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Studies

NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade UsernameRegistered User regular
edited October 2021 in Artist's Corner
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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    Honestly, I'd add the spark on the wings and stop fucking with it. We could nitpick here and there but I Think that you have the majority of it resolved.

    Having the bird landing made more sense with the old position. I think you can pull a more symbolic bird here, Martlet style, and not worry about it. I may mute the background a bit more but I wouldn't complicate it, since the picture isn't really about that.


    Even if people nitpick the expression, I wouldn't change it because it would start a whole wave of small movements that is not necessary. Next drawing though, I would consider the eyebrows a bit. Theres something a little plain, wrinkle-less and portrait-y about this which is coveted by some people, but lacks a little character in my opinion. You may really enjoy that style, so this is purely opinion on my end. However, if concept art is one of your major goals, getting into expression can breathe a lot of life into your characters. You may have to try some extremes.

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    tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Agreeing with Iruka on the whole (although I think the intensity of her eyes does a lot to sell the mood of the piece even without much other facial expression). When you point out the things you want to work on, I do see what you mean, but they're not stuff that jumps out on me at first viewing. I think you have a tendency to work pieces out to a level of perfection which only you can really appreciate - it makes your work incredibly solid, but can lead to some stiffness and over-refinement (mind you it's been years since I saw any of your WIPs so that might not be a valid crit any more; take it with a grain of salt :P )

    Regardless, the only thing that I immediately noticed as feeling 'unfinished' is that the hair feels a little plastic-y. Personally I probably would just soften the locks a little, especially near the roots, give it a less artificial appearance. But seriously, it's looking good. Also, the sparks on the birds wings look great, definitely go with that.

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    MustangMustang Arbiter of Unpopular Opinions Registered User regular
    You're overthinking this ND, it's done and it's great.

    The things you want to leave alone are the only issues, but they're not that bad, nothing is jarring.

    The crazy look gives the image a bit of punch, so don't change it. The girl has a story to tell, rather than just being generically peaceful, there's this feeling of uneasiness that shit is not right. I really like it.

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    NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2021
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    MyntMynt Registered User regular
    Pretty much agree with the above. I don't think you'll be pulling away from the comp if you ignite the wings a bit. Not only do we tend to gravitate towards faces first when looking at an image, your choice of values pulls us to the face as well. Just be careful, because you'll essentially be adding another light source and doing so this far along in the process can be tricky.

    I personally liked the perched bird as it seems more plausible and you had a good pose. Whereas the bird that is there now, I can't help but feel like it's going to crash into her as opposed to landing.

    Sooooo happy to see you have a thread now... can't wait to see more!

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    NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Mynt wrote: »
    I personally liked the perched bird as it seems more plausible and you had a good pose. Whereas the bird that is there now, I can't help but feel like it's going to crash into her as opposed to landing.

    That's exactly my feeling actually...but I may just run with it and finish the piece. I preferred the perched bird in terms of how much "sense" it made, but I didn't feel it was what I wanted for the composition. I like this composition better, but now I don't think it makes as much sense. :P

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    MyntMynt Registered User regular
    Oh yeah, don't change it now... Just stuff to think about.

    You have a fantastic level of finish that I couldn't hope to duplicate. I crave more!

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    FugitiveFugitive Registered User regular
    I'm going to agree with Iruka in general, and in specific on the wingtip embers. I might play around with adding sparks to a few points on the rest of the bird, just to see if it can be done in a way that doesn't upset the balance of the image and throw a wrench into the current lighting scheme. I think, as you've roughed it out now, it's not overbearing, and it does a good job of conveying the phoenix aspect.

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    WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    This is what you've been holding back on me? Whaaaaat!? Its awesome.

    I like the embers idea - I don't think it will mess up the composition at all.

    My only critique (other than saying its silly that you held this back at all!) is that I think you could pull back on hair a bit. I know you know this, but hair is form, and I think you've gone too much into rendering each hair.

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    ScosglenScosglen Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    I'll start by saying it's a nice piece and that anything I have to comment about at this point is firmly in the realm of intangible stylistic preferences and gut feelings.

    I feel like that initial value sketch has a real spark, and there are some pleasing things about it that were slightly painted to death in each successive step.

    The hair is one of them. The initial sketch has a very effective, almost graphic quality in how it frames the face, and the shape design in those contours between the paleness of the skin and the darkness of the hair is just 'nice'. I tend to prefer a slightly more planar approach to communicating the material qualities of layered hair, and so as you progress through your steps detailing the strands of hair with finer and finer specificity, it starts to feel overwrought and loses its structure a bit. Parts of the hair mass begin to feel a little flat, particularly in the section between the tiara and the forehead/brow. In the parts of the hair that are less directly lit, I find myself wanting for just a little more abstraction and simplification to help chill those areas out.

    I wanted to say something else about the lighting but I've just deleted my third attempt and I give up. It's taken on a bit of an unreal glowing quality and I can't quite tell you why.

    Please don't interpret this as "it's gotten worse the more you work on it", I still like your current progress!

    And post more!

    Scosglen on
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    NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2021
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    squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    Wingtip embers work for me. <3

    header_image_sm.jpg
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    bebarcebebarce Registered User regular
    Ever step away from a place and come back and see it completely changed, realizing that had you stayed there the whole time you might not have noticed the incremental changes?

    So popping back in and seeing this shows me the amazing leaps and bounds you've made with your artistic skill. What's more amazing is that your art was pretty stellar before having left.

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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    I think its done, dude.

    Can I guilt you to post stuff in an even earlier state for the next round, eh?

    Either way keep posting, its nice to see your work again. I'm also happy to hear that you are working on some more personal stuff. Could you talk about what you're interested in, and who your influences are? I'm really just curious if all the perfectionism plays into your favorite artists. It may also make our critiques more productive, knowing some of your aesthetics.

    Its good that you are trying to find a balance between your refinement, and walking away from a piece when its done. I'm not as hardcore of a renderer, but I know I get really "stuck" in terms of inspiration if I'm only hammering away at 40-60hour works.

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    m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    Here's how it's progressed:
    tumblr_mb4bex3tC51r95741.gif
    Also, awesome work ND.

    m3nace on
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    NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2021
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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    When was the last time you painted with traditional media? When I'm trying to loosen up, I usually go to my ink or my acrylics. Sometimes slapping around some real paint forces you to be more aware of the types of strokes you are making with your brush. Also for me Im like "Im not a reaaaalll painter this can be a toootalll failure who caaares" which lifts pressure. It can always be used as a base for a digital piece after all.

    Just make sure when you start practicing, you don't put yourself in a negative feedback loop before you even start. You might want to give your self specific time brackets for a thumbnail and then move on, so you don't over work things and frustrate yourself. Once you feel like you are more comfortable, lift the restrictions.

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    ScosglenScosglen Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    I think you should try some speed paintings, or at least some images with constrained time limits closer to a couple hours, rather than the dozens you surely spent on this last piece.

    The nice thing about speed painting is you can put yourself in the mindset that you simply do not have the time to labor over the details and bring everything up to a spit polish. It forces you to come up with effective techniques for abstraction and indication, and you must think hard about where you will put the most effort into refinement and detail. Your specific detail and rendering attention is like a precious resource that can't be squandered. Working like this cultivates a kind of looseness that ideally comes out decisive and deliberate rather than just messy and untended.

    Scosglen on
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    NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2021
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    NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2021
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    earthwormadamearthwormadam ancient crust Registered User regular
    phenomenal work!

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    NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2021
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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    Very nice.

    Very quick greytone shading can give you a little life and definition without being back breaking. Not much to say other than good job not worrying about the imperfections and keep going keep going keep going


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    NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2021
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    NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2021
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    NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    I like the lighter background better. The dark one is more distracting. I'm not too big on the changing header thing. Unless the header changes depending on what section you are in. Otherwise I think it's confusing to randomly change from a usability standpoint.

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    NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2021
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    NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    Yeah, I think the dark background could work if the contrast was lowered.

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    NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2021
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    m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    The glitter just makes it so much more fabulous.

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    NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2021
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    FlayFlay Registered User regular
    edited August 2013
    I can definitely see a lot more expression in your strokes, but the forms still seem really solid. :^:

    Flay on
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    NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2021
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    NightDragon on
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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    Should have left that sweet cart in, man. Looks good, though!

    Just looking at the feedback you received last October at the top of the page and looking at this batch of work is really rewarding. Its looser, for sure, and it seems to be gaining some of your influences touches while retaining your sensibilities. I hope you keep at it!

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    MustangMustang Arbiter of Unpopular Opinions Registered User regular
    I haven't been posting here all that much over the past year, but you have gone from good to great.
    Previously there was a sense of craving perfection in your work that would give it a rigidness, and I'm not seeing that in these, it's really flowing, very cool, give yourself a pat on the head.

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    NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2021
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    nocuddletimenocuddletime Registered User regular
    That last piece is actually one of my favorites in the thread.

    93acff97bUk2g.gif
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    Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator Mod Emeritus
    I like it, and think you should finish it, but I can see where maybe you're having an issue with the composition.

    I think the thing that's doing it is that you've got this grey triangle in the upper right, being formed by the left foreground cliff wall/structure, and the beam on top connecting to the main middleground structure; and the lines formed by that triangle are continued on into the rest of the composition by the cast of light. The issue feels to me like this compositional shape doesn't get closed off, it just continues into this big open blank area in the lower right, rather than stopping at a certain point to drive the focus to a particular something or another.

    So I might suggest something like (I say "something like" because I'm aware this is a pretty unsubtle, ham-handed solution and you can probably come up with something better with some more thought) forcing a more abrupt cast shadow running from that foreground cliff shore to near the right edge of the staircase, or simply breaking up the water there with more waves/detritus so you close off that lit triangle with the staircase- drawing the focus there, and let the rest fade back into more obscure darkness.

    The only other thing I would suggest is keeping an eye on scale, particularly with the staircase- I know it's going for 'whoa a big-huge staircase', but you're running the danger of it looking like a normal staircase that's just been scaled up, rather than being genuinely huge. Like the elements to the sides, they look like they're acting as handrails- which is giving me a sense of scale that doesn't jive with the rest of picture. So adding some elements to bring home the scale there would be a good idea- maybe that's adding some dudes on there (I see some ghostly specks in there that I assume are intended to be people already), or adding a doorway into one of those handrails, or adding some rest platforms in the stairway (think of the old people, they can't make their way up 10 flights of stairs all in one go).

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    NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2021
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