Test Drawing understanding light, texture, color etc.

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  06 June 2013
Unhappy Test Drawing understanding light, texture, color etc.

Hi guys,

I need help!
In this image, I just don't understand, why color and light doesn't look good...or even "okay" xD
What do I need to look for and what do I need to practice, to archieve a better udnerstanding, to improve this?

The light, that's emerging in front of this guy, should be some firelight or something similar.

direct link: http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/6329/3p3j.jpg



Thanks in advance!
 
  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by Baonty: Hi guys,

I need help!
In this image, I just don't understand, why color and light doesn't look good...or even "okay" xD
What do I need to look for and what do I need to practice, to archieve a better udnerstanding, to improve this?

The light, that's emerging in front of this guy, should be some firelight or something similar.

direct link: http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/6329/3p3j.jpg



Thanks in advance!


Your character has some anatomy issues, but lets concentrate on what you asked for:

You seem to have the right basic idea, I think you just need to put some more critical thought into what's going on. Your lighting is two sources - a far away blue light (ambient or point), and you have an orange glow in front that you want to light the character with.

The first thing is, the light values for both light sources is the same - the blue light, since it's further away, should be less important on the figure, it should be more of a key light. The suit or armor has so much blue, it's drowning out the orange.

Second, the orange light isn't being reflected - looking at the reflections in the suit, it's a white light with an orange halo, and the change from white to orange is very abrupt -softening the transition would help.

Now, look at the face, the visible neck/collarbone (which shouldn't be visible, that's one of the problems), and the hands. You only have white light on them, no blue on the hands, and there's hardly any shadow compared to the body. The hands have no volume, they're flat and cartoony from no shadowing. The bottom of the nose should be lit, and the lower cheeks, not the upper, the brow should be heavily lit, and the upper lip - and the bottom of the helmet at the chin.
The best way to study this is to get a posable toy, and hold a light up to it, like a flashlight. See how the light hits the shapes, and where. With a bright light like this, you have to think like a flash is going off, and you're capturing the moment in time.

As for texture, the first thing you need to do is have crisp edges on shiny, hard surfaces, yours are soft and whispy. Hard, metallic or plastic textures are reflective and have bright, crisp highlights, and reflect color onto other objects. This is easy to see in movies that have shiny armor or spacesuits, it's a good reference to see how to render objects like that.

I'll stop there, hope this helps. The key to learning this is to study the world around you, to see how shadows work, how light is bounced around, how light is reflected, how different materials look under different lighting, and learning to capture that with paint, or pixels. As an artist, i see the world differently than most people, because I'm always seeing color, shadows, bounced color, compositions, interesting textures, things like that - and I add that all to my mental library, so when I need to draw or paint something, I can refer to what I've seen, or have painted before, or have saved in my morgue.

(A morgue is a file that artists store images or objects or books or sketches that are inspirational, or reference. Mine is digital these days, it's huge, it's jpgs of paintings, my portfolio, screenshots, and links to stuff. I highly recommend anyone reading this to do the same, it's extremely handy. Mine used to be a flat map file, but I got tired of moving it, it was very heavy and big! And somewhat a fire hazard, lol...)
 
  06 June 2013
Something else you can do to really help you create more authenticity, is to use proper photo references. You can borrow a motorcycle helmet, and use cardboard with foil glued/taped to approximate the armor pieces. Then use household lights to simulate the lighting scheme you have. You can put an orange colored scarf or plastic bag over the main light to turn it orange (or even use your computer's desktop and change it to orange and turn up the brightness), and then do the same for the blue rear light. You can also buy photography colored gels (which are heat-resistant and safer when used with hot light bulbs) to get the colors you want for the lights.

And if you have some 3D knowledge, you can simulate the scenes you want to paint in 3D. Building everything yourself would be time-consuming, but there are lots of pre-made downloadable assets on the web you can use to construct something similar enough to use as reference.
 
  06 June 2013
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