04 April 2012, 02:30 AM
I've taken a shot at digital painting and this is the first that I've created. I think I should probably spend more time on the background to make it more dynamic? Maybe some clouds and a bird flying against the background or trees? I'm open to suggestions! I think I need to get the hair on the back of her blended a bit more as well.
I used primarily the paintbrush and eraser tools in Photoshop CS4.
C&C GREATLY APPRECIATED! Tear it apart please as it will only help me improve!
Let's worry less about adding more to it, and let's focus on what you have.
Start out by studying wolves, and how they're constructed - their anatomy, and how their fur works, the shape of their mouths, and what they look like when they're howling. Reference pictures should be easy to find. Let's aim for more accurate, and less cartoony. I'll warn you, fur done properly takes a lot of work. What you have now is almost a paper cutout - learn how to model the volume of a wolf's head - learn how to model the skull and muscles and tendons and fur in a 3 dimensional shape, using lines and shadows and highlights. You can even start with simple line drawings, and move into color and volume once you're comfortable with the basic design of a wolf.
Next, you'll need to look at your composition. A scene like this should have the entire wolf in the frame, and more of the landscape showing - which will add to the narrative (the story behind the image). Where is the wolf? What does it look like? What time of year is it? Your composition is cramped and claustrophobic, is there a reason to be zoomed in that tightly on the wolf? (Other than to draw the details?)
Then, you'll need to study lighting. You basically have no lighting, when in a moonlit scene like this you would have bright highlights, with the wolf backlit, and dark, cool colors in the shadows.
I know what you're trying to do with the moon, but the cartooniness of the wolf head isn't working. Study wolves, do a bunch of line drawings to get familiar with the shape of them - what makes a wolf a wolf? (Hint - the shape of their head, their lean bodies, the shapes of their ears, their mane, etc...) Also, a full moon like that can be bigger the closer to the horizon it is, which gives you more to work with. What you're trying to accomplish might be a bit advanced, you can "cheat" by taking a picture of the moon, overlay a wolf head onto it, and use that as reference - but you can simply study wolves without getting into all of that.
Honestly, as a beginner, it's okay not to focus on complete paintings, and just do studies, like wolves from several angles, different poses, and different kinds of pelts. If you live near a zoo, go and take a sketch pad and draw wolves for an afternoon! Practice how to paint fur, using Photoshop's custom brushes.
Hope this helps! Share any more drawings here, if you choose to work more on this!
04 April 2012, 04:54 AM
Thank you BillyWJ, I like the ideas and I'll take up what you've said. This is the first time with drawing a wolf as well so I do have a ways to go with furry animals.
04 April 2012, 06:33 AM
If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend you visit the Art Techniques & Theories forum (linked below in my signature). Read the sticky threads there, as they contain a ton of very helpful tips and resources that will make a huge difference in your artistic growth.
04 April 2012, 02:48 AM
Thanks for the links Lunatique! I'll be sure to check them out!
04 April 2012, 02:48 AM
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