Some directions on reaching the next level.

Join the #1 Art Workshop - LevelUpJoin Premium Art Workshop
Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    555
    Thanks
    72
    Thanked 228 Times in 148 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    Some directions on reaching the next level.

    Name:  FireGenasiConcept3.jpg
Views: 330
Size:  161.7 KB

    For the past few months I've been amassing some critiques of my work from
    various other artists and a couple of art directors. There are many common
    threads. Regardless of my state, not being able to afford formal training, or
    even some lessons on life painting, I stick to this as much as I can.

    Digital painting is not my preferred way, but for now, it's the only way if I
    ever hope to gain more income. But it's not only for that, but because I want
    and know I can be better.

    So, I have begun to try to find ways to address the weaknesses I have, one
    at a time, through the various commissions I get. But, I need extra eyes for
    this.

    Here's a small private commission I was paid to do. It was only for a character
    sketch. I decided to go for a digitally colored one, with a background and such.
    Now, since the commission is done, I want to take it to the next level.

    I haven't addressed the background beyond the initial sketch stage, and I
    really want to. Yet I am being timid, I don't know why, and also, I feel the
    composition of the background and the character are, shall we say,
    random statements of what I want to be there, but it doesn't feel well
    organized, pleasing pictorally.

    Next, is a constant problem I have, the lack of texture and sharpness. I
    have a difficulty figuring out how to state smooth edges and shapes, without
    overmodelling. I haven't experimented also with the brush features and
    textured brushes because they make me feel anxious, that the tone or
    color isn't right due to texture, and I overmodel things anyway so the
    texture just makes everything "muddy".

    One last thing I'd like to fix (and it's not the end of the list but that's what
    I aim for in this one) is credible lighting. Now, I have no idea where and
    how I could ever find reference to something like this lighting situation.
    I've looked at other paintings, and some lava photos, of course I couldn't
    find anything combining that and "moonlight". Also, I couldn't really
    calculate how local color would credibly change, under such extreme
    conditions.

    So, tear this up, give me your worst please, otherwise I won't be able
    to develop. If you can see more wrong with this, please point it out. Any
    guide, solution, advice, paintover etc is encouraged.

    Attached Images Attached Images  
    "Don't judge a book by it's cover" Frank Frazetta 1928-2010
    RIP Frank.

    DA gallery http://michaelsyrigos.deviantart.com/gallery/

    CA Sketchbook http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=131601
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  


  2. Hide this ad by registering as a member
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,762
    Thanks
    2,682
    Thanked 5,955 Times in 2,397 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Line,

    try thinking of the elements of your painting in terms of hierarchy of importance. So the figure is most important, but you have a number of things competing with him, so first lets isolate and make him more important by lowering the values of all the other elements. Then maybe lessen the contrast in the background and build some glow around his head and staff; now things are more organized visually. You can add more lava and glow to the background but it can't compete with the figure for importance. You control the organization with value and color to group as much as you can together, background from foreground , figure from rock pedestal. You see I've separated the values and the color keeping the strongest values and brightest colors for the figure. No yellows or blacks in the background.

    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to dpaint For This Useful Post:


  5. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    555
    Thanks
    72
    Thanked 228 Times in 148 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Dpaint, thanks for taking time to do the over paint. I have to admit that such a dramatic
    turn, I would not have taken. And there are 2 reasons.

    First and most importantly, if you check my gallery, you will see that I have stuck too
    much with the classic spotlight vs dark background thing. At first it was because I love
    the theatrical setup, but it slowly became a crutch (coupled with the guy on a hill setup)
    to the point that it's become a shackle composition I am trying to shake, and with some
    success lately.

    So, that's one reason I didn't go for a very dark background, I wanted to see how I could
    make this work by turning things around, hence the very intense light coming from above.
    I didn't want it to interact with the background, sort of like there's a crack and it shines only
    on the character, hell, I didn't even want the spotlight initially. End the end it may give some
    more focus to the character, but it's forms are all washed out.

    The second reason I wouldn't have gone this way is because I don't generally use very
    saturated colors. The few times I have, were a decision from the start, to challenge
    myself, see how I could use them and what I could learn, but still I'm talking maybe of
    one small area with intense color, like a focal point or something.

    So what I suppose I should take from here so far, is that I must reassert my connection
    of contrast = white (or some color close to it)? But the other part, with the highly saturated
    colors, I am going to have a difficulty with those, simply because, from what I see, realistic
    paintings I admire, have more desaturated colors in general, but even that doesn't always
    give "credible" colors if you know what I mean. So maybe I have to fail with high intensity
    in the color for a while?

    Still, I am curious on what could be done differently here, but not take the spotlight vs
    dark background approach. Any ideas?

    "Don't judge a book by it's cover" Frank Frazetta 1928-2010
    RIP Frank.

    DA gallery http://michaelsyrigos.deviantart.com/gallery/

    CA Sketchbook http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=131601
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,762
    Thanks
    2,682
    Thanked 5,955 Times in 2,397 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Well I hope my quickly arrived at solution doesn't trump what I've said because I think it is valid. Yes, there are a number of ways to solve the problem without darkening the background or over saturating the character, but again they are carefully orchestrated solutions involving value and color. My main point still stands, which is to keep things separated. Keep things in value groups and color family groups, that is what most realists do. The level of saturation and contrast is up to the individual artist. Here are two examples from Frazetta, one with color and one with values; The Conan piece is separated by values- the foreground has the greatest contrast- the color is harmonious, almost monochromatic. The second piece is separated by color; the greens in the foreground are completely separate from the background, even though the value separations are similar between the two areas. Look at your favorite realist pieces and see if you can detect what I'm talking about in the ones you like.

    Name:  02_fritz_adventurer.jpg
Views: 190
Size:  122.7 KB

    Name:  fritzf004.jpg
Views: 186
Size:  89.0 KB

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to dpaint For This Useful Post:


  8. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    555
    Thanks
    72
    Thanked 228 Times in 148 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    For sure, I didn't mean your point was invalid, I understand it completely. I
    have just been trying to kill my bad habits, but maybe I am also forgetting the
    points I have learned. Also, Frazetta being my favorite artist has been a sort
    of bane because I've used this basic formula I described, taken from him
    without considering other parts of it, that you are pointing out, even tho
    I have read about them.

    Something that really stuck with me in the paint over and I forgot to mention,
    was your color separation, no yellows in the background. Thinking of some of
    my color work, I don't think I have even consciously done this.

    The examples from Frazetta are outstanding. But they are also directing me
    to a point I hadn't thought about and I don't know if it's apparent, that being
    that I don't think I looked at the concept of the image as a pictoral problem.
    I just threw in the sketch and began hacking away. I was pleased with some
    of the daring things I did, but I didn't consider the problem at hand, I just
    made up stuff as I went and in my efforts to keep away from using some tools
    I know how to use a little, I forgot to look at other I may have used to my
    benefit. So maybe part of my not making some choices like tonal or color
    separation, was due to the fact that I didn't consider there to be a problem in
    the first place, but in the end I just ended up just "adding white". On the other
    hand I am glad I did because the solutions you have given, weren't in the forefront
    of my arsenal, now I'll remember this more.

    What about texturing? Do you or anyone else have any suggestions? How
    would you paint this to give say, the fabric some texture, the rocks, or
    just some of the generic atmospheric gritty surface stuff?

    By the way, based on Dpaint's suggestions I will proceed in the next couple
    of days to edit the piece, look and think about it more and see if I can apply
    what's been theorized.

    "Don't judge a book by it's cover" Frank Frazetta 1928-2010
    RIP Frank.

    DA gallery http://michaelsyrigos.deviantart.com/gallery/

    CA Sketchbook http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=131601
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to Line For This Useful Post:


  10. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,762
    Thanks
    2,682
    Thanked 5,955 Times in 2,397 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Texture is another level to think about. Fabric, metal, rock all have different properties when light hit them shiny, matte, opaque, translucent those are other ways to add interest without adding details like the weave of the cloth

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  11. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    516
    Thanks
    95
    Thanked 173 Times in 162 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    For the time being you would benefit a lot from doing some painting studies and learning how to render different materials. Pay close attention to your edges and brush strokes, they are very hazy and un-confident. As for your painting, you are using too much black for the shadows and you have no defined light source. The overuse of rim lighting is killing the dimension of the figure and scene as a whole. I can see defined muscles on the guys bicep and clavicle area but everywhere else you indicate fabric so it kind of throws me off. I can't tell if those flames on the shirt are supposed to be reflections or some kind of pattern. The blueish light coming from the top seems quite out of place and just thrown in like a lazy photoshop fix. Also think about your composition and perspective. I can see this being an upshot which would make it more dynamic while also cutting out all that unnecessary space at the top.

    There are other issues but those should give you an idea of what to think about. Also make sure to use reference as much as possible, it makes a huge difference!

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  12. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Netcong, New Jersey USA
    Posts
    311
    Thanks
    57
    Thanked 43 Times in 40 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    This could also benefit from cropping. There is no need to have all that space up top if it isn't for a book cover that needs room for the title.

    You show the being stepping on the pillar but give no indication on what he is stepping up to it from. At this angle it just looks like a lone pillar.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  13. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Haifa, Israel
    Posts
    4,193
    Thanks
    2,385
    Thanked 2,345 Times in 1,448 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    What the others said. Also, to reach the next level you still need about 2,300 XP or about 500 posts.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  14. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    84
    Thanks
    7
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Line, I just have to mention how much you remind me of me. The issues you have are consistent and they are the same issues I deal with in my paintings, even down to what kind of lines to use and how to render it without overdoing it. It's just nice to see someone in the same boat as me still challenging themselves. You're doing a great job.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  15. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    555
    Thanks
    72
    Thanked 228 Times in 148 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    @Elissiam: Thanks for that. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in the "show me how to use a pencil" boat. I have developed
    my skills to a level and I just have a good understanding of what I know. I just need outside critique to make sure the
    self-criticism I am making isn't skewed. It doesn't help to not have any kind of institution or art circle around, hence
    not being able to get some criticism or advice up in person.

    @cliffroth: I know what you mean. The spotlight beam from above enhances this bad feeling, I added it by necessity
    because the blue-lit areas didn't make bring the point across. I personally feel that without that, and with more of
    the background showing, it's a little better. I do acknowledge that the use of the commission affected me too much
    to not dream up a more exciting composition. But still, I'm interested in seeing how I can take this piece to a more
    pleasing and detailed level.

    @Avvatar: Thanks for that suggestion. I've been hung up on thinking on how I might use texture brushes or overlay
    textures to give it more punch, but have forgot something I do with my pencil, study real textures. I'll see how I can
    use this.

    @Dpaint: Your comment ties in with Avvatar's. Do you think I should look at it only as a surface problem and skip
    thinking about how to go in with some brush or something as well?

    "Don't judge a book by it's cover" Frank Frazetta 1928-2010
    RIP Frank.

    DA gallery http://michaelsyrigos.deviantart.com/gallery/

    CA Sketchbook http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=131601
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  16. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,762
    Thanks
    2,682
    Thanked 5,955 Times in 2,397 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Think of it as a design problem.If texture or details add interest but don't detract from the center of interest then use them to your advantage. They should always be used to strengthen the idea you have for the piece.

    Last edited by dpaint; December 7th, 2012 at 09:35 AM.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  17. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    516
    Thanks
    95
    Thanked 173 Times in 162 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Your issues lie more in the fundamentals, relying on texture right now would act as a crutch. Using textures without proper knowledge will also make things look like a cheap photoshop filter.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

Members who have read this thread: 0

There are no members to list at the moment.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • 424,149 Artists
  • 3,599,276 Artist Posts
  • 32,941 Sketchbooks
  • 54 New Art Jobs
Art Workshop Discount Inside
Register

Developed Actively by vBSocial.com
The Art Department
SpringOfSea's Sketchbook