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This piece originally began as a redo of MTG's llanowar elf, but then I decided to extend the composition a bit to more of a book cover design because I liked the possibilities it gave me. Basically our elf druid here is drawing mana/power from the forest around her with one hand, and the other is releasing or turning it into magical little bugs and butterflies flying around her. I wanted the eye to move across the piece in a loop starting from the hand on the ground, then moving to the hand in the air and following the magic trail to the bugs, and finally back down to the ground with one of the trees in the background. I have some rough sketches showing different angles for this piece and I'm not sure which one works the best. I'm interested in everyone's thoughts.
Thanks for taking a look!
Last edited by dwilliams; September 5th, 2013 at 05:51 PM.
These look great! My faves are C and E, especially E. A, B and F don't have such good movement, and D feels a little too cropped.
I like C. I think it has a nice composition because the face is off-center and we can see what both hands are doing. I feel like with the compositions that are angled down quite a lot that the viewer isn't going to be able to see that she's channeling mana from the earth. I think A and B have potential but the movement from the insects hasn't been added to the image to the same extent as in the other thumbnails. I think you could also try reversing the hands so the raised one is absorbing power from the forest and the lower hands is releasing it in the form of insects, with a lower POV for example.
hello, my preferences are B, C and D
Here's what I have so far. Our elf friend has kind of turned into more of a ranger than a druid, but that isn't really a big deal for me. This piece isn't quite finished yet- I still have to render her bow on the ground and her dagger, plus the leaves in the foreground and various parts of her body/clothing, but I thought I'd like to hear people's opinions on how the piece looks currently.
It's pretty strong on the whole, but the face is waaayyy off. Her features are just disproportionate in general: lips are too big and their edges are too hard (take a look at your own lips and you'll see that the sides fade away. It doesn't matter if you're using lipstick, the lighting on your painting that connects the cheek to the lips is still wrong.)
The nose is a little piggish. In your effort to see her from the downward angle you've ignored the length of the shaft jutting towards the camera.
Her eyes can be that huge, I suppose, since she's an else, but the edges again make them look like buttons or cuts.
Take a look at your model (if you didn't use one, I would recommend that you do next time, and take a photo of yourself in his lighting for now). You should see that the edges of the under eyelids fade more gently into the actual balls of the eye. Play around with teh fold above her eyes as well; it tells us a lot about her character.
The hair can be softer around the edges, and try breaking up the hair strokes so that you're not drawing every hair, but rather are capturing large chunks of it.
The colors are a little too green and yellow, but there's no quick remedy for that for now.
The composition is working fine.
Artist and forthcoming author
The face was giving me some trouble since I was making her eyes shaped differently from normal human eyes. I was going for more of an exaggerated almond shape since she's an elf, but that kinda made me mess up on a bunch of other stuff in the process, so yeah I agree with you I wasn't too sure how good the proportions actually were.
Did you take photo reference? Careful observation is really the key in awkward facial positions. I usually overlay a grid on my model's face and then a grid of equal proportions on the face of my painting. That way I can be aware of how much I am exaggerating.
For example, I did a livestream of a recent painting where you can should be able to see the method:
It's on the first video, the one at the bottom.
Artist and forthcoming author
Here's an update with fixes I made from critiques I received here and elsewhere. I made ajustments to her face, toned down the greenish/yellow colors, and tightened up the rendering in other places.
I also changed the position of the big bug in the piece. Previously it was in a position I felt lacked any real impact, so I made it bigger and overlapping the figure a bit to show its position in space better. I tiled it also so that the eye goes back towards the hand on the ground, completing the compositional loop throughout the piece.
What does everyone think? I'm trying to get this piece to look as nice as possible before Illuxcon, so any feedback would be greatly appreciated!