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April 25th, 2012 #1
Could I get some critique on this before I start going into detail/final refinement?
Okay, before I continue refining and start going into fur detail and such, I was wondering if maybe I could get some critique on this?
Do the colors and light look convincing? Does the snow storm look alright?
What about the background? Should I edit it further or leave it barebones?
Hide this ad by registering as a memberApril 25th, 2012 #2
This is already too detailed / refined to help with all the structural and anatomy issues, I am afraid. Next time, spend more time planning, less time painting: sketches are much cheaper than having to backtrack from a nearly finished painting when you discover that the pose is impossible.
The two main issues in this picture are the lack of clear lighting and the flat "cutout" feel of the tiger. (The human is also a "cutout" but has less prominence in the composition.) I suggest you spend some time researching tiger poses and building a perspective for this.
The camera is close enough and the tiger is big enough to produce marked perspective distortion and foreshortening at this angle; something that you've apparently tried to ad lib and didn't quite pull off. The whole tiger is guesswork, there is no clear feeling of where the body masses go. So you need to do it the long way and make a formal perspective plot. Then make an anatomy study to make sure that your tiger has visible volume.
In a blizzard, you'll get very pronounced atmospheric haze from the flying snow; a perspective plot will also help with that. It's one of the rare cases when you'll see a marked difference in value between the tiger's nose and tail due to haze. Likewise, the snow, both in the air and on the ground, will produce a very even, obliterating diffuse light; your purple shadows will not happen in reality. There will be hardly any shadows at all, just ambient light occlusion. Light parts of the background will merge into the white haze very quickly; all you'll ever see through it are faint shadows, so your tree trunks would not be visible.
As a minor tip, try to refrain from detailing one part of the picture before it works in general. You've got everything very sketchy, but the human's face is highly detailed. Don't get carried away like that.
And as another minor tip, do research the texture that snow makes when it sticks to fur and clothing and hair.
April 25th, 2012 #3
Which way is the wind blowing and why doesn't if affect the hairs of the kid and tiger? Why does that one birch seem to have leaves (in the upper left corner)? Where is those strong shadows coming from? If the sky is cloudy and there's snow blowing everywhere, I don't think there's enough light to create such strong, blue shadows.
April 25th, 2012 #4
That said, I just realized where I went wrong with the lower quarters. I just have the colors mostly blocked before I start rendering fur, so it should be an easy fix.
As for the cut-out feeling, I'm afraid I'm feeling that too and it's killing me... I'm having a bit of a hard time figuring out how to best convey form within such a low, diffused light setting since I know not a lot of light travels through snowstorms.
I didn't realize the haze was THAT intense though. I'll definitely apply that, hopefully that'll help the human and tiger less flat?
That said, what do you mean by "lack of clear lighting"? Shouldn't light in a snowstorm be extremely diffused?
Also, do you have any tips for expressing form within a low value range?
I'm used to working within a range that allows me to go all the way to black, so yeah... that's part of the trouble I'm having I guess.
I'm definitely gonna research the snow texture. I'll be adding that after properly rendering the fur though.
As for the shadows, I guess I just went further than necessary in trying to express form. All the pictures of tigers in snowy conditions seemed to have that amount of value range, but I could've been wrong. So I should lighten and desaturate them, right?
April 25th, 2012 #5
The primary thing to address is to make sure that all the volumes are in correct relationships. You need a perspective plot for that. Then it's a relatively minor thing to track the muscles and other tricky parts; but your perspective has to be solid. That ought to solve most of the "flatness" problem, too. Build your tiger out of blocks, not out of blobs.
I suggest you post the sketch you've worked the anatomy out on. I can't really tell if the problems were present in the sketch or were a result of losing the sight of the sketch while painting.
"Lack of clear lighting" - I could rephrase it as "you need to get the lighting right for the scene"? If you are painting a daytime blizzard, it has to read as a daytime blizzard.
As for tips for working in narrow range of values - for one, you really need no more than three distinct values to make a picture work. With five, you can do everything, but three is enough with a little ingenuity. You can easily fit three value levels even into a very narrow range. It can even help with the picture's readability.
The bigger problem in a blizzard scene is the lack of directional light. You'll have to rely on other things to suggest the volume: silhouette, overlapping shapes, atmospheric haze, and ambient light occlusion, primarily.
April 25th, 2012 #6
April 25th, 2012 #7Registered User
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A small point but if they were sitting there for more than a few seconds snow would be accumulating on top of the characters.
April 25th, 2012 #8
April 26th, 2012 #9
I like the mood you have going here. It's charming.
From the look of it now, the tiger's hind legs make no sense to me. I can't figure out the structure there, and the paws seem more like a rabbit's than a tiger's. I also can't imagine the front paw facing upward like that - that's a very human gesture that isn't convincing in a tiger.
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April 26th, 2012 #10
April 26th, 2012 #11
I kind of liked it. The relationship between the front end of the tiger and the child was working well. The back legs of the tiger weren't working well at all, but I found the rest of the picture charming.
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).
April 26th, 2012 #12
The foreshortening on the tiger's back legs MUST BE OBVIOUS if you don't want it to look like it has midget legs. That means making the knee explicit through overlap and the positioning of the stripes (and eventually value). The stripes have to follow the surface of the leg and be foreshortened in the way that people expect. Otherwise the reference photo may be right but your drawing will look wrong.
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April 26th, 2012 #13
Expanded it a bit to the right and worked more on the paws. I ended up completely redoing the hind-quarters and will probably re-do the tail.
What do you guys think?