So I'll be illustrating a Slavic fairy tale
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  1. #1
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    So I'll be illustrating a Slavic fairy tale

    As part of my honours project I am conducting research into Slavic folklore to be able to create more captivating, culturally relevant and immersive worlds for video games and film.

    This is one of the first paintings I did, and I would be grateful to hear your feedback on it.

    I know there are quite a few things wrong with it so don't pull your punches. Also, it seems I'm getting worse. This is a scary sensation. Perhaps I should go out and work through this block.

    Anyway, what do you guys think?

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  2. #2
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    do more thumbnails and gather more reference before starting.
    the composition is awkward, the proportions of man and horse wrong. you should gather 20 pictures of horses galloping and jumping, and do sketchy studies, before commiting to one in your image. etc. same for people riding. same for forest environments in autumn. etc



    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; January 11th, 2013 at 03:16 PM.
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  4. #3
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    the forground doesn't tie in with the back ground. ANd the background is too busy. I agree with velocity, about the proporitions. and the horse is too boxy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoolhoo View Post
    it seems I'm getting worse. This is a scary sensation.
    I think you're just getting ahead of yourself a little bit, rushing to add finishing elements when you should be focusing more on the structure of the image. For example, you've added some stampy trees in the background which are a detail that could be saved for later after you've nailed the overall value hierarchy and color scheme. The foreground and background are too similar - you need to push the background back and emphasize your subject. Similarly, you're adding highlights on the horse's tack and a pattern on the red blanket while you still have a lot of rough anatomy on both the horse and rider. Slow down and focus on what's important at this stage in the process.

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    Sketch in black and white. An illustration that works in black and white can be made to work with color. But one that doesn't - nothing will make it "read", color will only make it more confusing.

    So sort out the composition in black and white first.

    Also, it would help to pay more attention to 3-dimensional structure of what you are drawing.

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    One thing about horses that people frequently miss is that you seldom to never see the horse's arm separate from its body. It is true that the elbow drops a bit when the knees are picked up to jump, but the humerus won't show distinctly-- as the supplied photo shows. Incidentally, the same goes for the femur in the hind limb. Both femur and humerus sort of become part of the main body mass.

    Another small detail that will help you is to take the browband of the bridle and snug it up just underneath the ear. That is where the browband goes, always. Round out the eye and straighten the roman profile of the skull/nose a bit and you have a much more believable picture. It's nice that your rider is in the right place on the horse's back; I usually see people put them way too far back. You could, however, bring the girth a bit more forward as in the photo and define some semblance of a saddle instead of just a blanket on the horse's back. Overall, I think this is better than most horse drawings I've seen from people who do not deal with them on a daily basis.

    It took me like three hours to finish the shading on your upper lip. It's probably the best drawing I've ever done.



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    Thanks for all your comments guys. You are right, I do not deal with horses on a daily basis, so some sketches would've been helpful. As well as some thumbnails and a b&w sketch. That's how I usually work, but I think I just rushed this one too much. I hope you don't mind if I quote some of the comments in my blog. In honours I need to take note of everything and then do some analysis and evaluation stuff. Academic writing, eh?

    Thanks again and since I will be dealing with horses a lot more in the coming months, I will take everything said here on board. Velocity Kendall, it's funny you should post that pic of a horse jumping. It's exactly the same image I was using as ref.

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    hello Thoolhoo. I cant give any constructive crit on the painting cause I'm still learning but maybe a little insight. One of the things i really enjoy about slavic folklore is the art in the books. Now i know you have your own style but maybe incorporate the details and pattern style in these pictures to give your painting a more cultural immersion. Im glad to know your work is based on slavic folklore. Are you slavic by any chance?

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  13. #9
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    I am. Russian, in fact. My whole project is about Slavic folklore and art. There is quite a lot of stuff about it in my blog, but most of it academic writing. I do know Ivan Bilibin's work very well - he's one of the artists I've been looking at. I admire his clean, illustrative style.

    I think before submitting my coursework this week I'll do a more in depth study of his works, and maybe try to imitate his style. Imitation is good for educational purposes, after all, right?

    I know, by the way, that I tend to post something in this forum, and then never develop it building on the feedback. The reason to that is because I usually don't have time. But I do take all your comments on board and use your feedback when painting another painting though.

    PS: Choopcheek, if you like Bilibin's stuff he did a series of post card illustrations called "the Russian north", they are beautiful. Here's a link.

    Last edited by Thoolhoo; January 15th, 2013 at 12:46 PM.
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