Anthology of Troy - Digital oil on canvas illustration (Art Rage)

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  12 December 2012
Smile Anthology of Troy - Digital oil on canvas illustration (Art Rage)

An illustration for the Train Your Brain Contest over at DeviantArt.

I've been staring into this thing for too long (done in the last 3 days) and would highly appreciate feedback before I do the final pass and submit this.

Anything that bothers you, anything that reads bad (like the garden hose next to the paper boat X| sigh), any comments whatsoever, let me know.

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  12 December 2012
I like the picture so far. I mean it could use darker shadows and more contrast overall but thats maybe also a matter of taste.
The hose problem - which is really difficult to discern as such - could be solved by changing the way it comes into the picture. I have attached an idea of what I mean. Sorry had no Wacom at hand right now .
I also like the "rough" touch your brush strokes have, makes it look even more painted!

Kind Regards,

Attached Images
File Type: jpg temp.jpg (67.0 KB, 2 views)
  12 December 2012
Thanks man, I really appreciate you taking the time. I had to finish yesterday before the deadline, so I'm already done. I tried to redraw the hose, similar to your suggestion, but in the end decided it's just an unnecessary and breaks the composition.

I redid the grass in the back, made the knight piece a bit shinier and the swing is less wobbly (straighter, leaner bars).

This is what I submitted in the end:

As for the colors, that's the main area I tried to improve from my previous works. Especially the sense of depth which I've tried doing with adding atmospheric 'haze', colors going towards the sky as they go back. Maybe that takes too much out of the contrast?
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  12 December 2012
Looking at the foliage in the scene, it seems like they were a chore for you to paint them--some kind of necessary evil you had to put up with instead of really enjoying. My suggestion is to think of them in a different mentality.

When you look at really amazing painters, you'll see that despite the subject matter, they always find a way to make things interesting and expressive. So if it's a painting of a pot of plant or flowers, the leaves and the stems and the petals and the branches are all painted with such expressiveness, utilizing creative and interesting brushwork. The layers of leaves, the way the angle, they way they catch the light, the specularity differences between the waxy leaves and the tissue-paper like petals--it's all done with a lot of TLC. Same thing if they were to paint a scene with a lot of foliage--they give every area the TLC it needs, so that together, the entire scene will be vibrant and expressive.

A great example is Richard Schmid. Look at how expressive he paints, and how even a bunch of leaves can look so damn interesting:
  12 December 2012
Ah, yes, you read me like an open book. The leaves and blades were indeed a pain to paint, mainly because I didn't have a real reference for them. Sure, I found dozens of grass photos, but none with the lighting and close up I'd need. So I was guessing a lot and just trying not to suck too much as I didn't have the luxury of me just looking at a scene in front of me and focusing how to do the strokes to capture what I see.

I took a lot of preparation with this picture (more WIPs and even a 3D setup can be seen here ), but preparing real reference for grass (maybe going outside at the right time and taking a photo myself) is something I had to skip with the short deadline (and frankly, my attention span with this piece).

I really appreciate your comment and the example. BTW, I applied to be reminded about your workshop and saw one is starting in January, but I'm not sure if it'll be a good time for me to participate as I'll be in the middle of moving from Europe to San Francisco. I'd so love to take your class, but I'm afraid to waste it in a period when many things are bound to come up in my life and interfere with just time to paint. You'll have another class after, yes? On the other side, I'm tired of me postponing putting even more effort into illustration, so maybe I should just go ahead and wing it. Your advice would come in handy.
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  12 December 2012
My workshop is unlike any other workshop, because it never ends. After the 8 weeks are up, the students are transferred directly into the alumni students lounge, which is a private forum only available to those who have taken my workshop. In that private forum, the entire course content is hosted permanently and constantly updated to the latest version (and completely free of charge), and I continue to mentor everyone indefinitely. All of my students, from the very first workshop two years ago, to the most recent workshop, all continue to learn and grow together, and I continue to be their mentor for as long as they need my help--even years after the workshop they took had ended.

And because the assignments for each week of the workshop has no real deadline, my students are allowed to tackle the assignments even long after the workshop has ended, and they can continue to post their assignments in the alumni students lounge, and I'll always give them thorough critiques and answer every single question they have, not matter how difficult or complex the questions are.

So don't think of my workshop as this fixed 8 week period that you had to cram everything into and then it just ends. Think of it more like the introduction to a long-term relationship that we will have that will last long into the future, for years to come.

If you really want to put all of your focus into those 8 weeks, instead of taking it easy so you can focus on moving, then do the assignments later in the alumni students lounge, then take the workshop later. If you want to do it now, and then as the move starts to take up more of your time, you take a little hiatus and then come back in the later weeks and pick up where you left off, then enroll now.

Either way, once you become a student of mine, you're my student for life, and I'll never turn my back on you, until one day you no longer need me, or something happens to me. I've made that promise to all of my students, and I've kept it.
  12 December 2012
Well, I already decided to take your class with the money I saved, so, with all you said, why wait. I do see it as a long term process, having to do this on the side of my programming job, so it's not like I will be able to afford to focus just on art anyway (at least anytime soon).

You have a new student, sir!
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  12 December 2012
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