Just started this landscape last night. Looking for some crits to improve it before I move forward. Feel free to rip into any issues it may have. I can handle it...
It'a a link. Click on the word "here"
How about doing 10 more variations of the same subject up to block in phase? Different views, different light etc. Then pick one you feel works best and try to detail it. Some photo reference may help you with details.
But best bet would be to draw a bunch of real landscapes from life, which was one of the points of the linked post. They are much more interesting to observe and draw than you'd think at first and definitely more interesting than anything your mind can echo from seeing it in a videogame or a movie.
So the big "thing" at the top of the stairs is leaning to the left. Everything is brown, the picture needs some hue variation either in the sky or the rock/structure. The right edge is weirdly cramped and suffers from the same leaning problem. It's hard for me to get a feel for the material because the spec detail is low, the texture is smooth and few dark grey shadows.
Thanks. I will try doing some different views and light and whatnot. I have done some landscape photo studies in the past but was just hoping to put down something of my own instead of copying a photo again. I can see how they would be helpful tho.
Heres what I was doing just now. Is this where I should be before I start doing detail? Should I be making this even less detailed than it is?
Thanks again for the help.
Good job on keeping brushes big.
Before you rush into detailing fix the fundamental problems:
1) Expand your value range to get a good contrast. Sky could be much brighter.
2) Correct the perspective of the structure. The building is falling to the left. Try to construct it in perspective. If you were going for a 3 point perspective it doesn't read as such. Teeth of the building should all converge upwards towards one vanishing point or all be parallel in case of 2 point perspective. Currently, you have neither.
I'd also try to lose the cave completely. It steals the focus from the building and encloses it weakening its monumentality.
Btw I wasn't talking about copying photos. I was talking about drawing landscapes you see around yourself. Look out your window and draw that. It's harder but more rewarding. Plus you get to create your personal vision of the world around you.
EDIT: yeah, perspective is much better in the last one.
So heres where I'm at with this. Took away the cave. It does make the structure look bigger for sure. My original idea was to have a character be walking out of the cave towards the door. I guess I could still do that minus the cave.
I dunno.. maybe I should just start over and try a new composition. I'll see how I feel in the morning.
Any comments welcome.
D'uh, gotta hurry up before Velocity comes and outsrips everyone with his hardcore skills.
Anyways... Don't think you pay enough attention to planning. When you start your thumpnail, all your energy goes into projecting a great idea into a mood board. Consider how light adds into the picture and how values will affect depth. Consider the overall-silhouette of your painting, how does it have to look in order to impress, what forms could be unique. Then, when you got the thumbnail -
You have more or less a plan. You have the basic for what is supposed to project what is in your mind onto canvas. One "mistake" I see a lot is how people (including you) don't pay a lot attention anymore at this stage. Your forms stay simple - cylinders, squares, triangles etc. You need to find more unique forms. Less linear lines, more edges, more shakes. This also makes it look more realistic, and having many different forms makes it interesting at the same time. Also you might want to prepare by looking at other work. I've decided to add a bit gothic style into the castle. To add more depth, I pushed the castle further away by making the stairs longer (or going further into distance). BTW stay black and white, the most important is to get the right values.
When done in B/W, another advantage of adding color later applies. You can try many different color shemes to find a fitting mood.
Last edited by Swamp Thing; March 16th, 2013 at 05:13 AM. Reason: photobucket does it wrong
It is a very good idea to start learning by drawing simple forms like spheres and stuff, but applying them in complex nature is a crucial beginner mistake. It leads to trees with sphere tree crowns and cylinder trunks, hills that are triangles etc. Your brain tries to simplify forms which it isn't able to understand yet, and it is a necessary process to learn understanding those forms. I don't think you should construct complex things like faces with spheres triangles etc. but what is important, these forms must not appear as simple in the final result. The painting of the OP shows such simple forms in a rather finished version of the painting. There are good reasons for books like "drawing with the right side of the brain" to exist.
Great feedback guys. Really appreciate it. Awesome paintover Stefan. My original really rough line drawing I did for this had arches in it but when I was throwing down paint I just couldn't get it right and took the easy way out by getting rid of them. They were different than your gothic style tho.
OK, gonna go back to the drawing board on this and sort of start over with black and white and see what I can do while trying to not outright copy exactly what you did....
OK, here's what I've done this morning. Just trying to get the values right. Still have a ways to go but I feel like its looking much better than what I originally had. I like the idea of bringing back the cave as it frames the fortress in a good way. I think once I put a character in the scene it will give a good sense of scale to the pic. Also, tried not to copy the paint over pic too much but those arches were just too tempting not to put in.
Anyways, let me know what you think...
You tend to make exactly that mistake I wanted to point out. Weather or not you construct everything from easy forms, they must not be visible in the end. Those triangle hills are rather bad, you wont find such a thing in nature. Also they're rendered wrong. The pilasters aren't rendered right too, if they're supposed to be round, the transition should be smoother, however I'd suggest making them edgy and don't make them bend, but give them hard edged angles. You might want to add something to them, like adding ornaments and stuff. Speaking for their distance you don't need to go into detail. The figure's anatomy is pretty off. Dd you use a reference? If you can't find one, shoot it for yourself, but consider perspective and light.
I personally don't feel you're anywhere near using colors yet on this image. You need to start pushing contrasts and throw away the soft pasty brushing you're using on your pictures. Also, you need tp put some focus on bounced lighting to help create the illusion of depth. Here's a quick paintover I did to show you a few areas that could be improved.
LOOKING FOR WORK...
Great harsh feedback guys. I think this is the sort of thing I needed to kick my butt into gear on this image.
Swamp Thing: I'm guessing the "triangle hills" you're referring to are the rocks leading up to the door?
Thanks for the paintover Keith. I find sometimes if I work on an image for too long I get focused on certain things without thinking about the image as a whole. Your paintover has definitely given me some ideas on where to go.
You're confusing two rather different things:
1) Simplistic/trivial representation
2) Geometric abstraction of the form
The latter is a mental tool for managing complex forms, not for disposing of of them. By abstracting the form, you don't trivialize it, as you seem to be implying. It's a twofold tool. When interpreting the form - you break it down to make it easier to handle. When inventing the form - you build and refine, from simple to complex.
It's obvious that OP did not have a notion even of simple pyramids when painting those rocks. The image (and OP's learning process) would have been better off if he'd used straight on pyramids. Even better if he'd subdivided them and wedged in smaller pyramids and tapered boxes. And even better if he detailed on top of this solid structure following a reference.
I think Keith really nailed what was wrong with those rocks by the stairs. Its good that you're taking the advice given here, a lot of artists get crits and don't apply the advice. You're still green so its ok to make mistakes. I would also suggest doing some painting studies of clouds before you finish this image.
Ok guys. Quick update. Still have loads of lighting to do and reworking of the character but I think the general forms are going in the right direction. Feel free to tell me otherwise or insult me in some way if you dont like me
I really appreciate all the help you guys have been giving me.
So here's what I have. I'm itching to start colouring this thing and then put it to bed for good.
Tried a few different variations of things. Reduced the number of pillars. I think this actually looks alright.
Just for shits I tried removing the pillars and everything and just leaving the door. If I worked on it a bit I think it could even work. Which is pretty funny since I spent so much time on those stupid pillars. Kind of embarrassing to admit that since they don't even look super cool.
I think I may go with the one with reduced pillars but I'm open to suggestion so let me know what you guys think.
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