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Old 12 December 2010   #1
Sunset Eyes, Need Comment and Critiques

Yesterday i've just posted my work, but sadly it wasn't accepted yet by CG talk's moderator for this reason :

"We're very sorry to let you know that this work does not yet meet our standards as a completed piece for the Showcase Gallery. We'd like to encourage you to post your work in the WIP forum to develop it further before submitting it again."

When i read this message, my first thought is that CG crew feel that my work isn't finish yet, and they want me to change it to post to WIP forum.

Hmm, but I think, I've already finished this work though.But, it's ok, and now I'm trying to post my work into this forum and I just want to know about your opinion on my work. What can i fix?

All critiques and comments are welcome, to develop my work further. Thanks a lot before

Last edited by tonyzhang88 : 12 December 2010 at 10:43 AM.
Old 12 December 2010   #2
Did you use a reference when you painted it? The proportions on the face seem off, but I can't tell very well since I typically don't paint animals as a subject matter (it feels like you need to pull up the nose and the mouth because of the way you painted it).
Old 12 December 2010   #3
Thank you Ejay for your comment and advice. Now i know what's wrong with my work and next time i will fix it.Yes, i use some photo references to draw this cat. But, maybe you're right, the cat's face is still weird and flat, and it's still lack of shadow. Soon, i will fix it.
Old 12 December 2010   #4
Latest Update

Ok, this is the result of trying to fix the gesture of cheetah. How about this? Am i still need to fix? Oh, i just adding the branch to balance the composition, what do you feel?

Thanks b4 for the comments and critiques

Old 12 December 2010   #5
Although the face of the cheetah has better structure and rendering now, it looks like it's lit from the front. But we can clearly see the setting sun behind it, so the lighting of the environment and the lighting of the subject are off.

You placed the subject dead center and there's visual interest on the right side of the image, but without something on the left to counter balance.

Some of those plant heads are transparent where they ought not be and we see the background shining through (like the mountains).

The sun and the treebranch's edges are fused together, creating a tangent. Best to either overlap or have some space between them.

There's isn't any narrative or design or anything, so that means the image will be only technical. It has to be technically excellent for it to be considered 'worthwhile' then.
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Old 12 December 2010   #6
Aaargh, hard to make details...

Thank u very much RicoD for your comments and advices. It's really help me to fix my artwork. Here my latest correction on direction of the light and shadows by replace sky color . How about it? Do I still have to fix it? Now, I just find trouble to make cheetah's fur and hair details and texture details of the tree branch, may some help me, how to make them easily (may from some techniques or custom brushes). It's hard to me to make them look more realistic.

Hope I can finish it quickly and start the next project

Last edited by tonyzhang88 : 12 December 2010 at 11:25 AM.
Old 12 December 2010   #7
I think the your painting is really good looking, but it still seems a tad flat, there is little contrast and a lot of the painting consist of soft brushes and has a blurry feel to it.

If it was me I would force myself to work further until you truly hate working on this piece, then it would be finished one way or the other. take a new perspective on this, take some heavy contrast cat pictures like this one add a new layer where you experiment. Don't just settle for single reference with the cat, add some hard strokes gogo you can do it !
Old 12 December 2010   #8
The lighting makes a lot more sense now. I would change the background gradient a bit. If you make it more diagonal (not to much, just a bit) it makes more sense. The colour shift is uniform, with the sun at it's center and is radial. But the area is so large that at a crop like this painting it wouldn't look all that round. I'd also make it lighter near the horizon.

There are several ways to paint fur and hair. What I like to do is paint clumps of hair, basically in the value of the shadowed area. Then, using a dotted brush (I like the 3 dots brush, but for larger areas you cold make a brush consisting of more dots, just have a lot of space between them) paint on lighter areas. You can then use this same brush as your smudge brush and have tips of the fur sticking out and make the areas between the lighter and darker areas more smooth. Finally, you can take a solid round, very small brush and paint in some final highlights and hairs that stick out and go against the flow and such. If you lost overall shape a bit, you can adjust it with multiply and / or screen layers or painting over areas.

There are tricks using the wind filter, but I don't like them since they're so uniform and don't follow the shape of the body and such. I also think it looks off and tacky. Plus, it helps if you master the technique by hand, since you will need it for corrections and painting hair anyway.

As for the tree, don't really have a good trick for that. I still paint those by hand. A phototexture might work, but you'll have to make a lot of effort to blend it in with the rest of the image.
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Last edited by RicoD : 12 December 2010 at 12:20 AM.
Old 01 January 2011   #9
Final progress, maybe...

Thanks RicoD for the comments.
Here my latest progress of my work, and I think that it will be the last progress after I'm giving details and lighting to the objects. How about this??


I really really want to finish it
Old 01 January 2011   #10
Not bad. The tree looks good now, though you could still

Give some more detail and sharpness to some of the grass (its blurry where the tree is sharp)
Give more contrast/expressive lighting to the face (the dark side should be darker and the details should be very bumby in such a dawn lighting)
Correct the overall lighting on the face. It does not match with the environment (environment appears to be lit more in parallel while the face is more lit from in front - note the spec hilight in the eyes, too)
The fur currently seems to be combed into one single diagonal direction. Take some references and try to comb it realistically.

Last edited by ManDay : 01 January 2011 at 04:40 PM.
Old 01 January 2011   #11
Nice going! Quite some progress from version 1 I think.

I think the first sky has a start of the Golden Hour kind of feel to it. The blue also makes a nice contrast with the yellow and orange of the cheetah. You would have to adjust the cheetah and surroundings a bit. It needs a bit more blue in the highlight and shadow range then.

The second has a rain clouds coming in during the afternoon feel. Except, the colour order doesn't make sense. It's supposed to go infrared(not visible) - red - orange - yellow - green - blue - purple - ultraviolet (not visible). This is from the brightest area to the darkest area and goes in all 3 dimensions. So, it makes no sense to have the brightest light on your clouds be on the bottom left side if the sun is right and behind the viewer. Nor will it be that purple and orange near the horizon. The colours of the setting is right for the lighting of the cheetah and surroundings though, so you wouldn't have to adjust those.

In the end, pick the one most suited to whatever you feel like you ought to express with this painting. Then look at suitable reference and adjust accordingly.

I'd also give the hills some more form. Even if blurred out through camera focus you'd still see some more value and colour variation.
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Old 01 January 2011   #12
May I post my work to CGTalk now?

Thanks a lot ManDay and RicoD for your advices and comments. Your comments really help me, although I still have to learn more about the color tones and lighting. Here my latest correction, There are 2 alternatives colors I use. First: brown nuance ( it gives warm feeling). Although it has same color tones, but i don't really like because I think the color still dull ( i don't know what's wrong). Second, the blue/purple nuance. I prefer to choose the second color, because as RicoD said, the blue also makes a nice contrast with the yellow and orange of the cheetah,i tried it and i thought so. I hope I don't make a big mistake with color gradients and lighting.
How about these? Can I post this unto CGTalk

Sorry b4 for bad English.
Old 01 January 2011   #13
I like the last one As Rico pointed out a striking improvement compared to your first attempt. I would easily deem it ready for show-off, but that comes from some one who has never posted anything on the Gallery. Two more things that I find could use improvement:

The purpe highlights on the back appear a kind of mismatch.
I'd *still* put more shadows in the face. See for yourself, it's just my personal impression but I think the picture would benefit if you could put some shades in the face so it doesnt look that flat. Especially the nose appears to cast abs. no shadow - from 1/6 of the left on the face remains flat to me.

Another minor thing that I think only needs clarification from your side is why is the hill in the background so dark although we see its sun-oriented side? Did you maybe intend that?

Old 01 January 2011   #14
I'll just add these to ManDay's comments: the sky colour is the colour you want to add as bounced light and atmospheric perspective.

The right tree branch looks flat in comparison to the rest. There's a strange horizontal cut off in the lower left corner.
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Old 01 January 2011   #15
Hmm, how can I make the bounced light colour look natural?

You're right, Rico and ManDay,the sky's colours are the important part that influence bounced light and atmospheric perspective to the object. I think, I've got some problems when I've tried to give some lights reflection to the cheetah's body, tree branch or others, especially when I use some blending modes, such as overlay, hard light,etc . The colours are change to other colours that didn't match with what i want ( the colour seems not natural).Maybe you guys can give me some advices. Are there some tips to give bounced light more easily?? Thanks a lot b4
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