View Full Version : May I please get some critique on some of my works?

01-01-2014, 11:57 PM
I am nowhere near being an amazing artist, thus why I want to get critiques so I can improve!
The links I shall provide will send you to DeviantArt pages, just to let you know.

So, I don't mind if you only choose one or so out of the ones to critique; any critique, as long as it's helpful, is amazing help to me!

First off.
The work I am proudest of, plus my most recent. I love how I drew everything, but I know I could use some help with foregrounds and backgrounds. Plus, no matter how much I tried to make it look like dusk, it didn't really work the way I wanted, even with tons of references. So, I decided to whip up what I could in the sky, and make a dark, unsaturated blue, low opacity layer above all the rest.
Made in photoshop elements 10

DAT METEOR OF DOOM. AND THOSE CLOUDS. WOWE. SO MUCH AMAZE. LACK OF COLOR HARMONY. WOW. (I need a lotta help with this one, like how to make colors more harmonious like in my holidays picture above, and how to add more of a sense of doom, like it was given in the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games.

And thirdly.
I need help with how to make comics. I've read tons of books about comic making, which I tried to implement, but I just can't fully grasp it. Making comics feels natural to me, but making them actually more interesting than what I show them as, and with dialoguing...I just can't fully grasp those. I do amazingly when WRITING with the concepts I can't grasp well in COMICKING, but I can't figure out how to merge the concepts through those two mediums.

If you could help me out with my art by critiquing my work, I would be EVER SO THANKFUL. You would be helping me develop as an artist and writer IMMENSELY, and helping me let my mind loose through the medium of art. Thanks for reading this far if you have, and infinite thanks if you help me!

01-02-2014, 01:24 AM
I'm going to talk about the comic a little bit! If I think of anything useful for the others, I'll comment later, but I'm drawing a blank right now.

I like your expressions, and I like that this one page seems to be moving the story it's a part of along, like it's a page that the comic would be weird without. Most of my quibbles are technical and I'll probably talk about them at far too great a length here, so bear with me.

One thing I notice is how crowded the word balloons look. I'd try to put a little more buffer space between the words and the edge of the balloon. In some areas, the first letter of the word comes dangerously close to actually touching the balloon itself.

I would also try to avoid having really looooong, stretched balloons. For example, on the last one, I think I would've split it into two connected balloons. I couldn't find a perfect example, but something along the lines of the first panel of this (http://i.imgur.com/gVeujph.jpg). (Which is also an example of fitting a good amount of words into a balloon without having them run too close to the edges, though I personally prefer more space than even that.)

I would've split it like this:
"In fact, I'm not gonna let some old creep hold me back."
"I'm getting my starter now, and I don't care what other people think."

Even if they're in the same panel, the fact that they're broken up makes it a little more dramatic. In the example I linked, the usage of multiple parts of the balloon draws attention to each part in the balloon a little separately. "I don't believe this. Dream, you're as bad as, as --" "As desire!" "Or worse!" They carry more power split up like that than they would have if it were one long sentence. (And to use that same example, the fact that the balloons are so close together indicates emphasis, but only a split-second pause between each. If one wanted to indicate that a character took a longer breath between sentences, space them farther apart.)

You also have one gutter between the first and second panels, but no gutter between the top two panels and the larger bottom panel, or the last panel and the larger panel it sits in. It's kind of inconsistent. Personally, I prefer the look of gutters between panels, as it's easier to distinguish one panel from the next, particularly if you have any scenes that are darkly lit. But whatever you go with, be consistent.

As for the smaller panel within a panel at the bottom right, it might be worth trying something like having a black inner border, some neutral color around it, and surrounding that neutral color again with a black border. (For an example, see this (http://i.imgur.com/PbZ7w0o.jpg), though I will say it is somewhat gory. I couldn't find a not-gory example, sorry.) It would be strange to have a white gutter there, but having that triple-border setup would maintain the look of the other gutters and really help draw attention to that last panel.

Lettering! I would strongly suggest not capitalizing entire words like that. It's jarring to look at. Use bold or italics for emphasis (or both, in extreme cases). If something's important enough to be in ALL CAPS, it needs to be short and sweet, and probably the only thing in the bubble it's sitting in.

Likewise, if you're going to make a phrase in a smaller font than the rest of the text, it should be only for emphasis, and should be in its own little bubble. "I'm sure he has a" looks smaller than the rest of the text, and "good reason..." looks smaller than that in turn, and it kind of looks like a move just to fit the text into the bubble as is. One good way to utilize smaller text, to indicate lowered volume, is to add more space around the words. The second example I linked does this -- the injured lady's text is smaller than Baba Yaga's, and the space around it just brings attention to that.

You can use differing font sizes for different reasons, just don't mix them all in to the same word bubble unless it's the only way that panel really works (and even then, do it super sparingly).

One last thing, kind of minor, but the positioning of the two people in the first two panels threw me. I assume the lady is to the left of the dude until I see otherwise in the third panel, which makes for sort of a disorienting read. One way I can think of to get around this might be to show just a little bit of the dude on the left in the first panel, to establish where they are in relation to each other.

You've got expressive characters, who seem to have their own personalities, which is excellent! I think working to make those little things like balloon positioning, gutters, word spacing, &etc would do a lot to improve the overall polish of your comics.

01-02-2014, 03:46 AM
Whoa! You replied with tons of info, even though you only critiqued on one of my works. It was enough to fill up an entire page of notes!(Which is a good thing, since the comic was actually more urgent to me, since I plan on mainly pumping out comics nowadays, and the quality of my comics will be a staple in my resume when going to colleges and getting jobs after or during college.)

Your critique made a lot of sense to me, and I was able to see the reason behind each criticism(which was softly written, and didn't insult me or my work at all) and I plan on implementing your ideas into my comics that I am making.

Thank you so, so much! You helped me a lot today!

01-02-2014, 06:45 AM
Try limiting your palette to just 4 or 5 colors and exploring their value ranges. Choose a temperature for the picture you are working on and base your palette on that. A small palette will go a long way to achieving the unity you are seeking.

Even though these are comics, don't neglect to do studies of actual landscapes and real people. Once you know those foundations you can push them to cartoony or simplified extremes without fear of breaking the image. Even for cartoony scenes, keep references handy.

Here's a little diagram to help you with your shadows, lights and reflections. Important tips to keep in mind which will become more prevalent when done with your studies, translating themselves into your own personal work.

http://i1209.photobucket.com/albums/cc388/Tenebraestudios/1461134_774560202559317_1852226096_n_zps462d4343.j pg

All we see is made up of light and shadow. Keep it basic and before detailing, you use light and dark, warm and cool to help define your characters and scenery. It will make your job much easier and your paintings will thank you for it.

01-02-2014, 04:31 PM
Took note of your recommendation!
Just a quick question though, for the color schemes of characters, how would I go about altering the color palette to be harmonic with the rest of the scene? Use background and foreground colors to shade and lighten the character, depending on what he/she is closest to, or maybe create a clipping layer over the character's colors, fill it in with background colors, depending on what is immediately surrounding them and what is the light source, and changing opacity and erasing that new clipping layer as needed?

01-02-2014, 04:54 PM
Thats where experimenting with values and ranges comes into play. Here is an article by Matt Kohr, an artist who worked on Despiciable Me


The real danger with painting in color is using too much of it. I think it all goes back to drawing with markers as children - we're conditioned to think in terms of full saturation hues. One of the simplest pieces of advice I can give is to tone it down... reserve high saturation for small elements of your composition. Much of the natural world is gray and brown - even objects that we think of as colorful as not as vibrant as crayola markers.

And from the guy who taught me the -most- about limiting my colors, James Gurney


If you construct a picture out of fewer colors, the resulting mixtures are more likely to be unified and harmonious—and more interesting.

Most of what he says relates to oil painting. However check out his example of the girls head and how he explains the use of color there. (Point number 2)