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Hey everyone, currently I am working on a group of character design commissions and wanted to get some suggestions and critique on one of the ones I'm working on. For this piece the client wanted the character to have metal wings and a cannon on his arm. Hes is suppose to be the captain of this futuristic army. The background is secondary and doesn't require as much as the character. The client likes the pose I currently have so mainly going for design and composition.
Wouldn't a long, flowing jacket be bit inconvenient when combined with flying and huge spiky wings it may get caught on? Actually the wings seem positioned so that if the guy throws his arm any more back he's gonna stab it into one of the blades. Also what's showing his rank as a captain? It's hard to see him being any more higher rank or special when we don't have any lower rank people to compare him into, or any universally recognizable "high rank" things (like medals, army tags, that sort of stuff).
Also maybe it's just me, but a huge clunky gun hand just kinda brings mind generic "disposable cannon fodder space marine" to me, which may be what's eating his status look in my eyes personally. I mean if he commands people, wouldn't a headset so he can talk to others make sense for him to have? Also the gun doesn't have anything to aim with?
First, thanks for the comment and yeah definitely thought that I might have to take out the long jacket due to it possibly burning from the thrusters on his back. As far as the arm cannon goes that's what the client wanted so besides redesgning I don't have much choice in the option.
Yeah, I noticed that in the description, but you can also consider comparing it to things like swords. Like a high ranking officer might have a lot more expensive or prettier or otherwise pimped up sword (especially/at least for ceremony purposes) and I think something like that could work a lot better in here. As in not just have the cannon be a gray block, but have it be designed bit more gracefully, have embellishments, rank signs, be shining new and polished and stuff like that to give the viewer the impression that it's not just any old cannon, it's a higher ranking guy's personal cannon. Those could also add more personality to the character through his equipment.
His pose is a little, flat, like, why is his left arm clenched and down? Wouldn't his arm be out to steady his posture? Why are his legs just pointing down? They would probably be raised up a little, try to imagine if you were floating.
Though on the word of floating, the wings don't actually look like they do anything, they look bulky and heavy. Quite practical.
Again thanks for the comments. I tried to address the problem of the pose, gun, and showing his rank. I do agree with the practicality issues of by giant bulky wings but that is what the client wanted. In my mind they are used to balance him so he can actually fire his weapon accurately along with helping him steer allot better. However, if there is any suggestions to make the wings seem more plausible I definitely welcome it. (originally had a different work in this post but updated it)
Last edited by JudgementPanda; November 12th, 2012 at 10:18 PM.
Here's one last update for tonight.
I would say -his- left arm, or our right looks a little awkward, or more, unrealistic. If theres a giant battle you would stretch your entire arm, I think his legs are the right kind of pose but it feels a little stiff still, perhaps arch the back or soften the outstretched leg to give it a bit more fluidity.
In honesty you are going to be working on this piece for a long time, you gave yourself a challenge so try not to get disheartened by criticism ( I'm sure you're fine bit I always go -WHHHYYY!- slam my head on the desk and give up and start again haha! )
Here's another update. Had to add the long coat back cause the client wanted it. About to finish this up so any last minute critiques would be helpful.
Remember that all the light in the environment is orange, this should also affect the guy, as his jacket is currently lit by this cool, blue light that doesn't affect anything else (even if you mean that light comes from the green ball, I think it would work better if the light were the same warm orange as in the scene as it unifies the figure to be part of the scene). Also his cannon is likely to cast some shadow over his body. I'd also add bite more saturation to the cores of the explosions, they're all bit muted.
Overall I think that's a great improvement to the original.
Whelp here's the finished picture. The client really liked it and wanted to thank y'all for all your help. Any final thoughts to watch out for in the future or any last comments as always are welcome :-)
The only thing I'd suggest is, for the future, keep an eye out on the way you distribute your values. I think it was Jason Manley who said "control the light, don't let the light control your painting". This painting is a matter of the light controlling you; there's so much going on, so many explosions and fire and magical light sources which create dark silhouettes that all compete for attention. The main character IS the point of focus, but I find myself primarily looking at his gun, the dark mess that makes up his pants, and the lights of his wings against the dark background. His face is relatively unimportant. You'll want to "bend" the light to help you create focus where it matters. Leave out a couple of explosions if you have to; a lot of pieces end up not working well because the artist tried to include too many things, I think this may be one of those cases.
I doubt you'll like my advice but I'll offer it anyway - because I think you have some potential. Work on a better awareness and understanding of fundamentals...beginning with drawing. Stay away from doing mediocre work for mediocre clients...instead push yourself as hard as you can to be as good as you can be.