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Thread: Orignal Character painting: I've struggled with this for too long..(Updated june 5)

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    Unhappy Orignal Character painting: I've struggled with this for too long..(Updated june 5)

    While, I've been working on this painting ever since I wrote a story for my "Imagining the story sort class" called "Berry". MY teacher had instructed us to ether create an illustration plan or draw a scene from the story. Well, so far it's not turning out the way I've had hoped. I've started to question if I should start over or try to fix the painting? Admittedly though I know I still struggle with proportion, human anatomy, and losing my gesture as I begin to build up the painting. I have hoped you guys here at CA can help me overcome my creative demons.

    Anyways, here is an redline of issues with the piece I find my myself and next to it is a clean version so you guys can critique it (Sorry for my sloppiness I made the redline in a few minutes).

    Any help is appreciated !

    NOTE: I've not in love with the design if you have any critiques for that too,

    Name:  SketchFullBodyWIPCA1.jpg
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Size:  362.1 KBName:  SketchFullBodyWIPCA2.jpg
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Size:  244.0 KB Go ahead and post them.
    Last edited by vayne108; June 5th, 2013 at 06:10 PM.
    Critiques on my work always welcome!!

    Sketchbook:

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=229693
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    Well, first things first, what is the scene in the story that you are depicting? Where does this take place, what is happening, and why? If you've done any thumbnails, then post those too. If you haven't done any thumbnails, then chances are starting over would save the most headaches.

    In terms of character design, whether it is successful or not depends on several factors: Where does the story take place (and is it real or fictitious)? What time period is this (what technology is present)? What is the character's background (including heritage and upbringing, motivation, etc)? What does he do and why? And what is his personality. In a successful illustration, the viewer should be able to infer details about the character with some degree of accuracy.

    With this piece, value patterns aren't particularly compelling. The background is too washed out, and there's no sense of hierarchy for your large value masses. In terms of anatomy, the torso is too long compared to the rest of the body, and the face is too large compared to the skull. The nose and the distance from the nose to the mouth are both too long. The 'keystone' of the brow-ridge is too low compared to the eyes. The features as a whole are too stylized for my tastes (just my opinion mind you), and aren't well realized. Did you intend him to be super cartoony, and if so, what's you're reasoning behind this specific approach?
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    Hexokinase: Thanks so much for your time and words, anyways........

    While, the scene I thinking was when the main character was sent off into snowy mountainous woods in search of a bear. I guess not the most interesting scene. But now I'm thinking, that maybe I should depict something more exciting. Like maybe the fight with the bear, or maybe when he confronts the main antagonist? I'm very unsure, and I've having trouble deciding.

    Also, no I haven't down any thumbs, I don't really think about it because I was so excited to start. I should have in hindsight. Should I do some now?

    Where does the story take place (and is it real or fictitious)?

    A fantasy realm, in a vast mountainous landscape.

    What time period is this (what technology is present)?

    While, in this case the answer is complex. the world is very divided and many different groups of people isolate themselves from one another. Therefore there are different levels of development when it comes to how advanced they are. But, in the character current situation it is very poor and with old fashioned.

    What is the character's background (including heritage and upbringing, motivation, etc)?

    While, the character's background is extensive. So I'll summarize it the best I can. He comes from a rich family that grains there wealth though others suffering. The family structure is mob-like and full of pride. However He turned his back on his family now he is a man, with an target on his back. Sorry this description has a lack of detail ......

    What does he do and why? And what is his personality

    While, at the monument of the story he is still trying to find himself and compete a new identity. He feels a overwhelming feeling of displacement, and not knowing what to do with himself. However later he finds his own.

    Did you intend him to be super cartoony, and if so, what's you're reasoning behind this specific approach?

    Well, I truthfully didn't think about that. I just drew on a whim of inspiration.

    Anyways, I do see what you mean about the value massing. So now I'm thinking I should have started with a dark value and built up the values to define the forms. Focusing the highlights on him.
    Critiques on my work always welcome!!

    Sketchbook:

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=229693
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    Also, no I haven't down any thumbs, I don't really think about it because I was so excited to start. I should have in hindsight. Should I do some now?
    Absolutely, yes. The thumbnail is your chance to explore different concepts with varying executions. This is where you will solve all of your questions will the least amount of teeth pulled. At the very least, you should use thumbnails to iron out your pose and your composition.

    While, the scene I thinking was when the main character was sent off into snowy mountainous woods in search of a bear. I guess not the most interesting scene. But now I'm thinking, that maybe I should depict something more exciting. Like maybe the fight with the bear, or maybe when he confronts the main antagonist? I'm very unsure, and I've having trouble deciding.
    You could still work with the first idea, just be more deliberate with your approach. Tell the story through the picture alone. If he's tracking the bear, perhaps you can have him studying/ looking for/ following paw prints. Perhaps you can show the moment where he just discovers the bear, but the bear has yet to notice him. What is his reaction once he finds his target? Should his bow already be drawn or not? How determined is he to find and fight this bear? Asking these types of questions will guide you as to what compositions might work, what poses might work, etc.

    Regarding the character's costume, you should draw up super quick character sheets to explore different costume designs if it isn't set it stone. These should be essentially thumbnails, but experiment with different colors, different materials, different articles of clothing, etc. Some aspects of his attire are a bit jarring to me: Should the sash of his quiver be that thin? Should his coat have a collar of some sort? What's his shirt made out of, and why the outdated stitching across the chest when his pants look distinctly modern? Are his coat sleeves short, rolled up, or underneath his gloves? What are his gloves made out of, and why the poofy wrist 'shackles'?

    Regarding the style, I'm always a fan of aiming for something that looks 'real' (something like Dan Dos Santos's cover illustrations). If real is what you want, then shoot some references, or find many to loosely work from online. The most convincing stylized depictions of the figure will always look very intentional - there's a reason certain elements are emphasized and others are downplayed. It should look like the artist chose to depict it a certain way, and not because of his/her limitations in drawing a non-stylized figure.

    In short, while having the relevant lore of your story in mind, design several thumbnails for the scene, and several costume thumbnails for the character. Post them here for feedback. When you have a winner for both, gather your references, then create your illustration with relative ease - knowing that all the hard problems have already been solved.
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    Hexokinase:

    " Absolutely, yes. The thumbnail is your chance to explore different concepts with varying executions. This is where you will solve all of your questions will the least amount of teeth pulled. At the very least, you should use thumbnails to iron out your pose and your composition."

    Well here are some:

    Name:  ThumbNailsBerryScene1.jpg
Views: 1302
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    " (something like Dan Dos Santos's cover illustrations)."

    Wow, these are awesome. Thanks zoo much for sharing them !! However I've always wanted my work to look like that, But My work just always ends stylized naturally.

    " In short, while having the relevant lore of your story in mind, design several thumbnails for the scene, and several costume thumbnails for the character. Post them here for feedback. When you have a winner for both, gather your references, then create your illustration with relative ease - knowing that all the hard problems have already been solved."

    Will do ^_^ !!!
    Critiques on my work always welcome!!

    Sketchbook:

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=229693
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    With thumbnails its good to consider that the things closer to the foreground will have the biggest range in value (the brightest highlights and the darkest shadows) the things in the background will have less range and be closer to midtone greys than the things in the foreground. This makes the things in the foreground 'pop' and draws the eye. It also looks more realistic. Some of your thumbnails do the opposite which makes them a little confusing to look at.
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    Regarding your first batch of thumbs, try to simplify the visual noise. Reduce everything to 3-5 values and mass your similar values together. You're aiming to design interesting shapes on the most simplified level. Also try to keep atmospheric perspective in mind and define a clear fore, middle and background. Note that you can also vary the dimensions of the canvas, as well as its orientation. Some good reads on thumbnails:
    http://muddycolors.blogspot.fi/2010/...r-slayers.html
    http://muddycolors.blogspot.fi/2010/11/thumbnail.html
    http://muddycolors.blogspot.com/2012...humbnails.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hexokinase View Post
    Regarding your first batch of thumbs, try to simplify the visual noise. Reduce everything to 3-5 values and mass your similar values together. You're aiming to design interesting shapes on the most simplified level. Also try to keep atmospheric perspective in mind and define a clear fore, middle and background. Note that you can also vary the dimensions of the canvas, as well as its orientation. Some good reads on thumbnails:
    http://muddycolors.blogspot.fi/2010/...r-slayers.html
    http://muddycolors.blogspot.fi/2010/11/thumbnail.html
    http://muddycolors.blogspot.com/2012...humbnails.html
    While, heres some new thrumbs, I tried to use the lighter to darker thing. But I'm not quite sure if I was successful. Anyways I've also found some Inspiration examples to consider to help think of how I should design his outfit. I'm having trouble at the moment thinking up what an archer would wear: http://youxiandaxia.deviantart.com/art/archer-182140202 , http://phomax.deviantart.com/art/Elv...fter-325782361 , http://www.sca.org/officers/media/images/archers_lg.jpg , and , http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs71/f/20...y_Zyklon8B.jpg

    THUMB-NAILS, Round 2:

    Name:  ThumbNailsBerryScene2.jpg
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    Critiques on my work always welcome!!

    Sketchbook:

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=229693
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    Counting from left to right:
    -Thumbnails 1 and 2 feel a bit cramped. I suspect the first might work better with vertical canvas and more breathing room given to the figures. The second would benefit from some breathing room as well.
    -Thumbnail 3 could also use some breathing room. The problem with the three as a whole is that there isn't enough space on the canvas to establish context. These might work better if they were designed to be printed small (like a Magic The Gathering card), but on a normal sized canvas it's a little too tight for my liking.
    -4 and 6 are the current strongest IMO. 4 might benefit from experimenting with different vantage points, and 6 might work with a wider canvas.

    There's some degree of confusion here on my part? Does he find the bear first, or does the bear find him? When does the bear cub come into the picture?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hexokinase View Post
    There's some degree of confusion here on my part? Does he find the bear first, or does the bear find him? When does the bear cub come into the picture?
    Well, I understand your confusion. I've probably should have mentioned that the thumbs aren't in order according to events in the the story. I was just brain storming which scene I would like to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hexokinase View Post
    Counting from left to right:
    -Thumbnails 1 and 2 feel a bit cramped. I suspect the first might work better with vertical canvas and more breathing room given to the figures. The second would benefit from some breathing room as well.
    Agreed, I guess I will experiment with this. Go, Vertical Canvas yes !!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hexokinase View Post
    Counting from left to right:

    -4 and 6 are the current strongest IMO. 4 might benefit from experimenting with different vantage points, and 6 might work with a wider canvas.
    OK, I do like those. Will try for sure !
    Critiques on my work always welcome!!

    Sketchbook:

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=229693
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    OK, Finally I've some time. I got stuck doing other assignments for college, But I can't stop thinking about this one.

    Well, heres Thumbnails round 3 Ding-Ding !!

    Name:  ThrumbNailscene3.jpg
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    Critiques on my work always welcome!!

    Sketchbook:

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=229693
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    While here are some Outfit Ideas for him. I personally like them all and not quite sure which to choose.........

    Designs Round 1:

    Name:  DesignsRound1.jpg
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    Critiques on my work always welcome!!

    Sketchbook:

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=229693
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    I like the first outfit the best, the areas of yellow and blue help to break it up a bit. The other two designs don't have enough range in value or saturation which makes them look a little drab.
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