Flight - Critiques please!
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    Flight - Critiques please!



    If you see anything wrong let me know what i need to work on please!
    Reference is:-http://i.imgur.com/uqE6N.jpg

    Edit: Other than the slight sploge of creamy white below the owl >.< I dont know how that got there but it will be easy enough to fix.
    Edit2: Also sorry if you've already seen this in my sketchbook but i'm thinking of sending this off to a company for an example of work for an internship or something along those lines.

    Last edited by Katastrophi; December 20th, 2012 at 08:09 PM.
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    It needs better separation of foreground from background. The values in both are too similar, so your owl blends in too much.

    You haven't thought out the background composition. It should work together with the owl, not try to crawl around it. Look at that fir on the owl's left; it is unexpectedly squat, because you have not thought its placement through and squashed it down to avoid it crossing the owl's silhouette. What you should have done is either lose it, put it somewhere else, make it bigger and let it serve as the backdrop for the owl, make it smaller, change its color. If you had to mutilate it like this, it means simply that the element is in the wrong place. There are lots of stuff like that here, along with purely random things that aren't adding anything to the picture and things not thought through (like the uniform black tree trunks with no evidence of leaves.)

    I suggest you rethink the composition of the background, overall. It should be a workable landscape in its own right, and serve for good presentation of the owl in the same time.

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    To arenhous' point -- go back to your reference picture, there are several things that make the owl pop and the background recede. The background is very soft and blurry, the owl is sharp and detailed. The background is cool in color, the owl is warm. The background is low contrast, the owl is bangy and contrasty, with light highilights and dark shadows. All these things make him a spectacularly interesting object.

    Now, I'm not one to tell you to follow reference more closely. There are all kinds of opinion on this, and I'm in the camp that uses reference loosely. I'm just pointing out general ways you make your viewer look where you want him to look and see what you want him to see.

    If it were my picture...first, I'd put the owl and the background on two separate layers (assuming you haven't). It just makes it so much easier to experiment with both. Second, I would imagine a strong shaft of light coming down and picking out the top edge of the owl...because when I looked at the thumbnail, that's the picture I thought I was going to see (and I liked it). But that's just a suggestion.

    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).
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    One more thing. The human brain is wired to love eyeballs. Put two black dots on a piece of paper, and the tiniest infant will focus on them and lock. You're really missing a trick with something like an owl, which has awesomely beautiful eyes, if you don't zoom in and REALLY work those eyeballs into the focal point of your picture.

    Honestly, go look at your reference pic. Can you tear yourself away from that bad boy's beautiful orange orbs?

    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).
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    Thanks Stoat & Arenhaus

    I've had another go from your suggestions, yeah i managed to extract the layers. I've improved the fir tree definitely agree with what you were saying there it looked very squashed so extracted that out and improved it a bit. I added a light ray, above the owl to make it more of a focus but i'm not entirely happy about the background being so deep i feel theres not much in the way of the midtones? I'm not sure but just let me know what you think if this is an improvement.

    Just another couple of things i changed; Made the owl "warmer" overlayed with some oranges and reds, added some sort of blurring to the light that's coming through the trees (let me know about this! Not to sure!), also darkened the owl in appropriate areas.




    Edit: After writing this post i kinda ended up critiquing what i didn't like about it! So i tried to sort out some midtones for the background, darked the bottom of the image and lightened the top so that the eye would hopefully be drawn to where dark meets light, which is where the owl is



    Last edited by Katastrophi; December 25th, 2012 at 06:54 PM.
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    It's better, but you've only muted the background. It is still poorly thought out, compositionally, and you've added questionable elements like the lens flares (?) that are distracting.

    I'd suggest to not try shortcuts, and replan the overall composition so you could repaint the background.

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    Thanks again Arenhaus!

    I wasn't sure how to change the overall composition, but i changed some lighting elements within it, i feel like it is improved from the original. Keep your thoughts coming! Thankyou!



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    Oh yeah, these revisions look way better than the first image. Use value contrast to make the owl pop off from the background. I'd still go in and add more color to the eyes, look at the intensity of the orange in his eyes in the ref. Put that in your image to really make the focal point, his face, shine. Pure black for the pupil, near white for the highlight, and pure saturated orange for the eye color.

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