This probably won't be the only thing Moomin related I do, as I want to explore what I can do with the concepts a bit more when I have a better grasp of the feel of the characters and their environments.
Made with Photoshop CC 2017. I used Kyle T. Webster's 'Wet & Wild' brush for a lot of the colours, which you can check out on this Gumroad page (hooray for plugs!): gumroad.com/l/iULHC
First things first: what we've got here is a sweet and fun piece about what I assume is just an utter adorable little fellow! Those big blues and that bright background really set the mood, and I can readily see this show up in a humorous children's book for example.
With that praise being what it is, I do spot a certain thing I believe could bring this to the next level, so to speak:
Our little Moomintroll here has value issues. Not family or traditional values, mind - darks and lights. While your character is mostly very light, and your background is very light also, what seems to be missing is some of that dark brown there from his muzzle reappering elsewhere in the character.
I wouldn't touch the background, at this point. I think its nice and sponteneous and that's hard to go wrong with. What I WOULD do is maybe erase some of it where it obscured the outlines of the character, so that they get darker again. I think a clear, crisp silhouette would be a good thing, here, especially on the lower right hand side.
I would keep his upper left part the way it is though! Some of that white is almost like a bright summer sun shining down on him and bleeding across his edges to really get that nice, warm effect of copious light.
That's all I've got. I hope that this critique doesn't strike you as harsh or compulsory or whatever; but maybe you get something out of it that you can apply in this or your next projects.
Wishing you all the best in the New Year,
Capt. BATTLEFAIRIES of Team Fairies
First of all, thanks for taking the time to critique this baby of mine. I'm happy I've seem to have captured the mood I was going for in your eyes, and that's good enough for me, but then again, what's the point of a critique if we're only discussing the positives?
Since making this piece, I've realised that there are value issues with it, as there isn't a lot of contrast going on in the face, making it look kind of flat. Aside from the area around Moomintroll's eyes, I didn't give much thought about how the rest of it was going to go aside from the shadow cast by his muzzle, which was too big to begin with. I'm looking at Jojodear's piece as an example fav.me/damu6wu and she's really got the lighting on their forms down pat.
About some of the lines, I thought it would give off a more painterly feel if I didn't rely so much on the outlines, but the more I think about it, the more I realise that I didn't know what I was doing. I made a small edit of it with a more clear silhouette since then, and I was wondering if it looks better that way in your view: sta.sh/0g6f329ie79
Again, thanks for the critique. You weren't harsh on it at all, and if that was considered harsh, then that definitely means the dA community has to pull their heads out of their arses.
Well I do read horror stories about people throwing fits over even the slightest critique, but I don't think I've had it bad at all with responses so far. It sure feels nice to see someone say it out loud though: 'what's the point of a critique if we're only discussing the positives?'
The other area I take issue with is the color. Mainly the background color. It's a little too highlighter green I think and the way it melds into the outline and the character makes the whole image look very sloppy and rushed and very unflattering. I would recommend simply separating the character from the background layer so you avoid this.
That's really all I can say since this is so simple. I hope that helped in some way.
Hello Dark-Fenrir, and thanks for the critique. You weren’t kidding about offering an in depth critique, and you pretty much talked all the points I wanted people to talk about with this piece.
About the linework, I left some areas without an outline because I didn’t want to rely on it too much to convey the form of the character (since I wanted lighting to do the work as well), and I wanted the outlines to blend into the background because I wanted to create a feeling of the light hitting the character. I thought it was a good idea at the time, but the more I’m explaining myself now, the more it sounds like bullshit. If I wanted to not rely on the outlines, I could have spent more time in making it look believable without lines.
That, and I was very lazy with the whole thing, and there are lots of little mistakes that add up to make it look as sloppy as you’ve said. There are parts where the greens of the background blend into the character. The colour correction I applied at the end of the process looks a bit obvious in some places such as the right eye. As you’ve said, the right eye looks wonky, as well as the iris, which for some reason doesn’t match the size of the left iris. And there are places where the shaded parts of the character just give up halfway through, like in the bottom right.
So yeah, a lot of the problems boil down to me not sitting down with the piece enough to recognise and fix mistakes so that it looks more finished, at least that’s what I think. It’s a problem that’s really pervasive in my stuff, and other people have noticed the same thing too. I did a quick edit based on your suggestions on line and colour. It’s not an improvement by any means, but I just wonder if this is more along the lines of what you were talking about: sta.sh/0g6f329ie79