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Long time no post. Here's a little something I'm working on, I would appreciate any feedback! I started out wanting to do something Mucha-esque but the bright colour scheme didn't resonate much with the style so it turned out something else. Any crits and feedback appreciated. Thanks!
There's something very unnatural-looking about her left (our right) arm and hand - try taking the pose yourself and look in a mirror. I do like the heather though.
First thing that I noticed when I looked at this was the head position in
relation to the neck and body. It may be only because of the shading, or the
position itself, but the head looks to straight and stiff. Also, try adding
more hair and hair-strands that vary in thickness as well. And add more thin
ones to make it more elegant and delicate looking.
Hope this helps, good luck with it!
Personally I think you're overdoing it in the "complexity" of all the stuff in the image, or at least it's not very balanced.
Like, as a theoretical question, does the image really need three unique butterflies, bird, three types of flowers (of which the stargazer lily bothers me most, since for all the "natural/nature" feel of the pic, a flower bred in the 70's kinda eats the mood for me, though same can be said about the roses, but they're less strong and recognizable), stereotypical looking feathers, a beauty spot and a lip piercing? To me, all those different thing don't really work in harmony and I'm not sure what the things are meant to imply, thus coming of bit badly thought.
I am assuming here that this is not some specific character and you're forced to draw all that, so if the pic is about like, "wonders of nature", the strong make-up, piercing and bred flowers and overall unnaturally specific separation of the animals makes it look off, or if the point is say, a modern/industrial woman coming to the nature, the juxtaposition of the elements could be more clear (like making the nature even more real/researched and the woman even more industrial with plastic/fake leather etc).
So overall I'd think if the image needs several types of flowers, butterflies and animals. Could the same effect, whatever it is you wish, be achieved by say, one real species of butterfly and several natural flowers? Especially considering that the bird is bit out of place, like compared if the scene was in a forest where they generally live and doesn't feel like an "accent" to the image in a way, for example, a magpie in the midst of sparrows might feel.
In the same vein, would the image suffer if the feathers were removed? What do they signify and why are they so generic? Of if the point is the woman's connection to both birds and butterflies, again I'd made both more important.
Overall I'd study Mucha's work more too: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...circa_1895.jpg
Even in those you can see that the elements, though plenty and varied are still pretty limited. There's variation in the plants and fruits, but there's not ALL types of stuff (like say, animals and stuff) and in the third he stuck to more or less one type/species of bird.
In the same I'd continue about the balance of the details, you have huge amount of details in the flowers and sleeves, but have left the hair and clothes almost blank, where as if you check the actual Mucha's, you can see there's a lot of detail in the hair and clothes, even if they're more subtle.
Also the way you've drawn her lifted hand, though I get what you tried, makes it look like one of her fingers is growing from the back of her hand, giving more space/visibility to the base of the nameless finger and keeping in mind the length of fingers (they all look bit short at the moment) should fix that issue.
Last edited by TinyBird; May 14th, 2013 at 09:05 AM.
krysjez I tried it, and it wasn't that hard (for me). Maybe the angle's a bit extreme, but I kinda like that. I'll take it into consideration!
BlackDelphin Hmmm, the head could be a little more tilted. Looking back, it was in the initial sketch but that got lost somewhere. Good point on the strands, I'll give it a go!
TinyBird It's a portrait, so I guess you could say it's a specific character. The flowers in the hair are the types of flowers she wears in her hair (though not at the same time so maybe I should choose one), and she's standing in a field of Veronicas, the flower she's named after. The reasoning behind the different species of butterflies was just to get a feel of fruitful abundance without crowding the picture, but I might have to rethink that and just go with one species. I made the feathers sortof bland because there's so much stuff going on already (they're a requirement) so I don't want them standing out too much. Frankly I haven't given them that much attention because of it and you're right, it shows...
Thanks for the tips y'all!
Here's an update, started adressing some of the issues raised here. Unsure if I think the moving to one species of butterflies is an improvement. Thoughts?
Angle... So beautiful... I like it very much. Thanks for the sharing...
Honestly I personally don't think that alone will improve the image, especially if the butterflies will be pink cartoon butterflies that get lost in the flowers.
I did a little overpaint about what direction I might go with this (thought it's bit of a clusterfuck in terms of colours), hopefully it gives ideas.
Basically I tried attaching the elements to reality (basically first butterfly species I got from Google to look what butterflies do go to said flowers) and both tightening and adding to the colours (more shades/hues of the colours related to the elements (blue feathers, shadows, flowers in distance) and less "random" colours like the teal/cyan headband.)
Last edited by TinyBird; May 16th, 2013 at 03:58 AM.
Thanks Tinybird! I've been doing some work since the last post and I really like that you attached a butterfly to the front flower, in exactly the same place that I've just done. Freaky. I've been experimenting with colours too, but your suggestions gave me a real kick in the face. Only thing I've got against it is that it's got an evening feel to it, which is more art nouveau but I've actively tried to avoid going there. I want more of a summer mid-day ambience, that's why I've kept the scheme as light as possible.
But, you know, something's still not quite right with the scheme so I'm gonna have a go at your suggestions. Thanks!
Last edited by Whyatt Thrash; May 16th, 2013 at 05:19 AM.
Ah, in that case! I got suckered in by the lighting in the sky, as that sort of "yellow on the bottom, warm blue on the top" is common in setting sun/evening scenarios:
If you want to show bright day without resorting to the generic blue summer sky thing, I recommend looking through Monet's haystacks (Google Image Search for "haystack by monet"), he experimented a lot with colours and lighting and invoking specific times of day which may help/inspire you (like notice that some of the evening pics have very light colourschemes and the bright day ones have quite a bit contrast):
Hey Tinybird, I want to start by saying that I really appreciate all your help with this. I was at a complete stalemate when you came along.
I've been looking through the Monet paintings you've suggested, and almost all them are evening/morning shots (probably because of the more dramatic lighting). The closest I came to noon/summer was http://images.fineartamerica.com/ima...aude-monet.jpg and that's some seriously drab colours....
Still, I tried to employ your ideas, and not be so scared of adding shadow. The tradeoff is having either depth, or the vibrance that I'm after. Basically it's your scheme with a tiny bit warmer colours, the danger here is trying to not go into the yellow "evening light". I think I might be starting to reach an acceptable compromise...
I pretty much stole your hair idea cause it was frigging AWESOME, haha!
I haven't touched the dress yet, other than adding a little bit of reflected light from the flowers (which might have come one too strong). I have noooo idea what's going on with your dress, reflected light from blue and purple flowers, blue sky and yellow sun? I tried going there but it just looked like a frigging rainbow, haha! Maybe it needs the relationship with the surroundings to work, or it's just too advanced for me at this stage...
Disregard the animals, the changes there are from a previous edit, before your suggestions. Note the butterfly on the front flower (same as yours) like I mentioned earlier...
TL;DR version: Thanks for all the help!
Last edited by Whyatt Thrash; May 16th, 2013 at 09:21 AM.
I had a go at Tinybirds colour suggestions on the dress... I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing at this point, haha! Maybe I'm making too many iterations, sorry...
Last edited by Whyatt Thrash; May 17th, 2013 at 11:00 AM.
I toned the Tinybird dress colour scheme down a bit. I think it looks better.
I might or might not have gone overboard with the folds. I've thought of a belt to "tie together" the mid section, but I've gotten a definite veto on belts since it would make it look too medieval.
I think it's actually starting to come together, but maybe that's just work blindness.
Last edited by Whyatt Thrash; May 19th, 2013 at 10:25 AM.
Two things that are bothering me. Her cheek shouldn't touch the back of her neck from this angle. Also the folds at the bottom of the dress make her legs look like they're in a pretty awkward angle and position. I think the simplest solution would probably be to obscure those folds, and hint that her legs are turned slightly more to our right. Check your reference!
I like the colors and overall design though. Maybe her hair looks a bit too much like a bunch of ribbons of equal size. It might help to vary their thickness a bit and make them less separate at the base. Look at Mucha and at how, even as it's being blown by the wind, he's being pretty consistent with the direction and flow of the hair.
Last edited by tobbA; May 19th, 2013 at 10:41 AM.
I checked my original sketch though, and of course I've strayed from the planned legs. Fixed the folds and added a bit of volume to the body/dress, also moved the jawline a bit. I think it's an improvement!
EDIT: Just saw your paintover... WHERE was her trapezius? HOW could I have missed that? Thanks, mate!
Last edited by Whyatt Thrash; May 19th, 2013 at 12:15 PM.
I think the legs look better now. But I still kinda wonder why the cloth of the dress is clutched between her legs. And I think the pose would feel more dynamic if the left leg overlapped the other more clearly.
That trapezius shone some light on a quite obvious shoulder/arm problem that I somehow had managed to obscure pretty effectively. It's been reworked now. Maybe I should have pushed it even more, but I like the current gesture.
The folds between the legs has no real explanation other than I just like them. And maybe that it's not the most practical dress for a walk in a field of tall grass and flowers...