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Hay guys I am having some trouble with my values. I feel that they dont pop enough. Can you have a look at this image and give me some advice please. Thanks


Well you're still in the beginning of the composition so it's kinda hard to go deep in the critique, but let me try! So... I feel like the guys face feels kind of overexposed, what I feel is that the woman is kind of too bright for the composition, you could play with different lightsources to light the picture and make it pop, but in order to POP as you want, you gotta have a background or at least a sugestion of what it's going to be like, this way you can work the values better! Post the next steps so then I can help you more!
The easiest thing you can do is find some faces or similar poses/lighting and just throw them into gray scale and check out their values then try to replicate them. It's a useful reference :D
Did a thing that shows you what I did...rather than ramble on about stuff so ask questions if what I did isn't clear.
Basically besides using too much of black and white pure, what you had suffered from inconsistent light source and no thought applied to shadow cast by volume and forms.

The values still aren't right in mine, but that is mostly because I used what was already in yours and lightened or darkened areas using dodge and burn just to quickly demonstrate as I didn't want to paint too much. You would need to go back in and paint the transitions properly wrt the light source so things look better. You can also use selections and a soft brush at low opacity to achieve smoother broad transitions easily and then go in and paint any details...I did it for the chest for example. Hope it helps
Ok, I might end up feeling like a parrot because I repeat myself all of the time but (and I'm not just addressing the values):

The first thing you have to do is thumbnails. I'm not sure at this point if you intend to have a background, but you need to have it figured out before you start rendering the figures. Very small quick dirty thumbnails, but a crapton of them. Here are a few posts about thumbs:
Composition Basics: Value Structure
Composition Basics: Sketching Thumbnails

The second thing you have to think about is: how did they get in that position? I can't imagine a single situation where a scanty clad woman would end up between the legs of a guy with his foot on a chest. Did she crawl there after he put his foot on the chest or did he swing his leg over her while she was sprawling next the the chest looking forlorn and she subsequently squeezed his glut? (I understand situations like that happened a lot in some type of illustration, Frazetta's come to mind, but I still find they look silly, like the one where the demon holds his arms up to slash a guy but his horns block the way.) And given the height of the women and the height of the men and the placement of the chest, I'm not sure they can even be like that.

Also, Monkeybread is right, you need to decide on your light source from the moment you start rendering and stick to it.


hay guys, appreciate the feed back!! I am implementing your advice as we speak. @MonkeyBread. Yeah I see what you mean about too heavy contrast. I wanted a weird light source from the back and from the front with a dark middle area on the characters, but your paint over shows me exactly what I need to do. So appreciate that bud :) @ChantalFournier, I see where you are coming from in the sense of context, but this piece is mainly for a leaving present for a colleague. So I wanted him in a majestic pose with a wench. The thumbnails are paramount like you said, and yes it definitely lacks those :/ I need to get in the habit of doing more thumbnails. Appreciate the advice, now off to finish it. I will post an update either tonight or tomorrow. :)


Hay guys, sorry for the delay but here is an update. I have been quite busy. The image still needs a little bit of work but I have tried to take in account everything you guys have said. What you think?
Values still feel a little too close to the 0% or 100% mark and not much in the 30%-70% range... Hope that makes sense?
Maybe keep referring to Monkeybreads paint over for a reference since I think there's a lot to take note from