First things first, I wanna say that I really like your linework and almost all of the lineart you post is amazing. I just love it. Especially on this picture that you let me paint, I'm really impressed.
Thing is, your coloring is really dragging down the quality of your work. Not just the smudge tool you're using, but the colors as well. At this point, I'd say you should just post your lineart and not bother coloring your pics, but I don't want you to. That leaves an unfinished and unsatisfying piece :/
So I wanna help you out with that, but I'm gonna try and explain further what Monsterparty was trying to tell you and see how it affects the outcome of your piece.
I'm gonna be quoting some stuff and adding in my 2 cents along the way, so sorry if it gets a little confusing.
At 6/19/12 02:14 AM, monsterparty wrote:
At 6/18/12 04:56 PM, PatBest22 wrote:
Put some work into the ship and clouds.Do you plan on keeping the sky blue or did you want it to be that yellow color? The color of of the sky is going to effect the colors throughout the rest of the image, so you should probably decide what you want to do with that before continuing on.
The sky is blue now but I'll change it when I figure out how to make it look more awesome.
This, right here, is the crucial piece of advice that you needed to listen to before you continued working on this piece. The yellow theme you established in your rough draft of your piece had a great feel to it. Painting the background of your piece, or knowing what it is, first is important because the background and atmosphere has a crucial effect on the colors of everything else. If your sky is orange, everything, even cool colors like blue and green, are going to have warm, orangey tints to them. The blues become more purple. The greens become more yellow.
At 6/19/12 02:35 PM, monsterparty wrote:
At 6/19/12 02:30 AM, PatBest22 wrote:
Definitely not blue, I want a golden, setting sun color matching the desert. I simply had it blue there to better distinguish the clouds.I think that right there is the issue. If the clouds don't look right in the sky you want, change the clouds, not the sky. For instance, you colored your cloud with gray and white, which is fine for a blue sky, but that's sort of inappropriate for yellow. Everything should have that warm tint to it. Not just the clouds, but also the buildings and water to make everything fit that mood.
What Monsterparty is telling you here is some great advice and general color theory. White and gray clouds simply don't fit in a sunset scenario.
Examples: 1 2 3 4
See? None of them are gray, and they certainly aren't blue. They all contain warm colors from the setting sun. The coolest you're gonna get is a bluish-purple, because purple is warm. Even if the sky was blue, the clouds would be a collection of cooler colors, but still wouldn't be an unsaturated gray.
Also, you really gotta stop using the smudge tool, and start using the brush tool at different opacities to achieve your blending. That is a major problem with the picture too, but isn't exactly what I'm trying to address (but you should fix it :P).
At 6/19/12 02:48 PM, PatBest22 wrote:
I did plan to add a golden glow on the clouds in the direction of the sun and reflection in the water.
Unfortunately, that just doesn't cut it. You can't slap on the sunset's affect on the image as an afterthought, you have to include it throughout the entire picture's process.
Oh, and, the golden glow that you're adding, you contrasted it by shading under the clouds, ship, and goddess with black. that... doesn't happen. It should be a deeper color of whatever it is over, and not nearly as obvious as you've made it.
The reflection of the water also suffers because of the post-painting addition of the golden glow.
Examples of sunset + water: 1 2 3
The water isn't even blue. Instead, it reflects a helluva lot of the sun's color so it ends up looking like fire-water!! >:O But seriously, I think you get my point.
Below I included my paint-over of your sketch.
Here is the dump version of it, and here is the paint-over before I changed the canvas size and removed the goddess.
I wanna give you a rundown of what I did and why.
I started with the background first, with a nice warm orange-yellow. From there I just used the brush at low opacity and threw some reds and purples into it like a normal sunset. I picked a light orange-yellow for the clouds, and some deeper reds>purples for the clouds. Remember, I want to keep everything warm.
Next I did the hills in the background. I picked a really yellow-green color for the edge, where the sun creeps over the tops of the hills. then, for the rest of it, I needed a darker green, but if I made them any more saturated, they would seem too cool, so I went with a really desaturated green, almost gray.
Next were the buildings, which I picked a nice, warm beige. I shaded them with a gray-red, which I changed a bit into a deeper red once I finished the water.
The water I originally made purple, so that it's blue identity would be more noticeable. I shaded it throughout with yellows and oranges, but afterwards messed with the hue until it really mirrored the sky, reflecting those colors in pinks and bright yellows. Oh, by the way, I thought of the city to be encompassing a bay or something, and didn't realize that it was on the mountain range until it was too late, lol. But, moving on...
At that point I painted the goddess quickly, but was disappointed as, the same with you, the character really seemed to get lost in the detail of the background. So, what I decided to do was remove her altogether. Yes, I understand she is perhaps what this image is based around, but she simply didn't fit.
With her removal and a suggestion from lovingthedark, I stretched the picture. Originally it was going to be to find a way to make the goddess fit, but I think it emphasized the landscape aspect of the picture.
I kept the ship the same size and decided to include it, since it helped occupy the empty space in the corner. I shaded it with a dark reddish-gray, but highlighted it with oranges and yellows. I put some fanshy blue lights and gave them a glow, and painted some clouds over it.
Anyways, what I'm trying to say is, color schemes, they're important. The only thing in this entire picture that isn't warm are the lights on the ship, and that brings focus to them. I hope that I didn't just ramble on and you can learn something from this. ^_^' It was really fun to color this too.
If you want me to follow up on this or anything, feel free to shoot me a PM, I'll be happy to help further if anything was unclear.
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