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I want to submit this into a student competition, but I know it's not finished. What should I touch-up/work on to make it look really polished?
Also, I'm debating color, does it need to be colored? Would that even help?
In my opinion this doesn't need to be colored, unles you want one element to pop specifically. It is a snowy forest so making it in black and white looks great.
I only have issue with composition. This looks to me like an action scene, centering it dulls the whole picture, in my opinion.
Here is what I see:
The yeti (?) is noticing human while running through forest, human hears something and is turning around to see what it is.
But I'm sure you wanted to picture a fight, no?
Haven towards left, Warriors go right.
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I think it would look more 'finished' with colour. Black and white digital paintings tend to look like value studies unless you originally intended it to be black and white in the first place, and designed the picture to make sense with no colour. (In photos, one can get away with this more because film photography used to be black and white -- in other words, people are more used to it.) Here, you've got a bunch of mid values that you can make more subtle and interesting with hue shifts in colour.
Other stuff to touch up to make it more polished:
- The guy has almost all hard edges around the outside, making him look a bit like a cut-out. Soften some edges up.
- Reflected-light that sucker. Snow, being white, is super reflective. Giving him a bunch of reflected light could help place him in his environment better.
- Consider where the light is coming from. Snowy scene, so basically everywhere -- yet you have some shadows? Like, why is the one half of the yeti's face in shadow? There's loads of light all around it! And how come it only has specular highlights on the planes of its face that are pointing towards us? If it's an overcast sky and snowy ground, shouldn't they be all over? You do have some trees which might occlude some light -- could maybe use that if you want something more directional. Do you have references for the light?
- I don't get a cohesive feel for which parts you decided to make detailed/textured and which parts you left painterly. It looks like the yeti's back arm has just not been rendered yet (because, again, we should see similar lighting effects on it). Its shoulders and back look like they should be if anything in front of the face and in focus, but you've treated them painterly, as if you haven't got to them yet.
- The guy's head looks cartoony. Did you use reference?
Hope this helps.
It's nicely drawn. I'm with Cyrops, though -- it doesn't look like a fight. It looks like a static pose. I think it's because the yeti is turned so fully stage left and the man is turned so fully stage right. They are in parallel to each other which suggests an equilibrium rather than a conflict.
I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
The perspective on the trees and yeti suggest a low, from ground level view, but we're seeing the human straight on. It looks like you couldn't decide which perspective to use.
And +1 that it doesn't really have the action feel of a fight. Give the human a bit more of from-below perspective and make him face the yeti, like he's bracing being hit from the yeti's arm. Turning his back to the viewer might also bring a feeling of entrapment.
Listen to the critiques above, and also, I'd try to move the guy a little bit. Right now there's a flattening tangent between the guy's shoulders and the yeti's legs
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