Hey, this is the first coloring piece I've ever posted, and one of the first I've ever done. It was fun, though, so hopefully I'll be doing more.
It's drawn by Ed Benes, and I grabbed it awhile ago from Newsarama.
This is pretty darn good for your first coloring job ever, Darren! But... this could be a lot better. I'll see what I can do to make a proper, area-by-area critique:
First, it looks like you tried to follow the light source laid out in the lines, and I commend you for that. However, you need to take it a bit further. I'm looking mainly at his blue areas- the shadows could be a lot darker and straying more towards the purple end of the blue shades, while the highlights could be a bit brighter and go slightly more towards the turquoise end, with a couple tiny hot spots of straight white.
It looks like most of your highlights and shadows are in the right places, but they need to be a little more defined. Also on the cape, the same thing- brighter brights and darker darks.
His skin seems to be a bit too far towards the pink, but that could be glossed over as personal choice.
I think one thing that would really help here is choosing a light color- where is he?
On Mars, with red light streaming in? In his living room, with an incandescent bulb over his head? Outside in the sun? All these things will affect the light color immensely.
Judging from the stark shadows prtrayed in the inks, a strong main light source from the top left with a little bit of reflected light bouncing around underneath him is what the piece calls for.
Also- the gradient fade to white on his cape and leg looks really bad, IMO.
If you changed it so that the brush strokes defining the shadows are a lot stronger, and the white BG creeps up through the highlights, it'd look a lot better.
His "S" shield looks very flat. If you added a few dark cherry colored shadows, that would fix the problem.
A bright, sharp-edged highlight running through his hair would really define it as "hair" and not some alien parasite sucking on his brain.
A bit more depth on his belt is needed- mostly adding some shadows where it falls away from the light.
The light, pastel-tone coloring job really blends in with the light, pastel-tone background, too, and it flattens the piece a lot. If you made the BG a lot darker and desaturated, Superman would pop from the canvas a lot more.
His heat vision beams are really looking bad there, though, man. They're the same color as his skin. Really, they should be the brightest thing in the pic!
I'd say, bump up the saturation on 'em all the way, and add a bright pink/orange highlight running the length, with just a touch of white where they begin.
And a bit of red where their light hits the suit would be a perfect touch. A dark red color hold on the lines would really make them look hot and glowing, too. Maybe a bit of red on his face, too...
Anyway, Darren, I'm sorry to rip the piece to shreds, and I do think you have potential. It's quite good for your first piece, but I think you can make it even better.
I'm not trying to impose my personal style on you, either. All the suggestions I've made are simply following the rules of light and shade.
Sorry to ruin your day.
That wasn't harsh at all, man! I appreciate it. That's a very specific critique and really helps out a lot. I may revisit this one or just apply everything to a new piece. Thanks!
Steve would give a heaps better crit than I ever could lol
But darren, great first attempt though... my only comment is that the light from his eyes looks almost the same as his skin so it looks like..err... well he's got a growth zoooooooming out of his eyes... but steve said it all HAHA
keep em coming!