I really need some outside perspective! Harsh critiques welcomed
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    I really need some outside perspective! Harsh critiques welcomed

    Alright, so I'm not very good with color. I've primarily done graphite drawings my whole life, and I'm trying to integrate color into my drawings digitally, and I guess I just don't know if it's "working". So I'd like to know if this piece seems to be successful, however you personally define that word, as an illustration. Thanks!

    Oh, also, it's loosely inspired by the first depiction of Christ Pantocrator (http://mgocsmdiaspora.org/blog/wp-co...hristsinai.jpg), but I'm asking less about content than about form.

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    Thread approved.

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    My problems with the pic would be that the neck looks like it's puffing out pretty badly as it overlaps the hair like that, the hand doesn't seem to have any real grip or connection to the book (unlike in the original) the hands look like they're floating pieces inside the sleeves because it seems you tried to add shadow in a different way there and because you added the same texture to the halo, it doesn't look like an ethereal halo but like a giant orange behind her head.
    The colours are pretty bland and don't convey much form, but it can work if you want it to be more depressed/flatter looking.

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    Hey Tinybird, do a tutorial on color once in a while, will ya ?

    Right now there's something that keep me distracted from the color, the shoulders are very very tensed, giving the impressions that she's in terrible pain. It kinda works in this picture, because it seems to be a picture about pain.
    For my taste it still feels weird, the overall impression I get from the face (feminine, young, mild, slightly hurt, pretty and healthy) is fighting with the body language (slumped over like a depressed weak nerd protecting her book).
    Here's a quick article from Mark Kennedy about shoulders: http://sevencamels.blogspot.de/2012/...-about-us.html
    The linked article is also a good read.

    I've got a quick check if this was intentional, and browsed through your Tumblr. The shoulders (and postures) seem to be a big problem zone, there's not a single picture where a persons shoulders look healthy and relaxed: The most common way you draw shoulders is that they are either very high up, like the person is stressed/afraid or they are slumped and fragile like the person is depressed and has underdeveloped muscles. The guys have tiny shoulders, sometimes the shoulders are pointed, sometimes the shoulders are terribly lopsided, sometimes the neck doesn't sit in the middle. From time to time the bodies are just lumps, that still read as "shoulders are too high and too round, head sinks into chest".
    Go go go and study some anatomy of the whole upper body, your faces are pretty, don't let them sit on lumpy bodies all the time.
    (Check your own back btw and give those tense muscles some love, my experience is that people who draw bad postures usually have back troubles themselves).


    Edit:
    Oh wait, the Wikipedia article on this is interesting.
    "Christ Pantocrator" is not the holy suffering, slightly sexy depiction of Christ (we all know that weird mix from Saint Sebastian, the Saint of bondage-gayness disguised as religious image) but Christ Pantocrator is the depiction of Christ as almighty being, "a stern but all-powerful judge of humanity"
    The original image you've linked also holds an interesting idea, the two different facial expressions symbolize Christ as god and as human.
    What exactly is now the connection to your picture, besides the book and the halo? Oh ok, no crit on the content. I was just wondering why you mentioned it when it's so far away from the original inspiration source.

    Last edited by Kiera; November 30th, 2012 at 07:54 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiera View Post
    Hey Tinybird, do a tutorial on color once in a while, will ya ?
    Was that sarcastic or...?

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    Nope, genuine.
    I liked your advice in the thread with the witch-illustration (this one: http://conceptart.org/forums/showthr...-colors-UPDATE),
    but I'm not too sure if it also fits in this thread because the flat graphic colors work more or less.
    It would still be nice if there would be some well done, basic tutorial on color, something that could also answer the question of the OP how to not fall over one's own feet when coloring digital.

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    Color is fine, although I wouldn't use the same yellow in the shirt and halo.
    The main problems, as others have mentioned, are drawing ones, the pose and the hands.
    I approve of her choice of reading material.


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    I'll agree with the remarks on pose/anatomy, which could look a little more natural (although I actually like the hunched shoulders, intentional or no.) Taking some reference photos, book and all, would probably help immensely. I really like the facial expression, although you could probably double check the proportions/placement (the mouth seems to extend a bit too far to our right, and I feel like the bridge of the nose is over-emphasized given the angle.

    My suggestions:

    1) Although I assume you're going for a fairly flat, comic book-y look with the colors, I don't think it would hurt to have a little bit of light/shadow to define the forms, especially in the face. Even if you don't have a dramatic directional light source, there will be certain planes where the light catches (tops of cheekbone, tip of nose) and where shadows tend to fall. You have some nice, soft coloring in the face, but I think the piece could be taken further/finished out a bit by suggesting some contrast between the light and dark planes.

    2) Some of the colors don't seem to harmonize particularly well - it's a little jarring with the super-distinct red hair, yellow halo, pink book, green jacket, etc.

    I tried to play with your original image a little below - I applied a solid, 10% opacity Color layer in a coppery color (like the hair) to tone down the green shirt a tiny bit, and took it a little further on the book/undershirt to try to get them to relate to the overall color scheme better. I brought some of the yellow from the halo into the hair, and used a little bit of the green from the jacket to darken the ends of the hair. The shadows on the face are the same green at a low opacity (I completely trashed your nice face shading, of course - this is kind of a drastic example). Don't know if any of this is an improvement, but it's the direction I would take if this were my own piece.

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    Thank you all so much- this has been incredibly helpful for me.

    Tinybird- I can see now that the hands are really awkward, I'm definitely going to redraw them. I used separate references for the hands and the book, I'll probably take one of a hand actually holding a book and use it to redraw that. Thanks!

    Kiera - I've always considered shoulders as a kind of after thought, which is really really bad. I never noticed how distracting it could be - I did intend the shoulders to be tensed, but not in a really unnatural way. The article you linked was good stuff, and I'm going to focus on shoulders when I figure draw now. Thanks!

    Elwell - Gotta love that Vonnegut!

    Wylielise - Thanks a bunch for your words on color; I have such a hard time with it. I like the adjustments you made, it makes the picture more cohesive and I'm going to experiment with stronger facial shading for sure.

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    No part of the body is an afterthought, especially any parts directly related to the skeletal system. The body is an interrelated unity, not an assembly of parts. Learning to think of it in those terms will make an incredible difference in your work.


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