View Full Version : critique wanted: demolition girl

04 April 2011, 04:48 PM
I figure while I'm waiting for cs5 to get here I may as well get some advice on this piece I have been working on...I want her to have some kind of switch in her hand and the idea is she is jumping through the air with an explosion in the background. I don't really feel like she looks that fluid and maybe someone can give me some help with that? Also I am not great at textures and backgrounds so any input would be appreciated. The bg is obviously not finished I was just playing with a smoke brush and colors. Critique on the skin and clothes in appreciated also. The skin is not how I want it, I have not blended yet; they are just basic colors.

04 April 2011, 02:08 AM
Hello Effilctus,

There's a couple of things that i notice about your piece. First her facial expression doesn't really match her pose. She looks very plain i'd say. Also where is your light source? If it is coming from above her face should be a darker value compared to skin that is lit by the source directly, that is unless there is some luminescent floor action going on haha :)

As far as the pose is concerned is she on the way down from her jump? Or up? The legs seem to indicated that she could be landing. If this is the case you may consider giving the hair and outfit accessories a bit more lift as if they are following her path through the air and haven't fallen back into their resting positions yet.

The explosion in the back is going to be a bit hard to pull off because you are going to have to redefine a lot of your value in the piece. The explosion would probably wash out any lighting that is currently in the scene and therefore become the primary light source. It would definitely look cool though! I hope some of this helps.

04 April 2011, 01:27 PM
Thanks for taking the time to look at this. You have given me a lot to think about. When I am able to I will start with making some different sketchy versions of this with light sources and possible backgrounds. I think you are right about her positioning, it would be better to make her just landing on a surface. Once I can come to a solid bg I can work on her lighting/hair/clothing. As for her face, I did want to give her a kind of calm demeanor to opose the explosion. However maybe adding more of a smirk would help? Again thank you for posting, this is my first time that I am able to take critique seriously without being my rebellious "this is what I want to draw" self. :)

Also, if anyone has suggestions on a background I would like to hear them. I don't mind if you draw over my last version, it would help to see others perspective.

04 April 2011, 03:57 PM
bumping this once...I would really like to get some ideas for the bg, even if you don't think it would be anything related to what i have said..

04 April 2011, 04:18 PM
I do agree with RetroFUNK on the facial expression and I think a "smirk" as you have said would make all the difference. If I'm right, you want it to look like an explosion wouldn't even throw her off. A smirk would retain her calm image but would also give her a little attitude.

I do have a couple of comments on the pose. Her right leg (from our viewpoint) seems posed a little too far back, i.e. bent too much. I would suggest bringing it down slightly as to give her a more natural bend and I think it would help her overall silhouette. So not to overwhelm you with critique, lastly, her hip (left hip from our viewpoint) is jutting out slightly too much. If you think of the natural curve of her spine and how the hips relate to the torso, she would have a less exaggerated extension of the bottom. If you agree, I wouldn't take anything off of the legs, but instead move them ever so slightly to the right and then shave a little off of the hip/bottom part to create a nice line from torso to leg. I hope that is understandable.

I think overall, you have a really nice design there and the clothes do give your character a strong sense of personality. I realise that you said you are trying very hard to accept critique and I applaud you on that. Good critique is never intended to be personal and more to help you get better. ;) I always find it of great help.

The only suggestion I have at this point with the background is that I would like to see more contrast in the colour. It appears very dusky and muted. In terms of ideas for the background, I think being able to see her outside. You could have the sky in the background and then the explosion in the middle ground. This would give the whole piece a lot of depth. Alternatively you could put points of interest in the background other than sky alone.

I look forward to seeing it evolve.

05 May 2011, 02:36 AM
Here is a n update, i spent some time changing values just to get a better idea of where is this going. did nt add any details or change anything else yet. (
Uploaded with (

05 May 2011, 12:36 AM (

Uploaded with (
latest update..having a lot of issues with this...first off i can not get the face right...i think the goggles are positioned too high on her face? does that seem right to anyone else? second i made some progress on the bg but i'm not 100% satisfied with it. last i am having trouble with the boots. i have always had problems painting or designing them...i want them to be kind of like a bronze armor. not sure of the postioning of the feet/ legs either.
looking for some input on all of these things, and any other problems that i may not be aware of. thanks in advance.

06 June 2011, 11:59 AM
I looks nice check out dakota is looks strikingly similar.great work.

06 June 2011, 01:55 PM
2 things:

1, the bronze look - the color is great now, now get a nice "spray-like" brush (nice ones are in Nagel series) into burn and dodge and re-create metallic look, i.e. reflective surface where reflectivity depends on surface angle towards camera. It takes some practice but in my opinion there's nothing better than properly set up burn and dodge brushes.

2, the pose is just not working ATM mate but respect to your intentions

06 June 2011, 06:20 PM
thank you for your input davek, i will look into that. could you be more sepcific about why the pose is not working?

06 June 2011, 06:22 PM
I looks nice check out dakota is looks strikingly similar.great work.

not sure what you are referring too, can you provide a link?

06 June 2011, 07:05 PM
thank you for your input davek, i will look into that. could you be more sepcific about why the pose is not working?
Hmm, where to begin ? The pose is communicating one thing to me - weirdness. It's not dynamic enough to say the girl is jumping, it's not static enough to say she's standing. She might as well be ballet dancing for all it says. Maybe you plan to add something that would reinforce the jumping intent, but without it - it's simply weird. I'm really not sure why people aren't commenting on it more... Hope you don't take it the wrong way, I like your style so far, it's just that the pose isn't helping the pic at all.

06 June 2011, 06:17 AM
I'm not sold on the pose, either, but it could work.

Her right hand needs serious attention. It looks like you've spent a lot of time on this, but the hand looks like a rough sketch, and it's not realistic, like the rest of the figure. Also, the cloth the hand is pulling tight should have vertical lines indicating tension on the cloth, not the lines at an angle to the direction her hand is pulling it. A simple scrap of cloth is all you need to study this in real life.

I would make a B&W copy of this, and look at your values. I think some colors are overpowering others, and you need to scale some back, and pop others. The red of her cape, for instance, is very saturated, and it draws the eye. I'd add some "local" colors to it (colors from the enviroment) to tone it down a little.

And, there's been something bothering me about this, but I couldn't put my finger on it, but I finally figured it out: her hair. Not only is it flat, but the lines draw the eye away from the face, and the color overwhelms it completely. It's just not working for me. It's very jarring. It's a little too stylized, on a realistically rendered figure.

Hope this helps!

06 June 2011, 05:41 PM
davek-thanks that helps me to see what the problem is. I am not sure why i am not getting more responses, but i am determined. haha! it is hard to not take it the wrong way, you start to think your work is not worth others' time but i try to think that is not the reason. how else can i improve my skills, right?

billy- you are right about the hand, i have not spent enough time on either of them for them to be complete but maybe it is now time to do so. i was fearing that if i detailed them to completeness that their posing would be wrong and hands often take a lot of frustrating time for me. i was just focused on other problems in the picture. i will work on the cloth like you suggest - i now know why it was bothering me in that area. ( i actually thought about removing that altogether but i am avoiding showing any more skin than she already is)
i also noticed the brightness of her scarf, i was experimenting with it and you have given the input i needed without me asking so i think i will change it back a bit. :)
As for the hair, if i made it more flowing, perhaps more values in it - would that help to fix the issues there?
Thank you for your time, it is very much appreciated - especially when not many people want to help me with this.

06 June 2011, 07:00 PM
the area where the foot hides behind the characters lap area should be visible.probably hide it in the shadow or smoke

06 June 2011, 12:50 AM ( ( (

time to call it a day. some progress , let me know what you think.

06 June 2011, 05:05 AM
I can see that metal is coming along quite nicely!

06 June 2011, 06:54 PM
I'm sorry, but her pose is a bit weird. I mean, I don't know what she is doing, if she is running away, striking a pose.

Her legs does not match the torso or the head, looks like every part was made separately and then you put'em together.
If you are planning on draw her in a running stance, her whole body should be leaning forward. Use some photo references.
As you can see in the photo, the head comes first, than the body. the feet get behind the body.

I hope that helps.

EDIT: I see from your post that you wanted to do a jumping stance, But still, the same points are valid, but, in the case of the jump, you car arch her body forward, so her pelvis comes first.

One thing you can do is really run and jump to feel the movement, or ask someone to do it for you, so you can watch the movement.

Also, I must add that her right hand does not match the pose at all. When you jump or fall, usually you spread your arms to balance your body. Try to jump with a hand in your pocket and you will understand, you will be unbalanced, and you may fall flat on your face. I know you may be aiming for the cool chick pose, but that feels unnatural.

Sorry about so many edits, LOL.

06 June 2011, 04:44 PM
sewer shark: thank you for the time you put into your post, i dont mind the edits, it actually made me think and learn some things. honestly i have worked on this one too long to just redo the entire girl so i think that i will just work on completing it and keep all these tips in mind for next time. it is about time i start working on something else to avoid going insane anyway, ha. but thanks to everyone; i have learned a lot from this one peice.

once again, if anyone has some suggestions for the bg, i would really appreciate it. i am kind of stuck on it right now.

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