hmm, interesting goal "to make a piece look more professional"
alright, so professionals are about making money, right? so typically what they'll do is make a artwork more appealing to the general audience. for anthropomorphic characters, what we typically see in the main stream are dynamic proportions. conceptually, you'll often see something clever, funny, dramatic, or nostalgic. Marvel is stand out on all these tenets and very popular, Pixar is a good lean, and we also love our dark broody tragedy / dutiful warrior shit. with the serious stuff we love dynamic and foggy lighting with tried and true color pallets, orange blue white. accomplishing any of those things should move this lynx knight closer in that direction. professionals are also about high level craftsmanship, so just do all of those things really good.
thanks for the reply killnpc, I was waiting replies in the lines of "toes are bad rendered", but your response gave me a lot to think about, specially about my approach even before starting a painting.
do you have any comments as far as critiques on painting it self? (soft edges, specular reflection or that kind of thing, I fear my understanding of fundamentals might be hindering potential jobs)
sure, so fundamentally
A. in the break outs, i'm trying to position the light for each of your highlights. you'll want to pay attention to your light sources and try your best to hit surfaces using the same reference point.
B. you'll want to think of how neighboring scale and form relates to one another to balance and harmonize an overall form, all throughout the process
C. break your process into step to simplify the next pass, here i'm first focusing on shape/form lit from directly ahead, then the primary light source, then secondary sources and reflecting planes for shiny stuff
Hi! What kind of job do you target? The artwork looks like an illustration/marketing artwork to me. Generally it looks solid, but mainly 2 things drag it down for me.
I think the underlying pose is not convincing. If I place my hand to chin, upper arm rests on side or elbow rest on something. Animators often act out their animations. Maybe do the same with poses, see if it feels comfortable and check in a mirror. And use references of course. But maybe you already do this.
The other aspect is lighting. It makes the shapes of the design visible and the surfaces react to it. If you choose a light from camera or a very diffuse omnidirectional one, chances are everything looks a bit flat, which has happened here imo. I would look into different lighting setups.
Also some more construction details would be nice, like trims of the gambeson and some bands to tie it together. I would source from references here.
In case the work is meant as a character concept: With concept art, I would expect various options explored, narrowed down and iterated on until the final design is met, maybe then it is rendered it in detail. In this case I would expect to see the design/thinking process too. For me, often times rendered concepts lose some character in order to look super polished.
Keep it up :)
Thanks for all the replies, I'll reply shortly with the suggestions
This is more like a experiment, going as far as I can go in terms of "realism", starting from a loose concept to a finished result. I'd like to work in concept art though. I was focusing so much on easy is to read the silouette from far that I kind of forgot to thinkg about if the pose was natural or not, I'll take notes about that next time.
I really like the idea of exploring options and showing the evolution, unfortunately much of the progress was deleted. I'll definetely have that in mind next time.
I did end up with some fixes here is a list of them:
_ Included a secondary Key light (from the left)
_Reduced soft edges on several spots (knees, sleeves,etc)
_Choosed overcast light as main Key light
_Reduced highlights in to accomodate one main key light
_Added occlusion shadow to several areas
_Added bounced light to armor (right slevee and legs)
_Sword now is one handed instead of two.
_Added several gambeson details and construction details.
I did save those 2 progress shots!
There is certainly a high level of rendering skill in this piece. You clearly have a understanding of textures, based off the sheen of the armour and the fuzziness of the fur. However, in terms of making it loom proffessional, so like the official concept art you get for an animated movie or video game, you would need to fix the posing. As it is, the pose looks stiff and slightly unbalanced. This is supposed to be an actual knight in shining armour, so as a general connotation, they are strong and loyal, which means the feline's pose should reflect this. They need to be dynamic. However, maybe the character's personality is the complete opposite of what the audience expect; maybe they're very timid and trying to act brave whilst wearing the armour, but you can still see the fear in their stance. This all depend son the character's personality. It helps to try to portray the character's personality, or just current state of being through their pose. Break the character down into basic shapes, emphasize the ones that better represent the character (triangles for dynamic, brave, cunning characters as an example of shape theory) and try exaggerating their pose a bit. Make sure you can do the pose yourself first. You could even draw your character over a picture of yourself doing the pose. Try taking certain elements that bets represent the characters, personality and emphasize them. For example, have the paw firmly gripping the chin, with the digits having joints to bend (not enough to make it look like a hand, keep the anthropomorphism in there,) with the 'pinkie' stuck out in a self-confident way. Or the hip being thrust out to the point the torso bends, in order to show the flamboyant, confident side of the character. Or have the eyebrow furrow so much it heavily wrinkles the face, to show the sheer determination, dedication focus and drive the character has, show they're calculating. These are just examples; it depends on what the character's actual personality is. I think working on the pose to portray the emotions and/or traits of the character will make it a little more professional because when consumers look at concept art of a character, they need to connect with it immediately. They need to establish an emotional connection with the character right away. And if that character feels bland or is hard to decipher, they may get turned off from whatever the character is meant to represent. Especially if it's used for marketing, and not say within a video game as a character profile. I hope this helps.
I think this is a great piece! Good work on this.
Making it more "professional" is a pretty loose term but I will speak from a game industry side perspective.
I believe in general artists looking at your work tend to like it when you put in additional thought/supplementary images with your piece.
This could be a variety of things, such as expressions, action poses and prop callouts.
Another thing I would add is more presentation. You could add some information about yourself and a way to contact you (email, website), or at the very least a signature somewhere.