Windy Summer 🌻 Critique my portrait study
Hi everyone. I just finished this recent photo study. I'm very proud how it turned out, and I would appreciate any critique. My goal in the future is to make a living from my art, so I'm always pushing my skills. Photo Ref is attached below. Thanks!
Wow, really wonderful! The head in particular is really gorgeous. A few suggestions: - Look out for overstating reflected light. - Watch your edges! In addition to paying attention to edge variety like Yiming said, but also watching the drawing where things overlap. In some cases there doesn't seem to be clear decision where things start and end. Make sure you're really clear on that—particularly where multiple things overlap. Once you're clear on it, you can make a decision on how sharp or soft it should be. In a sense, you get clear on it for yourself, and then make a decision about how much you want the viewer to see that edge. Don't be afraid to hide a few with really soft or lost edges! But—don't just use soft or lost edges to fudge your understanding of the form. An example of an area that isn't fully resolved is where the shirt sleeve overlaps the arm, which in turn is in front of the other arm. - Make sure you're turning the form. For example, you know that arms are generally cylinders. So, in the form light you'd expect it to get lighter as it travels away from the terminator towards the light-most-facing-plane. But then it will darken again as it approaches the edge opposite the terminator. It's often quite subtle, but without it things will look flattened and boxy. That's what's happening on the right edge of her right arm. - On a related note, watch for halftones next to the terminator. Both arms are missing them, and it's also making them look boxy and flat. - Look for opportunities for ambient occlusion shadows. There are a bunch of small ones that can make a nice difference. - The cloth at the top is confusing to the viewer compositionally. It's not really clear what it is. It's there in the ref, but even there I find it confusing. What exactly is happening? In your piece it either needs to have enough detail that the viewer can resolve what exactly it is. And even then, narratively it won't make a ton of sense. Another option would be to just get rid of it, and not distract the viewer from the subject and your lovely rendering of her. I did a quick paintover, and also some notes. Hope this helps!
Cool! I like how you actually painted the picture with a correct white balance in mind as the reference is certainly too yellow. And the glow is very nicely handled :D If I must say some critiques I would think the edges are a bit too similar. You could bring some softer and lost edges to them, also some real hard edges in the sharp shapes around the eye and some hair strands. Otherwise the image feels just a little bit "stitched" together. This hard edge makes the figure pop against the background but it could use some blending especially around the neck and hair areas so it's more like those parts are connected rather than pasted?