have your go at it. i am looking for critique/2nd opinions on composition,i hope its clear and everyone can see what's going on in the image.
i have been meddling with this for a while and still find myself not 100% with where everything is. i have a few versions in color and even a couple of final color images but i decided to post this one because its something that illustrates clearly where all the elements are without the distraction of color and lighting.
-- working on the city
Last edited by Slav; January 17th, 2007 at 11:36 AM.
That looks like an awesome start to a fantasy cityscape. Great foreground/middleground/background. The city archways mimic the surroundings-cool.
although the second image, the colored one had shown me what the image was about, I think is worst composed than the black and white one.
It could be fine to group the "lands" and the "waters", to direct the look from the upper right hand corner to the bottom right hand corner, covering the hole picture in the process. I did a quick paint over to express this a little better. hope you donīt mind and it could be helpful
The sky. land, and water make very static bands of color across the composition. Do something to break up that space. Try picking the focal point and building a composition around it.
I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.
Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
Inition: thanks for the comment man. cheers.
elpez: i agree with most of what you said. but there are some things like depth and such that have no been worked out properly. that's not to say the things you pointed out havent been bothering me as well.
thanks for the paint over. i needed that.
Seedling: again i need some opinions on composition, i know generally something isnt right. thanks for the comment anyways i would love it if you where more specific about exactly what you mean.
The creature in the fore ground. Seem as if you wanted them close but not on the same plane one does read deeper than the other try scaling him or rehashing the environ just surrounding it.
I like the white and black city. keep it up.
Transition from Art Critic to Artiste - Diligence, that's all I need.
Alright... I have seen many posts with some helpful comments, but you're image hasn't changed much...
basically, you have too many diverse elements with no central focal point, which is kinda throwing off your composition. The main two things drawing the eye are the huge white buildings, but they're so far apart that they're fighting with each other. The arch is sitting right over the beach, and the lines of it draw your eye back down, which fights with the buildings.
The critters are awesome, but distracting. What might be helpful for you is to try squinting your eyes at the picture, look for bright things that jump out at you. Way too many big green shapes, my man.
I scaled up the critters and moved them more to the left, getting rid of the bright green shape, and firmly establishing them as a foreground element. They now also make a nice curve that leads your eye to the buildings. I also moved the buildings and the arch closer together, so that they no longer fight for dominance. The line of mountains was far too static, a dark line of color accross the middle of the image. Painting down the left side of it creates a diagnoal that also helps lead your eye to the buildings.
I've painted in the basic sight lines. Look for these in your images, they are your friend. When you have trouble finding them, or they crisscross, you are in trouble.
I notice you're indicated a lot of activity on the beach, I'd actually suggest against that. At least not where you have it place now, try moving it a bit farther back, try placing your shapes where they will enhance your sight lines, not where they will fight against them.
Hey-I really like the image your getting-the progress is neat to see. yuo want to watch the corners--like the lower left-make sure the branch doesnt lead you off and out of the peice. Its also good to remeber that people will enter a peice though the top left-like a book page in mostcases--try to put that color in both the back ground and foreround. The silver is defnitly the focal point and thats evcelent. --- also--make the monkeys looking at it- it will help some i think. You got a great comp-and color scheme. good job.
One of the usual directives of composition in this type of picture (an assymetrically based, informal one) is to steer the eye *away* from corners. It appears in this the major lines you've used are actually an X. The time to do this is when you're attempting to achieve a mostly-symmetrical piece with a lot of stability and power to the lines. I don't think that's what you're after here, and using this X will naturally direct people into corners.
Though your piece has a lot of interesting stuff in it, I find my eyes waver and don't know where to look first. They're pulled from corner to corner in an uncomfortable manner. Corners--because they are necessarily a convergeance of two big lines, the edges of the picture plane--are eyetraps, and it's almost always a good idea to draw people away from them. I think Jewl's advice goes a long way to achieving this in the upper right portion, but I still find the lower left pretty awkward with those little guys.
I'd also say a word about perspective... the whole thing seems sorta messed up in this. Most everything is pretty high contrast, which flattens it out. Stuff in the back ought to be very low contrast, and a lot of what is high contrast in this seems like it should be far away. Also, water's colour is determined by the colour of the sky.. it's only that colour blue at midday when the sun is out. Here you seem to be going for dusk, so it seems like it oughta be purpley blue. Also those little animals in the front are really blending into the midground, also flattening it. Higher contrast for them would really help.
Anyway, I've just summed up my thoughts in a paintover. Seems like it's coming along nicely!
That's what I was thought as well, actually. In the first sketch his buildings where closer together and of different heights so the focus stayed on the middle building more, the arch had more atmospheric perspective, and the little guy was a little intrusive, but was closer to the viewer, and more in his corner.
The lesson to be learned is: don't pour all of your concentration into the individual bits! The composition must work together as a whole!
*edit* Stronger then Slav's iterations, I meant. Tully's paint over is pretty close. I think what makes the original sketch more dynamic is how close the buildings are to the upper right corner, the lowered horizon line and really close critter made it feel as if you were looking up at the buildings. I think the last thing needed to really nail the composition from Tully's is to crop off the empty space on either side of the picture.
Slav, a good way to rethink your composition: Try imagining your picture without one of the elements. Hold a piece of paper over it, or blot it out in photoshop if you have to, but it's a way to examine if something really adds to the picture, or is just taking up space. If it looks in some ways better without it, but feels too barren, try scaling the element down, and/or moving the element a bit.
If composition is something you really struggle with, it's time to go back to basic shapes. Try to make an interesting, dynamic picture using ONLY squares, or only circles, or something really basic like that. I'd suggest black shapes on a white background at first, to highlight positive and negative space.
http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=76898 <- Seedling's thread has a good composition exercise too.
Last edited by Jewl; January 3rd, 2007 at 07:32 PM.
Nice improvement! I like how this is going on.
Scaling the critters it´s definitively a point. I would try some darker colors on them, just to make sure they don´t get more attention than the city.
Yea, I agree that the lil monkey dudes should be a bit darker. I think you should try deesaturating the image a tad and see if it reads better as a realistic landscape. Look forward to seeing the textures go into the water and FG.
Keep it up, its lookin really good!
thanks a TON for the imput. right now i needed a break so i took one
i listened to all your advice and ill upload an update tomorrow for now enjoy this lava beast sketch diddly. crit if you want but its just an idea that i doubt ill be going back to.
this is a real fun one to watch progress. I've agreed with all of the coments so far,
Just a quick comment- the rock to the right of the monkeys seems to be a little distracting and could be contributing to the distracting lower left corner. What if you took the contrast and texture and applied it to around the city and let the existing rock fade back a little. Unfortunatly my eye is presently pulled right to that rock.
Great work. I can't wait to see how this one pans out.
I agree with Len. The white rock to the right of the little critters stands out too much. The arch still draws a lot of attention, too. There's a few ways I'd suggest to remedy this...
You can make the rock a bit shorter, move the mountainline of the arch down and right, so that a smoother diagnol between the city and the critters is created. But it isn't just shapes that dictate your composition, don't forget that value, color, line and contrast are all part of the composition as well, and you can use all of them to draw your eye where you want it to go.
So you can also play with toning down the value of the rock, putting a low-opacity blue layer in front of the arch for atmospheric perspective, right now the rock has more texture and detail then everything in the portion of the picture, so it's really drawing attention to itself.
I also came across a very nice piece on composition. Pages from a book done by Norman rockwell and a bunch of other famous illustrators from way back in the day.
The pages in question are on the bottom of the page. ->
There's a bunch of other good stuff on this site too.
Great link !!!!!! I owe you a beer.