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  1. #1
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    WIP - would like critique on composition and lighting

    Hi,
    Working on this fantasy landscape and would be thankful for critique mainly on the composition and lighting, but also other things.
    Cheers!

    Name:  MountainCity.jpg
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  3. #2
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    Not bad.. not wholly interesting either, but not bad.


    Why is the front left so dark in shadow?


    Is the green grass, trees, or what? Determining that will help with visual size/scale of the candle towers and the mountain.
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  5. #3
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    Thanks for your feedback!

    The front left is dark to create contrast and "frame" the city a bit, and because I thought it looked cool with a silhouette...

    The green foreground is heath/grassland with bushes and small windswept trees, and I get your point that there isn't enough visual information to make that clear, will make more work there.

  6. #4
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    The front left is dark to create contrast and "frame" the city a bit, and because I thought it looked cool with a silhouette...
    I'm all for "because", but the brain says otherwise. The current lighting says bright, sunny day.. about noon.. the sun just shining on down from the top of the page. Everything is lit up... it doesn't make much sense why the feller on the horse is excluded.. not under an out cropping, ruined building, or super dense tree.
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  7. #5
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    I'd say it needs a lot more work, the scale makes no sense, the city is way too tiny. Or the mountain is stupidly big. You should do some greyscale thumbnails to get a more solid design. Maybe work on the pallette as this sort of basic shading without good colour looks very flat. I understand where you were going with the foreground being darker, but you should include some sort of shading to go along with it rather than just making it darker. As modi said theres nothing to create a plane of shade like that.

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  9. #6
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    I think the most interesting thing about your painting right now is... the horse. Specifically, the horses head. It looks like a horses head, you can easily tell thats what it is and it seems to have a sort of painterly quality to it.

    I'm hoping you left the horse on its own layer because if I were you its the only thing I would keep. I would keep the horse (and rider) and rethink the whole composition. Go back to thumb nailing in black and white (or black white and grey) and actually work on the composition and what you're trying to show off, whats the focal point, where do you want the eyes to go, etc...

    You could even write down some ideas/story first and it could help direct your initial thumbs. Something like:

    - Returning home
    - Discovery
    - Leaving home
    - To battle
    - Scouting the enemy fortress

    Then pick one and make notes on it:

    I imagine your story is "Discovery" so I'll pick "Scouting the enemy fortress" so you can come up with your own ideas for your story.

    - Time of day: just before dusk
    - The sun is just about set
    - In the background a menacing stone fortress looms
    - The fortress is on the water with a single rocky bridge that connects it to the land
    - Details on the fortress itself are sparse as it is not the focal point. You can tell that it is there though and that there are bon fires on the guard posts on top of it.
    - Guards are stationed at the end of the rocky bridge at a small guard house in the midground
    - The guards at the guard house have a small fire going and are currently huddling around it
    - In the foreground are some head high rocks
    - Behind the rocks are our two heroes in the shadows, armed to the teeth with sword and bow
    - They are wrapped close to the rocks as they peer over and around to investigate the activity of the guard house

    Okay, thats our story sorted out. Now what do we get from that?

    If guard house is the focal point.
    The picture could lead the eye to the guard house and the impending attack
    You can use the heroes to lead the eye towards the guard house by making them look at it and generally be pointing toward it with their body language.
    The rocks they are hiding behind could subtly point towards the guard house
    The fortress connects to the bridge which leads directly to the guard house
    The general shape of the fortress and any features on it could subtly point back towards the guard house
    The negative space of the sky can form rough triangles that point towards the guard house
    The reflection of the setting sun and roughly point towards the guard house
    etc, etc...

    Anyways, I feel like I got a bit carried away. Just some stuff to think about when doing thumbs or trying to come up with a comp. For thumbs, try to be really basic and just get the idea out. If you can sell the idea in black white (and grey) with basic shapes, then it will make the rest of it much easier. It pays to plan ahead.

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