Crimson Daggers — Art forum

Full Version: Am I on the right path?
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Hey guys,
I have to ask you for your help. I 'finished' this painting today and I'm quite insecure with it. What I had in mind was a atmospheric scenery with a mysterious mood. I got some critique that I don't have any storytelling in it or just incomplete storytelling. But what I tried to accomplish is, that the viewer would create his own story just by the 'hints' and the mood I give him.

I mean, I can see the point of this critique. It's a chick in fancy armor in front of a cathedral-thingy building.
I'm really kind of lost now. How can I get this painting to be what I want it to be. I just don't feel like giving my paintings a cheesy fantasy story like 'knight is killing orc' or sticking to this painting: That woman trys to mug someone or murder some evil dudes.

I've just come to the conclusion, that I have a picture of the impression and the quality of my paintings in mind which is nothing like reality. I guess I just don't archive at all what I thought I would. That's of course tough to realise, but it also motivates me.

Here's the painting I'm talking about:

So, could you give me any advice what to practice, what to focus on in the future. My goal at the moment is to one day paint for trading card games, video games, book covers and such stuff. Illustrations for presentation, not for concepts. I guess I'm more far away from this goal than I believed I was.

Sorry for getting a bit winy here. Haha. Don't take this as attention whoring, I really want your honest knockdown opinion. I'd be very glad if any of you could help me!

Cheers and good night! :)
What if the door of the church was open a crack and someone was waving her in, or if you could see silhouettes of archers on the roofs? What if she is following bloody tracks to the door? Maybe there is light coming from only one window and there is a silhouette there. I don't know, you don't have to have two characters fighting to have a story.

Also, the shoulder pad on her right is weird and smaller than the one on the left, it's ok that the pad obscure most of her right shoulder, it's turned away from us.
Your render quality is great.

I think the one thing that would make the biggest difference in your next piece would be for you to think, foreground, middleground and background, I would also do allot of thumbnails before you start your next painting, really work out the composition. I guess that is two things:)

Post your thumbnails here in the crit section, you will get some great feedback on them.
You're issues lie in both the technical area and the more subjective area.

First the technical, because technical flaws must be fixed regardless of your storytelling and design skill.

1. You have too much black in your image. You must utilize a wider range of values, with the correct value range the necessity to use black will diminish.

2. Your anatomy on this central figure is off in the following place: hips, back, and face. Most of these issues are due to the perspective of the figure. The armor also sits strangely on her shoulders and back.

3. You have too much detail in the background that is competing with the foreground, you can hint a lot more at the building she is in front of with less sharp details.

4. Her knife is almost pure white and it's placed in a field of almost pure black, this draws attention away from her face, which a key place to tell story.

5. The lighting on her is not correct. Take a photo and use a lamp to light yourself or a friend.

So with all that laid out. Here are the finer points:

1. Her face can be used to tell a story, her expression and eye direction both leads the viewer and informs the viewer on what may be going on in the scene.

2. Her posture will also help tell some story aspects. If she is hunched or crouched she will look like she is trying to be covert and hide herself. If she was facing towards the camera and looking back she is "leaving" the building. If she is staring at the building she is about to go and enter it.

3. Her costume and dress might need some extra details that flesh her character out visually.

You just want people to be curious about the piece, so wonder and be intrigued. It's simple but hard to accomplish. The story people are mentioning is not literal, but just enough elements to allow them to build a scenario.