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  1. #1
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    How do I make my art look less boring?

    Hey guys,

    Title says it all really. I'd also really appreciate critique on anything else; colour, perspective, values etc.
    I keep trying to apply what I've learnt from studies but everything turns out trash, and the more I add details or "render" the more trash it looks. It's frustrating because I do a thumbnail and think it has promise....and then as time goes on it gets uglier and uglier.
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    Thanks in advance!


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  3. #2
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    Hey, me and Anton tried our hands at making it more interesting by adding coloured shadows to give temperature to the piece and also a richer mood. Anton also noticed that the horizon line seems to be inconsistent, and that the fortress would be above the camera. Additionally, we added some light to the characters of the scene to make them pop as they originally weren't reading as a focal point. Finally, we increased the size of the castle to make more of a focal point , and also made the path thicker as seemed a little unrealistic and didn't look like it could support much weight. Also we added some atmospheric perspective to the castle.

    In the future, make sure you construct a line drawing with correct perspective guidelines from the start and also focus on further articulating the narrative by adding more storytelling elements, and taking functionality into consideration, in the case of that winding natural rock formation path that's really thin! It adds a whimsical element to it for sure, but as it stands it doesn't seem very practical and is quite visually plain.


    Hope this helps!

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  5. #3
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    Don't get discouraged. it takes a lot to get something from the thumbnail stage, to a rendered piece. It's a good experience to realize all the things that need to be figured out when doing something like this.

    Right now I think a lot of the trouble you're having is lighting. The values, and the cast shadows don't make sense. And that's really what you should be rendering anyway: light! Finishing a piece doesn't mean adding little tiny details to a thumbnail sketch. You're making the forms in it believable. So I think that's what you need to study. Light and form. Then it might be more clear why things aren't working.

    What the above poster said is true also. The perspective and the actual design of the trail in the painting are a little dubious.

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  7. #4
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    Thanks for everyones feedback, I'm off to look at some colour videos on youtube becasue that warm/cool thing made a nice difference. The trouble with light/form studies, is that I've done a few and while it's manageable when there's just a few simple shapes, when its a bunch of organic forms I struggle. I tried to breakdown and correct my own piece but if anyone could give me corrections on my "corrections" that would be great.

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    Also I get that the cast shadows are wrong but when you say the values don't make sense, does that mean that the shadows should be darker or something? The righmost cast shadow-I definitely remember seeing random cast shadows in other artwork and assumed it was from things offscreen. Like when there's a photo of a building and a cast shadow on it from another building out of the frame.
    Those support structures definitely didn't make any sense. Would you believe I'm actually about to graduate from engineering-good thing my grad job won't involve designing bridges hahaha......

  8. #5
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    You can certainly have things off screen casting shadows. That's a great device.

    What I mean about the values being off is just that there's so much inconsistency. On the same type of rock you have a lot of different colors and values. It's hard to tell what is supposed to be in shadow, or if it's just a darker colored rock.

    On the lighting. You can't cast a shadow onto surfaces that are already in shadow. You are thinking of cast shadows too much as dark blankets being draped over objects, making the shadows already on them darker. That's not really how it happens.

    cast shadows are not positive things, but rather negative. Meaning shadows aren't where dark is. It's where the light source is not.

    I don't really understand the lighting from the picture you drew. The sun is drawn on the left, but you wrote 'front right". I think you just need some more practice and observation.

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  10. #6
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    I think it's just bad right from the thumbnail phase. You didn't have any value grouping, everything is some kind of middle grey , you have light grey over dark grey over light grey ...etc in every area of your painting You put contrast everywhere on your image . You split the painting into 2 equal parts , one with equally divided vertical lines and another with an unsexy curve which is just kinda equal in size that is in tangent with the left cliff
    People keep telling me : " Why do you keep suggesting courses and books instead of just giving me the solution directly ? "

    Well if i could condense all the necessary informations that take hours of explanation and demonstration into a single post, i would gladly do it

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  12. #7
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    First of all Your perspective is really wrong. When the fundamentals are off everything will be still off when you make the best out of it. You should study Scott Robertson's book "how to draw". It has all the information about perspective and more.

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  14. #8
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    If you want to understand how to make this less boring, tell me what you think is interesting. About half of this is a vertical wall of rock, another slanted piece of rock and two pieces of laundry hanging from a clothesline. There is a city in the far distance, and two carriages with horses which seem to be the meat of the composition, connected by a road which is meandering for reasons unknown.

    What do you want to tell me? Your main characters are travelling to a distant city. How can you make this as interesting as possible? How did other artists solve the puzzle? About half of all stories in are about travelling (the other half is about love, and yet another half is about sex), so there is ample inspiration for you in movies, comics and illustration.
    Grinnikend door het leven...

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