Any critiques or tips for values?
So ive been trying to improve on my digital painting but I feel like i have a hard time in deciding the right values and have the tendency to go too dark like a piece i did here also im not sure about the hands something just feels off about it. Im trying to improve in painting characters in snowy scenes thankyou!
@Lea There's this thing Matt Kohr (the guy from http://www.ctrlpaint.com) calls "contrast creep" - it's when the spots of value contrast are spread across the piece without any stronger concentrated area, which results in the feeling that the piece looks distracting or lacks a focal point. In one of his courses, he shows an example of this with a painting of his own, then shows a remake of the same painting fixing that issue and achieving a more balanced global contrast (see first image attached). In your painting (which is actually pretty cool already!), when I squint my eyes and look at it, that's exactly what I notice: a lot of bright little areas that kind of diffuse the eye from a defined focal point (just like @Jan D. also noticed). An effective way to solve this would be to organize your composition into "areas of value": each part of the painting could prioritize a certain range of the value spectrum so that the different planes or spaces wouldn't compete with each other, and the overall contrast could feel more balanced and organized. In the second image I attached, there's a couple of examples of paintings where this technique is properly used: the one on the top is by Caravaggio, - although its crops with the overlaying histogram were also taken from one of Matt Kohr's courses - and the one on the bottom is by the man himself @Stan Prokopenko. An interesting thing to notice is that, in both paintings, although the value range is neatly organized according to the planes or spaces in the composition, the part of the painting where there is actually a wide value range (where lights and darks contrast more strongly) is the focal point (in Stan's painting, the bears; and in Caravaggio's, the face of the character to the left). Hope this helps! Hope it gives you insights on ways to improve your work. Let me know in case you have questions! Best regards o/
You can actually test out a simple value scheme of darks - midtone - lights in the thumbnail stage. If it reads well small, it will read well at full size. Try to simplify your scene, both in terms of shape and lighting, and it becomes a lot easier to figure out. Some artists also choose to do an under painting in gray or one color. Personally, I work in grayscale, rendering out all my values + edges and then use gradient maps to color. As for the hand, I think it's probably an anatomy / perspective / foreshortening issue? I'm not really sure what she's doing with the arm, so it's hard for me to give any advice. What might help is a reference. You can take a picture of yourself, use a 3d app or buy a ref pack. That's what helps me when I get stuck with a pose.
oh tell me about it. half the stuff I do, lives in the bottom half of the histogram:D I'd say you could try to use the values to direct the eye to the focal point a little more? Right now I get a little distracted by all the bright patches. Maybe using some strong atmosphere/ fog would work nice in this piece? Looks nice tho! Love the mood!:)