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  1. #1
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    Crit and suggestions appreciated

    Hey,

    I did this digital painting using photoshop. I have done paintings based on pictures but i have never really tryed to paint a landscape completely from imagination. This is how it turned out. I used a nude reference image for the man and then tryed to imagine how clothes and folds would form around him. I am happy with some parts but others are not working so well. But it is still a lot better than it would have been six months ago when I started taking some online classes. I have learned a lot since then, but I still have a long way to go I think.

    Please help me on my journey. How could I improve this painting, composition, colors, values etc. Please rip this artwork apart! Wu hahahaa!!! I won't cry (well I might cry a little...).

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  2. #2
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    Good on you for using reference, and good on you for imagining clothes on your reference. These are excellent mental exercises.

    Using the reference isn't going so well, however. Lots of individual anatomy problems. His left shoulder is sticking out too far, his head is not sitting on his shoulders at a good angle, his right leg is too short, his left leg is twisted inwards.

    It might be a good experiment to superimpose your reference over your drawing. Just copy it, drop it on a layer on top and turn down the opacity until you can see your drawing through the reference. That's not a particularly good working method, by the way, but when you get way, way off course, it's a path to get back on track.

    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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    I agree with Stoat about the anatomy. Also...

    -- The fabric isn't folding in a realistic manner.
    -- Why is he carrying an anchor?
    -- Is that a crashed plane in the background?
    -- Your light source is all over the place.
    -- The rendering is very soft, even downright blurry.
    -- Putting the horizon smack dab in the center isn't very interesting compositionally.

    And yet...

    There is something compelling about this piece, like it is a good study for a subsequent, more sophisticated painting. I'm interested to see where you go from here.

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    Thank you for the advice. I think I made him a bit too short and I had some other problems with the legs, I think that the knee looks kind of strange too. I had huge problems with this particular pose, in the reference picture the model was wearing some really big boxing shorts, which kept confusing me. I kept making him too short.

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    Thank you for taking the time to look at my work. I think the mood in this painting turned out the way I wanted it to. I still think I need to redo the whole thing, it does look more like a study than a finished painting. The horizon line needs fixing and the lighting. I used a default photoshop soft round brush which kind of made everything very soft then I blurred it some more to create the mood. Also I need to learn how to draw a crossbow

    I was trying to give an impression of the sun setting behind the hill of snow, so that would be the main lightsource. I guess I did not convey that very well. Could you point out some things that I did wrong with the lighting or if you have any advice about how to improve it?

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    Lighting issues...for instance, if the light is coming from the setting sun, why is his left side fully lit? Why is his right knee the brightest part of the figure? Why are his footsteps lit from the opposite direction? Why is his right shoulder in shadow?

    I think having that distant, low light source behind him is challenging. I imagine most of the figure should be in shadow...could make a nice contrast with the sky.

    As far as the blur, it isn't working. I think you'd be much better served by obscuring your background with atmospheric haze to get what you're after. Not that distant objects need to be super crisp, but right now they are cotton balls. Also, the background trees don't feel distant enough to me to be so short...something about the perspective is messing up my sense of scale in the image.

    For the record, I have a real problem with the 'soft rendered' look as well. My most recent painting was done almost completely with a textured brush with no 'hardness' option, and it is by far my most successful piece.

    Keep pluggin' away!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DPFX View Post
    Lighting issues...for instance, if the light is coming from the setting sun, why is his left side fully lit? Why is his right knee the brightest part of the figure? Why are his footsteps lit from the opposite direction? Why is his right shoulder in shadow?

    I think having that distant, low light source behind him is challenging. I imagine most of the figure should be in shadow...could make a nice contrast with the sky.

    As far as the blur, it isn't working. I think you'd be much better served by obscuring your background with atmospheric haze to get what you're after. Not that distant objects need to be super crisp, but right now they are cotton balls. Also, the background trees don't feel distant enough to me to be so short...something about the perspective is messing up my sense of scale in the image.

    For the record, I have a real problem with the 'soft rendered' look as well. My most recent painting was done almost completely with a textured brush with no 'hardness' option, and it is by far my most successful piece.

    Keep pluggin' away!

    Thank you for the feedback. I will keep pluggin' away

    Maybe the size of the deer in the background when compared to the trees is a bit off. I think that the deer is actually way too big or the trees are too small (and blurry). I will have to work on that. Thank you for the info on lighting, I will need to focuse on that a little more.

    I also sometimes have trouple with the soft rendered look, I am trying to find ways to ad texture to the painting. It's a trial and error kind of process, but I am learning something frome every painting and drawing I do. So thank's again for taking the time to crit my work. I really appreciate it.

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    To add to the excellent suggestions that have already been given, maybe you could make the head more of the focal point: right now, the clothes under his cloak stick out the most -- darkest values, has opposite colour (yellow-orange) to the rest of the scene, sharpest, most contrasty -- so maybe you could bring more of those elements to his face too. Sharpen it up, make it more saturated, more contrasty etc. to make it fit better with his suit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lulie View Post
    To add to the excellent suggestions that have already been given, maybe you could make the head more of the focal point: right now, the clothes under his cloak stick out the most -- darkest values, has opposite colour (yellow-orange) to the rest of the scene, sharpest, most contrasty -- so maybe you could bring more of those elements to his face too. Sharpen it up, make it more saturated, more contrasty etc. to make it fit better with his suit.

    Thank you, those are excellent points! I am planning on redoing the whole painting. I'll try to keep everything in mind and post the results here. We will see how it goes.

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    i agree with DPFX theres something compelling about it.
    i suggest maybe smoodging the horizon down a bit to open it out some more, like a really wide arctic plain, type thing..

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    I just wanted to add that I love the sky itself, the colors and the odd textured effect in there. That is the thing that most stands out to me as rather unique.

    D'Arcy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocity Kendall View Post
    i agree with DPFX theres something compelling about it.
    i suggest maybe smoodging the horizon down a bit to open it out some more, like a really wide arctic plain, type thing..
    Wow.... loving the space you've created here. Thank you!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by justa View Post
    I just wanted to add that I love the sky itself, the colors and the odd textured effect in there. That is the thing that most stands out to me as rather unique.

    D'Arcy
    Thank you so much! I will keep working on it

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    I painted this again. I drew about 20 thumbnails and I think I drew the gesture of the figure like 30 times before getting it the way I wanted it to be. I also tryed to think about the direction of the light and the shadows it creates. This is how it turned out. There are still few things I am not happy about but I think I'll move on to a new painting for now.

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