"PAINTOVER PLEASE" - painted crits on demand - with Steven Stahlberg


It’s fraught with pitfalls to give advice over the internet like this, but one thing that never fails is going back to basics. In this case, the basics of drawing. Try drawing 15-30 minutes every day, create a routine where you won’t forget it. If you don’t have time, don’t accept excuses from yourself, just do a 3 minute drawing in that case, it’s better than nothing and the routine isn’t broken.

Draw something simpler than you’d first think yourself capable of. That is, if you’re having trouble with humans, try inanimate objects. If you’re having trouble with complex shapes, try simple shapes.

And try to find a group or class that does life drawing, like once a week or whatever. It’s incredibly efficient and beneficial training. The scheduled time and the group fosters a feeling of “this is important, I have to really focus now”, and you work longer and harder than you would ever normally consider doing, just for practise. :slight_smile:


Thank you for your help!


Hi Mr. Stahlberg, it’s been a long time since last time I posted here :slight_smile:

I’ve been kinda stuck with my drawings lately, it’s not improving so much. Maybe you can help me improve with my latest image

I’m trying to illustrate intense conjuration pose, but it doesn’t seem powerful and dynamic enough, do you have any tips on making it more dynamic? and um… perhaps you can help me on the disintegrating clothes pieces and maybe the lighting/pose for a better scene, and also I’m struggling on drawing the legs, I’ve tried redrawing it again and again, but the bending still looks odd.

thank you very much for this thread, it’s been immensely useful :applause:



I’ve been watching this thread for some time now and finally got the courage to post something myself. Thank you for your help! :slight_smile:

This is a portfolio piece where I want to give my best at. I got stuck with composition and lighting. I feel like there is something missing that would make the image as vivid as in my imagination.
I want it to be graceful and harmonic but I think I Ive gone to much into detail so I have difficulty changing essential parts of it.
Maybe you can give me some advice on how to make it more interesting. :slight_smile: Thanks in advance!


Here’s the anime girl, sorry I didn’t get a notification so I didn’t see it for a few days.
Basically her head is twisted too far and her neck isn’t centered properly over the torso/spine. The arm is too long and the torso too short, I know it’s stylized but still. For the legs, it helps to sketch the whole figure, not sure if you tried that. Nice painting, hope this helps. Your face is prettier, I messed it up in trying to turn it. I’m also not sure why I removed some of the ass-tilt, when I sketched the full body it seemed the way to go.


Thank you for the paint over! that’s ok :thumbsup:

yes, I did sketch the whole figure but maybe I need more practice reference for the pelvis area, because I usually got a difficulty in the joint of thigh to hips, especially when I want to have a a little thigh gap, maybe you have some tips or pointers?

btw how did you made that strands in the cloth pieces, is it using really small round brush and scribble it?


I would like this pleasing to the eye in a sketchy style I used Phi. I just want to convey elegance, power maybe, beauty. I think it is pretty good but I want to see what would make it amazing…or better anyways.


Tyler Sorg


Hi mr Stahlberg,

 I need a little help,
 I did model this Cybergirl and is so far my best Model Ever.

about 160k Threes and about 1 Million on Subiv 3. I did an Construction animation with it.
The basemesh if I can call it like that with 20k threes and made it of Quads, after I did post I git some help not to use 6 vetrex and use more even Quats and dont change loop direction in Neck aera.
I did use my Basemesh from the cybergirl-Body for my next Project while I realazied how, I did bouild it I coulnt print it becouse my Movie Mesh had about 1500 single objects was kind of Heavy to work. I want say I did use References from Sifi Robots and realworld Dolls (the Dolls thar in in Shops)
and did start to redurce and opimize, And think hard how to get a workflow to make it printable and a Game char. And did make the Armor and the body in one pice that has a closed sureface so I can Print it.

 I wannt animate it, and want Print in a Pose it with a 3D Printer.
 For The Print I got find a some who is give me support and gonna Print it. But I am not Sure about tthe the bodyshape, 

I have also read about the problem with the Referance Photos may off, in Perspektive.
I need to learn more about Neck and Shoulder aswell as Arms Legs and Feets.
What would you give an advice, I can try somthing in Clay here at home and have a bunch of anatomie books collected. or i jump in the cold water and try it in Zbrush.


(3DPrinter Version test)

(The Neck Area of my newest Version)


Here are more Screenshots of my Girl.


Here’s the underwater girl. I may have overdone it to prove my point, you can make the water darker behind her but the point is to do it smoothly so there’s not a lot of high contrast edges demanding the eye focus on them.


Here’s Nike . .



Thanks I appreciate this, its always nice to have someone else look at things, think of things I forgot like the feathers. And the one bright light source would make a lot of sense.


HansSome you have some uneven topology there, try to use ZRemesher in Zbrush to fix it, it’s very quick and easy. The red marks show where you have too much divisions, and too few divisions. The other layer shows how the shape should be changed to be more realistic.


Thank you mr. Stahlberg for the over paints, It´s looks more compelling to me, It´s good to have helpful insigne.

I will try the ZRemesher. So far what found about it, it could be a game changer for me, seem to have a strong algorithm that task. The down part is to redo the uv-map Puzzle again.

I may do The UV-Mapping in anther application: I Choose Wings3D. What would be your Choose for creating UVs. let me guess UV-Layout and Softimage?


Fantastic - great to see your paint overs, your comments and art direction.


I just use Maya and its native tools for doing UV’s, they’re better than average. I never found the need to pay extra money to maybe do the task a few minutes faster. :slight_smile:



I recently got may latest work nearly complete and put it up in the wip section for critique before I call it finished. I got a large amount of feedback from one veteran and was suggested to submit my work here for maybe a little more hands on feedback to go in the comparison to what I was told.

Here is the thread of my wip and the critiques given by others.


Idea behind this work is Link the character seen has just retrieved the master sword from the forest and is on his way out and currently looking over his acquisition. His expression should be of awe and wonder at what he has found. I wanted to fill in the background forest but the focus should still be on Link.


Ok here’s Link. Yes you’re right the focus should be on him, in fact the focus should be on his face and what he’s looking at, nothing else.
The idea is that the sun reflects of the mirror polished sword and then up on Link. You could try this at night too, but then the sword would have to glow by itself.


Hi. First of all thx alot for your works, it helps alot! I’m stuck with this character. As you can see skatch face and painted version are very different and i didn’t wanted that to happen, also i think i made a mistakes in perspective, but again not sure where exactly. Also it’s all in B&W and if you can color it properly that would help me alot. Thx.



I appreciate the time you have taken to look at this. That is a pretty intense setting you have there though I have to say I’m not sure how or what I can use from this. The lighting seems like almost a 180 from the current image. I am curious on a few things, with the lighting so blue around like why is the lighting reflecting on link so warm? Also in this lighting arrangement it looks like you are showing the sword side facing the viewer to be almost entirely dark, I don’t really want to lose the sword itself to darkness have it in detail was part of the original image idea. Someone else mentioned the sword reflecting on link idea it seems like the image is calling for that effect, originally I wanted to sword to be too dull and old in its current state for that to be possible which I did make it aged but ultimately it still looks very shiny.

I guess my real question are if it isn’t too much to ask. First I’ve always believed knowing your tools to be the first and greatest asset and the mind in itself is at the forefront of those tools. So I would like to know your thought pattern as you approached this paint over in other words why this approach and what reasons lead you to this result. Also how might I approach this idea but maybe do it a little more subtle.