Critique please !!
hey, i am  trying to grasp value , composition , design , storytelling in my environment concept arts.what do you think about this one?? i feel like some thing is not correct,still missing something.but i don't know what that is...time taken for this one is about   19+ hours (way too much for a art like this) .Learned a lot of things while doing this though.

But i need your expert opinion/criticism/suggestion.
I gotta learn from my mistakes!

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What do you not like about this piece? Can you be more specific about what you're feeling off about this piece?


1. Lack of depth + lack of definition.( i got this critique (image added) from fb group LEVEL UP. i guess that is what i feel like missing from this piece.)

I was able to find out these mistakes by my own.(god knows what else i am missing) >>

2.being a perfectionist (that's why takes a lot of time)
3.detailing not just focal point and foreground , but everything, no area of rest 
4.not figuring out the whole picture before rendering (again , took way too much time for a piece like this)
5.lack of ref gathering and research
6.Lack of targeted study before rendering this piece, like little study of rock , mountain 
it should be like >> study something, then apply with my own piece

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Yeah, the first, most noticeable thing for me, seeing this piece, was noticing that there wasn't enough contrast. I think it would have a more dramatic and interesting effect if the darkest areas were even darker. But, it sounds like you already got some great pointers. So, maybe time to implement them! Thumbs_up


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I think you just crit yourself, lol! Not all pieces have to have full range of very dark to very light contrast. Contrast serves your purpose, you don't serve contrast. What do you want to convey with your piece, and does the contrast you just showed yourself conveys that?

Is there a lot of activity on Facebook Level Up? The forum sure is dead and disappointing.
(09-07-2015, 01:29 PM)Jeremy Ray Wrote: Is there a lot of activity on Facebook Level Up?  The forum sure is dead and disappointing.

Nope!!the old level up is no more!

The value range that you're working within is not an issue, but what you're doing in the image of your first post involves a couple things.

1. Separate the values of the foreground, midground, and background. The values you're using are great, since more midtones can offer a more foggy/misty situation. However, right now you have similar blacks/grays in the background as you do in the foreground. It makes the image feel flat and without a whole lot of "pop."

2. The perspective of the viney branch arch is a little off. It looks like it angles to the back right instead of coming forward. Also, there's detail on the arch but not on the areas that it connects with. It looks mushy and would benefit a ton from being equally detailed/defined.

3. The storytelling of your piece takes up only the bottom half of the canvas, and only 2/3 of that area. This is not to discount the mountains and foliage and environment building you're doing; but if this was a plate of food and the story was the "steak," legitimately how big would that steak actually be? There's this approach to a castle city deal in the background, which is kind of small, and because of its position in the environment, it looks ESPECIALLY small. I want to focus on that city with this big ass monumental vine arch deal in front of the city like I'm riding on a horse towards it and I have all of this swelling epic music behind me, but I'm kinda left with this underwhelming feeling when I look at how its composed.

What I'd suggest (since I don't have a tablet in front of me so I'll have to word it out).

1. For values, go on pinterest and check out hudson river valley artists, or my favorite plein air painter, Clyde Aspevig. Look at their paintings in black and white and figure out what ranges of value are in the foreground, midground, and background. You'll find over the course of many similarly lit paintings, that they all have a general breakdown (like Foreground=05-15, Midground=20-40 Background=50-80) (or something, don't take my word as gospel here, just look for the trends). Do like 20 little sketches with those trends you find. This is not to make pretty paintings, but to get in your mind that this one lighting scenario has a specific value breakdown that makes the brain immediately like it.

2. Storywise, look at your piece and ask what's really the important thing happening here. get brutally 80/20 about it. What's the 20% of hte painting that's gonna make 80% of the wow factor? Is it the city? Make that city take center stage and take up TONS of room on that canvas. Is it the people and the approach path and the viney arch? Make those take up 80% of the canvas. Big steak for that big plate, the veggies and sauce will fit around it one way or another.

Get bold and sexy with one thing, and make the values and compositions revolve around that. :3

David Szilagyi, 
Professional Badass, phD.

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