The Tune Up - first post here, crits welcome!

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  09 September 2012
The Tune Up - first post here, crits welcome!

Just started digital painting this summer, and i've made progress that I'm happy with. I am pretty pleased with this image, but theres always more to improve and learn.

I take criticism well, so any advice/tips/comments appreciated!

Thanks guys
  09 September 2012
When depicting man-made objects of precise shapes such as mechanical ones, you need to be more precise in your modeling of forms. It's one thing to use painterly brushwork, but it's something else, when your brushwork interferes with how the forms are read. Brushwork shouldn't be arbitrary, and must be deployed for specific purposes. Even impressionistic/expressive/painterly brushwork have distinct purpose behind each brushstroke. Think about how your brushstroke influences how the form is read, such as when you break up a solid plane with numerous strokes that seems to deform the plane. Creating texture with brushwork and altering the way a form reads are two different things--make sure you draw a clear distinction between the two.
  09 September 2012
Hey thanks for the reply.

I was wondering if you had specific areas in the painting where the brush strokes were confusing or reading incorrectly?

For the main mech, I wanted it to be made of steel plating but I also wanted it to be worn and textured. While each brush stroke wasnt meticulously planned, I wanted to give the painting more action/movement. More interest was my goal.

Thanks for the critic
  09 September 2012
It's mainly how you're using large and obvious strokes that don't actually convey how flat or round a surface is. I totally get what you're trying to do--that speedpainting/impressionistic approach to digital painting pioneered by Craig Mullins. But you need to be selective about where you use that approach on, as well as consider the overall level of finish you have elsewhere, and whether you are matching the overall style consistently. You can use textured brushes to convey what you're after instead of using broad, distinct strokes.
  09 September 2012
Thumbs up

I agree with Robert's crit, but want to throw in that for just starting this summer, you're doing a great job! Get the mech surfaces refined and the part lines looking "machined" and this will really go a long way.

Something you might want to try once you've got the hard-surface look dialed in is getting a bit more subtle color play across the image - the background is pretty monochromatic in particular; you could get a lot of mileage out of distributing some warms in with those cools. I usually experiment with that by adding a layer set to Color at 15% opacity, then using a big airbrush to throw on whatever hue catches my eye in the Swatches.

Also, in addition to value contrast and warm/cool contrast, color saturation contrast can be really effective in guiding a viewer's eye.

Those points are more subtle refinements - get this looking like steel (rather than clay) first!

Beyond that, see if you can bang out 6 or 8 of these in a week! That's good practice too.
  09 September 2012
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