Working on portfolio - Blunt critiques please!
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Thread: Working on portfolio - Blunt critiques please!

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    Working on portfolio - Blunt critiques please!

    Hey, guys. I'm 13 years old, and going to high school next year. I've applied to an art school, and from the programs I'm fluent in, they've said that I pretty much need to just show up and I'm accepted. But, I still want to do my best on my portfolio.
    I have the rest of my portfolio - but painting is my weak point. This is a study I did, to get me ready for the painting I will use. I have to hand in the portfolio in a couple of days, so please be straight forward. I won't take anything harshly.

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    I already know one ear is smaller than the other, and that I might need to pull the eyebrows up (I'll also be changing the hair texture), not to mention I have yet to put in eyelashes.. The eyes look so wrong to me, but I can't figure out why. I'm going to redo them, for sure. I'm thinking that by decreasing it's vertical width, and using more lines and less curves, it might start looking alright, but I'm not sure.
    What else can I do to improve this?

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    Are you using a reference for this? it would probably help a lot. I'd also suggest using a bigger canvas as you can always crop it afterwards. The eyes are in two different spots on the face. the one on the left is so much closer to the nose than the one on the right. Also values need to pushed a lot more. Might be more beneficial to do a greyscale study at this point as it will help get the values right without worrying about colour.

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    About the values being pushed more: That's partly true, but note you've already got a huge disjoint between the values of the hair and the values of the face. The shading should be significantly stronger, like under the chin. As Mrianna said, definitely look up a reference for the lighting.

    Another thing you might want to look up is crevice shadows (or 'ambient occlusion' in 3D modelling terms): when objects are close to each other or meet, and in cracks and crevices, there are shadows in the corners. So, on the eyeball where it meets the eyelids, in the ears, where the lips meet, etc.

    About the eyes not looking right: Make the top eyelid come down so that it grazes the pupil. The further away the top eyelid is from the pupil, the more 'surprised' the eye looks, since naturally it covers the iris somewhat. (And the more it covers the pupil, the more sleepy the person looks.)

    You should also make sure to have a cast shadow from the upper eyelid -- currently, you have slight shadow in the corners and it gets lighter towards the iris, but really it should be split in half horizontally with the bottom being more lit up and the top being more shaded. You kinda did this with the iris itself, but for some reason you also have a shadow on the bottom half (?)... Try Proko's video on eyes and copy out what he does.


    This is a pretty well-proportioned face, though. (The mouth could be moved up a smidge -- give the guy more of a chin and less of a long philtrum -- but it's pretty decent even then.) Proportions are one of the important things to get right and why many beginners' pictures look weird.

    I'd love to see your progress so keep posting! And start a sketchbook thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lulie View Post
    About the values being pushed more: That's partly true, but note you've already got a huge disjoint between the values of the hair and the values of the face. The shading should be significantly stronger, like under the chin. As Mrianna said, definitely look up a reference for the lighting.

    Another thing you might want to look up is crevice shadows (or 'ambient occlusion' in 3D modelling terms): when objects are close to each other or meet, and in cracks and crevices, there are shadows in the corners. So, on the eyeball where it meets the eyelids, in the ears, where the lips meet, etc.

    About the eyes not looking right: Make the top eyelid come down so that it grazes the pupil. The further away the top eyelid is from the pupil, the more 'surprised' the eye looks, since naturally it covers the iris somewhat. (And the more it covers the pupil, the more sleepy the person looks.)

    You should also make sure to have a cast shadow from the upper eyelid -- currently, you have slight shadow in the corners and it gets lighter towards the iris, but really it should be split in half horizontally with the bottom being more lit up and the top being more shaded. You kinda did this with the iris itself, but for some reason you also have a shadow on the bottom half (?)... Try Proko's video on eyes and copy out what he does.


    This is a pretty well-proportioned face, though. (The mouth could be moved up a smidge -- give the guy more of a chin and less of a long philtrum -- but it's pretty decent even then.) Proportions are one of the important things to get right and why many beginners' pictures look weird.

    I'd love to see your progress so keep posting! And start a sketchbook thread.

    Thank you so much, the both of you. I'll definitely intake everything I've read.
    Just to respond/clear up a few things:

    I started off using this reference, but only for the pose and expression (lighting and whatnot). A bit ways in, I left the image and started free handing his face. It just didn't look right, and considering this wasn't a personal project (will be eventually), I didn't want resemblance, I just wanted nice looking results. http://media.avclub.com/images/396/3...9/627.jpg?5556

    The canvas is this size due to printing limitations. I only have normal sized paper, and my portfolio is to be handed in by hand.

    Thanks for pointing out the eye placement! I guess I kind of overlooked it as being a cause of the slight angle - my bad.

    I was thinking about doing a grey scale, but one of my other drawings is already grey scale pencil & paper. I want to sort of "show off" my digital abilities, including color. For personal projects, I'll definitely work on that!

    I'm constantly told to push the values, and I get the basics of it (make depth more obvious, shadows must be shadows, highlights must be highlights, etc.), but I'm always messing it up. Is anyone able to provide me with a more definite explanation, or even roughly do it on this image? It would be so very appreciated.

    As I've stated in the original post, the hair was just blocked in so I could take a look at it as a whole. I'll try to keep that in mind when I fix it up, but could you elaborate on matching the values?

    I 3D model myself, so I get where you're coming with the crevices. Actually, I'm surprised I left that out. Quite ashamed, actually. Haha.

    Honestly? Irises are so painful for me due to their dynamic coloring. The shadow at the bottom was supposed to be a variation in color - I didn't take the time to notice it after I ignorantly put the eyelid cast shadow. I see the obvious mistake there, thank you for pointing it out.

    Once again, thank you both so much!

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