Winter Wolf in Woods WIP -Seeking critique
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  1. #1
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    Winter Wolf in Woods WIP -Seeking critique

    So I found these forums years ago, but was too shameful/shy of my art to jump on the forums. So, I spent a few years honing my skills and now I'm ready for all of your hard working eyeballs to take me that next step further! *bites lip and clenches chair in giddiness*

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    So, definitely still in the works. I have yet to touch anything behind the wolf, and some touching up on everything in front of it. I'm planning on putting in some 'furry' snow laden pine trees and bushes in the background so the forest doesn't look so dead, plus some other bits of saplings and dead trees as well. Otherwise, everything 'looks' right so far.

    Water is a new subject to draw for me, with no direct light source I'm a tad confused how to do the lighting on the water without accidentally turning it into ice/plastic/complex.

    Should I keep the colors mono-toned? Composition? Anatomy? Anything else, all of it; I'll consider appreciatively.

    Using some references; mostly my backyard but currently waiting on another snowstorm before I can take new pictures.

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  2. #2
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    Hey!

    I'm seeing some really nice subtle details in this. The main problem is that it's just far too dark.

    Moonlight on snow can be remarkably bright. The snow reflects light so that even the darkest shadows may have some illumination.

    Here's a good reference for your scene:


    Also, consider that in a painted image you can create the illusion of darkness without actually using such deep blacks. Value, like many things, is relative.

    So punch some moon light in there. Get a nice contrast on your focal point. Consider "banding" strips of light and shadow on the ground and into the distance to create a sense of depth.

    You could improve the structure of the wolf's pose just a bit. Go around the form and clarify the anatomy so that even as just a silhouette the gesture would read clearly. Specifically the leg in the middle and the hind leg that's being obscured; Those could use some refinement.

    Overall the water is looking good. You may want some more reflection, but be careful not to overdo it.

    I would expand the size of the image outward so that the wolf is not so centered in the composition.

    A quick paintover. You might should push the light even brighter than this. Also sharpen the cast shadows a bit more in places as in the reference above.
    Name:  winter wolf paintover.jpg
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    Hope that helps!

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  4. #3
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    Oh, Those definitely help. Part of why it was so dark was because I had a picture in my head from when I went out for a nightly stroll and noticed that without a full moon, then snow had a light blue color and everything else was black, very little variation in shades. But yes, brightening it up would add to it; it's just a mild challenge NOT to turn it into a daylight/twilight photo. Expanding the size of it looks like it will help a lot, it'll be something I will positively do. I was actually worried about cropping it.

    Looking at that reference painting, I remembering seeing this one years ago: The Remington Wolf

    I totally forgot about the wolf's reflection. And how they're similiar in being a night, wolf, and water shot; Maybe long over due inspiration leaking out now? Good time as ever.


    Thank you for you help, it certainly makes a difference to have a fresh pair of eyes on it.

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