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Thread: Focal Point and Shadows

  1. #1
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    Focal Point and Shadows

    Have been working on this picture for awhile now. But no matter what we change we can't get the picture to work.

    1. Focal Point
    The emphasis should be on the girl looking at the dandelion but it feels like all the other things are taking away from that and making your eye wander.

    2.Shadows
    Not exactly sure of the "scientific" way to determine how much in shadow she should be in with such a strong light behind her, wanted to go for a bloom light effect but no clue of how to paint it...

    Have tried desaturating the flowers and fixing the lighting but we don't know what exactly to do, please help =(. The red lines are guidelines for the anatomy.

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    Last edited by SRB; August 17th, 2014 at 06:57 PM.
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  3. #2
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    Regarding your first point - i think that all the flowers and things draw attention because they are colored and they therefore contrast strongly against all the gray in the background. I think that if you add a little bit of colour to everything they will blend in a bit more naturally.
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  5. #3
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    Tried giving the dandelion a pose like its bowing to make your eye focus on it, does anyone feel like its now the focal point, or does your eye just wander aimlessly around the page?

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  6. #4
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    The lighting feels very strange to me. If the light is coming from the right, where is the halo around her face coming from? Is that white flower producing light somehow? If you're concerned about the focal point, I would try experimenting (maybe on a different layer) with shifting the light to coming from left/upper left so it lands on her face. There are great examples of paintings that have the focal point in the shadow, but it is not easy to do and not intuitive at first. A common way of achieving it is by increasing the saturation of the shadowed focal point in comparison to the surroundings.
    Also, the sharp edges of the plants on the flat background is indeed distracting. Is there a reason you chose the flat gray? Perhaps you could give it a more 'foresty' vibe or something - which would also help tie in the plants and show why there are there.
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  8. #5
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    Thank you so so so much for your help. Dahlia ^^. I tried to do what you suggested. The background was grey because the girl is based on a children's story of a flower girl in a city, but it just wasn't working =/. Also added some motion blur on the dandelion petals so that the eye doesn't focus on them. We will try and lighten up the dandelion a little and give it more details so it stands out more. Please let us know what we can improve on more please! >:3!

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  9. #6
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    Those bloom/rim light effects aren't doing you any good. The picture lacks fundamentals- form, structure, lighting. You'll have to get those fundamentals up to speed (e.g. by drawing and painting from life a lot) before you can tackle something like this successfully.
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  11. #7
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    What are form and structure in a drawing? Can you red line where they are wrong or missing in the picture please, sorry were noobs >_<. We will continue to do the art studies everyday though thank you for your advice.
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  12. #8
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    Well, form and structure are (or should be) everyhwere in a representational painting, so I'd have to redline everything, which I don't think would be very useful.

    Suffice it to say that if you're not even sure what those terms refer to, you have a lot of fundamental training ahead of you. You might start with Loomis: Successful Drawing.
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    Have looked online but can't find what structure and form are...if someone is able please redline something in the painting so we understand what is meant, we aren't able to get any books from where we are located =/. We wanted to make sure the eye focused primarily on the girl and dandelion and it is better than what it once was thank you everyone for your help and we can now begin to add details and the proper lighting and finish it hopefully. Will use everything we learned to make sure its as good as we can make it and let you know when it is done. Thank you very much ^^.
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  14. #10
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    You have internet access, but you can't buy any books?

    Redlining isn't going to solve anything for you. You need to educate yourself. You need to draw and paint from life.
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  15. #11
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    as benedikt pointed out, there are several fundamental issues...

    your lines on the girl seem to be fairly good though, but yes.. the overall effect is a but muddy because of the blurring and colors/ values

    that ear is totally off though.. it does not fit at all stylistically, or the level of detail... it does not belong on her head..
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