The wall perspective looks bit awkward as we can see the furthest victim and connection of the floor and the wall clearly and they seem to be fairly close to us, but then the wall itself is blurred out. I'd test moving the wall even further away.
Also his thumb (in his book hand) bit bothers me as it kinda melds with the other finger and the shape of the thenar looks bit odd too and his other arms doesn't look like it's putting weight to the thing he's leaning on (making it look like he has some large padding under his arm), aaand maybe the "biggest" point that the guy looks like he's kinda asleep, but his pose kinda looks like he's irritated that his fine shoes are all bloody, but as his eyes are closed he doesn't actually look at his shoes.
I do like the blood details a lot though.
I interpreted that his eyes were open, he was looking down at his bloody shoe and lifting it out of the blood. Otherwise, that toe would be making contact with the floor and the drip wouldn't be there. The point might be clearer if his leg was being held forward, rather to the side in a way that is so similar to crossed legs at rest. But that's a more awkward pose, and hard to pull off gracefully.
I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
that perspective isn't working. the dead dude's feet are crisp 'n clear while the wall is blurry suggesting depth of field. either the depth of field should also work for the shoes of the dead guy and become crisp gradually or not exist at all.
I feel like a jackass doing one of my trademark Shitty Paintovers on this piece because it's much nicer than anything I could manage. However, here's how I would start to handle the back wall:
I think bringing it into focus (at least at the bottom, where it's so close to the bodies) is the way to go; maybe some faint indication of a wallpaper pattern or some woodworking to help tie it in with the nice detailled carving in the foreground furniture. Because the blood splash on the lapel is so subtle, I also feel like the red could appear somewhere else up near the face (I added it to the book) to keep the puddle at the bottom from drawing all of the attention (I presume he's a gentleman first, and a murderer second).
You've got a good concept and some really nice rendering there, but it's covering up some big issues with the figure. He looks like he's floating; his foot position is awkward and he's not actually putting any weight on that arm. There are also lots of little proportional things going on (placement of ear, size of hands, length of limbs, etc). You should also double check whatever costume reference you're using, the size and placement of the collar and lapels is off, and the way his jacket flips out at the bottom is odd. I get the feeling that you had reference for the individual elements, but not for the pose as a whole, and it's really hurting what could be an excellent piece.
Last edited by Elwell; December 5th, 2012 at 12:36 AM.
"Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
Since, apparently, this didn't go through the first time yesterday:
The blood on the floor is too opaque and smooth, which makes it look like a solid sheet of plastic. Blood isn't a single, uniform liquid. There are different types of blood (the two main being arterial and venous) and they have different viscosities and colors, which result in different textures and opacities in different areas of the floor. Combine that with how blood tends to clot and dry quickly, and the mass of blood on the floor should be fairly diverse in texture.