Composition critique **I think I'm done**
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    Composition critique **I think I'm done**

    ***All done! Thanks for the help and advice everyone! I've moved all the WIP shots to post #12.***

    Working on an idea inspired by the Donato Giancola's "Joan of Arc."

    Still have a lot of drawing to go, such as armor and clothing bits. But I went ahead and laid down some values to see how everything looked with some weight assigned to it.

    Anyway, I was looking to get some feedback on the overall composition.

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    Last edited by ZombieMariachis; June 28th, 2012 at 10:57 AM.
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    He looks bored...the whole thing looks rather bored, really. The arm being grabbed isn't in a fist, with muscles flexed, trying to be ripped away from his opponent (muscles flexed, fist isn't as important, but I think it was drive the idea of power home...Logistically, you don't want to get your hand caught by your opponent, if he's against all these people and stands a chance, he's good, and he would know that)

    But the look on his face is more "grr..." annoyed, than "FOR THE HORDE!!" Even the guy grabbing his hand could be thinking "man...that lunch was delicious...where's a restroom...?"

    But then there's a guy being impaled, and another one about to stab him in the back, suggesting much more intensity and ferocity. How is he not about to be stabbed in the back? Combat skill aside, he doesn't even seem to be aware of someone about to stab him in the back. Changes the picture from "Our hero, bravely fighting off a hoard of orc things" to "Our hero, right before he was stabbed in the back." (I don't know anything about Joan of Arc, so if he's actually supposed to be stabbed in the back right now, then it's obviously not a flaw)

    The arm gripping the sword doesn't seem like it has any tension in it (would be visible in the forearm that his muscles were flexed gripping that sword) and the hand of the orc that's grabbing the main guy doesn't look quite like he's gripping like hell either. It's all missing a sort of ferocity that it seems like it wants.

    As far as composition goes, I'm afraid I can't help you much there, I'm new to it so it's probably not that consequential, but to me it seems like the left side is very busy, and the right side doesn't quite balance that.

    Well I hope at least something helped.

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    Thanks for the thorough critique Jpasz!

    Just a note. This has nothing to do with Joan of Arc other than me giving credit to Giancola's composition. So your observation about the orc fixing to stab him in the back is valid.

    Though I imagine our doomed hero might hear a screaming orc coming up from behind.

    I should be able to define more tense muscle tones when I get to actually laying down some paint. And hopefully the swing and motion of the clothing bits will aid in conveying the action of the human figure and the orc that's caught his arm.

    I see what you mean about the empty right side. I'll see what adding another orc on the right side does. Either with something pointy, or perhaps coming in for a strong stomach punch...

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    See post #12.

    As it is now, the figures in the background will have their major values adjusted quite a bit until there's better balance in the piece.

    Last edited by ZombieMariachis; June 27th, 2012 at 09:29 AM.
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    I think that what Jpasz pointed out earlier is still true. You've flexed his muscles, which is a big improvement, but I still don't think it's enough to really convey the intensity of the struggle. The face looks frustrated, but not furious. I get the impression that it's taken from reference, and that you're reluctant to deviate from it.

    The sequence of action is a bit hard for me to believe. He's not holding his sword in a way that you'd stab someone, so he must be pulling it out of the guy. But it seems less effective than just pulling it out horizontally. It also seems odd to me that the attacker to his left, who has a weapon big enough to swing overhead, would run up close, grab his left arm, and pull it upwards like that before swinging. Anyway, that may all sound like nitpicking, but taken all together it makes me doubt the reality of the scene. To me, you've focused on compositional balance without thinking enough about the sequence of action.

    Not seeing any issue with brushwork, color, etc. That all looks solid to me. Hope some of that helps!

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    it doesn't have to be a whole hell of a lot, but a bit of a lean to a few of the poses and a slightly more intense scowl could give this a bit more impact. Swooshier background optional;

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    Honestly zombie I think it's great.

    The one thing bugging me composition wise was the negative space on the right, firstly the fella on the far right is in his own little island of space, he's separated from the rest of the action and image. Hence the suggestion pic with a pretty little triangle breaking it up. Secondly, (This might just be me and my insanity but-) that space is shaped like a female figure and I keep thinking there is a girl in the middle of the picture XD Feel free to forget that, I'm just being weird.

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    I agree with aliM concerning the space on the right. Would be nice to move the character in the upper right corner a little closer to the action in the center and let us see his face ... besides that this is a pretty badass drawing, awesome dynamics, great anatomy ... I think by doing what we humbly suggested this painting would be pretty much final in terms of composition.

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    I like the gritted teeth look, and the grabbing of the arm doesn't bother me either (zombies are thick anyway), but I do agree about the space on the right - bring the fellow over slightly behind the one grabbing the main character and crop it a bit.


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    See post #12.

    Alright, some quick adjustments based on everyone's advice from here and CGTalk. Keep in mind I'll still need to adjust the values of everything at some point.

    Last edited by ZombieMariachis; June 27th, 2012 at 09:29 AM.
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    Had to revisit.

    Beautiful rendering, truly great stuff, the muscular things I was talking about before just drifted away as you rendered. The moving things on his neck add to the motion.

    But we're back to logistics. Old boy grabbing his hand still doesn't have much intensity in his face, and the person he is stabbing, where are his legs in relation to our champion's? It seems their legs would have to be intertwined, and while it's technically possible, that's not good balance, probably not going to happen in a fight.

    I would also like the see his sword DOING something. The dead/dying gentleman can stay, and you can add an obvious wound (neck, for instance) to explain his dying, and have our champion stabbing, or thrusting or swiping at them, or at least in position for thrusts or swipes, so when people mentally "resume" the paused scene, it can be apparent what he's going to do.

    I like the removal of the dagger bottom left, it seemed "overpowered" by the massive swords and near death he was experiencing.

    Anyway, great anatomy and textures and lighting and such, can't see anything that can't be attributed to the fact that it's not yet complete.

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    Thanks Jpasz!

    I agree about the general logistics, that they're not quite convincing. But, I think I'm going to do my best with what I've got and promise to do better with my next project. From everyone's advice, I know what I'll need to do from the beginning.

    I feel this piece has been/still is a great learning experience for myself. Allowing the direction of the brush strokes to aid in defining form does great things. There was a pleasant click in my head when a few concepts connected and I realized what I was doing.

    WIP shots!

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    Last edited by ZombieMariachis; June 27th, 2012 at 09:36 AM.
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    I quite like it overall, especially the last version. The issue I think is with the character who grabs the guy's wrist, somehow I think he has to move somewhere else (perhaps more to the right of the painting). What I fail to see is some simple 'line of action' as illustrated here:

    http://leversandpulleys.com/artblog/...study_1_ch.JPG

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    I'm going to call this one complete for now. I've updated post #1 with the final, and dropped all the WIP shots into post #12.

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    I realize you said you're done but here's my opinion anyway hehe. I think the head is too big--and I like Jason's paintover--I thought that was good advice that you didn't take--something to think about.

    I like the painting quality. Good job overall.

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    Thanks Artfix! And it's not that I didn't like Jason's paintover, or am not taking his advice. I'm not ignoring anyone's advice, since I specifically asked for it.

    I had just reached a point where this thing was going to get done or get dropped in the trash bin.

    So, any information you guys are willing to part with gets carried to the next piece. For instance, next time I'll use dynamic figures/poses that account for the weight of whatever action is going on, more thoughtfully...

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