(updated) Underwater dude

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  1. #1
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    (updated) Underwater dude

    Hello there, I am looking for some critiques/advice on this painting that I did.
    I tried to make the guy old and as a squid with a shell for his headpiece.
    People have questioned me about the red eyes, I personally like them. I do think that the ending of the red glow could be more subtle and less abrupt.
    This was also the first time that i went the ''warm light, cold shadows'' way, any elaborations on that topic are also very much appreciated, i find myself struggling with it.

    I made this about 1 month ago, if i were to critique it myself i'd say:
    1. fix the shell helmet, it is very much skewed, make a grid and correct it accordingly.
    2. try to look for more hue variations that can be made to make the image look interesting.
    3. have hard and soft edges, the silhouette of the guy is OK in that aspect but don't forget to choose your edges on the tentacles as well.
    also in the background are definitely oppertunities to vary in edges more
    4. have the texture of the tentacles follow the curve of the cylinders, they're supposed to be horizontal, not vertical. right now they are a mix between the two.
    5. fix the shoulders, the head looks like its attached in a very weird way, as if its some very buff guy's body with a very frail/old tentacle head. Think of the body as well, when making a head.
    6. make the tentacles in the shadow match the curvyness of the ones in the light. Also make sure that theyre actually symmetrical in 3d space, at this moment they are not.

    Thank you for your time, any advice and expansion on my own critique is highly appreciated.

    I've uploaded it via imgur, since i couldn't upload via CA and i'm just dying to get more feedback

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    Last edited by evcvw; March 13th, 2013 at 08:04 PM.
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  3. #2
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    Hello there. I think you're going in the right direction but frankly, I don't think that none of the problems that you point out with your piece are as acute as you may think. When you're dealing with alien anatomy, you really don't need to worry if the tentacle is curvy enough, only you know what it's supposed to look like. The real issue comes up when you use familiar elements - such as the eye on your underwater dude. It looks a bit over simplified. I suggest you look up a lizard/octopus/purple hippogryph with yellow dots/whatever floats your boat eye reference and incorporate that into your piece. It will give your audience a much better sense of what is going on.

    Speaking of which, maybe try to play around with lighter value on his cape thing to increase readability. That's my two cents. Hope it helps some.

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  5. #3
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    thanks, what you said about the eye hasn't even crossed my mind. i very much agree with what you said. having alien elements adds both something interesting to look at and better character.
    the cape thingy is supposed to look like a shell. i suppose i could add a hard edge at the bottom where it stops, to show that it actually stops?

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  6. #4
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    Actually, I think you could benefit from looking up the specific type of a shell you want for this and look at the texture. And yes, hard/soft edge handling makes it or breaks it! You could try painting the base shell structure first, then make the stripes on a layer on top of it because right now it looks like a bit more like a structure, rather than a pigment.

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  7. #5
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    Have you studied a few underwater-pictures? Because this fellow doesn't seem to be under water; color works a bit differently there. I think it could also use at least one more pattern to add variation and interest. By that I mean, you've got the large plates and the tentacles, but that's it. Perhaps the nose could be like an elephant's trunk, or some of the tentacles show an underside with suction cups, just something to break the uniformity of the tentacles as they are now, which isn't very interesting to look at.

    Having said that, I think he's quite cute and I like kind of "ahh, I don't know"-expression, heh. I'm curious to see where you'll take this.

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  9. #6
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    @stolensock Its actually meant as a shell structure, sorry, my fault for not mentioning it. guess i did succeed in that one if you interpreted it as a shell though.
    @Lhune Thanks, those are great tips. I did not take into account the color of the environment at all when making this.
    As for the added pattern, thats a great idea. a very nice way of adding interesting points to the image. thats one of the problems i had in the back of my head, it just looked too boring. Originally i wanted to add a few copper/brass rings on him with maybe a few scars and severed tentacles, i am not sure why i decided against it. probably because i was too scared. imma draw it up right now

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  10. #7
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    The coloring and rendering is great, but yeah, he's not underwater yet, gotta study some underwater images and apply that. I really like his expression and how the red of his eyes is so hazy, almost glowing almost a weird material. Cool character!

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  11. #8
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    Alright im done with my paintover. I have a question in general though, is it considered bad to use the color balance tool? I used it to get the underwater atmosphere going.
    question #2, does warm lights/cool shadows still apply underwater? i imagine it does
    I tried to change the eyes up like you suggested, stolensock, but i did not manage to create a more alien-ish eye while still keeping the same feel.
    @fersteger, thanks for the tip and compliment
    The thingies on his tentacles are supposed to be prosthetic seaweed, some replacement parts for where his tentacles got cut off.

    Hurray! I can finally show my picture after the critiques.
    Name:  10 af 1500 na crit.png
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    Last edited by evcvw; March 13th, 2013 at 07:49 PM.
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