A farmers fate - critique please - update

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    A farmers fate - critique please - update

    Dear ladies and gentlemen,
    I hope you're all fine and hopefully in a good mood, hm or maybe even better in bad mood, which would make the critique more honest :-). I hope you can help me, any kind of advice, suggestion and critique is very appreciated.

    This is a picture I did for a student work, it means to show the fact that due to the rural exodus, especially by women there is a mismatch of gender on the farmside, which leads to the mostly lonely farmer.

    Hm lol please excuse my bad English, doesn't even know if my description makes sense. Anyway I hope at least you got a slightly impression and have maybe some good ideas and harsh critique how i could improve the work due to composition, style, anatomy, lighting, color etc.

    (I think for example the smoke looks strange, but i'm not sure how to do it right now, the motion blur on the bus kind of fails too)

    Thanks in advance and all the best to you!

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    Last edited by Talib; April 29th, 2012 at 03:17 PM.
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  3. #2
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    I like it!

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    So do I!
    I absolutely love that the crops are actually planted around the concrete bus stop, really really like it. You might want to work on the crops a bit, make it less obvious brush strokes.
    And I THINK, I am not sure but, if you look at a landscape it doesn't just get blurry, it also gets grey-er the further you look. "Perspective for Comic Book Artists" has a go at this phenomenon, you might rely on that rather than on me.

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    nice piece. however the perspective is all of. I would pick up a book on perspective if i where you.

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  9. #5
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    Thanks a lot for your kind and helpful comments, Kendall, Louis and Chris!!

    Yes I think you're right the crops in front are probably to heavy and take a little bit too much focus by that.
    I've already desaturated the colors of the further away parts but as you say they should be more greyish its probably because I've still haven't found the right color balance as my images where often much too greyish earlier, because I used to shadow by adding black, which made images mostly kind of grey-brown-muddy - so as i turned to color more recently my images are probably kind of overdosed with it. I'll try to fix the issues and check the book you suggested, thanks a lot for that too, Louis.

    Thanks a lot for your paintover Chris, yes i see your point clearly now, I kind of lost the eye and focus on perspective after I changed the composition several times. You're right with the light either, as the lightning is kind of frontal to the character, my shadows where kind of misplaced to the left a little bit. As you and also Louis suggested i'll have to check perspective more, because until now i mostly did it more or less by feeling, but the feeling would surely be better with a better knowledge basis.

    I'll try to correct the problems this weekend, thanks again to all of you :-)!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocity Kendall View Post
    I like it!
    That is not a critique.

    Edi:The man sitting on the wooden bench has an unusual head construction

    Last edited by Artimatum; April 28th, 2012 at 10:31 AM. Reason: Critique.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artimatum View Post
    That is not a critique.
    o noes!!!1

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    I really like the depth and colors used. I think by "that's not a critique" Artimatum actually meant "elaborate on WHY you like it" . I think relying solely on photoshop's motion blur isn't too good an idea- its good for a start, but try now going over it yourself to give it more of that illustrated, blurred motion-feel that you really want. Because right now I look and go "oh he just motion blurred that". Use that to start the technique and make it faster, not complete it. try looking at photos with blurred cars as reference.

    While your at it, try looking at reference of the smog buses really give out. I live in SF so I see a lot of that everyday, but if you don't live in a city, you can probably just look at videos of the city or photographs and whatnot. The main problem i see wihtout looking at reference however, is that the smog is way too opaque. It looks like a cotton ball! also give it more spread, its too focalized (i understand this might attribute to your cartoony style) but right now it looks like an actual object. Hope this helps, but overall I think it's quite a successful piece.

    Edit: I just noticed I forgot to mention something- the first thing I thought was that I didn't notice the bus until looking at the guy and BG for a while trying to understand the message/storytelling going on. Then I looked around and wen't "oh yeah there's a bus, okay". I think really extending your smog trail could greatly help drag the eye over to a key aspect of your story.

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    i like it, i like the choices youve made, thats feedback innit?

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    Thanks a lot for your comments, critique and advices! Positive feedback as I like it is also very appreciated as it builds me kind of up giving positive energy :-P.
    Lol what do you mean by strange head construction, Artimatum, I know its kind of big and not naturalistic, but that wasn't intended anyway. Would be happy if you maybe could give me some advice how to improve it without loosing too much the style.

    Thanks a lot for your extensive comment and advices Bopx. You're definitively right with the motion blur, a hand-made blur is much better and can adapt to many different styles as in opposite the filter always looks the same, I even orginially did (or at least i tried) it by hand but it looked somekind to weak for me so i ruthlessly, probably partly because of a mixture of inability and laziness, used the blur filter. I put the hand-made version back in in the revised version, I hope its ok, but i surely need more training on it.
    Haha you're right with the smoke either, it's in fact to opaque and looks like a cottonball, so i changed it now, but i still have problems with convincing painting of blurry, transparent or floating things, so i'll have to work on it too.
    As I changed the bus perspective due Chris right advice, it should be more present now, but I hope it isn't too present now, i pushed the contrast on the character a little bit to work against it. Its true the bus is a very elementary part of the image so it should be more obvious, and got some kind of lost in the first version. I hope its better now. Wasn't sure how to use the smoke better to lead to the bus, because i was afraid to make it too opaque again.

    Thanks again for your time and great advices, I hope I could implement them in a satisfying way, but would be very thankful for every opinion!

    All the best to you!

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    much better. try getting some ref for those clouds, the placement and shapes are odd.

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    I don't think that the perspective of the buss adds up with the rest of the drawing, we shouldn't be able to see the back of the buss unless the perspective is very compressed, and that doesn't seem to add up with the background.

    I think you could get rid of the motion stripes behind the buss, that or go all out and them very clear. The half visible ones doesn't convey the message of speed.

    Also, more a matter of taste i think, the clean cut line of the yellow fields seem very hard and reminds me more of a brush than a field. Maybe try to put a bit more variation into the line, top and bottom.

    Aside from that, i like the style a lot and the farmland in the background is very charming.(reminds me of my homeland)

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    Actually the perspective is perfectly fine, aside from the top being sliiightly off (see red arrow).

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    And even something as small as that doesn't really do anything to detriment a stylized illustration like this.

    Although I do agree that the motion lines on the bus should be pushed much more, try googling "moving car" or "speeding bus" or things of that nature for ref

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    not that its really bugging me in this picture, but in future i wouldn't have the vp dead center.

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  27. #15
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    yeah, as its kind of an editorial style illustration that kind of thing is ok; rule of cool and all that.

    but single perspective is such a killer of images; no groups of objects share a single vanishing point except the walls of buildings really

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    Thanks again for your fine, kind and helpful comments and advices!!

    Haha indeed the clouds are strange, they even partly looked like mirrored by a vertical line through the vp - don't even know how that could happen, but I surely have to correct it.

    Oh ya, both of you're right, Bette and Bopx, the motion blur on the bus still sucks, will have to change it too, I'll check both versions, without a motion blur and with a better version of motion blur. I think without the motion blur the perspective is fine as you Bopx said, but if I add a really speedy motion blur, you're probably right that the perspective of the bus will at least optically fade due to the speed, Bette.
    Nevertheless I definitively have to train motion blur, haha at least to fake some dynamics, which my images normally and unfortunately lack of.
    Didn't know what you meant by brush at first Bette, but when I saw it I had to laugh, it really looks like a brush or a yellow top of a Roman helmet.

    You're both totally right Chris and Kendall, so normally I also try to place the VP(s) off center and use at least two VPs, but somehow it worked best such way for this image ... but maybe this is just a result of my very small experience with interior and exterior spaces lol ... so have to train on it either.

    Thanks again to all of you and all the best!

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    yeah i agree with VK, having everything parallel and perpendicular is very sterile (i have to say i'm pretty guilty of this atm) i think using perspective brushes don't help (i know you havn't used one here but just a warning to any reader) as the convenience to just follow the lines is overwhelmingly tempting you could have different perspective brushes saved on different layers and flip them on and off as to avoid visual harassment of bright multi- colour lines everywhere.

    Talib: if you where to experiment with thumbs (again in a parallel universe) then you could have the buss coming towards the viewer and add more depth and interest maybe.

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    Ok so here is a new version, I'm still not sure on the motion blur, need more practice lol (as the clouds too of course :-)). Thanks again for your comments!

    I think seperate perspective grids are a nice, I did it more or less by feeling until now, so they are an easy way to check if it was a right feeling. For the next paintings I'll include a perspective grid layer then, to get it right from the beginning lol.
    Oh and ah yes, normally i try doing some thumbnails but will need to do this more consequently. Creating dynamic paintings is definitively a thing I'll have to practice a lot.

    Cheers and all the best

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  33. #19
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    I like it too. He looks so pissed off. What I'd really like to see is a before with a potential girl and after with what she's heading for.

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    Thanks a lot Mrs Black Spot! Ah yes she is heading to the cityside looking for an easier and better life, which unfortunately rarely comes really true, as changing a nice countryside to concretes and lights don't only bring opportunities but also many risks. Hm, might be a real nice motif for an image, i'll check it out but first i've to finish the painings for students project before it starts to haunt me lol (in fact it already does :-/)

    Thanks again, sorry for my bad English, and all the best to you!

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    This pic is awesome! I really like it and the concept is great too!

    I'm not sure if you overdid the movement lines, but it sure looks like a speedy bus lol. If you'd like to add more to that effect, maybe get some of those rose petals flying around (you know because of the wind produced by the bus). Also where I come from, smoke from buses is dark grey, almost black, not white. However the white smoke doesn't bother me much, just putting that out there.

    I'd say work more on those clouds, try to search some cloud tutorials, they look off to me.

    Btw I love the crops! They look great now

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  38. #22
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    Thanks a lot Lucky Charm for your very nice and helpful comment! Oh yes its a very fine idea to put some flying rose petals in, gives much more dynamic and charme and even realism, i'll definitively include some! You're absolutely right with the smoke, its normally much dirtier, I already tried to change it, but the contrast to the road was kind of fading so I let it white, although it shouldn't be like that. I was worried already that the clouds are still off lol, don't have much experience in painting them, so checking some cloud tutorials is a good suggestion.
    I'm kind of busy this week (sorry for the late answer too) so I probably won't be able to make the changes but I'll do them after the next weekend then. Thanks again and all the best!

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  39. #23
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    ...here is an updated version, hope you like it, thanks for all your comments and advices, which are still very appreciated :-). I think the clouds might be too prominent now - what do you think?

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