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Trying to improve my art, could need a few pointers.
Got any ideas on how to bring this pic of a rather sad looking alien to the next level?
Hey man, I think the man thing here is just pushing your values a little bit, you have a shadow side and a rim light but everything is just sort of subdued, don't be afraid of contrast. Also your rim light is very very tiny, if you're going to put it in do it with confidence. I did this really quick paint over to just show you what I mean, I also added in a second light and just some of that sort of Dave Rapoza flying fire stuff, it just jazzes the whole thing up and activates it and really adds some motion to the whole piece. granted this was quick and I'm not very good so, take it or leave it. I hope it helps though. ^_^
Psychobuddy: Thank you for your input and your paintover, I really appreciate it I agree with you that I need to paint with more confidence and use more contrast, your paintover really shows that I can take the image a lot further.
If you're going for sad, make him look sad. He looks blank at the moment. Since he's an alien, you can really build his features around depicting a particular emotion. Don't forget about body language either.
As far as lighting goes, you need to work on the structure of your head first. Think of the figure as being divided into planes; Front, sides, top, bottom. The top of your alien's head is a bit like a bean-bag, his eyes almost sit flat on his face rather than sinking into the eye sockets, and his cheeks are just flat. Do some research on the eye lids. It's too big a focus to execute without reference.
I'm a pretty big fan of figure-ground. Light against dark, dark against light. It's an easy fit for an image with such strong directional lighting. Oh, and I'm not sure why there's rim lighting.
Here's a paintover as an idea. I might be getting a bit out of control with my cubes. Also, my version looks a bit like a half-Yoda, ha.
thanks for your advice! I think the whole thing with dividing the subject into planes and simple shapes is something I really need to keep in mind more when I paint.