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I begun a quest to "Repaint" old heavy metal album covers.
I've been painting this little fellow for two days straight without much rest and my brain is fried (kinda halfassed some parts). I can't think at he moment so if someone could tell me what I messed up at. like proportions, lighting, perspective etc. please don't nitpick to death. I'll upload the original image and my version. I'm sure you can tell which one is which.
The main problem I see is that you've jumped into it without planning a proper composition and went into details without working on the anatomy.
Too tired to write a complete critique, will come around tomorrow if no one else has done it by then.
I think you've improved the structure of the original dragon's skull, just a smidge. But then I don't know if there's many suckier dragons that you could base your own design on. I see universal problems with both renditions of the dragons; also problems with perspective, lighting, composition etc. in your own image. I won't try to second guess the much higher expertise of the likes of Stephou and Tinybird here, though.
Vermis : Not sure about me having much expertise but you're right.
The reference used is very cartoony yet that's what the style of the painting.
So for a start the composition is bland, not dynamic at all, cramped and tries to put too much into a small painting. Sometimes less is better.
Just think of the sword being completely stuck in a corner.
Then there are the values. You have two light sources yet completely mixed values. You clearly tried to show the lights a bit but there's much more work to be done there. The armour would show strong reflections from the fire and so on.
The anatomy and volumes are also completely off. The dragon has a very weird anatomy like you tried to make it in 3d but flattened it with a lack of perspective and different angles. The knight also lacks proper anatomy and an interesting pose.
I'll give you a plus for the fire though, it's simply much better done than everything else in the painting.
Just do more planning of both the composition and anatomy before jumping into the painting. It's absolutely worth it and will bring major improvement to your next painting.
Here's a thumbnail to show you why the composition matters so much.
I was about to dig into the first one, but then I realised that was the original.. won't be too hard to make an improvement! Like TinyBird said, pls re-size the images, I can only see like 30% without scrolling.
In your opinion, is there anyway to save this picture or should I just start from scratch?
Don't forget to post smaller images next time, it makes critique easier and therefore you're more likely to get some.
Anyway, you're welcome. I think it's better to start from scratch. What you'd be doing with this is trying to fix something that was flawed from the start. You might manage to get something quite decent, but your end result will still be pulled down by the mistakes you've done. Plus, that way you'll be able to compare what you've learned which is always a good motivation.
Don't feel bad about it, we've all had to do it many times. You can always post your work here so we can guide you through the whole process.
If we look at what your image is supposed to do it is to sell the sound and feel of the album. Rhapsody is epic and fast power metal. The original image is fun and cool for that 13 year old kid walking into a record shop, seeing a dragon rider and goes "aaaaawesooome!" Now some of the things like the dragon head and fire are better designed in your image but the essential feel isn't there. The composition lacks movement and interest. It's very static and working on a square comp it's easy for that to happen (trust me, I do a lot of album covers and square comps are from the pits of hell). The comp stephou did has a lot of movement and strong diagonal shapes to push the action (diagonal= action) In your image everything is very straight and flat.
Doing something like an album cover, book cover or any type of fan art, you need to be able to translate the essential parts of whatever your doing the image for. When I think of Rhapsody I think of big quires singing over a fast guitar riff with blasting drums in the background. You have the sense of fantasy and you just need to get that speed of the music back in to it.