For the past few months I've been amassing some critiques of my work from
various other artists and a couple of art directors. There are many common
threads. Regardless of my state, not being able to afford formal training, or
even some lessons on life painting, I stick to this as much as I can.
Digital painting is not my preferred way, but for now, it's the only way if I
ever hope to gain more income. But it's not only for that, but because I want
and know I can be better.
So, I have begun to try to find ways to address the weaknesses I have, one
at a time, through the various commissions I get. But, I need extra eyes for
Here's a small private commission I was paid to do. It was only for a character
sketch. I decided to go for a digitally colored one, with a background and such.
Now, since the commission is done, I want to take it to the next level.
I haven't addressed the background beyond the initial sketch stage, and I
really want to. Yet I am being timid, I don't know why, and also, I feel the
composition of the background and the character are, shall we say,
random statements of what I want to be there, but it doesn't feel well
organized, pleasing pictorally.
Next, is a constant problem I have, the lack of texture and sharpness. I
have a difficulty figuring out how to state smooth edges and shapes, without
overmodelling. I haven't experimented also with the brush features and
textured brushes because they make me feel anxious, that the tone or
color isn't right due to texture, and I overmodel things anyway so the
texture just makes everything "muddy".
One last thing I'd like to fix (and it's not the end of the list but that's what
I aim for in this one) is credible lighting. Now, I have no idea where and
how I could ever find reference to something like this lighting situation.
I've looked at other paintings, and some lava photos, of course I couldn't
find anything combining that and "moonlight". Also, I couldn't really
calculate how local color would credibly change, under such extreme
So, tear this up, give me your worst please, otherwise I won't be able
to develop. If you can see more wrong with this, please point it out. Any
guide, solution, advice, paintover etc is encouraged.