Join Date: Apr 2011
Thanked 195 Times in 104 Posts
04-08-2012, 11:14 PM
post reserved for critiques
Amnesiac2- Thank you for entering this challenge.
I like this one for the potential it has. You have the ability to paint both realistic subjects (ie. the painting from your avatar), and this offering shows you can go completely abstract and create concepts that are only generally vested in reality. It may seem like a redundant thing to point out, but that sort've thing is important- one of the biggest obstacles an artist can face is trusting themselves to make an image that completely from their imagination.
There's a lot of good work here. I think you have good foundation in things like rendering, texture, and light. There is certainly a sense of Sun Wukong being lit from behind by the sun/that back light source.
It seems you like painting opaquely, and I can't really tell if there is an undraping for this. If there isn't, I would encourage you for your next piece to sketch your entire scene in lines before moving to paint. A good drawing is the biggest part of making a good painting. A lot of the guess work and ''groping'' lines that come from painting straight away are eliminated by having a solid underdrawing, and it is -much- more easier to make alterations to an image -before- things like color and tone are applied.
Thank you for your entry! I see a lot of potential, so keep working hard.
Ibex - Thank you for entering this challenge!
For your first digital work, then is really, really good! You've got a strong foundation it a lot of important things- The posing is ambitious and interesting, A good sense of value, and a lot of conscious design elements.
It's refreshing to see you decided to stay very 'monkeylike' with your character design. He's got the humanoid eyes but that broad smile rings as simian- which is very interesting considering most people chose to anthropomorphize Sun Wukong to a very high degree.
The outfit is interesting and I see a good start at rendering different textures- there is a marked difference between the under chainmail and the thick red fabric over it. In fact, all of the textures are pretty well done- including the fabric of his trousers and the minute rendering of his facial hair.
Moving forward, take your knowledge of anatomy and texture painting and try incorporating lighting. For a character concept such a diffuse lighting set-up works just fine, but I think it would be great fun to see your texturing abilities paired with some interesting lights and shadows. Again, a great offering for a first attempt, and thank you for participating!
Goatwrath - Of all the images, I think yours has the strongest sense of narrative- it seems the most likely to be an illustration alongside the original Sun Wukong source material.
Your offering is extremely ambitious- I see a lot of texture and brush work, a lot of figures and a -lot- of action going on. You're obviously putting a lot of thought into the different ways you want to treat clothes, skin, foliage, etc.
As is required of the brief, Sun Wukong is the focal point of this illustration, and you get a definite sense of his heroic presence/personality. Though it is someone vague, you get a sense that he is doing battle with a army of sorts using some sort of arcane energy. The smudges of motion are fairly successful in suggesting those bright white objects are flying out and away from Sun Wukong.
Your portfolio suggests you have a very keen storytelling sense, and there is some very accomplished environment work in there. For CharacterFORGE challenges, though, I would press you to focus your ambitions! The crowds and expressive background and energy all shows a keen sense of dedication to the final image, but don't make more work for yourself than you have to! Narrowing your focus to the character with a simple background would give you more time to explore your texturing and paint techniques on a very narrow subject. Of course your environment/scene work is very good, so keep in mind this only applies to your character design attempts in the future!
Lowestofthekeys - Thank you for participating again! I already see an improvement in a lot of different ways. Your colors in this one are much more vibrant, and there is already a greater sense of detail and style in the way you designed his clothes. I'm also seeing some exploration in texture brushes and direct lighting sources.
Brief wise, the character is charming. I love the tasseled hairs coming from his forehead, and the costume is cohesive and easily read. There's the beginning of a sense of movement and action with the way he is posed, with that uplifted arm wielding the staff and the tight stretch of his closer arm.
Keep it up! There's a lot of good things to this painting that show you put a lot of thought in how things are rendered. I think your style has a lot of potential.
Ewaldus - Thank you for another challenge entry )
This is one of my favorites for its sheer personality. You have a talent at characterization- his fierce posing and facial expression gives the concept a lot of life and energy. It's good to see you drop into some choice saturated colors- the phoenix feather is appropriately eye-catching without detracting from the rest of the picture. The lineless technique also works well, as you've got a solid enough command on tones to keep things clear and differentiated. I think this is also a good piece for you because it works with some a very strong lightsource- Incorporating more directional lights is fantastic practice when it comes to learning how to paint things convincingly, with volume.
As you move forward, keep exploring these techniques. With a bit more polish in certain areas this is another good portfolio piece for you that shows your command of cool posing and comic-style stylizations.
TimoK - This was my favorite to win this challenge. Everything about this image is beautifully executed- the sense of movement, the dynamic pose, the intricacy of his armor. You found a perfect balance of detail and subtle areas of relatively simple tone- There is a complete sense of a filtered, smoky light that gives the character volume and the background atmosphere. You could've gotten ''noodle'' with that intricate chainmail texture (to the point where it was distracting), but you hit a great balance of highlights that keep it both uniform to the entire picture and visually interesting.
The rhythms of his limbs and armor (the phoenix feather, the looping belts/sash) keeps the eye constantly moving.
The only thing that gives me pause is the rendering of his left leg as it falls back into space. The tone of it is fine, but in comparison to the foreshortened right leg, it seems that his ankle should be higher up on the calf, shortening that limb. That aside, this picture gets my vote. Thank you for this beautiful entry.
pc-0 - This is a beautifully atmospheric piece. The brush work and somber tones are well done, and you have a great command of of your brushes. There's a good mix of opaque strokes and translucency. The character himself is well grounded, simple, yet effective- he's got a great face- a lot of personality that fits well with his very utilitarian, ''of the wilds'' outfit. The inclusion of the painted designs is helpful to give his otherwise very realistic outfit a touch of fantasy and drama.
Moving forward, make sure the amount of care you put into posing and rendering is applied to the whole of your picture frame. The top of the staff nudges right against the top of the picture frame, which draws the eye upward to that tangent. Lifting the top of the frame to give the staff more ''breathing room'' will deepen the background field. All in all it's a very compelling character design with a lot of personality, a more serious incarnation of the Sun Wukong myth.
Zoonoid This image is beautiful, and the one I think that remains the most true to the character outline provided in the brief. There is a mischievous, good-natured look to his face, a sort of showy bravado to his pose, and a -lot- of interesting notes that draw our attention- the interaction of the staff with his tail, the liquid/smoke flowing from the gourd, the fantastical looping of his ribbons.
The color is one of the most attractive things about this piece. The subtle transition of blues to purple in the background gives a sense of a (forgive the cheesy term) ''magic twilight.'' It seems as if a lot of your ''hot'' notes- the flare of bright red and flashes of gold- were done simply, but its very effective.
All in all, the proportions of everything seem spot on, besides the legs (in my opinion.) They seem extraordinarily long if you uptake into consideration the proportions of the torso and arms- but it's not a deal breaker, and is handled well enough that it comes across as ''conscious decision'' rather than an anatomical misstep. All in all this is one of the most technically accomplished and spirited of the entries, so thank you very much for participating.
to-to Thank you for your entry! Of all the entries, this is definitely the boldest in terms of style. This is an excellently fun picture for a lot of reasons- you have an interesting color sense, a wonderful grasp of movement and rhythm, and interesting applications of texture and bold graphics. The extreme stylization of his body and limbs works well- you obviously have a solid foundation in real anatomy that allows you to make big decisions about proportion. The characterization of his face is adorable and just detailed enough to be the focal point. I really think it captures the personality and mood of Sun Wukong with a strong sense of his monkey-like spirit and vibrancy
Moving forward, I do want to stress: make sure you link your picture in your post! A lot more people will get a lot at your final that way, if its featured on the page instead as just an attachment link!
huynhlongan2006 - Of all the designs, this one somehow rings as 'classic'- for a lot of different reasons. I think this is primary caused by your painting technique- The soft, smudged lines and subtle use of brushes in the falls is very reminiscent of chinese silk paintings and watercolors. You also have that great, dramatic flourish of movement, the strong pose that makes this more of a ''illustration'' than a concept. All in all I think it shows some really beautiful painting work and a deft use of the Photoshop/Painter ''texture'' brushes. A lot of times we can see texture brush work that becomes ''lazy'' because it isn't properly worked into the picture, but the transitions of opacity and crispness give the painting some much needed volume.
I like the his characterization- his face is strongly gorilla-like, and his broad frame matches well with that. The rendering of his feet/legs/hips is a bit confusing, but i think that sort've dramatic posing reinforces the theme nicely.
Last edited by choo; 04-14-2012 at 07:45 PM.