Critique on WIP "A Robot Grows" - Updated

  • Below is the original post, but here is the almost completed final version, I will still definitely take critiques and advice but I most likely won't edit this further until the weekend, taking a break and starting another piece!


    So moving on from a quick piece I did last week I wanted to take the robot character I created and do something better with him. This is one I'm taking my time on and wanting to get just right, trying to give the background a red wasteland feel and the robot/plants a cooler green blue. This is just my rough stages still so far but I would like to see what kind of critique I could get from some people. I don't plan on cluttering the image with too much but I do have a few more things for the foreground I have sketched up just not on this current phase.

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  • I would suggest exploring different options as far as poses and angles go. I find the placement of things and the pose to be awkward, with phallic connotations. Perhaps a 3/4 pose, with one of the legs down would work. If you'd like to stick to this pose, I'd suggest darkening the areas behind the plant considerably. You could make the plant glow, but put less emphasis on the pelvis and torso, for sure.

  • @tessw I normally notice that kind of thing too, but I didn't this time around. I'll play around with a slight change to perspective and see if I am happy with a change to the angle, or perhaps even bring one leg to its knee so its like a half kneel.
    I did however plan on doing a glow coming from the hands, where the blue is at, and then adding a few other effects to show that the robot is growing the plant. If I do that I will definitely darken up the bottom areas and put more emphasis on the top of the plant.

    Thanks for the feedback Tess!

  • @TessW I'm not the greatest with character poses yet so I went and did a quick go over of how I would change it by making his bottom area darker, and putting the glow on the hands. Just a rough mockup to kind of get an idea of it, and this is the change I came up with. Also adjusted the hands so I would fix them up a bit more too. 0_1500396310994_A-Robot-Grows.jpg

  • @jason-kilthau While the new image is a bit of an improvement, I think it is still lacking in dynamics. For one, you have everything pretty much centered and symmetrical. The robot's pose needs more action and emotion. To me, he looks more like he is warming his hands by a fire rather than growing a plant.I have uploaded a few very rough poses that I think would work better in this image. Hope this helps!


  • @tombarrettillo Thank you very much these poses help! I think I'm actually going to use the one on the right here. And this is where I'm happy all the limbs are on separate layers. Thanks again! I'll see if I can get an update posted here before work.

  • One more thing I forgot to mention. Maybe make the plant a small new shoot. Would add more drama to the story. nd maybe make the glow light yellow to represent the sun.

  • Okay so I adjusted the pose a bit, I do actually like it a lot more, and I brought forward the two other things I plan to paint in (not including my background) and with this pose I will get to practice shading for perspective/figure distortion of sorts, so his kneeling leg looks farther back and the hand on the ground as well.


  • Much better. I was gong to say the right arm needs to be in front of the leg, but I did the pose myself, and it works, but you need to point the right leg a bit more forward. I suggest you take a photo of yourself in this pose to help with position and angles. And not to continue to focus on the crotch area, but you have the small leaf on the right in an odd place. For the sake of the scene, I would focus on just the taller plant.

  • Thank you for the pose feedback! I'll be working on it tonight after work and in the morning so I will post another update.. As for the leaf, your comment made me laugh. I will most likely just move both the smaller ones up to the bottom of the larger one.
    Thanks again!

  • Good job on being willing to explore options. I would watch the tangent of the leaf on his pelvis. It reminds of those fig leaves that people started putting on the pelvises of classical statues.

    What I would recommend when exploring poses for paintings, is that you actually get into the poses yourself and act out the scene if you need to.

  • Haha, Tom beat me to the leaf placement issue.

  • Thank you @TessW I generally look for reference photos online but perhaps I'll start posing myself as well so I can actually feel if its awkward or not myself.

  • I really like the idea for this piece. My suggestion for this would be to tone down the red in the sky, it draws the eye because red is such a hot color. It makes the viewer think the sky is more important than the plant. But perhaps you will make the plant stand out another way as you work on this, like with more detail. Just a thought. I like the design of the robot as well.

  • @rhirsch Thank you for the feedback on the sky, I will keep this in mind as I continue to work on the piece. I plan to add some dark clouds to cover up the red so hopefully that will help tone it down too.

  • OK so here is the progress so far in the new pose. I am still working on the robot and his proportions/coloring. I plan to darken his lower part more. I am taking a break for a couple days to visit some family so maybe while I am gone I can sketch some things to take up the blank spaces I marked. But I also have to work on the trees in the back still. Though I feel like the hills will pretty much stay as they are. 0_1500582964586_A-Robot-Grows.jpg

  • Final piece (until I saw the amazing below critique!), also updated original post. I would still like critiques and advice, but I won't be editing this further until the weekend.

  • SVS OG

    Great job Jason. My critique/advice is keep pushing the contrast and pay attention to shadows and light. You picked a challenging concept, as you have two very strong light sources. The sunset, and his hand. The mountains and the trees should get lighter and less saturated as they get farther away from us. The things closest are darkest and most saturated. The sunset should be causing some strong cast shadows.
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    His beam would also be casting some strong shadows and highlights
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    I did a rough paint over to show give you an idea of what I mean. I hope it helps!

  • @stringfellowart this is fantastic feed back. Thank you! I have a sketch for a piece I am starting next that will run with a similar background but it will be cooler instead of warm, I will definitely keep this in mind. And I like your touch up a lot so I think I just might revisit this one and make some more adjustments in the near future.

  • SVS OG

    @jason-kilthau Great, you are welcome! Also, you could work on the depth of the eye. I wasn't sure if it was also emitting light, if its not it will reflect the light
    0_1500951983668_robot eye.jpg

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