Need critiques

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  05 May 2013
Need critiques

Hi guys,I made it only to improve my skills on painting but I'm a beginner.
Here Lunqtique give me some advices about how to make drawings,I'm still a beginner but I would like to know if I'm going "on the right track" or I have to continue or I'm wrong.
Here I post a "Mermaid" but I must paint the hair,the lips,the details and then change the color.


Here there is a new paint: I made first on a paper and after that I painted it in PS.


Here the reference:

Last edited by Paky : 05 May 2013 at 01:11 PM.
  05 May 2013
  05 May 2013
"Hi guys,I made it only to improve my skills on painting but I'm a beginner."

-OK, I don't know what anyone else suggested to you in the past but I will just relate to you what I did in my youth when I first started drawing.
-I found an image from another artist and tried to replicate it. When you see a great picture do you think,"I can NEVER do that!"...or "How did they do that?" You might want to start off with comic book art, or some concept artist. Of course as a child I drew bugs / animals/ Godzilla...first from pictures then from memory.
-Do you have a sketchbook? You can just get a small one that fits in your back pocket and anytime you have to wait...the doctors office...getting the car taken care of...whatever, just sketch whatever inspires you.
-Have you looked up Tutorials? Google...use it.
-Lastly, does the program you use to paint with have an opacity value for the brush? Might want to sketch the image at about 50% opacity and paint the color with 30% opacity. Decide the lighting and paint in the shade in grey-scale. Build up the values. Does the program have layers? Have the sketch on one layer and the paintings on another layer.

(P.S. Draw allot, do you think it takes 100 drawings to become good? Naw, it takes thousands and they will not always be good but soon you can look back and see how much you have improved. Patience, keep at it, slow and steady.)
I might make you feel but I can't make you think.
  05 May 2013
Well before you go ahead and start high-detail colouring and all of that, consider what you've got in your sketch. Does it look like a real person? Does it look like your reference? My guess is that you don't actually have a reference, in which case you're trying to do something far too difficult for your level, so the results will never be satisfying. What you're putting on the page in that case is not honest because it's not something you'd see with your eyes, only your mind.

So what you need to do is to forget drawing from your mind and instead use your eyes. Anatomy, colour and light are all difficult things to get right, so you need to really know the rules before you try to invent them, and there's no better way to learn those rules than to observe them in action, and copy them over and over again. It needn't be boring. Pick a photo of someone you think is particularly striking or beautiful, and do your very best to reproduce what you see. Start by mapping with a sketch.

You've clearly seen the principles in action but not really understood them as in your sketch you have drawn a head shape then drawn in features apparently one at a time: "this is what an eye looks like, this is what a mouth looks like...". Try to avoid doing that. People will recognise that it's 'a mouth', but not that it's a real person's mouth. So what you need to do is start out with basic shapes - but not 'a' shape but 'that' shape instead. Look closely at your reference. Is that cheek line at the right angle? How far is the cheekbone from the nose bridge in the photo? Still looks wrong? check your measurements to various points. If one of them is out, fix it, no matter how much work you're having to redo because otherwise it will continue to look wrong. Look for lines that don't really exist. What's the angle between the outer eye and the corner of the mouth? If you keep getting these measurements and angles it's like triangulation: the more points you measure from the harder it is to make a mistake with proportions. Currently your woman's mouth finishes directly under her nose.

The same applies for colour. You have got a palette, but it looks like you googled 'skin tone palette' and just used that, but skin changes colour wildly depending on the lighting conditions - any one palette is not going to work in isolation from things like hair and background: the result won't make sense. If you're going to sample colours, do it from a reference photo until you really know what you're doing.

You remember the days of 56k modems when images would load in several passes? Well that is pretty much how a painting should develop: detail at the beginning will be entirely lacking but the basic areas of light, colour and shade will be correct, and it can then be refined and built on and refined etc. until you have something that looks real. Don't get carried away and try to do something that looks perfect and neglect the rest of the image, because it will always look wrong and disjointed if you don't make sure everything relates properly.

Finally, there is something that happens to everyone who does realistic or semi-real portraits etc. which is hyper-focus: you become blind to the problems of the piece because you're so absorbed in it. This is why you'll finish a painting and be all glowing about how brilliant it is, then look again tomorrow and have a minor heart attack as you spot all the glaring flaws you completely missed the day before. This is why people are usually embarrassed by stuff they have done before, and also where the expressions 'take a step back' and 'new eyes' come from. You literally change your perspective on the piece to make it unfamiliar, and that way you will spot the mistakes you missed without having to wait a day of not seeing it. The easiest way to do this is to flip the image horizontally or vertically, then resist the temptation to flip it back. The shapes should be correct in any orientation, or they're not correct at all, and someone else will notice this even if you don't. So flip it, work on it until this new version is the correct one, then flip it back, and so forth. Also squint/blur your eyes and either step back or zoom right out. All the best images will look right when they're small too. If they don't, then they're not right close in either; you just can't tell as easily.

Keep trying and try to enjoy the actual process. It becomes kind of like an hypnotic puzzle after a while, and by doing it you *will improve*. Don't be discouraged by criticism either! If I didn't think there was something you could do that would help you improve, I wouldn't have bothered to write such a long post.

P.S.: When posting in this forum please use a more descriptive title for your thread. 'Need critiques' applies to every thread in this forum; that's why they're here.
  05 May 2013
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