View Full Version : Fantasy artwork in progress

Jürgen Hubert
05 May 2006, 08:42 AM
I'm very new to digital art - I only bought my graphics tablet one and a half months ago, and I haven't done any art before that since I left school more than ten years ago. So I can use all the advice I can get. ;)

I've done about two dozen quick sketches so far - simply redrawing existing photographs from the internet to get a good feel for basic shapes. But now I want to tackle some more ambitious things, such as large and full-color fantasy artwork.

So far, I have done a fantasy landscape (which you can see here ( But now I want to draw fantasy characters, too - which (to me, at least) are a lot more difficult than landscapes.

Here is what I have so far:

Everything was done with GIMP.

I used a variety of images of models on the internet to get the basic atonomy right. But I'm still not quite happy with it - her dress still looks too much like a modern business suit than something from a fantasy world. And something seems not quite right with her face, but I can't put my finger on it...

Any suggestions on how to improve the figure would be much welcome. So, critique away! ;)

05 May 2006, 12:08 PM
It says I have to join enworld to see your image. Why not just get a Photobucket account and upload it there? :)

Jürgen Hubert
05 May 2006, 02:06 PM
Gah. I would have put it on my own FTP server, but it isn't accessible at the moment...

I've put it into an attachement now. I hope that works...

EDIT: Seems to work fine now.

05 May 2006, 05:33 PM
Hi Jürgen,

as a fellow noob (been drawing since december 05 and getting started on painting as well) I want to share my knowledge :D

I think you need to drop the coloring for a while and concentrate on the anatomy of your character first. Her head seems a bit small. Making her shoulders less wide and rounder + making her "taille" smaller would make her more sexy. The legs need more "roundness" as well. Female figure is attractive because of her round shapes (and that's not only her breasts ;) )

Try sketching her without clothes first to get the body proportions right and then add clothes on a new layer if you want to try different styles so you can experiment until you find what you like.
I hope this helps and I'd like to see your progress

Jürgen Hubert
05 May 2006, 06:17 PM
Thanks for the advice!

To be honest, I'm a bit too lazy to start over redrawing the figure entirely after all the work I have done on the textures. But I have done some quick alterations which I will now submit for your approval...

(Note: Please ignore the balcony - I will probably redraw it entirely...)

05 May 2006, 06:09 PM
I would still suggest to improve the figure
you can't make good art by being lazy :twisted: (no offence ;) )

Keep going and do like me: try over and over again until you get those lines right where you want them, then save.

don't be shy to use references. There's plenty of good stock to find on the web

good luck

05 May 2006, 06:34 PM
Rule of thumb: Never, never ever add textures until you are 100% sure that your shapes and colors are accurate. Details and textures must come last. Remember that.

And, the great think about digital painting is that you can save different versions of the same painting. What I would suggest here is duplicate the image, and fix the anatomy and proportions. Then add the clothes, work on the background, detail, etc.

Also, another thing you must do if you want to learn and improve is listen and follow any crits that you get. If someone says something is off, it probably is. You can't improve if you don't listen.

By the way, I'm sorry if I sound mean or rude, it's just that I saw what NR43 said and you just shoved it over your shoulder. You can't do that, not if you are serious about art.

05 May 2006, 07:20 PM
agree with sylanya and nr43, better fix things in an early stage before polish details, would be way more work to start fixing it the background and other elements are there and trow you into the dilemma what you could get rid of and sacrifice for a fixing of composition or anatomical issues.

basically, as for coloring, thumbnailing is a nice thing. make a minipainting to get a colorpalette, something you can see if what you intend to paint works together as a full piece. the amount and weight of each colorfield, the colormix color dephg, light/dark and so on. mini pics are fun to do and fast to tryout and more important, you dont loose much time by try on your big piece and wont mess anything up by testing.

now for fixing shapes. copy your actress on a new layer. make any solid layer behind her then knock her out. in case you want a cutplan, make a new layer, make outlines or perspectivical grid or anything on helperslayers to make your tweaking focussed and efficient. yes you CAN texturate on a early stage, but in genral, in my oppinion, it helps to at least have a background in place roughly because the ambient light always influences the colormix, speaking of light that hits any object that has an own color (diffuse color) and get the mix by: light, rebounces, reflection, refraction in case of transluscent materials kile human skin, and also, specularity lets gradients act completely different. things interact with each other and a piece, not looking "frankenstein'd together" is having interactions on each element in it.

now for a little fixlist. first, try make you a perspectifical grid, deciede where the horizonline will be. that will be a big help when it comes to tweak her feet and as well the pespective of the balcony, wich will be the guideline to fix the hand she lays on it.

handproportions: reference lentght for a hand are a height of a face wich actually is a 3/4 of a head wich is 1/7-1/8 of a bodyheight, depending on that. so far theory. there are other lenghts usefull to know, you might find very nice points in the anatomical forumpart, and hehe, ask rebekka, she's a master in anatomy and a nice person.

eyewith dictates the eyeseparation, 1 eyewith between the eyes, nose can be nicely undershaped with a simple M shape rhombus or tri, to get the "underside" in place wich will build your base to construct the shadow, depending on your mainlightsource.

speaking of shadows, basically, warm light causes cold shadows and oposite around as well of course. every shadow is constructable, every organic body is as well, split it into simple standart primitives like boxes to construct elipsoid spherical or cilintfical things in perpsective. once you have an idea wher things come from lead to are posed in the room, shadowconstructing is easy.

Photoshop has the fav. of layers. make helplines, grids, framings, and try find the right values, texturing is fun but will make you sad to paint over. avoid that :)

hope one or the other point helps you. njoy painting. keep it up :)

05 May 2006, 07:33 PM
Thanks for the advice!
To be honest, I'm a bit too lazy to start over redrawing the figure entirely after all the work I have done on the textures. But I have done some quick alterations which I will now submit for your approval...

Edit: I was being a pretentious jerk and I apologize if you even caught it during the few seconds it was allowed to live

Ill just say:
dont let yourself get attached to a piece until it is complete.

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