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:iconthe-tinidril:
Vision/Impact: The scene conveys your idea fairly well, like a little moment when Theoden looks down kindly at Merry. But could have been arranged differently to bring their relationship into focus a bit better, and have more emotional impact, for instance having Theoden ahead of Merry with him looking over his shoulder and Merry meeting his gaze.

Originality: I like that you are inspired by scenes in the movies without actually trying to duplicate a movie still. Using your own ideas about how they should look to change things.

Technique: I'll be talking about quite a few things here. First, the composition is nicely balanced, figures are well proportioned and nicely detailed. Secondly, your vibrant, clear colors are very nice! There is something about Middle-earth that just begs for this kind of coloration. Watercolor is a difficult medium to master, yet you have rendered Shadowfax with very nice, subtle gradations of gray, offering a nice contrast to the roan-colored pony. But there is not enough contrast in overall value to make your subject stand out from the background. Painted in the traditional way as you have here, the sky should be paler near the horizon and the mountains should be pale and misty, and somewhat less detailed, to give the illusion of distance.

One way to check if your subject is standing out enough is to scan it and view it in (large, if you have Win7) thumbnail size. If you cannot differentiate the subject from the background in a thumbnail then you know there is not enough contrast.

There are 3 ways (off the top of my head) to achieve contrast: value (light/dark), hue (color brightness/dullness or warm/cool colors), and texture (line width and detail). Any one or all three can be used to make your subject into a focal point.
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:iconmirachravaia:
MirachRavaia Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much for the critique! I felt they are getting a bit lost in the background, but I wasn't sure how to change that... This is, like, my 3rd watercolor painting, and I'm trying to get the technique right. That's why a critique like yours is very helpful. I'm not sure how to lower the saturation of the background when painting, as the anilin watercolors I use are really vivid (and I like that :)) But I tried that in Photoshop at least, to see how it would look like - and I think it's better, so I changed the picture to that version. I'm just a bit worried if they don't look too separated from the background now, it seems like a fine balance to achieve between thos two...
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:iconthe-tinidril:
The-Tinidril Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
The simplest way to lower the saturation of water color is with water. :) adding water to the paint, and/or wetting the paper first, will pale the color. I guess that is not really "desaturation" in the sense of being less clear in color, but it does create the needed contrast between distant mountains and figures in the foreground. The thing about using plenty of water, especially initially, with watercolor, is that you can always add another layer of color if it's too pale. Although you can remove some color after painting, it is never as easy as adding more.

Honestly, you're doing pretty well for only the 3rd attempt at painting with watercolor! Just know that it will take some experimentation to get the hang of your materials, so do lots of small subject and try different things. Here are some suggestions for your experiments:

~"Comic" style: try inking your drawing after you've transferred/penciled your composition onto your watercolor paper, but before you paint. Use waterproof ink in either dip pens or felt-tip drawing pens (like the Manga drawing sets). Use a variety of line widths to help distinguish your focal point. Paint in light layers of color until you achieve the depth of color you want.

~"Batik" method: lightly pencil your composition, more simplified shapes with fewer details works best for this technique. Use a fine brush (rubbed on a wet bar of soap first) or toothpick to lay down outlines with liquid mask (the kind you can rub off the paper after your painting is done). Lay a wash of colors over the dried masking lines. Repeat this process, understanding that the masking will preserve whatever color you put it over... the first lines you cover will be white, each subsequent masking will keep the latest color. Keep adding layers of color until the depth of color is achieved. When dry, rub off the masking. To soften the lines gently wash a bit of water over whole shapes or the whole painting.

~"Stained glass" style: similar to the "Comic" style, but the shapes should be simplified and the lines be very bold and black. Paint with vibrant colors, include some gradations or textures

~Salted Watercolor: apply a fairly heavy layer of water to your paper (and make sure you have it securely taped to a board because the paper will buckle). Paint colors randomly or in a planned way so that the color spreads on the wet paper. Immediately sprinkle with plenty of salt, let dry. Rub off the grains of salt and draw your subject over the background, allow the pattern of the colors created by the salt suggest either what to draw or where to draw. Finish your painting in any of the other methods.

There are so many more techniques you can play with, check out your library for some books on watercolor :D
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:iconmirachravaia:
MirachRavaia Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I've read many tutorials, but somehow it's hard to me to follow the instructions, or it doesn't work as it should :D For the Comic style, I can't find a pen that would have fine enough point, maybe I'm too used to draw with a sharp pencil... and for the batik style I can't get the liquid mask here, I've searched all shops in the city. I tried the "stained glass" here [link] and also tried to use salt (exactly as you describe it) for the clouds in this picture, but I didn't really work, and I had to paint over it. I don't know why, but salt never works for me.
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:iconthe-tinidril:
The-Tinidril Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Your trees are soooo beautiful! and the "stained glass" one is beautiful. Perhaps you can use mail-order or web-purchase to get the supplies you need, the liquid mask is useful for traditional watercolor painting as well.

So, if you do not do well with written tutorials, then I suggest a class, either in your school, community center, or local college. I see you live in Slovakia, so perhaps you don't have nearby places to take classes...

As for the salt method, it is unpredictable, but the kind of paper, and how much water/salt you use makes a difference, you just have to keep experimenting. Look in my website art gallery: page 3 and page 4, pieces marked simply "watercolor" have all had salted washes as base layer. I used good quality cold-pressed (gently textured) watercolor paper.
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:iconmirachravaia:
MirachRavaia Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much! I'm not sure about classes here, but I'll keep experimenting when I have time :) I used a normal hard paper, so maybe that's why it didn't work so well.
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