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Greetings Concepteez!

First a quick note to mention that Shimmering-Sword our very own guru of future military tech. has succeeded in getting funding for his kickstarter project: The Protectorate Wars!!! Clap  
A big congrats to Shimmy and a huge thank you to everyone who helped support him. If you aren't a supporter yet not to worry! There are stretch targets to hit too so go check it out. :D 

The ConceptWorld team have always been clear that one of the main reasons we continue to dedicate our personal time to running this group is to inspire and help every single member develop their craft as artists.  It's a tough business, learning how to do this art thing, and getting feedback specific to your work is essential but hard to come by especially if you are learning in a non-formal environment.  To date we have been providing critiques to anyone who has asked us while submitting their work for inclusion in the galleries. It seemed a shame that we were only helping one person at a time and couldn't reach out to more people. Thus spawned the idea of the CritStop.

The CritStop is a regular post where I will pick one or two pieces that have been submitted to us recently and provide what I hope will be a critique that will be useful to the artist and for others as well.  So keep an eye out on our journals it might be a piece of yours that gets called into the CritStop! 

*Note: as this is the first critstop post I went a bit OTT so it's fairly long but it has a lot of useful info in it, so please persevere. I will work on trimming down the length of posts in the future  :D 

Narholt submitted this piece and asked:
"May I ask for feedback...? Recently all my works are getting declined and I'm wondering what's the reason. Are they weaker than before in some aspects?...critique would be very appreciated."
Incoming snowstorm by Narholt
First to answer the question on gallery entry. Several months ago we decided to "raise the bar" for entry to the galleries. We view entry into the galleries as a challenging but totally achievable benchmark for all members to aspire to. We had started to see more pieces getting in that were demonstrating poor fundamentals which are absolutely key to becoming a good artist so to keep the benchmark we firmed up the criteria for the quality of work that was to get in. 
Quality here doesn't mean you have to submit a super high definition flawless render or a painting that would have made DaVinci snap his brushes and take up shoe shining. This is concept art after all. It does mean we look closely at whether the work exhibits a good understanding of all the basic fundamentals applied well to create a successful unique concept design overall.  

So having pieces accepted in the past doesn't necessarily mean you will get a free pass to being accepted in the future. Each piece is judged on its own merit. We challenge you all to keep pushing your boundaries and never settle!

Enough blabbing, on to the crit. 
I did a paintover to try and address the main issues.  
Critstop01 Narholt final by M0nkeyBread

Composition and thumbnail readability

Getting your image to "read" immediately with no effort at a small size is a good way of analysing the success of your efforts. When painting you can use a navigator window or a smaller duplicated instance of your canvas on screen that allows you to look at the image on the whole without getting bogged down in the detail. 

Critstop01 Narholt Thumbs by M0nkeyBread

Overall I think Narholt's concept was fairly well defined as it is pretty clear what is going on. However in general I felt it fell fairly flat as an image for a few reasons.
By analysing the thumbnail and then the full image the main issues I identified were:
  • The composition whilst heading in the right direction, needed to be more dynamic and have a better flow to it. 
  • The main focal points needed adjustment in terms of placement and relative value.
  • The scale of the environment needed to be clearer.
  • There were lighting inconsistencies, contrast issues in the main rock formation and the sky was way too dark. The value range overall was making the image look quite flat.
  • The figure's proportions and pose needed work.
  • The colour palette was lacking vibrancy.
  • The weather effects needed to be more dynamic.


Composition and Dynamic focal points


The rule of thirds is incredibly useful because it just works.  Narholt clearly applied the idea of the rule of thirds to this piece with the cave entrance and warrior being placed on thirds points but I felt that tweaks could be made to make it more balanced and flow better. The temptation with rule of thirds is to just pick all your focal points from a canvas that has been divided into thirds, once. This can work but it can also end up leading to a pretty static composition.  The image below shows how I divided up the canvas to determine the new focal point arrangement.

Critstop01 Narholt FocalPoints by M0nkeyBread

It is a method I use often for full scene illustrations like this one. Once the first focal point is determined (in Green) you don't stop there but keep dividing the canvas up into smaller successive blocks using the rule of thirds to pick secondary and tertiary focal points. This may be clearer by looking at the different coloured grids which show how I picked each point (numbered 1, 2, 3).  The reason for doing this is that by picking more than one focal point you create movement around the image and get more variety in the positioning of these points. By using a rule of thirds grid each time, you can be sure that the subdivisions will work as mini compositions in themselves.   
The white dashed line shows the general movement that will be created between the three focal points.  Note that they are all at differing depths in the image as well.  After this was set up the whole composition was painted to aid these points and the flow between them.


Scale


I didn't get a clear sense of scale from the original image especially around the cave. Was it something she would have to crawl into on hands and knees or a giant cavern?  I decided to go for a cave entrance that was a bit larger than a person and push it into the distance a bit more. I made the rocks more imposing as a feature by extending them off into the distance and off the canvas so they looked like part of a larger ridge. Don't be scared to go off canvas with your subject matter. It can help to add a sense of scale and imply there is more to the environment than just what is shown. 

Critstop01 Narholt caveentrance by M0nkeyBread

The level of detail around the cave was low in the original so it was hard to get scale cues. With some focused texture detailing at the cavern entrance the scale becomes a bit clearer.  Note the little tick marks indicating blobs of snow or ice. In focal areas it helps to use a smaller brush size and add indications of detail like these, because small marks really help draw focus and can imply scale. This could have been pushed even further given time



Value structure


Values are the most important thing to get right as they alone determine all the forms, the depth and overall read of any image. The first thing I noticed in Narholt's image was the value structure of the piece was making it seem flat. It seemed overly dark especially in the sky which was a very oppressive block in the composition. It was also blending in too much with the distant ground to create an undefined depth for the background. 
The large rock formations in Narholt's image were very high in contrast. A bit too high given the lighting conditions. Higher contrast tends to draw the most focus which is what I think he intended, but it also tends to bring things forward in space more.  

The image below shows the actual numbers of the darkest and lightest values in various spots on the canvas. The half circles show the actual colour picked. The black numbers are the darkest values in the area, the white numbers the lightest values. You can see that the warrior shares similar levels of dark value with the entire mid-ground mountains which in turn are only slightly darker than the background. if you look at the thumbnail again they almost read as if they are all at the same depth which was the main reason for the image appearing flat.

Critstop01 Narholt values by M0nkeyBread

In "real life" things tend to get much lighter and much lower in contrast the further away they are due to atmospheric perspective. Furthermore the darkest object with the most separation between high and low values (ie contrast) will gain prominence and come closer to the viewer.  The mountain peaks which have the highest contrast clearly draw the most focus, but they weren't in my mind the best primary focal point.

In my paintover I tried to create a gradual but clear separation in contrast and value range between the foreground the mid-ground and the background. For the mid-ground rocks I reduced the separation between the darks and lights to make sure they fit in the middle depth of the painting. I lightened the values of the sky substantially and reduced the contrast in relation to both the mid-ground and foreground elements. 

Critstop01 Narholt values2 by M0nkeyBread

I'm not going to explain in detail every difference but you can study the two images and values closer to figure out more about what's going on between the two. Basically in the paintover the further away the spot, the greater both the light and dark values get, and the less the difference between them. The focal points tend to get amongst the darkest and highest values overall, but also the greatest separation. 
The key thing to remember is that it is always a balance between the dark and light values and the separation between those values which determines where an object will sit in the painting and how much focus it gets.

Doing studies really helps your understanding of values but sometimes just using the colour picker tool to sample various areas in reference photos or master paintings like I've done here is a really useful thing to do on its own. It helps you understand how value (and saturation) works across an image without painting a thing.


Counterchange and overlap


Besides control of values you can use the ideas of counterchange and overlap to create the impression of receding depth. Narholt has used this to a degree but I felt it could be pushed. Counterchange is when something light is put in front of something dark or vice versa. By repeatedly overlapping layers of light areas with dark areas you can quickly create the impression of depth. You do have to keep in mind the contrast and values of objects at the depth you want them to be in as they recede but it is a very simple and effective technique.  

The two panels below are vertical slices of the original image next to the equivalent slice on the paintover to show how counterchange and overlap can go a long way to creating depth.
Untitled Drawing by M0nkeyBread


Design, shape language and repeating elements.


Design is often not given enough love in the race to gain rendering skill level ups. Technical ability is all well and good, but design is just as, if not more important for concept work.  Shape language is a design term for the basic shapes (circular, triangular, wavey, spikey etc) that predominantly make up anything. It's a simplification tool but it is important in conveying feeling too. Things that are spikey probably aren't going to be viewed as friendly, things that are rigid and cube-like like will imply structure and logic. There's more to a shape than meets the eye.  

So anyway, Narholt's shape language used large triangular spurs of rock that were fairly aggressive and unfriendly but perhaps a little bit too much so. This is a style choice of course so there was nothing wrong per se, but it was only around the cave area. In the paintover I refined his shape language a bit and also scattered it throughout the image in various scales, from the distant rocks and mountains to the smaller rocks in the foreground. This helps add interest and lend a sense of consistency to the design of a piece. 

Shape language applies to anything, objects, creatures and characters as well. You can use contrasting shape language to draw focus and suggest some fundamental difference as well. So think about the shape language before starting your next piece, repeat it around, use it at various scales, think about how to use opposing shapes, what emotions they convey. Don't go overboard but definitely be mindful of it.


Figure pose and proportions


Figures are always a good go-to to imply scale and add interest to environments. The downside to using figures is that everybody inherently know figures inside and out so if you don't nail them viewers of your work will know something is wrong. I thought Narholt's figure didn't have very accurate proportions, was awkwardly and stiffly posed and didn't have a sense of motion to it. Cutting her off at the knees didn't work for me in this situation either. 
Critstop01 Narholt figure by M0nkeyBread
I adjusted the proportions so her torso and limbs weren't so stretched and gave her a neck so it didn't look like she was shrugging. I made her pose more balanced and tried to imply she was in a still, but ready-for-movement stance. I also tried to use values to show depth changes and form within the figure itself. The same that applies for values overall, applies to within any object as well, so her far arm is lighter to show more atmosphere between it and us.  Nothing but lots of figure drawing and anatomy study will help you improve your figure skills. 

The cape wasn't very realistic in terms of its folds and movement so I tried to fix this. Reference is very useful for things like drapery because it is hard, without a lot of practice, to get this right straight out of one's head. I didn't go wild with detailing as I felt this was more about the environment than the character, but as she was one of the main focal points it certainly wouldn't go astray if that is what is wanted.


Colour Vibrancy

The original image I felt lacked in colour vibrancy. I can't go into detail about colour theory here, but using complementary colours in your work can help achieve this.  A quick way of tweaking images and getting a better palette to work with if things are looking a bit drab is to use the colour balance tool. 
The image shows an idea of what you can do by just slider pulling: (Note this was done in Gimp but the tool is pretty similar in Photoshop)

Critstop01 Narholt colourbalance by M0nkeyBread

You can easily make your shadows warmer, or bring more cools into your highlights, more warmth into the mid-tones or whatever you want. Understanding colour theory will help you get what you want to achieve, so if you've been putting it off, start studying. I recommend James Gurney's Color and Light book. It's cheap, easy to read and a one-stop shop for understanding, well, colour and light.



Movement and dynamic effects.


I felt the use of atmospheric effects in Narholt's image were a good idea to bring life to the environment but I wasn't really feeling the lightning. It wasn't adding a lot to the composition and actually added clutter to the image. I didn't think that you would even be able to see distant lightning in a blizzard so I left it out. For the snow I felt more movement would be better. 
I did the snow in two layers. The same technique can be used for rain.
  • For the small flakes: 
    • Fill a layer with black. 
    • Run a noise filter on it. 
    • Run a light gaussian blur over it all. 
    • Play with the curves tool to compress the value range so you get more distinct white points on a field of black. 
    • I put the layer on "Screen" but you can experiment with other modes. 
    • Motion blur the entire shebang or select portions to blur in various directions to get that sense of movement. You can also use the smudge tool at a large brush size to paint quick and dirty blurs over large portions of the snowflakes at once. 
    • Then simply use a mask or erase out where you want remove the snow where it interferes with the image too much.
The larger flakes were just a soft round brush with scatter applied to it which I dabbed a few strokes on a new layer with. Motion blurred, deleted, and value adjusted individual flakes until I got an arrangement that helped the composition.


In conclusion


I hope that this critique will help Narholt and others to push their next piece even further. I will be inviting the artists whose work I crit to submit any post-crit changes to me so I can add their "finals" to each post. It's ok if you don't want to work on a piece after the fact, but if you do it will help bring each critique full circle to post it here. 

Annnd done! Phew...

Have your say!


I realise I'm definitely going to have to do shorter crits from here on as I doubt I can keep up this amount of in depth exploration each week!   To help me make these posts leaner, meaner and more useful, please holler in the comments below on what you thought. What bits did you learn from the most (if any?!?) What would you prefer to see less of or more of? Were the technique tips more useful or the fundamental principles explanation?  

I would also like to really encourage everybody reading this to give their own critique to the artist if they feel I missed something or want to suggest another approach. Even the smallest observations can help.  I am a big believer in the pay it forward idea and I would like to encourage more people to help others out unasked for as it doesn't happen often enough. The community is what you make it so let's make it a happy helpy rainbow filled place of art joy.  :)

Keep Pushing you awesome artists!

Amit 
:iconm0nkeybread:
Add a Comment:
 
:iconellixus:
Ellixus Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Wow... I just love this new idea!!! I hope one of my works eventually gets picked for critique!!! ^^



I've been checking all the three works, ~Narholt's original work, :devM0nkeyBread:'s paintover and ~artificialguy's mood adjustment; and a few ideas popped into my head...

First, I can't help but think that drama is overrated... I mean, yes, if we put them all side by side, artificialguy's version is the one that most likely catches the eye first, but does it really tells the story it has to?

After reading the entry all the answers and taking a look at both new version I went back to the original work to see if Narholt had added some comment about it. First thing I noticed was the title of the picture: Incoming Snowstorm.
Now, I really don't want to sound like a jerk (though, I'm afraid I will after all), but considering the title, this would be my brief:

"A character wandering through a snowfield discovers a place to take shelter before the snowstorm reaches her".

Having this information in mind, I rephrase my previous question: which of the three versions depicts this idea more accurately?

Like I said before, Artificialguy's is the most attractive to the eye, but also, it's the one that further gets away from the original idea: the accent falls in the mountain picks and when I squint my eyes the cave becomes barely visible, something that should not happen in my opinion. Also, when I look at the cave, honestly, I'm not sure what to think: is it shelter or is it the cave of a creature that will try to eat the character? So the colours look cool, but maybe it'd be better to recover the storm in the back and put them in the clouds.

MonkeyBread's version does feel more accurate to the original narrative, and of course, I can't argue about the technical aspects: everything is correct, or at least it seems so to my judgement. Also, there's one thing I really like, although it's a matter of personal taste: the image works without using the "this the end" mood: the character is there, she was lost in the storm and now she finds shelter... I believe everyone can read that perfectly well, no need to set the world on fire. In any case, despite being appealing and technically correct, I'm missing the "incoming" in the snowstorm.

I guess my whole point is not only technical correction and visual appeal are important, sticking to the concept is also important. Regarding this aspect, the most accurate version is not other than Narholt's.

Anyway, I'd love to provide an over-paint of my own, but sadly, I'm not that good (not yet, hopefully ^^). Also, I know that my entire analysis is based in a personal impression (my interpretation of the title mostly) so I may be completely wrong. In fact, even if my read is right, I may be completely wrong about the rest. So, I hope no-one feels offended,  just my two cents here. 

Cheers!!! ^^

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:iconm0nkeybread:
M0nkeyBread Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I love that you took the time to state your case here. There is no "good enough".  Yes our ability to perceive issues and resolve them technically with solutions gets better with experience, but one very key thing that is an undertone that doesn't get picked up on and a point that you raise very well is, how does this piece affect me and what was the intention?  I have seen countless challenges where different artists present their take on the same theme, and what invariably happens is that the one with the best combination of concept, technical and emotive aspects becomes the most popular. You can't discount one from the other. 
I have to admit that the whole, "incoming snowstorm" thing I actually completely missed until after I had finished the paintover. ~artificialguy  did a great re-tweaking of the fixes I had made to make the overall image more dramatic. Did we nail what ~Narholt was going for? Dunno, maybe not. 
I really appreciate your input and i would hope the others do as well!
Thanks Gabriel!
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:iconellixus:
Ellixus Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Oh, I'm glad you appreciate my small input ^^

In any case, thank you for your hard work! 
I can tell it must have taken you quite a time to write this entry (with didactic thumbnails and all the stuff ^^ ), so honestly, I kind of feel but that I'm not contributing with something more...

Anyway, maybe in the future... ^^

I'm really looking forward for The Critstop #2!

Keep up the good work!!!
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:iconm0nkeybread:
M0nkeyBread Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the appreciation. It took forever! But I enjoyed it :) :thumbsup:
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:iconnarholt:
Narholt Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Hey Amit.
Thank you for this extremly useful critique post on my image. I think that what you've done with my illustration made it several times better, the only thing is that green hue. Was there specific reason for this change of colour? Or it's just your comfort colour palette (I can assume that browsing your gallery). I've seen artificalguy's overpaint and I have to admit I like it much more.

I like the way you fixed the character pose, it was indeed very stiff what I had there and big shoulderpads made her appear to lack neck.

I don't quite understand what was the issue with reading scale of the cave, can you explain that? I thought it's clear that these mountains are big and in a distance which would make cave quite big too. I don't think scale was that spoiled to make someone think this entrance is so little she'd have to crawl into it. I may be obviously wrong there, but that's the last thing to correct there I would think of.

I agree with the rest of things you said there, I was quite happy that said I actually tried to use some concept (counterchange and overlap, rule of thirds). It means I knew I should do something so I had knowledge but didn't quite nail it :)

Theory part here is very good and useful, I've definitely learned from this. I'm going to go over this illustration taking into account what you've written there and will note you when I'm done so you can add it here. Sadly it won't be too soon, at worst I'll do it in December. I hope that's not a problem.
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:iconm0nkeybread:
M0nkeyBread Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2013  Professional Digital Artist

Hey Mateusz , You know I had someone else comment on that green that is creeping into all my work of late, and yeah, I'm glad people have brought it up because I may not have noticed otherwise. Not sure why I've been doing that lol, but I will definitely be more conscious about it from now on!.


I also prefer the overal dynamics of artificialguy's tweaks as took it the two steps further that it needed.  I think I got so focused with trying to do too much on the written part of the article it took away from my actual painting. I think I will have a better balance this time and hopefully come up with a better end result if I do decide to do a paintover.


I guess the issue with scale was that while it could have been a large cave, it could just as easily been a smaller opening in something relatively closer. So it was more about removing ambiguity and being absolutely clear which it was more than getting it "wrong".  If I was to pick the one main thing that needed the most work it would be your values as that also effected distance and therefore impacted on scale cues quite a bit.

Just send through your final to me by note whenever you can and I will just add it to the post so people can see it if they stumble upon the post afterwards! Thanks for being the first guinea pig too. :)

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:iconskihaas1:
Skihaas1 Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Everyones gonna want this done for their own peices now lol, THANKS!
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:iconm0nkeybread:
M0nkeyBread Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
haha cheers. Well I doubt I'll be able to do as much detail as this first post, but as long as it's useful I'm happy. :)
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:iconheinrichvonm:
heinrichvonm Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This was really helpful! Thanks a lot, and keep on being great. 
Reply
:iconm0nkeybread:
M0nkeyBread Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you! Glad to hear it.
Reply
:iconorbes:
Orbes Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Really useful and in-depth crit, and i found :artificialguy: 's editing to be the last final touch needed that made it amazing.
Reply
:iconm0nkeybread:
M0nkeyBread Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I'm glad you found it useful! Yeah I didn't nail it and I'm glad someone went the extra step!.  I am admittedly still learning myself  and the write up took twice the time of the painting so I couldn't keep tweaking as I was writing and got lazy towards the end. At least the theory was solid. :) thanks for commenting.
Reply
:iconfernandesvincent:
fernandesvincent Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks a ton. This was a great read. Do you know how I could learn more about the rule of thirds??
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:iconm0nkeybread:
M0nkeyBread Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2013  Professional Digital Artist

Glad to hear it. Well I suppose mostly just google it and see what comes up. There are tons of resources that focus on all the various types of composition as well as the rule of thirds.  I can't think of any really stand out ones off the top of my head but I think if you go to places for resources that are well established for beginner level like Sycra on youtube and ctrlpaint.com you will get a lot of useful information. 


You will probably find links to threads and tutorials on places like conceptart.org (through a google search) and these would be good to look through.  I know that's not specific, but other than that, just practice using it in your work, that's the surefire way of getting better.

Reply
:icondanikyaroslavtomyn:
DanikYaroslavTomyn Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Definitely found this useful and enjoyed the segment about colour vibrancy and the counterchange and overlap, thanks for the awesome pieces of insight.
Reply
:iconm0nkeybread:
M0nkeyBread Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Awesome! Glad to hear it ^^
Reply
:iconmars636:
Mars636 Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013
Wow! Amazing article, very helpful advice, for the artist and the readers, so thanks Amit.

My only critque would be to have footprints ( human or animal ) maybe leading into the cave. I think this may add more of a story, ( maybe the character is following someone, say ), as currently the picture is just someone standing in an enviroment with mountains and a cave in view.

One idea for CritStop;  how about concentrating on different subjects each week, eg colour theory, followed by light and dark, then composition and so on? Then you could even use more than one submission to explain your learned points.

Anyway, looking forward to reading more!!!
Reply
:iconm0nkeybread:
M0nkeyBread Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you! I'm glad to hear it was useful to you. Yes to more  narrative! Totally agreemwith your sughestion. I went so overboard with explanations I missed out on this completely. Since writing the post I have to say that I've been thinking about how to provide the most bang for less buck, your suggestion is a good one and has given me some ideas. I'd still want to provide a rounded crit for the artist that focused on more than just one aspect but perhaps I can step quickly through a few pieces with descriptions instead of a paintover and focus on one aspect common  to demo or explain. Thanks for the comment! 
Reply
:iconmars636:
Mars636 Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013
Glad the idea helped!
I understand the paintover is time consuming but, it really is a great method of explaining improvements ( if not the best ), I'm sure a lot of people liked it. It would be a shame to see it abandoned, maybe you could just do one a month or something?
Looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with!
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:iconm0nkeybread:
M0nkeyBread Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Sweet, well stay tuned! ;)
Reply
:icongdsworld:
GDSWorld Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I really like the idea of Amit focusing on a particular area, that not only helps guide everyone but also pushes Amit to beam in on one topic and make the best of it. 
Thanks for making the suggestion and wait and see what happens. 
Reply
:iconcenomancer:
Cenomancer Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
The paintover is a great improvement from the original, but ... reading the explenations, some parts weren't too clear to me.

For exemple : the further you get, the less contrast there is and the lighter it gets : easy to understand, but the image with colour values is..well, it's not so easy to read, though I do get the point.
As well, the triangular composition, I... well, there are lines and all, the three points of importance, but I fail to understand how you determined them. The grotto and the character, yes, but ...why the spot up there on the mountain? I don't think I'll be able to apply that on a future painting xD

However, scale, figure pose and colour vibrancy parts were just fine, and I'm totally keeping that journal handy for future reference !
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:iconm0nkeybread:
M0nkeyBread Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the feedback! Yeah those two value images are a bit hard to decipher and tbh took wayy too long to put together so I doubt I will do it again, but I hope that people will take away that value and separation are key to achieveing readability and that analysing images in this way on your own is a very useful thing to be doing.  I have to go now, but I will try and clear up that focal point question for you!
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:iconartificialguy:
artificialguy Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your paintover seems pretty flat, dull and lacks depth. Also there is not much variety in color. With the help of photoshop's filters this can be tweaked within minutes.
I would've done something more dramatic like this:
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:iconm0nkeybread:
M0nkeyBread Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist

Yep that's exactly the kind of response we want! I agree with you it is a much more dramatic take. Everyone has a vision and we can all benefit from sharing.  ~Narholt Check this out too.  Thanks for the comment

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:iconartofodd:
ArtofOdd Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Go man! Go!
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:iconm0nkeybread:
M0nkeyBread Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
:)
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:iconu-3c:
U-3C Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013  Student General Artist
<3 Amit, you are awesome.
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:iconm0nkeybread:
M0nkeyBread Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Oh you..... staph it. :D
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:iconsw-illustration:
SW-Illustration Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for taking the time to put up so much useful info here - really appreciate it! 
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:iconm0nkeybread:
M0nkeyBread Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Glad to hear it and no worries...the universe shall repay me...or something :D
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:iconlanasy:
Lanasy Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
This is incredibly useful and inspiring. Great job!
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:iconm0nkeybread:
M0nkeyBread Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you! Glad you found it useful.
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November 17, 2013
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