Critique: Amalias Repair Rotation

I’m fortunate enough to know a few individuals capable of delivering brutal critiques. Since their time and thoughts, I feel, are valuable I generally reserve a critique request for situations when I really-really need guidance. The “Amalie’s Repair Rotation” was one of those situation as I was unhappy with the final. Take a look at what Jeff Woods had to say after I sent him the link to this post. He returned a .psd to me with notations containing the following comments…

1). “Overall, I love the lighting, colors, and textures you have going on here. For a guy without a piece of paper that says,”Artist” on it you certainly do pay attention to ambient light. My only concern about your art is you’re short changing yourself every step of the way by rushing through everything you do.

I see a lot of techniques in here, while totally valid for paying your bills, don’t really help you become a better “artist.” ie., the use of the dodge and burn tool to create your lights and shadows. Photoshop knowledge looks EXACTLY like Photoshop knowledge to someone who uses it everyday. The gripe there is the dodge and burn tool are great for speed and “getting your idea out to the client as fast as possible.”

It’s not great for impressing me.

Shadows aren’t just a darker version of a midtone. They have a color and they have details in them. The same with highlights. I LOVE high contrast paintings and, in fact, when I first started thinking about being a character designer I worked EXACTLY like you have here. EXACTLY. It’s weird that I’m giving you this speech.

Because I got this speech from Maxx (works at Blizzard). I sent him my stuff, all excited at some incremental improvement. And he looked at and wrote me back pretty quickly.

In his message he asked me, “Hey. Don’t you know how to paint?”
In my head I said, “Yeah. That’s what I went to school for!”
Maxx continued, “You remember that horse painting you did?”
I thought to myself, “Of course.”
Then he was all like, “Why are you fucking around with Photoshop tricks when you can do THAT!?”
I was confused while reading, “What do you mean?”
He wrote, “I want you to use Photoshop to PAINT. Not just color stuff as fast as possible. That will make me happy.”

Turns out he was right. And I’ve been figuring out ways to reproduce my real-world techniques in Photoshop ever since. They’re still not perfect, and when I have a deadline I whip out whatever works and start flailing!

But, when I want to show my shit off; when I want to show Anne my big dick, I do it with EVERYTHING I have! Kevin, bro, you’re better than me any day of the week at Photoshop. You know that. And you know this piece of work is beautiful and the lighting is awesome.

Let me show you some shit.”

2). “Make the back of her head a bit more “massive.” That’s where she keeps that giant brain, she uses to plot your fucking demise.”

3). “Is she wearing SWEET welding goggles? I wanna see those. Show them to me!”

4). “If you’re going to draw a face, REALLY draw a face and stop playing around! Her nose looks non-existant and there’s no sense of a cheek/mouth/nose relationship.”

5). “Give an indication of the shoulder blade turning out as the clavicle raises. It makes a sexy little point (catches a bit of light?) on women who’re this “fit.””

6). “As I was thinking about this comment, I realized that it’s tough to tell whether she’s wearing cargo shorts or a skirt. Let me know, in the drawing EXACTLY what she’s wearing. If shorts make the black line on the back of the foremost leg indicate that. If a skirt, make it bunch up like skirts do when people are welding shit!!! ;) Regardless, the business end of a woman should be treated with a lot of love. Give the belly, hips, and thigh more love.

7). “This line makes her femur & knee cap look really fucked up. Like, “ouch, my knee is all fucked up!”

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