I'm having some difficulty with the lighting in this piece. I initially "finished" it a month or so back. I spoke to some artists at ConnectiCon and while they did say they liked it, the general critique I got the most was that it needed more lighting.
But I admit, I'm afraid of adding *too* much light, so I'm looking for some help in striking that balance. I'll put up a comparison pic to show the small changes I've made thus far, but I fear more are needed and I'm not exactly sure where and how much to implement them. Any help would be appreciated.
I didn't really get what I was looking at on first glance, which isn't a good sign I'm afraid. Not sure on second glance either. Are we looking down into a tunnel? The character in the foreground seems to suggest this...
Lighting is the least of your problems here. You have problems with composition & with form/structure,the most basic elements of any picture. You need to thoroughly plan a complicated composition like this. Back to the drafting stage and do lots of thumbnails, making sure that they read and communicate what we're looking at.
A lot of life drawing and painting wouldn't go amiss either.
Well what people mean by 'it needs more lighting' is proababely that the picture needs more explicit light to define forms but more so to make the picture/story of the picture more readable.
I don't think it means you should just randomly lighten up things.
You've got two subjects in the picture that are both taking an euqal amount of the viwer attention, which usually confuses the viewer, as the eyes jump back and forth between the two.
Composition can help this problem and- also light.
By brightening one subject up and darkening the other, the picture feels more balanced and gets easier to read.
Lighting itself does a pretty good job already but if you also know where to best put it, composition wise, you can really make your picture pop in a good way.
Of course Benedikt is right with what he says, but I think you can still learn composition after having a better understanding of light and form.
In my example the light makes the picture already easier to read, but if I knew more about composition, it would probably look a lot better still.
Hope this is of use to you.
(I didn't make the effort here, but don't forget that stronger light, also means stronger shadows.)