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Just did a quick portrait of a D&D character... I know it really isn't great and I was hoping maybe someone had suggestions for improvement... go easy on me! ^^; I'm a wimp, but I already know it isn't perfect.
I know the colors are all awful and my focus was more on her face than the hair or the hood, so the hair and the hood are a mess... criticism on the face would probably be the most helpful, but I'd definitely also take any tips on the colors. I know they're god awful, I was hoping I could get away with it because I was painting a paler elf character.
Thanks in advance!
It was a fairly basic and blank "Planes of the face" sculpture. I pulled most of the shadows and the shape from it and sort of elaborated on the eyes, nose and lips, using what I remembered from anatomy practice. I sort of went crazy on the eyes, I was using a heavily made-up model as reference there, it was just a google search image of a "girl with grey eyes".
Maybe you should work in greyscale first... (Why that greenish color with that pink and blue, I wonder. They don't look good together at all. A face needs much more hues anyway.) It's easier to focus everything else.
The face is awfully soft and the eyes just point it out being oh so sharp with small eyelash bunches... Eyes being the sharpest and more detailful is cool but the face shouldn't be this blurry. Even blurried things should be a different kind of blurry IMO.
I don't know how to help, I think you need to look at and draw zillion faces. Reading good books/tutorials about the structure of individual features help too - for example eyes can be very deceiving in a photo. Fortunately, you probably meet other people and have an own face too. Use these chances
Here's some of the problem points that you can clearly compare to the sculpt, especially since you're going with pretty much the same lighting and and my loose overpaint on that.
And I also agree with shiNIN about the eyes, right now they're not affected by the lighting and are way too crisp and clear, to the point that they look dead and unfitting to the rest of the face.
Even if you don't own a hoodie, you can fake a hood with a blanket or a towel. Or look up photos on Google.
The moral of this story is that everybody here will always go "where's your reference?" so you might as well save yourself some explanations and just use as much of it as you can.
As soon as I mentioned my source, I understood that the lighting on the sculpture was probably not the most dynamic, bold or interesting (and I did accidentally erase the shadow on her brow between the eyes, man I'm bad at this.) Even so, I see what you mean about the shading! I'll have to use multiple references next time instead of just fixating on one.
I was working in grey scale, I have SO much trouble with color so I figured I'd add it in later but I couldn't figure out what on earth I was doing. It needed so much adjustment. I think I leaned towards the yellow-ish skin because I thought it would contrast the blue nicely, but then I didn't like the yellow and tried to tone it down and just got something resembling green. ^^; I'm always so enchanted by the color pallets I see in the art here, but I can never manage to get them in my work, and I don't know why. I'm not sure if it's because I'm afraid of the colors, I'm just not sure how to use them, or if it's something else entirely. I have some training in anatomy, life drawing and design, but I don't have much color theory in my background and I can't really manage a class at college (Parents aren't keen on having an art major in the family). I've tried using pallet generators, doing exercises with photos and reading tutorials, but I honestly haven't found very many that have been useful (obviously), I'd definitely be open to suggestions in that direction if you guys have any.
I can see what you mean about the blurry quality of the face, I think I'll try another portrait in the next few days and see if I can't work out some of those problems. You've given me a lot to think about. The eyes probably look clumpy Because of my reference, rather than in spite of it. The model I was using was not shy about her mascara. I'm sort of aiming for a clean look in my art and I'm always a bit intimidated by the bold, unsoftened strokes of light and dark I sometimes see here. I suppose I'm just too timid when it comes to this, though I'm not sure what I'm afraid of messing up since I'm working digitally, but there you have it.
Thanks so much for all the comments guys, it was exactly what I was looking for.
Thanks for all your help!