My first attempt at a full illustration. Need critiques!
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Thread: My first attempt at a full illustration. Need critiques!

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    My first attempt at a full illustration. Need critiques!

    Ok, so what should I do with this? Is there anything I'm doing completely wrong or something I should get rid of? I don't really know how to finish this piece.
    It's supposed to be just a big, mouse-like creature surrounded by normal mice who adore this bigger dude or something.

    Last edited by Ilari Gröhn; November 3rd, 2013 at 09:27 AM.
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    Pretty cool piece - I like the style of it and how you're using the organic forms of the trees to frame the piece and move the eye around. I also really like that the subject stands out very well from the forest due to the contrast in color temperature, and that the forest kinda blends together as it moves further away, which really helps define the sense of space for the viewer.

    For a crit - I totally did not see those mice or identify them as mice until I read the text in your post. Try to make them stand out from the ground plane a bit more by adding a touch of lighter value and slightly more pronounced shadows, and consider adding some contrasting color temperature as well (warm tones for the mice on the tree and cooler highlights for those on the ground). Be careful not to make them distract from the focal point (the big dude) while still making themselves known. You could also move some of them around so they're more naturally placed; some of them, particular those 4 on the lower right, are equi-distantly placed (like polka dots) so they feel a bit 'staged' or artificial. Emphasizing the tails a bit might help push the 'mice' concept as well.

    I know for this particular piece you're going for a kinda soft, diffused lighting scenario, but in general try not to be afraid to hard shadows. They can really help to define the forms and make your subjects feel solid. (Still life studies can help in this area imo.)

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    Yeah, I wasn't really sure about the little mice. Do you think it would be a better idea to get rid of them completely? They might be just a distraction. And yes, I should make some of the shadows a bit harder. Thanks a lot for the crit, Diedra!

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    I think the mice make a nice secondary element to the piece, something to make the environment feel lived in and alive and like there's a concept to the image. But that could just be me

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    Yeah, you might be right. I'll see if I can do something with it. Thanks!

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    Took a while to get back to this, but is it any better now? Got rid of the mice and tried to add some lushness and harder cast shadows.

    Last edited by Ilari Gröhn; November 3rd, 2013 at 09:28 AM.
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    Havent read the previous crits so apologies if I'm repeating things.

    What stands out most to me is that your lack of concrete thoughts on where you want this to go or the story behind the illustration shows pretty clearly.

    The big mouse creature looks badly constructed and the background looks like it was thrown in as an afterthought.

    Not trying to be harsh or anything, because there are elements that are nice in this - the dark scratchy linework and the use of colour. Just trying to trigger you into thinking harder about what you want this to be. Because once you have the story figured out, things will come a lot easier.

    Good luck with the revisions.

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    Yup, there wasn't really any concrete idea behind this, as you figured out. I just drew the creature and decided to put it in some kind of an environment. I had some loose story ideas for it, but couldn't execute them the way I wanted to. I'll definitely start the next piece with a stronger basis. Thanks a lot for your comment, Candra!

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    Hey!

    Great idea and I love your style.
    Looks very good. I'm curious how the final piece will look like.

    Some points I would add are in the image below.
    Looks a bit messy but I hope you understand.

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    Heyy, Nemome! Thanks a lot for the paintover. Yeah, the contrast between the head and the tree definitely makes the creature "pop out" from the background. Thanks for pointing that out. I guess I was a bit afraid of using the cast shadows. Silly me. I'll rework the image and if all goes well, I'll post it on the finally finished section. Or here.

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    I added some shadows to enhance the focal point (the creature's head) and changed the color scheme a bit. I think it looks somewhat better now. I'll probably leave it like this, even though there would be a lot to work on. The illustration is just fundamentally too flawed and has no actual story to it. Gotta move on and not do the same mistakes again

    Last edited by Ilari Gröhn; November 3rd, 2013 at 09:29 AM.
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    I think you could still improve the illustration A LOT with making a few shadows hard edged.
    The whole painting looks very soft now, which causes that it looks a bit uninteresting.

    Try it out and put another hour or two in it.
    People always think they need to push one piece out after another, but sometimes it's even better to stick to a not so good one and keep pushing til it get's a good one.
    You'll learn a lot more this way because you'll push yourself over your own borders.

    Always remember: What you learn now can be used in your next paintings as well!

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    Well, maybe I should try to push it a little bit further. You're right about the softness and the lack of hard edges. I might give it an extra hour of work or so. Thanks for the feedback and motivation!

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