Traditional Piece Critique

  • Hi everyone! I'm new here and I wanted to share this piece I did this at the beginning of September. I really like it overall, but I feel like there are some things missing that I'm not seeing, especially regarding the lights and shadows. I'd love to hear your thoughts/critiques! lotw_Xsmall.jpg

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    Hey there, welcome to svs! We are so glad to have you with us.

    This is a tricky one to critique, but I have some general info that you can think about. In painting in a stylized/realist way, you really have your work cut out for you. Some things should be stylized (like the lack of lighting and shape control) and other things are more realistic (like anatomy and detail shapes). So you have to know what you are doing and which way to lean (style vs. real) when picking colors and values.

    Right now it's sort of in the middle. Not quite stylized enough and not realistic enough yet either. So you need to decide. If you are going to go for a more realistic approach, adding lighting and shadow with a better value balance would be a good place to start. If you are going a stylistic route, things like enhancing shape and pattern could be the way to go.

    I can't help but think of the painter Audrey Kawasaki when I see your painting. If you don't know of her, she is definitely living in your world and she is a master at it. Here's her website and some images to use as inspiration (that means steal what she is doing that is working).

    Good luck!


    itwasyou_lj.jpg inside_me_still_sml1.jpg cocoon_sml.jpg 429174_10150548726067749_312984835_n.jpg undermoon_sml.jpg

  • @Lee-White Thank you so much! I love Audrey Kawasaki's work! I definitely see what you mean about stylized versus realistic and is something that hadn't ever occurred to me before. I'll go back and work on this one and try to stylize it!

  • I am liking the style of this image, but the biggest thing that is bothering me in this is the anatomy. No mater how stylized an image, the anatomy has to make sense and give a sense of volume. On the figure on the left the area where the pectoral muscle inserts into the arm is off due to the volume of the ribcage not being maintained. My suggestion would be to draw in the volumes of the underlying bone structure and think how the muscles wrap that volume. Study anatomy more and understand the insertion points of the muscles. Find references and draw from them. Until you get the drawing to work, other pieces such as lighting and color will not make for a better image. I think the artists that are successful in this style of work have a great understanding of anatomy and play up the natural rhythms of the body.

  • @seanwelty Thank you! I agree, there's some wonky stuff going on with the anatomy. I try to use references as often as possible but honestly I don't know much about the skeletal or muscular structure and will definitely do some studies on those.

  • If you want to learn anatomy I can suggest 2 sources. Watch Glen Villpu's videos which can be accessed with a subscription to new masters academy and you can watch Proko's videos on YouTube. Proko is probably the the best presented videos I have seen. I still have a lot lot of practice ahead of me, but I have studied enough to be somewhat proficient in life drawing. I still struggle in inventing poses.

  • I'll go watch some of Proko's videos! Thank you for the suggestions!

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