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I'm new here so Hi! I would like this digital painting critiqued please. Although I won't be working on it further, I'd still like to know what's wrong with it so that my next painting can be better. I myself can tell that her hair could be rendered better; also her neck and shirt appear a bit flat. So what else can you see? Oh, I used a bit of Painter but mostly Photoshop CS3 for this.Thanks y'all and I'm glad to be here.
Last edited by CassieF; March 11th, 2009 at 09:26 PM. Reason: silly thumbnail
The rendering is good, the anatomy is more or less nice (the eyes are a bit large but I'm guessing it's a stylistic choice) and the concept is great, even if it doesn't read right away that that's her writing on the wall. What I don't get is her expression and the lighting. I mean, it's really dramatic and she looks like her cat just died or she needs to go on some sort of mystic kiddie quest that has her concerned, but the subject matter doesn't quite jive. It's like the concept just screams lighthearted juvenile fun/innocence, while the execution is REALLY serious.
Thanks so much for responding. I see what you are saying here. I failed to make the story in my head coherant enough in the painting. The girl is in trouble for writing on her walls; she just got caught by an adult, so she feels sad that she is in trouble. So I should have made that much more clear visually.
This is great! I should have gotten feedback on this much earlier in the process, it's very helpful. Thanks again.
Yeah, the rendering is quite nice. You've done a lovely job on the little girl's skin, your use of different tones makes her face just glow nicely.
For concept, think about contrast... The idea of drawing on the wall is about something that doesn't belong, right? So push the whole piece to communicate this. The scribbly crayon texture on the nice smooth wall is a good start, but it would really read as out of place if say, it was a different color. Right now its purple, which lets it settle cozily into your purple/pink color scheme, and the color of the wall itself.
Expressions can be hard! Especially subtle ones. Maybe try to think about the most important moment in the narrative, and exaggerate that. Is it the moment she gets caught? She is happy and pleased with herself, and just doesn't realize yet that not everyone will approve? Is it the moment that she knows shes in trouble, and her face starts to fall? Totally and completely sad because she's been yelled at? Knowing she's in trouble but trying to look innnocent? I dunno. Its your story!
For expressions, it helps to try drawing it a couple of times (with a mirror helps lots!), before settling on your final drawing for the piece. That'll let you familiarize yourself with both the expression and your character.
PS. the scribbles on the wall are adorable! Haha.
If it is a digital painting, I have a suggestion for you: Take out some of her drawings. Focus on one of them, and put it where the viewer is going to look at it. When I looked at this, the drawings behind her just registered as a wallpaper pattern in my mind. Perhaps you could make it a faintly patterned wall, with a single, bright purple crayon drawing on it.
Hmm, thanks all, those are some things I hadn't thought of before but they make sense.
I love the crayons.
How about trying to lessen the bloom of her shirt and add a bit of the colour
of her jumper to the wall if the light is that strong.
I've never rendered anything to your finish, but if I reached that level, that's
what I would do, OR at least try.
Great points by all. Also, a simple point - if you want to communicate the narrative better, think about changing the name of the piece to something more suggestive to that point in your story.
I ditto Dwardo's point about the light bloom on the shirt. Unless the fabric she is wearing is spandex or silk--not fabrics little kids usually wear--the specular light bounce off the fabric wouldn't produce that kind of bloom. The wall is more of a focal point.
Incidentally the first two glances, I too thought the crayon was wallpaper. While I think the wallpaper choice you've created is great for a kid's room, that repetition only bears out my eye's first impressions.
One detail nitpick: The kid's eyelashes look furry in the closeup. Not like lashes, but like fur sprouting on her eyelids. I think this is because the secondary lashes have a really uncomfortable tangent with the eyelid crease which is fairly fuzzily defined. I would revisit the lashes. http://www.furiae.com/popup.php?text=eyetutorial has an eye tutorial that covers lashes. (Also many blond and ash-blond kids tend to have lighter lashes, which will darken as they get older.)
Wow Thanks for the tips. Maybe one day I can bare to work on this again and improve it ( I'm sooo sick of it right now!) I see and agree with these suggestions.