[Character] (yet another) wizard

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  02 February 2013
[WIP] (yet another) wizard

A character that I am currently working on. Ultimately, there will be lightning cast by the staff and a relatively dark sky, plus another (so far undefined) light source facing him.

Something feels off in the folds on our right, but I'm not sure what. Ideas, anyone ?

Last edited by TheArtySquid : 02 February 2013 at 12:20 AM.
  02 February 2013
I gotta say I love he way u draw his hands o_o

Well, first thing I notice is that he has too many folds below the stomach area. Kind of looks like he was in a rush getting his clothes on and the robe went a little askew. Second is that it seems like there's a wind blowing from behind him as well. Pushing the cloak inwards toward him. Maybe make the folds less "big" and give them a little more natural curves (like like the way u did with his beard) . Don't know if it's intentionally but I'll just mention it, it seems like the clothes are made by cotton by the look of the volume, dunno if u were going for silk?
  02 February 2013
Further progress. Thanks for your notice Atlanca: I've reduced the number of folds on the robes and smoothed out those on (our) right of the cloak.
I've also darkened the shadows on his front so as to better define his shape, though I'm wondering whether this doesn't actually create lighting inconsistencies with the face.

  03 March 2013
It's generally a bad idea to work on foreground in isolation and then slap a background behind it. You want to make sure your entire image reads effectively as a whole, and the overall tonal composition works well even at the most basic and abstract level of just the largest shapes, the most relevant values, and colors. Always work out all the compositional problems in thumbnail sketches first, so that you know exactly how the scene is supposed to be laid out, what the lighting scheme is, what the color palette is, and so on.
  03 March 2013
Lunatic: you're absolutely right, of course, and doing this background just now emphasized it even more. Because it was a character assignment I neglected the background and focused on the character alone in the design phase, and have to pay the price now. The result feels more like a rock study than an actual scene in which the character would blend and tell a story.

I'm also not satisfied with the front leg, which feels flat. I'm not sure what's missing, though : maybe it's just the lack of folds and creases in the knee region, or I ended using the same value from hip to ankle. Or a bit of both. What do you think ?

  03 March 2013
One of many benefits from digital art is how easy it is to make color correction after the fact. Yes that can be counterproductive but sometimes it's the easiest way to see if it works.
  03 March 2013
I think its really good ,I think the material looks a bit thick and heavy(blanket like) ,but overall its good ,the face and hands and pose are well done.chrs
  03 March 2013
Rownd: agreed. Thanks to working in layers, it's only takes a minute to recolor the entire thing. I'll definitely try some adjustments

Soletorcher: yeah, a blanket, that's exactly what it is ^^. Since he's wearing robes fit for travel, I wanted the fabric to look thick and strong like wool and so I used a blanket for my fold studies. That might not have been the best of choices though - I don't know if it's much used for clothes other than cloaks and capes.
  03 March 2013
Really thick fabric will have fewer creases/folds, and the curvature of form of those creases/folds will be more rounded and not as sharp.

Adding a bit of highlight to that crease/fold will help make it less flat. Maybe try decreasing the number of creases/folds behind the knee, and emphasize that one main one so it wraps around the leg clearly.
  03 March 2013
Looks thick to me ( just not real thick). I only really see a couple of things. Something needs to happen to that front knee to bring it out. Like Lunatique suggested. The front fur cuff looks like the same size as the one further back.
I don't know what it is but that back wrist, do you need to see it or should there be another layer of material? (now I'm being over analytical)
  03 March 2013
Thank you guys for your reviews. It took a while, but I was finally able to finish the picture. It is not perfect and I can already see many small details that I would want to change, but I am also eager to start something new. So maybe I will come back to him later, maybe not: I feel that eventhough he can still improve, he has reached a "good enough" point.

Last edited by TheArtySquid : 03 March 2013 at 08:47 AM.
  03 March 2013
Are there supposed to be two images posted in your last post? One of them shows a 403 Forbidden error. The other one shows the character as finished, but the background looks like it's still a work-in-progress, with block-in values but no final polish of details.
  03 March 2013
There was supposed to be only one picture, so I edited the above post and removed the dead link.

Judging by your reaction, I'm still not where I intended to be. I obviously want the character to be the center piece of the work ; with that purpose in mind, my aim was to have a polished character standing against a background that retains some roughness and simplicity, so that it does not distract the viewer from the main subject. Therefore, I tried to restrain from adding unnecessary details and wanted to avoid giving a uniform polish.
But if this roughness only gives off a feeling of unfinished, then something probably went wrong. Do you think that there is too much a gap in style between the character and background for them to blend together nicely ? Does this level of detailing in the character condemn me to apply the same kind of rendering everywhere ?
  03 March 2013
Simplification and selective detail has to look coherent and cohesive. What you have now makes the difference between the foreground and background too jarring.

There are ways to make something "feel" finished without rendering it to death. You have to think about the basic shapes, the smaller shapes, faking the feel of polish with textures, and doing some accents in the smaller forms that offset the larger forms.

What you currently have in the background is basically all medium level forms, no textures, and all painted with the same/similar sized brush. Also, the two elements (foreground and background) are so close together in distance that it makes no sense visually that the background would suddenly be so unfinished. If it was a background far away, the effect wouldn't be as jarring.

Last edited by Lunatique : 03 March 2013 at 05:50 PM.
  03 March 2013
Thank you Lunatique. Following your sig links, I've just spent a whole hour reading material from the Technique forum: in the short amount of time I've spent here it was already obvious that you had amazing art knowledge, but I had not even begun to get a glimpse of how dedicated you are to helping others. I'm really thankful to this community for being able to share knowledge with artists that have so much experience.

Anyway, I'll do some research and have another try at this background: your comment opened a world of new possibilities

Last edited by TheArtySquid : 03 March 2013 at 02:08 PM.
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