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  1. #1
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    Looking for General Critique/Suggestions!

    Hey guys, I'm not looking for any particular critique on a particular piece, but rather a broad observation of my recent artwork. I keep getting frustrated and stuck with my artwork because I know I could do better, and I know that these pieces are not my best. I've been working more at anatomy and structural backgrounds, but as far as the actual painting process goes something just isn't right and I cannot figure it out.

    I was hoping you guys would be kind enough to assist me, as quite a few of you have in the past, in helping me figure out just what I'm doing wrong when approaching these pieces. As a note for my "method" I've been attempting to focus on the values of the piece - usually I will paint in black and white to color or constantly keep a b&w filter on and turn it on and off as I work to check the values. That aside, I know something is off with my artwork and I'd like outside opinions. Feel free to suggest or critique anything else that catches your eye. I'm just looking to better myself. Thanks!









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  2. #2
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    The only that glares at me is the photo textures. They dont feel well intergrated and really don't mesh well with the art style.

    What's your goal for your art or career?

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  3. #3
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    TinyBird is offline Why you gotta be an angry burd Level 16 Gladiator: Spartacus' Retiarii
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    The lighting doesn't feel to make sense in almost any of the images. You establish the sun to be setting on one direction, but the lighting often comes from completely another direction and the characters don't create believable cast shadows and are lit without giving though to their 3D form, especially in the first one. Seriously no matter where the light is coming from, in that situation it's impossible that both of their faces would be lit.
    Do you shoot any of your own refs?

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  5. #4
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    I think your getting ahead of yourself. As TB quite rightly pointed out that your forms and your lighting make sense, and that's a big problem in representational art. I personally really don't think the lines are working, if your take them out and reference the characters a little better than you actually have some pretty realistic characters. The problem is that your trying to render the forms and then amidst all that rendering you have lines that completely ruin the the form. Lines describe form when the value is flat, that's what the line represents. Value describes form the way we see it ourselves. Putting the two together is a bad idea. I would either flatten the form and keep the lines or visa verse. at least loose the lines on the inside of the form, the outlines would still maybe look a little goofy but not nearly as bad as the inner line.

    Oh and study more!

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    The only that glares at me is the photo textures. They dont feel well intergrated and really don't mesh well with the art style.

    What's your goal for your art or career?
    I started noticing that more as I look back on some old work when I first started trying to texture things. The picture at the bottom with the two boys on the rooftop smoking was one of my first tries (back in 2010) using textures in my pictures. I think I'll try looking for some texturing tutorials online - would you have any suggestions to try and fix this? I do try to lessen the texturing now, and also know that painting over textures and using warp tools to wrap around objects helps, but other than that I pretty much just sort of freestyle texturing or add it on as an afterthought.

    As for my art career, I use to want to be a professional artist (originally an animator, and later wanted to do concept work for characters) but I decided against it. It's just a hobby now, and occasional money-provider as a freelance job whenever I can scrounge up clients for commissioned work. So any improvements mainly go towards personal ambitions and small projects, nothing fancy.

    The lighting doesn't feel to make sense in almost any of the images. You establish the sun to be setting on one direction, but the lighting often comes from completely another direction and the characters don't create believable cast shadows and are lit without giving though to their 3D form, especially in the first one. Seriously no matter where the light is coming from, in that situation it's impossible that both of their faces would be lit.
    Do you shoot any of your own refs?
    I don't, though I do use anatomy reference whenever I can to practice the structure and form. I've only very recently started making a big effort to study actual photographs of backgrounds and outdoor settings and lighting. I've done a lot of second-guessing with my lighting in the past and I know it shows. I think I could draw a person, and I could possibly draw a background, but I cannot ever get them to mesh. I have very little practice with backgrounds.

    I think your getting ahead of yourself. As TB quite rightly pointed out that your forms and your lighting make sense, and that's a big problem in representational art. I personally really don't think the lines are working, if your take them out and reference the characters a little better than you actually have some pretty realistic characters. The problem is that your trying to render the forms and then amidst all that rendering you have lines that completely ruin the the form. Lines describe form when the value is flat, that's what the line represents. Value describes form the way we see it ourselves. Putting the two together is a bad idea. I would either flatten the form and keep the lines or visa verse. at least loose the lines on the inside of the form, the outlines would still maybe look a little goofy but not nearly as bad as the inner line.

    Oh and study more!
    I actually cannot stand keeping lineart in paintings anymore it really gets on my nerves. That might actually be a huge part of the problem. In the past, I had a fairly stylized approach to painting that complemented the linework - when I did paint something, since usually I just sketch - but I've started doing a lot of contrast and shadow and light to get more realistic with my paintings and the lines clash so terribly with it I often want to take them out. The only reason I haven't is because most of my digital paintings lately have been commissioned artwork - I have a sort of "package" deal offer for my clients that offers detailed lineart paintings cheaper than, say, a full blown painting without lines. It takes longer (though more satisfying) to remove them, so I charge more for a lineless painting. I've been volleying over the idea of completely cutting out detail lineart paintings simply because I get so frustrated with them. I can recognize that they clash somehow, I just never considered it was the lineart itself.

    I'll start attempting that and see if it makes a difference. Really, thank you for the suggestion I think that might really help out, especially with learning how to mesh my characters more into the setting.

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    Oh also, I dunno if these might help in some more diagnosis of what I'm doing wrong or how I show approach my art, but over the past year or so I've been taking my old artwork, changing it to grayscale, and trying to correct the lighting to train myself how to apply value and lighting properly. I dunno if it will help in anything other than showing my approach, but I'm hoping it might.

    Also the dates where when I painted the pictures originally, and I think most of these I painted/went back over less than a year ago.





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    Quote Originally Posted by tysandri View Post
    Oh also, I dunno if these might help in some more diagnosis of what I'm doing wrong or how I show approach my art, but over the past year or so I've been taking my old artwork, changing it to grayscale, and trying to correct the lighting to train myself how to apply value and lighting properly. I dunno if it will help in anything other than showing my approach, but I'm hoping it might.
    Well, I have to say those look very... repetitive. Like the two first seemed to have very different lighting conditions (like bright day, overcast/stormy sky) but then you went and changed them both to be almost exactly the same as all the other works you posted, some random bright light source and strong shadows, and I don't know what your intent was with the original images (like maybe the new version is more closer to your original vision of the pics), but to me the changes just change the mood and also it kinda looks more like you just really upped the contrast, rather than tried to make the lighting work better.

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