Neon Geisha

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  10 October 2012
Neon Geisha

I've been trying to improve on my proportions and have begun exploring beyond basic skin and hair (cloth, accessories etc.).

This is roughly my 5th or 6th from scratch in Photoshop with a basic reference from (great site I recently discovered for those who need it).

Please excuse the watermarking on some bits, it's up for exclusive rights auction for the week and wont be able to post higher res till sold or released.

I may not revisit this actual painting but I wanted to gain as much feedback as possible as to where I lacked or went wrong so that I can improve on my future works. I've only had one and a half actual drawing classes, rest is all slowly self taught.

Edit: I also wanted to know, this is about 4000 x 4000 px @ 72dpi, is this a normal size range in Photoshop or do people professional stick to inches and 300 dpi? I have a good computer but sometimes I get stuck along the way with so many layers and go back to 72 dpi. On average I'm painting in the 1000 x 1000 px size.

Thank you in advance for honest critiques.

Last edited by Menstruosity : 10 October 2012 at 05:54 AM.
  11 November 2012
You need to use proper references, because what you're doing out of your head (or "Frankensteining" from various sources) looks unconvincing and even wrong in some areas. Read about how to overcome this problem here:
  11 November 2012
Just so we're clear I've used only one single (1) pose reference using a whole body 3d render found at The pose was meant for a crouching sword holding position. I'd appreciate a genuine sincere critique about painting technique than to just glance quickly at my work and link me to a thread on a topic I last visited in my previous work posted here and have done my best to improve on by using one (1) anatomically correct reference.

There is no ""Frankensteining" from various sources" involved. I appreciate you lumping me into one generalized assumption but in this case you are wrong.

I would request you make and actual critique based on this fact which makes your linked thread irrelevant in my case. How "else" can I improve after knowing I didn't "frankenstein". Why does it look so butchered in your eyes. My respects to you as an artist but I am here for sincere critiques not flinging of random links that don't help my situation.
  11 November 2012
The reason why I thought you were "Frankensteining" was because there are anatomy problems that shouldn't be there if you used a singular reference that was appropriate. Another reason could be that you tried to add anatomy details that weren't in the original reference photo, and due to your lack of understanding of anatomy, you created odd-looking details (such as the way the muscles look) that probably wasn't in the original reference photo.

Or, you simply portrayed the anatomy/figure incorrectly, despite the reference photo already containing all the proper details.

Can you please post the link to the photo reference you used? That would help a lot in seeing how far you deviated from the reference and what mistakes you added to it.
  11 November 2012
Thank you for giving this another look over, this is the reference I used though I might have had one at 10 degree angle difference, I had her rotated horizontally (only possible direction) in this 3d render, and in Photoshop I did rotate my sketch into different angles so maybe that is where the distortion may be stemming from.

Edit: Looking at this again it's the right angle (v30) + dragging the viewer to the left. I did reposition (her) left leg to be more expanded. The other things I can think of is the change in fatty tissue on the breast and the neck, is this what you meant?

Another thing that I find frustrating and ineffective is when people tell me that I don't know my anatomy or to just go study some anatomy. I've got 4 semesters of human anatomy and dissection under my belt with high grades (not art school), granted I will be the first to state that knowing anatomy in and out does not help when it comes to poses as dead bodies are not like warm ones. I try the posing in the mirror thing and searching online for similar photo references but in the end when critiqued I'd much rather get advice as to why something doesn't look right than just "learn anatomy better" because that's moot point. I don't know if you can see where I am coming from here but I feel like I keep going in circles instead of advancing or improving.

Last edited by Menstruosity : 11 November 2012 at 08:11 PM.
  11 November 2012
Having studied medical anatomy is not the same thing as artistic anatomy/figure. Medical anatomy is very technical, dealing mostly with cadavers, and does not get into expressiveness, aesthetics, body language, weight distribution, etc.

The areas that look awkward to me are:

-The neck muscles that don't seem to conform to the form of the neck (in fact, we can't even see any hint of the existence of a neck and how it connects to the torso--it's as if the head is stuck onto the torso)

-The leg muscles that don't have a natural looking rate of turn and modeling of form, looking like a stiff, straight stump with hard-edged carved/etched in forms that lack the organic sense of volume of flesh/muscles.

-The perspective of the nose and the mouth don't line up--the mouth is turned up to much. The philtrum looks as if it's pressed right up against the nose tip.

-The ear lacks coherency and readability.

The problem with simply telling someone what looks wrong in their image without telling them how to use a more effective and correct approach, is that it does not help them to not make the same type of mistakes down the line. Only by correcting their approach would you actually be helping them change the way they do things and thus leading to better efficiency and more healthy/productive habits. All of the problems I've pointed out wouldn't have existed if you used a life model (yourself, or someone else) and shot your own photo references.
  12 December 2012
Just saw the reply to this thread, I appreciate your input. Not everyone is able to get real models or a camera, I just have me and the internet, so your feedback is more valuable than you think so thank you very much for that. I'm working on more pieces to practice with and keeping in mind things you pointed out that I've neglected.
  12 December 2012
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