critique would be very welcome

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  03 March 2013
critique would be very welcome

Hello there,

I recently posted this work for the gallery, but it was declined. Any advise would be very welcome to help me get it to an acceptable.

Seems that the standards for the gallery are really high, these days, which is fine. But as always, you are left with a lot of questions when your piece is turned down. So that 's why I turn to you: to ask what's missing/wrong with the piece. Could be too generic, too badly painted, or too uninspired, or too anything, but then at least I know where I have to put my effort next time.

btw: I'm aware that the body of the snake is too light ( its deep water, so light gets really scattered and does not reach that far), but it was a little freedom I took so to show its massive body gliding upwards
Attached Images
File Type: jpg seasnake.jpg (78.5 KB, 67 views)
  03 March 2013
I think there needs to be more going on in the scene, and perhaps edit the values to bring out whats more important.

check out my deviant art
  03 March 2013
Hi kimvandeun It looks good ,the most distracting thing is the three identical shapes under you creature ,they should vary a bit more in value and shape.chrs
  03 March 2013
Thanks for the advice guys! Going to put your advice on canvas right away.
  03 March 2013
Other than the advice already given, I think you can try and make the underwater environment more interesting looking--too much haze that obscures the environment right now. What if this particular area of the water is quite clear, allowing a clear view of the surface ripples and the various textures in the landscape?
  03 March 2013
I made some adjustments to the original. More contrast and textures were added. Some parts received more painted details (surface of the water, snakes body, rock face), but very subtile: There should be an agoraphobic feel to the picture and adding more details to the scene made it lose the exposure and vulnerability of the diver (perhaps you know tis feeling, when you are swimming and all you see beneath you is this darkness... brrrr).

I highly appreciate your input, so if you feel that this empty feeling I'm looking for weakens the picture, and more detail to the story would be better, please say so, and the next corrections be as subtile .

Attached Images
File Type: jpg Corrections.jpg (77.4 KB, 19 views)
  03 March 2013
.. that should be "... won't be as subtile"

jeez, I really need to pay more attention to my writing
  03 March 2013
absolutely right Lunatic, thanks for the references. This weekend I've got some time off and will devote every free minute to it !

I often feel some sort of mental blockade that prevents me from pushing a work further. It ends up by polishing and actually in the end killing the piece in the process. Does this make any sense? Are there any forum dwellers that struggle with the same problem? Perhaps an interesting topic for discussion on another tread ?

cheerz and thanks for your time!
  03 March 2013
Many inexperienced artists kill the spontaneity and expressiveness of their sketches or work-in-progress because they don't know how to manage the tonal composition of their images, and have no idea how to deploy brushwork that is expressive even when describing micro-details and accurate forms. It's a common problem, and it takes an advanced artistic sensibility to overcome this problem, and the only way to get there is to target those specific weaknesses. It's actually one of the hardest things to overcome even for some advanced artists, and very few places teach this advanced concept. My workshop is the only one I know of that tackles this problem head-on.
  04 April 2013
Here is the new version. Compared to the original one, I added highlights and contrast to the snake scales and few more fishes for composition. The surface and the play of light was really hard, even with all those references (thank you!) because the surface is way up in the picture and has less perspective.
Anyway here is the result. I hope it gained mood and depth.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg seasnake.jpg (69.7 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg original.jpg (46.6 KB, 12 views)
  04 April 2013
Oh yeah, that looks much more interesting than the original version.

Always remember that as a visual artist, you are a visual entertainer, and every part of your image has to be interesting, not just the overall effect of the image.
  04 April 2013
The new version did not make it to the gallery. So two words for next time: more effort!

Thanks to all the advise
  04 April 2013
Don't worry about it. Soon, the entire gallery/portfolio/submissions system will be revamped, and the whole judging process will be eliminated--you simply post your work in your portfolio, and then there would be something similar to an "Editor's Choice" kind of spotlighting for notable works.

The most important thing is that you learned and grew as an artist, and there will come a day when your work will be so good that no one could deny it.
  04 April 2013
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