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August 20th, 2006 #1
All right, I'll dare... (no, I'm not drunk)
After some time of lurking and posting here and there, I've decided to post two of my recent works.
I'm a teacher, artist and mum from Germany (percentages vary. Right now, it'd be around 45/5/50) and I've done a bit of work for RPG and card games here and there. For some time now, I feel I've hit a total stump. I really want to take my art to a higher level, but feel I can't quite soo how to get there. I have huge problems with perspective, including foreshortening and dramatic lighting - anything that requires 3D thinking. Which is why I've comfortably fallen on types of images where I can skirt the issues I have trouble with.
Here's two of my recent-ish pics (-ish because I haven't done much in the last half year). The first is my first attempt at a realistic digital portrait (done from a refence photo of actor Josh Hartnett, but modified). The second is a watercolour of mine (my medium of choice, I guess).
Any input is appreciated.
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August 20th, 2006 #3
I didn't use any black - do you mean that the dark areas look too dark, or that the shadows are too desaturated? I used mostly purple tones for the shadows.
Where would you put the green? Highlights? Mid-tones?
Impressive stuff, by the way. And very helpful head tutorial. Even if it's mainly a matter of, "How does he do that?" I have trouble blocking in colours and thinking of forms, not lines. My work is usually rather lineart heavy.
August 20th, 2006 #4
August 20th, 2006 #5
Les get to the point .In the first update.The ear looks odd as you mentioned the perspective is wrong its more side ways than it should be to be exact.His left eye its like its much deeper in its socket than the right one.Lighten up the shadow around that eye to make it come out.ANd the placement of the sternomastoid is wrong too.I cnat find anything worng on teh second pic.The compostion is storng.
Keep working is all I would say.
Take care and keep painting and posting.
August 20th, 2006 #6
These pieces show that you definitely have a good basis as an artist and you've chosen the right place to further your abilities.
I think the first piece is solid, but I think the highlights and darkest shadows stand out as being a bit too desaturated.
As for the second piece, you obviously have a good handling of watercolours. The cloth looks quite awkward in places - as if it's cutting right across the forms rather than folding around them. A few quick studies from a catalogue would sort it out. Getting the drapery right will also help the foreshortening look more believable on the arms, too.
In terms of more general suggestions, I'd recommend Andrew Loomis' excellent 'Drawing the Head and Hands' and 'Figure Drawing for All its Worth' as THE place to start if you want to know about figure construction, foreshortening, planes etc. His section on head construction in particular should be of real benefit to you. All his books are available online as PDFs. Just Google them.
Finally, if you've identified the weak areas that are halting your progress then the only thing to do is dive and try and get better at them. Speaking from my own experiences, it can be really de-motivating to step outside your comfort zone and realise there are so many areas where you need to improve, but once you start to work on your weaknesses and see yourself progressing, you'll wonder why you put off learning these things.
Hope some of this helps. Looking forward to seeing your progress.
August 20th, 2006 #7
I quite like the first one, particularly the subtlety of the scars around his mouth.
The second one doesn't particularly appeal to me as a drawing (perhaps because I'm not that big on fantasy art), but additionally the colors are so washed out that there's just no contrast between the figures, their clothes, the grass, the sky, and the rocks on the ground.
August 20th, 2006 #8
Wow, what a wealth of input. Thanks a lot, guys!
I've changed the skintones and shadows in the first now; also changed the ear and sternomastoid.
About the second pic - the clothes are supposed to be rather unflexible, creased hide in places, rather than cloth everywhere. I know which folds you're referring to, oishiiniku, but I'm rather attached to them for some reason. With watercolour, I often don't model very closely but go for a general look.
As for the colours - that's a lot of personal preference, I guess. Coming from watercolour, I like muted colours, and don't use as much contrast as others. I'm aware this is in part my aversion for dramatic lighting, though I generally use more contrast in my digital pics. A much more fogiving medium.
August 20th, 2006 #9
August 20th, 2006 #10
If you're afraid of 3D form a good way to get into it is to make yourself do five dynamic action poses from imagination every day to warm up.
I also enjoy pausing dvds to do pose and lighting studies. The trick is to just do 50 sketches and then throw them in the bin without looking. Who cares if they're ugly? When you've drawn a thousand dynamic action studies they won't be ugly anymore because you'll be well practiced. Nice looking work by the way.
August 20th, 2006 #11
Hey Goldseven, I always loved your work on the Comicforum, unfortunately I still cant find anything to critique on.
Oh, maybe this: if it wasnt mentioned before, the neck and the and drapery below look rather flat on the porttrait, because the value changes so little.
August 20th, 2006 #12
I think both these pieces are great!
But I did come here cuz of that little add blurb asking us to come give crits, so here's some nitpics!
In the one with the elves, some of the shapes are kinda wierd,
like on the white haired one specifically. Where his neck connects to his head,
it looks like the neck sticks out alot more that maybe it should, or the back of his head is really fat but the face is not.
Also his left leg looks a bit akwardly connected to his hip,
also as if it sticks out to the side(our right) more than it should.
But yeah, I like your painting style,
good looking stuff.
August 20th, 2006 #13
I like your style, and the watercolour is lovely. It's such a nice medium to work with.
If you're having a hard time with dramatic lighting and contrasts, maybe working in black and white a little might help? Doing some Sin City-style art, which is all contrast and dramatic lighting, might help you to find a nice in-between place. You're off to a fantastic start, though, wow.
As for foreshortening, I found drawing my own body helped with that a lot. Looking down and drawing your own legs from your point of view makes for good practice. I personally like your colour choices.