Critique needed

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  1. #1
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    Critique needed

    hello everyone!

    I've started my first personal painting this year. Nothing really impressive or interesting, but I'd like to finish it. The problem is just that I'm totally confused. I don't know if I'm just doing crap or if it is kind of "okay". Either way I want to push it.
    so every kind of critique would be gladly appreciated.
    I apologize in advance if the colours are looking off, I'm visiting my parents right now and can only work on a crappy notebook if it comes to colours. I just can't see how the colours look like on a proper screen

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  3. #2
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    Colors are okay, in my opinion... I really like her warrior look, the scar and eyes filled with determination. The overall image is good, it's a very good start !

    My questions would be : why is her skin tone different on the body ? She have a white skin on the face and on the body it's a tamed skin ?

    I would say the corset look really really tigh... that make me feel she absolutly can't breathe. And about the position, I think the neck of the horse is too high, that place her pelvis a little too high too. If you correct that, she should look a little better "sit" :-)

    * My current blog
    * Sketchbook page on CA.org coming soon...

    Have a good and creative day !
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  4. #3
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    I think she'd be more interesting and real with a more obvious light source, casting shadows. But she's looking pretty good, I think.

    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).
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    You don't have a very definitive light source. It seems to be coming from the upper right, but there are no cast shadows. Diffuse lighting can be used to set a mood, but this piece calls for some stronger light. It appears to be outside on the clear day, so the sun should be shining strongly.

    Edit: super quick paintover to show what I mean.

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    Last edited by JMarok; March 28th, 2013 at 10:15 PM.
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    Thanks you all for the helpful comments! Very good points there.

    Griffonnage: I definitly will try to do some more research to get the "sit" right =) I was never a rider myself so I start to wonder how it really works while I'm painting. thanks a lot for your words!

    Stoat: thank you. It feels good to read that there's a good start, but light seems to be always one of my weak points. I hope I can manage it to make it more interesting

    JMarok: woah, thanks a lot for the paint over! That's great!

    just a quick update, I didn't really work on everything yet. I see some stuff I want to fix next time. I'm not happy how her hair looks on top of her head, the right arm is quite bad if it comes to anatomical structure and the pelvis area isn't really planned. And sometimes I wonder if the head is too small, or the hands are too big or something else is off. Meh, so many stuff that confuses me!
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  9. #6
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    The perspective on the mouth and nose needs some fixing:
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    By the way, is she supposed to be squinting the far eye? If not then it needs to be widened from top to bottom to match the other eye.

    My Sketchbook Feel free to drop in and offer advice
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    Great job so far! This is coming out to be a really awesome drawing!
    I would suggest a bit more atmosphere in the left part, and depending on what you're looking for,
    you could push the lights source even more. But that's preference really, it looks good as it is.

    Also I am not sure, but I think her breasts are not to feminine, and at first when I saw them I
    felt there is something strange about their shape and the shadow they are casting.


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  13. #8
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    Do you have a reference for the head? The features are collectively drifting further down than they should considering our vantage point. Though it's hard to find the exact top of the skull, the eyes should certainly be higher, and the base of the nose much higher (carrying the lips with it). The head as a whole feels rather flat and box-like as well.

    If you don't have a reference, you should find a suitable one. Worst case scenario, you at least want to draw the box that contains the head (in perspective of course), use your knowledge of head proportions to place horizontal slices in the box marking key features, and proceed to construct the head.

    You should also clearly define your horizon. Looking at the body, it currently sets our eye level just below the breast, yet there is no horizon to be found in the background. I feel the horizon should be lowered (as it is currently implied with the background), and show the underside of the entire body, not just the head. If there's any confusion, you should extend the canvas, draw the horizon, then draw the box containing the torso in perspective. Continue the construction from there.

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    Thank you very much Hexokinase. you've really pointed out a very important matter. I feel like I'm to much of a coward in the middle of the painting process to start at the very beginning of the structure and repaint everything from there. I tried to find a horizon and to work with it. I fear it's not the best solution now. But everything else feels likeI have to abandon the whole painting at the current state and I'm not on the mood for that (sorry). I hope I'm on a bit better path than before, fixing it as far as I'm able to do it now. BUT, I will learn from it in the future. I'm very thankful.

    So, everything is very messy at moment, but I wanted to show it anyway. I can't say if I'm making stuff better or worse

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    Getting better. If you insist on salvaging as much as possible:
    -The arms need to be redone. They feel rubbery and crowded. Her left arm isn't even coming from her shoulder. The positioning of the fingers on the left hand and her right wrist look very unnatural.
    -The head is better, but still not perfect. The rim-lighting is complicating the simple statement of the form, and should thus be eliminated. Her hair should even prevent most of that rim-light from hitting the face in the first place. The forehead is lumpy, the eyes are too small, the nose too large and prominent. The jawline is much too dominating. The base of the neck could stand to shift forward to the left as well.

    I'll emphasize this again: if you don't have a reference, find one or make one. It doesn't even have to match the lighting, appearance, or gender of the character. You primarily need it to create a sound construction. As such, you want a shot that matches the distance to the character, and relative eye level. If you are unable to take your own photos, search for stock images (possibly on deviantart) and find one that preferably includes the whole body. You need to find one that has minimal lens distortion, and closely matches the intended horizon and distance to character. Without those in place, you'll have to do some complicated mental gymnastics to correct everything.

    If making or finding suitable reference proves unfruitful, then you're best off sculpting a quick maquette of the character. Only focus on the proportions, overall forms, and major planes. Not only would it be a good learning experience, but you can then prop the sculpt on your desk at the correct angle and lighting and paint from it directly.

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  18. #11
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    Listen to Hexokinase. Don't be afraid to tear down and rebuild parts that are not working. I like the "tough lady" concept, if that was your intention. Character is interesting enough to execute the painting well. You obviously have the ability to bring it to a high finish.

    Perspective inconsistencies are most noticeable on the face, obviously. You have a typical 3/4 view mistake of overextending the far side. Get a reference and construct the head. All of the horizontal lines of the face should sit on parallel guides receding towards the vanishing point: hairline, brow line, root and tip of the nose, line that connects corners of the mouth and front edge of the chin. Take care to account for curvature of the head. Far side of the face curves away from the viewer. This is hard to nail without reference. Especially tricky are shape and position of the far eye. People tend to flatten it or push it out too much.

    Here's a quick paintover. The horizon is at her breasts. I didn't ref it so it still may be a bit wonky but hopefully it illustrates the point about perspective:

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  20. #12
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    Here we go, a quick update before I go to sleep.

    Even if don't manage it to do everything right, I really appreciate all your help and I feel grateful for it.
    I started to be some drama queen yesterday evening while I was painting, because I had the feeling to make everything worse. I hope I'm over that again. Changing things can just be so confusing from time to time.

    I tried to make at least a reference photo today with a friend of mine. Not the best thing, but I think it gave me some support.

    @LaCan: woah, very cool OP and explanation, even if I still want the perspective a bit more from beneath. But i will definitly keep it in my mind! and it's nice to read that you have faith in me that I could bring the painting to a high finish. I'm not so sure about that, but I try .

    @Hexokinase: starting to sculpt is a good notion... I hope I will have the material and space some day to make it real ._. right now it's a bit difficult (poor artist me has a really small desk at moment that is just enough for my screens, keyboard and tablett). anyway, thanks for all the advices!

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    Just wanted to say this take on a woman warrior is very refreshing, she looks like a real person in real clothing, and I love the expression. She doesn't look like someone's sidekick, more like the general leading the army - she is believable as a character regardless of the rendering issues you are working on. If I might say it, she as a character deserves for you to do her justice :-)

    D'Arcy

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  22. #14
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    Getting better. Be sure to watch that hairline - right now she looks like she's wearing a poorly-fitted wig.

    Her upper arm still needs some work. Plot out the location of her shoulder and trace that to her elbow. The bicep isn't quite following that line of the humerus.

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    While the arms are better now, the position and gesture of the hands are so much weaker. I love the way you drew them, but they do no longer match her determined look. They're held more like a princess would hold them rather than a warrior, and if those are the reins then they are really flimsy.

    Other than that though loving the process, keep up the great work!

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    Looks pretty good, except that her facial features are TINY in relation to her head. It seriously looks like she's got Down's Syndrome. (JPEG below.) Also, her hair is a big blobby mass--if it were me, I'd start rendering out the individual locks.

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    already gotten some great feedback, what i would suggest is maybe to show that the cloth and armor is worn out abit more, right now it feels like its first time its been used,i like this image, maybe it can serve as inspiration http://gallery.hd.org/_exhibits/offi...pram-1-DHD.jpg , but then again just my thought!

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    With regards to riding position, it seems as if you have her a bit too far forward. It looks as if where she is, she would be sitting on the horses shoulders. Normally riders are further back, and the saddle would be bigger, have a look at the picture at the bottom of this: http://esportphysio.ca/?page_id=32 I know it's in profile rather than the same perspective as yours. Or this image here: http://dancinghorsedressage.files.wo...8/position.jpg Addressing this will probably solve the problem of the neck being too high.

    Riders are only forward over the shoulders and neck when they're standing up in the stirrups

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  32. #19
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    wow, so many comments! thanks a lot guys for all the input, you're great!

    I haven't done too much in the last 2 days, but I'm still on it.
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  34. #21
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    yay, another update around here! There's still critique welcome.
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  35. #22
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    Wow, this pic is turning out great, each update got better and better, awesome job

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