What Lies in Wait: Final Push - what can I fix/push/make better?

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  1. #1
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    What Lies in Wait: Final Push - what can I fix/push/make better?

    Thanks for looking, first off

    Just need new eyes to give me an idea of what I can push or fix in this image. This is probably my most ambitious to date. Understand that I've never done a dress before - so it isn't the best, I realize that! haha! I tried my best.

    Anything you guys see that I am not seeing? What can I improve?

    (and just a quick note, I HATED this image until I added the cobwebs, then I began to dig it, but only for that... heh)



    “It is enough that we set out to mold the motley stuff of life into some form of our own choosing; when we do, the performance is itself the wage.”
    -Learned Hand

    "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed." ~Albert Einstein

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  3. #2
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    Our right side of the face seems to be drifting upward noticeably.

    I'd maybe also mess around with the hues of the hair and the architecture behind, as right now they sort of blend into one another.

    Lastly, check the anatomy of her shoulder - to me, it looks like she hasn't got one, and her arm is just sort of bursting out of her ribcage.

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  4. #3
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    Firstly, I like the colours you've chosen for the background and her dress, and your cobwebs do look nice. I agree with willows in that the right side of her face seems to be higher then the other side, and her shoulder seems to be missing. Also her hair seems quite flat behind her back and her fingers seem a little short. Oh and the perspective on the stairs needs work. Try adding some more tone to her hair and shoulder, and finding some reference for the stairs.

    Last edited by Daniel Millar; June 14th, 2006 at 05:12 AM.
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  5. #4
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    Basically, everything needs work on this piece.

    The composition does not flow at all, and the whole floor is a big distracting dead space. I think that you should plan your thumbnail out with light/dark value shapes next time. As-is, there's not much you can do with the 2d or 3d space to "complete" it short of starting over.

    That said, the overall fuzziness is destroying any form on the figure, so you need to use value contrast to create more defined planes and get that form back. Same with the background, you need proper structure, more consistent lighting (pillar lighting and the shadows they make aren't consistent), and proper use of perspective. The pillars don't line up at all, and a few vanishing points would clear that up in a jiffy. Further, the steps aren't in proper perspective. They wouldn't start heavily tilting as they wind around. Since they're flat planes just like the base of the pillars, their foreshortening would be somewhat similar.

    Hope that's not too much at once. Overall, just get more form into this thing, and maybe some linear grooves in the stone floor would help create more of a circular flow. Architecture's a big pain in the neck, and while you have something neat going on with the structure, it's just very tough to pull off. Good luck!

    Andrew Murray
    Concept Artist, Tencent Boston
    www.theincredibleandy.com
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  6. #5
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    for some reason I took your image and messed around with it:


    Though I like the sense of space in your version, there's no use creating extra space if you won't use it. You had a square frame of reference, which is mega hard to pull off. I chose vertical to help integrate the figure with the environment. I also added a little space on the left to get rid of the annoying tangent near the stairs. I got bored with the paint before actually making a difference with getting more form into the figure, but I hope you get the idea. Hope this helps.

    Andrew Murray
    Concept Artist, Tencent Boston
    www.theincredibleandy.com
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  7. #6
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    I like what Andy's done with sharpening things up. Having everything with soft edges (or that very annoying "glow" around the figure) was really destrying the image. The perspective issues on the staircase, too, was a large detractor.

    One thing you really need to do from the get-go is determine the light sources. The lighting is very inconsistant, right now. It appears to be indirect light coming from within the stairwell, and the pillars seem to be getting less as they get further away, but then her face is getting lots (from a different angle) and the beer keg above her head is getting even more (from another different angle). All of this is helping to disconnect the seperate elements.

    In addition, it appears that her hair is tangential to the colomns on both sides of her head. That's an especailly unfortunate coincidence.

    In the figure, if she's supposed to be luring the viewer to his death, she doesn't seem to have any of the minor characteristics that raise the hackles. She just looks like a moderately attractive female. Adding those subtle cues are what really give a character punch. Check out Jason Chan's work.

    And although I'm not certain you have the distances correct between the pillars, I'm impressed with the architecture... very nice. There are some really nice bits all over the image, in fact... they're just overshadowed by several instances of a lack of planning.

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  8. #7
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    Ok, GREAT crits people, wow I really appreciate all the time and effort given... this is the kind of stuff I need to hear.

    Now, the information I was too tired to give last night, which might make some things make sense now.


    Everything in here is from a stock photo reference. Not one photo, though -- but I slavishly stuck to the lighting in the 'arches' originally because, well... I'm just too new to really understand how to do lighting.

    The figure I just drew, and tried to make one light source -- and believe me, I totally realized there is ambient and then 1 source in the background. I didn't really know what to do for that on the figure.

    The stairs were a totally different photo reference, but had the same general vantage point. I can of course work on them. They seemed wonky to me - but I just don't have the skills yet to 'know' what to do.

    Everyone is right about lack of planning - in the sense that, I don't know about 95% of what I should be planning -- so, doing pieces like this and messing up is HOW I am learning at the moment. So believe it or not, crits like this are teaching me

    I really really like the crop you made, I think it improves the atmosphere and what I wanted to get across a lot. I just didn't really want to crop out the foreground of the original because I thought my best painting techniques were in the front LOL! That's so retarded, I know

    I see what you mean about the face, and the tiny angle you knocked off in the paintover really improved it!

    About how to make her more wicked - that is a really good point. I wasn't sure I wanted to make her necessarily evil, or 'headed for doom' I was actually thinking of some kind of S&M kind of thing - but... that doesn't mean that has to translate. o.O LOL I just wanted her to look pleasing and beckoning -- kind of like you'd have a glamour put on your to even follow her that way -- does that make sense? Hence all the blur -- but I can remove that of course since it really seems to bother everyone!

    I'm all self-taught and haven't been doing this very long at all, but it's people like you guys who are helping me get better Thank you so much everyone for taking the time to look and give me your honest opinion! I will work on this today and see if I can't make it better with my meager skills

    “It is enough that we set out to mold the motley stuff of life into some form of our own choosing; when we do, the performance is itself the wage.”
    -Learned Hand

    "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed." ~Albert Einstein

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  9. #8
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    Ok I made some improvements (I Hope!) based off the excellent crits I got this morning. I cropped it, but was too lazy (for now) to add any more canvas to the left. I may still, but that's a lot of work that I didn't feel like doing just yet this morning. My kids were on my nerves!

    I tried to fix the stairs, how do they look now? I also worked on the highlights on the figure and her dress - I like this version a lot better so far.



    Thanks so much guys Need all the help I can get!

    I think I am finished with this one though - I don't know if I can look at it anymore, but I sure learned a lot Thanks so much for all your help!

    Last edited by Nerahla; June 14th, 2006 at 12:41 PM.
    “It is enough that we set out to mold the motley stuff of life into some form of our own choosing; when we do, the performance is itself the wage.”
    -Learned Hand

    "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed." ~Albert Einstein

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  10. #9
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    The face looks a bit 'Picasso'-ish to me. Her right side would, I think be less visible. Hope you don't mind ... I'm new at this, so I'm not sure of the ettiquette, but ...


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  11. #10
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    Nah its ok, other people mentioned it too -- it had to do with the fact that I screwed up the grid royally when I began.

    C'est la vie, it's how we learn.

    Here is an update: kinda a final actually



    The model (stock photo) that I used really has prominent cheekbones. I even did an overlay to compare because of all the comments I was getting and with this new version, they match exactly. So... *shrug* hehehehe

    “It is enough that we set out to mold the motley stuff of life into some form of our own choosing; when we do, the performance is itself the wage.”
    -Learned Hand

    "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed." ~Albert Einstein

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  12. #11
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    Tinkering with hue/saturation - I think this is better.



    “It is enough that we set out to mold the motley stuff of life into some form of our own choosing; when we do, the performance is itself the wage.”
    -Learned Hand

    "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed." ~Albert Einstein

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  13. #12
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    Uh... you still haven't repainted the face... THAT'S how you learn, by trying to fix your mistake, not just by recognizing it.

    EDIT: Just saw your overlay comment above. Even if you're lining it up properly with the ref, you're still doing something to it to make it look somewhat skewed.

    Last edited by Jason Rainville; June 14th, 2006 at 09:36 PM.
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  14. #13
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    well, at this point it's nearly identical to the ref - so, maybe the poor gal has a skewed face or something. I promise not to tell her, I don't think she browses these forums

    Just for you, omg I must be insane I'm so sick of this image now LOL
    (that one up there might have updated automatically, I named it the same name)

    Hows it look now?



    Last edited by Nerahla; June 14th, 2006 at 10:42 PM.
    “It is enough that we set out to mold the motley stuff of life into some form of our own choosing; when we do, the performance is itself the wage.”
    -Learned Hand

    "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed." ~Albert Einstein

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  15. #14
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    References are not infallible! Particularly photographic ones. It's possible that there is something about that pose or that model that's not reflected (or simply not working) here. Maybe you can show us the ref for comparison.

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  16. #15
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    Well it's not identical anymore, after I went back in the post up above, I added cheek to fluff her up a bit. LOL But, it looks better anyway

    “It is enough that we set out to mold the motley stuff of life into some form of our own choosing; when we do, the performance is itself the wage.”
    -Learned Hand

    "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed." ~Albert Einstein

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  17. #16
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    I'm clearly insane:



    “It is enough that we set out to mold the motley stuff of life into some form of our own choosing; when we do, the performance is itself the wage.”
    -Learned Hand

    "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed." ~Albert Einstein

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  18. #17
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    Keep on at it - it's getting much better. I think there's a pain barrier to break through. Her right eye still looks just a little high (or if it is that much higher because her face is tilted, then the eyes should follow the angle of the tilt). Our brains pick up on very subtle changes with eyes. By the way - I think this thread has helped me enourmously - I think I see a lot of the crits you've received helpful for my work.

    I'm on DevArt too
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  19. #18
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    Can we see the ref, maybe?

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  20. #19
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    Well at this point I'm done with it - I had to change the way she looked to get her to 'look right' to everyone else. And, ultimately, I didn't want to make it look like her - I wanted a body to use. If I show the ref now, everyone will assume I want it to look like her, and I do not. (and she doesn't )

    here is my first WIP -- you can see the underlying sketch that I did straight from the grid. What's wrong with it there - because its obvious I must have messed up from the get go.





    this was it after about an hour of blending



    I dunno, I think I may have screwed up somewhere in the meantime.

    The contours were right, but I did things to it I think messed it up later on in the process. I made her eyes bigger, for one. I made her mouth closed and lips plumper (personal preference, just didn't like the skinny lips)

    At this point I'm wondering what to do when using a reference now that I don't really want the face to look the same.

    Last edited by Nerahla; June 15th, 2006 at 09:37 AM.
    “It is enough that we set out to mold the motley stuff of life into some form of our own choosing; when we do, the performance is itself the wage.”
    -Learned Hand

    "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed." ~Albert Einstein

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  21. #20
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    Maybe it's the right eye that is a bit too high or at least that is part of the problem with the face. That thingy (keg?) above her head keeps distracting me and there is nothing up there to look at. I think it is competing with the stairwell for attention.

    That hand is in a strange place in the composition and was in a better position when theincredibleandy recomposed the image. Right now it is very close to the edge and pointing right to the corner of the picture.

    *Snap!*

    "An object at rest cannot be stopped!" - The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight
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  22. #21
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    It looks like the ref's head is slightly tilted toward the camera.

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  23. #22
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    So, I had this idea:



    hehe, I think this one is better -- even though - ya know, I was pretty dang proud of her dress -- it was the first real fabric or even clothing I've ever done. I thought it was OK.

    “It is enough that we set out to mold the motley stuff of life into some form of our own choosing; when we do, the performance is itself the wage.”
    -Learned Hand

    "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed." ~Albert Einstein

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  24. #23
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    its a shame you had to basicly start over. in a few post back i think if you fixed the prespective of the steps and the "man hand"(the foreshorting was way off on the fingers, i think) you might be gettting some were.

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  25. #24
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    OK, the new version creeps me out. The legs don't immediately jump out at you, but when you do notice them, they startle.

    That's a good thing.

    The lighting is still looking muddy and the perspective is still a bit off (column distances), but it's a more effective piece.

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  26. #25
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    God, why didn't I show the ref of the colums? I'm such a dork - here let me shrink down a copy really quick -- you can totally see where my issue with light is coming from. I... uhh, totally don't know how to handle light LOL



    There must be a window or something off to the left.. that isn't the opening.

    Whoever said this piece suffers from severe lack of planning was so right! Haha!

    I'm trying to make thumbs of my next one so this doesnt happen again.

    “It is enough that we set out to mold the motley stuff of life into some form of our own choosing; when we do, the performance is itself the wage.”
    -Learned Hand

    "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed." ~Albert Einstein

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  27. #26
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    Ahh! I didn't realize the last column is only half a column!

    Now it makes more sense.

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