Art: Portrait of a hani
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    Portrait of a hani



    what started out as a fur/hair color/texture study for my latest portfolio project ended up as a bust portrait of the main character from the Chanur novels by C.J. Cherryh -- Pyanfar Chanur, tough & canny interstellar trader, captain of the freighter The Pride of Chanur. i liked how her expression was developing so i decide to finish it out. please feel free to C&C, i'm more than willing to make adjustments.

    EDIT: the updated version is below -- big diff thanks to the astute comments.

    Last edited by masque; February 25th, 2006 at 08:32 AM.
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    I really dig the expression, other than that he looks kinda flat to me somehow, try darkening his fur around the edges a bit and adding a few highlights here and there.
    Also the background seems like it was just thrown together.
    His eyes seem a bit funny, like they are looking in different directions, take your hand and cover one eye then the other and you'll see what I mean (his eyes not yours).

    Other than it looking a bit unfinished, its lookin pretty good. (that pearl on his ear was a nice touch)

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    cool...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyranx
    I really dig the expression, other than that he looks kinda flat to me somehow, try darkening his fur around the edges a bit and adding a few highlights here and there.
    Also the background seems like it was just thrown together.
    His eyes seem a bit funny, like they are looking in different directions, take your hand and cover one eye then the other and you'll see what I mean (his eyes not yours).

    Other than it looking a bit unfinished, its lookin pretty good. (that pearl on his ear was a nice touch)
    thanks for the feedback, Tyranx. highlights are there but pretty diffuse since it's hair & fur ('cept for nose & eyes, of course) -- do they need to be even brighter? i'll see what tweaking the contrast & levels in a few areas does.

    can't see the eyes being off, myself -- even covered as you suggest they seem directed right at the viewer. which do you think is out of line?

    I agree BG is pretty generic -- again, this started as a quick study. as the project develops i may drop in someting more relevant, like a suggestion of the space station docks she trades at (hani spacers are almost exclusively female -- the males are pampered stay-at-homes). what other parts do you feel are too unfinished?

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    Is there supposed to be some sort of wind blowing from behind him? There's two strands of hair just kinda blown out there, while the rest of the hair is just hanging straight down.

    And yes, the background is pretty rushed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ssycko
    Is there supposed to be some sort of wind blowing from behind him? There's two strands of hair just kinda blown out there, while the rest of the hair is just hanging straight down.
    yeah, a breeze stirs her mane a bit -- i feel it keeps the composition from looking a bit too static. overdone?

    Quote Originally Posted by ssycko
    And yes, the background is pretty rushed.
    noted -- wasn't intended to be pictorial but maybe it needs to be, would likely help the overall sense of depth.

    thanks for the comments!

    Continuity Break -- my sketchbook

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    Valkyrie Ascending -- now updated with the second in a series!
    ArmaRagnaGeddonRock-yer-Yuga! -- celeztial shitz 'n' gigglez
    I . Miss . America -- "colored [eyes] may hypnotize..."

    "In the end, Razputin, aren't we all just dogs playing poker?"
    -- Edgar Teglee
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    Yeah I can kinda see what Tyranx mentioned about it looking flat. It just needs a little value adjustment I think. Understandably blonde fur will be more difficult to throw a highlight on but keep in mind it is fur. Look at any animals fur in the light, it will always have a sheen to it, unless the animal is really dirty from running around outside. Furthermore he has hair in addition to fur. From what I've seen of blonde hair it will also have some pretty bright highlights. It looks almost golden sometimes. So, Id say throw in some darker values around the face, this will bring out the underlying face structure. Then also be sure to throw in some brighter highlights here and there, especially on top of his head.

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    I just tried some fur studying, this kicks my butt! . They look quite grumpy to me . This rocks! Keep on rockin'! .

    I'm Burning A Hole In Your Mind...

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    boy, when you guys are right, you're really right! workin' on an update to the tonal structure now, and it does pop a whole lot more.

    @Death -- thanks! grumpy... yeah, she's not in the best of moods (read the books to find out why), and even in the best of times isn't known for being very lighthearted and happy-go-lucky

    edit: here's the update (i left the original up top for comparison). this thread maybe should be "It's finally finished -- except for the excellent tips from the CA crowd!" thanks again, please continue to comment. the BG i will revise but not soonish (have to do some thinking about the space station dock layouts, etc.)



    Last edited by masque; February 25th, 2006 at 05:52 PM.
    Continuity Break -- my sketchbook

    Shameless plugs!
    Kata femme -- a 3D model WIP, now updated!
    The Giordano Gambit -- Barsoomian Zingball at its best!
    Valkyrie Ascending -- now updated with the second in a series!
    ArmaRagnaGeddonRock-yer-Yuga! -- celeztial shitz 'n' gigglez
    I . Miss . America -- "colored [eyes] may hypnotize..."

    "In the end, Razputin, aren't we all just dogs playing poker?"
    -- Edgar Teglee
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    Hello, Chip. I have some crits, hope you will not be upset being my movie buddy and all . I think the picture needs some more life, juice, and by this I mean textures and contrast. Of course I didn't read the book, but the creature looks pretty rough, so it just has to have some textures on its nose, forehead and other vulnerable in fighting spots , in my pompous opinion. It would be great to make the nose more protruding from the picture too. and I'm kind of distracted by this poisonous shade of yellow of its eyeballs, but it might be the whole idea.

    Would be nice to put some shadows on the eyeballs too, to make them deeper and more natural looking.

    Best wishes
    Sveta

    My point is to add more variety and less monotone on lines (hair) and colors.

    Darker BG would be more dramatic too. But I really don't know anything about this character. Looks tough and into jewelry, for me. Likes its hair a lot.

    Last edited by sve; February 26th, 2006 at 06:24 PM.
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    hmmm. Sve, i don't think the textures you suggest are right for this character. you're right, the hani pride themselves on the condition of their fur, manes, ears, etc., sort of a cultural thing, and while they occasionally do fight, they just as often try to avoid physical conflict, and heavy scarring doesn't seem all that common, at least among the females (this from my reading of the novels). so i wanted the facial fur to be very even, well groomed (just as cats are very fastidious). this is pretty well-supported by my refs as well, even those of the wild cats, where you might expect more "roughness." in the books she takes on a few hits as the story progresses, but i think i'l leave that for other pics.

    i'll play with the tones on the bridge of the nose and the eye color, see what i can do along the lines of your other suggestions. and yes, i'll be changing the BG eventually, lots of comments on that, made me see its plainness a bit clearer.

    a bit of backstory: the jewelry is very much part of the character -- the hani starship captains tend to be a rather ostentatious lot, more than a bit of swagger, lots of pride in person. the earrings are more than just ornamentation - they're also records of successful trading voyages. the sound they make as she flicks her ears a bit has a rather soothing effect, it seems, sort of an affirmation of her affluence and success as a trader.

    edit: Updated the update, Sve, having improved the nose highlights and warmed up and deepened the eye color and shadows a bit. good suggestions!

    Last edited by masque; February 25th, 2006 at 05:53 PM.
    Continuity Break -- my sketchbook

    Shameless plugs!
    Kata femme -- a 3D model WIP, now updated!
    The Giordano Gambit -- Barsoomian Zingball at its best!
    Valkyrie Ascending -- now updated with the second in a series!
    ArmaRagnaGeddonRock-yer-Yuga! -- celeztial shitz 'n' gigglez
    I . Miss . America -- "colored [eyes] may hypnotize..."

    "In the end, Razputin, aren't we all just dogs playing poker?"
    -- Edgar Teglee
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    Hehehe, Chip, it ended up good for me to go and give advice about something I have no idea about . I learnt something too, and you are really good in sending people to dictionary. I want to go around with you always holding hands, like conjoined twins. I bet I will be awesome in a while, like you . We will shock the world!!! wouldn't it be fun!
    You are right, the textures are just an ugly dirt, please disregard it. my bad, didn't know anything about the character . Well, the point is to take my advice with a grain of salt, always .

    Thanks for telling me about character, interesting. The new culture, born in writer's mind. Makes me think about how unimportant and random all our traditions are .

    I still think the nose needs more volume though, a perspective and I would try to make eyes even more expressive, the warm yellow still looks out of place for me, should be cooler. I might be wrong.

    Thanks for being such a good sport about my comment
    see you
    Sveta

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    It might just be me, but the character as you've protrayed 'her' seems very very masculine. I know nothing about the books you've based this on, but it seems to me a female, however muscular, would have a narrower face, perhaps somewhat more delicate features. Something that would say 'hey, this is a girl!'

    As it is, if it weren't for you continually referring to her as a female, I'd think it was a male (and the first time I wasn't sure it wasn't a typo... >.>)

    Of course, if this is wrong for the concept you're going for, just ignore me.

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    yeah, it's kind of tough getting obvious femaleness in a non-human-species character with prominent moustache and beard (!), let alone felinoid facial structure. I took some cues from terrestrial big cats, and the males as described in the books are much more massive in all regards, much like the diffs between male & female lions. so it's not a big issue that the image immediately read "female" in human terms, and one i tried to address more in the eyes than the rest of the features. i have other hani characters to do (for example, Pyanfar's niece) that will have more delicate features, as that's how they're described in the books.

    but i'll see if i can get a more overtly female look in the more developed paintings i have planned. in my sketchbook drawings, there are also more cues from body shape and stance, which i think will also help as the paintings develop.

    thanks for the feedback!

    Continuity Break -- my sketchbook

    Shameless plugs!
    Kata femme -- a 3D model WIP, now updated!
    The Giordano Gambit -- Barsoomian Zingball at its best!
    Valkyrie Ascending -- now updated with the second in a series!
    ArmaRagnaGeddonRock-yer-Yuga! -- celeztial shitz 'n' gigglez
    I . Miss . America -- "colored [eyes] may hypnotize..."

    "In the end, Razputin, aren't we all just dogs playing poker?"
    -- Edgar Teglee
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