the left are still awaiting the touch of my brush.. they are too dark.
It's coming along. So whatcha think? I could use some feedback on the girl, and the picture overall as it stands now.
Just 19.5 hours left until the deadline! Time to go to sleep. I promise I'll get reference for the hands tomorrow, I promise.
I need help with colouring!
Note: This is not a serious attempt at colouring. I'm just about to look up how to do it online right now.
Re-uploaded, that bad colour was really in the way. Can I delete the old image off here? I'd like help on the body shape if anyone has any tips for me. Thanks for reading!
Lol well they're definitely not dangerous spiders, apparently. I think the pose is believable and the body shape looks fine to me. I would reduce her breasts tho. I know, big breasts are rockin', but they're distracting. And her lack of a top is also distracting. Give her a real top.
If you look at a thumbnail size of your original painting, I thought those colors were very bold and nice actually. Maybe you can just keep it greyscale for the deadline and practice color after?