CG Fairy - Feedback Please!

  • Hello all,

    I'm working on my first digital piece in a very long time, and it's taking me a while to get the hang of coloring it. This is still a work in progress, but I would like feedback on how it looks so far.

    This piece does contain some tasteful nudity - hopefully that's ok. I am linking to it off-site just in case.
    WIP - Fairy

    Any thoughts on the shading as it stands so far? I'm struggling with the mouse fur, and just how much contrast the piece should have overall. Thanks!

  • SVS OG

    Hello Karen - it looks very good so far - but you are looking for feedback so i will give you my impressions - it looks like it should be a light on dark situation for the fairy and mouse - the figures should read as lighter in value than the mushrooms - if you continue the core shadow down the stalk of the mushrooms this will help - but i think the more you do there the better - for instance the underside of the mushroom caps are not in shadow but the upper part of the stalks are - so i think you have a lot of room to darken these areas and make you characters pop - i think if you cut out the characters from the piece and work on the background without them there at first it will help a bit - also i would think about looking at dragon fly wings or some other wing and see how light hits the many cells on each wing and how translucent they are - you could put the wings on their own layer and reduce the transparency of the interior of the wings allowing the background to show through very nicely - other things that grab my attention would be the colors themselves and the water on the fairy - the way the water is rendered on the fairy gives the impression that she is she melting?...if not i think treating the water on the fairy more like you did on the mushrooms would help - changing the color of the water on her slightly will help a lot - also the water is not flowing down in some places but seems to favor the left - Lastly i think the color you have chosen are working against the piece in my opinion (i am not very good with color so forgive me if i am off on this) - it looks to me that the local colors you have chosen are all of the same value - as though in the color picker you slid the hue bar only and did not change the amount of white or black in the color - this is flattening everything out a bit - the colors themselves also have a mood to them and the mood of this piece is very somber and a bit hopeless - these colors are what one of my instructors called death colors - they just kind of bring you down when you look at them - so i think if you do not want a somber piece you could maybe leave your local color on the mid -tones but move to a warmer hue as you go to the highlights on top of the figure - .....last random though would be to add rain in behind and between the mushrooms perhaps at a smaller scale and less sharply to show it is coming down behind the mushrooms..... I think your piece is nice - nudity hopefully will not bother folks in an art environment (that would be sad) .....I think the fur on the mouse is really well done....hope this was not an irritating critique - especially the death colors thing - i struggled with whether or not to say it that way but it is what came to my mind and i am trying to give my honest (and admittedly subjective) reactions in the forums 🙂 - i am really looking forward to seeing where you go with this piece! -

  • @RoamingClover I agree with everything Kevin had suggested earlier and will add my two cents. I feel like rain drops in the sky do not need to be indicated in order to give the view the impression it is raining. I have never observed individual water drops in the air while it is raining.Take a look at how other artists have solved this problem.

    I feel the composition needs to be pushed more. Having the fairy directly centered in the image makes it boring. You need to work on ways to move the eye around the image. with the forest floor there can be numerous elements that you can use to direct the eye. Consider using blades of grass and rocks beyond the mushrooms. You can make the mushrooms more dynamic by adding more tilt to the tops.

    As far as the fairy is concerned, the arms look a bit muscular for what is depicted as a very delicate and feminine creature. Don't emphasize the deltoids as much and round the shoulders more.

    Story: I want this image to tell a story. It is not doing that at the moment. Why is the fairy sitting on the ground in the rain. What is the mouse there for. I think it could be stronger conceptually if the mouse was sheltering her from the rain with something from the forest floor. Or maybe they are huddled together under the mushroom cap to get out of the rain. Your first step should be to get the story to read in the image, then you can work on rendering and lighting.

    Oh, and it makes it easier to critique if the image is uploaded directly into your post rather than using a link. That way you can more easily refer to the image as you are providing feedback.

  • Wow, very thorough critique, thank you both! My intention was just to have both the characters sheltered together from the rain. I felt the fairy needed a fellow forest-dweller there to make it more interesting. But compositionally it does need work, and I realize they don't quite look "under" the mushrooms.Also, thanks for the tips on referencing dragonfly wings for texture.

    So much to work on with my anatomy, lighting, and overall storytelling. Art is never done!

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