Huntsman in need of help

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Old 11 November 2012   #1
Huntsman in need of help

Hello everyone,
I finished this illustration recently, and I'm more or less happy with the overall result. But I know some aspects of this drawing worsens the image. As the hunter's pose, which is forced and weird.



My goal was to visualize the character, a hunter, in a sinister forest and create a twilight environment with dark, muted colors. The hunter suspects that something isn't right, but he doesn't know what.
I need help with the pose, it is wrong but I don't know how to fix it, especially the legs, without having to draw the whole character again.
I have already looked at this picture too much and I don't have the sharp eye that time and experience gives to discern if something is right, so it will be very apreciated some advice about the picture in general terms too, as light, composition, approach, etc.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #2
There is a lot going on in this image in terms of detail/clutter. The result is that it took me more than 20 seconds to notice there's a woman/ghost behind that tree. If I were that huntsman I'd be confused too. Try to make your focal point clear, right now I'm just looking at the character and not beyond. The light could be a little more interesting, perhaps some fog could help bring down the detail in the background and add to the sinister feel you're after.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #3
Originally Posted by Sabra: The result is that it took me more than 20 seconds to notice there's a woman/ghost behind that tree. If I were that huntsman I'd be confused too.

Good! This is exactly the feeling I wanted to achieve with the ghost barely seen. I don't know if this is a good approach for the overall image, though less than 15 seconds to notice the ghost would have been better. Anyway, I'm happy I was able to manage the picture to guide your eyes where I wanted to.
When you refer to light, you mean on the background or the character? Maybe adding some brighter light between the trees could do it more interesting?
Thank you very much for your comment!
 
Old 11 November 2012   #4
Actually I think it's too long. If this image was in a gallery of some kind, I probably wouldn't have bothered looking at it for that long. It doesn't have immediate impact. I think seperating the character from the background more by using the lights you suggested would benefit the image. Right now the contrast is too low imho.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #5
I'm going to see how it goes with more light between the trees. Does anyone have any suggestion for the anatomy?
Thank you!
 
Old 11 November 2012   #6
color could be more various and the focus should be clearer...
 
Old 11 November 2012   #7
Noooo! I just wrote a long message and then I managed to fumble and lose it. :'(

I'll try again.

Despite me having much to learn when it comes to human bodies, poses, anatomy etc. I think I've managed to pinpoint why he looks so awkward. I'll start with the pose/anatomy issues I think might be the problem (unfortunately all my opinions end up with you having to redo him or parts of him, sorry about that):

1) His body looks too "open" with his arms and legs pointing away from it. In my eyes, this makes him look more concerned with his footing than any potential threat. If threatened/wary, I think it would be more natural to pull the limbs toward the body for the sake of protection. Also, I think maybe he should hold his sword more in front of him, again because he's uncertain/suspicious/nervous, and since this is the part of him that, logically speaking, could cause the most damage to any potential threat.

2) Where is he going? Is he going anywhere, or is he standing still? It's hard to tell as he stands now. If he's supposed to look like he maybe is edging forward (being prepared for anything), then making his knees facing the same direction could be a good idea, making him crouch a bit more could be another one. Anatomically speaking, I think his legs might be too long (uncertain about that though), or maybe his body too short...

3) I want more facial expression, even if it's him only looking more tense. I think he might look a bit too neutral. He does look suspicious, but I think it would add to the picture if you could convey more of this feeling (this could make one search for why he looks tense, and discover the stalker ghost hiding behind the tree).

That's what I had about the pose/anatomy. Now to the other thing that I think might make this picture a bit better: more contrast. I know it's supposed to be twilight, but it feels a bit flat so maybe some deeper shadows to go with the light you're going to add? It's supposed to be twilight after all, and the forest is probably not such a bright place by then. Do you usually look at your pictures in grayscale? If not, then I suggest you do so from time to time, because I think it may be a good way to check the contrast in a picture.

That's about it I think. Remember that I'm not a very good an artist myself and that I still have a lot to learn, so my opinions are just that, opinions. Also, I think this picture has potential so keep working on it.

Good luck!
 
Old 11 November 2012   #8
Even if I'm new over here, I think I can give you some tips...

Well, first, I think you should add more high frequence* textures. Actually, the overall shape is not so bad (excluding points explained by other people) but the small details are missing. Fore example, if you look at his skin, it look too smooth : no hairs, no pore, etc. It is also kind of blury. I think some detailled texture could help this point.

Also, I think that some rimlight cold be interesting. For example if you gosht was a light source (even if it is not verry powerfull), it would be more visible and it woud add some highlight aournd some element (like your main character) to help to make his shape more clearly cut from the background. ;-) Of course, this is just an idea.

*I don't know if it is the same words in English, but in French, we talk about low and hight frequencies about textures to talk about small details (high frequenceis) and global shapes (low frequencies)...




EDIT : Something else. I've just see that the character is standing in a river. Actually, it would be a little bit more shimering or something. I thought it was earth or something. ;-) Try to use references pictures to improove this part.

Last edited by bdec : 11 November 2012 at 09:56 PM.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #9
Hi all,

Yeeyua: Adding a little bit of other colors was in my mind too, but I didn't want to break the atmosphere, though I will try to add some.

PollyBoffin: I didn't realize that the body is in fact too 'open', maybe changing the left leg to face the direction in wich he is walking and place his armed arm as you suggested could fix that and improve the pose.
I'm not sure about changing his expression, but I'll keep it in mind too.
Adding more light (not too much though) will be followed of adding more deeper shadows too. I should try your suggestion about viewing it in greyscale.
I don't know if you are a very good artist, but your comments are very good indeed.

Bdec: I really don't get the point of making more details on the main character. At this distance, you can hardly see such little details like hair or pores on the skin. This things belongs to portraits and closeups shoots, and this is more like a general concept art.
The phantom is not a source of light. But I will enlighten it a little bit to make it more visible.
About the river, yes, it lacks something. I will review it.

Thank you all for taking the time to comment, this is a very useful information to me!
 
Old 11 November 2012   #10
Originally Posted by Alecrim: Hi all,

Yeeyua: Adding a little bit of other colors was in my mind too, but I didn't want to break the atmosphere, though I will try to add some.

PollyBoffin: I didn't realize that the body is in fact too 'open', maybe changing the left leg to face the direction in wich he is walking and place his armed arm as you suggested could fix that and improve the pose.
I'm not sure about changing his expression, but I'll keep it in mind too.
Adding more light (not too much though) will be followed of adding more deeper shadows too. I should try your suggestion about viewing it in greyscale.
I don't know if you are a very good artist, but your comments are very good indeed.

Bdec: I really don't get the point of making more details on the main character. At this distance, you can hardly see such little details like hair or pores on the skin. This things belongs to portraits and closeups shoots, and this is more like a general concept art.
The phantom is not a source of light. But I will enlighten it a little bit to make it more visible.
About the river, yes, it lacks something. I will review it.

Thank you all for taking the time to comment, this is a very useful information to me!

I'm glad I could help, and a fresh pair of eyes might see what oneself can't, especially if you've stared so much at a painting that you don't even see it anymore.

I understand why you're reluctant about changing his face, because I think it's well done.

I also must say that you've chosen a very difficult light setting in your picture. I found some great articles about different lighting in the Art and Techniques forum which might be of assistance to you: http://www.itchy-animation.co.uk/tutorials/light03.htm

I look forward to seeing your improvements.
 
Old 12 December 2012   #11
You might want to give more thought to how you can differentiate the different surface properties of various objects in your scene with more diverse range of brushwork. You currently have a similar smudgy look in a lot of different areas, which doesn't help describe their differences from each other.
 
Old 12 December 2012   #12
I finished it!
I had some problems with my computer so I couldn't do anything till now. I did some changes on the illustration and I must say that your suggestions were indeed very useful for this one and for future illustrations. I have shortened his legs, changed the arm, one of the feet, added textures and a little bit more color and contrast, detailed the river and background...
I know it could be far better, but I think is enough for this concept art. And I have to move on to other things I have in mind.
You can see the difference between them here.

Before:


After:


Let's see if it is good for the showcase gallery!

Thank you all.
 
Old 12 December 2012   #13
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