I think this looks pretty sweet but since you asked for a critique, here goes…
1. I think there can be more shadow on the conch. You're heading that way but I still feel the shell looks a little flat being the center of attention that it is and with the amount of light shining on it, there needs to be some strong shadows. Don't use any variation of black/gray for the shadows. Instead, try going with a gray that has a cool color tint. That will help the shadow not suck out the color in this colorful piece.
2. I'm not a fan of that horizontal plane under the conch that goes across the piece. I think it kills the composition by dividing the plane in two for no reason. If that could be removed, I think the scene would look more organic and natural.
3. This image is a little off balance colorwise. While we do want the attention of the audience to be on the conch, it makes the audience's eyes focus solely on the right. I would perhaps add some of the same details and colors to the left side of the image (in the mid-ground or far background), only with a less saturated tint to balance the image and give the impression that there is more life growing on this environment than where the conch sits. That way, the audience's eyes will be made to roam around the entire piece.
Hope helps and I hope I didn't sound harsh as I think there is potential to this piece and things that can make it better Any questions let me know.
Thank you very much for your critique ka!! I really appreciate the time you take to write it. You have really good advice about the shadow and colors, I will try to fix it. Although, the assignment was to make a background for a game where you need a path for characters to walk across horizontally. That's the purpose of the horizontal plane. Any advice to make it better and not ruining the composition?
Oooh, OK I see. In that case here's a couple things you can do if the path must be there...
1. Bump up the brightness and saturation of the path. Because it is something the player of the game has to focus on, you need to highlight it for them. Right now it looks dark and lost because it has to compete with the much brighter conch composition on the right.
2. Straighten the path. Right now it looks like it's tipping down on the right.
3. Make a strong foundation for the path. The way it is at the moment, it looks like it's just floating there on it's own. I can see you have hints of supports there, but it's getting loss because it's so dark and not really well defined.
Hope that helps! Good luck with the project!
I've tried to modify the picture according to your suggestions. Hope it's a bit better now. I haven't done your #3 on the first critique, however. I'm adding a monster on the left side of the path and that might help balance the colors. If I have time left then I'll add some more details in the background (this is due in 2 days ahhh >_<)
ps. I forgot to say I really love the way you comment. It's always very helpful and constructive and makes a lot of sense Thanks so much again!!
Thank you! Glad I could help
It's looking better, but I know you still have to fix the path foundations. I still feel that the path is still not horizontally straight. Might wanna run a straight line tool through that on another layer for comparison.
As for adding the monster, I'm not sure how I feel about that since this is a game background and characters need to be a different element that is added at a later stage. But if that's OK with the game creators I guess you can go ahead and do that. The point I'm trying to make is that I would keep all changes to the background level and not add any characters in to balance things out as it defeats the purpose of the piece being a stand-alone background. I'm still vouching for adding coral details to the left instead for balance. Just my two cents.
Hope that helps!
Thank you so much for your suggestions once again! The monster is also part of the assignment, but they want both a picture with the background alone and a picture with the monster. So you're right to not cover it up with a monster.
Anyway, I sent it in last week and didn't pass. They gave me critiques and another chance to redo the picture. I'm uploading the new one now, please take a look if you have time