Serious critique requested - Halloween Feast submission

  • Hey all! I was in the final 16 yesterday which I was really excited about! But I missed out on a critique as things were moving pretty fast at one point. I would love to get some feedback - I feel like Iโ€™m moving forward but slowly and any pointers or advice any of you might have would be hugely welcomed. Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Hi Ruth, Congratulations on getting to the top 16. I really liked this piece particularly the contrast of the gloomy outside and the colourful explosion.

    I think all the pieces where shown a bit darker on the critique video than when I look at it now.
    When I saw it in the critique video struggled to see the werewolf. You could try a bit of light on his back so he reads or just brighten it up behind him slightly so you can see his silhouette.

    I also was confused by the expression of the left hand witch. You might have intended it this way. I realised looking at it again that she is disappointed that she got the potion wrong which I did not quite get when I first looked at it. The others are all scared and running away and recoiling from the cauldron where as she seems unaffected by looking into the cauldron. Her dropped eyelids make her look a bit bored and her pose contrasts the other energetic poses.
    Could she be looking in scared while arching back trying to stay as far away from the cauldron as possible or peering through her hand to see or shielding her eyes with the spoon?

    Just some ideas. Great to see your work.

  • @seelliott Thanks so much for taking the time to give me some feedback.

    Yes the whole image seemed a lot darker when I uploaded it as a jpg than it looked in photoshop, and I thought afterwards that I should have taken the time to brighten it up a bit, or at least certain elements! Its a good point about the werewolf, he is a bit lost.

    I see what you mean about the witch on the left. My idea was that it was a bit of an 'uh oh' moment for her, but I struggled with her expression. I think you're right about her pose being more energetic and in keeping with the other characters. I'll experiment a bit with that and see how it changes the dynamic.

    Thanks again! ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™

  • @seelliott I've just realised the little pumpkin mice were yours. I really loved this piece! It was one of my favs!

  • Just thinking about perspective, it looks like our eye level is at the witches' knees, so the vampire running toward us should also have his knees around our eye level.

  • @ruth thank you. I was really pleased to make the top 16!

  • Hi Ruth, i really like your concept, i think it reads well and you have super funny designs on the objects and animals coming from the pot.
    The picture might profit from some more consistant light (depending on light direction, material and local color of the objects and their distance). For instance matt black dresses of the witches would stay almost the same value even hit by a strong light. The skin and reflective objects otherwise would get much more affe ted. This could help to get some stronger silhoulettes and value structure and better read. (Did a little color scribble over your nice picture to see what i meant)


  • Hi @ruth, great piece! I agree with others and think more reflected light on the witches would brighten the image up.

    Congratulations again on making Sweet 16, it was my first time making it too and you knocked me out of the race! Itโ€™s tough out there!

  • @marek-halko I like how they pop off the lighter background

  • SVS OG

    @ruth Fun concept. my main critique would be that this piece is too dark. @marek-halko makes a great point on how you could fix your lighting and values.

  • It's a really great piece, but looking at it at first, I got confused by the witch on the right side. Especially her hand covering the face, I couldn't see at first which direction her face is looking at. I think it's because the colour of her green hand, green face and green hair (or really thin dark hair on green face), are of the pretty much the same value. I think the advice with the lighting could also help with this.

  • @marek-halko oh wow! Thank you! This looks great. Yes I see what you mean about the light and separation - the dark witches definitely read better against the lighter background.

    I love your work by the way, and congratulations for winning this month!

  • @Jeremy-Ross Thank you. Yes, it's incredibly tough! There's so much amazing work each month. Congratulations to you too!
    I'm trying to focus on a much lighter, brighter piece this month ๐Ÿ™‚

  • @ruth thank you๐Ÿ˜Š! There is for sure more ways how to play with the light (to serve the story), using silhoulettes helps a lot usually. I like actually how dark and desaturated everything than the light is, i think it helps the story. Maybe even keeping it dark and pushing color in the light/lid areas like this could be ok. Anyway really funny picture๐Ÿ™‚!


  • @seelliott, @Matthew-Oberdier, @marek-halko, @Jeremy-Ross, @Nyrryl-Cadiz, @TamaraDomuzin Thank you for all your great comments, advice and suggestions. Really helpful and very much appreciated. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I would echo what a lot of others have said about it being too dark. Something else Iโ€™d like to point out though is the brush work you used on the characters. It looks like you used an airbrush tool and these tools are very easy to get sucked into because they can easily smooth out changes in value. This can be a bit of trap, it can cause you to over render and in this case it doesnโ€™t with the rendering style of the rest of the image. On the podcast and in critiques they have talked about avoiding this airbrushed look because it often just causes problems and everything ends up looking too soft and doesnโ€™t create much interest for the viewer.

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