Landscape critique please!
 
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  1. #1
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    Landscape critique please!

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    I am still not happy with the way this turned out and any pointers would be much appreciated.

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    Well that's quite a solid piece to me, but I'll give it a try anyway.

    I think that behind the buildings, the depth, mountains and clouds become sort of confusing. They don't read very well at look more like a large pile of sharp details. At least at first glance.

    Also, alot of the myst and clouds going between the rocks and mountains look a bit artifical, and almost feel forced there. Maybe make them a bit more affected by light.

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  5. #3
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    The myst was done with a cloud like brush, i went really lazy there . I have no idea what i am doing when mixing cloud like forms with mountainous terrain XD I'll work on that next time. Thanks though!

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    Wow! Let me just take a moment and...wow! Now that is an inspirational painting! My friend you should check my landscape painting out in another thread and give ME some pointers! Haha.

    As far as critique goes I have the following to say:

    Pro- It looks indeed like the word professional! Great establishment of Foreground-Middle-ground and Background. I can read the depth of the piece very well.

    One thing I would suggest is to separate those values in the sky, in the background, from the mountains. The atmosphere is blending into the distant mountains and I am unsure if that would happen in real life. Not only this, but that blending is confusing to the viewer; for I had to take a minute to figure out where the distant mountains stopped and where the sky began.

    One last positive note though: amazing composition; I instantly hop to that strong rock silhouette in the foreground and then I bounce to the castle looking building on the left in the middle-ground, and then to the area of confusion due to its high contrast. Name:  Land Of Myst Low resCrit.jpg
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  7. #5
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    I've seen quite alot of artists use cloud brushes around mountains, but sometimes I wonder if they aren't just copying other artists that do it and so on. So maybe no one even knows what they're doing in the first place

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    I agree with the above! It's a very strong piece! If there is anything I can add I would say that the mist is in great spots, just add some mass to it, and it will look real. I think with your ability just pull up a photo ref and spend about 5 minutes and it will be fixed! As far as the background mountains blending with the sky that my buddy Playalot mentioned, I like it. I think that it adds a layer of depth, is realistic, and is well done both compositionally and with value.

    The only things I will add are to remember that as an object gets higher its value will decrease because it is traveling further from the eye/camera. Keeping this in mind will help your hills and mountains seem more grand in size than they really are. Another thing is that I think I would enjoy the river itself being a bigger part of the read. For my eye it is the fourth or fifth thing I'm drawn to, and I would like emphasis on it over the rock that Playalot has labeled "F". But that's preference, and if decide to pull attention to it, there are so many ways to accomplish it!

    It's not much, and honestly it's nitpicking. I really like the piece and it's very fundamentally sound!

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  9. #7
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    Hey hey great words of wisdom! I hope this guy will look at my landscape too! Haha give me some pointers; I am trying to master those fundamentals!

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    Wow! Thanks allot guys! It's really humbling saying you think my work looks really good considering I am still learning all this stuff!

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    I agree with others, a good piece of work. The only thing I would change in this picture is the readability of the background. You should slow down on details for the farthest mountains. It will help IMO. Another thing that I've notice on other painters landscape paintings is that when the weather get misty, the base of mountains or every other high elements get softer and paler than the highest part. Again this "trick" could help the readability.
    I've made a very quick paint-over to show you what I mean:
    Name:  Land Of Myst Low res.jpg
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    PS: is there a link where I could see your paintings? I'd really like to.

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  13. #10
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    Thanks allot! You can check out my deviant art page http://maxiimust.deviantart.com/gallery/ but I really have so little work to display, most of my other stuff looks really bad (because It was when i was super noob) or unfinished.

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  14. #11
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    I want to get so good that I paint something like that, look at it, and be unhappy with it lol.
    Seriously lol.

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    I've been drawing for: 9 months!
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  15. #12
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    I agree that the furthest detail should be lost. That will add to the depth of the painting! I do think you did a great job, though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alicja View Post
    I want to get so good that I paint something like that, look at it, and be unhappy with it lol.
    Seriously lol.
    10,000 hours of practice. That's all being good takes. Keep working at it, and you'll get there!

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  17. #14
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    Yes! As a guitarist and illustrator I can tell you this is true! Rock on! \m/0.0\m/

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  18. #15
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    I agree with a lot of what is said above. It is indeed a pretty good looking piece, but I think the thing that is confusing to me is the lack of cloud perspective. Noah Bradley talks about this in one of his tutorials somewhere I forget which, but clouds need to be rendered in perspective because they do have perspective. They generally get smaller and lose contrast the farther away they are, and kinda sit on their own plane, not always, but in painting it sells the depth better.

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  19. #16
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    I do see now that you've got 3 little clouds far in the back, but I think you should consider repainting all the clouds with a perspective grid guide.

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  20. #17
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    Hey Mike you bring up a good point; in the book I recommend people called "Landscape Painting" by Mitchell Albala he discusses how clouds are apart of the sky dome and should be treated as such. So clouds would get "more squished" ,one could say, near the horizon and "less squished" as they get closer to the viewer; I believe this is what you are hinting at.

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    Most part of the problems been pretty much covered already.. But to me it seems you just use too small and hard edged brush for too much detail on things that require softness and subtle value changes. Most of the background and some other surfaces look and feel a tad scribbly, which is killing depth and some of the mood. I'll attach a quickie with gradially masked Surface Blur (not accurate, just suggestion) on the picture to show what I mean.

    Another thing might just be different monitors, but the darks of the foreground look too black to me. I opened them up a bit, but dunno if that now looks too washed out on your monitor.

    One thing that bothers me a bit, is the design of the background mountains in dead center of the picture.. There seems to be repeating mountainpeaks that feel.. odd.. sorry, not very helpful. Personally, since it's the center area, I'd open it up for a much deeper view to the horizon, just for enhanced depth, but that's just me.
    Hope this helps

    Name:  MaximusT.jpg
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  23. #19
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    Dude, there might be something wrong with your monitor because you've made the image really disturbing now and heaps of foreground detail has been lost

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  24. #20
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    As I compare the two I can see also that heaps of detail have been lost.

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  25. #21
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    Lots of details have been lost, but the paintover is much more pleasing to look at. It looks less 'scribbly' like he said. I'd add some sharp details at a few areas to create focal points, but I sure can understand what samwaulu wanted to show.

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  26. #22
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    Upon second glance; the paint-over has a way of being more true to the painterly eye; I mean if this scene really existed in nature the paint-over describes the "perceived color" of the artist better than the first painting with loads of detail; I am not so certain that the human eye would see all of that detail at once; because it wouldn't.

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    Ok, apparently I should have explained myself more accurately, sorry about the confusion.

    Yeah, foreground got blurred too. The adjustments and surface blur with the mask were all done literally in less than minute, with no intention to be accurate or to create a perfected picture. It was only to provide a point of comparison for one specific problem that occurred in some degree everywhere on the picture.
    Should I've been more accurate? Yeah, probably :-)
    Should there be sharp details on the focal points like Stephou said? Absolutely.


    Now the monitor thing had nothing to do with the blurring. I was talking about an entirely separate issue, the dark areas in the foreground, that look too black to me. Too black in color and too dark in shadow intensity compared to the apparent available light. Around the observatory(?) building shadow areas have some ambient reflected light, no blacks there. But closer to the viewer, the ambient just disappears and no reflected light from the river or anywhere else? Of course I don't know how black and non-reflective material you have decided those stones to be, but still..
    Some color picking showed that while there was fair bit of saturation, brightness varied between 0-5% and while that is not entirely pure black, its really very close. It would be suitable for some silhouettes against bright light in high contrast situations or in low light in small dots and thin lines, shadows of shadows within shadows. But on large surfaces, daytime, when there is plenty of ambient light, not natural.
    (if you have photo ref that show similar black areas, that is a result of underexposure in camera, not natural either)

    When I opened the shadows up a bit (increased brightness and added some blue hue, still just the fast, less than a minute job) to see them better, I noticed that you had actually painted fair bit of detail there, it just was really dark.

    So I started to wonder "Maybe it doesn't look so dark to him?", because:
    1. A lot brighter screen than mine
    2. Has a type of screen that doesn't really display pure blacks, but instead sorta very dark grey
    3. Has a laptop or cheaper end desktop screen that has the extremely common problem of brightness and contrast change when vertical viewing angle is changed, which can make top and bottom of the screen to display false amounts of light/dark.
    4. Any combination of the above
    5. (if the screen has more blue tint than mine, my adjustment of the darks might go overboard)

    Hence the wondering about different monitors and whether my adjustments turned the darks into washed out (blue-ish) areas? "Disturbing" suggest that something happened, just a bit difficult from that to figure out exactly what? ;-)
    I happen to know that my screens do not have problems 2 & 3, but just the 1. is of course quite enough to make a difference.

    Anyway, aside from all the possible nuisance of technology stuff, my point just is that those foreground shadows would probably be much better if painted with some suitable, fair bit brighter shadow colors from reflected light, as is everything around the observatory. It would also help avoid the problems with different screens.

    As for the shadow colours, this might provide some interesting reading on the subject:
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...cussion-thread

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  28. #24
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    Thanks allot, i might need to get a better monitor its a 27 inch acer, i don't know if it displays pure blacks properly but apparently the contrast ratio thing is very high. But it certainly isnt bright, its on the lowest brightness xD. Anyway, you seem to know your stuff. Talking about ambient light in the area, and asserting the fact that there is a mountain and cloud over. You are essentially saying that the dark areas would have more bounce light into the area and make them lighter? If you don't mind, could you do a little bit more of a paintover to illustrate this point. Because sometimes painting can be very subconscious for me and its hard to visuale the reality of the situation. Thanks XD

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  29. #25
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    I did some level adjustments and i am starting to change the background, might as well try and make it look better. I've noticed now after learning much that there is a lot more wrong with it and i'll see what i can do. What do you think?

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  30. #26
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    I'm not good with landscapes but it certainly looks better then what you started out with. Less scribbly. Next painting you do, do try to wait with all the details until the basic elements work. It will save you some frustration. You can do detail sketches at the side.

    I think that you should be proud, it looks really nice to my eyes at least.

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  31. #27
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    Thanks, I have done a few more after this, you can see them here http://maxiimust.deviantart.com/gallery/ I think I am getting better.

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  32. #28
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    Wow! What excellent work you have there! I just checked out all of your gallery, and let me tell you I am truly inspired! Wonderful images; I would say to remember that the eyes can only see in one focal plane at a time so make sure you choose that focal point and soften up the remaining edges accordingly- this will help to add realism to your work. Wonderful ship designs, landscapes and I fell in love with your robot character!

    I enjoyed that one from New Zealand; although, it looked like you used the "smudge tool" on the tree to the very left of the ship (from our viewpoint); while it is okay to use the quick way once and a while; more character can be accomplished in the piece by softening your edges with your knowledge of color and values-rather than the computer moving pictures around; get the book "Color and Light" by James Gurney; it is a guide for the realist painter and he devotes an entire two page section on the topic of conveying motion blur in oil paintings.

    When I type this I am also referring to your "Cloud Tower" piece; it doesn't look like the smudge tool was used here, which is great, but I feel the speed of these ships could be more felt with MORE softening of the edges of the clouds. Loved your work!

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  33. #29
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    Thanks! I do have Color and light btw. I didn't use the smudge tool on the new zealand bay study, i just blurred it because it was right in the foreground the eyes wouldn't focus there and in cameras it was close enough for it to make sense to be out of focus. I was never happy with the cloud tower on, it wasn't meant to be motion blur on the side, rather i tried to do a heat trail which seemed it wasn't clear. I'll study more on those topics.

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  34. #30
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    All right man well keep on pushing! It is good that you have great materials to study from! Haha!

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