Kind of like the last two paintings, there I would really like to try delevoping a similar impressionist style in digital work.
Admittedly I'm stuggling a bit though, coloring in digital baffles me. I'm not sure why, but I just can't seem to find a foothold with it, especially with skin. Traditional came very easy to me. Digital is a monster. xD I've consulted the ImagineFX magazines, and it does seem to be helping a lot. I used Anne's guide to skin this time around. :)
Welcome to the world of digital art. Your work looks fresh and interesting and as was just commented, it looks impressionistic, which is great.
When it comes to painting skin digitally I find it helpful to use airbrushes mostly to first layer the skin up and to establish the main forms. Then with a hard brush, paint in the details. However I think your style of work will be well suited to ArtRage software. If you can, try that since it emulates traditional media and might give you the effect you're after. Like anything else, it comes with practice. I'm new to digital media myself and I have found that I am having loads of fun just having a stab at things and experimenting with all the different options that my digital software affords. I don't know what the heck I'm doing, but I'm having a blast trying!
Thank you, Domtopia! :) What is ArtRage software? I don't believe I've ever heard of it. I'm new to the forums so I'm a bit of a newbie. :P
Also, thank you for the reccomendations. I used a similar way of drawing the skin with this drawing, a big soft brush first and then a harder small one for the more nitty gritty stuff (of course it's impressionistic, so not too nitty gritty!) I am having more troubles with actual skin coloring, I can do everything in black and white, but getting coloring down for the skin is something I really have to sit and fiddle with. =/
With the latest issue of IFX there was a CD with ArtRage 3 on it, or you can probably download a trial fro free from the ArtRage people directly, just type it into a search engine. Try it and see what you reckon. This month the full version of ArtRage 3 has been the offer on the magazine for getting a years subscripion too. So I snapped that little beauty up!!
For skin colour pallets I just looked up "skin tones" on google and as I scrolled down it came up with complete colour charts for all the different colours and types of skin you can think of. I just copy and pasted it and pick my colours from that, just like from traditional paint out of the tube! Easy enough!
You really have to map the lips to the skull. Right now, they are all askewed and not right. the front eye is really good, the far eye is almost perfect, but needs to sit in the socket just a slight bit more. Nose is great!
What you are trying to do is difficult, so good on you for pushing yourself!
In the future, I recommend you working with reference more. I can easily see your love for details and clearly you paid a lot of attention to your work, but this work is fundamentally flawed in so many areas that all your efforts seem to be lost. You obviously possess the skill to render, therefore if you could use a lot more references, your work would look a ton better.
The most obvious place that needs improvement is the hands. These hands are clearly the product of your imagination. Since these hands are around the orb, they are an important element of the storytelling, and your sloppy treatment to them drags this entire piece down.
The face looks very detailed but it is also no where near what a face really look like. The hair is way too polished and too crisp, making them look like plastic wires.
Overall, you need to bride the gap between reality and to your imagination, and the best way to do that is using more reference.
I did take a reference picture at a point, and I am rather confused what you mean by, "no where near what a real face looks like", that sounds a bit vague to me as you give no actual examples? After the first few stages, I took a picture of my own face, made an overlay with the picture on top of the drawing, and then corrected the face proportions. What exactly do you find so flawed in the face, because I would really like to know?
Also, I appreciate your comments and suggesstions, but I found them to be a bit unprofessional. I am indeed new to digital art, and it will take time for me to "bride the gap". I left this piece open to criticism on the WIP thread, and did give it an honest effort. While I am open to constructive criticism, I find words like "slopppy" and "flawed" to be rather offensive, especially knowing I'm new to digital art. I see your points, and I agree references are definitely something I will use more heavily in the future. Still, I found some of what you said came with too strong a negative connontation.
My words do sound a bit negative and vague, so my apologies. I will give you a more detailed explanation below to amend my previous over-simplified critique and hopefully it will clear things up. And sorry about my typo. I meant to say "bridge the gap."
Regarding what I said about real faces, it is pretty easy to understand - place your painting and your photo next to each other, and you should see the areas of your artworks that differs from reality. For example, I doubt your upper lips have that much gloss - they look almost plastic. Also, her philtrum has very sharp edges, while in real life you rarely such sharp edge on your flesh; the shadow in the philtrum looks completely black, even though there are planes in that area that is facing directly to the light. The nose looks too simplified as well.
And while you still have the photo, take a look at her left eye. I can guarantee you 100% that that is not how your eye look - it is not properly foreshortened. This is probably because you have not yet properly studied the structure of the eyes, therefore did not take the shape of the eyeball into consideration. Take a closer look at the photo and see what a foreshortened eye look like at this angle.The same thing goes with the pupils - you simply made it smaller, but it is still a perfect circle; this should not be the case. And while we are on anatomy, please also take a look at her neck and her shoulders. The neck muscles and clavicles are there, but the appear to be very sharp folds on skin instead of tubes beneath her skin. Aside from reference, please also take a look at some anatomy books and see how they are structured; this should help you paint them more properly.
Another pretty big issue here is your light source. You have chosen to add multiple light sources in this scene, which is rather ambitious and unfortunately didn't work out very well. Right now, the light seems to be coming from the direction of the camera, but you also seem to have some The Sims diamonds hovering around her, and they seem to be glowing too. The orb with a seed inside might be glowing, but I'm not sure if it is. Her right hand share the same slight source with the her face, but the rim light of her left hand suggest another strong light source coming from somewhere off the camera on the right side of the viewers. Her left cheek also has some rim lights, but her hair on the same side does not have any rim light at all - how could light cuts into her face without ever hitting her hair? Her left eye is also as bright as her right eye, even though her entire left face is in shadow. Overall, since you have made it clear now that you are a beginner, I suggest you start with something simple, which means one light source. You seem to be rendering each part of her face individually, and you lost track of the overall lighting.
And sorry if you didn't like the word "sloppy." Perhaps "unfinished" would have sounded better.
Thank you for your apology. It is greatly appreciated.
Also, thank you for the in-depth critique, I really do appreciate the time and effort you've taken to help me with my work. I do believe I may put this work on hold a bit so I may come back to it with fresh and more advanced eyes. I will definitely take everything you've said into consideration when I continue to work on this piece, even now I can see in my work from your comments the areas which can be improved.
Ambitious, a curious way of putting it I think... as at the beginning I hadn't ackowledged how large a project I was undertaking. I think although in your eyes, it may seem a failure, to me it is rather a large improvement and a step in the right direction, I don't believe you can argue compared to my past works this is not an improvement?
I don't think it wrong to foster the mind and creativity. I think it a healthy way to learn actually. Sometimes undertaking project you're not ready for is the best way to learn new skills. When I jump into any untried art forms (fantasy and digital being one I have dabbled very little in), I tend to dive right in. I might flounder a bit, but rest assured, with time and practice, I'll get better.