female spirit of the forest


I think the clothing n the figure has little meaning or impact on the actual image, with the figure being so small in the actual composition of the image. It has absolute no impact on the rest of the image so really i don’t see any point in testing any cloth on her besides doing some design shapes or testing a few values. I am no expert in image making or anything like that, but I think you should concentrate more on the actual composition around the figure, and emphasis more detail, and design the shapes around what is happening in the foreground middle and background etc. At the moment there is no separation between any parts of the image. Then you can start to make a focal point with the contrast of values etc. Is the focal point the lady in the image? Even if she is, i really dont think you need to worry about doing some transparent cloth test on her, and she is so small in the actual image. she could just be a a shape design with value contrasts in her if you want agasint the background design.

Like I said i am no expert and just trying to give my input on my limited knowledge.


thx for the comment.
On this scale the clothing doesn’t seem to important but I’am working five times bigger on the original.
Nevertheless I think I should not be focussing like you said on detailing cloths and focus on the bigger picture.
I am doing it because i am not entiry convinced of the character itself. If I would be critical about my work I could say that the pose is playing it save and it doesn’t really fits in the background. Given the fact that she will be the main focus this is important.
Regarding the bg I have been struggling with seperating forgroung middleground and bg. I made the trees on the left a bit smaller to send them more in the bg. I know I will be able to change a lot with shadows and adjusment layers to help to focus on her allthought I haven’t doen it yet.
Well I guess these are all the problems you run in when you just start with it, whitout a clear drawing in the beginning. :).

update. bigger size:


been on holiday. New lunch crunch.
looking further on the cloth/dress.


working further on the dress. I am looking for an organic feel, not there yet.
most layers are turned of at the moment.


I have been working further on the cloth. I like the way some details look and feel alltought I’ll have to tone it down a lot to get the figure back in. Also her right arms keeps bugging me tried some different pose this time.


too much black, especially in background. Try to add some depth by making the furthest places more lighter and blue. This should work I promise :thumbsup:


worked further on the cloth: toned it down a bit. I think I’ll have to do some more.

@IFJ Well I kinde liked the blacks allthought I kno it isn’t correct. But as you are the second who mentioned it I thought I give it a try. I does create depth but also gives the impression that the forest ends a bit further. Anyway I’l have to find something that works.


Here is an update:
detailing and also layered the different trees in background and front. I have to create some more interesting lighting yet and other stuff. And the right arm isn’t ok yet…


Here is an update. I just finished my other [http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=1072220](personal project) so I’ve been working on this on evenings too sometimes. I have been detailing the tree and some corrections to the background. Instead of flying fish I thought I make some little goblins which I sketched first. And tried to color. I expected it would go better as I wouldn’t start from scratch. So i’ll perhaps try to make a base in zbrush.


here is an update. To improve the depth I made the threes in the back much smaller. I also added a small river and waterfall which creates a plane which makes reading depth easier. I think I should ad some different color. Anyway still going on need to finish this one because I want to do something else :). But came to far to quit now.


something about the left arm from (viewers left, her right arm) seems off. Perhaps it the shoulder is placed a bit high or the arm is too large? a bit of both? not sure. the forest looks awesome,


thx for the comment argiveajax,
Yeah there is still something weird about the arm. I made it smaller and rotated it a bit. but I think the problems lies with the pose and the insertion in the shoulder. I think it would be a very difficult pose to maintain in reallife.There are some perspective issues that needs to be resolved also.
Started to kinda finalize the background. Like I said there other stuff I wanna do, perhaps a challenge :). but must finish this first.


allmost there…


make water reflections! :wink:


an update.
a bit of reflection in the water :slight_smile:
allmost there. detailing just takes a lot of time. Perhaps it would have been faster in 3d…
I do think the main composition is there thought. I am gone accentuate some parts more because there is too much detail in the total picture.
Integrate her self perhaps a bit more.


As you bring this to finish, watch your overall tonal composition with values. Right now, your composition doesn’t have a clear visual design of values, with similar contrast value all over the entire image, and the scene is also lacking a sense of spatial depth, with the different planes in the z-depth all looking kind of flat and similar. The lighting is also diffused all over, which is fine in and of itself, but when you have the previously mentioned problems, it just compounds them.

Try looking at the image on an abstract level and think about where you want the brightest values, darkest values, middle values–not at the micro-level, but at the macro level of only the largest shapes. Don’t only focus on the dynamic range of each small area or each larger shapes–pull back and consider the dynamic range and visual design of your tonal composition of the entire image as if there are no details but just simple shapes.


Thx for the critique Lunatique I tried to integrate it in the final image. Yup It’s done. I took much longer then expected with up and down but had to finish it. I must say have some mixed feelings about this one some parts I like some I don’t but learned a lot.
-Main thing I’learned is to make a sketch ahead like BillyWJ said. Instead of building further and further on a loose foundation. This would have solved a lot of depth issues.
-Use more reference for people still some weird stuff going with the lady.
-I am not sure if a lit background was a solution. I might have given to much detail if I compare with the early ones I kind off liked only focussing on the three.
But as I said it’s done ande read to upload so here it is:


Your brushwork needs a lot of work–it’s currently got the “smudge-a-titus” disease I see so often in paintings, where everything is painted with that homogenized, soft, smudgy brushwork, regardless if the surface is rough and gravelly, dry and speckled, cracked and sharp, smooth and supple, soft and silky, etc–they’re all painted the same way.

Work on your ability to deploy different brushwork for specific surface types and create an interesting variety that makes the painting much richer and more compelling.

Another problem is how every surface type has the same surface property with the same level of specularity, as if the entire scene is made of the same soft rubber material.

The main focus–the figure–also needs more work. The way she’s lit isn’t very convincing, with contradictory highlights and shadows. I recommend you shoot some proper references and set up the lighting as closely to your scene as possible (complete with colored gel), or do it virtually in 3D.

Yes, all the stuff I mentioned above is a lot of extra work, but if you want this painting to be better than it is, that’s the effort you must make to push it beyond your current limitations as an artist and excel into the next phase of your artistic growth. Old masters used to spend years on a painting if that’s what it took, and for personal works, I think it’s fine since there’s no deadline. Right now, you might be too close to it and have lost objectivity–this happens when you spend so long on a painting. Maybe let it sit for a few weeks or even months, and then pick up again and bring it to the next level.


Wow that’s a lot of critique :).
But I couldn’t agree with you more. I wasn’t even aware of the specularity and brushstrokes. It would make it more interesting to suggest more different kind of materials instead of rubber.
And yeah the figure was a pain from the beginning on. I even like the image more without her.
Something about the colors,pose and light that just wasn’t right and fitting in the surroundings. Next time I will use more reference or just 3d.
Well I must say I had a feeling of being stuck somehow I guess I now have a direction to go in in order to improve. A good painting is nice but from a bad you learn more :).
I don’t think I will be working further upon this I think composition wise it’s also boring and in some parts totally unreadable. Next time I’ll sketch the whole thing first.
Thx for the critiques Lunatique it will really help in the futher and hope it can help some others too.


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