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  1. #1
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    Beginner In Need of Critique.

    I am going to need some rip and tear on my over-ambitious piece. I'll give a quick summary but I don't want to bog you in detail.

    I wanted to create a piece about a golem based on Mexican folklore. I wanted it to raise alebrije (colorful fantastical creatures, painted on wood or clay) from the sands with its maracas.


    Biggest things that hit me are that it appears confusing instead of colorful, and that the values just aren't cohesive. I don't necessarily need to save the piece, but I want to know what I did wrong so I can study it in detail next. I also think it looks more like evening and not night time, despite references of the desert at night I was using looking rather bright.

    Please help me become a better artist! If I need to edit my post for any formating issues, let me know! First time posting. (quality of image seems off)
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  3. #2
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    What hits me first is that there is hardly anything to see in about half of the picture...
    Grinnikend door het leven...

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by eezacque View Post
    What hits me first is that there is hardly anything to see in about half of the picture...
    Would you care to expand? Do you mean that the composition should be rebalanced to show the subjects in the image spread across the piece, or that more noise/details should be added to areas that are more flat/quiet/etc.
    Thank you for the reply, by the way.

  5. #4
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    It looks like you have bunch of plant-critters in the foreground but they're too dark and flat to make out.
    You have a big lunar light source, use it.
    You can use some highlights and shadows to add dimensionality to those cacti forms.
    Add contrast between the warm colors of the earth with some cooler blue/greens on the foliage.

    The jackrabbit is monopolizing attention in the middle of the canvas, try moving it to the right to balance rule-of-thirds with the golem.

    edit: I just realized the tortoise was there, and now my eyes keep seeing all the heads pointed towards the cactus on its back.
    How should our eyes move through the composition?
    Last edited by InfernoKing; June 26th, 2018 at 04:16 PM.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by poloski View Post
    Would you care to expand? Do you mean that the composition should be rebalanced to show the subjects in the image spread across the piece, or that more noise/details should be added to areas that are more flat/quiet/etc.
    I think the easiest solution is a crop, but a rebalance will also work.
    Grinnikend door het leven...

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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by InfernoKing View Post
    It looks like you have bunch of plant-critters in the foreground but they're too dark and flat to make out.
    You have a big lunar light source, use it.
    You can use some highlights and shadows to add dimensionality to those cacti forms.
    Add contrast between the warm colors of the earth with some cooler blue/greens on the foliage.

    The jackrabbit is monopolizing attention in the middle of the canvas, try moving it to the right to balance rule-of-thirds with the golem.

    edit: I just realized the tortoise was there, and now my eyes keep seeing all the heads pointed towards the cactus on its back.
    How should our eyes move through the composition?
    First off, thank you for the critique!
    The way I originally wanted the eye to move through the piece was from the golem on the mountain, down to the rabbit, and just through the foreground area, coming back out by the far right cactus. I understand that I have failed to represent this idea. I made the wrong move to try and not use much of the moonlight so I could fit in my original idea of the composition, but this original idea was poor.

    Would you think that studies of well composed artwork would help my composition skills?
    Thanks again.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by eezacque View Post
    I think the easiest solution is a crop, but a rebalance will also work.
    I will keep this in mind and experiment with it, thank you for the suggestions and reply!

  9. #8
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    The good stuff has already been touched on. I will say however, that when you're trying to show magic having an effect, you need to show it somehow. It can be as simple as using the same color on the caster's eyes as the victim/creation's eyes. You can of course, re-enforce it further by sharing shapes or patterns between the two. In this way you create a sort of simplistic language that the viewer can understand. In essence, you want to show the two being linked in some way that is not physical. Note also how I re-enforced your sense of time in the scene by adding the magic light to the other two animals' eyes, but without the addition of the other pink light effects. These other pink light effects indicate the motions of the ritual within this context and make it seem as though the mage is focusing on the rabbit. When in reality, we can't really tell where he's looking.
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    I mean, would it be so bad if all anyone remembers about me is that I was a lover of art, of women, and wine? Perhaps I reach too far.

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  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by David_a_ray View Post
    The good stuff has already been touched on. I will say however, that when you're trying to show magic having an effect, you need to show it somehow. It can be as simple as using the same color on the caster's eyes as the victim/creation's eyes. You can of course, re-enforce it further by sharing shapes or patterns between the two. In this way you create a sort of simplistic language that the viewer can understand. In essence, you want to show the two being linked in some way that is not physical. Note also how I re-enforced your sense of time in the scene by adding the magic light to the other two animals' eyes, but without the addition of the other pink light effects. These other pink light effects indicate the motions of the ritual within this context and make it seem as though the mage is focusing on the rabbit. When in reality, we can't really tell where he's looking.
    David, this is seriously awesome.. No one has pointed this out to me anywhere I have asked, and it never came to mind!!! Thank you so much for this critique, it made my morning. I am extremely happy I started to post to this forum, and will hope to continue in the future. I will note this for my redos today! Thank you!

  12. #10
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    Glad to be of help!
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    I mean, would it be so bad if all anyone remembers about me is that I was a lover of art, of women, and wine? Perhaps I reach too far.

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