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I lost a bet, and because of that I now have to draw Loki from The Avengers. I had started to work on the character and gotten to half finished sketch until I started to feel that there was something wrong with the proportions, so I started tweaking the sketch and shot more refs (I was in a hurry this morning so my original ref photo poses were lacking in thought, but unfortunately now I had to do with a mirror photos), and I decided to show this here just in case to see if there's still something glaring that I just couldn't see myself. I'm trying to aim for semi-realistic in the proportions at least.
Here's the old sketches:
And here's the current WIP:
Here's my new refs and a photo of the character/actor to give context:
Last edited by TinyBird; May 28th, 2012 at 01:37 PM.
It's not that there's anything massively wrong here, it's more that everything's sort of...ten percent off, and the gesture feels kind of noncommittal--his face says he's supposed to be "sad and weary" but the body language doesn't really communicate that, at least inm my opinion.. If it were me, I'd reshoot my reference photos with an eye toward getting a stronger sense of the pose.
Sounds good. Remember, when you're shooting reference photos you want to REALLY overstate the pose. Also, wear light-colored clothing so you can get the wrinkles and folds right (shooting outdoors in indirect sunlight is best.) Be sure to get the entire figure in the frame.
Shot some more refs today and started tweaking the pose to be closer to the thumbnail where he has his other leg lifted a bit (though you probably can't see it) and which was a lot less sad in expression, which in the previous was more of a "lets try this face" thing that probably also contributed to the lack of convincing pose. Though the clothes and the tangent of the spear and the leg may be an issue.
I'm trying to get this done today so I can continue to colouring it, so all crits appreciated!
I'll probably be going with this for the actual image since I only have tomorrow, but critiques still very welcome for later use. I'm sure there's still lots of mistakes, but at the moment they're either ones that only hit me after a week of finishing this or are such that I can't manage to get right with my current skill.
Hm, I think his head might be a bit too large...
Head looks fine to me - from eyeballing he already seems to be more than 7 heads tall, so I wouldn't shrink it any further. If anything, it looks like his legs might be a bit too long as they are right now.
It is possible that the face is too large compared to the skull and the hairline on the side of his head could stand to go forward a bit.
The eyes are definitely way too large - the open edge of the lower eyelid is currently lining up with what should be the edge of the eye socket.
The cropping is too tight, especially at the top where his staff is nearly tangent. Very uncomfortable to have an arrow shape pointing outwards that close to the edge of the canvas - it encourages the viewer's eyes to leave the canvas all together. I think the canvas could stand to use a little bit of an expansion to the left. You already have a foreground 'spiny vine' and a well established middle ground - I could see a really epic background working in here (ruined cityscape, alien landscape, what have you). If you do choose to have a well developed background, the foreground vine could stand to be a lot larger to balance the overall depth of the scene.
Looks like you have made some awesome progress there, but having me tell you how good you are wont help now so onwards for the critique
A detail with regards to for, when I talk about right or left side, its from our perspective.
General proportions: He is 754 pixels high, the head is 109 so that gives us a general height of 6.9 heads, so that seems quiet right (and in line with the reference).
Okay, breakdown bodypart by bodypart then.
Head: Looks good to me except for the eyes and the nose, they look a bit big.
Arms: Looks perfectly good to me.
Upper torso: The foreshortening on the left side of the torso seems a bit off, but not by much.
Lower torso: The tummy looks alright, except in relation to the upper torso. He is twisted in a wierd way I think...
Crotch: He have a somewhat large butt I think
Legs: Looks perfectly good to me.
Feet: They look like they are a bit too short, but I'm far from certain considering the angle.
Hands: The angle of the right hands fingers seems a bit weird, but considering the sketchy nature of the image its far from likely that this point is not very important
Well, hope that helped and again, looks good this far
You can find my drawing blog here
It's mainly a blog about how I develop as an artist, but I post my exercises and how to's on it as well, so if that interests you than take a look.
Ah, of course, the eyes threw me off. The head is okay. My bad!
Thanks for all the crits!
Well, like mentioned I tried finishing this during Sunday, but well, I screwed that totally.
This was supposed to be with watercolours, the first A3 sized one I've done, so I both completely underestimated how the watercolour would act in the paper of that size and in my rush I skipped the whole "colour planning" stage, and after four hours of faffing about trying to save what couldn't be saved I pulled the old one and started slapping acrylics to it, during which I managed to totally ignore all my original plans about the unrealistic mood lightsource (or any light sources to that matter) and such...
Though at least now I can tweak some of the things I wouldn't have been able to otherwise and rework the background, but man. Me and acrylics don't get a long very well.
The first image is without the flash to avoid any reflections and the second is with flash that shows correct colours.
Also on an unrelated note, if you feel the need to rate a specific comment down, I would really also appreciate actually telling me why, since this is the critique forum, not "passive-aggressive rating forum".
Ha, well first, I'd didn't rate your previous post, though I agree it's a bum move.
Anyway, I was looking over your sketchbook, and for some reason it seems to me that you're just not handling acrylics here as well as you do watercolor. This might have something to do with the absence of line. With watercolor, your linework unifies the figure and adds fluidity and form. Here, the color looks compartmentalized and everything has the same clunky texture.
Take a look at this Robert McGinnis illustration. This might give you an idea of how to apply the brushwork normally present in your ink drawings to paint. Look especially at her lower back and dress. It might also give you some ideas about reintegrating line (look at that guy's suit!).
Try looking at more paintings overall. It seems to me your biggest hurdle is applying what you know about drawing to paint. Have you tried using FW acrylic inks? They come in opaque and translucent, and have a similar consistency to ink.
Hmm, I might say that the painting in the dress folds looks bit Leyendecker-esque? I think I'll do some work on the painting digitally and test things out before continuing the actual painting; though at least if it goes really badly I can always just re-trace the sketch to a new paper and start painting again.Take a look at this Robert McGinnis illustration. This might give you an idea of how to apply the brushwork normally present in your ink drawings to paint. Look especially at her lower back and dress. It might also give you some ideas about reintegrating line (look at that guy's suit!).
Also my lack of understanding structure is likely to enhance my problems while painting, all my watercolours are basically similar to cel-shading, but I can't really shift my mindset away from that while painting.
I have white of those that I use for correcting inks and watercolours. I have some coloured inks that I haven't found much use for, but those might be interesting if there's two different types of them.Have you tried using FW acrylic inks? They come in opaque and translucent, and have a similar consistency to ink.
I tried to bump your rating back up on that previous post. Pretty shitty thing to do, but maybe someone hit the rating button instead of the thanks by accident.
I wanted to comment on this because you've been working in acrylics. I like the character but feel the colours are a bit washed out looking on the version thats close to the original.
For what it's worth re painting with acrylics. I tend to treat them like fast acting oils, so I don't mix them with water other than using a damp brush and a bit of medium to make them spread further. I think some people use a lot of water with them but I prefer using them pretty much straight out of the tube because it gives a better look and blend.
Not sure if thats any use to you if you're going to try inks or something more translucent, but I figured I'd add my two bob's worth as a fan of acrylics.
Good luck with it!
May I ask what sort of medium you use for the paints? Like mentioned I really don't use these often so I have no knowledge of what can be done with them, so I'd be interested in that!I tend to treat them like fast acting oils, so I don't mix them with water other than using a damp brush and a bit of medium to make them spread further.
I think Candra might be talking about Acrylic retarder - a substance which slows the drying time of the paint so you can 'blend' it a little more like Oil, but not have the really long wait times of oils. Having tried it I personally hated it, but then I've always used acrylic like watercolour to come degree, in pale washes going from light to dark, and using it more thickly and opaque to go from dark to light. The dark to light method is probably one of my favourites to look at with acrylic, best example I can find at the moment is Jeff miracola's work though there were a couple of guys who used it on the WOW tcg cards to great effect.
I've personally found there's a little more room for correcting mistakes with acrylic, but it still takes almost as much preparation as watercolour for knowing which colours you're going to put down.
Also from a crit point of view, Loki's head feels a touch large and his hands a bit small. But kudos to you for trying traditional at that kinda size I'm terrified of anything larger than A4!
Hmm, I've not tried that retarder zephyri mentioned. It sounds interesting.
I've been using Atelier Clear Painting Medium. Thats a UK site but maybe you can find something in your area. I'm finding it odd to work with because I don't have a lot of experience with mediums and it's the first one I tried (I used to just use the paint straight out of the tube and mix it on the canvas). It's got a bloom to it before it dries and it thins the colour more than I'd like but it does spread the paint further. They've got a few more types that I'll check out once this bottle runs out. Probably the Slow Medium first, which would give the drying time retarder effect Zephyri talked about. Atelier's also the cheapest option I've discovered so I don't know if that affects the quality of the product (I'm a cheap bastard sometimes).
Anyway, I'm no expert really, so I'm not sure if my advice is useful to you. Others might have more insight so hopefully they'll pop in here soon.
The important thing to remember when working with any kind of paint is that you need some kind of systematic approach to rendering in order to produce a predictably good result. Just slapping paint to board will almost never result in high quality results. Another thing I would highly advise against is buying cheap paints. Even if you are using them to learn; higher quality pigments just respond differently, more predictably and in most cases more satisfyingly than cheap or 'student grade' paints.
There are many approaches to acrylic painting and I'm sure everybody has their own method, but if you have any technique-specific questions I would be happy to share. Here is a pdf book from Liquitex's website.
I have used their paints for about 18 years and found them to be of consistently good quality. The book has a lot of stuff geared towards selling their products, but it also has a lot of solid technical advice about acrylic paints in general, mediums and their uses, techniques, etc. Hope this helps.
Ha ha, I have to say that acrylics for me are easier with large sizes because I don't have to use a small brush! Even at this size I'm afraid that finishing his face will be really hard, same as that stupid can-opener scepter.
For the paint quality I'm not sure since I haven't tried many brands, the current ones I'm using are Winsor & Newton "Galeria" paints since they're the ones that can be found from almost every bookstore, but I'll give the Liquitex paints a try too, if I can find them from the actual art store. I did buy the Liquitex acrylic inks which Grunler mentioned earlier (though the FW brand which I found only one bottle because apparently our store has a weird stocking policy) since I happened to see them.
Also thanks for the PDF, it had lots of stuff I hadn't ever even considered (like varnishing) and if I ever manage to come up with a technique question, I won't hesitate to ask you!
Anyway for a small update, I continued this a bit last night and mostly followed my digitally adjusted version. The actual painting technique probably isn't any better and like mentioned I noticed I had totally lost the original lines in some points (and the photo has some glare on it too). I dumped all the armor details and will work on adding them later.
It's starting to take shape nicely now. I like the effect you're getting on his arm coverings (not sure what they are but I don't know the character so that doesnt mean anything), but I wonder if the blue on his face and hands might be too bright in comparison to everything else?
I've used Winsor & Newton acrylics too, mostly their finity range which is quite nice to work with. Also used Daler Rowney Cryla and Atelier Interactive, both of which have different properties. The Cryla paints can be a bit heavy and difficult to work while the Atelier is lovely and smooth and creamy, and stays wet longer without adding a retarder (I'm learning more about this the more I study), but can be a bit garish in the colours. Though, thats probably because I havent used them since I started learning to mix properly.
It's interesting to hear about those Liquitex paints from Javier. I've seen them around but felt they were too expensive so havent tried them yet. Let me know how they go if you pick some up.
And yeah, the blue is kinda bright, I'm not sure whether that's more correct or wrong when it comes to the character because there's no proper scene in which the blue wouldn't be completely overtaken by the dramatic/mood lighting of the scene itself. I may try working on it, if I'm not too afraid of mucking everything up at this point.
I shall! I'll venture out to get some supplies this week and see if I can find couple tubes of this paint.It's interesting to hear about those Liquitex paints from Javier. I've seen them around but felt they were too expensive so havent tried them yet. Let me know how they go if you pick some up.
And an update. The purple (I don't know man, I just really like the colours purple and green together) is bit more red-ish in real life and it's totally stealing the scene and will be painted over with white washes later.
It's looking really nice, I love the purple. What's bothering me is that it doesn't seem like the upper hand is really gripping the spear.
edit: I tried to post this with a picture earlier, but something strange happened and the attachment didn't post. Must have been a glitch with the site. Here is a link instead:
Well, here's a little update, I finally thought I would be done with the background, only to notice after removing the tapes that I had totally forgotten the background vines and now that I look at the previous WIP the backgrounds feels way too busy. So I'll be re-attaching the tapes again...
As for the Liquitex acrylics, our art store had like four different brands but not Liquitex, and the only Liquitex paints I could find were in this sort of hobby-"we sell everything" type of store, but they carried only the basic, student grade paints there. I'll try one more paint shop I know, which is one of those "we're only open X amount of hours in X amount of days and none of those days is Saturday or Sunday" shops so it might take time until I get there, and with my luck they won't carry those either and I'll just end up ordering it from Ebay or that Jerry's Art-A-Rama or something.
Thats really good advice, Javier. I'm paying attention too - hope you don't mind!
I hear you. It's something I worry about and do in my own stuff a lot - muck up colours and tones by trying to fix or change them. Maybe it'll balance out with the rest over time.And yeah, the blue is kinda bright, I'm not sure whether that's more correct or wrong when it comes to the character because there's no proper scene in which the blue wouldn't be completely overtaken by the dramatic/mood lighting of the scene itself. I may try working on it, if I'm not too afraid of mucking everything up at this point.
We must have the same eye for colour marriages because I also like purple, green and blue together. I think it works here too but like you said, maybe a bit bright and needing toned down later along with the blue. But because you're painting it in sections, those differences probably show up more because there are areas that are still white.And an update. The purple (I don't know man, I just really like the colours purple and green together) is bit more red-ish in real life and it's totally stealing the scene and will be painted over with white washes later.
After looking closer at this last post, I realised what I thought was white paper was actually white paint mixed with purple. Sorry about that and fell free to ignore my previous crit.
I do like the colours in general but I think the background and the snow arent reading believably. It all looks very similar and if he's standing in a snowstorm, the colours on the figure are too bright so it looks like he doesn't belong there. Maybe work on either incorporating more shadows and defined light on the snow, or soften the figure so he blends in better.
I also noticed you didn't address the issues people pointed out with his hand and the staff. It looks like the staff is bent at the bottom and that his hand isnt holding it at the top. Even just extending his knuckles to the right a bit more and using a straight edge to paint along the staff to straighten it up would help with that.
P.S. I also think you need to get some light and shadow going on his face because you've lost the solidity there by painting it all blue.
Anyway, just some thoughts and suggestions. I hope they help a little.