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Hey everyone... this is my 3rd image Iíve posted here...
Iíve come to the end of my rope on this image
After working on it for about a week ... I really canít see anything wrong with it (so in my mind itís done) but I always jump the gun and claim something "done" and then see a huge error... If you could have a look over and tell me if you see anything wrong with this image... please let me know... I really would love to get this image right!
I made this image for all the brave soldiers out there fighting for god knows what.... the flag represents the lies told to the soldiers that no mater what happens you will be protected because you wear your pride. he's standing in the desert because just like the real soldiers out there most of them are alone, away from loved ones and feeling like they are trapped in an abyss of emptiness, the expression on his face is the 1000 mile stare every soldier gets in combat, but this soldier doesn't know why he fightsÖhe just does.
Thank you for viewing my image and thank you in advanced if you commented on it! much appreciated!
~ Jorge "Nirox" M
First off, I kinda like it. The political meaning and the composition. but i think the colours do get in the way of the mood and message you want to bring to life. I think itīs way to saturated. and the lack of really bright hotspots really doesnīt help making it look like desert. you have to have the feeling you must squint your eyes looking at it like in real desert. I donīt think itīs a good movie, but have a look at "Three Kings" look what they did with film postprocessing to mess up the contrast and colour saturation. Although i donīt like this film it really brings that mood to life . I remember sitting in the theater constantlly squinting my eyes, cause everything seemed so bright and contrasty.
for the rest i think itīs really good. At first look i thought he had no face at all, and thought that was brilliant, as this would give the image an extra thing to think about, kind of an anonymous soldier as a symbol for every soldier who is sent to war for no good reason.
keep it up
I wish my wacom was bigger
The soldier itself looks very flat - part of this is that you need to make your hilights lighter and your shadows darker - more contrast like MrWyatt said. But also the textures (the flag pattern and the camo) are kinda painted as if onto a flat surface - you need to think about how they would really curve around the shape and disappear into folds - particularly on the flag.
Really really like the background
I like what you're trying to say, though I don't know any soldiers who have been told that their pride would protect them (only that they should be proud of being a soldier). The background is really nice, though it doesn't give that really isolated feeling that I think you're going for. The two biggest things glaring at me are the face and the flag, both of which look particularly flat.
BTW, kudos to you for painting the guy's finger OFF the trigger. He actually looks like he's been trained to use his rifle, which is something most pictures involving weapons lack. Good job!
"I like what you're trying to say, though I don't know any soldiers who have been told that their pride would protect them"
Yah...it was late and i was tired, didnt get my meaning across....
what I meant to say is... the US patriot pride their soldiers have, their delusions of grandeur... that they are from the US so they CANT die against any other enemy, WE ARE USA, WE WILL WIN (no matter how many of us die)
"I think the colors do get in the way of the mood and message you want to bring to life. I think its way to saturated. And the lack of really bright hotspots really doesnít help making it look like desert."
Yes I agree... I didnít notice this at 1st, thank you...
"The soldier itself looks very flat - part of this is that you need to make your hilights lighter and your shadows darker - more contrast like MrWyatt said. But also the textures (the flag pattern and the camo) are kinda painted as if onto a flat surface - you need to think about how they would really curve around the shape and disappear into folds - particularly on the flag."
I really wish I knew how im not very good at textures just yet... (I've been told my backgrounds are they only good things about my paintings) ill try and make the image brighter maybe that would help? If you have some suggestions please let me know... I donít know how to make it less flat
"The background is really nice, though it doesn't give that really isolated feeling that I think you're going for."
Yes! I just noticed this... thank you this is a big one... im going to have to make the soldier ... 1/3 smaller
"At first look i thought he had no face at all, and thought that was brilliant, as this would give the image an extra thing to think about, kind of an anonymous soldier as a symbol for every soldier who is sent to war for no good reason."
Thanks! Although it does have a face.... I tried to give it as little detail but still give him character in his face... kind of odd I know but here's a Simi zoomed image...(face looks bad zoomed up because im not very good at painting faces....yet!)
Thank you all for helping me! =)
Last edited by Nirox; August 4th, 2004 at 09:45 AM.
~ Jorge "Nirox" M
This might sound a little harsh, but only trying to help so please don't take it personally.
You're anatomy is off by quite a bit, resulting in a cartoony look, which given the seriousness of the subject is porbably not what you intended. Also, you don't have nearly enough over all contrast on the figure itself resulting in the flatness mentioned by someone else.
Finally the flag. The manner in which its tried round the neck of the figure is done very poorly and looks like you just sort of hacked it in as quick as you could to avoid a little frustration and just get the idea across.
You've got a strong concept here, and it could be a solid piece, it certainly grabs you, but there is enough wrong with it technically to be distracting, so I would say that this is far from being a finished image.
I like your conecpt but maybe you should shade the pants a little more so theres more contrast and fix the lighting. I also think it would have been better if the blue part of the flag was around his neck and maybe some more folds in the cloth. But the whole thing looks good!
"This might sound a little harsh, but only trying to help so please don't take it personally."
No...I would never take it personally... thank you for taking the time and trying to make suggestions on how i can improve on my painting
"You're anatomy is off by quite a bit, resulting in a cartoony look"
I wish I could do better...but itís the best I can do
I have no real training in anything... I havenít taken any art classes
(I wish I could afford it)
"you don't have nearly enough over all contrast on the figure itself resulting in the flatness"
I wasnít really sure why it looked flat...thanks this will help me on later =)
(Contrast means, make the dark areas darker right?)
"Finally the flag. The manner in which its tried round the neck of the figure is done very poorly and looks like you just sort of hacked it in as quick as you could to avoid a little frustration and just get the idea across."
I really didnít itís just my limitations as an a painter...I really donít know how to make it look better... ill work on it some more... thanks
"I like your concept but maybe you should shade the pants a little more so theres more contrast and fix the lighting. I also think it would have been better if the blue part of the flag was around his neck and maybe some more folds in the cloth."
I see allot of suggestions on the contrast...so im going to try working on that for awhile more... as for the flag I wanted it to be blowing in strong wind... but again its just my limitations as a painter... but I will get better!!
Ill post an update to the image as soon as im done...
Thanks again to everyone who helped me! I really do appreciate it!
Last edited by Nirox; August 4th, 2004 at 06:27 PM.
~ Jorge "Nirox" M
so buy a bridgman book online for less then 10 bucksOriginally Posted by Nirox
and start copying the drawings, learning your anatomy, and getting better.
I self-published a book on the fundamentals of drawing from life.
I think this is a good start...I agree with all the C&C so far, I might also lose the mountain as well....and put an endless sea of sand behind him, but that could just be my own tastes. I like this image concept, though I don't like long winded explanations about what it is "supposed" to be, I think its a bad idea to have to tell people what you are trying to convey, as opposed to letting us figure it out...but again, I like the image...just develope it.
Originally Posted by pender
I donít really like doing that either... but for this image I seem to have to... most of the time I get "oh are you some American loving lemming?"
Or some very negative comment because of the current world view on U.S.A
Thatís the only reason I felt I had to explain my painting... but I agree with you... You should let the image speak for it self.
~ Jorge "Nirox" M
I've been watching this one for a bit. I was sorry to see you change it from the original concept, which in my opinion was better than this one for conveying emotion into the picture. (the one with the silhouette of the soldier) I thought it was quite good. (And before you put that flag in).
Other than the anatomy problems you have now, everyone else has commented on that: I would, try to get rid of that haze. (is that the scanner or something you purposefully did? Put the flag on a flagpole stuck in the sand or if you must have it on the person, drap it over his forearm. A soldier is not going to have a flag stuck to him like that, ( and as a matter of fact you might be insulting some Americans just by using the flag in that manner.)
I'd add some ripples in the sand, and shadows. Sand in the desert has a lot of ripples from the wind blowing over it. Also humps and hollows. Seperate your mountains and hills somewhat by adding some darker shadows in between them. Really dark at the bottoms of each hill/mountain.
You have a good concept here. Something that might help is to become the soldier, be that person when you're doing it, feel the sand in your clothes, on your skin, feel the emotion he's feeling. Feel the cold air coming off the mountain, the grit in your mouth, the gun in your hand. Put yourself there, you will be amazed at what will happen. Good luck with it, you've done a nice job on the color of the sand and the soldier, you just have to push it more.
Art gives me a life of extreme challenge, frustration, accomplishment and contentment. Nothing less will do!
here's a small update... still tweeking it around
comments are more then welcomed! =)
Last edited by Nirox; August 5th, 2004 at 05:36 PM.
~ Jorge "Nirox" M
comments on the changes above would be great!
~ Jorge "Nirox" M
Alright, I'll jump in here, since the artist seems pretty eager to improve. I don't think the changes you've made in the 2nd image have addressed a lot of the comments that people made. This isn't entirely your fault, because you did ask what more contrast meant, and no one really answered you. Contrast is more than simply making the dark areas darker, and all I can see on the 2nd image here is that you've dropped the soldier's body into deep shadow. I recommend looking at some work on the boards, or maybe another artist you admire, and try to see how they've dealt with some of the problems you're having. It is always beneficial to work with numerous reference photos, which for instance, might give you a better idea of how to realistically drap a flag around a man's shoulders. Also, you should look at some illustrations that really look like they have depth to you, and try to determine what your own drawing is lacking that makes it come across as flat. Applying more contrast to the drawing is more than simply making an area dark. Every three-dimensional form has a side to it that reflects more light than another side. By applying this area of light and shadow correctly, you can create the illusion of depth. A good example of this would be the way you've rendered your hands. The hands in particular look very flat, so I think it would be beneficial for you to look at how light hits a human finger--you could even examine a pencil or pen or any long cymmetrical form really. Then try to apply what you've learned to the entire picture--the face, hands, uniform, flag, everything. This looks like an ambitious painting project, but you should solidify some of your fundamentals before attempting to tackle something like this.
I think compositionally the flag would look much better with the stars at his neck..and not hanging off the side. The strips give a nice flow and you could really use that more to your advantage.
Even with the darker version, I feel the eyes are a bit too bright. I would try softening them a bit.