View Full Version : "PAINTOVER PLEASE" - painted crits on demand - with Steven Stahlberg

Pages : [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7

05 May 2006, 02:40 AM
What's a paintover?
In this context it means one artist painting or drawing on top of another artist's image, suggesting how to improve it.

Even though most seem to appreciate it, some are uncomfortable with having their paintings altered by others (as opposed to written crits, although of course some don't even like those).
Enter this thread, where you only post your image if you actually WANT it painted on.

Rules for submissions
Submit any 2d or 3d image of yours you'd like me to paint on - except:
1. Only one per session
2. Explain what you're trying to communicate with it (important, in case it's not obvious)
3. Originals should be relatively 'finished' looking - no sketches or big empty areas. This thread is meant to assist with a piece you've worked a lot on, but gotten stuck with.
4. Size - roughly 800x600 or viceversa, maximum
5. Objective realism - I can't help you with cartoons, abstract stuff or your own very stylized style. What I can help you the most with is lighting, atmosphere, perspective, internal logic and story.
6. Only submit until there are 4 - 5 'untreated' images in a row (if you see 4 - 5 images that haven't been processed please wait a little).

I hope to contribute about an hour a day or so to this thread. I can't promise all 4 in a session will be attended to, it all depends. But you can always submit the same image again later.



05 May 2006, 02:41 AM
obsolete info deleted........................................

05 May 2006, 02:45 AM

This is awesome, a big thank you in advance! This makes a fantastic addition to the Anatomy Forum. :)







05 May 2006, 03:55 AM
definately worth it and greatly appriciated :D
I am making a character inspired by Frank miller's comic "300" . Its about the battle at Thermopylae and the fall of leonidas and his 300 warriors. So i am thinking of a close up to the face of leonidas and u can see on the back his 300 warriors in a turtle kind of assembly and on their shields,spears, eyes of leonidas and armour u can see the persian army. thats the idea anyway.
this is the final blendshape of leonidas as he is about to make the last change as they are surrounded. So its basically a scream after the "come and get it " :D

the blendshape activesmoothed

still a lot to do with the body especially the painting weights to pose him which is killing me right now :D anyway any suggestion and paintover is more than welcome :D

05 May 2006, 05:04 AM
ahh hell this sounds like an interesting idea

this is a peice im working on right now, i have spent some time on it and im very near the end i think so ill post it for you to have a gander, i do view any input as gold dust and its always good to get a slaping about to wake one up as it were

05 May 2006, 05:14 AM
1. What about copyright issue?

2. If it is a paintover, do we need to submit original Photoshop or Painter files, or for 3D works do channel outputs help? or just a formal jpeg is enough?

05 May 2006, 05:26 AM monitor really sucks and the colors are far off the goal of a fantasy setting with a heavy mood, I would love any advice and a proper painter over, and with scan lines included...

05 May 2006, 05:35 AM
well i would think the paintover is advice given a more fuller approch and is altering an original idea no creating from scratch, so if your worried about copyrights i dont think there is much cause for concern, still its his thread and his time, so i will not put words in anothers mouth.

j mac

05 May 2006, 05:39 AM
This is awesome, thanks for the opportunity to get a critique. I am stuck with this character. One of the main things that I do not like is the hair. I modeled her hair
and I dont know of a good max plug in for hair thats cheap. Otherwise I want her to
be dangerous and mysterious, but I think her outfit isnt really conveing that air of
mystery if you will. also when i first created her i pictured her with a shot gun, but looking at her again her weapon doesnt fit her, its almost like she needs to have a knife or sword. i really am stuck and I actually have put this character aside for 3 weeks now and really
need to get back to her to finish her so I can pose her. i do have the concept i am working from if that will help, but i did not know if posting it here would break the rules, instead i can include the link if you want to take the time to look at the concept as well. thanks again.
concept can be found at:

05 May 2006, 05:42 AM
yo Steven all the respects to you, and thenx again for the journey overpaaint:thumbsup:

05 May 2006, 05:55 AM
well i would think the paintover is advice given a more fuller approch and is altering an original idea no creating from scratch, so if your worried about copyrights i dont think there is much cause for concern, still its his thread and his time, so i will not put words in anothers mouth.

j mac

Just I would like to have a good overpaint session rundown with finer rules...

05 May 2006, 06:45 AM
this is the greatest idea since... cgtalk.
looking forward to it! way2go

05 May 2006, 06:46 AM
Copyright rules? ok, I guess it doesn't hurt to be thorough...
Let's see. You own your original artwork of course.
Since the purpose of my painting on it is to help you finish it, you're also free to copy my paintover and call the final result 100% your own (but obviously you can't call the paintover itself 100% your own).
It would be rude of anyone to make money off the finished painting though, especially if I helped a lot... like for instance a professional illustrator using my paintover services on a commission, without asking or paying me... I would ask you all not to do that, or if you have to, please tell me when you submit.
The paintover itself, I don't own that either, but I think I should have the right to show it to other students in the future, giving proper credits and all.

And as for file-types, a simple jpeg like any ordinary posted image is fine.


05 May 2006, 06:54 AM
Copyright rules? ok, I guess it doesn't hurt to be thorough...
Let's see. You own your original artwork of course.
Since the purpose of my painting on it is to help you finish it, you're also free to copy my paintover and call the final result 100% your own (but obviously you can't call the paintover itself 100% your own).
It would be rude of anyone to make money off the finished painting though, especially if I helped a lot... like for instance a professional illustrator using my paintover services on a commission, without asking or paying me... I would ask you all not to do that, or if you have to, please tell me when you submit.
The paintover itself, I don't own that either, but I think I should have the right to show it to other students in the future, giving proper credits and all.

It's awesome of ya to do this Steven, youre a spectacular artist and any advice from you on a more professional look would do ANYONE good, even a pro like you ;) (wonders what a paintover for Linda B would be like lol ;) )

Anyhow, i do have a piece that i would so absolutely love to get some of your advice on, but since there are already 4 in line i'll hold off til next session (if i can slip in hehe) Just wanted to be sure to thank you, in the extreme, for the contribution you're making for us here!

05 May 2006, 07:00 AM
This will be a great learning experience and a fun thread to watch. We can't thank you enough. :applause:

05 May 2006, 07:17 AM
very nice idea! :thumbsup: so how long will this last?

05 May 2006, 07:52 AM
I live in Philadelphia. The 'Body Works' exibit just passed through at the Franklin Institute. The 'artist' makes art out of dead bodies. Real live dead bodies. Gunther Von Hagens. First Serious Photoshop illustration I've been working on. It consists of many layers, at least 15. For a more finished product, I think the guts need work, the body from the breasts down need work, the background maybe, Shadows, Highlights, and anything else. Make it look like a cenobite from hellraiser, whatever. Im kinda tired of messin' with it, though, it should be finished. I kick myself... (


05 May 2006, 07:56 AM
so how long will this last?
I make no guarantees, but could be as long as this one:
Up to 138 pages now :D

Here's the first:

And even though it's not quite what I had in mind (this one could actually fit better in my other thread, see above), I did a quick markup on this one as well:
Jaw seems to become narrower at the lower edge when the tissue there stretches (about 1 cm inward on each side, at the same time a part of the jaw hidden behind the zygomatic arch emerges and bulges the cheek out

05 May 2006, 07:57 AM
This is what I call as a extremely nice idea Steven! You are an amazing artist and any help from you would be very helpful :)

I also have an image I would like to be overpainted. I've been stuck with it for awhile and it would be great if you could help me out.

But as there already is 4 images in a row, I'll just have to wait :)


05 May 2006, 08:01 AM

It seems that there isn't 4 untreated pieces in a row anymore :) So I guess I'll post mine.

I'm stuck with it, not too fond of the facial expression and don't have a clue on what to do to her torso. So it would be great if you could help me out :) Just do what you see as best for it.


05 May 2006, 08:11 AM
tack så mycket Steven :D i appriciate the paintover even if it wasnt what u had in mind . i ll post the progress of the character in the body topology thread .

05 May 2006, 09:11 AM
this is a peice im working on right now, i have spent some time on it and im very near the end i think so ill post it for you to have a gander, i do view any input as gold dust and its always good to get a slaping about to wake one up as it were
No slapping about needed, your image really doesn't need much in the way of a paintover... :) I love it. Some small anatomy issues but that could be down to the style, if you like it that way... a bit Aeon Fluxy perhaps. Just her right fist, check your own in a mirror, the knuckles slanting so that the pinkie end of the hand seems too long.

cuatemoc69, your concept is very nice. Maybe you should follow it more closely, redder and more disorderly hair, the makeup around the eyes, removing the gun... does she need a weapon? Perhaps a poisoned crooked dagger would be more suitable. Also, I think her head seems too small for her body, while in your concept painting it looks about right. (I won't paint on it this time, because images like these are better commented in text I think)

05 May 2006, 09:29 AM

I didnt get stuck on this one, but never knew why people didnt like it so i figure its because there is something really wrong with it.

These is about two friends, she is a raptor but i didnt want to make her agresive since she isnt really dangerous and following that i tryed to avoid any colors about danger or precaution.

And he is a "cartoon" character like a hunchback (he has a much bigger eye than the other and he has two big rounded teeth with the mouth pulled to the right), he represents inocense so he is actually calmed about being grabed by her tayl.

Also thought pastel bright colors on the background woudnt contrast the scene too much (but im not to efficient in backgrounds)

Great topic, its something the forums needed
Thanks in advance if you pick my image up

05 May 2006, 10:05 AM
This is super! I'm really stuck on an image (well it's more of a composition issue) and this thread is -so- what I needed! I don't want be hasty though, I'm going to try and fix what I think I can and then post here. Thank you so much!

05 May 2006, 10:17 AM
Is this the answer to my prayers? Hehe!
It seems no matter how hard I try something is always wonky with my faces and this is one of them. Even a written description would be fine if you don't want to do a paintover.
Here it is.

I honestly thought I nailed it, but I was clearly wrong:hmm:.
Thanks very much for your time!

05 May 2006, 10:27 AM
Steven!That Cat and Faerie piece is really touching ! what a paintover !by god!:thumbsup:

05 May 2006, 10:38 AM (

Since I post the WIP with overall texture applied, I didn't receive any comments.
Actually I would like to make him more fierce, but just for me it is really don't know how to "spoil" something, like adding a scar, or tattoo....

Also have a background setup.

It may look good with your "paintover" :)

05 May 2006, 11:37 AM
Stahlberg, you are amazing :) That's a greeeat help for people, and a good way to make your name even more renowned...what else can u ask for?

Rabid pitbull
05 May 2006, 12:50 PM
Really fantastic idea! Thanks for taking the time to do this many will (myself included) benifit from watching the transformantion.

05 May 2006, 01:20 PM
This is a piece I have been stuck on for a while. Was wondering if you could help me with her dress possibly, background, ground, any anatomy or light problems.
Anything at all would be greatly appreciated. I am glad and thankful that you are helping others.

05 May 2006, 01:56 PM

this thread is going to get real big...real fast. But remember guys... only four at a time.
Great idea mate!!!

05 May 2006, 02:00 PM
Samsonite0077, yours is another that really doesn't have any big problems, :D top 3/4 is fine the bottom part where the feet meet the ground looks a bit weird with the perspective, it seems tilted somehow, especially behind the feet... see if you can find reference for someone standing barefoot in grass like that, on a little hill (if you can't find it, try to take a photo yourself). maybe all you have to do is separate the background grass from the middleground grass.

johnnyschihl, that's a very cool and twisted illustration there... :D I'm not sure what you were going for though. Dark gory realistic, like a horror-movie? Or more illustration-like, similar to german artists from the 30's I think (can't think of any names right now)?

More overpaints coming soon.


05 May 2006, 02:56 PM
Here, I was just wondering if you noticed any composition mistakes or any other obvious flaw I didn't see. I really wanted the river to stand out in this piece, in order to get an interesting visual path. That's my first matte painting.

Thanks a lot!

EDIT: Damn, sorry, didn't notice it was characters only!

05 May 2006, 03:03 PM
this is my work! i paint it when i saw a toy bear on my desk . i wanna a evil way !

05 May 2006, 03:03 PM
Fun idea Steven.

05 May 2006, 03:55 PM
You are so the man, Steven. :)


05 May 2006, 05:10 PM
Hey Malachi how's everything!

abeld3dg, haha that's amazingly sick and cool! :D No crits!

DanVL, excellent matte painting, not enough crits to warrant an overpaint I reckon. The river may be standing out a little too much because of the very obvious line of shadowed trees next to it, but that's a borderline case and matter of taste, and you said you wanted it to stand out.
It's hard for me to tell if it's moonlight or daylight, see if you can maybe clarify that a bit.

Here's another:

05 May 2006, 06:31 PM
thanks Stalhberg!
I'm having alot of trouble with colors and lighting...How can I add more depth/atmosphere and make the lighting more convincing? anything you can think of to make it more "dramatic" in your opinion? Also, do you think you would change the composition and character poses? [supposed to be a hunting pack following something wounded] I'd really appreciate any feedback, and thanks again for doing this.

05 May 2006, 06:45 PM
Did another since it's Friday :D
(note that I didn't get rid of her skin texture on purpose, it just got covered by paint)

And another, just a quickie:


05 May 2006, 06:54 PM
Feel free to ignore this one, Steven, this is just an experiment- jeromoo (jerome moo wen han) did a paintover of one of my characters, I was curious how you would treat the same painting. The one on the left is mine, the one on the right is his.

05 May 2006, 07:03 PM
Steven this is really generous of you. Keep up the good work.

05 May 2006, 07:05 PM
Wow this is so generous of you to take your time out and do this. Amazing. Thank you :) I won't post anything yet, because I think at this point I can learn a ton just by looking at your paint-overs.

05 May 2006, 07:43 PM
Wow, thanks, this really does make me think much more about contrasts and how lights should work. I also neglected the tree a lot. No wonder i never got a reply ^^

I like the addition of reds, i really never though of that, it does feel more like skin than before.

Really thank you, really appreciated.

I was wondering (i promise i wont clutter the thread with my images, this will be the last one ^^)

I made this image on 2004, though im happy with her i see something really wrong, but i dont know what it is.

Thanks for your time

05 May 2006, 07:57 PM
Just stopping by to say thank you for this, Mr Stahlberg! Muchos kudos!

05 May 2006, 09:03 PM
Hi Steven, hi everybody.

Hello...i think this is a great goes..

This is a compo from last challenge.
What i discovered when i finished is that although there was a lot of hard work on it
and most of elements are good...somehow in the final compo ....i &%^$&#%& ..hated it...
(pardon my French :scream: wanna get in this again when i have some free time,
so i wouldn't mind some ..or more much hard critic u can give's ok...
i am interested...
And sorry about size ...i am not position right now to upload anything
from where i am right now. :shrug:Please delete my post if it's a big problem and i can upload it again smaller soon...
So here it is....

05 May 2006, 11:02 PM
The idea is so good, and there's so much demand for it that it could have its own forum, with each submission in its dedicated thread, with the forum only focusing on paint-overs as suggestions. I myself like to do my suggestions with paintovers (rather simplistic..) and I am glad about this thing going popular.

Sorry if these ideas are already mentioned..

05 May 2006, 12:06 AM
Dmitris, that's spookily like a scene from House of Flying Daggers- you know, that scene where he goes to kill Sky?
...except it's nighttime in your scene. Beautiful one, by the way.

I agree with the idea of a forum for this, except instead of piling all the work on poor steven, we could ask a few more masters around here if they want to join in, so each master has their 'own' paintover thread. Just a thought. I'm sure it'd be fantastically popular.

05 May 2006, 01:15 AM
Paperclip: Seconded :D

*stands nervously* is... there... 4 or more untreated ones? Can I post mine?

05 May 2006, 02:50 AM
I just saw what you did with mine. Thanks very much for the help, you're a legend! :bowdown:

05 May 2006, 04:25 AM
Hi Steven, hi everybody.

Hello...i think this is a great goes..

This is a compo from last challenge.
What i discovered when i finished is that although there was a lot of hard work on it
and most of elements are good...somehow in the final compo ....i &%^$&#%& ..hated it...
(pardon my French :scream: wanna get in this again when i have some free time,
so i wouldn't mind some ..or more much hard critic u can give's ok...
i am interested...
And sorry about size ...i am not position right now to upload anything
from where i am right now. :shrug:Please delete my post if it's a big problem and i can upload it again smaller soon...
So here it is....

What about if I give you some advice?

1. The foreground chessboard and the rooftop should be removed.
2. Please make a research on chinese architecture, the rooftop doesn't like this.
3. Remove all water drops, it is distracting because the drop is too large and obvious.
4. Lighting - I don't know why there is an odd blooming at LHS of the picture.
5. You have lamps in the outside buildings, make it glow in yellow.
6. Girl's hair style should be a bit more complex... not just that simple.
7. Zooming blurs and DOF helps to enhance atmosphere.

8. Additional: I may add some falling leaves or flower pedals on the floor and blowing in the scene.:)
9. The floor is too simple without oraments...

05 May 2006, 05:34 AM
Good comments, dickma. I'd like to add that the guy on the left seems a bit big, perspective wise. Here's the overpaint I just finished:

05 May 2006, 06:36 AM
Another one:

With this one I also feel the figure on the right should be pointing down the path, looking at the guy on the left (but I was too lazy to paint it). :) Now that I look at it I also think the fallen log is slanting too much, distorting the perspective a bit.


05 May 2006, 07:00 AM
Another one.
This is the workflow I follow to fix anatomy.
First, a layer of red lines showing a mix of skeletal details, centerlines, and perspective lines.

Then, painting, smudging, cutting/pasting following the lines, finally turning off the lines and fine-tuning.


05 May 2006, 08:14 AM
awsome, I didn't realize how oversaturated mine was. And I hadn't even thought about the log...but you are very right. I shall rework it.
I really appreciate it.

05 May 2006, 08:54 AM
Feel free to ignore this one, Steven, this is just an experiment- jeromoo (jerome moo wen han) did a paintover of one of my characters, I was curious how you would treat the same painting. The one on the left is mine, the one on the right is his.
I hesitate to paint over someone else's paintover... :D
Anyway, his paintover is fine, I've got nothing to add to it when it comes to light and shadow and color etc. The perspective is a little off but that always takes a lot of effort on a face, and paintovers are usually done quickly.
I suggest you sketch the skull shape, the centerline and some perspective lines, as in my anatomy study above. It also helps to horisontal-flip the image. If you're still unhappy with it after that, post it again here and I'll do my best.


05 May 2006, 12:21 PM
Simple, like a spacesuit...That is a Hubble telescope picture in the background.


05 May 2006, 12:37 PM
Like everyone else said... this is a really cool idea :D
I'd like to know what can be improved on in this pic. Trying to figure out lighting and shading... (And of course, anatomy)

05 May 2006, 03:11 PM
As everyone else keeps saying, this is a great idea, and I really hope that other artists will join in and do more paintovers as well.
but it may need another way of managing the image queue waiting for paintovers, as it looks like the 4 image queue aren't working as suggested. Right now I can't really determine how many images are queued, so I'll chance a post and hope for the best.

It started as a daily sketch on "Are you talking to me" but after a bit playing around afterwards, this one appeared.
Can't say I put much work into a story or anything as I just did whatever came to my mind, so it's up to the viewer now to determine what is happening, what has just happened and what will happen soon. Anyhow, I'm a bit stuck now on how to improve the composition, environment further and maybe develop whatever story there may be, in some direction.
Paintover or just text comments, either way I would love to get some input. (

05 May 2006, 05:07 PM
Thanks, Steven. I'm afraid I got a little too greedy with the whole paintover business! It's such a powerful tool and I got dazzled by it. :D

I'd like to commend you for being so generous, it's really nice of you to give up your time to help others (although I have a feeling you're having fun doing it as well!). cheers, man.

05 May 2006, 05:23 PM
Thank you Stahlberg, I always make good comments. :)

I still don't have my paintover result yet.
(Just I hate the thumbnail function of the upload image in the thread, why the image which is linked from outside can show in full size in the thread? The thumbnail one is just too small and not noticeable.)

05 May 2006, 05:59 PM
This one, I'm not sure what feeling you're trying for. The style seems different from realism, because of those heavy outlines, or perhaps it's just not finished yet, so I'm not sure if this overpaint is very helpful. There's no indication of lighting, so I guessed and made my own.

Dickma, sorry I overlooked your image, I guess it happens easily with thumbnails (although I never promised to overpaint on every image submitted). :) I'll try to make the guy look more fierce, tomorrow.

Here's the lizard rapper:

and the graveyard shift (love the idea, hilarious):

05 May 2006, 06:15 PM
@ dickma , Steven Stahlberg___ Thanks friends...that's so sweet. The paintover seems that has given a more clear view and a more calm image. Thanks Steven ..i think i get it now what i have to do, guy on on normal scale..(maybe i have done a mistake there, will check) but i think it's his pose that gives that wierd look. i like your sky suggestion more too.
Thanks also dickma ...your comments are most appreciated. It seems that finally either i have to make drops very small or delte them...some leaves is a good idea too. Rooftops..i took ref from "Hero" movie..maybe i should reesearch more..will do so!

Thanks..u just gave me a new perspective to work on this.

P.S ; this thread is one of the really smart and cool ones. :thumbsup:

05 May 2006, 07:48 PM
I'm doing very well Steven, hope you & yours are too. :)

I have a piece I did about a year or so ago, that I was never really happy with and I was hoping you'd take a look...

I was going for exaggerated proportions, kind of a Biz look... But it just came out as her having a crooked neck and huge legs! Any suggestions on how I can keep the proportions slightly exaggerated, while still keeping my anatomy believable? Should I just go for a completely different pose all together?

Any advise would be appreciated dude. :)


05 May 2006, 10:34 PM
Not sure whether this is a real character, but being a Matrix fan, I just had to go for it and make a scene (just a few millions of polys) inspired by the movie. Want it to look like the sentinel is attacking the ship, fast going forward to the camera.Also want it to have that matrix-real-world atmosphere, just can't seem to get it right.

05 May 2006, 05:46 AM
Not sure whether this is a real character, but being a Matrix fan, I just had to go for it and make a scene (just a few millions of polys) inspired by the movie. Want it to look like the sentinel is attacking the ship, fast going forward to the camera.Also want it to have that matrix-real-world atmosphere, just can't seem to get it right.

For that perspective emphasis work, you should concentrate on camera work. Think about motion blur, camera zooming blur and DOF. Also, there is not enough glow and illumination of the Red Eyes. Also. the sentinel and the Osirus is a bit stick together, Changing hue of the spaceship may help.

05 May 2006, 06:53 AM
The Bisley thing (cool monsters btw!):

The sentinel:

05 May 2006, 06:59 AM
Thanks Mr. Stahlberg. :)

05 May 2006, 08:33 AM
Are we allowed to post more? Feel free to ignore if not, but here's mine:

Perhaps some pointers on the anatomy, or anything really would help.
No reference used.

05 May 2006, 09:11 AM
Thank you indeed ! Both you Steven and dickma (You guessed it's from the final flight of the osiris ? ;) ) will try to put your advice to good use. Thanks again. And lemme' say this : This is one helluva thread ! Great.

05 May 2006, 12:55 PM
Eeeeee! Thank you! I'll be sure to look at the differences.

05 May 2006, 01:52 PM
Anatomy and lighting suggestions:


05 May 2006, 02:02 PM
good afternoon everyone (at least its afternoon here)

at first i want to say its really generous of you to do this for the community :)

ive been struggling with myself since this thread was plugged wether to submit or not, but since im really stuck here and really could use some help.

Its not a real deeper meaning picture, more of standart fantasy thing. She flet from the world to be with her friends the birds at the branches of the great world tree, watching the world from afar. getting messages and news from her friends.

i spend a big amount of time on this, more than i care to admit only to quit near the end cause something feels really off.

thank you very much for your advice in advance.

05 May 2006, 02:24 PM
I would like to LOL! :-P

Just didn't expect that my warrior age is increased to 10 or 20 year older.

05 May 2006, 03:59 PM
i like the idea of this thread as well as others.

there is alot of neglect on alot of artists that are trying to come up in the scene. although there is a section for works in progress alot of the senior artists that are here ignore those areas.

not sure if alot of artists believe that they should not trifle with helping, or forget that they were in that place one time ago.

hope more get a little more active in threads like this, it helps invigorate and show beginers that this place is not just for the more experienced people.

05 May 2006, 04:26 PM
The bird lady. I love the lower half of the image, branches, corset and tail on her, don't change that. :D It's probably still a bit too dark at the top, making it 'top heavy'.


05 May 2006, 10:50 PM
I'm working really hard on this image (ignore the unpainted dragon at the moment lol). What I really need help with is her hand...I just can't draw her fingers properly. Could you give me..a hand..with her hand? lol

05 May 2006, 06:26 AM
Paintover on the hand, and a bit on the arm as well
(about the crystals, they would refract light more so the hair wouldn't be so clearly visible)


05 May 2006, 06:35 AM
wow, thank you very much Mr. Stahlberg :)
Definately helps a lot.

05 May 2006, 07:19 AM
Hi, thanks for the opportunity, i posted the 3d model of this character for critique, but unfortunately it was not chosen, i did notice that most images here were painting so i figured maybe i could get some help with the concept of the original 3d character. i called this "finished" about 2 months ago, but something still feels off. there is very little in sense of atmosphere and i think its mainly to do with my use, or lack of use of lighting. thanks

05 May 2006, 07:48 AM
I wrote this in post #22:
cuatemoc69, your concept is very nice. Maybe you should follow it more closely, redder and more disorderly hair, the makeup around the eyes, removing the gun... does she need a weapon? Perhaps a poisoned crooked dagger would be more suitable. Also, I think her head seems too small for her body, while in your concept painting it looks about right. (I won't paint on it this time, because images like these are better commented in text I think)
I'll do an overpaint on your 2d image, in a little while

05 May 2006, 08:17 AM
im sorry about that, i totally did not see that post, i was focused on seein a paintover and i completely skipped your post. thanks for reposting your comment, and thanks in advance for the paintover, thats awesome.

05 May 2006, 10:35 AM
It's ok. :) Here it is:


05 May 2006, 10:44 AM
Olgas futuristic swordswomen and johnnys demonfetus girl.

Defcombeta: great character. Great looking face...No crits...Rig her and animate her. Belly dancing with a cloth plug-in for the face piece, beads? skirt?

Steven Stahlberg: Thank you being a personal inspiration to not only me, but to everyone here on our planet. it, may I?


05 May 2006, 12:07 PM
thank you very much for the overpaint, it was very helpfull indeed :)

im just wondering, should we post a link here to the reworked pieces? i will definetly get back to it after the challenge is over and i hopefully submitted a final image :D

05 May 2006, 02:27 PM
should we post a link here to the reworked pieces?
Sure, why not? Traffic has quitened, there's plenty of space here now. :)

05 May 2006, 02:32 PM
thanks so much for the paintover, it really helps!

05 May 2006, 05:50 PM
wow! thanks alot for the paitnover, this looks really good. i will rework it and post it if you dont mind. thanks.

05 May 2006, 06:15 PM
Iīm not sure if this activity are finished yet, but I wish to post one ilustration that I made from a concept. I asked a friend "tell me something to do for a concept" and he said me "The first meeting of humans with a alienīs life" and I painted it.

I was so happy with my advances in this picture when I done it. But, always this happiness go out in some days xD

About the image, I wish to know what are the possibilities to retouched the image, or to finish it. I would like what things could be make better (like some touches of color; some areas would be better blurred or not; how to adquire a better depth in the scene; how to enhance some things...) All this things that make us to think about it.


P.D.: I forget to say that this is a very good thread. Good job, Stahlberg.

(Sorry about my english...)

05 May 2006, 06:32 PM
Stahlberg thanks for helping so many out! I found I learned a lot from the paintovers you've done so far.

Here's me. I tried to have a nice soft light coming from screen right and a natural light from screen left. Colour, shadows threw me off, not to mention porportion....

05 May 2006, 06:52 PM
Stahlberg it looks like you have your work cut out for you buddy, I am glad that you are taking the time to help other artist out there to improve their work, good luck with this.:thumbsup:

05 May 2006, 07:18 PM
This is a great idea to do over paints!

Well this is my image. Its based on an old kids programme called Thundercats.
This is pretty much the first image in photoshop which i have promised myself to finish as i usually get bored and start another.

I am stuck really with the guy and just the general finish and maybe lighting, i feel like it just needs a bit more mood to push it further

I hope you can help me with a paint-over :)



05 May 2006, 08:28 PM
Hi ! Thanks for this oportunity.
I was wondering if you could take a look at this matte painting that I did time ago.

Thanks for you time!!

05 May 2006, 09:10 PM
Amazing thread!

here I go:

and another one... (I think the composition is wrong, but I donīt know why...)

Thank you very much for your time!

05 May 2006, 02:40 AM
PereBalsach - I found an image that is probably better reference for you than any overpaint I could do, it's this amazing painting by John Wallin Liberto"
I wouldn't dare to try to do better than that (because I can't) :D

SergioSantos, nothing much wrong with the first image that I could paint better, except maybe a slightly unreal deformation at the shoulder... the second one is ideal for overpainting, it's a good example for how to improve composition, I'll work on that one.

05 May 2006, 03:33 AM
I was going for a frazetta vibe with the composition and the painting, but Im a bit green at painting and it looks bland; couldnt really get that deceptive ' detail/ no detail" thing going. Bit of a problem with lightsourcing too, i feel.

05 May 2006, 06:26 AM
Cool idea,
I darkened some parts to improve the way the eye is lead around the image, and strengthened the contrast between the green (alien) and red (human)

The portrait - mainly I moved the nose and the mouth to the left, and softened the black

Not sure if this is better, but hopefully it gives you some ideas.

05 May 2006, 07:03 AM
Here's the overpaint I promised.
The original is at the top, the middle shows where the main focal points are, and the bottom is my suggestion.
As you can see in the middle, the focal points are bunched up in the center, also there's 3 with roughly the same 'weight'. To improve the distribution of foci, and so the composition, I flattened the very busy background (among other things removing the sunset clouds), muted the moon-like object, and darkened the land (which is more realistic for dusk or night anyway). I also cropped a bit closer, and changed the aspect ratio of the image. I also changed the lighting to a more night-like one. If anyone has any questions about this, feel free to ask here.

05 May 2006, 07:46 AM
Trying to push the Frazetta style a bit more:

05 May 2006, 08:21 AM
Hi, 3 pictures for feeling mood but choose one :)

very high wall of megabuilding outsiders are living on. I reduce colors for not suggesting you :D

Great thread.


05 May 2006, 08:22 AM
OOh I cannot resist! :bounce:

Here is my heroine

Thanx sooo much!

05 May 2006, 08:31 AM
Good job Stahlberg. In the picture that I posted (meeting alien-human), I was thinking about put the character in a shadow of some element. Maybe it would be a good element to add more colors to the alien-human "characters". So I will try this :)

I think that you are so good, but, Are you learning with this activity? We (all people) will be learning along all our lives. And I think that if someone are good in his job, maybe it will be always new things to learn. What do you think?

I will post a new image that I have working on it.

(Sorry about my english... I wish I could to say more things, and better... xDDD) (

05 May 2006, 09:24 AM
Thank you very much indeed!

I really apreciate this kind of comments.

05 May 2006, 09:50 AM
Janek and Gawain - nice sketches. But I'm not sure what to do with them. Janek, you say you want mood, which mood is that? Gawain, please tell me more about your image, what you want to communicate with it. Is it just a cool character for a game? Or is it a sad elf? Or an angry warrior? etc

Also, as I mentioned in the beginning I only want to accept finished images, or images that are almost finished but that you are 'stuck' with... no sketches. I think it's easier for me, then, to know what you are trying to do, and I also think you learn more from that.

Go ahead and work some more on those images, add some colors, and for the woman maybe some background, then by all means, if you're not happy with them, submit them here and I'll see what I can do to help.

05 May 2006, 09:58 AM
hello steven,great stuff you've got here :applause:
Well I know that you often work on values before colours but lastly I tried the same and I'm completely lost concerning colors. Can't really decide which color mood I should choose.

It would be great if you could give me your advice, and if something's missing in the composition too,feel free to talk about it...

05 May 2006, 10:13 AM
Are you learning with this activity?

Oh, yes most definitely. Every paint stroke we do is practise. And this forces me to perhaps do more paint strokes in one day than I would otherwise do. :D


05 May 2006, 10:15 AM

You're right. I think I was too much in hurry for having your precious feedback and forgot to gave some infos :)

It is a concept for a 3D pitch pilot. She is a rogue. Born in a small village, Vivian left her home when she was just a young girl because she is "different" (in fact she is a were-creature and cannot control very well the shapeshifting). Vivian wanted a different, simple happy life. She thinks life is crude and quite meaningless, but the more she knows humans the more she appreciate the time in wereform.
What I try to capture (and actually cannot) is her melanchonic attitude suspended between the two worlds she lives in. Also i think she has to be more stylized (or cartoonish), to best suite her 3D form.
I'll be very grateful if you could give me some hints in this stage of the picture but I understand what you mean and I will go on and try to finish her anyway, and re-submit the result.

Thank You very very much!

05 May 2006, 10:48 AM
It is extremely cool of you to demonstrate ways to make work better. It is a very fulfilling exercise and makes the artist think of what they aren't doing...and that is typically where we go wrong. I will take a poke at this. Here is an old 3D city image I built. It was to be an environment only (no characters)...but it seemed rather flat to me, and it never really reached the level of quality which I typically seek to achieve (by using inspiration from artists as qualified as yourself). If you have time and select this one...great, if not, I understand and thank you...I have learned what seperates the pros from the rookies in developing quality imagery.

This is some way old have fun with this if you choose it.


05 May 2006, 12:29 PM
Hi steven- just wondering, what's the most common mistake you've come across so far while doing this?

05 May 2006, 12:49 PM
Hello Steven I have seen your works, and really love every piece you make. I think everybody appreciate infinitely the support you do to the community and specially the artists. Im astounded for the speed you have for painting and its quality, the speed painting look is my weak point and cannot get a good "sketchy" look only with few strokes. Anyways I hope you can help me to improve this illustration I made some time ago, but still cannot see the mistakes (if theres anyone,and I think many). Its just soft brushes but. Still not sure about anatomy, illumination, compo, cloth...THANKS

PD as you see, it has a little "comic" style

05 May 2006, 12:52 PM
Thanks Steven for your time! I'll take a look at this masterpiece :thumbsup:

I don't want to bother you, but....I always had the impresion that is something wrong in this painting, but my skills are not as good as I want. Any ideas?

Anyway, thanks a lot for your feedback Steven, truly helpful!

05 May 2006, 02:10 PM
Here is mine (though its not finished, just wanted to see where you would change)

05 May 2006, 02:12 PM
Hi Steven!
This is actually one of the most helpful topics and threads I ever found. I always think that strokes help better than words, but words are always appreciated ;)
Actually I have a lot of stuff that is freezed, for two reasons, time and uncapacity of finding the right solution with the technique to achieve the result I have in mind.
I usually work tone on tone, the style of bringing out light and shadows from middle tones, but usually this is the death to atmosphere when I switch on something else that isn't a portrait.
Thank you in general for your time, and compliments for your amazing art (I adore your works)

I'm stuck on this one, for the precise reason I'm not sure about the composition and cut.
The idea is of a humid cave, with two light holes, one in the back, the other on the girl. Stalagmites and such. But you can change anything you like, the cut expecially.( I already made a few changes by suggestions, but I'm not satisfied)
And yes... he's a ghost :D ;) (what a kitch...)

05 May 2006, 02:22 PM
hey steven

once again many thanks for taking the time to do this for the community..

my piece (i hope it qualifies) is very much a WIP but i would love your comments on lighting and composition

many thanks indeed

05 May 2006, 03:02 PM
Hi Steven

Here is my baby...
i didn't have much time to work the lighting in this scene hehe

05 May 2006, 03:14 PM
This one I did last night needs help.

It's Akira from Virtua Fighter.

I'm trying to make the skin look more realistic, but it’s just not working.

A semi intense mood would be fine. I hadn't thought of that yet, but it fits.

Like he's watching his opponent walk up to him.

(Edit) I updated the image

05 May 2006, 06:30 PM
Here's two more overpaints:

This one, I simply removed the colorful parts, and the melting watch (and added some more towers in the distance). See how much nicer it is... well I think so anyway. :) The deleted stuff was distracting, overshadowing the other very nice parts of your image, and now it has a cool thoughtful feeling to it.

Gawain - as you can see I've been swamped with images lately, and I'm going to bed now. I'll try to get to yours later, meanwhile you can also work on it.

paperclip, the most common problem seems to be distracting "noise" - high contrast patterns or details, extending past the foreground and middleground, into the farthest depth of the image. As you may have noticed, I tend to flatten the contrasts more and more the further back in the image I go. Another thing that doesn't work very well in backgrounds is highly saturated colors.

PereBalsach - that's a very cool image. I can't find much 'meat' to tweak in paint, so I'll try with words this time. The outlines of the skull are a bit soft, compared to all the other sharp outlines. The far shoulder seems brighter than the near shoulder, which flattens the perspective because it then seems closer to us than the near one.

bearfoot - same with you, very good image, not much to paint-crit. Maybe you could try angling the view so the platform in the foreground is more prominent, and leading more to the left. If you then make sure it's brighter near the character it should work as an 'arrow' to lead the eye from the lower left corner swoosh to the main focus

As for you other guys, paints coming up tomorrow

Good night


05 May 2006, 07:36 PM
Hello Steven! :applause:
I create Night Elf Girl from Warcraft. And no one like she`s face.
How to make she face more Sexy?
It would be great if you could give me your advice, and if something's missing in the face anatomy. Paintover please.

05 May 2006, 07:49 PM
Sorry guys--jumped the gun there--moving the artwork to a proper block of four.

Hi Steven,

I've enjoyed your artwork for years now--it's really cool to have an opportunity to engage you (and all of the artists on CG Talk for constructive feedback). Thank you!

Coconut Postcard is for the cover of some sheet music of the same name. I'm happy with the overall sketchy-ness of it, but I feel like something is missing. I think I need to go somewhere with the bushes, but I'm not sure where--I've tried a few things but I just don't have a sense of them.

Thanks for looking man!


05 May 2006, 08:37 PM
A lot of thanks! :D Itīs good to see how can be a painting on a more advanced process of painting. I always need more smoothed surfaces, but I canīt do it because the "way of think" about painting. I wish I could communicate what I try to say xDDDD So... Seeing how to do over my sketch give me a lot of ideas and a lot of ways to work on it. Iīve been painting over my picture and now I can do it better.

Thanks and Good night!! :)

05 May 2006, 09:30 PM
hey guys slow down the requests and count.

he said 4 at a time. don't bog the guy down. yes everybody is excited but....

05 May 2006, 10:14 PM
paperclip, the most common problem seems to be distracting "noise" - high contrast patterns or details, extending past the foreground and middleground, into the farthest depth of the image. As you may have noticed, I tend to flatten the contrasts more and more the further back in the image I go. Another thing that doesn't work very well in backgrounds is highly saturated colors.


Interesting. I always assumed it'd be bad composition or incorrect values or something (although I assume you see plenty of that anyway). I did notice how you've flattened the contrasts and I was watching to see how far you'd take that. :D

05 May 2006, 02:11 AM
I always assumed it'd be bad composition or incorrect values
Funny you should mention that, imo those are issues related to the overly contrasty issue. As I've discussed with you before, to me composition is basically how you distribute your focal points, the parts that attract the eye. Overly contrasty high frequency noise all over is like putting a million equal focal points evenly all over the image. It's also an "incorrect value" issue, because parts that should not be focal points have both too dark and too bright values, thus becoming focal points.

But, I think I know what you mean by incorrect values, incerrectly capturing the play of shadow and light across objects? It's true that is also a common issue, in many cases due to a lack of anatomical knowledge. Once you 'know' a form better you tend to apply the values more correctly.

05 May 2006, 06:31 AM
thewave - I'm not sure what's going on here, is it possible that you're using incandescence or self-illumination on all the textures? There seems to be no real shadows happening, or if there are they are muted almost invisible by the extremely strong textures. Especially at night, it's important to realise that buildings are basically black, no matter what their color in the daytime, with only small pools of light cast by outside lights, and neon signs and lights from inside windows. I did some clumsy painting to show what I mean, but in reality it would be even darker than this.

Dogway - I didn't do much to this one, as it's strongly stylized and paintovers aren't very good for those. I tweaked a few anatomy and perspective issues though.

Robert Ashley - can you describe more what you want the image to be when it's finished? As it stands now, it's a bit too sketchy for me, I could finish it for you but then it would be my painting not yours. :) It's also quite good, I can't really find any anatomy issues to fix... Maybe you can work on it some more, then repost it?

mindofka -

todesco - again, an image that is stylized, polished and works well enough that I can't find much to crit. I might get rid of Darth's lightsaber, it makes things a bit unclear and busy over there, but that's about it.

Gabe -

Simon3d - it's very hard to overpaint on neutrally posed, neutrally lit, untextured 3d geometry like this. I might want to move the corner of the mouth a few millimeters for instance, but if I try painting that it won't be clear. So let me try verbally: the mouth corners seem a bit sharp and thin, get some good closeup reference and have a closer look at that. The nostrils I think need some more subtle shaping, again reference images (or even your own nose) will tell you more than my overpainting. The edge of the jaw also seems a bit sharp. Otherwise, a very good head!
I would recommend anyone with 3d geometry like this to post it in my other 'advice' thread, a sticky at the top of the Maya forum here.

05 May 2006, 08:49 AM
Hey stahlburg, GREAT work I have alot i would like help with but.. this is one iv actualy finished in the past few months... somthing just doesnt seem right, perspective, the shadows maybe, but I think im starting to get anatomy a little better i hope. thanks for your help if you do, i know you will make it insanely better than mine id just like to see How. ;)

05 May 2006, 09:53 AM
Hello Steven, I really love your work and have admired it for years. That's why I don't want to miss the chance to get some crits from you on my digital painting done in photoshop. I actually finished this quite some time ago, but still think it's one of my best. That's why i would love to learn how to improve it.

Thanks in advance,

05 May 2006, 01:00 PM
Good morning! My, you work fast :) I wanted to wait to post something until you had less than 4 in the queue, and luckily I wake up early enough to have found a spot, so here I go.

This image is almost done -- actually it could be done - but, there is something missing I feel. I want to know what you think I could push further -- I would love your feedback about what I am doing wrong and what I can work on --- plus, how can I improve? What technical things do I need to work on? Give it to me, I can take it, please be as straight up honest as you possibly can - only truly objective eyes can give a crit and paint-over as to what I can push further.

As an aside - is it perhaps the lack of a person in the image that makes it feel incomplete? I feel almost like it is a background shot - there isn't enough atmosphere...

05 May 2006, 01:03 PM
Alright--I think this is the proper time/place to post. I see three untreated artworks before me. Forgive me if somebody beats me to the fourth spot while I'm writing this! Sorry for jumping the gun before.

Coconut Postcard is for the cover of some sheet music of the same name. I'm happy with the overall sketchy-ness of it, but I feel like something is missing. I think I need to go somewhere with the bushes, but I'm not sure where--I've tried a few things but I just don't have a sense of them.

05 May 2006, 03:49 PM
Hey Steven,

well, I am not sure how to setup my lighting for this scene.
Itīs very difficult, because without the lighting I canīt really start do paint , the wrinkles of the suite, the shoes etc.
I thought about a scene playing on a street, where the character is hiding behind the front of a car, lit by police lights, blue and red ones.

05 May 2006, 05:29 PM
I muted the line work, moved the direction of the light, changed the color of the shadows and ground, and changed the cropping a bit.

05 May 2006, 02:13 AM
The outstanding picture count looks to be quite a bit high so I'll hold off. It sounds like this will keep going for awhile though right?

Thanks. :thumbsup:

05 May 2006, 02:28 AM
Yes it will. :) I plan on keeping the thread going as long as people keep submitting good overpaint material... there may be interruptions for sickness or vacation or whatever temporary stuff like that.

05 May 2006, 02:55 AM
Wow what a difference, thank you.
This is a great eye opener for me.

I'm making a psd file with a bunch of before and afters, to keep as reference.

Great work man :thumbsup:

05 May 2006, 05:44 AM
The clouds are the only big problem I can see, which isn't much... my suggestion:

The coconut can stay yellow if you like, I just have to stay as close as I can to realism when I do paintovers because it's the only objective standard we can apply. :) (I think coconuts range from green to brown, correct me if I'm wrong)

This one, I tried to be more strict with regards to realistic shadows and light:

A lighting suggestion:


05 May 2006, 06:42 AM
Wow this thread is a godsend, I hope its still going...

This is the my latest piece, about 90% complete,
Is there anything I can do to make the scene look more dramatic?, I feel the lighting got washed out along the way and looks too even. Also any pointers on making the armour look shiner, and the general composition / perspective and proportions is much appreciated.


05 May 2006, 06:42 AM
Thank you Steven! :thumbsup:
See you in your thread in Maya forum.
Good Luck!

05 May 2006, 07:41 AM
Excelent thread!! I'll try to post my next work here!!

Thanks for all this help Steven! :thumbsup:


05 May 2006, 07:59 AM
Thanks a lot Steven!
Understood, I'm always afraid of pushing the light further, that's really how I have it in mind.
And thanks for the suggestions, and tutorials on your site. They're extremely useful, expecially for people like me that are in trouble with environments ;)

Did I say thanks, again? :beer:

05 May 2006, 11:10 AM
Hello steven, this is a great thing your doing here! hope to learn some stuff from you. here's mine. i'm really stuck on the design for the armor and a bunch of other stuff. thz in advance :)

05 May 2006, 01:51 PM
Wow, great thread.
I think, the most dramatic overpaint till now is the one with the cat and the dead fairy,
The difference is amazing :eek:

With this picture I want to show a tortured slave that was kept in this dark town in the background.
He starts his journey into freedom and a new live and so his sunlight face is full of joy and happiness.
Somehow i wanted to include some evil people or some kind of dark ghost like creatures from the town, which are crossing his path walking into the opposite direction looking evil at him....Its strange, the painting somehow looks finished but it doesnt feels like that.

05 May 2006, 03:50 PM
Hello steven, this is my newest work.i wanna design a character by the fashion way.i like painted it with a little oil-paint way and i hope u like it and i would love to learn how to improve it.

05 May 2006, 09:44 PM
Idea of overpaint crits is so great and I don't want to miss it and oportunity came in the right time to show picture in here, this is what I'm working lately, an image for young, skilled, polish director's movie. This picture is an illustration of one of many dreams that main character in movie got... and maybe it looks like finished job but something is wrong and I just don't know what, so far no one on few cg foums could tell me straight what to change, so I came here, You are so great artist for me and I'll be honoured to take crit from you:)


p.s. sorry for my english...


05 May 2006, 03:58 AM
Squibby, here's my suggestion. I raised the lance because it was an uncomfortable pose, and it seems more 'proud' upwards. The horse - always use reference, Google images is the best reference library anyone could ever dream of. The background, muted a bit to help showcase the character.


05 May 2006, 06:59 AM
Well this is concept design and really not a suitable subject for overpaints, but I played with a bit and maybe you can get some more ideas from it. :)

You should always check the horizon line, and the perspective lines meeting at it. You might want the horizon lower or higher than this, if so redo the lines accordingly. I also tweaked the shading of the guy a bit.

Usually cartoons are not very suitable for overpainting, but I thought I could suggest some improvements to the forehead, the symmetry of the face, and the perspective of the body. I also thought the yellow in the background was a bit too greenish for a fire.
Nice face and hand.


05 May 2006, 07:06 AM
Misiek1125, nicely painted, but sorry I don't understand it... what is actually happening in this image? Is the person trying to climb or fix a hot air balloon, while being attacked by birds? Is it a balloon race? Is that a tornado down there? Is it a man or a woman, and what's the strange moustache thing across his/her shoulders? Let me know some more details and I'll try a paintover.


05 May 2006, 07:19 AM
wow now thats exactly what I was thinking off, absolutely stunning and very dramatic.. the issues with my original are so blindingly obvious now..

Now to stumble about changing it, thanks alot for the input it was truely invaluable. I'd be happy if my finished image came out to be half as good as that quick paintover :D

05 May 2006, 07:36 AM
This thread is a very generous of you mr Stahlberg.

Might I suggest posting paintovers as a two frame animated gif? It would increase the pleasure of casual browsing, and become easier for everyone to compare and learn.


05 May 2006, 08:47 AM
Ok I'll try to explain... This image is in fact symbolic, it's about reaching the happyness, dream I was to told to paint was about women who climb on very long cloth going down from sky from place of eternal happyness, but it changed to baloon race (but baloon race is not what I wanted to show, that's why just few baloons are showed, main idea was to show women trying to climb on baloon)), Everything in this image had to be a little dreamy and cartoony, clouds in far are not tornado but regualr clouds going down like pillas from earth to sky, birds are attacking women becouse the sky belongs only to them and they won't accept invider, they so mean that they will even destroy ballon in which our character wish to reach the sky (baloon race is either symbolic, couse everybody want to have some part of his or hers own happyness), and moment I painted is when birds made hole in baloon and it's falling down, so women desperatly want to fix it but she doesn't have tools like needle and string, and here comes the parrot, colorfull parrot, a symbol of good, not like other evil birds, parrot want to help women, so it's carrying needle and string and it fights back evil seaguls

women on her neck wears shawl made of birds feathers - in first concept it was a symbol of birds of flying, becouse firstly I wanted to paint women who use birds to reach sky, but than I changed idea and shawl stayed couse I liked it:)

ok i think it's in part clear now...


05 May 2006, 10:27 AM
Many, many thanks.
I allways had the feeling, theres something wrong with the perspective.
The softer look is great, i really have to pay more attention to it. Thx again, it really helps a lot :)

05 May 2006, 04:35 PM
I'm curious to see what could be improved in this picture. I made it for the DSG, "July"

05 May 2006, 05:13 PM
djtrousdale, it's a cool idea clearly staged. There's only one aspect I'd change in a paintover, and this once that's easy enough to describe in words: the saturation is too high, covering too much of the image.

First of all, the realism-issue. In real life nothing is ever 100% saturated unless it's incandescent or hit with a huge amount of tinted light. The sky is not one of these things, which you can easily see if you color-pick a few average sky-photos in PS. Same for hair, skin and water, and even brightly colored plastic.

Now the visual effect it has on the brain. To me this image hurts to look at. :) You may think I'm joking, but there is a slight discomfort if I look at it too long. Now, that's just the opposite of the effect we want with our images right? :) I've reached the conclusion that only a very small part of the canvas can be strongly saturated at any one time, before it becomes too much, and gets in the way of enjoying the image.

In this case, you might try keeping the ring and the pants the same, but muting the skin a lot, and muting the sky a bit.

05 May 2006, 05:26 PM
Hey there Steven.

I painted this for the Daily Sketch Forum Topic "Betrayal". I had this neat idea of a girl in a cloak. She was trying to hide her identity in the cloak, but accidently "betrayed" herself.

Anyways, I wasn't happy with how it came out, so I was wondering if you could give me some tips on how to fix it so I can try her again.

Thank you so much for doing this for everyone, it's so great.

05 May 2006, 05:33 PM
Hi Steven,

Thank you for doing this for everyone, its really cool.

So here is my work in progress. A piece I call, "Fine Wine". I am trying to convey simple sophistication, both thematicaly and in my painting technique. I want to illustrate the feeling of this woman who has worked hard her whole life, and is now for the first time beggining to allow herself to enjoy some luxury time. She is drinking fine wine, eating chocolate covered strawberries, being served at a nice restaurant somewhere in Europe. SHe is confident, wise, and beautiful. Or at least I hope she is.

I have kinda slowed down on this piece. I feel it has the potential to be one of my nicest works so Im trying not to rush it. Im workin on it in my spare time between animation.

Any help would be much appreciated.

05 May 2006, 05:59 PM
Ok I'm testing to make an animated gif out of this one, with a 3 second delay. Is that optimal for everyone?

My thinking here is to make this more clear and readable, but I may have gone too far. But I hope you get the rough idea what I mean anyway.

05 May 2006, 06:16 PM
Thank you steven :)

05 May 2006, 08:03 PM
Thanks Steven!
Greate overpaint, now I see what I can do with this ok I'm going to fix it, thank you again, cheers

05 May 2006, 07:51 AM
hello mr. stahlberg,
how is kuala lumpur? thank you very much for having this thread.
i am working on a little concept. i call it unplugged and i started painting on it again after watching episode III. first it was a line drawing layout. i blocked in the colors quite some time ago and got it up to this point in photoshop. my main problem is lighting in space. i have had some trouble settling on a light source and also wanted lights all over like in a bad science fiction flick. but unfortunately i ended up with not enough value in the separate objects and kind of making the overall appearance remind one of a north american christmas tree. the ship in the foreground was obviously intended but draws too much attention to itself right now. i already tried to fix this problem by changing the color and saturation. sadly i have not yet achieved the result i was originally going for. please let me know what you think and how i could improve things. i am thinking about just starting over but then again, i got so much other things to finish and so not enough time. by the way, the psd has way more defined colours which creates clearer depth. thank you

the image:

some detail, just to get a better idea:

05 May 2006, 01:21 PM
The woman drinking wine

05 May 2006, 01:50 PM
The hooded girl

05 May 2006, 02:30 PM
The space station. You mentioned you were divided between two different lighting setups, since we have to pick one :) I chose the darker one.


05 May 2006, 02:34 PM
Hey again steven and thank you very much for the paintover on my graveyard thing. I have found that much of the reason why I was stuck with it, was that I didn't want to sacrifice some details I had already made, though they didn't fit into the composition that much... One very good reason to let someone else do a paintover, as such things wont be that precious then.
Overall this is really a great learning experience as everyone else keeps saying. So why shouldn't I do the same :)

I have noticed that this thread is for 3D as well as for 2D though there have only been one 3D post or so.. as far as I can see. So I thought I would try one of my models here as well.
It's semi-human female figure (a bit elfish) and with you being that famous female modellor that you are, I find it obvious to pull on some of your experience with this one.
I have worked on it for ages now, learning stuff all the time, hence finding new flaws and wanting to fix them, so she'll most likely never finish. As for this, I have made her into a personal project with the learning-process in center instead of the product, so I'll keep on developing her, testing rigs and such on her and going back again if something isn't as it should have been. - Atleast untill I get sick and tired of working on her.

My current idea with the model is to make it as feminin/charming as possible while keeping the features a bit off as you probably can see, so what I'm after is suggestions to improve this.
As it's a 3D model I didn't know which angles to post so I made a small collage. Click for larger versions.
Here goes: ( (

I find the head quite off from what I want but the body seems ok to me?

And btw. here's a turntable if it should be needed. It's not the lates, but I have only worked on the face since then.

Turntable - 536kb wmv (

05 May 2006, 04:25 PM
This is really fun to watch. Some mad skills you there got mr. Stahlberg. Keep it up =)

05 May 2006, 05:55 PM
Well as I've mentioned before unfinished images are not good material for overpainting, but ok here it is :)

And about the body, well it looks fine, just the small of her back might need some tweak - the groove doesn't run all the way down to meet the buttcrack, there's usually a fairly flat area there, with 2 dimples etc... check reference

05 May 2006, 06:36 PM
Wow, what a difference! Thank you so much!

05 May 2006, 06:56 PM
Thanks a bunch Steven!
Sorry for posting a not-so-finished image, but as I said, this is a project that I keep improving and I have called it finished more then once already - regarding the model itself - , so I though it was ok to post it and wow, did it help! :D

05 May 2006, 07:20 PM
The space station. You mentioned you were divided between two different lighting setups, since we have to pick one :) I chose the darker one.


holy crapsssssss...........!
that makes so much sense. thank you so much! you are great.
i spent like a week painting those cloudy thingies. and the placement of my ships is so much nicer now. it starts looking like a space painting.
thank you a lot. you helpped me so much.

05 May 2006, 01:24 AM
:blush: Stahlberg sorry to bug you again, but so far nobody's given me any helpful crits on this picture I'm working on.
It's an "art trade" -- I'm drawing someone else's character, she's drawing mine. I thought hers was REALLY creative and I had fun coming up with this little scene. Hopefully it's not too hard on the eyes this time. I tried shading the creature with blue, but I'm not sure if that works well. :shrug:
Just want you to know that your time is sincerely appreciated.

05 May 2006, 03:45 AM
i spent like a week painting those cloudy thingies.

I know what you mean, we put a lot of effort into something, and it still doesn't look quite like the real thing... I think your main problem here was to not have good reference. If your goal is to make it look like something out of Ep. 3, or even just remotely similar, you need to dig up images from that movie. The best would be to do your own screengrabs off the dvd, but you could also try Googling for it, like this:

In any case, no matter what you're painting, you need references, if you want to paint a cloudy planet seen from space you should look for stuff like this:

IMO these are way better than any movie I've seen to date, I'm just waiting for the day when the fx guys catch up to reality. :D


05 May 2006, 09:57 AM
Hey Steven, what a great idea with an overpaint thread like this. Hope you get some inspiration from it yourself. I've finished my Journey entry, but still feel like I could have handled it differently. I wanted to show that the city had been abandoned for some time before the aliens got there, that the human race had disappeared somehow. Theres small hints and clues as to what happened to them, but maybe I should have been more precise.

I wanted to convey a sad feeling somehow, almost like a giant graveyard, with the cherry tree blossoming for noone to see and enjoy it.

The aliens have crashlanded in the city, and have now started their journey out onto earth to find out what happened to the humans, and maybe to help the remaining survivors, if theres any left.

Do you have any suggestions on the composition and colors of the painting?

05 May 2006, 02:58 PM
thanks Steven for you help, and this is another work with catoon way.and i wanna change style to realistically.

05 May 2006, 04:30 PM
The gluttonous lizard


05 May 2006, 05:35 PM
*hug* Oh man. Thank you. You have no idea how helpful this is. :D

05 May 2006, 05:48 PM
The aliens searching a dead city
I really like this idea, it has such a Clifford D. Simak feel to it, and he's always been one of my favorite writers. :)

05 May 2006, 06:30 PM
The anime inspired girl
I only painted the girl herself not the whole image, because there are so many characters in it, it would have taken too much time. But I'm sure you get the idea

05 May 2006, 10:01 PM
I'm checking this thread every day only to find more and more inspiring and educative imagery ! It's really nice to see what the mistakes are and how to avoid them, oh and it's free :deal: Just thought like I'd post where I got my sentinel image to, after your kind and great advice Steven.Thank you again. It's still not finished, it still lacks that something that makes the choice gallery pictures stand out, but I dunno how to make it better at the moment so..
Anyway , the link.
Sentinel (

05 May 2006, 10:19 PM
Thanks Steven, your suggestions make the painting easier to read, I tend to use too saturated colors that'll make the eye tire fast. I like the cherry flowers change a lot, it leads the viewers eye into the painting. I like the changes you did to the clouds as well, I guess they were a bit too distracting in my version.

I did this for "The Journey", but I don't know how well it reads as a start of a journey for the aliens. Anyways, I'll return to work on this one in a few days, untill then thanks for taking the time to do the overpaint.

05 May 2006, 02:10 AM
but I dunno how to make it better at the moment so..

Again, whenever you feel stuck - this goes for any artist, in any situation - turn towards reference.

Here's what I found on the internet by typing 'Matrix sentinel' into Google Images. The very first image is a great reference for your shot. The second page also has some good ones.

05 May 2006, 07:24 PM
Ive been working on this image for quite a while, but I just cant get the afro exactly right. Its what I call the Man-Pig-Hippi. Its the dominant species in a space civilization :). I want it to have a big hippi like afro (as you can see :)) but I cant get it very real looking. I just need to get unstuck. Thanks for any help.

05 May 2006, 10:05 PM
Hi mr. Stahlberg

I did an little environment for an architecture-project in has some major problems I think. So.... :shrug:

05 May 2006, 06:13 PM
Hi Mr. Stahlberg,

I think I need some more help to improve a bit more. Rebecca also helped me with the anatomy :D so this comes up to be a cgtalk-team-work, hehe. I stuck now and have no idea what goes wrong or how to make things better.

The idea is to make this pic more dynamic, a mermaid is sitting on a hillock at the seaside (where else should she) and the next wave will take her away. It still doesn't look this way.

Would you be kind enough to take a look at it?


05 May 2006, 02:30 AM
Hello Steven, this was my journey's entry. After finishing it, I thought the colors were kinda muddy, everything was in too sharp focus, and i'm not sure if the perspective was entirely correct. With all that being said, it's always easy to point out what might be wrong than to correct it. That's why i've turned to this thread to see what might be possible to do with this image.

The guy's traveling through the gate of time, that's why he looks kinda desperate.


05 May 2006, 05:38 AM
Here's another one that's pretty close to finished.

Just some guy I made up.

I don't have any particular changes in mind, but I'd like to see any ideas you might have for improvement.

I'll add textures to it later on to make it look more realistic.

The the mask is made of cloth.

05 May 2006, 06:01 AM
Here's the afro-pig, just added some touches of light and shadow

The interior


05 May 2006, 06:25 AM
Hi Steve, I'm Chin Hwa, I'm the one who worked as animator in Optidigit for 4 months. Hope you still remember me.. It's nice to see this thread, it does help alot!

This is my girlfriend's painting,
she don't have a account in cgtalk so she asked me to do her a favor. She felt something wrong with her painting but she don't know why, hope you can give her some ideas. thanks in advance.

05 May 2006, 07:45 AM
Here's the mermaid one

05 May 2006, 08:12 AM

Mr. Stahlberg...

... you drive me crazy. I am totally amazed about this and feel totally newbie.

Thank you, I have got to learn more than a lot. I need a cup of coffee now.


05 May 2006, 08:19 AM
wow thats incredible. amazing work mr.stahlberg. now i can't resist ;) maybe you can do something with that: (

05 May 2006, 08:46 AM
Hello mr Stahlberg, i'm currently learning how to make proper lightening,my painting is very boring cuz it doesn't have a proper mood(not to mention other things),i would like to improve the dramatic feel and lighening here ,any suggestions ?Thank you!!

05 May 2006, 02:36 PM
The running man - not really happy with my overpaint, he still looks like he's falling over forwards. I think you have to lower the horizon line a little.


05 May 2006, 04:06 PM
Hello mr. Ståhlberg

It is a pleasure seeing someone giving like this to the community, I am sure there are loads of people really appreciating what you do here.

Here is my 5 cents, it is part of a series of pictures I am working on to visualize a world where these huge bumblebees coexist with humans. In this picture I wanted to create a menacing feeling, as if the bumblebee is about to pounce on you.

Tack igen

05 May 2006, 07:23 PM
Wow Stahlberg. Thanks for the paintover, it looks great and I have a much better Idea of how to complete this image. That afro is fantastic. Thanks for doing this!

05 May 2006, 07:42 PM
thanks alot, that was fast!

06 June 2006, 10:19 AM
Here are two more
The first one, due to the pose, POV and direction of lighting there's a lot of shadow on him, maybe you should move the light a little

06 June 2006, 10:51 AM
Steven...first I am sorry for the late reply.

Been busy. I see exactly what you mean. The piece was something I did in my second semester of college, and what you showed me in your quick overpaint by reducing the light levels (since it is a night scene) makes complete sense.

Your efforts in assisting me and the hundred or so other people who have posted is very much appreciated.

You have taken on a lot of work here, and I thank you for taking time out to delve into my little corner for a moment.

The thing I learned from you: Don't be afraid of the dark. Something my professors taught me, "Nothing can exist without light." You simply emphasized the compliment of that fact...darkness! Not only did you use a more appropriate form of lighting, you also made the piece more interesting through the use of contrast. You make the viewers eye move around the scene in a more controlled fashion, rather than my hap-hazard overlit scene.

Thank you for your time and insight,

06 June 2006, 01:29 PM
Hello. I posted two images jet, and I feel so selfish putting here another picture... But I like a lot all Iīm watching here :D

This is a futuristic character concept like a cyborg or something similar. I wish to know how to do more atractive this image. There are some points that I like to research:
- Translucent surface of cloth, and some illumination through the coat.
- Better light from a side/back.
- Another scheme of colors better than it
- What could be the better colors from the background?
- Maybe some improve on the design... or over the enviroment, more in accordance with the style of character.

Iīm saying a lot of aspects about the image, but I trust that you will overpaint/improve on the more important.

Thank you very much! ;)


06 June 2006, 01:36 PM
Interesting, maybe I'll use a second light source with color.

Thanks for the help again :)

06 June 2006, 02:58 AM
Here are three more

For this one, I only changed the shadow of the bee a bit, and suggested some perspective tweaks. For the bumblebee itself, I'd like to offer these references which might help:


06 June 2006, 03:33 AM
thewave, thanks! :) Yes I think you are very correct about the 'dark', it seems to be a very common, almost universal, problem - to not think clearly about the light, or to not be able to decide on, and commit to a particular direction of light, and thus to not be able to go all the way with the chiaroscuro, the play of light and shadow.
Another tendency I see here is to get too much into detail we "know" is there, but which would never be noticed in a photo of the same scene. It comes from the initial sketch, where every clump of hair is drawn, and later during the painting stage, the artist is afraid of destroying too much of that sketch. But in such cases, you can always save intermediate copies so you can always go back. No need to be afraid of going too far! We always seem to not go far enough. I have the same problem myself.

In case anyone is interested, here's what I believe is a good starting program for an artist who wants to be good at painting realistically. (directed at students, beginners and intermediate artists in general, not at anyone in specific):
Practise painting simple still lives, from photos or from real life, starting as simple as possible, gradually going more complex.
Here's an example of how it could go:
3 simple objects, a cone a box a ball, matte white or light grey perhaps. place them on a piece of cardboard, then get a strong directional light on them - sunlight or a desk lamp. You paint it - then you move them and paint again. Trace red perspecive lines over the image to see how the perspective affects the shadows as well.

After a few days or weeks or months - different for different people - when we feel we're in control of these simple shadows, we add colored objects.
Later add reflective objects, and perhaps a reflective floor (a piece of plastic or aluminum foil over the cardboard). Again use perspective lines to make sure we understand that the reflection obeys the same rules the originals do.
Again, later, add cloth. Let a white t-shirt drop into a heap on the cardboard, paint it, turn the board, paint it again. Then use colored t-shirts. Then perhaps combine the cloth with the simple shapes you were painting earlier.

This teaches: perspective, shading, color, observation (perhaps the most important skill of all)
It gives your memory banks a 'library' of visual bits and pieces you will use in future images

Only graduate to the human face or body when you feel you've exhausted every other avenue of training. Humans are the most difficult by far, and if you start on them too early expecting too much you may be negatively affected - I've read letters from people who are close to giving it all up due to such frustration. But if you only have the will-power to keep practising, you will break through all barriers like that.

06 June 2006, 05:50 AM
Wow mr. stahlberg this is very impressive.
Jason looks very very evil now. Great overpainting.. I think i realized what you mean.

Thanks for your advice.
It's very good to get some ideas for improving oneselves skill from a person who is as experienced as you are. I will definitely follow your advice, because I really want to be very good (as good as you or even better if it's possible).

Thanks in advance.

06 June 2006, 06:14 AM
A tremendous thing you're doing here. Seeing the differences in these gifs is a real education -- invaluable when don't have access to school critques, thanks. Congratulations on your Journey Begins entry, it looks fabulous -- and it was hilarious to see it used as part of the Sketch of the Week for Envy ;)

" Only graduate to the human face or body when you feel you've exhausted every other avenue of training. " Putting time into humans is so tempting, but so hard when you're learning. My drawing classes in art school jumped into life drawing very fast, without adequate fundmentals -- now I'm relearning and working up from the 'simple stuff' is much better for me.


This is done in 3d, and nearly finished if you could take a look at it compositionally I'd really appreciate it. On the content: I need to redo the wall so that it looks like rock, and change the grass to look like grass instead of very large hair.

I think that the figure needs to be moved to the right a bit, and the shape of the tree needs to changed so that it picks up the eye and pushes it back to the right instead of out of the frame -- I don't really know what that shape is. I'm also concerned that the strong diagonal running accross the frame is to much to overcome. Any input would be appreciated :) (

06 June 2006, 07:09 AM
Insane how wrong i've been with my lights and shadow directions ! Thank you mr.Stahlberg alot !! You're a blessing for this community and humankind.

06 June 2006, 02:25 PM
Hi Steven, wonderful work you're doing here.
Maybe you could give this picture a try. It's a little character design you've done some weeks ago. But I'm missing something in the painting. I know there are some problems in the anatomy and the neck is perhaps really a bit too long. But i think there are more problems there. thanks. :)

06 June 2006, 10:42 PM
you did a great job on my last image...learnt a lot from it. here a better perspective...but do you have some tips to gain a better feeling of depth and composition?

06 June 2006, 01:35 AM
hopefully there's some room in the line here,

first i'd like to say thanks for offering your help with this wonderfull thread, you're doing a HUGE service to the comunity here and means a lot.

secondly, i've got this peice here that i kinda think is done, but for the life of me i can't get the lighting right, any insights you might have would be a huge help

06 June 2006, 03:10 AM
The knight: it helps to first sketch naked anatomy, then to sketch armor over that

The angel with the sword (is this the angel that guarded the entrance to paradise?)

The blue godess:
I didn't change her face too much, but I think the upper lip is a bit too wide, especially when looking from a slightly lower angle


06 June 2006, 05:31 AM
Wow that is an enormous help, thank you very much.

Yes it is intended to be the angel set to the gates of Eden in the Genesis story. There was going to be more involved originally, but people bring a lot of issues to the subject -- so I'm shooting for 'pretty picture' now ;)


That treatment of the sword is so perfect. I wish I'd thought of that myself -- the 'fiery sword' got buried somewhere in the process and it is a huge help in drawing the focus.

Having the intensity of colour focus colour towards the middle, and the downplay on the edges is tremendous as well. Doing that I'll be able to tighten it up horizontally, and perhaps take the aspect ratio down from 2 to 1 a bit. Thanks! :)

06 June 2006, 08:32 AM
Hi, mr Stahlberg and thank you for this fantastic thread.

Maybe you could give a try on my wip.
I'm in trouble with composition, lights and perspective... oh yes everything:). Actually i dont like how coming out this paint. Help me please.

The story: she's tryin to repair the droid but it's seems to be that this old crappy model it's affected by cache problem and can never completely shut down.

thank you

06 June 2006, 09:44 AM
Thanks Stahlberg! Good notes! All this thread is making me to think a lot above drawing/painting.


06 June 2006, 11:27 AM
The industrial looking greenhouse
fairly minor changes, basically darkening the distant greenery, and switching the cool/warm tones to help the feeling of depth

The alien invasion


06 June 2006, 06:41 PM
Here's the robot mechanic
I think I raised the horizon line a bit too much, but you get the idea, in the original I think it's a bit too low :)


06 June 2006, 06:52 PM
:scream: oh wow, amazing!
thank you so much Mr. Stahlberg!

06 June 2006, 09:09 PM
Mr. Stahlberg,

I really appreciate your service to the community in this area. How could I improve this picture? (Larger version at my CGPortfolio.)

06 June 2006, 12:25 AM
wow. that's just, so much more than i expected.

thank you.


06 June 2006, 01:24 AM
Mr. Stahlberg,

U ARE AMAZING!! your understanding of light and shadow is superb. where do u find the time for all these paint over!? i know u said u werent going to do all of them but dang you have done damn near all!!

if u got time heres mine, its not fully finised(almost), sorry for that but maybe u could do yo thang?

06 June 2006, 12:07 PM
Star Wars fan before you... Before the 3 new prequils came out...If the original Boba Fett was a girl. Like Femme NaKita... Boba F..... I can't upload a decent resolution of the image. 8x10,, thats a big NO!...

06 June 2006, 12:31 PM
Im new @ CGtalk. I love it... Give me a safe resolution and DPI to save a JPEG. No disrespect. Sergio...

06 June 2006, 04:11 PM
johnnyschihl, nice, but sorry these are sketches and I mention them in the rules on the first page... :D sketches don't work too good, using this particular method of overpainting. It would mean I would 'invent' nearly the entire image from scratch, while in fact that's your job. :) What I would like to do is come in after you've done your best to create a complete and finished image (or at least as finished and complete as possible), and (hopefully) give you some good suggestions, that's all.

As for the second one, I could overpaint some red lines to suggest anatomy corrections, except the general shape you've indicated seems okay so not much to suggest there.

Give me a safe resolution and DPI to save a JPEG
Not sure what you mean, are you referring to the 150 kb size limit? If you try gif format you might be able to get the size down lower than a jpeg.

06 June 2006, 04:14 AM
hi mr Stahlberg
this image is pretty much finished, but i was just wondering if there were any glaring issues that you could see worth pointing out compositionally or technically. im pretty sure the ocean/rock/horizon join is munted.

oh. also this picture was render practice, so the pencil drawing underneith it all is by john howe not me (can anyone tell me how much you need to change a picture before it becomes 'yours?':P)

thanks very much! greaaaat thread

john howe's image -

06 June 2006, 02:07 PM
Here are the three latest ones:




06 June 2006, 07:58 PM
Hi Steven, this is an oportunity I have to take, well here is a consep vehicle Im working on, later I will do the 3d model and created an animation of this, is for an University proyect so I hope you like it. Rigth now I kind of stock because I fell the background dont actually see ok, I try to simulated some motion blur, but now I see the vehicle dont look complete integrated, It will be nice if you can help me a bit with this. An of course fell free to critique everything else. Thanks

06 June 2006, 08:58 PM
Hey Mr. Stahlberg,
First of all I`d like to say that it`s indeed a great idea, and I admire you for your effort to help the other artists.
Here`s my image I don`t know how to improve. If you could just show how`d you chnage her to make her a bit sexier or smoething I`d appreciate it a lot.thx

06 June 2006, 03:07 AM
Matti3d, thanks. I think she looks great, but you may need to work some more on the eye lashes and the eyebrows. The lashes need to be fuller and softer, the top ones perhaps angled differently (find closeup reference like this one's%20eye.jpg ). The brows look plucked now, try to find some reference and make them look more natural. It would probably also be better if you shaped the iris more like in real life, and added a cornea with real refractions to it (and more realistic reflections). But it's hard to show this in an overpaint, that's why I write it. Anyway, this kind of unfinished 3d model in neutral pose could be better posted in my 3d crit thread (topology), in the Maya forum. :)

06 June 2006, 09:29 AM
Mr. Stahlberg, I would like say that this thread is very inspirational and I thank you for what you are doing to help artists looking to further improve themselves.

Here is my image that I'm stuck whole dilemma is described here:

here's a bigger version:

06 June 2006, 01:35 PM
Hi, I don't really know how to continue this piece, I know I want some more elements, and I want to improve the bot, but I'm not sure how...
I know the size is too large, and since I don't have photoshop on this computer, I can't change the size, but hopefully, you can :)
(Note that it's just a screenshot :))

06 June 2006, 03:05 PM
Hey Stahlberg
Its a great thread you have here ^^

well, 1st, sorry for my terrible English..
Well. This a pic I worked on sometime ago. It was my very 1st experience on this more painterly style, and so, its terrible. Since then, I have too little time to work on big pics like this one, and I have a lot of trouble on backgorunds.
Let me say, the lineart is not mine, its Daniel HDR's art ( (, I only worked on the colors. So, I would like your advice on the general colors of the image, and a bit of rework on the BG...

Thanks a lot!

06 June 2006, 04:18 PM
ceresz, your image is a good start but I really don't know what to paint on it. Basic creative decisions must be up to the individual artist, and are very hard to "teach" as I'm trying to do here. Maybe if you told me more what you are trying to do with the image, what feeling you are going for etc, I could try something, but atm I find it hard to tell that it's a robot, or what the size is... you say you want more elements. How about an element of danger, or the whimsical, or awe-inspiring, or sexy?

06 June 2006, 06:10 PM
ceresz, your image is a good start but I really don't know what to paint on it. Basic creative decisions must be up to the individual artist, and are very hard to "teach" as I'm trying to do here. Maybe if you told me more what you are trying to do with the image, what feeling you are going for etc, I could try something, but atm I find it hard to tell that it's a robot, or what the size is... you say you want more elements. How about an element of danger, or the whimsical, or awe-inspiring, or sexy?

Thanks for the tips!
I will think about it than get back to you (if I need too :)).

06 June 2006, 06:43 PM
Three images:
in this one, the background is too contrasty, almost from full white to full black, this completely kills the spaceship. Also the lighting doesn't match, it seems to be coming from behind when we look at the background, but the ship itself seems lit mostly from above. There's also a perspective problem - the front half of the ship seems tilted towards us, and the back half the same. Some quick sketching to show what I mean.

The goth story concept -

The motorcycle joust. As you can see I also corrected some errors in the drawing, I hope the original artist doesn't mind. (A drawback when submitting colorings of other's drawings... I hope you had Daniel's permission?) :)

06 June 2006, 06:46 AM
wow.......thank you so much for such an inspirational paintover...I know it doesn't seem like much but your paintover has given me a great source of knowledge to learn from...once again thank you for your self-less contribution to such a great society :)

PS: sorry to be a bother but may I ask how did you do the fuzzy effects at the edges of the hair?

06 June 2006, 01:57 PM
Thanks, I'm very happy it's appreciated... :)
The hair highlights, it's just white color scribbled on kind of randomly with a sharpedged brush of no particular size (it could be fairly big, it could be quite small too), then smudged with a standard soft edged smudge brush, in short jerky strokes, random directions. It's ok, in fact can be quite cool, if some small part of the original paint strokes remain un-smudged.

06 June 2006, 05:45 AM
thanks very much for the paintover, its opened my eyes to quite a few things! cheers:)

06 June 2006, 01:53 PM
This thread is gold :).

I hope it's "finished enough", but there are still some rough areas, because I'm not really sure if the composition will work (Don't ask me what she's doing with those ropes. They will probably turn into snakes or something. But there is no real meaning behind the whole thing).
However, I mainly seek some advise on lightning and proportions of the figure.
Hope you can help me.

06 June 2006, 07:18 PM
wow this thread is really amazing and inspiring
finally finished reading up the whole thread!

hi Mr Stahlberg
the following is actually a scrapped work of mine due to much discouragement from people around me

it's my interpretation of Tarot - The Fool
actually this guy's supposed to look curious about what up there (contrasting to the depth beyond the cliff we see at the bottom of the pic)

he's kneeling on his left leg and his right leg is up (with the right arm resting on it)

i'm horrible in my perspective...

please guide me!

(anyway this is my 1st post =D)

06 June 2006, 12:23 AM
Wow! Thanks a lot Stahlberg!

This is the first time I realize what they mean by "dont paint what you think its there but its not".
Oh, and yes, I had his permission ^^

06 June 2006, 11:19 AM
I know it's late, and I have a kitchen meeting at 10am, but I ment to post this 2 days ago...Initially, I was under the impression that perhaps, we all might become inspired by each others un-finished work. Besides God Stahlberg everytime.Which isn't a bad thing...Turn your verbal critique into a visual critique. Takes skills. Big props to you Mr. Stahlberg.

-PS...Sergio, no disrespect. I want to inspire the artists.

-PSS...Boba Fett should've been a hot chic Mr. Lucas... (

06 June 2006, 11:22 AM
Can someone, besides Steven, have there way with Boba Fette?>>> (

06 June 2006, 05:22 AM
johhnyschihl: so, you don't want me to overpaint this one this time? Then maybe it's better in the wip gallery?

Here's the lava lady:

06 June 2006, 06:41 AM
Hoo, you've changed her into a beauty ^o^.
Your paintover makes so much more sense. Thanks a bunch :)

06 June 2006, 07:18 AM
Please, if you must...Im sure you have already! Lots of luv here!... (

06 June 2006, 08:52 AM
Although this is essentially finished, I'm having trouble with the clothing; I tend to make it 'pop' out too much; I tried blurring it as well, but with little success. Any suggestions?

06 June 2006, 07:00 PM
Here's another one I need help with...

06 June 2006, 05:43 PM
BNN what you should always do, and especially in hard cases like this, is to shoot your own reference. Here, it would probably have made your job 1000 times easier with a friend posing on the floor and you shooting standing on a chair, using any kind of crappy camera. :)


06 June 2006, 05:51 PM
Please, if you must...Im sure you have already!
It's not that I must, it's just - why post images in this thread if you don't want me to paint on it? :)

This one, I changed the perspective of the background which isn't matching that of the characters in the foreground, I changed her pose to look more suitable for an armed and dangerous bountyhunter in a bar, I also looked up Boba Fett's armor for reference, and darkened her a bit which is perhaps more realistic to a bar environment. I didn't do his utility belt properly since that hides too much of a woman's waistline. Anyway, without his helmet it's a bit hard for most people to recognize this as Boba Fett, so maybe she should hold the helmet somehow. Or the helmet and gun is lying on the bar, and she's drinking something.

06 June 2006, 05:58 PM
The kneeling girl:

06 June 2006, 08:27 PM
Wow thanks Mr Stahlberg! That really helps!

I will heed your advices! =D

06 June 2006, 03:13 AM
Make this image as a companion to my rpg story. Feel that the color is a bit off and the overall image is a bit flat. Just want to introduce the main character(the small furry creature), oppose to the giant dragon and the endless sky. Thanks in advance

06 June 2006, 07:44 AM
Just popping in to thank u, Mr.Stahlberg!

This is one thread which i read entirely. The paintovers as well as your observations r knocking a lot of sense into my head.

I just voted. Hmmm, maybe we should rework the upper limit of the number of stars!

06 June 2006, 08:08 AM
hi Steven,
first of all i must tell U that i really appreciate your work. its a very generous courtesy from U to help all this artists. well, actually i want to be helped out to (:
i stuck with this clumsy picture, dont know how should it look like, this lightning is boring, there is no depth in it, etc. please paintover it.
thank U for your time.

06 June 2006, 05:04 PM
ceresz, please let me know what feeling you're trying to get with your image... I see a rock formation and a bright cloudy thing, what exactly is going on there? :)


06 June 2006, 06:24 PM
The dragon:

Spock and Darth:


06 June 2006, 07:17 PM
thank U soooo much!
it looks superb. thank U.