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Alright hon I did a redline! [link]

On Wings

Of the things that really stand out to me, the wings strike me as too rounded and formless and are a bit distracting. Giving the wings a more structured form with attention paid to the bone structure of the 'wing arms' will help bring dimension and volume to them. You WANT them to look as if they are projecting forward to embrace Sruarg (or at least I think having them do this will help bring more intimacy to the piece).

Also, when wings project forward, the primary feathers will spread a bit, which also adds drama, volume, and flow to the image. You can even add more foreshortening and bending to the feathers for a nice touch. I've left them kind of flat still in my redline.

On Posing

I've changed the angle of their arms a good bit as it feels like they're a little too tightly wound together at the moment. It seems as if Sruarg is hanging by her neck with Rubin hugging his head closely to her cheek, which takes away from the intimate warmth I feel you're trying to get across in this piece. As it stands, it feels more overpowering than affectionate, but this may also be a personal preference?

By having his hand touch her face, you add more of a connection between the two, just as their wrapped fingers on the right side also act as a point of intimacy and connection. By pushing Rubin's head back and showing more of her softened expression, you allow the viewer to connect more with the emotions in this piece, which seem to be muffled by tight posing. Pay attention to those hands, especially! Weaving fingers together can be such a strong conveyor of emotion. Might be something you can try here?

On Anatomy

I'm sure my suggestions are far from perfect here. The foreshortening is very challenging in this piece! I've found a couple of references of males with raised arms that might help:


Mainly work on the foreshortening of their arms and remember that she is behind him and therefore he is reaching back to touch her while she is reaching forward, meaning there'd be some foreshortening for them to be able meet in the middle. Also beware of making his legs too rounded, which makes them feel slightly boneless.

In addition, remember that no matter how muscular a man is, when his arms are stretched upwards, it's going to flatten out and tense the pecs so there wouldn't be such a pronounced muscular line on the bottom of them unless his arms were relaxed at his sides OR he is tensing them by raising his arms only part of the way. That's when you have to use the location of the man-nipples to get the idea of the muscle's volume and placement across.

This is good reference for lifted arms and pecs :pointr: [link]

I gotta say though, your abs are killer and I wouldn't change a thing about them!

On Composition

Sssst! Where there's fire and ice, there's gonna be steam! I've added a swirl around the figures to give the composition more sweeping motion and also to emphasize the elements they're both connected to. I can see it being a swirl of flame turning blue where it meets Sruarg's ice? Maybe with rivelets of steam circling around them?

I've also added a transition into ice on Sruarg's feet (which adds somewhat to the symbolism of him being 'freed' by Rubin, which is a sense I'm getting. I could be wrong!). Adding the ice on his feet also covers up the pesky difficulty of drawing the feet and adds more visual interest to balance the bottom of the piece.

I've also added a windswept aspect to Rubin's hair to emphasize the upward motion of the swirly fire/steam around them. Can't forget about hair! It can convey the invisible force of wind and power that moves through and around a character.

I really am looking forward to how you finish this! These two make for a lovely couple and this picture has sooo much potential. Go for it! I can't wait to see it done.:)
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JudithMayr Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
.... would you please GET THE HELL OUT OF MY HEAD!

Seriously, you pinpointed just about every idea that was in the back of my mind and that I hadn't yet added because I wanted to get the poses and the anatomy down before I delve into the details. Starting with the ice freezing up his legs and going right to the clasped hands.

So yes... out of my head missus! Get back to your own demented brainchildren :P

As for the redline - thank you, thank you, thank you! That one is insanely helpful because you went at pretty much everything that bothered me and that I couldn't quite pin down. The only thing I'll still have to meddle with a bit is the pose of Rubin's head. I'm not entirely happy with it yet but I'll work it out! Just be prepared for me to jump at you again for more pointers if necessary *tackle hugs*
AngelaSasser Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
ahah I'm in yer head, nommin yer characters. :D

I'm totally excited to help out so feel free to come to me any time for tips.:)
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