September 3rd Thursday - Charly Critique

  • I have taken this as far as I am able and would love any advice/ideas for improvement. Thanks in advance for the help!

  • Well done, I think you need to create some depth with your image. Try and add to atmospheric prospectiv=e.

  • SVS OG

    Looking very good Thrace ! if i am looking for things to add though, my eye is drawn to the mostly local color of the fairies and elves (especially their clothing)- i have exactly one digital painting under my belt so hear what i have to say with that in mind 🙂 - i think the local color is causing the figures to look a bit like cutouts - the light from the fire is very yellow i thing that the local on the objects that are exposed to the light should go to the warmer end of the color spectrum - it looks like you did this in some places ..the elf face the and the light from the will-o'-the-wisp one one of the fairies....i don't think a yellow wash will work ..but maybe with one of the layer types it would. it looks like there is a bit of this happening in the foreground with the log that the elf is siting on - the brightest bit though is hovering in front of the log and should be on it i think - it may also be good to add a bit of coolness to the sides of object/figures that are facing away from the light... i think this is true in daylight (blue bounce light from sky) but not sure at night...i do recall a Great painter saying cool shadows take the life out of a painting though..Nathan Fowkes was it? i am confused a bit about this....also the light from the lantern is lighting the core of the tree but not the edge..i thing it should be the other way around ..maybe there should be subtle small pools of light on the the ground blow the will-o'-the-wisps (that get less saturated as they recede)- Love the tilt of the dogs head! - i think the fire is a great opportunity to increase the contrast of things - i think basically there should be more and less light - more light where there is a light source - less where there is none - i would make sure to lose some detail in places so you can to add depth and focal points(see john singer sergeant...portraits with huge pools of black and areas with zero detail...powerful stuff) -..another thing i see is that the detail behind the singing fairy is an area of high contrast and draws the eye to this low res image it is hard to tell but i think it is a missing branch. lastly the oval of darkness on that same tree does not have depth and is distracting...i would throw a layer over all of this and go crazy with it...go much farther than you think is right with the contrast and dial it back with opacity - then if you like it you can go back and apply it to the painting more carefully.... But overall it is a good composition and the singer is singing and the dancers are dancing!!! -

  • Thanks Kevin for all the detailed advice. I don't have any formal training so I have so much to learn! I am going to try tomorrow to go through your advice one step at a time and see if I can change things. Thanks so much for taking your time to give me so much information!
    Thank you Steve for your advice as well!

  • No problem, if you need any advice just drop me a line.

  • This I went to draw over your image a bit, and I hope you don't mind. This what I would do.

  • @Naroth-Kean thank you so much for drawing over it! I just don't know these things and have not spent enough time watching the videos, so this is really helpful! I had an owl in that hole but didn't like it and just haven't figured out how to cover it up with all the different layers I have going on. I might ask you some more questions tomorrow when I can think better if you don't mind.

  • @Steve-Young I sure will if you really don't mind.

  • sure thing 🙂 let me know if u want to know how i changed your background color and brightness without painting over or repaint it (just thought you might not aware of the trick).

  • You did a good job with all these characters and costumes. Very challenging! thumbs up

  • @Naroth-Kean yes please, I would love to know how you did it. Do you think it still has a nightime feel with the sky so light? I wanted it to feel mystical.

  • Oh I like this very much. Just work on the lightning as suggested by @Naroth-Kean, its so nice of him to help you find the best way!

  • @Leontine-Gaasenbeek thank you very much!! And yes it was so nice of him to help me and I really appreciate it and your confirmation of it.

  • @Steve-Young can you please give me more details on how you would create more depth in my illustration. Thanks!

  • @Thrace-Shirley-Mears You've got so many great elements in here. I really like the feel of it. It felt mystical right away, and I think lightening the background actually adds to that. I really like the textures you've drawn in on the bark and especially on the wings. This reminds me of a time as a teenager where I was walking in the forest at night and suddenly found myself in a clearing full of fireflies. It was so magical.

    I've done a little draw-over on top of @Naroth-Kean's.

    • I really like the fairy in the front, so I made her bigger (Lasso tool to trace her, cut and paste onto a new layer, then resize to make her larger). I added another linked layer on top of that (new layer, then alt-click on the layer to link it-- learned this from the Drawing Fur video) then set it to multiply and brushed over with the same brown from the tree to darken her. Then I erased away the places where the light hit her, so she would still pop. This creates more overlapping and, I think, that depth that people were mentioning.

    • I also cut the tree trunk off off the right side and moved it to the left. This altered the composition a bit, so that the fairy and Charly are both hitting points in the Rule of Thirds (I had been hearing about this for years, but it was the Composition class which really nailed it for me).

    • Finally, I cut the elf/gnome guy out and moved him a bit to the left, so that he was less in line with Charly.


    I hope I explained the photoshop tricks well enough (and didn't annoyingly over-explain)!

  • @Maile-McCarthy thank you so much for all you have done!! I think it looks really good but it is so small I can't see it very well. Can you make it bigger? I tried but I can't.

  • Here is my update, any better?

  • that looks a lot better with the light hitting the surrounding I would look into adding some shadows to the character in the foreground, like shadow of her arm hitting her wings etc, right now she appears to be a bit flat to me. I was able to find the tutorial on youtube that I exactly use for my color changing method. Here I hope you find it helpful.

  • Thank you so much! You think the background should be lighter still and will it still look like night?

  • the background can be that color and it's fine but I would want to see those trees in the background change color as well, I would recommend blue green tree. If you look at the image I drew over you can see those trees in the background are actually different color. it helps to produce a mood and sense of depth.

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