help me with my woman's skin
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    help me with my woman's skin

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    hello everyone

    i need help with:
    (1) the form shadow for the cheek, it looks unnatural. i dont know if i should lighten it or darken it or increase its saturation, but whatever i do, it will look weird. and it still looks weird now.
    (2) is the highlight on the face too bright? is it too constrasted? should painting skin be low constrasted? i really couldnt tell because i painted this and i cant see my own mistakes
    (3) a few quick question:
    (i) i paint skin from base tones, then darken it, then add lights. my question is: after i lay in my skin's base tones, what color should i pick next (mid tones)? something highly constrasted (in terms of value) from the base tones? or should i just pick one that only have subtle differences compared to the base tones?
    (ii) if i want to paint something realistic, what is the most important things i need to put into my work? e.g. detail, texture, referencing, edges? subsurface scattering?
    (iii) people like Linda Bergkvist, Melanie Delon PapaNinja and Marta Dahlig can paint very realistic artworks, my question is: do they use references? if so where do they mostly get their reference from. and also if someone can teach me how to use reference, that will be good. i dont know if i should copy everything from a reference or what.

    also, if anyone can paintover my work, i will be so happy. dont worry if you r not better than me or what, you can still paintover, i will still learn new things from it. i want my work to look realistic. i try to use as less reference as possible, because i think using reference kinda make creativity and skill building pointless.

    thnx guys

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  2. #2
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    Take my comments as they are: from a beginner.
    I just don't see the weird cheek you mention. It looks perfectly fine to me excepted maybe the light pink which I can't explain. Why is it only visible on the mandibular angle and not higher or on the ear and hair? Maybe because it's a WIP?
    And if we refer to the head shadow the light seems to come from the upper lateral left then why the right cheek shadow is that pronounce? I mean, the head lightening seams to be almost in front of her. Two light sources?
    I find the highlight level not shoking.
    About your others questions I can't tell, I'm asking the same ones too. By the way, if you have time to give an hand on this one: http://conceptart.org/forums/showthr...9-Deb-of-night
    Excepted the little remarks I made I really like what you did here so far so keep up the good work.

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    Can you make the image smaller so we can see the whole body? Cant check proportions if i can only see half of her on my screen.

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    I don't want to sound mean or anything, but looking through all your older threads and your sketchbooks, you seem to really want to paint 'realistically' but you avoid painting from real life. What gives? When was the last time you painted an apple sitting on your desk? When was the last time you painted a friend or family member reading a book? Most of your problems with getting things to look real are solved by studying reality - not photos, not your imagination. Now, onto some of your questions:

    i paint skin from base tones, then darken it, then add lights.
    don't do that.
    after i lay in my skin's base tones, what color should i pick next (mid tones)? something highly constrasted (in terms of value) from the base tones? or should i just pick one that only have subtle differences compared to the base tones?
    There's no hard and fast universal rule here. It depends on the skin tone, the lighting conditions, the environment, technique, etc.
    if i want to paint something realistic, what is the most important things i need to put into my work? e.g. detail, texture, referencing, edges? subsurface scattering?
    detail
    no
    texture
    no
    referencing
    JACKPOT!
    Be wary though. 'Referencing' doesn't mean 'copying a photo'. And just because something came out of a camera, doesn't mean it's correct. Camera's can have lens distortion, they don't capture the same color subtleties that the eye can, and they don't white balance the same way the brain does.
    edges
    Those are important, but you need to have believable forms first
    subsurface scattering
    Now it just feels like you're throwing words around. Yes it's important to know about it and to recognize it, but that alone won't make something realistic.

    people like Linda Bergkvist, Melanie Delon PapaNinja and Marta Dahlig can paint very realistic artworks, my question is: do they use references? if so where do they mostly get their reference from. and also if someone can teach me how to use reference, that will be good. i dont know if i should copy everything from a reference or what.
    As mentioned in one of your other threads: yes, they use references. From where? Could be stock photography, their own photos, a mirror, what have you.

    Read this while you're at it: http://conceptart.org/forums/showthr...ence-correctly

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    Quote Originally Posted by StefRob View Post
    Take my comments as they are: from a beginner.
    I just don't see the weird cheek you mention. It looks perfectly fine to me excepted maybe the light pink which I can't explain. Why is it only visible on the mandibular angle and not higher or on the ear and hair? Maybe because it's a WIP?
    And if we refer to the head shadow the light seems to come from the upper lateral left then why the right cheek shadow is that pronounce? I mean, the head lightening seams to be almost in front of her. Two light sources?
    I find the highlight level not shoking.
    About your others questions I can't tell, I'm asking the same ones too. By the way, if you have time to give an hand on this one: http://conceptart.org/forums/showthr...9-Deb-of-night
    Excepted the little remarks I made I really like what you did here so far so keep up the good work.
    first of all thnx for commenting, i really appreciated it. yea this is still a wip, i dont put that pinkish lightining on her ear and hair because i want to do it at the near end.

    your comment on the lighting was good, it made me realize my mistakes, thnx man.

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    yea i will fix that on my future posts, thnx for letting me know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hexokinase View Post
    I don't want to sound mean or anything, but looking through all your older threads and your sketchbooks, you seem to really want to paint 'realistically' but you avoid painting from real life. What gives? When was the last time you painted an apple sitting on your desk? When was the last time you painted a friend or family member reading a book? Most of your problems with getting things to look real are solved by studying reality - not photos, not your imagination. Now, onto some of your questions:


    don't do that.

    There's no hard and fast universal rule here. It depends on the skin tone, the lighting conditions, the environment, technique, etc.


    no

    no

    JACKPOT!
    Be wary though. 'Referencing' doesn't mean 'copying a photo'. And just because something came out of a camera, doesn't mean it's correct. Camera's can have lens distortion, they don't capture the same color subtleties that the eye can, and they don't white balance the same way the brain does.

    Those are important, but you need to have believable forms first

    Now it just feels like you're throwing words around. Yes it's important to know about it and to recognize it, but that alone won't make something realistic.


    As mentioned in one of your other threads: yes, they use references. From where? Could be stock photography, their own photos, a mirror, what have you.

    Read this while you're at it: http://conceptart.org/forums/showthr...ence-correctly
    hey man, thnx for commenting and answering my questions.

    but at that first question you said 'dont do that' do you have another suggestion? you mean i should start painting from darkness? i am willing to try all kinds of new techniques as long as i can improve.

    and yea you are absolutely right, i never one paint something from real life. i will do that now. thank you very much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tekkoontan View Post
    at that first question you said 'dont do that' do you have another suggestion? you mean i should start painting from darkness? i am willing to try all kinds of new techniques as long as i can improve.
    My point there was in reference to painting believable skin with color. It's not simply a base color that goes darker and lighter. Hue changes, saturation changes. How they change depends on local color, ambient light temperature, and main light temperature. Check out the link to Prom's General Art Tutorial in my signature. It's very good introductory material.

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  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hexokinase View Post
    My point there was in reference to painting believable skin with color. It's not simply a base color that goes darker and lighter. Hue changes, saturation changes. How they change depends on local color, ambient light temperature, and main light temperature. Check out the link to Prom's General Art Tutorial in my signature. It's very good introductory material.
    wow man thnx, ima just click everything, they all look helpful lol

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    Okay, I've tried to make a paintover, but I've failed, I've discovered that it's in fact much more difficult for me to repaint someone else's work than to paint something from scratch :o
    I'm still posting it, maybe if I've got enough time, I'll make a better one. But I'll mainly try to explain what I wanted to do with it. I'm still a beginner, not a professional or so, so don't take too seriously what I'll say.

    Name:  TekkoontanPaintover.jpg
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    1) Yes, I think your cheek looks weird, mainly because it's too straight. In the way you've painted this face, everything looks way too straight for me (especially compared to your arm's shading for instance). The cheek shadow, the nose shadow, the mouth shadow... It's all very straight and hard, that gives a cartoony look in my opinion.

    2) Contrast isn't the main issue. You can obtain realistic faces with almost no contrast, or a very high one (both images are from Melanie Delon, since you've quoted her).

    Name:  Delon1.jpg
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Size:  29.7 KBName:  Delon2.jpg
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    The values will mainly indicate the structure of the face, but to be able to render it as human skin, this will mainly be a matter of hues and saturation.

    However right now, your face lacks of structure. That's a shame given the quality of some of your photo studies !
    Your nose and mouth looks fine to me, but they seem pasted onto the skin. There is no interaction between the nostrils and the skin, the corners of the mouth and the skin, or even between the nose and the mouth. They all seem too much "independent". And your eyes look too cartoony for me, eyelids don't work that way, eyes don't have that much an almond form. They don't have the same size either. You should do some quick eye studies IMHO.

    The jaw is weird too, I think that's because your ears are placed too high. Anyway, the main problem is that you don't seem able to apply what you've done during your portrait studies. When you study a photo, you are able to see and render the structure, to shift the hues and saturations, pay more attention to what you've done if you want to reproduce it by imagination

    3) Neither details or texture are important. Look at some Sargent paintings for instance, he was able to render very credible faces with visible brush strokes and no high-res details. Details should only be added in the last steps when it's already looking very good IMO.

    And about referencing, yes Linda Bergkvist used a lot of references. She stated that two or three of her closest friends modelled for her quite often. When her friends weren't available, she used herself as a model (she made several self-portraits too). She also said in her fabric tutorial that to paint clothes, she often dressed a chair with some fabric in order to study the behaviour of the fabric. Regarding Melanie Delon, I've no official answer, but given how a lot of her female character share facial features with her, I believe that she is using her own face a lot too.

    Eventually, when I use reference, it's mainly to check the general shape of the eyes/nose/mouth/ears from the particular viewpoint I want to use. Otherwise I'm not yet able to figure out when the corner of the mouth stops from being visible or things like that :|

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    although i kinda got all the answers i asked for, but i wanna keep updating this thread, for exposure and for acquiring new knowledge from different artists. you guys can say all kinds of bad thing to my art. i wont get mad. i also prefer paintovers, i love those.
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    I've made some subtle but rough modifications:
    1) legs seemed weird to me. The shape of her quadriceps lacks of natural. Plus the patella should be more visible. More generally remember that the medial part of the quadriceps is lower than the lateral one. I've added shade to the right leg considering she's walking and the left leg is a little behind.
    2) collabornes were too proeminent for my taste.
    3) her top clothe was a little to short. I feared her boobs could go outside during the battle and break her concentration ;-)
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    I'll give a comment on something I also need to break a bit of the habit of. Don't just go over something a ton with opacity. It's easy to tell based on the legs alone that your doing little strokes with low opacity and building value up. But that leads to very muddy color. Be very intent with your values then blend slightly and gently afterwards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aliciane View Post
    2) Contrast isn't the main issue. You can obtain realistic faces with almost no contrast, or a very high one (both images are from Melanie Delon, since you've quoted her).

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Size:  29.7 KBName:  Delon2.jpg
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    I know, it doesn't help the topic, but I want to make clear that the left image is not from Melanie Delon. It's from Cris Ortega and there was some shitstorm about it.

    Last edited by JuliaMetzger; January 21st, 2013 at 02:16 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aliciane View Post
    Okay, I've tried to make a paintover, but I've failed, I've discovered that it's in fact much more difficult for me to repaint someone else's work than to paint something from scratch :o
    I'm still posting it, maybe if I've got enough time, I'll make a better one. But I'll mainly try to explain what I wanted to do with it. I'm still a beginner, not a professional or so, so don't take too seriously what I'll say.

    Name:  TekkoontanPaintover.jpg
Views: 1131
Size:  111.2 KB (yeah ugly, I know)

    1) Yes, I think your cheek looks weird, mainly because it's too straight. In the way you've painted this face, everything looks way too straight for me (especially compared to your arm's shading for instance). The cheek shadow, the nose shadow, the mouth shadow... It's all very straight and hard, that gives a cartoony look in my opinion.

    2) Contrast isn't the main issue. You can obtain realistic faces with almost no contrast, or a very high one (both images are from Melanie Delon, since you've quoted her).

    Name:  Delon1.jpg
Views: 2679
Size:  29.7 KBName:  Delon2.jpg
Views: 1330
Size:  20.9 KB

    The values will mainly indicate the structure of the face, but to be able to render it as human skin, this will mainly be a matter of hues and saturation.

    However right now, your face lacks of structure. That's a shame given the quality of some of your photo studies !
    Your nose and mouth looks fine to me, but they seem pasted onto the skin. There is no interaction between the nostrils and the skin, the corners of the mouth and the skin, or even between the nose and the mouth. They all seem too much "independent". And your eyes look too cartoony for me, eyelids don't work that way, eyes don't have that much an almond form. They don't have the same size either. You should do some quick eye studies IMHO.

    The jaw is weird too, I think that's because your ears are placed too high. Anyway, the main problem is that you don't seem able to apply what you've done during your portrait studies. When you study a photo, you are able to see and render the structure, to shift the hues and saturations, pay more attention to what you've done if you want to reproduce it by imagination

    3) Neither details or texture are important. Look at some Sargent paintings for instance, he was able to render very credible faces with visible brush strokes and no high-res details. Details should only be added in the last steps when it's already looking very good IMO.

    And about referencing, yes Linda Bergkvist used a lot of references. She stated that two or three of her closest friends modelled for her quite often. When her friends weren't available, she used herself as a model (she made several self-portraits too). She also said in her fabric tutorial that to paint clothes, she often dressed a chair with some fabric in order to study the behaviour of the fabric. Regarding Melanie Delon, I've no official answer, but given how a lot of her female character share facial features with her, I believe that she is using her own face a lot too.

    Eventually, when I use reference, it's mainly to check the general shape of the eyes/nose/mouth/ears from the particular viewpoint I want to use. Otherwise I'm not yet able to figure out when the corner of the mouth stops from being visible or things like that :|
    hey aliciane, thnx for the kind comment, all the things u said do make alot of sense. like that one on eyes and nose being too independent, i will try to fix that. and also thnx for clearing my doubts on whether high contrasted values makes something real or not real. i really appreciated it.

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    Damned, you're right. I was aware of the issues with Ortega's work, but I still managed to mix up the two artists. Sorry for the mistake

    Not to be off topic, I like your skin better this way
    Just to know, are you sure you want to keep her hair bluish ? It bothers me because currently, this is the only part that is cool-coloured in your drawing. If you wish to keep them this way, maybe you should add some blue on the background or on the clothes. Just a suggestion ^^

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    Quote Originally Posted by StefRob View Post
    I've made some subtle but rough modifications:
    1) legs seemed weird to me. The shape of her quadriceps lacks of natural. Plus the patella should be more visible. More generally remember that the medial part of the quadriceps is lower than the lateral one. I've added shade to the right leg considering she's walking and the left leg is a little behind.
    2) collabornes were too proeminent for my taste.
    3) her top clothe was a little to short. I feared her boobs could go outside during the battle and break her concentration ;-)
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    wooot thnx for the paint over man, i love it. will fix the legs a bit soon.

    dont worry about her shirt, i will put some belt from the shirt to shoulder later lol. thnx man

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    Quote Originally Posted by JFierce View Post
    I'll give a comment on something I also need to break a bit of the habit of. Don't just go over something a ton with opacity. It's easy to tell based on the legs alone that your doing little strokes with low opacity and building value up. But that leads to very muddy color. Be very intent with your values then blend slightly and gently afterwards.

    ok blend as less as possible, noted, thnx man

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valyavande View Post
    I know, it doesn't help the topic, but I want to make clear that the left imagine is not from Melanie Delon. It's from Cris Ortega and there was some shitstorm about it.
    You made me curious, so I looked it up. Here is the shitstorm. Interesting reading.

    While lots of people do an underdrawing in black and then paint on top of it, tekkoontan, try not to mix black back on top. It usually makes a bad shading color for flesh; it makes it look cold and dirty.

    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoat View Post
    You made me curious, so I looked it up. Here is the shitstorm. Interesting reading.

    While lots of people do an underdrawing in black and then paint on top of it, tekkoontan, try not to mix black back on top. It usually makes a bad shading color for flesh; it makes it look cold and dirty.
    ah yes abosoulutely true, i do that all the time, i need to change.

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    just wanna update my painting.

    im gonna put a shield on her right hand, then bring her left arm up and hold a big sword that will rest on her shoulder too. she will have blood on her body and her armor will have lots of cuts, rusts and breaks

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    Here is my paint over. I felt that the shadows on her face were too dark and they looked really harsh. I also whited her eyes slightly as these looked too dark. This is my very inexperienced opinion. I hope you don't mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gee.Two View Post
    Here is my paint over. I felt that the shadows on her face were too dark and they looked really harsh. I also whited her eyes slightly as these looked too dark. This is my very inexperienced opinion. I hope you don't mind.
    hey Gee.Two, thnx for the paintover, it looks good but it will make my face too flattened. that is why i had so much problem with the face lol. if i make it darker, she will look ugly, if i make her paler, she will look too 2D. T_T but thnx alot, if u need me to paintover your stuffs, feel free to ask

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    I'm really torn about this one, tekkoontan. On the one hand, she does have some anatomy issues that need sorting -- particularly her upper chest, around the collarbones and neck. On the other hand, I'm reluctant to tell you to go look at reference, since this picture is working, in many ways, because it's coming out of your head and not a reference photo.

    That isn't always the case, of course. It's nearly always the right thing to do to point someone at reference. But what you're doing here is working pretty well despite (or because) it's idiosyncratic.

    So, maybe the thing to do is close this file and do some studies of the upper torso as a separate thing, so you're not looking at pictures and this painting at the same time. In hopes you can shore up what's not working without messing up what is working, if that makes any sense.

    Also, the way her left hand and hair devolve into scribbles...that's very nearly something extraordinarily nice, if the left hand were just a touch closer to the right final shape. A highly finished piece with a few bits that are scribbly and rough but still somehow exactly right...guys at the tippy top pull that look off.

    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoat View Post
    I'm really torn about this one, tekkoontan. On the one hand, she does have some anatomy issues that need sorting -- particularly her upper chest, around the collarbones and neck. On the other hand, I'm reluctant to tell you to go look at reference, since this picture is working, in many ways, because it's coming out of your head and not a reference photo.

    That isn't always the case, of course. It's nearly always the right thing to do to point someone at reference. But what you're doing here is working pretty well despite (or because) it's idiosyncratic.

    So, maybe the thing to do is close this file and do some studies of the upper torso as a separate thing, so you're not looking at pictures and this painting at the same time. In hopes you can shore up what's not working without messing up what is working, if that makes any sense.

    Also, the way her left hand and hair devolve into scribbles...that's very nearly something extraordinarily nice, if the left hand were just a touch closer to the right final shape. A highly finished piece with a few bits that are scribbly and rough but still somehow exactly right...guys at the tippy top pull that look off.
    i feel like crying, im getting so many great suggestions from you guys, and its all for free. i dunno how to repay you guys because i dont have alot of things. but i will train hard, make good arts and use that to entertain you guys.

    really, i learnt so much good techniques that i never thought of. i love you guys and i love this site. thank you all and thank you Stoat for your helpful comment. you guys rocks!

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  33. #26
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    Name:  Untitled-1.jpg
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    Name:  DA32.jpg
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    another update, i rip her shirt to match the tore clothes on her right arm.

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    Hi tekkoontan,

    I enjoyed your image very much, and because of that I wanted to see if I could help you to make it better in any way. Hopefully I can pass on some information that you can use.

    Your technique and rendering is very diligent and your handling of the medium is very good! I can see you are quite confident using digital, which is great to see!

    Name:  DA32.jpg
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    First thing, and most important is that the face is just a bit off. The chin is a bit too far to the right. The good news though is it's quite easy to fix.
    In photoshop go to Filter>Liquify> and go to the warp tool (W) and then just nudge the chin over to the left a bit.

    Also, it'll likely be difficult for you to see and fix but you've drawn the facial features in almost a straight on perspective, but you've drawn the head at about a 1/4 angle. You can push and pull around the features using the liquify tool to see if you can fit them all together into the same perspective.

    I should probably address your point about skin tones too since you've asked. The way you've drawn your skin is pretty much as though it was taken through a photo with a very bright flash pointed directly at the woman and positioned right above the camera.

    The reason it looks like that is because you've drawn it so that all of the areas that are facing the viewer are receiving a very strong highlight - almost white - and areas that recede are darker. This isn't the best lighting to use because it does nothing to convey how the light from the environment interacts with your character.

    In simple terms it pretty much means that the light she is receiving is not the light from the scene she is standing in, and that's bad...

    How to fix this? The way I did it in my paintover was to make it so that the light I used to render her is pretty much just the reddish diffuse light from the environment around her. You'll notice I didn't really use any highlights and left the brightest values for the light that's behind her. All I had to do was remove the highlights you added and simplify the rendering a bit.

    There's a ton of different lighting schemes, so it's not like the one I chose is the 'right' one. I think it's just important to pick one that's natural and connects the character to the environment in some way.

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  36. #28
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    ah you r right, the chin is a bit skewed. and the face is 1/4 but it was drawn like it was from the front.

    i also like how you talk about the lightinig. that was what i had trouble with. you said that the lightning looked like a very bright camera flashing in front of it. although i wont try to fix this problem but i will bear in mind what u said, on my future painting, i will keep highlights less bright and probably keep shadows less darker.

    thnx for the paintover too, i really liked it

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    im extremely frustrated when painting this, the pose sucks, the design sucks, and i cant just quit it, or else all the time i spent painting this will go all wasted.
    but here is an update anyway.
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    Maybe push her legs together. Her pose is very weak, as in she looks very weak in the legs, like she is about to collapse. I think her head is at a weird tilt too which gives her face a weird look. I did this quick thing so you can see what I mean. I think your rendering is great. (sorry I haven't read any of the other posts so ignore this if it conflicts with any other post)

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