This is the fourth and last post in my series of creating the back cover for Water Gun Water Gun Sky Attack Solves A Problem Like Maria"'s EP "Decompose. You can find the first post here.
At this point of the artwork I'm feeling pretty confident already about things. I've made some improvements, especially by adding a cement base that can more easily show the impact of the car while at the same time still hold up the sign.
However at this point I'm wary of any more critiques because I'm already starting to feel tired of looking at the same piece for the past couple of weeks. I should also ideally be able to critique my own work since I won't always have an art director looking over my shoulder. So I decided to go on my own for the last stretch of the piece, and circled out some areas that I knew would need fixing.
In terms of the flow of the piece, two things really caught my eye. First was the bit of farmland in between the buildings that is lit up. This distracts the eye from the flow because it's surrounded by adjoining areas of darkness, giving it more luminosity than it should have. Second is the metal borders of the rooflights. They hook your eye and distract you from the flow of the piece, which should ideally be from the sign to the girl then following the dirt path to the town. Other minor issues like blown out highlights also need to be controlled, as well as finalizing what font I'll be using for the sign.
Here I've fixed up the lighting issues by adding some elements (the more trees and buildings) to controls the flow of the piece. This is something that I learned from watching Jason Manley's video. In the same video he also mentions trying to stick to a 60/30/10 ratio of lights, darks and midtones. For example in this piece I was going for 60% dark, 30%light and 10% midtones. I didn't quite get it perfect since to me this looks more like 50% dark, 30% light, and 20% midtones.
This is pretty much done. I'm going to add some textures and weathering to the sign as well as some cleaning up here and there but essentially I'm pleased with this and am ready to wind down.
A lot of help came from the guys at cgsoicety and conceptart.org so I'd like to give them a shoutout. Lunatique aka Robert Chang was a great help. If you thought his advice to me was solid you should definitely think about attending his online workshop. I can't really afford it right now but based on the comments it looks like folks have found it mighty useful in their careers.
If you liked this series of posts or found them useful I'd definitely appreciate a comment and any suggestions to make them even better!