Hey Palam! how’s it going … first of all let me thank you for sending it in your work and I really like this this image because the idea it has the concept that you are trying to portray is very dramatic and and it creates an emotion of danger right because there is Lava and especially the red color so so but although the concept is great and this reminds me of Lord of the Rings the final scene of “the return of the kings” if you’ve seen the movie so even though the idea that this image is conveying is that this area is dangerous but the color the use of color is not suggesting that so the use of color should reflect the basic idea of this image. right! so what I’m gonna do is I’m going to compare this painting the same mood that you are trying to convey with the with the with the mood of the Lord of the Rings, right! so if you can see that this this is a similar kind of mood if you can see that this is a low-resolution image that I could find on the internet so if you can see in this in this image let me just take a brush all right you can see that the colors are very monochromatic right so you’ve got the whole whole image the whole image is a monochromatic image and it has got the reddish hue throughout the image right even though you can see the sky on the background, the sky on the whole sky. This is very very unsaturated right! it seems that it is slightly bluish in hue, but this is a trick of our eyes, because if you can see/ if you can sample the color it is like reddish/ orangish hue and very low saturation and even value so this is what our brain does, it tricks our brain. These kind of… using a very low/ unsaturated reddish color will give you an effect that this is a cool color so the idea is that the point that the director is trying to convey is that these these guys are in danger so… and they are in a Lava, right! so the whole image carries that mood that carries that danger idea so during the use of the right color it is obvious that a we see, we associate red color with danger, right! so what you need to do is also that you need to make it monochromatic image to to be very clear in your statement right and right now the Color scheme that you are using is complementary color scheme right so these are cool colors within a bit very warm colors so this is a wrong approach because this creates a….. this does not convey the mood of danger so what you need to do is take the selection and turn down the saturation can even make it a reddish hue this is much better than the previous one so if you take a look at the color wheel so it’s got the warm colors and cool colors what happens is does when you use your color contrast like complementary color scheme that a warm color with a cool color you create the feeling of calmness and and you you don’t necessarily you can’t use that color it scheme, the cools and warms together you cannot use that with with the mood that you are trying to convey. We don’t perceive danger with with the complementary color scheme right so in order to give a very bold and clear mood you need to use your colors very closely which are for example if red and yellow are very close right so these are analogous color scheme two colors which are right besides each other so if you use if you use your colors in this range it’s going to create a different effect right and the effect of danger more specifically so let’s take a look again in your painting so it is much better and let’s let’s jump to the the next point which I want to discuss is your value groupings so let’s take a look at the value structure on your painting so right now I’m seeing that you have a very dark background with bright bright values here and then mean the background is become a rather flat so we need to adjust that because that is making it a very 2d, right! it is just making…. we only see it as a shape, like this is a shape and the rest, this is a shape and the rest of the image right, so this is this is not that impressive so what we need to do is that take a layer first and in the selection, give some brightness to to your painting basically so let’s say take some darker values, zoom that out and with these background mountain let’s just take another layer and give these background mountains a little contrast so lets darken it, now it’s looking quite better you see the kind of environment that you’re painting is very atmospheric right so it’s got a lot of smoke and steam in it so things are going to be much darker because of less light and it’s going to be much more contrasty and filled with atmosphere a lot a lot okay so so yeah so this is much better than the previous previous version you can see so if you take that into black and white mode now you can clearly see that we have a perfect division of dark medium and light as I spoke about that in a previous critique video right so you need to make sure that your painting have a clear dark medium and light value structure so let’s let’s take a look at another another point which I want to make is that the use of 70/30 rule so the 70 and thirty percent rule is is the thing that I use a lot and this is a formula for me and for many other artists what what that is is that when it comes to your values you need to divide your painting into 7030 for example, 70% could be seventy percent could be in in darker values and 30 could be in lighter values or the opposite that 70 person could be in lighter values and thirty percent could be in total values and that creates a particular mood in your in your viewing in your brain and and that is that is very effective technique to to create a powerful image right so so that is what we are all after right 70 /30 rule so so yeah so in this in this image you can you can also do that and which I just did, like I darkened the background mountain and brightened the sky but I’m going to add a few more elements into this painting to either to do to even enhance that further right so so so here comes my next point there are two points that that are left right designing of your focal area and your atmosphere for mood so let’s talk about that so it seems that your it seems that this is your focal area right this is your focal area so if that is a focal area that you need to you need to do a proper design for this right this this does not look very very great design I mean I understand that this is this is some sort of a man-made structure in the in the mountain areas but you need to design that like you see when i do when i do my illustration and and you can see that i do a separate page for my design focal area designs so you need to to do silhouette studies for that and come up with with better design and and yeah and utilize that in your painting also also i can notice that there is a bridge that you have painted and this this does seem to me that this is a this is a part of a focal area this is a really important area right so even though this is a really important area but but if I quickly looking look to you through your painting I can easily miss that area because there is not properly defined so we need to define that and we need to make it stand out so because this is a part of a focal area so how I’m going to do that is is by using atmosphere lots of a smoke and team and things like that and that it creates a really moody effect in our paintings so let’s take a selection so I’ve got this tip brush I’m going to create some or glow effect and some smoke this lava is very hot right so it is going to glow a lot even in the foreground you it will glow a lot now you can see that because it’s got much more aggressiveness to it it is much more aggressive now because of the glow right and the next thing which I’m going to do is another take another selection and I’m going to create some smoke so let’s take a some what darker color then we can adjust that according to how we need, what we need so let’s just first create… remember the smoke…. if this is steam, then it is going to be lighter in color but if this is the a smoke then it is going to be darker so let um just take a mask so that I can move it around you need to see what’s working and what’s not… sometimes it’s a trial-and-error type of thing okay let’s lock the transparency and because the lava is very hot and it is giving off light, so it is also going to illuminate the the smoke the smoke or steam whatever with the reddish hue make it much smaller I think that is better lower down some of the opacity okay that look much better let’s take another selection of the layer mask what I’m going to do is I’m going to take some selections to further divide my background and let’s take a small brush I’m trying to trying to hide and reveal some of the areas in the background mountain and that it that creates a very natural feel to the smoke and makes the the atmosphere look more 3d the atmosphere is not too d so it also it also follows the perspective and so it’s going to behave with your it’s going to behave and interact with your objects in your scene so it’s going to hide a few areas and reveal in certain areas so utilize these kind of natural phenomena of light and shadow in your paintings to create and interesting art work this is much better than the previous one all right let’s take another I think this area is is better okay let’s give some steam to this area also make sure that you do not go overboard in creating the atmosphere you need to be very subtle let’s take another okay let’s take this brush… you can also just design your smoke and then place it wherever you want right! this can be used as clouds so let’s first take this okay this is much better yep also I want to hide this area because somehow it is does not feel right because I need to make this focal area as bold as I can make it so in order to do that I need to I need to remove this hard line so what I’m going to do I’m going to take a soft brush and just simply cover that area in smoke or steam whatever as you can see now that this focal area is much more pronounced and bold and using these kind of techniques that I just showed you you can create an effective painting right so these are the some of the points that i wanted to show you, also sorry i forgot to to make this adjustment to the bridge so let’s take the collection of this bridge and using the same technique you can you can make a bridge more prominent the technique is same you just need to be aware where to use these kind of techniques right so let’s let’s use the glow, because this is directly above the lava so we’re going to use the glow to separate the bridge and make it more pronounced much better you can also flip the canvas okay now let’s take a look at the value this looks much better also another thing which I which I think what would improve your painting or is that we need to remove this this light this is very distracting right now so let’s just take a selection and grab the darker color make it darken, this is now much better than the previous state and you can you can go on and do a lot of detailing and with the same technique that I’ve done that I’ve just shown you so this is going to receive some of the light from the bottom area so yeah so I hope you learned something and I hope to see more painting from you utilizing what I’ve taught you and this this this painting which you sent me was was much better and I really enjoyed critiquing your work so thanks again for sharing your work and I hope to see you for the next critique…. thanks!