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  1. #1
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    Requesting critique

    Hi @ all

    I am currently working on a new portfolio-piece, which is very important to me, having some trouble with it.

    I started with a value-sketch, and added more colors and details on top. I get the feeling the more I work on it, the less the different elements fit together. Resulting that I have overpainted things over and over again. I don´t exactly see if this has someting to do with the colors, light or composition. I feel that the lower part kinda works in terms of balance, but the stuff with the clouds not.

    Maybe you people have some advices? Any help is deeply appreciated!

    Current state of work:

    Name:  The Way of the Water4.jpg
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    Some steps:

    Name:  steps01.jpg
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    Last edited by Nurkhular; April 4th, 2013 at 06:59 AM.
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  3. #2
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    I think this is lovely, though I wonder if you havent lost the strong light composition by softening the values on the lefthand cliff.

    It doesn't need much but maybe if you darken that down again, or go the opposite way of darkening the righthand cliff and foreground figures further to bring that side forward, would help with how it reads overall.

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  4. #3
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    The image you have labeled as "current state of work" seems to be lying since step 3 of the process has more finished elements. I like the way step 3 looks a lot, the colors seem to look a lot better together then in the image you labeled as current.

    Really great, sophisticated image. I wish I could offer any critique, but I can't find anything.

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    @ Chandra: Thanks for the advice. I think that I am going to darken down the left side a bit more, the other way around would be really complicated.
    @ Pavel: Thanks man! Actually the image was nearly finished with step 3. But the more I looked to it, the more unsatifsied I was with the work. The colours seemd to be so washed out and dull. So I decided to overpaint things to get the colour mood stronger. The rendering level is not far in this current version.

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  6. #5
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    Oh. I hate to do this to you as this often happened to me, but I like how it was looking in step 3 much more then your current state. The colors were not overstated but still had a strong heavenly feel. In the new version they seem overstated and heavy.

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    Nice overall idea, but the perspective seems completely broken. It feels more like a collage than a spatial continuum. If you wish to increase the unity of the image, first construct the scene properly in perspective and then unify the color scheme via lighting.

    Name:  a1.jpg
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  9. #7
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    for me I feel like the piece is lacking a selling point. I'm not sure what the most important piece of this painting is. Nothing feels like its being showcased. It's a very busy piece with lots and lots of stuff going on. nothing feels overwhelmingly large or small. To you, what is the story in this piece? what do you want the selling point to be?

    -start a revolution.

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  10. #8
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    The composition, lighting, values, perspective are all over the place: there is way, way too much detail and texture here and not nearly enough clarity and readability. It's an issue with a lot of modern concept art, but it's taken to the extreme here: too much baroque swirls and cacophony, not enough composition and harmony.

    You ought to change the overall contrast to highlight the main elements, rework the value composition so it reduces into a smaller number of cohesive shapes, and reduce detail in areas that are not central to your story.

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  12. #9
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    @ LaCan: Thanks for the feedback! I didn´t worked with a perspective grid in this picture from the start. This was a big mistake!
    @ Daniel: Thanks! Not too much story involved in this one. When I do personal pieces, I like the idea of developing a story during the painting process. First it was a lost valley with asian influences, then I added more cloud shapes and superantural elements to get an epic feel for the picture. This way of approach often works for me personally. But in this one, I kinda lost the way completely.
    @ arenhaus: You´re right! Your feedback was a real eye opener. I decided to throw everything over board that is not working. About 95% of the picture XD Sometimes it is better to start fresh, instead of working on broken basics.

    This is what I did now: Going back to composition fundamentals and perspective. The only thing I really want to keep are the characters, a part of the river. And the idea of asian architecture combined with a dramatic sky. Here is my new approach:

    Name:  wip03.jpg
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  13. #10
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    That looks so simplistic and same old compared to what you where first going for. It was a really interesting take on three point perspective, you could see the upward view and awe of the guy in front. I suggest you challenge yourself with that composition, and when you get it right it will make the piece all the more powerful.

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  14. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.Hollis View Post
    That looks so simplistic and same old compared to what you where first going for. It was a really interesting take on three point perspective, you could see the upward view and awe of the guy in front. I suggest you challenge yourself with that composition, and when you get it right it will make the piece all the more powerful.
    Totally agree with this. The piece went from having amazing potential to just good potential in my eyes.

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  15. #12
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    Agree with previous two posts. You loose a lot of dynamic quality by simplifying it to two point. I think what LaCan was pointing out was to get the two lower vanishing points figured out.

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  16. #13
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    I'll get in the wagon and say that simplifying it to two point perspective its really killing it. Figure out the three point properly and you'll have a wonderful piece.

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  17. #14
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    i disagree, complex is not always better. The most recent version is beautiful, simple, and i can take in the piece, my eye travels comfortably through the composition, and I don't get lost or confused. You should always have a story that you want to tell, but aside from that, I think its a great improvement compositionally.

    -start a revolution.

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  18. #15
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    The original concept is way more dramatic than the new version. If ver1 and ver2 will be side by side, my attention will definitely be drawn to the first composition.

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  19. #16
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    I can't really speak for the new version since it's in such an early stage. But I did want to say that I very much like your Version 3 painting, although the eye was led more to the mountain as apposed to the "Current state of work" redo which changes the focal point to the two elemental figures. I honestly would have picked one of those compositions and finished it up and then moved on. You obviously know how to paint quite well so this new piece that you're working on I'm sure will be good too, but I think it should be just that: a new and separate piece. I don't really see the point in scrapping the entire original painting unless you're dead set on a particular narrative, and that wasn't doing it for you.

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