WIP: Fox from the side (Critique wanted)

Bought the Digital Atelier brush pack yesterday this is my underpainting before I go wild with colors and oil. I’d like to request some critique on anatomy and shading before I start :3.


The way the hind-leg and the tail connect makes it look like the spine is twisted. We can see on top of the back at that part. But the overall picture seems to indicate the view is from below so we should not be able to view the top of the back. Maybe extend the hind leg a bit further up.
Hope that makes sense and is of help.


helps a lot already. I checked back at my sketch and it looks like I got a little off track on the butt.

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I’m loving that smile.
This is more of an opinion than a critique and it depends on your stylizaion but you can smudge the under side of the tail downwards to make the fur sort of pulled down by gravity.

I’ll keep that in mind as soon as I add the actual fur (I only indicated it for now), thank you.

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That smile is really nice! What I would do is tweak the lighting. Have a spotlight on the character, and darken the background, and just let some light slide through there. That way you differentiate the character more with higher contrast, and guide the viewer’s eyes to the center piece.

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I made some adjustments to better tell the point I was making, let me know what you think!

Basically it was value adjustments, a slight alteration in framing to make the most important part be the highlight :slight_smile:


Wow, that changed a lot. I didn’t decide for a background yet but I definitely keep that in mind. It looks so much better.

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I highly agree with both @slightlyangrydodo’s changes.
Cropping the image like that, places the center of the face in 1/3 of both height and width, making it a natural focal point - as it’s top left one, it’s also the place your eyes start reading the picture, which makes it even better.
Having darker background also gives it a classic lighting solution, as you can have quite a big value range in your object and show its form. You can experiment with light from behind as you did, but then there are many things and optical effects to keep in mind - you won’t be able to place so many details in the object itself, can’t have such a value range and there would be very, very powerful light scattering on the fur at the line between object and the background. But you can still have this effect with traditional lighting as shown on the left edge on the overpaint and I really like it only on that one edge. That’s a great place to experiment with the thickness of that white scattered light - for example making it thicker at the height of the nose and shoulder to draw even more attention.
Great job both of you. Very glad to see both so awesome artworks and critiques like those here on the site :wink:


Wow, thank you for those kind words! It really means a lot to hear this :smiley:


I’ll experiment a bit with the lighting. I really wanted to have a great portion of the tail on the picture though. It’s the most fluffy part and fluff is pretty much my specialty. Perhaps expanding the Canvas to keep the face in the center of the first third will help a bit? At the moment there is not much of a background but I plan to fill it with something.
Thank you for the advice, I never really thought of the advantages of a dark background before.

If the tail is an important focus, maybe alter the pose to make it a more proeminent part of the composition :slight_smile:

I have only a very basic knowledge of composition, to be honest :sweat_smile:. The only thing I could think of right now would be to rotate the whole character a bit and have the tail extend into the foreground.

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Yup, that was exactly how I was picturing it! Or maybe have the fox curled up sleeping, they usually sleep with their tail on the foreground.

Your suggestion is great however, and it could be even better if you want to make the scene more dynamic, because it can provide interesting highlights and contrast in an engaging way. Same way that a person punching in the direction of the camera has so much dynamism in terms of shape design :smiley:

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This would make for a completely different picture. I probably don’t take all of the advice into this work, since it was just meant to be a quick one to test out the new brushes, but I will take it into account next time.


For sure, you do you! Wish you the best on your paintings :slight_smile: