Critique on these pieces, please
4mo
gabriel grandi
Hey there, fellow artists! How r u doing? I've been studying a lot recently to level up my skills. These are some of my most recent studies. I would be extremely thankful if u could spare some insight and knowledge so I could improve my next pieces! Thanks in advance
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Serena Marenco
Hello Gabriel! In the first and third I would make the parts of the background that are in the plane behind the subject (the dinosaur in the first and the horse in the third) clearer, because otherwise they figure get a bit merged in the background. In the second one I would lighten the plane of the sea and the sky to divide them better from the plane with the altar. In the fourth I would make better use of the light of the lamp (which seems to me to be the only source of light apart from the diffused atmospheric light reflected in the mist in the background of the marsh) to outline the figure more. Instead of those two rocks maybe you could insert a couple of trees leaning towards the right of the drawing, to create a frame, but at this point lighten slightly the whole plane where the dwarf is. In the fifth one I would just eliminate the little tree in the light plane (it's too much, in my opinion). In the sixth I think you would have a better effect using a vertical format and giving more breath to the figures, I would make less static the hydra heads and increase the contrast between the tonal planes, since the part in the foreground has almost the same intensity as the central plane where the characters are placed. I would remove the rock, which distracts attention from the most important parts, and maybe change the framing so that the point of view is very close to that of the girl, to accentuate the state of danger and the size of the creature. I hope I've been helpful :)
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Marshall Zazen
They look very well rendered in a technical sense but I would focus on this more than anything for the next few pieces: Squint the eye as you develop your values. Where is the light landing? What is it lighting up? In video games we often see environment artists place lights of various sorts to direct the player. In a painting, it is much the same <3 Even if there are two focal points in a split composition (or even 3 or 4) it is best to consider where the eye will land. The eye is drawn to what is lit and what is contrasting in some pleasing way. The best tool is in fact squinting the eyes! Your eye lashes will help act as a filter to determine what is standing out in contrast or what is most lit up, and thus the focal point(s). Interesting designs! I can't wait to see what you develop in the future! I'd definitely have loved to view the moon through your alter monument in person or a game. Now we must light it so we know it is related to the topic or also as important as the moon! If it is meant to stay in shadow, perhaps think about rim lighting and how it can draw the eye without lighting the subject directly. I hope this helps! <3
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gabriel grandi
Hey, there! @Marshall Zazen , Thanks for the amazing critique! I'll keep your hints in mind on my next compositions, man! I'm truuly greatful!
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Moonfey
Hi there Gabriel! I already started writing about your painting with the dinosaur before I saw that someone had already given you a really good critique on it, but hopefully I’m not giving to much of the same advice and this might be helpful anyway. :) I enjoyed looking at your paintings, you did a good job with them! You already do this to a degree, but one thing to consider then it comes to landscapes is atmospheric perspective composition; distant objects blend with and take on some of the atmosphere’s colors. As you are working in gray scale this would means that distant objects like the mountains acquire some of the whiter values of the sky. Basicly the objects that are farther away are lighter in value and shaded with less contrast and have less details. Right now the overall value of the mountains are the same as that of the objects in the middle ground, so if you make the mountains lighter it will not only make them appear further away, but will also make the dinosaur you rendered so impressively stand out more as the focus point off the picture. Likewise things that are close often have a darker value and more details. You have done this with the stones in the lower left corner, but if you also made the lower right corner darker than it is now and then gradually make it the same value as the middle ground it would make darkest parts look closer to the wiewer and give the picture even more depth. As a side note, another thing that could help against the dinosaur blending into the mountain is to be aware of implied tangents, that is then lines of different objects are placed at equal levels, like the upper lines of the contours of the dinosaurs tail and the mountains. Here is and intresting and fun post about that: https://artofvisualthinking.blogspot.com/2012/10/those-pesky-tangents.html Best of luck as you continue your art journey!
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gabriel grandi
@Moonfey , Thanks A LOT! I'm extremely greatful for your critique! I do struggle with these darn values. This is exactly why I made them in grayscale for starters. I will improve this on my next compositions! And thanks for the reference material!
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Dominik Zeillinger
Hi Gabriel, your pictures are very athmosperic, good job. There is one thing you maybe can pay attention to. It is the same thing in three of your pictures: The dinosaur blends into the background (as noted by Matthew). Lowering the mountains would it make possible that the sillhouette of the dinosaur is clearly visible. Same thing with the horse. Its head blends into the mountain. I would like to see its whole sillhouette clearly against the bright water of the lake. And also the elk blends too much into the background when I squint my eyes. It is not totally off, but it could be better. To show it I pushed the contrast on the images and made them smaller. You see that the main figures are hard to see. But I think you may already know this and can easily implement it in your next pictures.
ggrandi 1 16 960x720x1
ggrandi 6 7 960x720x1
ggrandi 8 5 960x720x1
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gabriel grandi
@Dominik Zeillinger , MAN! WHAT AN IDEA! I loved what you've done! I've never thought about making the white/black comparison! It'll help a lot on the next compositions. And thanks a lot for your time and critique. I shall keep it in mind for my next compositions!
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Dominik Zeillinger
Tried a simple quick-fix just to show the effect:
ggrandi 1 16 960x720x1b
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Josh Sunga
Hey Gabriel- good work! I'm glad you're sharing a lot. That said I chose the T-rex to make some notes on. You have a solid sense of composition but honing in on value structure will help showcase it. We use contrast to capture the viewers attention but sometimes we simply create it to make distinctions for the viewer. I darkened the rex and lightened the mountain range so it would be clear on the first read. If the values of separate elements in our pictures get too similar it might just be hard for a viewer to distinguish (but there's always room for nuance once we have a solid structure). I cleared the sky and silhouetted the rex's head against the clouds so it would make a statement. I also whitened the teeth and brightened its head just so viewers would look a little longer. Extending the mountain range helps the eye wander a little and placing rocks below will help lead it back to the rex. I have more explanations in the paintover! *Looking at the image zoomed out or squinting at it helps to see if our value structure works! I can tell from your other pieces that you already get most of this- and that you practice a lot! So I'm excited to see the improvement in future work!
Untitled 1
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gabriel grandi
@Josh Sunga , Man! Thanks A LOT! The Rex reeaallyyy popped out! And making the mountains longer? Sweet. I liked it a lot. Actually, the totality of critique is very spot on. Thanks. Also, thanks for the kind words, too! I've been practing a lot. hahahahahaha Since your a moderator, I want to say that I didn't quite expect to receive such good critiques from the members! It's nice to see a platform that works and an engaged community. I shall use proko2.0 more often now. :-D
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Art Anderson
Hi Gabriel. You have some beautiful rendering on these drawings. I love the moon pic. From what I can tell you are using to much mid tone. Like if you take a picture and edit it on your phone and remove the contrast. I am struggling with this as well in my color drawing but in reverse. To much contrast in the wrong places. I hope this help.
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gabriel grandi
Hey, @Art Anderson , how's it going, man? Thanks for the critique! And, well, you're right. hahahaha. I feel very unsecure on creating contrasts. I kinda want to make it, but I'm afraid to say "LOOK HERE, NOT THERE". I kinda don't understand the rules of the composition completely yet, but with your help and from the people here, I'm sure to get better! Thanks!
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Matthew Kuester
Hello Gabriel,   Your pieces caught my attention and I can see that you’re pushing yourself and I like what you’re going for here.   Dinosaur – It blends perfectly to the mountain background and you lose the focus. A lower perspective or smaller mountains would really help. Seeing the silhouette of the T-Rex against the sky would really pop and hold full attention. The dark rock in the lower left fights everything else for attention since it’s the darkest thing on the image. Very well rendered.   Moon Shrine – Great idea here. The moon would have more reflection in the water than you’re showing here, and I think it would be creating more rim lighting. This would also let you make some areas pop more by letting you highlight them.   Horse – another cool idea but I think the composition could use some adjusting. The huge block of dark keeps pulling the attention to the corner, and the viewer has to fight to notice the horse and other details. I would suggest losing the dark rock entirely and move the horse and lake closer to the center. Darken the kneeling figure and some of the details against the bright water to direct the viewer where they need to be.   Kneeling with Lantern – Another cool idea. But I don’t think there’s enough cast light from the lantern affecting the area around it. Some cool patterns on the ground and some up-lighting on the figure’s face could add some even more interesting mood to this piece. I can’t tell if the sword point is kind of in line with a creature or something in the background of the tree root. If it is it needs more detailing to make it pop, otherwise it needs to be more subdued because the shape draws attention, but the viewer can’t quite tell what it is.   Stag – I really like this idea, and I don’t think the positioning is too bad. But with the head down and the values close matching the lights of the grass and the darks of the background, the stag eats lost a little. The horns also kind of match to a tree and it takes a bit to sort out what’s going on here. If the stag’s head was raised it would pop much better off the dark trees.   Serpents – I can see what you’re going for here and think it in general good shape with perspective and composition. The sky is really great. I think the place where it’s falling down is in the scales. The human mind is a stickler for analyzing patterns and it’s not something you can make mistakes on perspective and shape. The back left really looks good. The middle one needs some adjustment in the lower half of the red scales, and it and the right one need some cleanup in the green patterns. But there’s a really good idea here and it flows very well.   Overall I would suggest that you think about contrast control in your values. Use high contrast to make things pop off each other, and be a little more sparing with the dark. The eye goes to high contrast and high value locations in a piece. This works hand-in-hand with composition as well, which just takes practice.   But you have some good rendering skills and some creative ideas. Keep refining and pushing. These are really good starting points that could become something great.
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gabriel grandi
@Matthew Kuester , Thanks A LOT for your critique and time! You are completely right about the contrast and values. I have to improve that. And the scales? Mannnn.... what a horrible thing to do. I should've gone for smaller scales, I think. It'd be a heck easier to render... I decided to go with bigger ones so I could study a technique I saw in a video... but... it was extremly hard to do since I still have some problems in seeing a 3d object in a 2d environment. But, I'll get there. :D And again: THANK YOU for your critique! I really didn't expect to receive such good critiques. :-D
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Julien
Nice analysis, it's very enlightening to read such explanations! In order to back up what Matthew said, I just want to say that I didn't even noticed the kneeling figure besides the horse by the lake before reading the critique. So yeah I guess it could use some more contrast! Great drawing skills anyway!
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Harmony Steel
Hi Gabriel :) your work is lovely and moody. I especially like the one with the man and his horse. I feel like they each have a story to tell and you could enhance that with colour and light. Take the man and horse for example - we are clearly looking over their shoulders as they are tucked away there in a hidden location, perhaps you could add heavier darker clouds in the top left corner to balance the composition and make them appear even more protected. I’d love to see it in colour if you ever feel like painting it :)
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gabriel grandi
@Harmony Steel , Thanks a lot for your critique and kind words! I shall keep in mind what you've said to me! :-D
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