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So I have a project and need to write some feedback on some of my work for the evaluation. Go Hard! because I need a bit of guidance for myself too.
So here they are!
The last one is probably your strongest piece compositionally IMO, The two in the middle are boring to look at, I not sure if it was the grey or the subject matter that got to me, but they were just kind of "Ehhh". The first one would be better if the the guys were doing something instead of just standing there. also there is a lot of empty space in the foreground of your first painting that could be populated.
It might help if you told us what you were going for. Being bland should not be an option. Saying that, I prefer the 2 in the middle as they have some atmosphere while the other 2 are static.
I think the issue is you're lacking an obvious focus in these images. In the first image, the soldiers seem to be the focus because they're bright red and pretty centered, but they're so tiny I can barely see them and they seem to just be staring at a weapon rack. What were you trying to tell us about soldiers and weapon racks? On the second one, I would presume the subject is the city, but it's so foggy I can barely see anything except this chain up close in the foreground - is the chain the focus? The last image is your strongest in this area because the focal point is obviously that tower, however it's compositionally a bit dull because you have the tower on one edge of the painting and a bush on the right edge with almost nothing in between.
In terms of color, I think the first image is the most successful because you're using some delicious warm tones to emphasize the light and call attention to the focal point whereas the next two images are very cool and almost monochromatic. All of them, even the first one, could use more color contrast to add a little more variety - for example, in the first image the shadows could use a bit of blue (from atmospheric light from that blue sky in the background) to push the contrast and emphasize the warmth of the sunlight even further.
Overall I think your perspective, values, and rendering are great - you just need to work on how you're setting up the image to produce an interesting picture and tell a story. Figure out your concept, what the point of the image is, and build the composition around that.
Big thanks for your feedback.
@black spot: These are concepts that I did for a school project about a game set in the medieval era.
@dierat: In the second image the focus is the fortification and the part that has the most light, in your opinion what should I have done?
Last edited by sentientz; June 6th, 2012 at 07:36 AM.
she already did: "you just need to work on how you're setting up the image to produce an interesting picture and tell a story. Figure out your concept, what the point of the image is, and build the composition around that."
good lighting and colour, now study masterworks specifically looking at how they guide your eye to important features.
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Actually the fortification does not have the most light; the light sails right past it and illuminates the sea instead. The light actually obscures the fortress due to the fog. So when I look at this image, my eye is drawn first to the chain (because it's huge, it's detailed, and it has high contrast), then to the light in the sky (because it's really bright), then to the water (because it's also really bright and the light is leading me there), then back to the chain (because the sealine leads me there). I didn't look twice at your fortress.
If the light were coming from the top right and landed on the fortress, that would be more effective, but I think the best thing would be to use a different composition in which we were able to see the fortress better, if it were closer and taking up more of the composition, etc. You seem to be using the same composition technique in the last three images in which your focal point is off the in the back and a large portion of the composition is being taken up by a rather boring side object (chain, stone wall, bush) that is competing with your focal point for attention. You can put the focal point in the far background and make it work, but you need to be careful that your foreground elements aren't taking center stage by accident.
OK now I get it! Well I thought the chain wouldnt bring attention but I was wrong. I really need to learn how to put foreground elements correctly.
Which masters should I look up for composition setting?
Last edited by sentientz; June 6th, 2012 at 01:02 PM.
That I don't know. I tried thinking of some successful paintings that have a distant focal point, and this was the only one I could think of off the top of my head. This is 'Windmill Village' by James Gurney.
Here he uses a cloud shadow to dim the middleground and make the focal points the brightest and warmest parts of the image. We have a focal point that's pretty close to us (the group of travellers), but because it's down in the corner, it feels subordinate to the real focus (the windmill) which falls on one of the image's vertical thirds. Almost all of the image's linear elements lead us in to the windmill, almost like the rays of a run.