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  1. #1
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    Red face Seeking feedback

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    Hello

    I thought I do a big piece and well here's how it turned out.

    I think the dead bodies and the zombies are breaking the composition, but I'm unsure how I can fix the zombies, dead body needs more structure

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    Any thoughts?

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  3. #2
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    You need to work on your fundamentals. The anatomy seems decent (no huge problems), but the rest needs work.

    If I was to try to improve this I'd start by doing some thumbnails to figure out some less symetric and boring composition. Get some movement in there, some focal points to drive our eyes around the painting and so on. Seeing how you struggle to make the whole thing coherent it won't be easy at first, but be sure to work on thumbnails and do more planning.

    You should also set a light source, and stick to it, with shadows, highlights, midtones and values. This is also very useful when trying to build volume and depth. Also, it would need some better perspective, as well as atmospheric perspective. Build the lines and make sure to plan really everything.

    Also, do some landscape studies. Pay particular attention to the sky too.

    But I think most of the problems come from the bad composition, lack of lighting and perspective.

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  4. #3
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    Thank you Stephou,

    Yeah I've been struggling to tweak this piece for over a week now. I think just as you said lack of perspective and I think on my experience as well.

    So I will work on all of those

    Thank you

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  5. #4
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    I would have to reiterate the other comment. I will add that a central focal point is boring and there isn't much else going on. A lack of a defined light source is like the number one issue for amateurs.

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    I appreciate the constructive criticism, but regurgitation is not necessary

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    Last edited by WenDu; June 27th, 2014 at 11:48 PM.
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    It wasn't just regurgitation. I was agreeing with the other comment, yes, maybe I should have expanded my own. The central focal point being your only read isn't doing anything for the piece. It is a one stop read and the rest is just filled space. If you were to incorporate a second or third read then you would be better off for a larger piece, otherwise it's wasted space that might as well be cut out. Compositionally not only was it boring, but there wasn't much set up at all and the landscape was not on par with the rest. This is shown by your second painting being darkened to the point that the rest of the landscape is black, now. I think as it stands now if you were to crop the picture down to only the character your composition would be better off. As it stands the rest of the painting only serves to distract the eye from the character and lead the viewer off the page and away from the painting. In other words, I think you're walking a line between a landscape and a character full-body portrait. It can be done, but I think you'd be better off choosing one or the other.

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  8. #7
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    where is the light coming from and why is it only affecting the main character? If it is so dark, why are the main char's clothes so over-saturated?

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    Looking at your DA, it seems you can pull off quite decent figures. But the lighting and values still need work. Maybe try to do this piece focusing more on the figures and entire characters rather than a large mass of them ?

    Of course, you still have to study your fundamentals. I'd recommend starting with lighting, values and so on.

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    I am no expert but the composition seems off atm. The sword leads my eyes out to the left and there are no strong light source. Should work on atmosphere perspective too. excuse my bad paint over.

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    @Benedikt; my experience in paint is very limited, so a lot of the questions that are being asked simply can be answered; because I just choose a sort of light and didn't think I needed to put it in the picture.

    @Stephou Yeah I was thinking about cropping it down to just her and some dead bodies and maybe a bit of faint light in the background and change the lighting a little bit. Thank you I will keep tweaking it

    @HaoningW Thank you sir! I will do what I can and your bad paint over is making it a lot better actually XD

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    Hi WenDu. :] Maybe it would help for future paintings if you painted them in blacks, whites, and grays before deciding on colors? I think it would help you establish a focal point and the light source the others are talking about.

    And when picking colors later, it kinda "forces" you to pick less saturated colors than you did here. o:

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    Quote Originally Posted by nastyRED View Post
    Hi WenDu. :] Maybe it would help for future paintings if you painted them in blacks, whites, and grays before deciding on colors? I think it would help you establish a focal point and the light source the others are talking about.

    And when picking colors later, it kinda "forces" you to pick less saturated colors than you did here. o:
    Hi nastyRed! Thank you for the advice and yeah that's what I'm doing right now with a side sketch I'm doing. And yeah I did felt the painting was a bit forced and well I just don't know how to paint to be honest. XD.

    So I'm just diving in head on XD

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    Okay cool. :] Would be nice to see when you're done.

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    I did a little paint critique to help you! Name:  crit.jpg
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    Always with the love friend!

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    @playalot86, thank you for the paint critique, I was trying to figure out how to do this.

    Thanks friend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WenDu View Post
    @Benedikt; my experience in paint is very limited, so a lot of the questions that are being asked simply can be answered; because I just choose a sort of light and didn't think I needed to put it in the picture.
    The point is that it's not convincing. You would do well to do a lot of studies from life to learn how light actually works.

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  20. #19
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    Yes I know And I'm working on it.

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    just doing sketches on lighting and worked this out while doing it, does it look better in terms of lighting and composition?

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  22. #21
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    It's still symetric. Get her out of the center.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stephou View Post
    It's still symetric. Get her out of the center.
    Center figure is bad?

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  24. #23
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    Wait, I'll do a small tutorial that you can follow until you know more about composition, lighting and so on.

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    Okay, I'm reading up on those things and looking at the workshop on lighting, but I don't know about composition involving figures X(.

    Thank you Stephou

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    Like I said in my post, on a large canvas a center focal point is boring and does nothing for composition. In fact, it doesn't follow composition at all. Might as well cut out the rest of the canvas at that point or incorporate the character into the read.

    Read over the rule of thirds.

    Last edited by Rmetzger93; June 29th, 2014 at 03:52 PM.
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    Here's a painting I started just yesterday. I just finished the main planning part so it's perfect to illustrate my points.

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    First : focal points. It doesn't seem like it yet, but focal point 1 will have some characters. They will grab our attention in the painting because they will have colours that will be inexistant in the rest of the painting. That's what you do with the first focal point, you get our attention from the first glance.

    Focal point number 2 will be the house obviously, so you want it to get our attention, but you want it to go from 1 to 2. For this I've used high contrast on the house and sky behind it. But also, the perspective somewhat points towards the focal point, so the lines dictate where to look. Focal point number 3 will be there to fill in the rest of the spaces, so it's not just empty.

    As you can see, the focal points do some sort of diagonal, without going too close to the edge, nor is it central. This works the same for anything, including characters.

    Now for the light source (orange arrows). You want it to aid your composition, and be your 'friend' all the way along the painting. That's why you have to carefully plan it. Here I'll use the shadows to hide boring thins where I don't want the viewer to look, but also highlight areas where I want the viewer to look. The snow will be very bright around the characters, behind them, as to create some contrast.
    This is also the reason you don't want a frontal light source, because you can't do anything out of it. Well obviously it makes things flat too.

    So make sure to plan your lighting so that it's helpful and is used to accentuate what you need to.

    Now for the vanishing point. This obviously changes depending on the perspectives you pick, but you want the perspective to help you too, so think of it before placing random vanishing points. This goes for placing the horizon line too, so it helps you along the way.

    Basically your painting tells a story, and placement, composition, focal points are so on are all tools to illustrate that story. If you place your character dead in the center, we will look at him, and be stuck there. We won't look around the painting as easily, and it will seem just boring. That's simply because it won't be telling that much of a story.

    There are obviously many things you can use. Where a character looks can make a huge difference, whether he grabs our attention by looking at us, or pushes our attention towards something else by staring at it.

    Make sure to use these tools for your planning.

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    OHHH, thank you stephou, I think I have a better idea now Thank you for the help really appreciate it.

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    Hey Stephou, following your advice I did a rework, there are still somethings I want to add, but I wanted to see if I'm getting what you're saying about composition. I hope I convey the cloud enough.

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    Basically I want to depict her flying or out running the buddha (course she doesn't look worried because the monkey god was mischievous and cocky, there's a few more symbols I need to add to make it clearer as to who she is). Buddha is Rulia he is symbolized as the one who can do anything and I wanted to use his halo as the primary light source in this picture. I'm hoping to add maybe a little bit of heaven's army either behind Rulai on the right side or in front of on the left side (I depicted the location with 2 black lines.)

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