UPDATE: Is this a Finally Finished already??
First attempt DELETED
END OF UPDATE
This illustration should be a book cover.
I've tried to achieve a more abstract feel on the background.
I'm going to study some colors later.
Any crits? Does it look to much like a sketch yet?
Last edited by L!nK; November 15th, 2012 at 12:24 PM. Reason: I wanted to change de thread icon.
If it is a book cover I would crop it down a bit, you have to much negative space.
The tattoo is a little to dark, i would lower the opacity and maybe warp it a bit.
I dont know what he is doing with his right arm but it looks like he is telling us to be quiet.
He is going to cut himself holding his sword like that. Also he cant really strike anything with it in that position. If he brings it forward he will hit them with the handle or the blunt edge, he would have to bring it a very far way to hurt someone. If he is a samurai or other type of warrior who uses that katana-esque blade (I say katan-esque because it still has elements of European blades they usually try and defeat their opponent in the quickest most efficient way with the least amount of effort.
His pants are icky and if those are his calves at the bottom he has impossibly long legs.
A Cartoonist is just a lazy Animator.
I couldn't agree more with Marky Marq, I think the top half of the back looks great although the pose definitily has to be changed. Maybe he could be sheilding his eyes with his right hand and if hes in weather like that I think he may be bent over trying make his body as small as possible so less wind hits him? It just seems too much of a static pose for an extreme environment.
Keep it up!
I'm going to be honest, I don't like it very much.
For a starter, as a book cover, its very flat and its not going to stand out. The character is too small and unimportant, and while I get what you're trying to achieve, all you've truly done is make him disappear and be insignificant.
Another point, is that as its grey, its just not going to scream. Imagine looking at a hundred book covers, this one isn't going to stand out, and as I'm completely visual if the artwork is original, creative and colourful, I'll go for it. Granted this is better than the overly used similar stock models of girls in weird dresses crying, its just, not very loud.
Thirdly, the feet. It honestly looks like you've went OMG I CAN'T DRAW FEET. Or, left it last minute, I figure this out because I do this a lot, I'll be so focused on one point, I'll forget a slightly unimportant but still significant point, and I'll have to scrap it.
Now, this all does depend on what the author wants. But in honesty, this won't do what its supposed to do.
I'm sorry I'm a bit blunt, its not meant to dishearten you at all, I just think with a bit of colour, cropped closer, you'll make more of an impression than if it were to be just like this.
Also the values, shadows and such kinda, fade into the background, it makes my eyes go blurry D:
Hey guy, I don't think all hope is lost with this piece. Honestly, you look like you have rendering down when it comes to his tattoo and the form shadows on his back and body. I do have to agree with some of what (before person said) your character is to centered and all the snowy stuff really takes away from your character, if I were you, I would give either left or right side more/less negative space, try playing around with the position of him, maybe even make him bigger, the point is to have him pop. The sword can be tweaked, along with the hand, and maybe you should give him some sense of feet.
Another thing is symmetry, you have made his pant legs almost identical in width, shadow, andlength, it seems like the left foot is towards us while the right foot is more faded away , but there is no tug or hanging of the pants to really interpret that, you have good shadows, but they need to show the movement of the legs/muscles under the cloth.
We all are improving artist every day, so dont give up this piece if you really like it, and if you dont like it at all anymore and want to start a new, then go for it, my suggestion is doo thumbnails of the composition you want and his positioning and then really dig deep to fleshing out. My professor always says if you repeat the same work and take the crit of your fellow classmates, your work will become stronger and stronger, better and better.
I do agree with DMTcat, its not all hope is lost, its just needs a bit of a re-think. With more polishing and thinking of composition and size, you'll be able to make it from an okay-piece to a pretty impressive one. Keep at it.
Thank you all for your critics! And don't be scared to be a harsh or anything. I work as a graphic designer, then people saying that what I do is not good enough is routine... what you're doing is helping me out, it's very different...
First of all, this piece is not finished, I'm going to consider everything you people said and soon I'm going to post something new... maybe wednesday (very busy around here...)
Well, I can't use my wacom yet, I'm not home.
So I just changed de composition and just tried some color.
I'm going to work some more on it soon.
And about the hand that appears to be asking people to be quiet, here's the reason:
It should be like he's in a "meditation" pose. I don't know yet how can I show his tattoo AND his hand. Maybe I should try other compositions.
And here's the character that I'm trying to illustrate:
Here's some more color studies.
The tip of the sword is tangent to his hair tie - I would overlap or underlap it, or at least separate the values.
His right hand is in a weird position - try it yourself. It would help to raise it up and show some of the forearm. And probably angle the hand away from the viewer a bit.
The tattoo should deform to the forms of his back. He's got these bulgy back muscles, but the tattoo looks flat and pasted-on. It also has more crisp edges than everything else, making it stand out.
Here's some progress in black and white.
And after some color and details.
There's a lot of things I want to refine yet, but I think this is the right direction right now.
Maybe some more contrast and background studies.
Anything else people? Am I doing something right here or am I missing something very important?
About the illustration being a book-cover:
People generally pay more attention to books with "strong" forms and shapes, and popping "colors". I put color under quotes because even (or especially) black and white works. The reason for this is simple. Like you always pick your focal point in a picture by using something to drain attention to (sharp, intense color, strong conturs, something special etc.)), a book cover has to be the focus under a lot of other books. Still you don't want to mess around and ruin the lookings just for attention, because attention wont help if the reader doesn't like what he is forced to look at. The solve is a strong focal point, yet big enough to make the book pop out, and small enough to allow it to breath on the covers given dimensions. In you case, this means you should make the figure pop out as much as possible, while pushing back the surrounding space. Using white helps, because its damn bright and gets attention, plus, white in your case can be interpretated as a snowstorm, big wave, air or just a clever simple graphic style.
Yet, this is the second important thing. I don't know if you do all the stuff by yourself, but book covers always need the abilities of a graphic artist too. Imho you should put the title somwhere else and get it into strong contrast to the background. If you make the background white, make the letters black (or very dark colored). The picture suggestion I've added below is ment for the illustration only, not the title color and position, cutting out the letters to replace them would be a lot of work for me since I don't have the PS file.
About the figure: Using higher contrast like mentioned before. Also, change the skin color a bit more into a red. The head position is awkward. It's too high compared to his neck position. And on a sidenote, you should make it a bit more obvious how he forms the fingers on his right hand. TBH, if I wouldn't know by the first images, I'd think he shows the viewer his long finger...
Last edited by Swamp Thing; November 6th, 2012 at 11:28 PM.
The composition doesn't seem so hot, what with the text splat in the middle of the character. I kind of like the idea of the text being near the tattoo, but I would either blow up the figure so large that the text would be near the bottom and only covering up some unimportant bit of the back, or I'd place the text above/below so that it covered unimportant white space.
Swampthing: Thanks for that feedback. These colors are really great!!
About the graphic design aspects of the cover, I agree 100%!
I'm on my final semester in Design School, and graphic design is where I feel most confortable, but in this work, I was trying to push my illustration skills to the next level. Too bad I neglected some of the legibility and focus of the title.
In my thoughts, the text should really pop-up, so it needs to contrast with the background, what is not happening in this piece.
I'm going to work on it soon.
Vineris: You're completely right. The text is really the tricky part right now. I think is a matter of what I'm trying to focus, the illustration or the title. I'm going to work on this relation soon.
Here's the progress. Tried to solve the problem of the title with a white fog.
It seems good to me so far. Or until some great artist of the forum do a paintover and kick my ass...
I'm not complaining, I love when that happens!
So, what do you think people?
Can I post it on the finally finished section already?
It looks much better, by ten billion, this makes me so happy! Well done!
Anyone else have any opinion?
I'm not sure what i think about the text being put in the center of the cover. Although it does look good because of how it interacts with the figure, it sort of "breaks" the cover in two squares and leaves a lot of blank space on the upper left, which makes the picture appear a bit unbalanced. I'd suggest making some tests as of different places to put the title (for example, try shrinking the text a bit and placing the title in that blank space, or so on)
other than this, the change in the picture from the beginning of the thread is a really nice thing to see!
Didn't read all the comments so don't know if someone already said this, but what's bothering me is his tattoo. It looks copy pasted on because the straight edges though the man has a more sketchy look. I like sketchy so I would sketch up the tattoo a bit rather then render the picture. Also I think it's a tad too orange on his back. Personally I'd like this as a book cover
Second on the tattoo. I like the design and you did a good job rendering it. The hard edge grabs my eye because that isn't how tattoos look, even really really good ones have more of a firm edge that softens a little over time. If you do a google image search of "Tribal Tattoo" you might see what I'm talking about, especially in the photos of tattoos the person has had for a while. Overall great job, really like where you have taken it in the recent update.
Here's the last details. Trying to keep with sketchy strokes.
Tried to make the tattoo more consistent with the rest of the piece, softing the edges a bit and making it less dark.
I added some "breath" coming from the mouth of the character, changed the color of the stripes on his hair, and did a little correction on the sword pommel.
About the title, I did two versions.
This one tries to fill the empty space on the upper left side.
It's not my favorite. I think it breaks the rythm of the piece, with too much text on the upper half, leaving the not so much interesting back of the character filling the other half. And it's on top of the sword point.
This one I liked the most. It's more central, it guides the eye in a very natural movement. It's near the tattoo and it has a better interaction with the illustration, not covering important features.
So, any crits would be very welcome.
You're helping me a lot people, I love CA!
Looking great, really cool character and good job on the render.