View Full Version : a native and her companion- wip
09-19-2011, 05:41 PM
hello, i am looking for some feedback on my latest project. it is a native with her wolf companion. i am wanting to make the wolf more ethereal and spirit-like, but for right now i wanted to get the basic shapes down. i am wondering if i am able to move on with refining him, or is there still work to be done? at first glance i fear that he may be too bold against the rest of the picture. im not sure if i should tone him down or work on the rest of the picture and add bolder tones throughout. of course, if it appears theres nothing wrong with his color i would like to hear that too. i need someone else's pov. any other problem areas can be pointed out to me as well. keep in mind i have not worked on the accessories/clothing much so they are far from finished.
09-19-2011, 09:14 PM
This is looking great :) I love the look in her eyes, and the position/angle of her head. It feels as if she feels protected, and backed up by the wolf. You can feel a lot of the connection between the two. :D I can't wait to see where this goes.
Now, as far as critiques:
1. Are they both standing? Right now the wolf feels like he is standing on something ( I can only assume because they are the same height). Maybe you can portray this a little stronger by having her left hand resting on some rocks that she might be leaning against?
2. Have you considered making the wolf larger? This would give it a sense that this wolf is different in a way? If you want to keep it realistic, then I understand. But I think this would make it more interesting if she were cuddling a big ol' giant wolf head next to hers - really imposing but showing a sense of warmth given the fact that she is touching it as if it were a close friend and unafraid of him.
3. This piece would look much better if you added much darker tones. (And lighting) Right now it just looks like midtones - no sense of different values.
4. Are they in front or behind the tree that is the right of them? This needs to be clarified.
5. The wolf looks too happy. Maybe dim the eyes and lower the snout?
Here, I made a few quick and very crude suggestions, hope you don't mind:
09-20-2011, 01:59 AM
If you want the wolf to be a kind of ethereal spirit, you could try making it either a little translucent, or perhaps glow a bit, or both.
I agree with Rick's assessments and suggestions--those were some of my thoughts as well.
09-20-2011, 07:16 PM
RicDavid777: Thanks for the time you put into that comment. I am glad that you were able to grasp the emotion I was aiming for. In response to your critiques:
1. In my mind I did imagine the wolf standing on something, but I see I did not really show that too well, besides his height. I am concerned about how I may fix this though, as I would like to avoid expanding my canvas. However, that may be my only option? I feel that adding rock or some kind of ledge may cause your eye to wander and perhaps want to see more than what I have offered already.
2. In the beginning I had thought of this, and when my husband mentioned to me that the wolf was already large in proportion to her, I thought I had achieved that. But you may be right, I may have to make it a little larger just for a bigger impact. Thanks for pointing this out to me.
3. This was really important to me to get feedback on, considering I did not know if all my objects were melding together well enough. I will keep working on this tonight.
I will consider the rest of your input while working as well.
Again thanks for your time and I will be posting an update within two days.
09-20-2011, 09:43 PM
To remedy the wolf height issue, you could make the woman sitting on the ground on a blanket, if she's not too regal in social class (if that even mattered). You can extend the bottom of the canvas and make her a bit smaller. Right now the image also has that cropped photo look.
As far as an ethereal wolf, you may want to do an image search using the keywords ‘spirit wolf’, to see how others have handled it. A ghostly wolf with glowy line or symbol accents will require a dark scene to make it work well. You could also try something really tricky in the daylight scene you have, by creating a visual conundrum or optical illusion of the wolf’s face formed by trees or rocks in the background, similar to the work of the artist Bev Doolittle.
09-22-2011, 05:36 PM
Have not had much time to apply all of your suggestions, but I thought I would post an update. Still have much work to do.
10-16-2011, 09:48 PM
WOW, been too long since I worked on this one, so I am having a hard time moving forward. my immediate problem are the values and shading on the wolf and her arm. i would like to know which version looks better.
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10-17-2011, 11:43 AM
The arm looks strange because you aren't really depicting the subtle change of form caused by the muscle structure under the skin. Her left arm looks like a stump and not so much like an arm. You need to take into consideration the way skin and fat is squeezed and pressed at the arm pit, the muscle structure on the arm (deltoid, bicep, brachioradialis...etc).
The wolf's contour needs to be feathered properly, and you need to get rid of that dark value around it (what is that, the left over from the sketch?).
Try using different types of brushes for different textures, so your surfaces don't all look the same. For example. tree bark should have a much rougher texture than her skin, and her clothes would have yet another different texture. You don't have to be very literal, but at least give the "impression" they are not all the same surface type.
10-17-2011, 04:42 PM
Thanks for the quick reply. I am currently working on texturing the elements. If you have any links to good tutorials on this and using different brushes, i would appreciate it. They are quite challenging for me to get to look natural, and i often have trouble getting different brushes/textures to meld well together. How do you texture something without it becoming distracting?
I am aware of the outer line of darkness around the wolf, but I also have a problem there of when I lighten it, it looks to be floating on the picture. Also, I have been very frustrated with getting her arms to look natural. I have not had any anatomy classes so there is a lack of knowledge there. I'm not sure just how the muscles should work here.
10-18-2011, 07:40 PM
and update, i hope i achieved some of the things that were discussed. i worked on the arms, hand, wolf, and the left tree. i also added texture to her hat, dress, and skin. for the wolf i found a decent speckled brush to give him more texture.
10-19-2011, 05:21 AM
When you depict atmospheric perspective, don't just simply the brushwork/detail like you did--you should lower the contrast but keep the detail instead--it'll look more authentic and natural.
The tree's grain/texture looks kind of odd--you should consult some references.
Don't arbitrarily place dark outlines whenever you want to separate something from the background--that's illogical (such as her right arm). Depict values as they should be, or be consistent the put that dark outline around everything and make it a stylistic parameter instead.
The fur of the wolf gets a bit too mangy due to the really rough brushwork in some areas, such as those below her arm.
Her nose is probably a bit more misshapen than you intended. Check that tip of the nose--it's a bit much.
Her hair is a bit too solid right now--add some wispy/stray strands so it looks more natural.
According to your lighting, the wolf's nose should have hotter specular highlight.
You might want to alter the background's color a bit so it's not exactly the same as her skin. Maybe shift it towards green a bit?
10-19-2011, 07:52 PM
I'm not understanding your first sentence, Lunatique.
I added a texture for the trees, let me know if it looks right.
Removed the dark line on her arm, changed the form of both arms-made them thinner, and brought her right elbow up. My husband said she was looking too masculine, and I had to agree.
I worked on the fur a bit more, it was incomplete before so sorry i did not specify.
Looked at my reference picture and fixed the nose, you were right. It was too bulbous and upturned. Also, added some extra hairs, and I want to avoid overdoing it because I know that can happen. Added some more light to the wolf's nose. I wasn't sure exactly what you mean by specular lighting, did I fix it? As far as changing colors go, I think I will have to do this last as I have many layers at the moment.
Thanks for all your time and input. I feel like I am nearly done with this but would like to continue getting feedback to make it ready for the gallery.
10-20-2011, 03:49 AM
What I meant about atmospheric perspective is that instead of simplifying the brushwork progressively towards the far distance, you keep the same level of detail as you do the foreground, except the contrast becomes more and more faint. While you can also simplify the brushwork as you go further into the distance, I find that it usually works better when you have a kind of impressionistic styled brushwork all over the image in the first place. If the overall style is more concrete and detailed, then just fade the contrast but don't simplify the the brushwork too much.
The tree looks better. Are you using reference for the trees? Sometimes, even how you choose your references is important. For example, you might base your work on on specific reference, but in that reference, even if the subject is real and caught with a photograph, doesn't mean it's appropriate or suitable aesthetically for your purposes. So, instead of picking a photo of a tree that has really odd looking structure that almost looks fake and strange, pick a photo showing a tree that's more natural looking. Unless, of course, you want the tree to look a bit odd for the purpose of the image's narrative.
Try to refine the wolf's fur a bit more, since right now, you have the fur in thick strands clumping up, and it almost looks like the wolf was wet and now starting to dry off a little. You might want to try the bristle-based blender brushes in Corel Painter--they are what I used to paint the wolves in my "Scythe Wolf" painting (you can see it in my portfolio). Painter has a demo version you can use for 30 days.
The armpit crease looks too high to me--try lowering it. Look at its position in relation to her breast. Also, once you lower it, you might find the arm to be a little too far out to the side and might need to be pushed in further towards the torso.
Her right shoulder's position is inconsistent with the left shoulder--it's too close to her torso I think. Once you'll have to adjust both shoulders to match. The elbow also look odd, with a weird pinched looking patch of skin. You need to pose in the mirror and study how the skin behaves when the joint is bent like that.
You might also want to do something about that canopy of leaves--right now you fade them out too much and it looks like the tree branches are barren up there.
The little slivers of highlights between her breasts are a bit distracting, and I don't think they should be there anyway--at least not in those shapes.
10-20-2011, 03:49 AM
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