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Hey guys, started this a few days ago. I'm really rusty and could use some helpful advice / overpaints if possible. Thanks.
Hello, here are a few suggestions regarding your colours
1) There isn't enough contrast. You only use a few middle values instead of the whole value range. Therefore your image lacks depth. This can be quickly fixed by adjusting the image levels for instance.
2) You could use a warmer background to make the creature "pop" a bit more. Right now, the background and the creature have almost the same colour.
3) You could also choose a focal point (for instance the head) and make it the part with the most contrast in order to attract the viewer's eye. In your current image, nothing really stands out, everything has the same kind of greyish colour.
I made a quick paintover to illustrate :
Good luck with your painting ! ^^
What aliciane says is true, but I think the overpaint doesn't do justice to the advice. The hard thing here is knowing where to put the contrast. If you look at skin, it's usually not very contrasty, so you'll have to get it somewhere else. In this case mostly the belly and the flower are a bit too much in my opinion. This video has a nice explanation on lighting for portraits: (which is also applicable here) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsfxkwB4hts
Also, his pose is kinda awkward. Since he has elephant feet, I would look at elephants and use their poses for reference.
Good luck painting, your drawing is certainly very good!
ps. Aliciane, I'm sorry, I hope you don't mind
I did a small paintover as well. You can see, using multiple lights can be effective in showing forms. The rimlight accentuates the outline and thus the silhouette, the main light is soft and yellowish and makes the forms look round. I also added some bounced light from the floor to make the colors richer. the flower is light altogether, flowers are slightly translucent so all the light falling on it would make it lighter everywhere. I saved the really really dark tones for parts that need to attract attention, like the mouth and eye. Hope this helps
Last edited by theclockworkpainter; April 25th, 2014 at 11:37 AM.
OMG you guys are amazing! Thank you so much. I can't wait to get back to it.
I made this overall pose because I'm bringing this design into 3D so I kind of wanted to see the whole creature laid out. However I think I'll repose it for a final polished concept. Probably put a proper camera angle.
Adjusted painting coming soon.
Good luck, you're absolutely on the right track.
Aliciane, I gues that's true, so am I.
I re-worked the pose and gave it a more interesting background. I decided to focus on the lighting and did a black and white paintover. What you guys think? I'll work in the color soon. Thanks for all your help.
Wow, nice job already! From a composition point of view, I would make the base tones of the ivysaur darker to make him stand out from the background more ( not too much, just a little). Keep the rimlight though, that's looking nice. Overall cool painting, would love to see some color here
Just did minor tweak on it before starting the color pass.
After various attempts here is a color update. Any thoughts or paintovers would be fantastic. Thanks guys.
Well, the critique on this one would be almost exactly the same as the first painting you posted, basically more contrast, add more light sources...
Here is a bit more progress. I'm going to keep going!
Si Se Puede!
One thing that I've spotted: You last B&W study is using much more contrast and variety of values than the new two coloured versions. Some highlights (like on the tail, for example) are totally gone, for example the right-handed leg is painted with similar values like the tail now.
Did you try to use a colour-overlay layer on the B&W version and to play around with the opacity and colours a bit? Maybe this could be helpful to get a direction.
I am a "newbie", please ignore my feedback if it shouldn't be of any value for you.
It's great advice and I'm thankful for it.
Yeah I seem to struggle in color because I try to kind of work my way up to higher values really slowly. It's also maybe the traditional side of me telling myself I need to paint it and not use the color modes much. I'll do some overlay action and see what I get. I'm not giving up on it.
Try using a saturation layer filled with black that you can turn on and off to see if your values are okay. I personally don't use overlay, you have to be bold and lay down the values that need to be there, instead of staying too close to midgray
I think that must be a pretty common problem, because I do the same thing. I recently noticed that all my paintings use a range running from mid tones to darks, with almost no light tones anywhere except for the brightest highlights. And the weird thing is how long it took me to notice that! I was aware something was off, but I thought it was color saturation or something. Turns out it was mostly just simple values. I just did a levels adjustment on all my paintings and it helped immensely, though a couple of them need a bit of repainting now. I wonder what causes people to do that?
Yeah I guess I do make a habit of checking the levels adjustments from time to time, as that also tells you what the values are in your painting. Doing that helps. Other than that, maybe doing some studies and seeing what values things have in real life? Doing landscapes is good practice, as the values are more important there for the focus and atmospheric perspective.
Since becoming aware of the problem I'm not doing it anymore (fingers crossed - I've only done one painting since then!) - it seems like it was only because I was new to working in color, and I just couldn't grasp it in all of its aspects for a while. But I'm on to the tricky little minx now - it won't get me that way again!!
I did another round on it trying to get the colors to pop out more. I had issues with the site not letting me reply so here goes another update. Again a big thanks to those who send over amazing advice.