Commissioned Artwork for Anataine
I know I've said it before and I know how many times I've tried before, but I think this time the fur turned out quite well. Normally I would try and follow the tutorials I have favorited to the best of my ability, but I always felt like I was missing something and they never seemed to work for me. So, going back to my method, I tried something else, changed things up a bit with the a few of the new tricks I've learned and I think this time I've succeed. At least with this commission, lol.
I'll be trying this again and hopefully trying to gear my commissions towards this style rather than sticking to my detailed cell-shading style. It'll still be available of course, but it's time I also grew up a bit more too.
Anyways, I do hope you enjoy it as much as I have. The character here is a female wolf hound and wolf mix. I was commissioned to do a reference of her earlier before this, which you can gather her further details here:
I can tell that you are a very mastered artist, so I am going to spare you of the fluff and give you some nit-picky, harsh critique.
--The first thing that I notice, not just from this piece, but from all of your art, is the intense amount of detail. I love it! Your rendering of the characters and background is flawless, and really shows that you have mastery in this style of art. However, you have a tendency to over detail, and get carried away. This painting is better than others in this regard, but for example, in this painting of yours: Commish: Battle at the Rivers of Fire, the viewer is swamped in details, and it takes them a second to find the subject of the painting. Details are amazing, but putting them everywhere can become an eyesore, and get confusing very quickly.
Here is something that I have learned over time in regards to detail: you must figure out where to put lots of detail, and where to leave it a little bit of breathing room.
The order of detail from most to least should ALWAYS be the following:
-The subject or subject of the painting, the focal point
-The midground (unless the character is standing in the midground, then you make the midground more detailed than the foreground)
If you can follow this order your paintings will immediately have a lot more depth, and the viewer will be able to immediately tell what the subject is. So on this piece, for example, the dog needs to be the most detailed, and then you can begin to tone down the detail a bit on the grass and dragonflies, with the sky being the least detailed.
--The second thing I noticed is the contrast. This piece of critique can be difficult to visualize without an example, so I have included a paint over for you to reference:
When you get to the level of art that you are at, you must start paying attention to things such as lighting. While doing my art, I will always switch back and forth from color and grayscale. (Most softwares have an option to turn your piece grayscale, and if not, search the internet for a grayscale converter.) Sometimes, when working in color, you can have a difficult time noticing how well your subject stands out from the background. If you keep all the colors in the same color range, a lot of your detail is immediately lost when you turn it grayscale. As you can notice, I flipped your painting into grayscale, and immediately, the detail on the front of the dog is hidden in the mess of same color values. The dog seems to also be the same color as the grass.
I then took the liberties of doing some quick color corrections to your piece. I lowered the contrast on the sky, making it stand out a little less and look a bit more gray. I also put a slight hint of purple in it, to give it some variety. I then took the foreground, and lightened it up considerably, so that the details wouldn't be lost in shadow. I then gave the grass a slight red hue, to keep it from looking too much like the dog. Finally, I brightened up the eyes to make them pop out a little bit more from the fur.
As you can see, when I flip it into grayscale, it suddenly becomes a lot more readable.
--Another thing I noticed, that has already been mentioned several times before, so I won't talk about it too much, it the anatomy. Just do several sketches before starting your paintings to make sure you have the anatomy correct.
--Finally, this piece lacks movement. You already have added a bit, but to make this piece even better, push the pose even more. Right now, it is looking too balanced, like the dog is standing there and lifting it's paw. By making the dog's pose more unbalanced, you give the piece some tension and excitement. A suggestion I would make to do this is to have the dog standing on one or two pawa, and to have the other two or three paws noticable in the air to seem as if it is in the middle of a stride.
Otherwise, I must say that this piece is fantastic, and I encourage you to keep developing your style! Happy painting!
Moving on, what needs improvement? I'm not all that great with animal anatomy (idek human anatomy either) but I have to agree with everybody else about the front paw... It does look awkward, probably because this is a really difficult perspective, so maybe a few more reference photos would be helpful. They don't even need to be of the specific breed you're drawing! Just use reference photos to check for the alignment of the legs. This looks like a piece that should be filled with a lot of movement, but the legs look a bit stiff.
The head looks kinda off too. The top of the head looks like you planned for the face to be straight, but the face is actually slanted. It might've looked better if you had brought down the dog's right ear by a bit, so that the ears aren't sitting at the same level. The eyes also look a bit too sharp, and like they're just gazing into nowhere. If you look at photos of puppies, their eyes are more horizontal than slanted, and having them slanted like that (which may just be your style, i don't know) takes away from the cuteness of the whole thing. Slanted eyes look kind of intimidating, and I don't think that's what you were aiming for with this piece.
Like the comment below mentioned, the line of fur on the puppy's side doesn't look right. You have the fur really messy, so with a line that neat, it just looks like the puppy's fur was dyed with a brown streak. Maybe next time, zoom in for more detail. There shouldn't be any locks of fur that are half brown and half grey, so make sure to watch out for that!
I think most of your problems lie in anatomy, and I'm sorry that I couldn't add much about what you can improve in terms of technique. I hope this advice helps though, even if it's just a bit. Again, amazing job with this, and I can't wait to see how much more you'll improve!
1. The close paw looks akward.
2. The close paw seems to draw attention away from the dog's face.
3. The dragonfly to the right, it's wings don't seem to be in sync.
4. The dragonfly to the left, it's wings aren't the same shape.
5. You made the fur really scruffy and yet you kept the color lines smooth.
6. The design has a longer snout.
1. Well done on the grass!
2. The dragonflies are beautiful!
3. The clouds are so realistic!
4. The dogs eyes look so real!
5. It matches the design really well.
6. It's adorable!
The art and pasting are very fantastic, with much detail work into it. I like how the puppy look cute. Love the detail of grass, dragon fly, fur, and the background of it! It has add into realism of puppy, and the bug. The fur fit the painting. I am very proud of you [Aminirus] of how much work you done into this! However, the background need tiny improvement of it. The grass need some detail and all. After all, it is a well done, well a very well done art that i seen in my lifetime. Ask me a question: What element or what type of program do you use to paint, Was it hand draw or done it in computer? How do you add more detail so closely? I would like to know! Lot of idea you think of, with a simple mind, can come true! The only problem is, the pose of the dog look, bit off. The paw of her leg is little tilt the wrong way, should tilt little to the left and he should jump little bit instead of stop while her left paw let up. Other-wise The art is a amazing piece of work! There nothing much i can say, sadly...
Thank you for reading this and keep trying you best!
As to what program I used, I use a combination of programs. I use Manga Studio for my lines, sketching, and certain details and Adobe Photoshop for the rest of the work. I create my own brushes so I can create different textures, like the grass and the fur. Different parts of the grass where drawn out separately and then mixed together to create the overall grass in the picture. I have 8 different grass pieces and I put them together in a random order and continue till I have a "yard". Then I add in odd strands and weeds so it doesn't look like a perfect lawn, but something more natural and wild.
I have only one issue I'd like to address. The paw that's reaching for the dragonfly should not be that flat. It looks like she's running a little flat-footed or bending her "wrist" backward. Because of the way the bones in their feet are placed, a dog's paw pad is only the front part of the foot. If you moved the claws down a little her paw would look a little less flat.
Thank you for reading and good job on this!
Judging about the comments below a lot has already been said about it regarding perspective and paws. I personally it is more so the perspective than the paw. You have set the bar quite high for yourself with this piece and your work displays a lot of your skill. The texture of the fur, the grass and those gorgeous dragon flies. There is not much feedback I can give on this, many has already been said and this is a commission for someone else's character so that restricts the design a bit.
It is overall very realistic, the colors you used are stunning and show a deep variety of shading and layering and it has a very feel-good summer-like atmosphere.
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All in all, this is an amazing piece of art and I am honored to have the chance to critique on it. The shading is absolutely phenomenal on the dog and the grass! The grass is great and so realistic. You even added weeds! (or at least they look like weeds ) The fur is great, and the dragonflies are amazing! I LOVE the sky! I probably wouldn't have been able to find anything that could be tweaked if I hadn't been looking at it for like 15 mins now.
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The eyes are shaded well and detailed, but they are just staring into space. She doesn't look like she is looking at the dragonflies she is chasing. You should open the mouth more and add drool hanging out so it looks like she's enjoying herself a little more. You should probably curve the dragonfly's wing since they are drawing them flying, but frozen. I recommend watching a video of a dragonfly flying in slow motion. ^^
Overall this is fabulous, keep up the outstanding work! Also, congrats at getting your project featured in ProjectComment! Have a great day, I hope this helped!
Yes, there are weeds. Mainly so it didn't look like a perfect clipped yard or something
Good point on the eyes. My thought process for that was in there are probably many dragonflies floating around and buzzing that she probably doesn't know what to look at first. Those little buggers are hard to keep a direct eye contact on, but you are the first to notice :3
I could work on my dragonflies some more. This is the first for me so took a bit of guessing on it, other than looking at pictures of dragonflies, but thank you. I'll keep that in mind.
Thank you for the comment, well done :3
i love the fur of the dog it gives it that fuzzy fur like dogs have. the paws look cute and it looks like a dog paw. i cant draw dog paws. they are hard to make, for me : P . I like the view if from down to up? the eyes of the dog is adorable and i rlly like how its chasing dragonflies. i have never seen a dog chase dragonflies, but i dont have a dog so i rlly dont know XD (its the first picture of a dog chasing a dragonfly is seen ..thats what i mean XD) i like how the grass is not perfect. it has some bit marks. i like how u made the design on the wings of the dragonflies. the sky look pretty. doesnt seem that there going to be any rain soon. from what the clouds are like the colors of the dragon flies are nice. it gives a different feeling from the gray and brown strips on the dog. the brown stripes are a little odd. what type of dog is it?
and thats all i am not good at replying to pictures. i am not a very serious person either.
I know what you mean though, doggie paws can be tricky. I like using these tutorials as guides when drawing paws: tutorial|how i use to draw my canine paws , tutorial|Cake's tips for drawing: PAWS + ANATOMY , Realistic wolf paw anatomy - Mini guide
And I'm not sure a dog would chase dragonflies, but who knows. I just thought it was cute too XD
I would say you did pretty good. It's not always easy giving critiques to others, but it's something you can usually learn by practicing. This is a good start, so well done :3
imma check it out.
it annoys me
One thing I don't particularly like is that the dog itself looks a little too real. I'm not even sure what breed it's supposed to be. The textures and colors in its fur is cool, and it certainly is acting like a dog, the way it's chasing those dragonflies. The dog's face, though, doesn't remind me much of a dog, but more of a feline wild animal, like a lion or tiger. I think if you overall went with a more common dog breed, it would've looked a lot better.
Even though I find the dog to be a bit weird, the background does more than make up for it. I can't believe you took the time and patience to paint single blades of grass together like that! I make pretty basic drawings, so I would have never dreamed of making my art as realistic as yours. I also like the details you gave to the dragonflies. Some people would be grossed out by those things in real life, but you portray them in a way that's both accurate and pleasant to the eye.
As for shading and lighting, everything looks perfect!
Overall, a super strong effort, and impressive to say the least. Keep up the good work!
As to canine's breed, it's just a pup but it's supposed to be an irish wolfhound, wolf mix, so thus it's not supposed to be too recognizable as something realistic to known dog breeds today. It was a design the client was happy with and thus I was glad to draw it. She's meant to have a sort of curly, barbary type of fur, even around her mouth, which thus can throw off a bit of the "what we used to for dogs" kind of image.
I have so many things to say about this picture, I'm not even sure where to start! XD
I guess I'll start with the realism. It's so incredibly vivid and immersive, and you really did do a wonderful job with the fur; I know you said in the description that you're just starting to get the hang of it. I love how you handled it; I'm not sure how to describe it, but it feels real, like I could reach out and bury my hands in the delightful little curls. It's the kind of fur that I'm sure, if you shaved it all off, the pup would look like a rat! XD I had a dog like that once, so I know~
That said, comparing it to the reference of the character, it feels like something's off... It might just be because of the perspective, but I feel like the face, especially the muzzle, is wrong somehow... Again, I'm not quite sure how to describe it... Have you toyed with perspective before? If not, or if you're just getting into it, then it might just be that you need practice. If you have dealt with perspective a lot, then maybe it's just a discrepancy in style. If I could figure it out, then I could give you some advice on what to try, but I haven't a clue; sorry..
Now for colour! I have to say, this is the best picture I've seen in a very long time, colour-wise. I adore how bright and vivid the colours are just in the background alone; the lush green and the beautiful blue, like I could lay out on the grass and watch the clouds on a bright summer day, listening to the insects hum~ And speaking of insects; those dragonflies! So pretty!! The sparkling sapphire blue and the yellow-orange that just pops and screams for attention! The only thing that could possibly be considered 'wrong' about the colouration is with that blue; it could be a little more iridescent to mimic reality a little more closely. But even that isn't an issue in the slightest.
I absolutely adore this picture overall, and I'm so envious of your skill! You're so good, and you still have so much potential to develop! Keep practicing, because skills like this shouldn't be wasted!
Dragonflies, that I was looking at pictures and chose whatever I found to be the brightest colored species. No clue what particular species they are, other than dragonfly of course, but they are actually pretty close to the real thing. The only reason they may pop a bit more than the pics I was looking at was because I was on two different computers, which can handle certain colors in a different way, so it could have been a misinterpretation on my part.
Thank you for the overall comment, very much appreciated! I do plan to keep doing this for as long as I am able. Been drawing for as long as I can remember so it seems right to keep at it. Plus, I do enjoy it a lot :3
From your pal, Noah
Anyways, thanks for the feedback. As for a the human, they didn't have a human character and didn't ask for one, just the pup. So was going with my client's wishes at the time, though a human chasing after them would have been cute too.
Overall, thank you for the praise. Much appreciated!
Going onto the positive aspects:
-I love the design of the wolfhound! It really brings in the feel of seeing an actual dog or wolf.
-The colours are just so beautiful! They aren't overdone and it reminds me of an actual open field where a dog can run freely.
-The dragonflies are a very nice touch to the image.
-The sky is very well done and the blur effect is pretty good.
Now onto some things you can improve on:
-I seemed to have noticed that the blur was a bit overdone and it contrasts with the rest of the image. I recommend using a lighter stroke with the blur tool so that it wouldn't be too overdone.
-The fur effect is very well done but the brownish-orange just seems to stand out more than the grey fur. Maybe you could try a bit of a darker shade of the brownish-orange colour so it can blend in more (Unless this was intended).
-The grass at the front of the drawing seem a bit too dark for this light and cheerful setting. Perhaps making them a little bit lighter would help.
-I also noticed that the head seems a bit small for the wolfhound, seeing that the eyes are a bit close together. Maybe making it a bit bigger can help.
I hoped I helped out, even if it is just a little bit ^.^
Hello from ProjectComment
This piece really stands out! The perspective, subject matter and colors all work together to really draw the viewer in. I really love the playful fun mood of the painting. The bright fun colors give it life and I absolutely love how detailed everything is. I can't imagine painting all those curls in the dog's hair! Excellent work!
I also really like the way you painted the dragon flies, the pop of color the provide is perfect and I just love the blue and bright yellow. The way you painted the wings is also really nice. You really captured the delicate texture of dragonfly wings, something that isn't easy to do. I also really like the texture of the grass, well done!
The only things I would really change, or things that seem off to me are some parts of the dog anatomy and the blurry background. I think that some of the blurred grass was a good choice, it gives more focus to the foreground. However the area in the right corner the grass is really, really blurred. And I find it just a little bit distracting, since the grass shape itself is lost. The other thing I noticed is the leg that seems to be reaching out to the screen seems a bit bent. I'm not the expert on dog anatomy so I could be totally wrong but to me it just looks a bit off.
Over all I think it's a really beautiful painting and I think you did a fantastic job.
I tried to do my best on the anatomy in that perspective by looking at some pics, but I do realize not all of it was a perfect match. I can't really fix that at this point, but I can fix the grass in the corner you mentioned. I can understand why that front paw may appear off, but that bone structure is actually correct so no worries. It's just the perspective that throws you off a bit and makes it appear a bit more bent.
Thank you for your comment :3
The perspective of this pictures is fascinating!