View Full Version : Free - NEED C&C.

04 April 2006, 03:03 PM
Please, I need critics on this paiting.

EDIT: The image needs to pass a sense of free...

04 April 2006, 01:09 AM
It seems that you have 2 conflicting styles going on in the same painting which is kind of jarring. The background is kind of surrealist while the eagle is in very sharp focus and detailed. I would try to reconcile one to the other. Also the colors seem very saturated for such a cloudy day. All those clouds would be making shadows. Overall you have a nice painting there. I like the composition and the feel you have going.

04 April 2006, 09:44 AM
agreed. i bet if you'd remove the eagle, you'd have a pretty nice final painting. but also, isn't the shadow under the foreground tree a little bit too large?

04 April 2006, 11:08 AM
I agreed with the ppl. the eagle is a good a composition in the painting but you should do it more "lively". look at refs on eagles and you find out that they never is photographed while they are totally straight in the air, it looks unrealistic. also try to get more variations on grass and mountains. and do not use the "grass" brush it looks awful:/
keep it up!

04 April 2006, 12:38 PM
Maybe add a hint of a horizont line ? Otherwise they way water merges with sky is a bit confusing.

04 April 2006, 10:22 PM
Euphrosyne, agreed with the shadows and I'll take a look on the over-saturated colors. Should I go to detail the background or "un-detail" the eagle?

vANON, ops, the shadows is really a bit large, I'll fix it. I will add the image without the eagle at the end of this post. Tell me what you think about, ok? :D

arpeggioator, sorry, but this eagle was about a re-draw of a reference (click here ( to seee). The grass wasn't made by "grass" brush (it was a pre-made brush, but I did it by my own. :D)

SFR75, mist over the horizon, I can add a line but then the mist is gone. Didn't like the mist? :shrug:

The painting without the eagle (nothing changed yet, just removed the eagle:

Waiting for more C&C, I'll post updates as soon as I have them.

04 April 2006, 01:35 AM
First off all I'd like to say I love the open feeling of your composition, it definitely gives the feeling of freedom. :D Love the clouds also!

Euphrosyne, agreed with the shadows and I'll take a look on the over-saturated colors. Should I go to detail the background or "un-detail" the eagle?

vANON, ops, the shadows is really a bit large, I'll fix it. I will add the image without the eagle at the end of this post. Tell me what you think about, ok? :D

arpeggioator, sorry, but this eagle was about a re-draw of a reference (click here ( to seee). The grass wasn't made by "grass" brush (it was a pre-made brush, but I did it by my own. :D)

SFR75, mist over the horizon, I can add a line but then the mist is gone. Didn't like the mist? :shrug:

I would say to:
response one: go with whatever you like doing the most, if you like to work more abstractly, continue with that, if you'd prefer to try out realism, really push your references and reduce the textures.

two: the shadow needs to define the trunk to the branches (skinny shadow of the trunk to larger shadow of the tree...unless your lighting is from right above, in which case the shadow would be cast directly under the tree.) Right now your trees shadow just fades out... Also it may be that the dark green area is too saturated and is on the same level as the lighter green grass. Is it receding or is it on the same slope? If it is receding you might want to reduce the saturation to knock it back a touch, if its not, then where is that darker green 'shadow' area coming from?

three: I understand how arpeggioator thought the grass was the grass brush in photoshop. Try referencing how grass recedes texturally in real life both in lighting and saturation. Right now your texture is very consistent and flattens the image.

four: SFR75's comment about the mist is probably due to the bright sunny day you are showing and the possibility that on day like that, there would be no mist on the horizon...more likely to be a crisp clear beautiful day, with land masses visible in the distance.

Excellent start, can't wait to see the progression and where you take this! :D


04 April 2006, 02:05 AM
EDIT: I don't know why it posted it two times, the real-post is below. Thank you.

04 April 2006, 02:07 AM
winterhart, really thanks for your response! :D

Just trying new sky/horizon. I did like more the other clouds, but what do you think about it?
Please forget the sea, it's late here and this is just a sketch about what I'll do future, did the modifications quickly (going bed now).

Waiting for more C&C.

04 April 2006, 07:41 AM
The easiest would be to soften the details in the eagle. But if you feel like a challenge you could try it both ways and see what you like the best. Just have fun and keep painting.

04 April 2006, 06:23 PM
I was going to try to explain what I thought could improve your pic, but I figured a paintover would be clearer. I hope you don't mind.

Mostly I wanted to show how the mistyness can be maintained and have a horizon, and how to settle the eagle in to the image more by fading the wing tips a little. I wasn't trying to make it so saturated... whoops. I hope this helps a little bit.

04 April 2006, 06:45 PM
Nice landscape, i can see it coming together nicely. I guess that what strikes me the most is how each spot have defined colors without affecting each other and have variation.

I think that you should play with the color some, maybe having the shadowed part of the grass ressembling a teal color, a much cooler tone than you have right now. The mountains could also use some tiny variation.. Some greyer, some browner or have the tip of the mountains slowly changing to another color?

I prefered your sky in the previous update (the one before this one) too i think.. In the last one, the clouds are mainly over the mountains, a big blob of fluff over them and i think it would be nice to have some other clouds over the ocean, not as much but some more to bring it together.. maybe some very wispy clouds, the kind we often see in the sky on sunny days.

04 April 2006, 10:18 PM
GSmiley, your paintover really helped! Thaanks. :beer:

Lilie, I tried to mix some colors, thanks for your comments!

Well, new update :wip::

Waiting for more C&C.

04 April 2006, 12:20 AM
Last update tonight, C&C please! :D

04 April 2006, 01:18 AM
The farthest away mountains and the mist around the horizon there is too washed out and white. I don't think that there should be any part of your painting that white. The atmoshere would make the farthest mountains light greyish-blue, not white. On my paintover, I darkened and saturated the whole image so that there wasn't as much white there, then retouched the highlights with color.

I agree with Lillie, too in that the colors need to feel more together as a whole in the image. Don't be afraid of taking some of the mountain-brown or ocean-blue and adding it to the grass as a light wash, or the other way around. Maybe highlight the grass with a particular yellow and use the same a litte on the mountains. Don't get carried away, just make it a new layer and try some things out.

I was wondering if you use the dodge and burn tools... if you do I think you should stop. It usually leads to flat highlights and washed out stuff like what you have. The one tree you have there has been bugging me, too. Either the branches are too ball-shaped or he needs a little buddy tree next to him.

Don't get discouraged, though. There is a lot of stuff I like here, and it has gotten a lot better as you've made changes. As long as you keep working at it, you'll get something I think you'll be satisfied with. The eagle is better in it than not, so I would keep it there and just find a better way of making it fit in the image.

04 April 2006, 11:29 PM
I'm not dead people. :P

Here's an update:

Really thanks for all your critics&comments! :D
Continue doing it!

See ya.

04 April 2006, 11:39 PM
If I go with less saturation:

Wich one do you prefer? :deal:

04 April 2006, 12:16 AM
Presonally I think they both look a bit too washed out. I would agree with GSmiley about making the whole pic more saturated and pushing the lighting: it feels too 'universal' right now. It would create much more drama and increase the depth of the image. And if you are using dodge and burn, then you probably should stop using it - as GS said, it doesn't make for good painting, as it's really a tool for photographic editing.

Also, I think the textures you're using are a bit repetitive. There needs to be a variety of texture and form: you're producing patterns when in nature there would be a chaos of different forms. For example in the receding vegetation on the mountainsides, at the moment it looks flat and regular. You could start just with a photo of distant vegetation, and observe the values and saturations; the way the trees behave in light. If you want to give the impression of scale, you'll have to put in much more incident detail.

Just pine trees, but you can see the irregular shadow shapes, caused by topology, relative tree size and spacing, and of course colour variation. This is also only one type of light - depending on the angle of the sun, the shadows will change, saturation and contrast too. Natural things are amongst the hardest to portray, imo - an understanding of the real structure of the thing and how light behaves when interacting with the structure is essential.

If you can take some of this into account when approaching painting vegetation, I'm sure it would help bring off a more convincing and therefore realistic look. There are other elements of the painting which could also benefit from this. The grass and tree, sea, mountains and sky .....observe nature, and add some chaos!! Keep going with this painting..I think you can definitely learn a lot from the process.


04 April 2006, 12:48 AM
I don't use dodge & burn tool. :)

The vegetation of the mountain is really far.
If I go with too much details it'll look weird, don't you think?

I should increase saturation? Ok, I'll try it.
My monitor have a high gamma, maybe i'm seeing it wrong. :S

It's getting boring to paint because I don't know howto, but there's no way to learn unless I paint. Aaah... I won't stop trying anyway.. ;)

04 April 2006, 12:33 PM
Hmm. if your finding it boring, take a break, or try just doing sketches. That's what I've been doing since I started to paint about six months ago... and I still don't feel I'm ready to attempt a full-scale painting yet. check out my thread and you'll see when I first started it was with a full-scale painting :D...and then I just started sketching and speedpainting. it's much more fun, less time-consuming, and you learn faster, i think.

About the vegetation thing...look at John Wallin's gallery ( There are a few works there which demonstrate what I mean about the detail and sense of scale..

05 May 2006, 02:19 PM
Well, I'll fight with this painting! :D
There's an update:

05 May 2006, 02:31 PM
I'm still fighting with the vegetation. :D

05 May 2006, 01:27 AM
Needing C&C...

05 May 2006, 12:11 AM
Long time no see, but there's an update...
Please, I'm waiting for critiques so please do some.:D

05 May 2006, 11:28 PM
I'm seeing less improvement each time you update. The last good change was the bluer distant mountains, and after that not much change. I see the forest by the mountains has changed every time. The two problems I see with it is that the texture you are using is too uniform and repetitive, and that there is no impression of where the light is coming from. I think what winterhart said at the top of the thread still applies...
Try referencing how grass recedes texturally in real life both in lighting and saturation. Right now your texture is very consistent and flattens the image.
The forest, too suffers from consistant textures that make things look flat. I think you would see real improvements if you worried about defining the shape of the hills with light first, then only selectively adding some details and texture where you think it looks needed; not uniformly.

The horizon looks sloping to the right, too. I'd fix that.
Hope this helps a little, keep going!

05 May 2006, 05:31 PM
I didn't born to paint. Another update:

I'll try to change the horizon and then the grass...
I can't believe that I can't paint this. :sad:

05 May 2006, 01:50 AM
I'm not a looser at all, at least I'm persistent. :bounce:
The light should be up and a little to the right (something near 12:00h).


05 May 2006, 04:22 PM
Am I alone?
Anyway, some updates:

05 May 2006, 09:32 PM
You seem to be mostly struggling with the trees & mountains in the background. I found some reference I think could be helpful, and explain what I mean by having highlights define the shape of the hills.,%20Glossa%20Skopelou.jpg

especially in the bottom pic, the sun hits the top of the vegetation so that the hills take shape. Think about where the sun is all the time when you do the mountains and trees. I have another paintover that I hope helps you to see how highlights on the trees should make sense in the physical world.

I hope you can get past this part and move on to other things. Everyone gets hung up on something that they just can't seem to get past sometimes. If you have completely lost interest, maybe you could try some quick 15 minute speed paints of the same ocean/grassy/mountain kinds of scenes until you find something about one that you like, and build on that. I don't think it's worth going on if you know it's just not going to turn out the way you want.

05 May 2006, 01:31 AM
Can you tell me how you paint it?
Even if I try a quick paintover it won't get the feeling, the correct way you do like "so easy".

Dang, I didn't born to paint. :(

05 May 2006, 04:16 AM
Well, let me start by saying I am not an expert by any means, and there are lots of people here that could probably help you more than me. I'll do my best to help you out, though.

What I do when I start a painting is get the colors i want to use down on the screen early, that way I know if it will look good before I spend a lot of time. When its a natural scene like what you have, that usually means looking at photos I've taken or looking out my window. The colors you have are close enough to look real if they are tweaked a little (ocean darker, mountains greyer).

I usually use Photoshop, as I think you do, and 98% of the time it's with one brush. Its a simple round brush at: Angle: 90, roundness: 44%, Angle Jitter set to Pen Tilt, and Opacity Jitter set to Pen Pressure. I think using a simple textureless brush helps you think about objects shape and color more than finer details.

The most important thing to think about when painting is where your light sources are and how should shapes be lit. It's been said many times, but its true. If there is a side of a mountain that is facing the sun, it will be bright, so paint it bright. Google your subject and find images like what you want and see how the sunlight affects different materials. When I did that last paintover I was directly trying to replicate the kind of foliage and lighting that is in the bottom picture of the reference I posted. Try looking at the two and see where my trees look like the reference (light tree tops, dark underneath, etc.). Remember that when you're painting our world, you need to look at how things look in reality and try to make those properties fit into your painting.

If your sixteen years old, you have lots of time to develop your painting skills and create your own style. Nobody starts out as master already, you need to work at it. I hope you don't get discouraged, 'cause I can tell just from how persistent you are with updates that you can put in the time to learn. I'm painting and practicing all the time and I still think I suck ass. But I know that if I keep trying new things, I can get better. I don't know if you have ever tried doing the Daily Sketch Group, but its a very good way to practice. All the people over there are extemely nice and welcoming to new people posting, so there is no pressure. Whatever you do to get experience will help you out immensely.

Nobody was born to paint, even the best had to work years and years to get what they have. You have the most important ingredient in an artist: persistence. If you try hard I'm sure you'll get a lot better.

05 May 2006, 03:37 PM
GSmiley, thanks for your motivating words! It really gave a boost on my persistence-skill. :D
The Roundness you mean is the Hardness? I have Photoshop:CS.
And I don't have a Wacom. My tablet is just an Aiptek 8000U, butwith my skills I think it's pretty good by now. Except because it have some bugs.
As it's not a wacom I can't use the Angle thing. :sad:

And yes, I'm only sixteen.

The way I was using to paint this one was to do everything in grayscale and another layer for the colors, not really good I think.

Yesterday I did a quickie, I didn't like it but anyway, that's a try:

05 May 2006, 04:07 PM
The colors really change the way you paint.
I tried a paintover by myself, I can't say it's good but I'm happy with it:

05 May 2006, 04:07 PM
I have CS2, so it might be different, but the Roundness is different from Hardness. Its in the advanced brush settings (F5) under the Brush Tip Shape tab. If you don't have tilt, then it doesn't matter anyways. Don't worry, it doesn't make the brush any better, its just a personal taste.

I don't know about painting in greyscale, I've never tried it. I can't say thats a bad way to go, since many great artists here have done it (I think Stahlberg has). Its just not the way I do it.

That quicky looks really nice, and completely different from your other style. I like that! Maybe try one just of mountains or of trees, and see if there is anything you like that you can add to your main painting.

05 May 2006, 04:09 PM
Wow, we posted at the same time! I like the new painting you did, a lot! The colors look better to start, so if you took time, It would be an improvement on the original. Try some more!

05 May 2006, 04:12 PM
Thanks for your response, I don't have more time now to paint, going to work soon, tonight (brazilian time) I'll try some more.
Really thanks for your support!

See you.

05 May 2006, 10:33 PM
Yay! No way, my brush set is only this circle by now on. :D
I need some references to do the vegetation and continue defining the mountains.
Google is there for it! :thumbsup:

Yea, I'm happy with it. I hope it doesn't end up like the first one. :sad:

05 May 2006, 11:20 PM
Well, last one for tonight:

Waiting for critics. :D

05 May 2006, 12:14 AM
Today's quickie:

Today's update:

Critics please..

05 May 2006, 12:30 AM
heya hunz. glad you repainted - it's looking much fresher. I'd watch out not to start making random-looking shadows again - looks like the grass is going that way. Also, I think your sea colours are a bit dark. Here:

The sea is pretty light as it reflects the sky. Also the forest here should help you out. Look at the variation of shades, shadow-shapes and the effect of atmospheric distance (less contrast, more sky-colour/haze). The sky is also more uniform in colour, with more subtle shading in the clouds: overall there is much less value range in the sky than in your picture currently.

Also, I would advise simplification. Where possible, imagine the light and shade to be only of two values - like a comic book. You have to decide what is light and what is dark, based on what you observe in real life. Applying these two values in their correct shapes is the basis (and the hard part...) then you can work out more subtle values from there.

---sorry can't be of more help. i'm tired -_-

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