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  1. #1
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    Candlelit Dragon - Looking for Critique

    Hello! I'm looking for some feedback on a painting I'm currently working on. The intent was to have a more cloistered scene with lighting from a single source in the form of the candle and the subject hemmed in by a haphazard forest of books that extends into the darkness. Any assistance would be appreciated!Name:  dragon_bc.jpg
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  3. #2
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    A self-bump, as I worked a bit more on the painting this evening. I made some adjustments to the face, refined some edges, and made a few other other changes. I'm still looking for feedback, though.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  4. #3
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    Dragon: Somehow the perspective looks weird, also how the shadows fall in relation to the position of the candle. I suggest you make the head *slightly* bigger and turn it more to the left, covering a bit of the body, by doing so, also add a hard edged shadow, which is cast by the head aswell.

    Values: Are all over the place. It's always a good idea to block in everything using just 3-5 values. Also, it helps with keeping the picture as a whole in your head, if that makes any sense. The problem with concentrating on small details is, that you lose overview of how it relates to everything else, making bad value decisions in the process, and forgetting about how it may affect/ is affected by its surrounding area. "To miss the forest for the trees" is a fitting metaphor. Also plan with depth and balancing of light and dark in mind, especially in this case, as your painting's composition/ weight distribution is heavily affected by values.

    Rendering: Many shadows don't seem make any sense, or are missing. Even though a candle is a weak light source, it's also very "directed", and will cast a lot of hard edged shadows, especially close to it. Don't be afraid to define sharper and more distinct shadows. A lot of people seem to make the mistake of creating vague, soft shadows whenever they're not sure how to set them. Be bold, even if it's not 100% right, to a certain degree, mistakes at this level of complexity wont stand out. Save the soft transitions for further away objects and shadowy areas (where ambient/ reflective light creates differences in lighter and darker spots within the shadows).
    Last edited by White Rabbit; 2 Weeks Ago at 03:54 AM.

  5. #4
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    Thanks so much for the detailed feedback! I'll make sure to have another look at the aspects of the painting that pose a concern and make adjustments.

  6. #5
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    Anatomically I don't feel like the tail would hold the dragon up like that? Have a look at how a snake or kangaroo tail-balance--

  7. #6
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    It wasn't my intent to have the tail appear to be holding the dragon up, rather than the appendage was incredibly long and the dragon wasn't paying much attention to its position, hence it sliding off into the darkness. I'll see about finding some ways to hopefully make that read better. Do you feel having the wings depicted in a more active manner (such as mid-flap) would assist with that?

  8. #7
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    I guess so, I did not get any feeling the dragon was flying. But if it does this introduces the logic problem than the flapping wings would distorted and probably put out the candle flame? I would suggest putting in something for the dragon to be perching on.

  9. #8
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    The lighting in your scene seems more like it is coming from a light bulb than a candle. I made this quick paint over for you to show what I'm talking about. I included text with the comparison as some people like to save critiques on their computer.

    Name:  Treefy_s_Dragon_Critique_by_The_Lady_Of_The_Lake.jpg
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    My recommendations would be to get a bunch of candles and play with them in a pitch-black room - even recreate the portion with the pedestalled book, if you can! These studies were very informative for me and I hope they will be as useful to you.

    Keep up the hard work, preferably with many more dragon paintings in the future!

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