Value studies for fantasy illustration



  • Hi everyone,
    I need your input on something I'm working on
    I have been commissioned to make a fantasy illustration. My rough sketch is done and I have done a few value studies. I tend to go for 3 or 4 but still hesitate on the value for the fairy at the front. In the end, the main character has to be the hunter and I'm afraid that the same value for the 2 characters would make them compete. What do you think?
    0_1484774582917_value-studies.jpg



  • Hi Audrey! First of all I want to say I love your composition. How you treated foreground, middle and background make the sketch very inviting to look at.
    I can imagine version 4 would work very nice.
    Have you tried to mirror the piece? I can imagine to follow the hunters eyes while reading from left to right to finally find the dragon might also be a nice option.



  • @audrey-dowling definitely number 4, but also try to tie the two characters together. Either with some carefully placed clouds, or some shape cues etc. Nice piece.



  • good points, thanks for your advice



  • Wonderful composition I love it, I like 3. I was trialing a quick way to paint values, not sure if it came from an SVS video I watched a long time ago, or somewhere else. I put a multiplied toned layer over my sketch and erase at different opacities, I really like it , anyway wanted to share that.



  • @audrey-dowling What a fantastic sketch!

    I agree with posts above and would go with value option 4 if it were my painting. I'd definitely use color to push the fairy out of the ivy, and maybe even tie her colors in with the hunter's colors.



  • Before reading what anyone said or what you posted 3 popped out first to me. So I like option 3 the most. 🙂



  • I think four, because not too many competing focal points. Easier to read.



  • Hi! here's my final sketch after I edited the values in photoshop
    it's hard to stick to the value study, especially with the hunter against the fields...
    what do you think? would you do anything differently?
    0_1485176990026_sketch.jpg



  • here's where I am so far... (don't mind the skin swatches, I forgot to hide the layer ^_^ )
    this is my most ambitious project in terms of digital painting so far. I can feel the sweat!
    but I can already see that it won't be as good as I would like it to be... 😕
    0_1485987086581_dragon-hunter.jpg



  • I think it is looking fantastic, keep sharing!



  • This is really beautiful. Wonderful job so far.



  • @audrey-dowling Dont give up. Keep at it. Everything is digital so you can go back and forwards as much as you like.



  • looking good so far. keep going.



  • @audrey-dowling Hello Audrey - this is a really nice image! I think for me I would like to see the scale of the main character change just to see how it might look - if she were twice a large as she is now it would bring her face up into the area where clouds would be her backdrop - this would give a nice "dark on light" and help establish her as the main focal point in the circular composition - I think you did a very nice job on the figure and her hands for sure but one thing that keeps grabbing my eye is the position of her left hand on the bow which seems stiff somehow and does not look natural - I would shoot a quick reference photo of a volunteer and have them assume this pose but hold the bow in a comfortable manner - I think it is because the bow is straight up and down and away from her body that it has a strange feel to it - this piece really is looking great though so feel free to ignore 🙂



  • @Kevin-Longueil you're right Kevin, I will try your ideas, thanks (bloody hands give me a hard time every time!)



  • I don't like the proportions if I make the hunter big enough so the head reaches the clouds
    0_1486118158214_dragon-hunter2.jpg

    but I can make her slightly bigger and put a fog on the trees in the background. I kind of like that, as the trees were too "visible" to my liking before. it goes against my value study though...
    0_1486118234091_dragon-hunter3.jpg

    what do you think?



  • Cool image.
    I would say your concern is right on, about the two competing figures being the same value. I am guessing you want the hunter to stand out more than the fairy. I would draw more attention to the hunter, make her stand out more and blend the fairy more into the leaves surroundings her.



  • @audrey-dowling I do like it with the scale change and the value change behind her face for sure 🙂



  • This is really beautiful work! You've got mad drawing skills, and the crosshatched style, depth, and color pallet is really storybook feeling and detailed.

    I think one way you might make the image feel more cohesive and bring some focus to the composition would be to structure your values a little more dark(foreground) to light(background). Someone else pointed out that the values on the main character and the fairies are similar and they do kind of compete for your eye. What about bringing the fairies more into the foreground and using some rim light to help define the layers of depth a little more? I played with it a little just to see what I could get with a few value changes. Hope this is helpful, it's really beautiful work whichever direction you decide!!!

    0_1486171709501_Untitled-1.jpg