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Have to disagree with Haoning here, I think it works quite well within the stylization. The BG is clearly secondary to the focal point. Pushing the values there would take away from it.
I like what I see. Stylization wise, I really don't like these "feetless" legs, but that's personal preference. The comp and colours work for me. All that's missing is detail work/polishing really.
Looking good. I do agree that it could use more detail, but you did say it's a wip. The trees do look a bit too smooth. I'd add a bit more roughness/texture. I would also add a touch of that yellow glow on the tree just slightly in front of her. Additionally, since the focal is on the girl, I'd keep that glow around her and her surroundings. I would darken the tree on the far left since the yellow glow doesn't reach that far, as seen by the light cast near her feet.
Thanks for the feedback Do you have any suggestions on how to add texture to the trees? Do you mean using different textured brushes or painting in the 'bumps' in the bark?
Good job with the strong focal point you have going on at the moment. The key issue that catches my eye here is that the colour temperature is off on your light source. There is no fall off or reaction with the trees, and the glow in her hands is the same yellow. If you look up photos of glowing items, they have a hotter colour temperature at the source (yellow/white) and then fall off to cooler oranges/reds. There is no secondary light on those trees either, even though it is seen in the spaces between them. Showing it having a weak effect on the bark would eliminate those flattening black edges to the backs of them and make them look more cylindrical.
The tree texture does look pretty plastic - as you are painting in a stylised way (which is fine, by the way) I would go back and look at reference, rather than going with photo textures - I think they would conflict with the rest of the piece. It is also just little things like how the branches are coming out of the trunks - they bulge out, which is unnatural for most species of tree. You are definitely on the right tracks with how organic they look, the way they're starting to twist and such is good and indicates an organic, living thing.
Also, for a woods, there is little variation, there aren't any really thin branches the trees are all around the same size, etc. Even in winter, there would be a few dead leaves hanging about. Other things, like moss/lichen might be hanging around. Again, just research more reference to help this. I don't think you should clutter the image with detail considering the style, just imply a bit of variety.
Wow I think this looks much better. I like how you introduced a bit of noise on the trees. There's also more detail this time around. My eyes definitely went straight to the focal since everything else was nicely muted. I would say that it looks pretty complete to me. Great job.
My problem with the image is that the light doesn't really look like light, and more like that there's yellow colour, like paint, splashed on the girls face. None of the shadows on her seem to take any colour of the surroundings, and the yellow light is the same yellow in any part it touches. If you put two different colored objects under yellow light, they will still be of different colours.
And there's not much colour in the trees, like you had done the value sketch and then put on a single green layer over all of the trees. Even if the forest is supposed to be bleak, there's still hues of cool and warm you can use that will help you both show form and make the image more interesting.
Here's a quick overpaint, I changed the colours around a bit, mainly because I myself like blue/yellow combination and because it was easier to show the skintone etc with blue: