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I need to definitely use this site more! Ok I really needed help in improving my work and no one has given me better critiques and help than users on this concept art site. I really appreciate places like this...
I created this piece and used a little reference material. it is a personal work. I wanted to depict an assassin has who has been imprisoned by a rival syndicate and forced to play in a deadly game. She's made it to the last level where she must do battle with the final guardian. she has 33 seconds left to win and escape with her life before the C4 explosives strapped to her torso blow her to smithereens! This is all painted in 2D and i kept the painting strokes VERY tight, it took a while and lots of iced tea!
OK DOWN TO BUSINESS. I recently painted the piece below, i tried very hard to make it really good...I know this is not perfect but I am here to learn, so please chime in with a ruthless critique because I am really interested in improving my work on all levels. so please chime in my friends. I am grateful for any comments you send. thank you !!!
Off the bat, you have WAAAAAAAAAAAY too many blacks. They're muddying your colors, and destroying any cohesiveness to your composition. Your value jumps are so extreme that it flattens the form.
Why are there lasers pointed at the robo-golem? Who's the Cortana look-alike, and what does she add? Where are those purple lasers coming from? Right now they're creating an artificial frame in the painting, and your main character exists outside it.
Your protagonist has fat man-hands, and she's also missing a segment on all her fingers.
As a whole, the picture feels too concerned with details and grit: "Let's add scratch marks here, blood stains there, wires to a crude bomb vest, a timer for the bomb vest, KILL KILL on the wall, MEGA LEVEL on the other wall, the gun's model number, piercings and nail polish, a dismembered arm-thing,....."
I feel like there are too many story-telling devices included, but at the same time they don't lead to a cohesive narrative. I wish I saw the picture before reading the description - if anything to see if I could tell what the story here is before having it spelled out. I like that you have everything thought out, but this doesn't feel like the strongest way to execute. I would have liked to see this in the thumbnail stage (along with many other thumbnails), before you committed to all this polish.
Hey man thank you for the descriptive feedback. yea you are not the first to tell me of the extreme value changes, i will have to factor that in for future reference....perhaps I should've include some reflected light for the forms to give it a bit more form. The reason why i added the details was because i felt it was looking good so i wanted to add more to it, but upon completion of the piece, i was realizing the feedback wasnt as good as i hoped. So i knew something was wrong but i couldnt figure it out. I can see what you mean in terms of the blacks. So you think the story here is unclear without me spelling it out?
That's what my gut tells me. You say she's made it to the "last level", but I don't know what the other levels were. I assume she fought hordes of lesser dudes, and if that's the case, where are their corpses? Placing her in a more coliseum-like environment with her foes at her feet and the new threat emerging gives the "last level" message a lot clearer than writing "MEGA LEVEL" on the wall.
Find ways to let the viewers make the connections themselves without spelling it out so blatantly. Where you position the camera can go a long way towards defining the mood. Body language alone should tell us the relationship between characters in a piece - you don't need to write "KILL KILL" for the viewer to tell that two characters are adversaries. Try to tell the story using composition, gesture, value groupings, and finally color. A lot of this piece's problems could have been sorted out in the thumbnail stage.
Yea i get what you're saying and its very good feedback and helps me considerably. thank you my friend. you really helped me get a better understanding and i should do thumbnails before i commit to a piece...which is something i never really did.
i think its OMEGA level. but I agree about everything else, its much of a muchness. too much blue-white and blue-black and irrelevant details all over the place. It needs more work to tell us what we should look at. as you mention, thumbnails.
From a character point of view, her face loooks like a bored teenager not a super badass assassin.
Hey kendall, thank you very much for your feedback my friend. you have helped me tremendously. i will do thumbnails to start from now on so i can solve these problems before i commit. i try to be sparing with the harsh tonal values.
Her right (our left) eye isn't in profile enough. Also her bottom lip protrudes too much. If you cover those bits up, her face looks a lot better.
i think you can totally still rescue it, it seems a shame to not try considering how much work youve obviously put into it.
oh btw her hand looks very big.
helo i did a quick PO of questionable utility, see what you think anyway..
velocity that does help. thank you!