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  1. #16
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    Hey Andrew, thanks so much for the paintover! It really gave me a lot to chew on. I don't know if it's cool to ask for some more help, but I'll try anyway.

    So obviously perspective is a weakness of mine. I've actually rendered that temple out twice already and it's a little deflating to realize that the perspective is still off. I'm posting the perspective lines I worked with here and if it's not too much trouble could you tell me where I went wrong? Promise to stop bugging you after this!

    Andrew's Paintover Thread


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  3. #17
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    Okay Ryan, sorry about the previous post I made (I deleted it to avoid confusion). After talking with Dile_ about it, it became clear that I explained it wrong, and you should forget what I said. I also made the horizon line too low--it was actually between where we both painted it.




    The real issue with your painting is as follows (and all credit here goes to Dile_)...

    You painted the mountains and background in a one-point perspective, and then tried to fit a 2 point perspective building on top of this. And it just doesn't work. The building is in perspective properly, and the mountains are in perspective properly, but only when each of them are isolated on their own. To mesh them together you need to make some changes as the 2 point perspective building can't sit on the mountain without either cutting into it or floating in front.

    If you remove the foreground and the building it becomes clearer what the perspective of the mountains is, and then you can see how the building does not fit.
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  5. #18
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    Sorry if 2 is too many, but these are two seperate pieces that I'm trying to work on to improve different aspects.

    Overall I'm pretty weak with color.

    The first one I cant figure out how to color it and keep the mood as it is, whatever it may be... I guess I just wanted some tips/advice to putting more detail and overall composition.

    The second one was a pure exercise in working straight into a color palette that I developed. It's pretty weak on many fronts but maybe on how to get colors that really pop out more yet stay realistic?

  6. #19
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These Paint Overs are great man! The info is awesome too! I hope i'm not distracting you too much with my thoughts on things I'm loving the initiative as you know!

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  • #20
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    mRomano: Cool paintings! I really like the first one, but thought I'd help with both a bit.

    1st painting
    The values are reading very well on it, and I don't have a lot to add. I started a paintover of it, but feel it really isn't necessary. I think it works quite well, and the changes I was making were pretty minor. Basically the changes to it I would make would be to make the design of the bridge and buildings to be more interesting, especially the building that the bridge leads to. Maybe add some towers, or some cool arches, or torches (which would add interest in colour and light). Even just googling "castle" and taking a look at the little details that make them unique would be useful.

    Other than that, I guess you wanted to know about adding colour. I'd suggest first you decide what "mood" it is more carefully, and what sort of colours you want to choose. Is it going to be warm reds? Cool greys? a mix of the two? etc Do a bit of planning and visualizing before even adding colour. I'd then probably put a very light wash over the darks so they aren't quite as dark. They are actually a good value now, but when you add colour the dark areas get darker, so you need to compensate for that. I suggest using a mixture of several types of layers and using a number of layers to slowly glaze colour on instead of just trying to get it all right at once. I like using Soft Light layers, Overlay, and Color. But try out some of the others as well--every one will react a little different and cause different effects. Once you have a decent basic coloured version of your painting, create a new Normal layer on top and continue painting, fixing the colours or adding new colours as necessary.



    2nd Painting
    Okay, this is the one I painted over. The painting had an alright start in terms of colour and I needed to make only some minor changes. Essentially you need to think more in terms of WARM vs COOL colours. So the foreground which is in shadow needs to be a cool blue-green while the field is a more warm yellow-green. In the foreground consider that things are cooler overall, and the planes facing upward will have a grey-blue colour to them as the colour of the sky will start influencing it. Don't be afraid also to go a bit more saturated in areas such as the fields that are being hit by a lot of warm sunlight and can contrast the cool and less saturated shadows.

    The other changes I made were to the composition and values. Value-wise it was not too bad, I just made the foreground a little darker so it reads as begin in shadow better. I also cleared up the sky as there were too many values there not describing anything (and a blue sky is the flattest smoothest thing in nature).

    The composition was a bit boring (it still is in my paintover). There is no strong focal point or anything of interest. I guess the mountain kind of is, but you need to emphasize this more. Put more contrast at it, make other things point towards it. For instance, I added in a little character to try to make the painting more engaging (we relate to characters and feel like more of a part of a painting if there are people in it), and I made him looking towards the mountain guiding our attention to it more.

    The shapes of the painting could be made a little more interesting. By putting a bunch plants in the foreground a lot of interesting shapes can be created between different branches, leaves, holes between leaves, general silhouettes of different plants etc. Other areas such as the patterns of snow on the mountain also were changed for the same reason.









    Anyways, your paintings are quite nice and have good value reads, so it won't be long before you are creating some really masterful environments. To help fix your colour issues I suggest reading up on colour theory and doing lots of quick colour studies. For colour theory I recommend checking out:
    http://www.huevaluechroma.com/

    It's a bit of scientific and boring read for some, but is FULL of really great information on light and colour, so take an evening or two and try to make it through it if you can.
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  • #21
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    Ok so you said it is ok if I post my second image.

    This is Louis CK.

    EDIT: I SWITCHED OUT THE VERSION I POSTED THIS MORNING TO THE CURRENT VERSION.
    Andrew's Paintover Thread

    Reference photo:
    http://collider.com/wp-content/uploads/Louie-03.jpg

    or

    Andrew's Paintover Thread
    Last edited by Pavel Sokov; August 13th, 2012 at 07:53 PM.

  • #22
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    First off, my apologies for a longish post...try to read through it if you can. I think there is a lot of interesting things (for the stuff that applies to art in general and photorealism skip down past the specifics on this painting).






    Wow Pavel, you are making this a challenging job for me! That's a VERY nice painting...and it is difficult to say a lot on it. I do not know your exact intentions with it, so it is made a little more difficult. But the painting brought up a lot of interesting thoughts on art and painting in general, so I figured I'd talk a bit about my thoughts. Before that I'll go over the painting itself.

    The drawing and accuracy of it is very strong (THANK YOU for posting the ref). Initially I thought the eyes might be a bit small, but I was unsure, so I overlayed the photo over your painting at 25% on a Normal layer. I highly recommend doing this yourself and hiding/unhiding the layer, experimenting with different opacities and layer types etc as you will see even better where you diverged from the photo. Anyways, the result shows that it is nearly identical (did you trace at all? If not, great job!). The hair/head is a little larger on the left side in your painting, which is probably what made the face and eyes seem a bit smaller to me. The hand is also slightly differently positioned, and the shoulders you painted may be a bit big. Otherwise it is identical. So I won't talk about the drawing side of things since it is very solid.

    Attachment 1539524

    As I said before, I am unsure of your intentions for this painting. It is photographic in the way it is painted, and if it is just a study then it is perfectly fine. If you are trying to make it stand as a piece of art on its own however (which I am guessing you are since you changed the background) then I think some changes are necessary. Below is an overpainting showing the direction I think you were headed for.

    Name:  5.jpg
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    I felt that the original painting could use a bit more punch, so I duplicated it and put it as an Overlay layer on a lowish opacity. That boosted the contrast a bit and made it a bit more saturated, pulling out those warm skintones. I felt there was still a bit of an issue with the arm feeling very pale and "separate" from him. The hand especially does not feel like it sits on his face, but rather floats forward in space; this is partially due to the fact that it is SLIGHTLY positioned farther from his face than in the photo, but mostly it is an issue of values. In the photo there is a LOT of ambient light, but in your painting you have set him in a dark room where there wouldn't be so much light, so the value on the hand as it recedes back in space should be similar to the value on his head as it recedes. In addition to darkening the hand I glazed some warm colours over it as it was very pale and cold, and hands/knuckes usually have a red hue to them from blood being close the the surface.

    I wanted the main focus of the painting to be his face and eyes, so I did several things to emphasize this. The elbow area was drawing too much attention due to its high contrast, so I darkened that area. I put an Unsharpen Mask (which actually sharpens contrary to its name) over his face since it was a bit blurry before. I also took the smudge tool and softened edges that were not as important and softened his hair. I wanted to make his eyes more of the focus and tried to make them more "wet" feeling rather than a matte dry surface. You probably can't tell too much at this size, but I made the transitions a bit harder between things implying a more reflective wet surface. I noticed also that the light on his irises was backwards. The lightest part of an iris will be the side that is farthest from the lightsource since the iris in a concave shape and is not convex.

    I think that about covers the paintover...oh, I added very subtly some of the lighter blue background on the other side of his head. I like the transition of blue from dark to light, but feel it is a bit too even and splits the painting a bit. So maybe try bringing some of over to the other side.





    FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO READ THE GENERAL THOUGHTS ON PAINTING AND PHOTOREALISM READ BELOW (my apologies if I offend anyone)

    These are some of my thoughts that were brought up when I was looking at Pavel's painting, since he did a very accurate and photographic interpretation of the photo. This is by no means meant as an attack to anyone, and represents a very personal opinion, so please read through it and don't take it as an absolute truth...think over stuff and come to your own conclusion. So the above covered what changes I think reflect the direction Pavel wanted. BUT, Pavel's painting is NOT the direction I would have if I were to approach this painting. The background is handled in a traditional painterly manner, and then the figure and face are photographic. This creates a bit of a disparity between the two (one or the other probably would have been better). I think that an overall more painterly approach to the entire painting would be best. Personally, I find photorealism boring. It is great for practice, but for a finished piece of art? It is pointless in my eyes. Sure, it shows a control over the medium that is worthy of some praise, but it means very little. All the decisions in the picture were made by a camera, and not by the artist. You might as well just have left it as a photo. It is ESPECIALLY pointless when you are painting digital. You copy out pixels...to more pixels. It is like a slow and painful way of pressing ctrl + c and then ctrl + v, and probabyl slightly less accurate. At least with an oil painting you have a physical copy of it.

    So what makes a painting better than a photo? Well the artist can put thought into it, and make conscious decisions (and unconscious ones) that will affect the outcome to create something more powerful than what a camera can capture. A good artist can direct the viewers attention to a certain area, capture more emotion, capture better colour (the human eye is more receptive to different colours than a camera is, and also has a higher range of values it can see...look at a backlit photo and look at something backlit in real life), choose where to downplay things and where to exaggerate them, can have looser passages, and tighter ones etc. There is really no reason to copy out a photo exactly and call it "art". An artist who paints everything like a camera sees it, down to individual pores, is limited. Take a look at the best portrait painters of all time: John Singer Sargent, Velazquez, hell even Bouguereau did not paint things like a photo. If you look at and analyze their art you will see how often then simplify things, and how many changes they are making. It is this DESIGN and intentional DECISIONS that are important. These design choices are not made when a photo is copied directly 1:1, or even when life is copied 1:1 (a lot, but not all, of the stuff some modern ateliers are pumping out is so DULL). Photos can be very useful, but should not be copied exactly. A face requires surprisingly little detail to read well. Take a look at a couple examples here.

    http://www.artrenewal.org/pages/artw...0465&size=huge This one is interesting because it has a similar palette to Pavel's painting. But take a look at how simplified that hand is, and the face. Look at how soft some areas are and how some are very sharp.

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MkjjmBFSzp.../paxton003.jpg This one is by Paxton, and is a rather extreme example of how little information you actually need to put into a painting--but it is a very beautiful painting. Obviously if you are doing only a portrait you should probably put more detail, but it is not necessary is what I am trying to say, and a camera can never understand or show this.

    In addition to understanding when to simplify and when to put in more detail, a huge difference is in edges, as I have been saying repeatedly. Edges are one of the most powerful tools we as artists have at our disposal (and often one of the most overlooked aspects by digital artists). A camera will have some edges soft and some hard, and depending on the lens and a variety of other factors different areas will be sharper or harder. And to a degree this can be controlled by the photographer. Oftentimes though there are too many hard edges, and this really splits the viewer's attention and flattens things. A camera never can have the same degree of decision making as an artist--it will always be limited by depth, or motion, or some other aspect. Here is another example by Lipking: http://www.artrenewal.org/pages/artw...467&size=large I love how he plays the softness of the face against a few select sharp edges.

    Hm, when I started typing this out I had a LOT more to say, but now I can't think of what else to add, so I guess I'll leave it as a mini-rant. Again, a lot of this is personal choice, but I felt the need to get some of this off my chest. There are too many people idolizing photorealists these days, and especially in digital art too many people are trying to paint like a photograph. Photographs are boring in the same way many 3D renders on the computer are boring. I think digital makes it too easy to constantly fiddle and zoom and in paint every single detail. I often find myself doing this and am tryig to break away from this. People like Jaime Jones and Craig Mullins are much more interesting to me than Algenpfleger or Adonihs. One last thing I would like to say is that photos are not all bad. They are very useful and a great asset to artists. I am just saying that copying them 1:1 for anything other than a study to learn is very boring and limiting.




    EDIT: Reading through this again I realize I was too harsh on Pavel. It is a really strong painting and you actually did change a lot of things making the image much better than simply copying it as photorealism. A lot of these thoughts came to me though after I did the overlay and saw how close you were to the ref drawing-wise, but most of it doesn't apply to you.
    Last edited by Andrew Sonea; August 14th, 2012 at 02:19 AM.
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  • #23
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    another long one

    Hey Andreas, hope you don't mind me hopping in here with a paint over too! Nice to have a thread where people don't mind and encourage paintovers. As you mentioned cartoon style wasn't your thing, and I've already given Pavel one paintover, thought I'd hop in with the wolf.

    Pavel, I hope you don't mind me saying that you seem to be reluctant to change the wolf to any large degree based on your own wip thread,and you've been tweaking here and there bits and bobs, but it doesn't change the fact the personality you're trying to portray here really isn't coming through. His body language for a canine is hugely submissive and it sort of looks like he's been attacked and is embarrassed the viewer caught him limping back to his lair. The expression is friendly, but more of the apologetic kind of friendly rather that the slightly confident, ambitious feel you seem to want. You should be doing a bit more research into wolves and their anatomy and body language overall, not to mention trying to get a certain amount of human emotion in if this is a character you want the viewer to relate to in any manner. I know you're trying to push the proportions a little, but his front end and back end don't match size-wise, and dogs of this nature generally have a fairly squared off kind of shape through out, from their snout to the backs of the tails. photo link

    Things I tweaked for the body language are: squaring off his back and elongating his neck, to bring his head up (denoting pride, not trying to hide). I squared off his muzzle as you had it more like a mouses nose with that little bump, and his eyebrow was pulled up in the middle making him look scared. Straightening his legs out more and making them a little longer (this is more a personal thing, feel free to make them a little shorter if you want, but the longer legs might denote a more young and athletic character) Facing his ears forward. Cats and dogs will only put both their ears back like that if they're either listening for sounds behind them, if they're trying to be subservient, or if they're scared and defensive. Forward facing the ears also adds more of those strong straigh lines to the character and make him feel more alert and confident. I also made the mouth a little less curvy, but added that little hook at the end to keep the smileyness.

    Other big thing you need to fix: lighting. Currently it's very inconsistent. The moon seems to be the main source of light, yet your sky is darker than your scenery. Even at night, the skyline will be lighter than the horizon landscape, so I've added a strip of paler bluealong the mountian egde (which also injects a bit of brighter colour too!). If we go with the moon as the main light source and that it's pretty bright (you could knock it back a bit on the floor as I've done it) - any sides of things in the picture that are facing away from the moon, including the entirety of the wolf as we see him would be in shadow, and would cast shadows coming towards the viewer. So the bright whites you have in his chest and face would actually be in shadow. His chin also seems to be casting a really harsh shadow that doesn't appear anywhere else on his body (all the rest are soft), which would suggest there's a light above his head. If I'm looking at the shadow he is casting on the rock, and the lighting on the rock itself, it appears the main light source is actually off to the right of the image and it pretty bright (this also applies to the trees). You need to decide which lighting you're going with... if the moon's your main source, there's nothing wrong with having a bit of bounced light so the wolf isn't totally in darkness, and if it's not the moon, have a think about what could possibly be causing such bright light in that environment at night.

    I've gone mostly with the moon, but kept the wolf himself fairly pale, even in shadow. I've been lazy with his shadows, but they should come more down towards the viewer. Oh and the one other thing was the fact the rock and the tree both seemed to be resting on the same plane made the tree either look tiny or the wolf look huge

    Hope this is all encouraging, I really respect your desire to want critique, and to get better.

    Attachment 1539721

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  • #24
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    I think this is a great initiative and very kind and generous from your part Andreas, and you too Zephyri. I´m gonna post something here in a few days
    "Every champion was once a challenger who refused to give up"

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  • #25
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    Oh wow! That paintover is GREAT Zephyri! I think you handled the wolf much much better than I did. I really appreciate you popping in to help out

    I also find it nice to see you make the same points about the lighting and landscape that I did--it means I'm not just blabbing my mouth off!

    Anyways, as Zephyri pointed out, this thread is about everyone learning, so if anyone else wants to chime in like that then don't hold back as I think everyone can benefit from a new set of eyes, opinions, and skills.
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  • #26
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    Hi there,

    I'd really appreciate some help with a piece of World of Warcraft art I'm working on. I'd really like someday to work for Wizards of the Coast or WoW TCG so I'm trying to push my artwork further, to make it more dynamic and tell a story.

    Here is the initial thumbnail of what I'm going for:

    Andrew's Paintover Thread

    The idea is that two troll shamans have been in a big fight (they're working together) one is a melee monster the other is a healer. They're both pretty beaten up but right when they're looking done, the healer drops a torrential healing rain spell, invigorating them and quite literally closing their wounds. It'll be a low camera angle with the viewer's eyeline/horizon line around the belt.

    I've started sketching as I want to get down a more accurate pose for them both before I lay in lighting etc. Here's where I'm at currently:

    Andrew's Paintover Thread

    With this guy I want to convey a sense of foreboding badassery, these guys thought he was done but he's just getting started kind of thing. He's kind of head down, poised and tensed and about to go apeshit. I want to convey that sense of strength and power but most importantly, he has to be recognisable as a World of Warcraft character and I'm not sure I've quite got his anatomy correct for that.

    So first up, what I really need help deciding is;

    A) which of these postures is better and,
    B) correcting the anatomy, foreshortening and readability issues

    I'm totally open to changing his pose and appreciate any tips people have.

    - Inca

  • #27
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    Andrew
    Thank you so much for the second overpaint!

    Here is the progress chart for Louie. It is not outdated by a few steps actually, so the last image in it is not the one you worked on.
    Andrew's Paintover Thread

    I did not trace anything, I just had the photo on the right, in a much smaller scale. Me being an amateur has probably caused a lot of problems in terms of the photo being a different scale then my painting. I will avoid that in the future.

    I did however take the last image in the progress chart, and decided to try and overlay the photo over the image, and made sure to match it by clicking the photo off and remembering where the lines went. I eventually started even checking some bits by holding my finger on the screen and turning the photo off to see where my painted feature are in relation to the finger. Cheating I guess, but I tried to keep it as civil as possible and have not used that up to the last update/

    I really like the changes you made. The biggest problem to be addressed in the pale arm and elbow which draws unneeded attention. I love how you receded the hand into his face by applying a shadow. Very easy but great change. Also bringing some of that light blue color to the other side added a better sense of space.

    By the way, I assume you liked the blue background more then the green? I still can't decide.

    I was especially happy to learn that the lights of the eyes are meant to be on opposite sides from the light source due to being concave. Very cool, I did not know that!

    I am a bit surprised about you being struck the way you did at this particular painting, because I actually made a conscious effort to keep the painting fine-artsy and paint-like as opposed to a lot of my other portraits I made. I do think next time it could be very cool to keep the face as painty as the background though. I lack confidence in that though, as I feel it is much easier to define the whole thing then to hint at things. Perhaps I reckon that looser work styles that properly hint at features are the mark of an experienced artist. (It is also a bit funny because my other painting was really cartoony and you were uncomfortable as well I know how you feel though, because I am entirely uncomfortable and confused by the cartoon style. However it must be done )

    Some of my portraits where I was not as painty:
    http://img831.imageshack.us/img831/4...lfixedhead.jpg
    http://img829.imageshack.us/img829/8...ouplesmall.jpg
    http://img521.imageshack.us/img521/5...inalsignat.jpg

    But I do realize now the power of leaving details untold. The Lipking paintings are MURDERING any of the work I have ever done. And not a single one of them is as detailed as mine. That is an important fact. It is also true that when people commission a portrait from me, maybe they shouldn't just get a slightly enhanced photo back. I should put more of my own decision into the pieces.

    I have not heard of Lipking until today and I absolutely love his style. He will definitely stick with me.

    I want to take this time to link to some of my more painterly works and see if you like them better:
    http://img641.imageshack.us/img641/7...inallarger.jpg
    http://img850.imageshack.us/img850/6950/enmasse.jpg
    http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/612...aitfinalfi.jpg

    EDIT: Here is my finished Louis based on your PO. Thanks so much, looks much better. Which one is preferable the green or the blue version?

    Andrew's Paintover Thread

    Andrew's Paintover Thread
    Last edited by Pavel Sokov; August 16th, 2012 at 03:45 PM.

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  • #28
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    Zephyri

    Wow, that really hits the spot! I love almost everything about it. The new head shape, the legs, the nice added blue above the horizon line!

    I do think his butt is a bit too high, and his eye came out a bit Asian.

    This PO will definitely save my character, I can't wait to implement it. I thank you deeply, as you fixed the main character in my project. This has loads of value! I also still have you bear PO. Sadly the climate will be arctic throughout the project so I might have to paint him in with snow. Which is a shame because I really liked the forest environment we had for that one.

    Is the owl doing ok?

    Thank you so much! I am afraid that when I get stuck on this project, it will be you who I will bug. I hope that is ok with you!

  • #29
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    Inca: I'll try to get a some stuff posted later up tonight explaining some things

    Pavel: Thanks for the big response there! It's very cool to see the progression of the piece along with some other paintings of yours. Oh, and I do prefer the blue background. The cooler temperature of it plays against the warm skin tones nicely.

    Lighting on eyes is very interesting indeed. The best breakdown I've seen on eyes and their structure can be seen here (scroll down a bit and it talks about the concavity of the iris):
    http://www.stanprokopenko.com/blog/2009/05/draw-eyes/

    Since you were asking about my thoughts on your other paintings (numbered based on the order you linked them):
    1 - I like the lighting/texturing on the hair, and think you pulled it off quite well. The texturing in other areas is muddying the form a bit though (such as on the cheek on the right, below the eye). I'm also not a huge fan of the red background. Overall it's well painted, but not particularly interesting to me (sorry!).
    2 - This one is painted much better than the previous one. I think that the forms read well, and the only gripe I have with the faces are the teeth look a bit off for both of them. The texturing on the interior of whatever is framing them (a pipe?) is cool. I think that with this painting though you are being limited by the photo. For instance the sky behind their heads is completely blown out, and you just copied this. One advantage the eye has over a camera is that in extreme lighting differences like that the eye can still see a blue sky and clouds or whatever behind them instead of solid white.
    3 - This one is not too bad. I think the light sources are too saturated--maybe you can keep one that is saturated and the other a more normal colour. For example turn the blue one a more cool white colour so that it is a bit more natural but retains the temperature shifts. The edges are all a bit soft overall, so if you were to vary them more (put some nice very sharp edges in a few places, and then lose some edges in other places) I think the image would be very good. This thread has some great info on edges (especially the Greg Pro painting in the second post):
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=51913
    4 - I like this one. The collar feels a bit too sharp and plastic, but other than that I like how you handled this painting.
    5 - My favourite of the bunch! It's painterly, has great colours, and hints at some story (not sure what, but it is more interesting than a photoreal portrait). Just be careful with your stroke direction as in a few places you are painting around the shape of the figure too much. You can put the same stroke and value there but in a different direction so it doesn't "cut out" the figure from the background but rather shows the the ground plane going behind the figure. Below shows the direction of your strokes on the left, and on the right the direction that makes more sense to me--following the ground plane.
    Name:  6.jpg
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    6 - Hm, not such a fan of this one. Again, it has a lot of trademark photography things in it that make take away. I'm assuming it's a flash causing the lighting to be straight on from the front, and this create very flat forms and some awkward cast shadows. And like painting 3 I find that that all the edges are the same and ever so slightly blurry.
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    "Complacency is the womb of mediocrity. " -- Jason Manley

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    I will read both those threads. Thank you so much for your suggestion on my student protest piece. The logo of the student protesters in Montreal is the red square. They were disrupting life and causing millions of dollars of damage and lost revenues, as well as traffic because next year their tuition will rise by 300$, even though they have the lowest tuition in all of Canada. I illustrated my distaste for them by having one of them headless with his blood leaking out as their logo.

    I finished my Louis based on your PO, I just edited the previous post, check it out!

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