Elephant Hawk-moth

Got an inspiration from the moth’s name ‘Elephant hawk-moth’

This post had been uploaded on ‘Work In Progress’ category at first to getting advice and then came here ‘Finished Artwork’ category after the painting was finished. (2020. 03. 23. ~ 29.)
So it includes whole process of fixing the painting, so I lifted up the final image to here above.

But the process was worth to me, so if you’re interest, you can look over it and give any other comment. Thanks you!

Hello. It’s been a while since I uploaded my first artwork.
I’m glad that I could see around more and more beautiful artworks of you Krita artists’ in this place.

Anyway, the image below is what I’m drawing recently. It’s an illustration inspired by a name of moth which has pink-ish fur - Elephant Hawk-moth.

(The image size is quite large. Hope you click the image to enlarge)

Problem is, it could be seems like almost finished, but I feel like I’m being stuck before right in front of finishing. I think there’re a few ways that could improve this painting but I can’t find the point exactly. Guess my eyes are so used to the painting because I’ve hold it too long.

So I guess I can get some advice from you. I don’t know I can afford all of the advice to be reflected in the painting but any opinion would be welcome and be helpful. (‘The eye of moth seems so gross’, ‘Sky seems too dull/vivid’ … etc)

Situation of disease is going worse everyday outside there, but nevertheless I hope you guys be always healthy.

Thank you for helping !


Good piece, I really was smiled by the picture :slight_smile:

But you asked the opinion, so I made some rough changes:

Most of change is shape replacement: the moth is big shape and group of tees behind it is also and they merge into each other in term of size. So I think to place them in contradiction is more enjoyable to the eyes, second choice I see is just remove the trees and make moth slightly bigger (in first case moth also could be bigger) if you want to leave the arc for the storytelling.

Other thing is position of the main light source. Judge by the moth and the pot lightsource is from left, but judging by far city view and people near fence is behind of horizon around girls head. So I reinforced feel that light is from left (only forgot to change light of viewers: the right-corner man in both cases is too strong-highlighted).
Also I slightly change the horizon and put trees down to make shape of girl and pot more contrasting.

And, for my taste, sky need more cool tones - I just put brushstrokes, but more interesting will be slight clouds with cool undertones. May be I would also put some cool variation in shadow for every objects.

10 minutes after… Well, made moth bigger and dimmed highlights on the viewers :relieved:


Really thanks for your detailed opinion and even a demo.

I would like to leave the banner arc for storytelling as you said,
but I think I can resizing moth and trimming (or dimming a lot) trees behind of it.

I had set the light source at the horizon beyond buildings first but
added a secondary virtual point light to highlight the girl and moth
because I felt the main characters were too dimmed.
This problem must’ve came from my poor understanding that
how to use and express the light properly. :joy:
Maybe I can approach to the problem by adding some touches to sky as you did.

And giving more contrast on main object and dimming the light on people in front of scene - checked!

Thanks again for checking my painting.
Especially I’d noticed again importance of dragging eye flow on painting,
and necessity of study what I’m poor at. :relieved:

So I fixed the painting, several small things like strong highlights, size matter, and mainly redrew the sky to express forms of cloud.

Although I had to draw them quite blurry because I realized that I’m not good at drawing sky. :sweat_smile:

Hope it seems better than before.

And still any more advice would be welcome !

1 Like

Clouds looks too heavy and it is change the mood and distract attention from the moth. With those clouds all area should be much darker so it will change mood towards to sort of a thriller. A very light, tiny, glazy types of cloud would be better, something like clouds on this photo https://p0.pxfuel.com/preview/538/179/790/sunset-trees-nature-sky.jpg

But main puzzle for me is a having two powerful warm lightsources in the scene. Simple main warm and secondary cool light is a classic approach that always works. Instead of strong warm left light you could bring cool light from left-front angle or front angle from the viewers (e.g. from imaginary lamppost that turns on in evening time in the zoo) and it will bring more contrast with warm sun light on the moth. And I don’t think you have to worry about dimming the main character. If you will tone down almost 90% of the moth, he (she?) is still be very contrasting by contourlight from the behind, even more so eyes, whiskers, couple of legs will stay more brighter and pop-ups them.
Here a picture has something I talking about (it is the video tutorial of thai guy) https://youtu.be/IqNa2ubSAWo?list=PLr1_C07Mdb4H2faBOpnZS93PiZKJh05fe&t=321 – contrast between warm and cool lights. In your case cool light would be stronger because of secondary lightsource (not just bouncing fill light)

And small thing I forgot about to mention, the middle leg of the moth and the boy’s head make a tangent.
(here is good tutorial bout tangent by Sinix https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJIWllIMHsg )
May be you could flex leg like he (she?) supports the pot from bottom? or helps front legs?

1 Like

I had thought the cloud looks more calm than before so I liked it right after I finished to draw it but yeah, it seems pretty heavy after heard what you said and saw it again.

The lighting problem - Guess I should try some more bold touches to use difference light tone as you said. I don’t know I can catch the contrast of colors properly though, well, this will be a good study. And thanks for noticing tangent issue too.

I’ll look the links and give the painting another try.
Thanks again!

Yea the clouds give it a rather dramatic feeling, they don’t look like puffy warm weather cumulus but more like approaching thunderstorm.

And while I do like the arch with the view of the horizon, I agree that the very bright horizon sky looks like the sun just set there, while the lighting of the rest indicates it’s still up and coming from the left.

Maybe just try to take out some of the strong bright orange in the sky itself, and put the warm orange touches more on the clouds, so it looks like they brighten up the sky from the scattered warm sunlight, not like they’ll bring heavy rain.
But I know, easier said than done…

1 Like

My attempt to illustrate what I mean…I’m sure you can do better clouds than me ^^


Thanks for your comment and that demo give me much help to catch what you’re telling me.
I didn’t realize how much the light at the horizon is strong until compare it with yours.

And you remind me that I can use the light reflected by clouds as expressing light source direction
even if the light source is out of canvas.

I’ll try to change those things you guys pointed soon, thanks again!

So I’m back again with the painting got some touches more.

Mainly redrew the sky to make clouds look more lighter and fluffier, and tried to make the light to look like it’s coming from left side, not from the horizon.
(I had try to make them more blurry and dimmed as the reference photo I9S suggested but I didn’t make it that well.)
I hope this change makes sky look more better and natural than what I drew before.

And I set the secondary light source with cool tone that come from the angle where viewers were placed. I had wanted to make the reflection light (Ambient light?) look more softer, but rather it looks like bit greasy. Maybe it’s because of my limit of skill I have now. (I like the expression either, though.)

If there a problem left to me when I had redrew this painting, it’s the feeling of unbalance from the color between main characters and viewers. And I’m not sure why those things seem unnatural. Maybe a part of second light expression issue?

Wow it’s much greasier when I look the painting through smartphone screen that has vivid color output than monitor I used… maybe I should tone down the cyan colors more.

Anyway I will be always glad for any comments for advice !

The sky looks great!
Though the trees now lack a bit of contrast against the sky I think, the sky really should feel brighter than the shadow side of the trees. That rear tree between the antennas now even looks like some strange grey halo rather than a tree further back.

And yes, the secondary light gives the clothes of the people on the front that polyester look, and also takes out some of the contrast that put the focus so wonderfully on the moth.
So don’t overdo it, feels a bit too strong and cold to me.

Also I’m still not sure where the light comes from exactly, the shadows of the woman as well as the people in the front suggest it comes more from the back with the sun just outside the left picture border, trees and the moth (and also the sky now) more give the impression it comes more like 90° from the left.

Anyway I don’t want to criticize too much, I really like this picture!

1 Like

Yeah, overall color satisfaction now is much better.
May be top side of the head is too overdone with cold/greeny light? and the bottom, the reflect light from the pot and grass is too bright/strong? also left side of man’s hand is too glow/bright with cool green and very greeny itself because is blending with grass in hue terms (compare with boy’s color that has good contradictions with grass) , it is facing toward to main (warm) light or I’am wrong? And the wing is illuminated with green – it looks like some green lamp from strong right does this, not looks like reflected light. If the wing itself has a gradient to green you just need to lower a value and a little bit a saturation of this green. And the right spot on the pot is confusing – not quite clear where it comes from.

Summarizing, only bright spots (the left hand, top of the wing, the right spot on the pot) distract from focal point. Other is pretty solid and good.

1 Like

I know it’s not easy and even could be tired that taking care of the other’s painting this much, so appreciate to the comments with you guys really.

Next post I’ll upload may be a last version of the painting because I spared too much times than I thought.

So maybe the last things I should do will be:

  • Redraw to give contrast, or rather cut off the trees that too blurred
  • Adjust the highlights that are distracting eyes from focal point
    ( Moth’s wing, viewer’s hand, Pot shade … )
  • (If I could) Make it clear where’s light come from

I wish you guys have a good day, and thanks again.

At least I’m not the only one spending much more time on every piece than originally planned :stuck_out_tongue:

At some point you just have to call it finished, perfection is an illusion anyway. Changing your mind too often just makes you throw away parts that were well done but conflict with the last decision.

It has happened to me that in the end I thought I just should have kept the previous state even though it had some deficiencies, I wonder if others had that experience too…


Fully the same situations like @Lynx3d describes. Anyway the enjoying and feeling from process is far more important than a result and a form. And tendency to “perfection” may kill the joy from moment of creation. The teachers most teach about a form – 99% tutorials talking about shapes, composition, light, anatomy etc. or how to make money or promote you art – not about an role of the Inner Self that is locomotion of any human activity.

1 Like

So I end up the painting like this.
Darken trees, adjusted over-exposed highlights and shadows,
blurred things that out of focus point, and moved shadows’ direction a bit.
(Guess it’s still not very matched with the light direction though)

I’m much more satisfied with this compared with what I uploaded first.
And it’s thanks to the comments @I9S @Lynx3d gave.

I’m totally agree with what you say that the most important thing with drawing is expression of what oneself wants.
Just what I needed in this post when I had uploaded this painting was solving the thirst coming from thinking of ‘hmm… something’s obviously bit wrong but I can’t point it exactly’.
I had thought when I feel this, usually it becomes a opportunity for learning (especially when there’s a person who can point it for me.).

For an example, until you gave me a hint of feature of trees, I completely didn’t care of how trees look during sunset. Just drew them bright as the things usually do under interior light. After I found the pictures of trees under sunset then I finally could realize how wrong I drew them.

Anyway, the post gone much much longer than I thought, but it was really pleasure and good opportunity to me to fix the painting by the comments coming from open communty. (Sorry if there’re bad englishes hard to understand.)

Thanks to people gave likes to the post and special thanks to @I9S @Lynx3d.

Be happy and healthy days !

May I re-edit this post as ‘Finshed painting’ with changing Thumbnail with the painting which I drew last?)

You can post the finished painting as a.separate post in finished artwork category. You can also edit as you mentioned and change the category.

1 Like

Thanks for noticing ! I’ll do as latter.