How do I bring this to life? Color/Focus help?
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  1. #1
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    How do I bring this to life? Color/Focus help?

    Painted this the other afternoon and have been trying to get feedback on why it seems so dead. I mean, it's a dreary, war worn tree, but I wanted to show life springing from it.

    Any feedback and help would be greatly appreciated.

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  2. #2
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    You can try looking at some photos (like forest, Boggs in fog or dead trees) to see some examples. You did a wonderful job separating the backgrounds from the foreground, but I think you can separate the foreground from the mid-ground (your subject axe and buildings vs the tree root sticking out and coming forward) you can also try adding some color and detail to your subject to make it really pop out and add some life to it.

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    yeah, a spot of red some other saturated color around the focal point could do a lot to bring it to life. maybe a few little lights in the building windows.

    In terms of scale, I'd be careful about making choices about how you treat the materials. is it a regular sized tree with a mini city? or is it huuuuge tree with a giant axe and regular sized waterfall? reference will help you develop those scale cues. Introduced some bounce light/shadows from the water, and more of a focal point with contrast and light and color. Kind of butchered this paintover but I hope it generates some ideas for you!Name:  paintoverideas.jpg
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    You need some color! Shading things with pure black I've learned can make it feel dull or muddy. I think the darks in the middle are too dark, think of all the light that would be bouncing around that environment from the water and even just the ground. The water looks bright enough, and I'm assuming that's reflecting the sky, so why is the tree so dark, where is the ambient light?

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    Oh my god that looks amazing!

    I can't believe I forgot about bounce light. I like the idea of having water reflections back on it.

    I was hoping the chains would be scale enough, but maybe I'll add some dandelions on the village to show that it's only a few inches tall.
    Gonna revisit this one tonight. Thanks!

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    i think you should also figure out how the stream is going because the right part of the stream doesnt look part of the one to the left of the branch
    and also maybe add some stones at the bottom or sides of the waterfall not to make it so straight- it looks a bit artificial to me... hope that helps somehow :]
    the axe is really cool btw i like it

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    Quote Originally Posted by archangelgabe View Post
    How do I bring this to life?
    Have you thought about adding more life? People, animals, plants? Perhaps I'm taking it too literally here :-p

    Gather reference and look at different materials and colors. Pay more attention to the local colors.
    Since your light sources are very dull, most of the color variation will come from the different materials.

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    I think this looks good. I agree with zelda-geek adding those things will help it.

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