Angry Oil

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  10 October 2011
Smile Angry Oil

I used to be a very active member on CGTalk but got out of it for a few years while I attended college. I just tried logging in and, of course, can't remember my password and the account was set up with an email I deleted a year ago. So I'm back with a WIP...tentatively titled "angry oil".

I'm intending for this angry woman to be in a land of black oil that's bubbling like lava and in her hands are two leashes attached to two even angrier hellhounds. Its at a very early stage so I would love any feedback on proportions(torso/legs?) And also, any skin tips to make her face seem less plastic/makeup? thanks!!

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  10 October 2011

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Here's the latest update. I basically have just been moving forward. I'm having a lot of trouble figuring out the light-sources. I know I want that sun in the back to be casting some strong light and the two hellhounds in the front to be casting light as well. I just don't know exactly how to portray it. I also think I may have figured out my problem with the skin tones. What I've been doing is picking a color, using about 60% opacity brushes and then using the dropper tool on the skin that I've already painted with the brushes. So I'm not getting very vibrant colors which is why her skin is appearing so bland.

I tried looking up tutorials about how to paint armor but only found ones that used vectors. So I started by creating a test vector and painting a little bit to try to create the dimensions of the armor that I wanted. I definitely don't like the look but am waiting for some comments to see whats missing. Thanks so much for any feedback!!
  10 October 2011
Her center of gravity is off. When depicting figures, you have to analyze the weight distributing of the entire body--where the heaviest parts are, and how the person is balancing that weight so she doesn't tip over. Her entire torso right now is behind her legs, and she'll fall backwards.

I really dislike telling beginners to just buckle up and study/practice the critical foundations of art every time I post a critique in their WIP threads, because it's as if I'm telling them they can't have fun and just draw/paint whatever they feel like. But if the artist is serious about learning, growing, and have aspirations to one day become an advanced artist who does kickass work, then that really is the ONLY way he'll ever get there--by studying the critical foundations. All the time that's spent on doing these personal projects where all kinds of glaring mistakes are made could be better spent on learning anatomy/figure, lighting, color theory, composition, perspective, and so on. You could spend 3 years doing these personal pieces and not learn much, but if the same 3 years are dedicated to learning the foundations, it would make a world of difference and you'll be a far, far superior artist after 3 years. You'll then be able to draw/paint everything you imagine with far more credibility, and you'll be far more confident in your authoritative voice as an artist.

I highly suggest you start reading the sticky threads in the Art T&T forum (linked in my signature below) and follow the advice given in them.
  10 October 2011
Looks cute! Nice work
  10 October 2011
@Lunatique: Thank you so much! I figured you might be the first to crit my work based on the other posts in this forum and, even though you hate telling us to study the basics, I think you're spot on! And don't worry...I can take the harsh criticism...its the only way to achieve the images I've got in my head.

Now I used this reference LINK (yes, its beyonce) and I think my torso isn't quite as leaned as hers. I also used "Leona" from League of Legends (you can google for that image) as inspiration for the armor. I used the swamp behind beyonce in that image as a reference for the "oil" lake I've imagined in my head.

I've taken on a lot and want to make sure the foundation is right before I mess with the details. Just showing you my references so you can see where I may have gone wrong

@Krivorukoff: Thanks!! I'm glad you like it at such a rough stage. Hopefully when I'm done your comment will be, "She looks BAD. ASS."
  10 October 2011
i think the reference picture you used of Beyonce was a terrible choice. It looks okay for her because she's pinning crocodiles down with sticks. but your character isnt doing that, so it doesnt make sense. i would re work the pose using a more conventional pose for her. you can still use beyonce if you really wish too but i dont think that pic can do your character any justice. unless you add crocodiles :P
  10 October 2011
It's often problematic when people take photographs that were shot under a totally different context and try to bend it to a whole different context. For example, taking photos of fashion models from underwear catalogs and them turn them into fantasy warrior chicks, or similar approaches. The emotional and narrative contexts are totally different, as a fashion model wearing underwear that's meant to be sold as a product, while posing in front of a photographer and his assistants, and exuding all the charm she has, will emote and express herself very differently in both facial expression and body language than an actual warrior ready for battle. I can almost always spot these types of works, where someone else's photos were appropriated for inappropriate contexts (pardon the pun--not intended).

In the original photo, you can see that she's using two leashes to anchor her balance--that's a vital difference right there.
  10 October 2011
Here's a new pose...also tried painting without using the dropper tool as much. I'm keeping the armor white and black right now since I still need to study how to paint armor.

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Last edited by Seraph1m : 10 October 2011 at 12:04 AM. Reason: new update
  10 October 2011
another 2 hours of work:

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  10 October 2011
theres still something off about her sense of gravity. it just doesnt look right.
  10 October 2011

You still have some major issues with pose and anatomy, that you need to work out.

The pose is awkward, if not slightly impossible. This lends a feeling of "cardboard cutout" and weakness to the figure.

The arms are fine, but her spine is twisted pretty strangely, and her legs look unnatural, if not a little painful. It's hard to comment on her hips, as they're completely hidden by the black background (black figure on black background is also an issue.) In a position of power, he feet would be parallel or close, not pigeon toed like this. You have her kneecaps pointing in, which is almost impossible - to get pigeon-toes, the twisting of the foot happens at the ankle. Her shoulders don't exist, and her torso (ribcage) is too small, and her neck doesn't connect to anything, and her breasts are lopsided. Her arms are different lengths - the right upper arm is too long, and her left upper arm is lumpy. Her legs are very long in proportion to her torso, which is too short.

Note about the face: It doesn't work, it's missing several key things: the eyes would be open wider, or closed more, and the facial muscles would bunch up around the nose, with the lowered brow. Get a small hand mirror, or use the cam on your computer, and make the face yourself, notice how all of the areas of the face change and move. The lighting and modeling can use some work, too, it's very flat.

As for the rest, the color composition is not working - the massive black swash across th background cuts the composition into thirds, and the eye has trouble concentrating on the figure, as the black in the background being the same tone and value as the figure places them in the same frame. I would model the oil along the lines of the La Brea tar pits (google it), where moisture and the reflectivity of the oil reflects the environment and sky - and that far back, you need to render some atmospheric effects as well, to help indicate distance.

Lastly, I think a scene like this would be more powerful looking at the figure from below, to give a sense of power, or from above, and at an angle either above or below.

As far as skin goes, your pallete is very cool, I would add more warm colors along with cool, and use that to model the head/face, your figure is in a very warm environment, so the ambient will be warm, so you want to only use cool tones for the shadows. There are some excellent tutorials on skin in the tips forum.

I would start over, and make a more solid line drawing resolving the pose and details, before you work on the background and color and lighting, that way nothing distracts from the figure.

Hope this helps!
  10 October 2011
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