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Making an attempt to create a goblin of sorts. Trying to maintain the smaller body and larger head theme. My main issue right now is his pose. His torso feels like it has a bit more action to it, while his lower half feels a bit off. I'll be adding in more detail to create some motion and character for him, but I'm not sure if this pose will work or not to begin with. (though his other arm may just need proper placement to help the balance)
Any suggestions are welcome.
Newbie mistakes detected:
1) you work unevenly. You have painted a detailed face, paid less attention to the body and ignored the hands, feet and background. Don't add detail until you are sure your composition works overall, and work on the same level of detail all over the painting, instead of focusing on one bit and neglecting all the rest.
2) you are ad-libbing everything instead of thinking about structure, perspective, lighting, anatomy, etc.
3) you probably aren't using any reference to remind yourself of the structure, perspective, lighting, anatomy, etc.
4) you are working on the same image from doodle to painting instead of using preparatory sketches that you can keep along as reference for problems you've already solved.
What he said. Particularly the part about reference. That neck area is giving you fits, isn't it? In this pose, you'd see the muscles of the neck, the muscles that move behind the neck (the trapezius), the top of the deltoid at the top of the arm there, and the whole clavicle structure in front. In the end, it probably won't look too complicated, but I wouldn't dream of tackling that without looking at some pictures of that area.
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).
Thanks for the input guys.
You're pretty spot on in every point. I've had trouble working directly from reference in the past as I get too caught up in making it look like the reference and not being able to keep focus on the concept in mind. I also have trouble finding good reference. There are plenty of anatomy sites out there, and I have some books, but I find it difficult to pull from reference if the pose isn't near the same. Not sure how to get around that?
I started this with just doing an avatar concept of just his face and shoulder/neck area, but decided part-way through that I wanted to take it a bit further. And yeah, now its leading me to all kinds of problems.
I would also add that from the conceptual level, there's not much going on. Naked humanoid. Freakish face.
What about clothing? Weaponry? That all needs to be developed beforehand in sketches (as I have painfully learned very over the years). I have looked at your blog, and I know that you know some of this, just by checking out your work.
I would A. Follow the advice of previous posters, and B. develop conceptual sketches beforehand to make sure you're generating a series of ideas about what instantiates a Goblin, and not just painting a naked dude with a stick. You have sooooo many resources and references for Goblins. Warhammer. World of Warcraft. Lord of the Rings. Labyrinth (with David fucking Bowie). GREMLINS (which are essentially Goblins, I don't care what anyone says). There's no crime in seeing how the concept has been broached by artists and designers before you. Maybe you want to design a more atypical Goblin. That's fine, but you need more substance to sell the concept.
But in any case, finding reference pictures that show a similar pose and viewing angle is a good idea. Just don't copy them - reference is for aiding your memory and understanding of the elements of the scene, not for making a collage.
Dug into some goblin references, and decided to start over form scratch, due to everyone's advice. Thanks
Some quick preliminary sketches.
Now that's what I'm talking about. Now you just need to compile these myriad elements into a cohesive design. Work fast. Work loose. You're looking for combination of elements that's A. the most interesting to look at, and B. produces the best form overall. "Most and "Best" in this case are subject to your own personal opinion, but you'll know it when you see it. Furthermore, ask yourself what kind of Goblin you want this to be. Is this the kind of looney goblin that's going to hold me up with a improvised cannon, or some kind of crazy-ass Goblin gizmo (whimsical, trickster Goblin archetype), or is he going to stab me in my face with a sharp object before proceeding to eat my liver (enraged feral Goblin). That's going to inform your design ecology and your subsequent selections. You're not limited to these archetypes by any means, but it's good to break down the setting and how you want your design to function within it.
Working on some silhouettes and trying to piece it all together.
-Fez, my initial concept would be closest to the feral type of goblin. Something a bit more 'demented'. However as I've been working on this, the more I'm leaning towards more of a barbaric necromancer type goblin. Something that shows a little more intellect and power, rather than just creepy.
Sean - Thanks for the pointers. I'm always struggling with the lower half when it comes to getting any pose down. Certainly a weakness of mine. Worked on it a bit more. Still not sure if the legs are quite right.
I suppose at this point I have to ask exactly what's the concept here, because you appear to have just drawn the standard post-Dungeons and Dragons goblin design that you see in any number of fantasy franchises and is honestly pretty tired at this point. What about your design is going to make it stand out from every other goblin design churned out in the past 20 years? Maybe try forgetting that d&d or tolkien existed and going back to the original mythology surrounding them.
I personally would say re-visit his lower half a little his legs dont look strong enough to hold his weight, also add another toe.
hands and feet normaly balance in the digit count (just watch someone prove me wrong now!).
He looks ok overall, one thing you need to start looking into is the gesture of theses things to stop them looking like a static pose in a body building contest.
Think about what he is doing and where the weight would be, is his body twisting or moving. Things like that turn an ok image into something more alive.
hope this helps, if not feel free to tell me to go away! lol I wont be at all offended it happens a lot!!
all the best with the work mate.
P.S. Nice blog by the way! I love the golem guy and would work him up some more if I were you.
A great kind hearted lumbering bullock
http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=209918 = my Sketchbook
amazing how much you've improved! but l agree with the foot problem, he wouldn't be able to keep balance, stretch out the ball on his foot, make these toes more digit..y, look at the bone structure of a humans. there's bends in there.
for a bit of uniqueness, try incorporating another creature or animal in there, that could help break away from the humanoid appearance of this goblin. Next time, work off the silhouette, don't jump straight to outlines. add shadows and highlights to the silhouette, no clothing or accessories at this building stage, just shapes, you will be surprised at what you can create form wise by accident ^ ^
l am no where as good at criting like the big guns posting before me so do take my rant with a grain of salt
More of my work at http://meteor-panda.deviantart.com
Thanks for the crits guys. Very good points.
I agree about him not being a little more organic or original, but at this point I don't think I'm going for either. Kind of just aiming for a solid 'goblin' concept at this point. (will be using this for a 3d model)
Went ahead and reworked his legs completely. Still working out all the details.