First I'll start by saying this piece feels very rough. I understand you put a lot of time into it so you're probably extremely tired of looking at it, but it has a lot of potential if you just pushed it a bit more.
I like your pallet choice, as the mix of dusty browns and faded blacks with hints of blue and even purple create a nice mood of dead, dusty and decayed with Saren and Nihlus feeling very much like undercover agents sneaking into an ongoing battle.
However, this backfires a bit since most, if not all the blue, is on Saren and his gun. If this were a picture of solely Saren, it would work well, but as a duo, this subtracts from Nihlus and makes him appear extremely plain by comparison.
I would find a way to balance this a bit more, by either using more blue on Nihlus, or giving him his own highlight colors.
I also have to mention the outfits themselves. I really like Saren's--the design and blue on the black is very elegant and looks regal. Nihlus' is also great, though I feel nowhere near as ornate as Saren's. I'm not sure if it was intentional to make him more 'practical' to Saren's near royal get up, but both wear the outfits well.
Now, I'm mixed when it comes to your background and foreground. You've got just enough detail and roughing in your background to keep in interesting and give us an impression and you don't subtract from the subjects. But, while both character and background look great, there are some things you could do to make them mesh better.
First, I would suggest pushing your background back a bit. You can often see this in landscapes--things closer to you appear much more saturated, while those farther away, appear less so, and sometimes blue. This is due to atmosphere and this 'layer' (as I call it) can often help push your characters out of your background enough to where they don't pop, but they don't blend into it. Throwing a thin layer of dusty brown here can help pull Saren and Nihlus forward just a bit more.
Saren feels very at home here, though. Meshing well with the dust around their ankles while still popping out of the background juuuuust enough. I would still suggest that layer behind him, however, since near his waist, the darks of the bg blend with his coat a bit too well.
As for Nihlus... I'm not so sure. I can't tell if he's supposed to be in front of Saren or if they're side by side. Where the gun sliiiightly ovelaps Saren's coat, the part where should almost meets gun. For the life of me I can't remember the term for it, but there is a sort of anticipation created by this almost touching. Your brain automatically wants them to connect because we've programmed ourselves to make things whole. (That's why dotted lines are seen as actual lines--because our eye perceives them as a whole line as opposed to dots with spaces between them.) Here I would suggest two things: either putting a little bit more space between the two turians, or overlapping them more to show who is where (This can add another layer of depth to your picture.)
You've also got a halo of dust along his left (our right) leg. I would really suggest getting ride of this, since it's a bit odd since dust and clouds don't move like this.
As for posing and anatomy: the latter is great, although Nihlus' posing... not so much. While Saren looks very much the man of action, Nihlus feels frozen and stiff by comparison. I feel this is mostly because of his legs and his arms. You've got a great view of Nihlus' chest, but the legs feel somewhat static with an almost straight on look.
The arms, ares also weird. While the action is clear and the hand looks good, the posing of the arm is lackluster and brings the picture down a bit. Nihlus seems to be point off to the side, rather than straight at us; so, if you chose to turn his body or move him closer to Saren (or both) you can extend the arm out behind the hand some, showing a bit more stretched from hand to shoulder so we get a better look. As for the other arm we don't really see, bending it at the elbow (so maybe the shoulder comes forward more) or tilting the gun will help get rid of the oddly symmetrical thing you have going on with the gun and Nihlus' legs.
I'm also torn about his expression--while you drew a beautiful head and the markings are amazing, Nihlus looks like he's in pain. Or daydreaming. He's not looking at Saren to acknowledge what he's trying to communicate nor is he looking at what he's pointing at. Just... staring into space. What's over there that's so interesting, Nihlus?? We got stuff going on right here. Pay attention!
Overall, your painting skills, color choice, and attention to details is amazing. Before I starting looking at this more critically, I found it to be a very interesting image. But as I mentioned before, it's a great piece that's in need of some more polishing.
Ok more Mass Effect. The scene looks as though there appears to be a battle/conflict of some sort taking place and the darker one appears to be giving the lighter alien, "directions/orders" of some sort for whatever field assignment/mission they've been assigned.
This looks like an alien planet, the environment looks rather rugged the structures, characters are done nicely. There's a good sense of depth and some light interplay between the foreground and background. I like the overall feel of "anticipation" in this work. The dust is a good way to show off the environmental hazards. There's a lot to like about this as I've mentioned. Your textures and contrast are a LOT better here (I think). The focal point is set up well. And most of the technical things that I can think of are done quite well here.
That said its a little weird if I look at it for awhile, the "building" (at least I think its one) in the background with the grey metallic hues looks kinda tall in the background yet it doesn't look that far back in the background, so are they standing on a platform of sorts, or are they just that tall? I'm guessing its the former, and the dust/fade out towards the bottom may make that harder to see.
While the way all the features within the artwork are set up very well. The actual poses and idea are fairly typical in sci fi and video games, while not overly original it does make it easier for someone to relate to, yet harder to make look original *unless you are familiar with the particular universe. Also the "pointing" Alien's legs look a little too light/unfinished. I wish there was/were a way I could think of to "not see" the pointing Alien's hand/arm as actually "not being there and having him/her look like the arm is gone. Again mostly nitpicking (as per usual) and I've probably said way too much. I like this quite a bit, but it could still be better.
Hope I wasn't too harsh, to be honest some of the shading reminds me a bit of how some comic artists on digital devices shading looks.
I am deeply impressed by this, and personally I think that's the best I've seen from you so far.
So, some incoherent comments: This could easily be a book cover illustration. I love the overall composition and the vagueness of background and dust. The blue accents on Saren's outfit stress the lines of his coat, and I like that detail a lot. Same with the texture of the structures in the background.
The only nitpick that I have with the whole thing is that I am having trouble determining where the light comes from, especially on Nihlus. The dust is diffusing things, but I think his face, the clasps of his jacket and his belt could benefit from more shading.
Other than that...have I already said how much I like this? I think I have. Anyway, it's beautiful.
Mesh better? I think they mesh pretty well, actually. You've pulled the warm tones in the background through into the characters and you've got that nice dusty effect in the extreem foreground. Perhaps my only suggestion would be to add some (slightly) more intense highlights to Nihlus's extended hand to help it pull forward more. Or possibly darken the bg in that area a bit.... hmm... That's the only part I have a bit of trouble reading.
Overall, really nice job! I looooove these fashions you've created! They are super stylish and fit perfectly within the ME universe!
Yes, i agree. Darkening the bg would be the best solution in this case (from my perspective). Thanks for pointing that out! I will continue to watch out for contrast issues (it's a persistent issue for me, sigh) in the future.
Damn, they're good together. Nihlus looks like some badass prince (!) and I imagine Saren dressed up like this on some party - a wolf among the sheep. And I love the background, colors and textures. It's just great.
Guess what guys! I'm
reopening my stores
(Etsy and Storenvy)
and commissions, I
can finally announce
that I'm getting
married and I need
to save as much as
possible for the big
day, July 27th.
before anyone asks,
the wedding is not
been planning it for
a long time...
Sorry, I can't
believe it's been so
long since I've done
this "orzEdit: I
forgot, but my
friend here's having
it's about your
with your favourite
food. It can be your
own character or
FIRSTLY: thank you
so much for all your
kind birthday wishes
and little gifts!
:hug: you made me
:heart:I hope this
small feature can
bring a smile to
your faces, too
:)enjoy and make
sure to fave some of
this great pieces!
;)and now we move on
to the first part of
would like to
address something I
have been seeing as
of late here and on
other sites. Artists
who are asking if
commission them if
they were to offer
commissions and if
so, how much should
they charge or how
much are they
willing to pay?
`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More