Crit-Submit: The Response

Steam Punk Girl with overpaint by Dan Dos Santos

Yesterday I told you about my art work Steampunk Girl being critiqued over at Muddy Colors. Due to unforeseen circumstances I wasn’t able to respond earlier so I am going to do that now.

First off, thanks Dan for the critique.

Second, I volunteered for the wringer, so I got what I asked for.

On to the art. I thought up the idea for Steampunk Girl about two years ago and I didn’t finish it until last summer. I wanted to do a piece that could possibly be a book cover.

I was reading some steampunk comics and short stories at the time and so when I ran across the reference photo of the girl, the idea gelled together in my mind. I made it in Painter which I had just bought a couple months before, so it was rather new to me.

But that’s enough of the history. I think all of Dan’s critiques are valid and while I might have executed the solution differently, since some of the gears and walking legs are mechanically unsound, the idea behind it improved the picture. And since I thought of it as a book cover I deliberately left the top free of details to accommodate type.

I wasn’t sure of the lighting at the time since there was that big window letting in the dying rays of sunlight; also, I had an imaginary light source casting light onto the face of the girl. I like Dan’s solution of casting her into cool tones and playing up the golden light from the sun.

My thought on where she was, was in a large airship very high in the sky where the sun was actually below her vantage point. In my version you wouldn’t be able to see any buildings since she was so far up, but Dan’s inclusion of buildings helps tell the story of her world better.

I’m a sucker for pretty girls and to make her dirty never occurred to me at the time, which conjures up the image of a forehead slap now that I think of it. I think I got too caught up with making her look the right way that I didn’t think of her fitting into the story better.

I also have minimalist leanings, so I’m always thinking of making something more simplified and streamlined, and how Dan mentioned making everything else so busy that your eye rested on the calm areas is a new concept for me. The funny thing is in a different critique I was involved in today, a classmate copied a J.W. Waterhouse painting, and it was mentioned that he kept everything around the subject busy for the same reason, to focus on the girl. As you can see below.

Windflowers painting by John William Waterhouse

I’m grateful for the opportunity for the critique that Dan Dos Santos provided and I’m glad that he spoke of things that normally don’t come up in my usual art circles.


Muddy Colors

Dan Dos Santos Art