So this is my first concept art environment. I know there is a lot of mistakes there, please critique! I need all the help I can get.
I suggest cropping some of the left of the image and adding space to the right to delete unused space and give us room to look at the nearest castle. You might want to make that one even bigger, and you should definitely raise the contrast of that one. Maybe you could make the sky around the light side of the castle darker and more blue to make the orange stand out.
Looks like a good start. Its Ok to at first, but you don't want to hide behind to much white haze without some interesting color and light going on to suggest the background is still there just muted.
Clouds detail will scale with everything else, so in the farther areas it needs some edges of some sort to suggest structure. Very close=in it, cant see it but it makes a haze. Middle ground=edges, contours, shadows, etc give some definition of the clouds shape, far=more definition of outline less detail. This is all relative to each other and can be fairly tight i.e. just a little difference between near and far like in a moderately dense fog bank, or vast i.e. looking at distant thunder heads with bright sun in between while under a cloud in a rainstorm.
Clouds are different then atmospheric haze from particulate matter distributed more evenly. Atmospheric haze just mutes everything gradually to match the horizon color and value. Here is a lovely picture by Michael E. Gordon that may be of help visualizing haze.
Clouds can of course look pretty dramatic, weird, even fanciful, so there is no strict guideline as long as it looks cool, interesting, beautiful, or even scarey, and adds good things to the image. Check out these crazy real clouds.
Again its a good start, it has some coolness to it. Keep at it.
Last edited by KenHatch; May 21st, 2012 at 03:24 AM.
Not much to add. I agree that the some of the vertical lines are a bit off and the clouds could use some definition. I like it in general though, and think it has potential, just needs some developing. Good luck with it.
P.S. Are you sure those last two cloud photos arent photoshopped, KentHatch? They look a little too surreal.
Start off learning to do everything you can with a hard brush.
Candra H, those definitely aren't Photoshopped. For more beautiful/strange clouds, check out the Cloud Appreciation Society.
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Thanks everybody, I'll post the picture once I finish painting it in the meanwhile..
@vertical thank you for the feedback, I'll crop off that part and then make the first castle the main focal point, which I should have thought about that in the beginning anyway.
@arenhaus yeah Ive tried to make it vertical maybe I should keep practicing on those lines more haha..Thank u.
@KenHatch Thanks so much! Those reference photos are really helping me out, especially the first description. I'll try that trick out with the haze being in the front of the photo than having details in the middle ground and background. I might as well take out the clouds on the top of the picture and have the 3 castles just sitting on the clouds, well I'll see if it fits the composition first.
@nevermindjoker Thanks Been looking for references on castles helps a alot, I should keep looking at reference photos more often, that's one of my weak points, thinking I can just paint things with my imagination.
@Candra H Thank you! I hope that my digital painting can be good so I can pull off the detail on the clouds..lol
@Elwell Thanks, I'll try with a hard brush next time.
I've hidden in atmosphere trying to create a compelling image in my work, that's what I see here too. Get in and mess it up, their is always the next one and you'll be better for it.
You're welcome, Sparksfly. Looking forward to seeing where you go with it.
We get some pretty spectacular cloud formations here in Sutherland too, but nothing like those two photos above. They just look so perfectly sculpted I cant quite believe they're not tweaked in some way.
Ech, I probably need to stop being so cynical.
Too many waterfalls, no clear architecture, almost no hard edges.
At the moment the structures are a bigger problem than the clouds, and will take much more time to figure out.
I think looking at some castle concept art might help. People are probably going to say "no, look at real castle for references" but this is nowhere close to a real castle. Frankly real castles are boring. So look at some exciting, inspiring images of castles for design ideas, THEN look at real castles for details to add authenticity.
Also, find an interesting way to present this through composition and crop it.
@Derra: Thanks my next project I''ll be sure to mess it up lol
@wilkerson. Thank u, Yeah your right, just looking at those have no form at all..hopefully I fixed that, Also looked at references too, not just castles tho.
Okay heres my updated photo, I wasn't sure If I should add clouds at the top too...It seems kinda empty. Fixed the form of the castles. I wanted to add color to the clouds not sure If I did it right. I still feel there is something missing but not quite sure what it is, Texture maybe? Anyways thanks for the amazing feedback, If there is anything I should fix please tell