Critique My Painting

Zato-1Zato-1 Registered User
edited March 2010 in Artist's Corner
Hello there,

Been lurking for a while and noticed you people know your art, so gimme some advice with this, if you please =) .

smallpaintingcloseup.jpg

This is my first digital painting (indeed painting, period.) I've always only done by-hand sketching with a pen or pencil. So I realize it looks uneven, and that's what I'm looking to fix: Know how to paint beings.

My main goal : To be able to paint Character concept design, whether I do it in the form of paintings or sketches, but I much prefer painting because it just looks so much better for character concepts.

What I don't care about :
Realism: I don't want to do personal portraits or anything, more along the lines of those messy Prince of Persia : Warrior Within concept paintings. Of course I want them to look believable. Look at Dianae's work Hanagmori on Deviant Art and you'll get my Ultimate GOAL! The only reason this is a man is because that's the easiest I can sketch and I just wanted to get into the coloring part quickly.
backgrounds: Not now, probably not ever.

So help me out here, mainly with colors, tones and dark/bright areas.

Thanks in advance!

My Deviant Art: http://mosabali.deviantart.com
Come say hi !
Zato-1 on

Posts

  • KendeathwalkerKendeathwalker Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    You should check out the tutorials sticked thread and utilize google to track down tutorials and reccomended books. Learning to paint is a rinse and repeat thing.

    Kendeathwalker on
  • MustangMustang Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I don't want to do personal portraits or anything, more along the lines of those messy Prince of Persia : Warrior Within concept paintings. Of course I want them to look believable. Look at Dianae's work Hanagmori on Deviant Art and you'll get my Ultimate GOAL! The only reason this is a man is because that's the easiest I can sketch and I just wanted to get into the coloring part quickly.

    I know exactly where you're coming from, because I started at the same place, but unfortunately the guys who can lay down colours and values quickly have spent years doing everything and anything to improve their set of skills, including boring personal portraits. You really have to be open to trying almost anything to improve yourself. Concept painting is about speed, but you can only do art well quickly when you have a very strong understanding of art fundamentals. What I'm saying is that you need to care very strongly about fundamentals before focussing in on one area.

    EDIT: Wait a minute, I'm confused. Were you talking about this?
    You don't want to do portraits, yet your Ultimate GOAL is to do portraits?

    Mustang on
  • Zato-1Zato-1 Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Mustang wrote: »
    EDIT: Wait a minute, I'm confused. Were you talking about this?
    You don't want to do portraits, yet your Ultimate GOAL is to do portraits?

    Haha, yeah I understand how that may seem confusing. I mean her skills are my ultimate goal. Like painting without reference, smooth blending (she kind of explains that but I couldn't do it right) and hair.. OH MY GOD my painted hair is TERRIBLE. And even mythical creatures sometimes need hair!

    Zato-1 on
    My Deviant Art: http://mosabali.deviantart.com
    Come say hi !
  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Learning to paint without reference:

    Step 1 - Paint from reference.

    rts on
    skype: rtschutter
  • AMKAMK Registered User
    edited March 2010
    I'm impressed, considering how it is, as you say, your first painting when all you've been doing is sketches.

    I'm feeling a bit of an manga feel to it, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

    Your background is pretty good, but the background on the right side is much different than the one on the left. In particular, the right side is lighter, but also a portion of it has a shadowy "pattern". I like the "pattern" but why is it only THERE? It ceases in the upper left quarter of the right side and doesn't appear on the left side at all. Also, on the left side, you used a dark teal where you used a green on the right side.

    In regards to the actual person, It's pretty nice. I can only suggest you work on making the hair more... consistent? Like, in some parts of the hair, the ends of the hair end finely, like real hair would. However, in other parts, the hair ends in more blunt, rounded ends. Take a look at the bangs above the right eye (our right, not his right) for example. Do you see what I mean.

    I mean, at least you can paint with some semblance to reality, unlike me. You can only improve!

    AMK on
    Find out what it feels like to have head eaten? Y/N?
  • Zato-1Zato-1 Registered User
    edited March 2010
    cakemikz wrote: »
    Learning to paint without reference:

    Step 1 - Paint from reference.

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.. That made my night, man. But shit, I hate looking at stuff and sketching, I can only imagine doing it with painting would be even worse for me.
    I'll try though.
    Damn I'm still laughing.
    AMK wrote:
    Your background is pretty good, but the background on the right side is much different than the one on the left. In particular, the right side is lighter, but also a portion of it has a shadowy "pattern". I like the "pattern" but why is it only THERE? It ceases in the upper left quarter of the right side and doesn't appear on the left side at all. Also, on the left side, you used a dark teal where you used a green on the right side.

    In regards to the actual person, It's pretty nice. I can only suggest you work on making the hair more... consistent? Like, in some parts of the hair, the ends of the hair end finely, like real hair would. However, in other parts, the hair ends in more blunt, rounded ends. Take a look at the bangs above the right eye (our right, not his right) for example. Do you see what I mean.

    Thanks =) . This portion of the painting is a closeup so I can display my strokes. The actual piece is bigger (zoomed out) and behind him is a star overlayed on the "wall". I'll post it later so you can see what I mean.
    I SUCK at backgrounds so I tried some photoshop-fu to make up for it.

    Also, you're right I do need to fix the ends of the hair. Any advice on highlighting ? Mine always seems off.
    how do I achieve THIS level of awesome in hair?

    Zato-1 on
    My Deviant Art: http://mosabali.deviantart.com
    Come say hi !
  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Cake's advice still stands. If you want to draw awesome hair, draw hair from life. The experience you will gain will help you draw from imagination. There is no shortcut to being a talented illustrator, cartooning or otherwise. You have to pay your dues, which means lots of practice.

    NibCrom on
  • MustangMustang Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Nib wrote:
    You have to pay your dues, which means lots of practice.
    Or you could just say "Fuck it, I'm going to be a conceptual artist!"

    Mustang on
  • LexxyLexxy Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Zato - How do you think that artist got so good at drawing hair? I'm honestly curious. Do you really think there is some magical technique that enables people to bypass life/reference drawings and draw realistically without a reference? Most of the people here will agree with cake on this. You've obviously got ability, you just really need to work on fundamentals and draw from life (or at least good references) or you're going to be stuck drawing wierd manga-pseudorealistic hybrids.
    Mustang wrote: »
    Nib wrote:
    You have to pay your dues, which means lots of practice.
    Or you could just say "Fuck it, I'm going to be a conceptual artist!"

    This excuse works better when you do abstracts or formalism or work with nontraditional mediums like bicycles and plywood.

    Lexxy on
  • Zato-1Zato-1 Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Lexxy wrote:
    Do you really think there is some magical technique that enables people to bypass life/reference drawings and draw realistically without a reference?

    That's pretty much what I was hoping. Like I said before, I'm very bad at sitting in front of something and copying its attributes. I can only imagine I'd be much worse at it with painting.

    Seems like the magic shortcut doesn't exist. Time to find someone with great hair then :( .

    Many thanks to everyone!

    Zato-1 on
    My Deviant Art: http://mosabali.deviantart.com
    Come say hi !
  • .Tripwire..Tripwire. Firman Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Sorry I don't mean to hijack your thread but this seems like a good place for advice:

    I'd like to start building my own cars, think of aston martins or maseratis to get an idea of what I'm going for. But I don't want to learn about all the boring parts and stuff inside the car; I'm not trying to be a mechanic here. If you guys could maybe just give me some good tips on the best kind of oil pan and what I should paint the body with (and maybe a few pointers and how to make it structurally safe) then I'd be super appreciative!

    ----

    I know you're not trying to be snide but that is really how your first post reads! Your preemptive defense against learning how "reality" works in illustration communicates either a frustration from failed attempts or frustration at people suggesting it. If it's the first scenario, that's ok! Perseverance and practice are the simple answer and you already have a strong basis from which to develop these skills! If it's the latter, that is an unfortunate perspective to take especially since you have a strong basis from which to develop those skills should you relent to the advice of perseverance and practice!

    Illustration is so about reference it's not even funny. Everyone you know of who seemingly pulls amazing looking images out of their imaginations is either working with reference or has worked from reference relevant to that subject matter a painful number of times.

    We could give you some specific tips on colour theory and values (you know they teach year long courses as introductions to these subjects, right?) but without contextual observation you're just going to be applying superficial changes and learning visual shortcuts. And visual shortcuts are like, the absolute worst way to get good at concocting characters in your imagination unless you want every character to look like the exact same person from the same angle. Visual shortcuts are narrow in their application. But if you spend time drawing/painting hair from reference, there are realizations that start to click along the way and your understanding of how hair behaves based on lighting, based on haircut, based on head shape, based on wind, etc. develops competently. This is an understanding that would take us walls and walls of text to try and detail to you without any guarantee that it will register, or you could learn it naturally through observation and build up your own familiarities.

    So I can't speak for everyone but I'm not going to try to do that work for you. Put in the time!

    Edit: You already posted a concession before my post so now I look like a real ass! But I think we can all sympathize with wanting those shortcuts. But understand you already have some "shortcuts" working in your favour. You're recognizing what we're saying, and you've got your skills better developed than the average person trying these things for the first time. Those fast-track the process and now all that's left is that stupid practice stuff that we all have dreaded at some point or another. But the more you keep it up the more you will notice its effects as you draw, and practice will become a happy chore because you'll feel like you're always getting something out of it. Or at least that's how it is for me.


    Edit #2:
    Zato-1 wrote: »
    Any advice on highlighting ? Mine always seems off.
    how do I achieve THIS level of awesome in hair?

    This reminds me of another sort of shortcut! There is no rule stating that you cannot use someone else's art as reference! (Just don't copy it directly and then release it as your own work) Carefully study that illustration and the ones that impress you most. Try to pick out brushstrokes and techniques that you can apply to your own work. Even the most successful artists will often admit that they've 'copied' styles from other inspirations, and if someone's already done some of the legwork in figuring out the most effective visual shorthand for things they observe in reality, there's nothing stopping you from absorbing that same information. But again, this has most effect when combined with an observational understanding of the subjects you're dealing with from reality.

    .Tripwire. on
    sigi_moe.pngsigi_deviantart.pngsigi_twitter.pngsigi_steam.pngsigi_tumblr.png
  • Zato-1Zato-1 Registered User
    edited March 2010
    .Tripwire. wrote:
    Edit: You already posted a concession before my post so now I look like a real ass!

    Nah man, you speak the truth. I looked it over and realized I was doing what you said. Not intentionally mind you, but my theory was, if I didn't ask about this "magic shortcut" and later found out it existed I would've killed myself. So better ask early on, which is what I did.
    .Tripwire. wrote:
    This reminds me of another sort of shortcut! There is no rule stating that you cannot use someone else's art as reference! (Just don't copy it directly and then release it as your own work) Carefully study that illustration and the ones that impress you most. Try to pick out brushstrokes and techniques that you can apply to your own work.

    See! Like that. That seems like such obvious advice to you but it didn't even occur to me. That will help a lot.

    I'm here for critique and advice, not a pat on the back. Be as harsh as you need to be, peeps, it can only help!

    Zato-1 on
    My Deviant Art: http://mosabali.deviantart.com
    Come say hi !
  • winter_combat_knightwinter_combat_knight Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    What specifically don't you like about using reference?

    Do you feel like you're cheating?
    You hate looking away from your drawing?
    It's hard to observe the subtle details?
    It gets boring?

    ???

    Using a reference doesn't have to be a chore, and even the best artists use them. When painting the dude in your original post, a reference can be a simple self taken photo of yourself. It's just there as a guide to help you make your drawing more accurate.
    Also, most professional artists i know ssill do studies from life (or photo) in their spare time as it helps keep their observational skills up)

    winter_combat_knight on
  • ScosglenScosglen Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I'm glad everyone else already beat most of the stupid out of you before I read the thread.

    I find it to be the case most often that people who dislike working from observation are usually bad at working from observation. It's little wonder why they avoid doing something that is sure to produce frustration, failure, and ugly work.

    The problem is that failing and getting frustrated are how you know you're learning something. I think working from observation becomes much more satisfying once you get past the initial missteps and start producing work that you are happy with.

    Scosglen on
  • MustangMustang Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I don't know why people avoid it, working without reference is like flying blind. I'm doing an art at the moment that I can only reference very limited stuff and it's a total pain in the ass.

    Mustang on
  • Zato-1Zato-1 Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Scosglen wrote: »
    I'm glad everyone else already beat most of the stupid out of you before I read the thread.
    .

    "Beat most of the stupid"? I can't resist cursing the crap out of you for being an idiot. Read the thread first. I believe my questions are explained clearly.
    Scosglen wrote: »
    I find it to be the case most often that people who dislike working from observation are usually bad at working from observation. It's little wonder why they avoid doing something that is sure to produce frustration, failure, and ugly work.

    That's exactly it, and why I said you should read the thread first. It always frustrates me when my outcome looks nothing like what I keep staring at and yet if I turn away and just remember it, it looks acceptable, but only with sketches. I can see it'll take me a while before I can do that with paintings.
    You hate looking away from your drawing?
    It gets boring?

    Those. When I look away I lose focus somehow. And the more I do it the more boring it gets.

    I'm already started on a new painting, with reference, this'll be hair mostly, cousin It or something :D. I'll post it here when it's done.

    Zato-1 on
    My Deviant Art: http://mosabali.deviantart.com
    Come say hi !
  • ScosglenScosglen Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Zato-1 wrote: »
    Scosglen wrote: »
    I'm glad everyone else already beat most of the stupid out of you before I read the thread.
    .

    "Beat most of the stupid"? I can't resist cursing the crap out of you for being an idiot. Read the thread first. I believe my questions are explained clearly.....

    Please don't go out of your way to get offended. I did read the thread. That's how I knew you had some pretty ridiculous assumptions about learning how to paint! Your questions are indeed clear, but they are also beside the point, which is what people have been telling you.

    That's exactly it, and why I said you should read the thread first. It always frustrates me when my outcome looks nothing like what I keep staring at and yet if I turn away and just remember it, it looks acceptable, but only with sketches. I can see it'll take me a while before I can do that with paintings.

    You said you hate doing it. What am I missing here? Working observationally is a skill. You need to work at it to get better. Improving your observation skills greatly informs any endeavors from imagination. Basically I'm saying grow up and eat your vegetables.

    Scosglen on
  • XALXAL Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    To draw/paint from your mind with excellent results is the product of years and years of practice and study from observation (and even then, very very few can do it successfully without the aid of reference photos and studies).

    The better your understanding of what you want to paint/draw from the real world, the easier and better time you'll have drawing it from your head. Working observationally is key to bring out what's in your mind to the page.

    And to be fair (in Scos' defense), you did sound pretty damn ridiculous in your first couple of posts on this thread.

    It was like listening to someone explain how they wanted to be an expert mountain climber, but that they didn't want to use their limbs to get out of their house to achieve that goal.

    If becoming a professional concept/character artist is your goal, and you hate working from observation, then professional work is something that just can't be attained.

    XAL on
  • TheJacksTheJacks Registered User
    edited March 2010
    tip: man up and draw from life even if it looks bad

    I guaranfuckintee it will improve your work

    TheJacks on
  • Zato-1Zato-1 Registered User
    edited March 2010
    I'm on it. Already doing some stuff with references, like this :

    materialtests.jpg

    Seems to be working a bit better. Ref'ed Dianae's painting and followed some of her tips.

    Hair still looks lifeless but everytime I put more white on it it just looks like it got splashed with paint.

    Oh by the way, I found this : http://www.kelbytraining.com/instructors/fay-sirkis.html

    Never heard of her before, you think it'll help?

    One more question: To smudge, or not to smudge? That irks me. Which is considered better/more professional practice?

    Zato-1 on
    My Deviant Art: http://mosabali.deviantart.com
    Come say hi !
  • MustangMustang Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    No to smudging, it's okay in miniscule doses, but that's really it.

    Mustang on
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