View Full Version : art for critique

12 December 2005, 10:16 PM
Hi, I'm an illustrator with many years using photoshop an other programs, it's until recently that I've been able to start making samples of digital painting with more detail and realism. I'm working on this piece, that I like but I know also it has many flaws. If anyone can make suggestions of how to improve it, I'll really appreciate it. Right now, I'll post only the head as it is what I have been working on so far. Thanks!
Here's the link:

12 December 2005, 03:59 PM
Wow, is it so bad that noone replies, hehe. Ive uploaded and update for the image. Id really love it if someone with more experience gave me a few suggestions. Please do guys. Without help and adivce we artists cant really improve. Thanks!

Heres the link:

12 December 2005, 06:58 PM
Hi Arielmedel,

Nice work.:)

If you want some suggestions, here are a few:

1. Try painting on a primed background first. Perhaps a warm gray or sienna. White has such starkness it makes judging values difficult along with many other issues.

2. I would extend the canvass below. Right now, her neck is cropped off. Let the portrait travel down past her collar bones. However, keep this area subdued and with less detail. This will help bring the viewers focus to her face.

3. The face is rather flat. Darken the darks and add some highlights. Try to say as much as you can with one brushstroke as opposed to scratching non-stop back and forth with the wacom pen. This is the difference between painting and coloring.

4. Bring some of the flesh color into her hairline, that will help dimminish the helmet look.

5. Develop the background along with the foreground.

6. Your flesh tone is warm all over. Delicately add some coolness to the depressed and receding areas.

7. Start large and rough, then scale down and refine. Detail areas of interest and leave areas of non-interest abstract.

These are just a few, hopefully these suggestions will help you.

12 December 2005, 07:06 PM
Thanks a lot, I will incorporate your suggestions and post and update later. Actually this piece is a whole body image, but Im just posting the face as Im focusing on it. In fact I might decide on leaving it as a face image and position it according to your coments so I can focus on getting the face right.

12 December 2005, 07:15 PM
You're welcome :thumbsup:

Granted you have a wealth of information to absorb from this board, but if I can recommend a book get Harley Brown's Eternal Truths of Every Artist. I have about five art instruction books that I read and re-read from month to month and this is one of them. It's a gem.

Here's his site:

Here's his book:


12 December 2005, 11:11 PM

Ok, I made some of the changes you suggested. I tried to do it as best I could and although I think I can still push it a little more, I wanted to see if I have really made an improvement. The background is flat right now but Ill work on it. Heres the link to the new update. Any comments are welcome. Thanks again. If anyone else has comments please post them.

12 December 2005, 11:21 PM
By the way, Im doing this piece with a mouse, I do have a tablet but its too small and uncomfortable. Also, if theres any suggestions for the background, Im clueless about that.

12 December 2005, 11:43 PM
Using a mouse? You must like challenges. ;)

In any case, I see your improvements. Its looking good. Here are a few more thoughts:

1. The eyes seem asymetrical (not that they should be exactly alike). I would play around with them more. Linda has a good tutorial on eyes that's worth checking out.

2. You lost the helmet look...much better. I would soften the top back of the head, let it recede in the background more.

3. Try sampling the dark hair color and airbrush softly at 25% opacity in areas of the background. In the bottom portion let it dissolve in the dark strands of hair. Almost like the strands disappear into the darkness. Also place some at the top behind the light side of her head. This will push the light further out. It's all about advancing what's important and receding what's unimportant. Light always advances.

I hope this helps. Good luck :)

12 December 2005, 11:57 PM
Will do that. Thanks. Ill post an update later.

12 December 2005, 07:15 AM
Heres yet another update. I have put a lot of work into this but I think its looking really better.

12 December 2005, 08:00 AM
I'm really enjoying following this thread.

The improvement in your drawing speaks for itself - it shows how a few excellent tips can turn "what's in your head" into what's on the screen.

I placed and order for Harley Browns' book (early Christmas present to myself)- thanks danielh68.

good luck.....

12 December 2005, 03:23 PM
Thanks, Danielh68 has been very helpful. If anyone else likes how this is turning out, let me know. Thanks.

12 December 2005, 03:37 PM
arielmedel - looking good :thumbsup: You've definitely made progress. A couple additional notes:

1. don't be afraid to add some value and color to the background, just don't make it contrasty. Keep the colors less intense than the focal points on the face. Try using a textured brush at very low opacity and make an interesting abstract painting out of it. As for colors, use neighboring colors to your established orange, such as reds and yellow, then go opposite and pick a cool color and dab it lightly in places.

Below I spent a couple minutes illustrating the info above using your image:

2. I would pick a few bangs and detail and sharpen them up, because they protrude from the face. This is the area you want to create focal points.

Well, I gotta go to work. I hope this helps.

By the way, the eye's are a big improvement too!

Take it easy -- Daniel

12 December 2005, 03:42 PM
Keef -- glad to hear you bought the book :) You won't regret it.

12 December 2005, 03:48 PM
Thanks, Ill work on that.

12 December 2005, 04:52 AM
Ok, here it is...

After this ost I'll be moving on to do a new image. I'll really appreciate any comments, I think I'll post this on the finished forum. Thanks for your really great help Daniel!

Daniel, I was wondering if maybe you would be willing to show me a piece of your work. Just curious. Thanks.

12 December 2005, 05:11 AM
Wow! Great job. :eek: I'm glad I could help. Good luck on the rest of your creative endeavors.

I have a thread called "Helzer's Sketches" the link is below.

12 December 2005, 05:14 AM
By the way, love how you introduced some background color into certain areas of her skin. Nice touch.

12 December 2005, 08:32 AM
really nice stuff, neck seems a bit thin, but anyways keep it up, holla!:thumbsup:

12 December 2005, 12:29 PM
Hi, i'm learning to paint with photoshop, too. Good start. danielh68's tips are good. I thought, what would you change to make this portrait better. Chinese girls have dark eyes and hairs. And some proportions are different.

12 December 2005, 05:45 PM
Yes, I'd probably change the neck, but this was just practice, I think to make this picture really great I'd would go back and start from scratch, I would select and different angle and all.

I put blue eyes on the girl because at the beginning I was trying to make it look like a model posing as a final fantasy character, I have this drawing of full body.

It was difficult using a mouse for it but my tablet is too small to work freely, hopefully I'll get a big one next year.

Thanks for your comments, guys!

Oh, I'm posting a sketch in this forum in a couple of minutes. I've had some free time and I wanted to do as much as possible before the load of work comes back, hehe.

12 December 2005, 10:07 PM
Hi, this is a nice painting. The eyes appear to be just a little to far apart. Also the outer corners of the eyes seem to be tilted up to much. The nose is prefect. The mouth might be to small. The jaw might be a little to narrow near the chin. Overall you have a very pleasing start, these comments would bring the face more into the norm or idealized face. I hope this helps. Overall I like what you've done so far. Keep going!

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