This is obviously a WIP. I'd really like your advice on how to improve this, other than just rendering it further. Mostly, is the face feeling flat? How are my shadows? Anatomy? Anything else you see that I'm doing horribly wrong? I know often having limbs leave the frame like the elbow is doing is considered awkward, but I prefer it for this piece.
Thank you so much! You definitely showed me what I was suspecting -- that I need to do some studies on neck anatomy (and anatomy in general).
Made some quick photo refs for the hands. I'm not really sure how to pull off the pinky on her left hand. I feel I've got the pose right, but not sure on the coloring to make it feel it's coming forward.
Also decided to open her eyes. I feel it adds a lot more focus to the pic.
It's good that you're taking your own reference shots, nicely done. If you find that the position you wanted for your hands in your painting is hard to pull off in real life, though, then you might want to consider changing it in the painting. It's usually a good indication that the pose is unnatural and not comfortable if you're having trouble emulating it in real life.
I do have a few more suggestions though!
I would still expand the ribcage to our left a little more.
Since she has her arms up, the breasts should also be moved upwards slightly more.
Also, pay a little more attention to the anatomy of her left arm.
For the coloring, don't be afraid to use more contrasts so everything "pops"
Thank you! I looked again at my ref and noticed you're right, I chopped off some of her ribcage, and the shoulder on her left arm wasn't done correctly. It is supposed to be receding a bit, as her body is rotated a bit away from the viewer. Does that communicate well with this update?
Eeeep. The darker colors are something I'm afraid of. Yet, I know my digital paintings tend to fall flat. Is this enough contrast? To my eye this looks good, but flat colors is a bad habit of mine.
Any other anatomical errors before I color in the dress and start rendering further?
I dig the improvements you've made, things look a lot more natural and interesting now When I start my paintings, I always start off painting in black and white so I can concentrate on the contrast, I add colour ontop of the painting later. There are tons of different techniques to do this, just take a look around the web; Ctrl Paint has a good set of tutorials on it (his best one on it is paid, but it's not a bad price) it might be something to think of to improve your eye for contrast.
Well, since I'm doing this for the sake of learning, I went ahead and tried that. I definitely ended up pushing the value range on both ends. I think her body is still looking a little flat. Will fiddle more later.