Character concept illustrations - Looking for Critique (Preview is squashed)

polycounter lvl 2

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  • Macattackk
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    Macattackk polycounter lvl 6
    I think the biggest thing that needs to be worked on is the form and structure of your work. It feels a bit doughy and blurry. Work on adding more angular structures and cleaner lines in your work. Also the perspective seems to be off in places. In the second piece, the door in the background is tipping to the right which feels strange. The vanishing points with the perspective don't seem correct.

    I hope this critique is helpful and specific enough.
  • Two Listen
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    Two Listen polycounter lvl 9
    I agree with most of Macattackk's crits.  Most notably I think these lack a good strong foundation, and their execution seems blurry and uncertain.  I can see the intent (gentle forest spriggan thing, confident spellsword looking fella, etc), but I can only see that because of certain obvious things in the pictures (sword guy's smile, spriggan thing's eyes are closed and there's a flower that doesn't look like it's about to die/wither/etc), rather than because the whole thing really executes that well.

    Looking at some of your past work though, I do think there's clear improvement, so that's something to feel good about.

    I might recommend some things like loose pencil sketches to try to help get your form down better.  Try to focus on the core elements of the body, its bone structure and the subtle things about a form that makes it appear a certain way, rather than the obvious things.  Something else I recommend a lot is to try and use a harder brush more often, especially to clean up and define some of your edges.  As an example - this piece of yours from last year uses it looks like primarily a harder brush, and I think a lot of it registers more clear and confident (though forms are still a bit of an issue):

    http://polycount.com/discussion/comment/2403371/#Comment_2403371

    Just some thoughts, if you would like me to elaborate on anything further let me know.
  • Stygias
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    Stygias polycounter lvl 2
    Thanks for the crit macattackk and two listen, your feedback is really helpful!
  • Stygias
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    Stygias polycounter lvl 2
    Here's my most recent finished painting, any further crit would be appreciated :)


  • Two Listen
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    Two Listen polycounter lvl 9
    I like the subject matter - I think the main issues with this are its values and lighting.  The shadow cast by various bits of the image don't match to any one light source, and the shadows on all materials - be it grass, metal, or cloth, all get crushed pretty hardcore into obscurity.  I think bits of the armor are nice, but the non-armor parts of his outfit seem less thought out or realistic (his legs, basically).

    You'll also want to be careful of how much contrast you have, and where it is in the image.  At the moment my eye is most drawn to the blade of the sword in his hand, but this is actually one of the least interesting parts of the image.  I think it alright to have it be one of your points of interest, the swords/blood/etc, but spicing up and using your lighting to better define the guy himself I think would be to your benefit.

    Hope you don't mind a paintover to help get my points across a bit better, desaturated for the sake of pointing out the value differences:



  • Stygias
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    Stygias polycounter lvl 2
    Mind the paintover? I actually get a little excited when I get a good paintover haha

    Thank you again for the crit! I will definitely go back and rework the painting at some point using your feedback and paintover. 
  • Stygias
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    Stygias polycounter lvl 2
    Another painting I just finished. 
    Feedback will be appreciated :)

  • Two Listen
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    Two Listen polycounter lvl 9
    I always hesitate to say it, because I'm pretty sure somebody said it to me at one point years ago and it pissed me off for like a week, but I feel like at the moment you're tackling pieces that are too complicated.  You're doing things with a lot of different parts, a lot of different materials, multiple light sources, fantasy subjects with reference that might be hard to find, etc.

    The things you're trying to paint aren't going to sell the painting, the painting will sell the things you're trying to paint.

    I'm not saying like, go paint an apple.  That shit's boring.  But maybe instead of like, a intense necromancer lady with fancy armor & weapon reanimating a corpse in a forest with teal fire magic, maybe just a skull for starters. 

    What are some artists that inspire you?  What types of things make up your artstation favorites and reference folders?  Can you take an isolated element from one of your pieces - lady's face, or the zombie head, and execute that with a fidelity that makes you happy and achieves your goals compared to your inspiration?  If not, doing that x50 in matters of complication for a piece will probably not assist you as quickly as just tackling one, more straightforward thing.
  • Stygias
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    Stygias polycounter lvl 2
    Thank you for the wake up call. Some part of me knew the painting was still lacking, however I just didn't know how to push it. I was also aware I needed to study more, but I was also too afraid and lazy to bring myself to try and recreate an artists painting. 

    "The things you're trying to paint aren't going to sell the painting, the painting will sell the things you're trying to paint." I will be remembering this quote for a long time. 

    I just want you to know that your comment has helped me realise how much I need to knuckle down and keep working, studying and learning to improve.
  • Two Listen
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    Two Listen polycounter lvl 9
    Well hey, that's a good attitude to have. 

    And just to clarify, I'm not suggesting you need to go find a painting and do a master study recreating it specifically or anything of that nature.  If you want to, great, I don't think it's a bad idea.  But, truthfully I think in my lifetime I've done...maybe like one or two 1:1 studies, I find them boring, and doing a 1:1 takes a lot of the problem solving out of the process (for me, anyway)... which is a huge part of the learning for me.  I also find that a lot of times, people will do direct referenced studies, have them turn out ok (sometimes for a long time), and then as soon as they have to do something without a direct reference they flop - because they're used to having certain key aspects of something laid out for them already.

    But I do think that study is very likely the most important aspect of learning to paint.  Mindful studying is a skill in itself, learning how to take something apart and understand what bits matter

    A coworker showed me some good stuff from an artist using references in an indirect way, I'll try to find it and drop it in here in the near future, my google fu is failing me.

  • Stygias
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    Stygias polycounter lvl 2
    Thanks, I try to keep an open mind. I understand that it's needed to be able to improve.

    I look froward to seeing this video :smile:
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