CGTalk > WIP > WIP/Critique: 3D
Login register
Thread Closed share thread « Previous Thread | Next Thread »  
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-15-2012, 08:40 PM   #1
PollyBoffin
Veteran
 
PollyBoffin's Avatar
portfolio
Terése Brus
Cleaning lady
Sweden
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 50
WIP horse - colour and light advice

Or, constructive criticism if you wish. Wow, my first thread on this forum and I go here, prepared to be slaughtered.

No, seriously though, you guys are so very, very talented, so if I can't learn from you, I guess I'm a hopeless case. On to the WIP in question. I've started drawing/painting again after having an involuntary break from art for over a year. Before this break happened, I had started to discover how to paint using Photoshop (I can't paint IRL, just can't) and this is my chosen media. I have many things I need to improve, but I think my biggest problem areas lies within the colouring and light departments. The light is inconsistent in my pictures, and, so far, it's also "dead" (you know - pure white light and pure black in shadows). The finished pictures also have a sterile appearance (light issue I believe) as well as a plastic one.

To ease myself into painting again, I decided to do a simple portrait of a horse with no complicated background (although it's not going to be a solid dark one as it is now) and no complicated nothing in it. But, since I'm me, I have to make life difficult for myself and are going for two light sources in the picture, one primary with a yellow tinted light, and one secondary with a bluish ditto. I don't even know why I insist on doing such things, because it's way above my artistic level, but on the other hand; life would be pretty darn boring without challenges.

For this first round, I want you to give me feedback on the preliminary placement of the shadows (I need more highlights, I know ), because I want the light to be consistent! Not looking like it's from all over the place. It might be that I haven't gotten far enough on the picture yet for you to be able to criticize on it properly, but I would really appreciate if you tried.

I have plans for the snaffle (which will include bells, either silver or gold, and some sort of pearl embroidery), but I'll get to that later on.

I'll upload the sketch too so you can see a bit more of the whole picture. Oh, yes, it's being done in CS2 with lots and lots of layers, but no other special effects than that (I use one of the standard brushes when painting), and the horse is supposed to be a palomino.

Sketch:



Painting:
 
Old 11-17-2012, 04:14 PM   #2
PollyBoffin
Veteran
 
PollyBoffin's Avatar
portfolio
Terése Brus
Cleaning lady
Sweden
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 50
Alright, it's up! Thanks guys. I was worried I had managed to try and submit it to the Member showcase subforum, which would have been one major mistake.

It has happened a lot with this painting while I was waiting for my two first posts to be approved, so I'll upload the most recent version.

Overall, I think the picture has progressed, but I've lost the secondary light source. I plan to add it 'cause I want it there, but I've been and am focusing more on getting the horse to look like a, well, horse. I think the base of the horse might be finished, except the neck, it needs more work.

Things I wish you to focus on for the moment:

1) Is the light consistent would you say? Does it appear to come from one light source only (it's supposed to at the moment)? Have I placed the shadows correctly? You get the drill, right. ?

2) Does the exterior anatomy look right to you? I'll add more details to it, but I mean, largely right?

3) Anything you think might aid me.

Here's the most recent version:


Issues with this portrait:

1) Originality. It's pretty cliche, I know, but this is for me to get back in the groove and just start painting. It would be great if I could get it to be interesting, despite it suffering from the cliche syndrome.

2) Uninteresting. It's a horse, and nothing really exciting happening in the picture.

3) The background. What background? Yeah, that.

34 Lack of skill. The horse. It's a lousy show jumper... Just kidding, it's me who is lacking in the skill department (duh!), but I'll hope to improve, I NEED to improve or I think my head might implode...
 
Old 11-17-2012, 11:02 PM   #3
PollyBoffin
Veteran
 
PollyBoffin's Avatar
portfolio
Terése Brus
Cleaning lady
Sweden
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 50
Final update for today. I've started working on the finer details on the head (mostly the eye at the moment) and will try to address some of the issues that are still left, or that I managed to create while working on it. The neck is still no good, it's better but I'm not satisfied with it at all. I think I have to lower the highlight to make it look more accurate.

I would love some constructive criticism on the same things as in the previous post:

1) Is the light consistent would you say? Does it appear to come from one light source only (as it's supposed to do at the moment)? Have I placed the shadows correctly? You get the drill, right. ?

2) Does the exterior anatomy look right to you? I'll add more details to it, but I mean, largely right?

3) Anything you think might aid me.

Here it is:


Oh, the secondary light source has done a guest appearance in the eye. This was only because I wanted to see what it might look like.
 
Old 11-18-2012, 01:09 AM   #4
AJ1
User
 
AJ1's Avatar
CGTalk Forum Leader
portfolio
A J
Indiana, USA
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,810
I think it looks pretty good!

Horse hair is pretty oily, and would maybe be a bit glossier than what you have.

They normally have some veins popping out in the head, and usually some marks and scars on their faces, especially the older ones.

I would imagine the mane would be a lot dirtier and darker unless this was some kind of dressage or show horse.

Are you going for an outdoor lighting, or barn lighting?

Do you plan to add the halter? They usually get left on to make the horses easier to handle.

-AJ
__________________
 
Old 11-18-2012, 09:18 AM   #5
jister
Frequenter
 
jister's Avatar
portfolio
Jethro Volders
Hasselt, Belgium
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 116
it looks pretty good so far.

haha i got it other way around, i can paint IRL but not so good in PS...

anyway i think it would be good for you so exaggerate more and then bring it back slowly to a point you feel is ok. i say this because that way you find a balance you never get when being "careful".

as for your light is it coming from the above left corner? then the eye and nostril seem a bit off, anyway its hard to pinpoint the source...

also i would lose the white hair.

good luck
 
Old 11-18-2012, 10:37 AM   #6
PollyBoffin
Veteran
 
PollyBoffin's Avatar
portfolio
Terése Brus
Cleaning lady
Sweden
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ1
I think it looks pretty good!

Horse hair is pretty oily, and would maybe be a bit glossier than what you have.

They normally have some veins popping out in the head, and usually some marks and scars on their faces, especially the older ones.

I would imagine the mane would be a lot dirtier and darker unless this was some kind of dressage or show horse.

Are you going for an outdoor lighting, or barn lighting?

Do you plan to add the halter? They usually get left on to make the horses easier to handle.

-AJ

Thanks, but it can/will get better!

Do you mean the coat? And yes, it is, I totally agree with you. I haven't really added any highlights yet, when I do I hope it'll look glossier. Also, since it's a palomino horse, it unfortunately doesn't appear as glossy as, for example, a chestnut one would. It's the same problem with all lighter coloured horses I think. If I had been clever, I would have chosen a chestnut coloured horse instead, since it's easier to give it a more dramatic/interesting look with the highlights etc. Unfortunately, I came equipped without a brain and thought "Hey, palomino horses look very pretty".

Yep, they have lots and lots of tiny details on their faces which I'll add. This is only the base. I'll also add fur, wrinkles, and anything else I can think of to make it look more realistic. I think this is the really best part of using references; you discover all of these tiny details that make up whatever it is that you're trying to create.

The mane is really the most basic/unfinished element in the picture. I haven't done anything with it except adding it, which is why it almost appears to glow in the dark. It's horrible, I know, I'll get to it eventually.

Argh! Don't ask difficult questions! I was actually thinking about this very thing when I went to sleep yesterday. Where IS the horse? Inside? Outside? This is something that I really should have planned beforehand, and not start to think about now. I need to figure it out since I want to make some sort of simple background to it. I think I've placed it standing in a stable, but with sunlight/daylight hitting the face, 'cause of the brightness of the shadows. I'm very uncertain about this though, and since the background affects the colours of the horse, I really need to figure it out. And then we have this secondary light source which I want... What's making the light? The light on the face is white with a thoutch of yellow, and the secondary is white with a blue hint. So maybe it should be that it's inside a very bright stable (god, what a bad excuse) with some outdoors light coming from the right..?

I will, I must have my silver bells after all! I plan to make some sort of homemade version of a bitless bridle. I'll start tinkering with possible designs when the head is more finished, so I can focus on it properly.

Oh, dear. Sorry for a lengthy reply, but I really value the input!


Quote:
Originally Posted by jister
it looks pretty good so far.

haha i got it other way around, i can paint IRL but not so good in PS...

anyway i think it would be good for you so exaggerate more and then bring it back slowly to a point you feel is ok. i say this because that way you find a balance you never get when being "careful".

as for your light is it coming from the above left corner? then the eye and nostril seem a bit off, anyway its hard to pinpoint the source...

also i would lose the white hair.

good luck

We need all different types of people, don't we? And thanks for the compliment.

Yes, you're absolutely right with the exaggeration bit. This is really something that I need to work on and it's a major hurdle actually. I can browse different art sites and admire all the extremely talented people who DARE, but if I try myself, my brain goes "NOOOO! You can't do that, it doesn't work if you do it like that, bad, BAD you!" (I have many interesting conversations with my brain). Just reading you comment made one part of my brain go "YES!", and the other, "NO!". I have some work cut out for myself in other words...

Okay, and I'm not surprised since having a fixed light source seems to be one of my greatest weaknesses . I'll see what I can do to get a grip on this problem for real, I need to practice seeing where I go wrong. I think I should make a quick clay sculpture of a horse head, arrange the light properly, and take a picture of it... This could work...

I'll keep your suggestion in mind. It has a white mane for a reason (being a palomino horse), but if the problems with the mane persists even after I've worked on it, I'll probably ditch it.



Thank you both for giving me lots to think about and for your input! Much appreciated! Now I'll go and do some sculpting.
 
Old 11-19-2012, 01:42 AM   #7
PollyBoffin
Veteran
 
PollyBoffin's Avatar
portfolio
Terése Brus
Cleaning lady
Sweden
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 50
I didn't finish my sculpture since I ran out of decent light, but I'll do it tomorrow. What I did do, on the other hand, was that I got permission to use a near perfect photo of a horse head that I found on a Swedish forum.

With the use of this photo I've managed to fix some anatomical errors that I never noticed before, probably because it looked "almost" right. It's amazing and a bit frightening how immersed and BLIND one can get when one draws/paints. I sit with so many reference photos open when I work on this picture, but I still managed to make such obvious errors, simply because I didn't see them. I didn't understand what a horse actually looks like, or even how the head is attached to the body! O_o

I'll finish the sculpture tomorrow and see if the light will fall on the same areas as on my precious reference and then it's really time to play with details, or maybe I should actually try to figure out the answers to some of the questions I got asked (where is the horse?). I feel that no matter what the picture will look like in the end, I'll have learned lots and lots.

So here's the latest update where I've changed the shadows underneath the eye and the nostril, moved the ears, added more light on some areas, worked some more on the neck, toned down the horror which is the mane and fringe so as they won't disturb as much (I hope), attached the head to the neck, and, naturally, accidentally changed some things to the worse:


I still want you to look at these things:

1) Is the light consistent would you say? Does it appear to come from one light source only (as it's supposed to do at the moment)? Have I placed the shadows correctly? You get the drill, right. ?

2) Does the exterior anatomy look right to you? I'll add more details to it, but I mean, largely right?

3) Anything you think might aid me.
 
Old 11-19-2012, 01:56 AM   #8
AJ1
User
 
AJ1's Avatar
CGTalk Forum Leader
portfolio
A J
Indiana, USA
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,810
__________________
 
Old 11-19-2012, 10:06 AM   #9
PollyBoffin
Veteran
 
PollyBoffin's Avatar
portfolio
Terése Brus
Cleaning lady
Sweden
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 50

Thanks for the links, more references are never wrong.

I've have searched google images for palomino horses, but only stock photos since I don't want to commit copyright infringement. The first picture could be of great help to get the hairs correct on the face, as well as the grayer areas on the muzzle and the eye. It'll also add to my understanding of the outer anatomy of a horse head.

I sent an email asking for permission to use the first image as reference. I hope I'll get it.

Again, thank you for aiding me in my quest of painting the "simple" palomino portrait.
 
Old 11-19-2012, 02:57 PM   #10
PollyBoffin
Veteran
 
PollyBoffin's Avatar
portfolio
Terése Brus
Cleaning lady
Sweden
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 50
I've been trying to place Mr Horsie in some kind of environment and only got slightly carried away (the humongous stable kitty was necessary for my mental health...promise). The light issue might be forced by my solution, which happens to be the bad idea I presented before, and I have no idea if this works or not:

Just realized I've forgotten to add the shadow cast by the head of the horse! XD Oh, well... To be honest, I don't think my idea of two light sources works... I think I have to scrap that idea and work with reflective light instead. Oh, bother. :(

Please let me know what you think, should scrap the secondary light source idea or not? If I should stick to it, I've no idea how to pull through...

Oh, and the bitless bridle turned into a show halter instead. I suppose that the bad horse owner is planning to have a photo or two taken outside, but got sidetracked by the mysterious stick figure to the left. Meanwhile, our Palomino Hero is pondering about making a break for it.
 
Old 11-20-2012, 12:00 AM   #11
PollyBoffin
Veteran
 
PollyBoffin's Avatar
portfolio
Terése Brus
Cleaning lady
Sweden
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 50
I've had some fun designing the showhalter today just to give myself an idea of what it'll look like. I don't know if I'll stick to this idea or not, maybe I'll try some more designs tomorrow and see if I can't come up with something I like better (except the disk and the bells, those are staying). Oh, and I forgot to add the chin chain and the lead:


There's a personal touch to the disk (except for the silly name of the fictive designer) and that's the flower depicted on it. It's one of my favourite orchid species; Phalaenopsis equestris var. aurea. I thought, what could be more fitting than an orchid named for its apparent likeness to a horse head (although I personally think it reminds me of a mosquito, dunno where they got the horse from). It's also a perfect example of my sense of humor, or rather lack of sophisticated ditto. XD

Let me know what you think about the design! Material I have in mind are; black leather, white and blue pearls, steel disk and bells, steel chin chain, and and some sort of blue and white/silverish string wrapped around on parts of the leather. I also forgot to add a buckle (is it called that on bridles/halters?)... More work tomorrow then.
 
Old 11-20-2012, 11:30 AM   #12
PollyBoffin
Veteran
 
PollyBoffin's Avatar
portfolio
Terése Brus
Cleaning lady
Sweden
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 50
Now I really need some input!

Please? Pretty please with sugar on top?

I've now gotten to the place where my painting usually goes petty much downhill; the background. The head is not done (far from it), but I wanted to add the background to A) see what it would look like, and B) get the right colour on the horse so I don't end up finishing the horse and THEN add the background, only to realize it looks just as it looks now; like crap. Or maybe poop. Excrement works too I suppose.

I haven't started on trying to get any texture or anything like that, I've only focused on adding the background and decide where the light should be. I'm thinking about making it darker in hope that the horse pops out a bit more, and I'm not satisfied with the colour on the wood but I've no idea if I want it more yellow or not.

I'm feeling extremely uncertain about the background in general, which could have to do with inexperience. This is why it takes such time for me to finish something that should have been done ages ago - when I get uncertain I have a tendency of doodling with everything else but tackle the problem instead. A very bad habit.

So, what do you say about the background in regards to colour choice, placement of shadows/light, the beginning of the planks (I think I should add more lines and with less space in between the grooves, since it's supposed to a roomy stable if you check my sketch of it)?



About the mane: I just played around a bit with different brushes to see if I could get that coarse appearance that horsehair has, so it's not going to look like this.

EDIT: Is it me or does the picture look "top heavy"?
 
Old 11-21-2012, 12:08 PM   #13
PollyBoffin
Veteran
 
PollyBoffin's Avatar
portfolio
Terése Brus
Cleaning lady
Sweden
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 50
Since I can't wait for anybody to give any kind of input (the lack of could be because you're all awestruck by my greatness ) I've plunged ahead and darkened the background and I think that will do for now. I plan to add more details of course, but I'm thinking of making it appear out of focus (it's the horse that's important, not what's behind it).

After reading some of the articles about light, that I found when browsing through the "Art Techniques and Theory forum", I've changed the colour of the shadows and given them a more blue tone. I'm also trying out different brushes to see which ones I want to use to make the horse look "furry". I've also started to work on details more, mostly I've focused on the eye (it's not done though) and will start adding reflected lights etc. where I think they should be. Some of the shadows look very sharp at the moment, but I'm slowly getting to them.

So, what do you think? Was it a correct decision to make the background darker? What do you think about the colour change of the shadows? Should I just have left them as they where?

 
Old 11-21-2012, 11:05 PM   #14
PollyBoffin
Veteran
 
PollyBoffin's Avatar
portfolio
Terése Brus
Cleaning lady
Sweden
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 50
Most recent update:


As you can see, I've darkened the background considerably, since it was much too bright. Now the question is though, did I overdo it? I think there's only some dirt and more straws to add to the floor (in the same manner as the ones that are there already).

I've also started working on the mane and fringe since they are so butt ugly and bother me so much that I have to keep the layer they are on, turned off. Somehow, I managed to turned them sort of silver coloured, it's probably because of the dominant colour of the shadow. I'll add some middle tones to lighten it up a bit.

More polishing left to do (haven't started on the muzzle yet) and reflected light to add.

So what to you guys think? Is it better than the previous one? Is it moving forward at all, or am I only making more mistakes? I just noticed that I haven't painted properly all the way to the edge of the canvas. O_o Time to go to sleep I think...

I'm going to take a break from this picture for a day or two, since I need to rest my eyes and mind from it.
 
Old 11-21-2012, 11:05 PM   #15
CGTalk Moderation
Expert
CGTalk Forum Leader
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,066,478
Thread automatically closed

This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.
__________________
CGTalk Policy/Legalities
Note that as CGTalk Members, you agree to the terms and conditions of using this website.
 
Thread Closed share thread


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
CGSociety
Society of Digital Artists
www.cgsociety.org

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump
Miscellaneous

All times are GMT. The time now is 11:42 AM.


Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.