Robot Hand Painting


My name is Ward Silverman. I intend on going into the industry at some point. I have had some freelance illustration experience. My focus has been on illustration but I also hope to head into concept art in the future.This is my latest digital painting I’ve worked on. My vision for this scene starts off with the storm clouds over the farmland. Everything is fairly dark. Suddenly the clouds separate in one spot, as light begins to pour out and a giant mechanical hand reaches down. Perhaps some people come out of the farmhouse to look. I envisioned this as an eerie scene from a science fiction film. I prefer acrylic painting to digital and feel that my traditional pieces are of a higher quality, as far as rendering goes. I would greatly appreciate feedback, especially with the lighting. Thank you.


I’m not one to know much yet on giving composition critiques, but as far as lighting is concerned I think I can give some critiques on this one.

Number one the clouds and land colors seem very separate from each other. I think if they shared the same mood as the clouds that that might help out more, it doesn’t even have to be as much as this, just mix in some blues and purple.

The house I think is not as important as the hand coming through the sky. I think maybe some subtle lighting on it for size comparison would be good.

The shadow from the hand doesn’t seem to be one that matches with light coming directly behind it. And as well there should be more light hitting the hand from the top.

Maybe having some tiny rays of lights cracking through the clouds.

Just my 2 cents on this. Hope that helps.


Thank you very much for the feedback. I admit that I have not yet mastered shadow angles, perhaps I should have shot some more reference with my hand. I agree about the house and really like the new lighting you placed on it. Always learning, Thank you


You need to learn how to cast shadows accurately. There are lots of sources to learn this on the web, including free tutorials online. Andrew Loomis’s book, “Successful Drawing” also has a section on this. Basically, you need to map out where the vanishing points are in relation to the light source’s position and the object casting the shadow.

What is that circle with the word in the middle of the image? Watermark? To signify it’s a WIP? If so, don’t do that, because it confuses the viewer creates distracting visual noise in your image, and it serves no real purpose that actually matters.

What’s the logic behind having blue and pink for the clouds? Where did those color casts come from? Remember, the lighting in your scene has to appear logical and credible, and even if you’re using artistic license and going for something totally surreal, there still has to be some kind of internal logic in the way your scene is setup.

The field and the house and the clouds in the distance all need to be done using proper references, otherwise they lack authenticity and have that fabricated vagueness that’s common when inexperience artists try to depict stuff out of their head but lack adequate insights and visual library for those elements.


Thank you for your feedback, it is much appreciated. I place that watermark on all of my work, but I guess it isn’t necessary for this thread. I should have followed the reference that I used more closely. I admit that the house was done very quickly. As for the sky colors, I just went with what I thought would look nice. I know better, I suppose I just need to be more disciplined about that.

I just ordered How to Render by Scott Robertson to learn more about shadows and light. I don’t really plan on working more on this piece right now, and instead want to focus on learning more techniques for the time being. The feedback has been very beneficial to me.


Let me try and explain…starting with danimation2001 image I made everything brighter more translucent. there’s a lot of light bouncing around in that hole for it to look that dark. Then the house was looking a little cramped in the corner there not adding much to the composition. Pulling the canvas out putting little more thought into the drawing (Looking at that hand i know you can do better :wink: ) giving it some space.

Putting some trees in that space to break up the horizon which i felt kind of split the image up to much and i could add that truck/path in. Then the smaller truck/path in the field adding to the sense of scale (same object different size).

and extended the hill to the end of the canvas…didn’t look right just disappearing…