NOTICE i posted a firther-along WIP, just scroll down to the bottom of page
I was commissioned by a local high school art teacher to do a self-portrait. I had just finished Bioshock 2 and was inspired to do a Bioshock themed self-portrait (yes, that is what i look like...i do not, however, dress like that). I have gotten this far, but now i am stuck... I dont know what to do with the background. As far as ive gotten in the thought process was putting a light behind me (hence the rim lighting on my face and inner sleeves). Other than that, I was thinking about putting a couple of streams of water falling from the ceiling, but its not a very complete idea. I was also thinking floating furniture (emphasizing telekinesis), but i fear it might be too busy for the composition. Please tell me your ideas for a background/ surroundings and why you thought them. I will credit you in the with the finished drawing for helping me.
Also, please give me any critiques you may have. I am new to this, i have not had any art education, so i need a little help with that. I appreciate every comment with critiques and ideas.
Please keep in mind that this is a very large painting (24 inches wide) so the detail is kind of gone in this small WIP shot. Also, if the image is too dark, let me know and i will lighten it up for you. For some reason, my computer monitor is very light but it seems normal to me because ive been working with it for a while.
PS. This is not complete yet, so dont say "I uh think uh you should work more on da pants ur hur" or "add some er light from the fire" as a critique, these are obvious things that i have not gotten around to doing yet. please dont mention them...they are of no help to me whatsoever. I need composition, color, balance, etc. critiques!
Last edited by MeBabyMe; June 10th, 2010 at 12:33 AM. Reason: just cuz
Hope I can be of more help when you get more of the idea down.
Well I'd suggest you set it aside for a bit and do some thumbnails to determine what's going on behind him. Also as a general statement, I'd work from a neutral toned background when your unsure what your doing with it, because right now you've keyed in his shading to a REALLY dark setting, which might make it awkward if you come up with a smashing idea for a lighter background.
I think you've made the shadows in his skin tone too desaturated, it almost looks like soot or like he's a zombie a little bit.
If your really searching for a background idea, he reminds me an awfully lot of a librarian, so maybe a burnt up looking library with a hole in the wall and book pages fluttering around and a fire behind him, fly-ash or something...The real problem is that doing almost anything with the background will change the lighting scenario on the character, so you've unfortunately really limited what you can do without having to redo a lot of the figure's lighting.
You may also want to consider selecting only one of the 'elements'. Just my opinion, but I bind it a little distracting and unclear presently because they are just so unrelated and there is nothing else to clue me in on why he has those two specific elements. If it's simplified to a single element I'm not wondering anymore (but that really is just my opinion, nothing wrong with keeping both).
Check the anatomy/length on the upper arms, something is bugging me about it.
Yo this is looking cool!! I did a quick paint over (hope you dont mind) of some elements to try.
You have two very intense light sources (which are well done)from the hands. I think your ready to start introducing some bounce light from those sources. Doing this will allow you to bring more definition into the character and add some realism. Be careful though cause you can overdue this very easily.
I see alot of people worry about there BG's here on CA. Youve made a character it looks good but now where do you go? I would just play with it splash some color around think about framing your character with a basic shape that looks good and then think about what that shape could be. I promise you if you do this for an hour, just play with some basic shapes you will find something you like and you will inspire yourself.
Cretorian: that looks greaet! and of course i dont mind that you did a paint over. In fact it helps me more. I didnt realize how some simple colors and strokes would give a solid backround. And i also didnt realize how much definition the bounce light from the hands would create, and bring the piece into whole (i was going to add it of course, i just havent done it yet). thanks alot, ill be sure to play around with some stuff
Glad I had somethin to offer ya dude. Another thought I just had as I came back to the thread was that (composition wise) I might bring the canvas size up before painting the BG . Like if you needed to put text above him for a book title or something. Its not a necessity but it might look better in a portfolio. Its good to have images that are either wider than they are tall or vise versa.
yeah that's what I mean
so i played around with the background (and added some lighting effects from the flames and electricity), and just added a bit of light behind a foggy atmosphere, with some debris flying. i dont know if this works with the painting or not, please let me know what you think. ALL of your thoughts please
I think its pretty much perfect, doesnt need anything - I think it is finished.
Notice how Cretorian didnt have the guts to paint over the face and body? Its probably cause he cant paint better than whats already there!
Only thing that bothers me is that tie. I've never seen one done like that in my life, maybe I'm just sheltered. Other than that it's brilliant.
The Nezumi Works Sketchbook - Now in progress
My online portfolio
"Skill is the result of trying again and again, applying our ability and proving our knowledge as we gain it. Let us get used to throwing away the unsuccessful effort and doing the job over. Let us consider obstacles as something to be expected in any endeavor; then they won't seem quite so insurmountable or so defeating." - Andrew Loomis
nice, check only the face mostly nose area. I think its too dark and low saturated. Also the nose shape could be better
wunts: haha thanks, but i dont think thats why cretorian didnt do a paint over of the face haha
Nezumi: the tie is probably wrong, i dont know how ties are tied haha. i will reference that, thanks
danilo: makin fun of my nose are ya?!
just kidding, ill look into it, thanks
Lookin good bro, I like the particle stuff you added! I dig the bg simple solutions tend to be best.
I personally like the desaturated look in the skin tone. Why it may not be "technically accurate" I think it adds to the dark nature of the image, But that's just me. Not tryin to bash Danilos comment at all.
You might wanna try cutting in some of the shadow tone into your bounce light areas. It seems like you kinda just glazed the bounce color over the areas you introduced it without taking into account the folds in the cloth.
lookin awsome though!
Right eye (his left) move slightly out (we're talking pixels here). Leg on the left (his right) should be a bit more hidden. The lightening on his hand will also create intense dark shadows that I'm not seeing. Tie - learn to do one. That waistcoat is badly cut with no buttons; even with buttons the line down should be straight and not skewed. Make the shirt sleeves a bit wider so they don't look like they're taking chunks off his arms.
All in all it's a cool looking piece and shouldn't take much to pull it up to the next level.
black spot: thanks, i will be sure to liquify my left eye. i knew somethin was wrong with it, maybe that it was too big, but when i tried to fix it it just messed it up more. thanks for pointing out the problem. The dark shadows from the electricity was somthing i haddent thought about, so thanks, ill put em in. i added some buttons before your comment, and it makes the piece look much better. i will not, however, be making the vest straight. i think it makes the piece look a bit more dynamic and less boring with it curved. and about the sleeves, my arms are VERY skinny, so even though it might look like the sleeves arent wide enough, trust me, they are. and yea, i need to redo the tie.
thanks for the help
I like the face expression. I think - the dress needs just more details...
Last edited by lobster007; June 15th, 2010 at 02:38 AM. Reason: writting mistake
For some reason I just want to keep staring at the minty Jesus glow around the character or his hands. My eyes don't want to go to the man. I think it's an indication that you've given lots of details to what's around him but not very much thought into anything except his face.
The clothing is really suffering in this piece. The tie looks awkward probably because it's sticking out of the jacket and overlapping part of it. When you put on a tie, it's over your shirt but underneath the jacket, so the part of it that's visible is usually just the knot.
The folds themselves are rather weak, and the collar areas looks especially flat. The part that mystifies me the most is his eerily buttonless jacket that somehow stays closed without the aid of any attachments. I don't see any seams or fabric details either. Even a pocket would help this out immensely.
The pants are also bothersome. They just kind of mold into this dark background and fade away, and it feels like an excuse to hide them because you don't want to render them. The light source also feels awkward since you seem to have one leg coming forward but equal lighting on both legs, if that makes sense. I would try and highlight some folds in the pants and give a bit more attention to the one coming forward if that is the case. Also, pockets and small details like belt loops and zippers would add to the pants.
As far as composition goes, we're still staring into a blank void. You added a nice glow, but this character could be anywhere. Right now he could be inside a closet or floating in deep space. An indication of a background, even the barest, slightest, hint of something more than an eerie glow would help this. For that, thumbnails are necessary. Elongating the canvas vertically would also help, as cutting off the feet in a drawing when it is unnecessary isn't a favorable move. You're working digitally anyway - you should be used to adjusting the canvas to you instead of the other way around.
The last part that I want to mention is the minty glow itself. The colors you have chosen in this picture are relatively neutral for the character, except for the bright blue and red respectively representing the fire and lightning. The greenish glow works with the red fire (green is red's compliment) but it's kind of awkward with the blue. It's not that it clashes with the blue, but it feels about to blend into it, which seems to give the picture a sort of unbalanced look when you have one color that blends into another but is starkly opposite of the other color. Quite honestly, I liked your picture much better before you added the glow. If you still want to keep the glow, I would shift it to a neutral white glow that could act as a fresh light source. White will work with any color, just as black does, and it won't make the viewer's eye travel too far from the subject.
bloodpearl: i realize that it seems unfinished, but that is because it is. I know that buttons and folds need to be added, as well as detail of the pants. your critiques of the glow are helpful though. I get what you are saying about the glow blending in to the lightning. I will try out a white glow and see if that helps. thanks