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Thread: First digital try- Critique Wanted

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    First digital try- Critique Wanted

    Hi =)
    Okay first a couple of introductory words!
    I'm quite fresh to drawing, I used to scribble a lot when I was young but I never got serious.

    Last year I decided that I want to get into animation/concept art, so I found myself a drawing teacher and started my educational process[Main goals of which are to learn how to draw and make a portfolio for the univeristy]. I didn't possess much knowledge about form, light and not to mention working with colour, not that I can say I have now, but it certainly is better.

    He's and awesome teacher but we still have several problems:
    First- his technique and style, and generally his direction as an artist is towards the Fine Arts, so he can't really help me that much towards digital painting and the field I'm interested in.[He's a sculptor by profession]
    Second- we don't do free works there as we mainly work on our technique, so my composition and other creative-drawing elements kind of suck.

    So to get closer to what this post is about, I bought a Wacom intuos a couple of months ago with the intention of getting more into digital drawing, though I mainly scribbled as I didn't have time to get more into digital drawing. I started watching a lot of speed drawing videos in my free time, as well as a bunch of digital artists, and I finally said to myself that I'm going to start and finish something =)
    Parallel with that I found from a video in Youtube and by looking at the works posted here I got inspired even further, also by looking at the post discussions ,one can say that the community here is an epic one , that's why I'm posting this here [ and hopefully will continue posting in the future as well ], plus there are people who have such a great knowledge about the industry and advice is better than gold for me =)
    So this is my first finished digital piece(and one of the only without a model in front of me) , I should say I spent a considerable time fighting with the software because of my inability to use it. [I may have done a landscape but I'm equally if not even more interested in character design so, that's another important thing to mention]

    P.S. - Sorry for the long post, but I thought it would be more helpful for whoever is doing the critique to know what my background is, as far as explaining is concerned. Also, feel free to give me a link to sources of information that you think might help me, free or not [Free ones are prefered of course!] ...aaand zoom out if you can't see my signature at the lower right corner as I uploaded the picture in it's original resolution.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Noo Yawk
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    Use harder and larger brushes and up the contrast to put some definition in. I can't really comment on composition though.
    Amateur Artist. Professional Asshole.

    Lookit the Pretty!

    Rule #1 of depicting soldiers: KEEP THE DAMN FINGER OFF THE DAMN TRIGGER.
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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    you need to completely reframe how you think about this stuff. drawing is drawing is drawing. whether its digital or traditional. it doesn't matter. In fact, you need to start at the very very beginning. you need to learn basic fundamentals right now. im talking line, composition,perspective...and with very very basic stuff. Don't even concern yourself with digital painting right now. Master the basics and then photoshop merely becomes a tool that you choose to use to make your marks.
    -start a revolution.
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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Thanked 12 Times in 8 Posts
    Whats up Iza, first off, great start so far with getting into digital painting. Pretty bold of you. Your landscape looks a lot better than my first digital paintings a couple years ago..boy did those things suck. anyway! Critique!

    The good:

    I like that you didn't divide the image into halves with the horizon.
    I like the placement of the house in the falls on the golden mean, which is pretty cool. Don't know if you did that consciously or not. Either way you have a good eye.
    The work on the mountains is enough to convey what they are but not enough to draw attention to themselves. They seem to be in the middleground so its good that you didn't put much detail into them.
    Nice effort with the ocean surf.

    The bad or "could be better"

    Push your dark values in the foreground. When I squint my eyes down I don't see any black or near black values at all...the darkest value you have is on the light post..which wouldn't make sense in real life. Dark accents should always be in the foreground because values progressively get lighter and merge into a middle value the farther back you go in atmospheric perspective. One you put some dark accents in the foreground, it'll pop. Don't be afraid of black or blackish values..get darker! Right where the hill meets the ground in the foreground could be a nice place for some dark accents.

    As a footnote, what are you trying to communicate with this peice? What is the painting about? The mountain? The house? The lightpost? The forground hills next to the roat? The ocean surf? I'm having trouble finding the focal area or focal point in this piece. try to find out what made you want to paint this image. "why" did you paint it? Get a strong concept.

    The hard edge where the sea meets the sky at the horizon is drawing too much attention to itself. Its in the distance..and edges usually get softer in the middle ground and distance. Save the hard edges for your foreground detail.

    Also, something about the colors in the shadow of the hill and lightpost are bothering me. From what I understand, the scene is in cool light because things appear to be overcast. cool light produces warm shadows but in a landscape this may be different (someone correct me!) because the skylight is reflected back into the shadows..causing blueish shadows and not purple/violet shadows as you have in your painting.

    Lastly, try to get a value structure going for your painting. That'll help a lot! Determine where you major value shapes are going to helps with the composition/design of your painting. Also, do you see where the lightpost appear to be leaning up against the corner of the house? Thats creating a makes it visually uncomfortable to look in that area. If you moved the lightpost over to the right or overlapped it with the house I think it would cause less tension. If I'm not making sense please tell me.

    Whats going on with the cloud shadows? You can tell what the weather of the scene is by looking at the shadows of the clouds. A cloud scene with dark shadows looks like a storm/rain scene. Is this beach setting you have here expecting rain? if so the clouds could do a better job of giving that impression.

    thats all I can see right now, I'm sure theres more. someone correct anything wrong I've said in this post.

    Iza, good luck!
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  6. #5
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    Feb 2013
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    Woah guys, thanks! Such a fast and accurate response =)
    Now that you mention some of the stuff I really do see it, I've read a couple of books on the matter and yep.. I just forgot what I've read ;d I need more mileage then
    =)) I hope to have enough time to post 1-2 or even more works here weekly, that wouldn't be too bothersome would it?
    Thanks, thanks, thanks and thanks again! =)
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