[WIP] Winter Dragon - need critiques and opinions
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    [WIP] Winter Dragon - need critiques and opinions

    Hey people,
    I am currently working on my entry for Dracopedia Challenge. The topic is Winter Dragon. Described in short, my entry will be like this: a dragon is sitting on frozen icy rock, back turned, small icicles are hanging down from scales, cloud of steam is blown off from nostrils, rather peaceful facial expression, relaxed pose.

    Anatomy looks weird to me. What's wrong with the leg? And pose overall?

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    Last edited by Spellsword95; February 18th, 2013 at 06:26 PM.
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    Oooooooh, This one is going to ooze atmosphere.

    For the pose. I would look at some big cat's backs for the shoulder and legs. The anatomy of the dragon has similarities to tigers and lions. Then you can exaggerate some of the features to make it more dragonly because really its all up to interpretation.

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    Googled some photos and fixed anatomy a bit. He is sitting on snowy rock now. C'mon, critique everything
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    Ouh, frozen dragon, like this !

    I'm not really good when it come to critic anatomy, I have not a lot of thing to say that can help you... maybe add at least one pawn of the dragon to show how he grip the mountain ?

    If he is really relaxing, I think his tail is in a wrong position, if I look at my cats when they sit, only the end of the tail is moving or not resting on the floor. Also, take a good note that cats are not that "bend" at the pelvis part when they are sit. Your dragon is closer to a human/monkey/suricat sitting posture than cat, but again it may be only because of the tail direction I misanderstood the position.

    And finaly, I love your dragon's head, but I feel he have a really small body. I feel like his hed is SO heavy he have to put all his strenght to compensate the weight and stay sit on the rock...

    I did a quick PO to illustrate the tail and a possible correction for the body, but again I'm not the best when it come at it so take that with a pinch of salt My PO have a lot of issue with composition too that you may not want...

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    Last edited by Griffonnage; February 18th, 2013 at 09:51 PM. Reason: missing letters
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    Griffonnage: You are awesome! Thank you very much. I didn't even think about the weight of the tail and other things. You helped me enormously, I'll remember what I learned for the future.

    It's better now, forgot to make his head a bit smaller though. I'll fix that in next update. Also added some shields and weapons in snow. Remains of a long dead fights.



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    Love it so far. My only crit is that the composition feels a tad cramped; maybe consider expanding it a little.

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    Also

    That is a really really really really small dragon in comparison to the size of the weapons around him, maybe this is what your going for? Those weapons are either HUGE GIANT weapons or the dragon is the size of a large dog.

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    dierat: That's a good point. I liked previous composition layout, but adding some free space won't hurt either. I am still not sure about it though. Damn dilemma... Here is it anyway:

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    AzusaPesant: You are right! Thanks for pointing it out, I'll work on them.

    So, everybody, any last critiques before I start detailing it?

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    Hey,

    I made a paintover for you.

    First, great design for your beast but, don't make too many details. At first try to work on a very small picture and paint with a large brush, making spots, then zoom in a little and add some details. And repeat this again until you satisfied.
    Take references for the scales/skin.

    then :











    final composition :




    good luck =)

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    Double post sorry. If someone can delete because I can't.

    Last edited by Looee; February 20th, 2013 at 02:45 AM.
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    Well, shit happens. I'll post replies and update later - I'm gonna cry over lost work now...

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    I think windows makes backup files automatically when opening programs like photoshop/word etc. which are auto-saving. They pop up if you enable to see hidden data, but I'm not too sure where they're saved up after the program is shut down. There should be some "temp" folder under windows.

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    Swamp Thing: Yes, it makes temporary files on HDD. I did a backup before shutting down PS, but they were unreadable when I tried to load them...

    Looee: Thank you for paintover, I appreciate it. Background is left empty on purpose - I don't want it to distract attention from dragon and I am not a "cool background enthusiast" . I won't change much his pose and head, it is the best part of the painting in my opinion and I want it to stay how it is. However, curved spine line is a mistake, I fixed it, thanks.

    Kingkostas: Yet again, you are the hero of the day. You pointed out my bad light sources earlier in my sketchbook, I am incorrigible :p . I really appreciate how much attention you gave to this painting. Contrasts between lights and shadow are exactly what I wanted them to look like, but I couldn't paint them until now. I adore your theoretical analysis of whatever before starting working on it. Accept my sincere gratitude.

    *

    With your help guys, everything is much better and way more fun to work on. I feel bad for refusing some ideas and potential improvements, but there is certain idea of finished painting in my mind and I want to stay as close as possible to it.
    Since my Photoshop crashed and I was unable to recover lost changes, I thought over everything I painted until now and finally came to conclusion that I always liked sketchy style with visible loose brushstrokes and quick blocked-in colors. Kind of unfinished speedpainting. Therefore I won't detail everything too precisely and won't study realistic lighting on this one. Everything else can be added later when I start coloring. So, here is what I pasted together:



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    Looks like I'm close to finishing it. I hate coloring grayscale images. But I love doing grayscale sketches...
    Deadline is 24th of February, midnight. So I have some time left for fixing stuff. Let me know if there is something I should paintover.



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    Maybe I can help a bit, I'm coloring my paintings since years by adding color after starting out in B/W.
    First I always add color via another layer with "overlay" effect. Usually I raise saturation afterwards since colors never pop out like I want them.
    In your case, I've also changed the color of the dragon a bit, my thought - an ice dragon has ice breethe, which should be colored cold (white/blue etc.), so if this reflects on his skin it might turn out nice if the skin wasn't in the same color shemes as his breathe.



    Then I added the glowing color in a different layer (I'm not sure but I think it's layer option is called bright light in english).



    Finally I've been getting all the colors a bit more together and adding some more intensity through a final layer with an option called "hue". Hue bis great imho as it does nothing but changing the color into what you color the layer in the planned spots (keeping same values and everything, NOT mixing with the colors from the other layers). Also raised contrast a bit after putting all layers together.



    I mainly wanted to show that coloring b/w doesn't also mean it has to come out dull.

    Usually I also add another layer afterwards to fix the final stuff.
    That's how I do the coloring, hope this helps, it's quite alienating compared to oil/acryl painting and colors apply very different also.

    Last edited by Swamp Thing; February 21st, 2013 at 12:37 PM.
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    here my thoughts mate.
    Have to go, good night

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    Wow... I clearly see the difference. I learned a lesson and gained an experience. This is what I did:

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    Everyone here helped me a lot and I am very grateful for it. You people are awesome, I am glad I joined this forum and I'll try to help others in WIP section as well.
    Konstantinos Skenteridis, you Greek demigod, you've opened my eyes. From now I will always think about importance of light and shadows. You've taught me a lesson I will never forget.

    I consider this painting finished. I'll put bigger version in my dA soon.
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