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  1. #1
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    Need environmental help!

    Hey all.
    I've haven't posted my art on here in a long time but I'm at a point in this where I really want to finish it but I'm stuck. Usually when I'm stuck, I give up on it. I realize that the environment is supposed to be the initial planning of a piece, and there really is a reason for that. If I did this right, I would probably be finished with something for once. I just really wanted to draw that f*n elephant! I didn't reference. I should probably pull up a few images to double check everything. (after looking at some elephants, I do see a few things I will tweak and post soon) Anyway, could someone PLEASE help me figure out some sort of environment that would kind of work with this collaboration/color scheme? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you see anything about the design so far that looks odd or wrong, please let me know. Thanks so much!

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  3. #2
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    Well, you pretty much gave the crit by yourself, at this stage it's pretty hard to start adding a seamless background that fits the lighting of the characters as this should've been planned in the start and yes, you REALLY should pull up some refs because there's lots of stuff that's wrong both in anatomy (the legs, the trunk, the ears, even the species of the elephant etc) and general form and structure.
    Personally if you're not willing to put the work to start over and plan it properly, at least do small colour scheme tests to work out the colours before you start to paint the background.
    Though if you really just wanted to draw that elephant, then what's stopping you to leaving this and starting a different image? I mean there's a difference between giving up and moving on instead of trying to fix and complete something that's pretty much unfixable.

    Last edited by TinyBird; October 6th, 2012 at 01:38 PM.
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  4. #3
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    What do you mean by "color scheme tests?" I don't want to start over because I do like how this is turning out, aside from the lack of environment. I have so many things I've started and no body has ever seen because they don't get past a certain point. It's hard for me to think about starting this over. So much pain getting as far as I have and I pushed myself past my threshold TO get as far as I did. I just wanted some ideas that might work with the figures. Maybe like rubbled architecture or something...I honestly don't know.

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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elissiam View Post
    What do you mean by "color scheme tests?"
    As in, test different colours and see which look good together.

    I don't want to start over because I do like how this is turning out, aside from the lack of environment. I have so many things I've started and no body has ever seen because they don't get past a certain point. It's hard for me to think about starting this over. So much pain getting as far as I have and I pushed myself past my threshold TO get as far as I did. I just wanted some ideas that might work with the figures. Maybe like rubbled architecture or something...I honestly don't know.
    That's why these things should be planned from the start with quick thumbs, small studies and refs so that you can figure out these problems before you have done too much work which makes trying different things easy, now that you've put lots of work and hit a snag that would require to re-do a lot, you don't want to do it. But the only ones you're hurting is you and your image, because if you don't fix mistakes (like the anatomy of the elephant) you're less likely to learn and end up with an image that's full of problems and crappy composition.
    I'm sure pushing yourself this far is a great personal achievement, but you got to keep pushing (that way you get used to it). Whether you push to the bitter end or towards a better image is your choice.

    Not to mention it's your image, shouldn't it be you who would know what fits in the background? I mean, who is that human, where do these two live, what country is this what are they doing (going to the city to buy fruits or adventuring in the jungle?) etc etc that will help you to choose the background.

    Last edited by TinyBird; October 6th, 2012 at 01:53 PM.
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  6. #5
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    I wouldn't say it's full of problems or the composition is crappy. I see I made the legs bend too much and the trunk too wide and added an odd extra trunk muscle in there.

    So, I just want to fully understand. Are you saying this image probably won't look good if I continue the in the direction I'm going? I know thumbnails are great resources for composition/angles and perspective, but I was sitting there one day and was thinking "I want to draw an elephant!" and I just kept going and going and this came out. Thanks for the help, Tinybird. I am so tired of being discouraged with my art :/ I want to finish more things. Even when I start correctly, I still get bored with it and never finish. It's just tiring. I'll keep posting my progress.

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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elissiam View Post
    I wouldn't say it's full of problems or the composition is crappy. I see I made the legs bend too much and the trunk too wide and added an odd extra trunk muscle in there.
    Also notice that the elbow and knee joints are too low, the shoulders are too on the front, the proportions are dubious, the tusks aren't in perspective, I can't tell if this is supposed to be Indian or African elephant because it kinda look like a mix of both, the side of the elephant is flat making the gesture of the woman awkward, the lighting doesn't make sense as its coming from everywhere and so on. I'm not going to even touch the woman or the colour, just making a point there's a lot of problems here that drag this image down.

    So, I just want to fully understand. Are you saying this image probably won't look good if I continue the in the direction I'm going? I know thumbnails are great resources for composition/angles and perspective, but I was sitting there one day and was thinking "I want to draw an elephant!" and I just kept going and going and this came out. Thanks for the help, Tinybird. I am so tired of being discouraged with my art :/ I want to finish more things. Even when I start correctly, I still get bored with it and never finish. It's just tiring. I'll keep posting my progress.
    Like I said in my original comment, it's really hard to make the background seamless (as in so that it follows the same light sources/perspective/conditions as the figures, like if the characters have gray shadows it means that the background needs to be one that creates gray shadows or you'll have to re-paint the characters shadows etc) and more often that not it will look bad because you can see that the background is a separate afterthought as the background and the characters contradict each other and generally will crap out the composition. Which isn't to say that a pro artist can't do it, but I'd say you're not there yet.

    I mean, it's okay to want to draw an elephant and just draw that, and move on.
    If you get bored, that's something you have to push yourself through and train your self-discipline. Sometimes it helps that you finish the most boring parts first, because you know you'll have the fun stuff to do after that, or do work in small snippets so you won't get bored doing the same thing for hours or just plain forcing yourself through it. If you enjoy the subject, that will help too.

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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elissiam View Post
    II am so tired of being discouraged with my art :/ I want to finish more things. Even when I start correctly, I still get bored with it and never finish. It's just tiring. I'll keep posting my progress.
    This is the first step to finally doing things right. Change is difficult. You are unlikely to put in the effort to change until the situation is so bad that you will do ANYTHING to make it better -- including planning your pictures and forcing yourself to finish something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elissiam View Post
    Even when I start correctly, I still get bored with it and never finish.
    Try rotating through your artwork. There's always a point where you get stuck and bored with something, right? When you hit that point, go back to an older unfinished artwork and figure out how to improve it. At that point you will have less of an emotional attachment to the older artwork so you'll be more willing to make drastic changes to it. Instead of ruining something that still has promise, you'll be improving something that you know is a dud. You can look at the piece more objectively, perhaps plan it again from the start, and because some of the work is already done it will be less effort overall.

    Try it out. Just because you left a piece unfinished last year doesn't mean that it has to be unfinished forever.

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  10. #8
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    You dont always need to have planned your environment, not if your painting something you are making up on the spot. Sometimes you get more interesting stuff that way, and in the end your inspiration should guide you and you should not be deterred by something like a background.

    the trick i find is to not consider it a separate thing. You are not painting characters and then a background, your making a painting. So have fun with it! Look at this picture and say to yourself "I wonder what background would look good with this. What would i enjoy if i were them? What would be a fun or cool place to be in with an elephant?". When you get answers to those sorts of questions follow it up but throwing colours and ideas in the background. remember you can always change it. Keep it fun.

    I do a lot of image and reference finding when I am doing a painting like that. Search google for "jungle" or "swamp" or whatever you fancy. Find cool ideas and colours that inspire you. This is about making something you enjoy, not what others enjoy. If you really like what youve made then others will too!

    Hope that helps!

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  12. #9
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    Thank you, Sunny! That's exactly what I came here for!

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