View Full Version : Would love some critiques!

01-28-2014, 05:47 PM
..On anything in my gallery. c:

I feel like I know some of the things I need to fix, but I'm not entirely sure how to do so. Some of the things I'd like to improve on:
- Lighting (more dramatic, directional)
- More life-like and flowy poses (too stiff)
- perspective!

Any little thing you could give me would be awesome. <3

01-28-2014, 06:03 PM
I think you have an interesting style, not just throwing that word out there for the sake of it. I really do mean it.
But if you are wanting to bring it closer to 'realism' then yes, you will have to start assigning light sources and the resulting shadows that come with it.
All the points you mentioned can be tackled with more studies...2 books which I recommend all the time, because they are so DAMN AWESOME are:

http://i1209.photobucket.com/albums/cc388/Tenebraestudios/Gurney-Imaginative-Realism_zpsd7c720a2.jpg (http://s1209.photobucket.com/user/Tenebraestudios/media/Gurney-Imaginative-Realism_zpsd7c720a2.jpg.html)


Also check out Ron Tiners Figure Drawing Without a Model, which despite the name is all about studies on real human bodies and movement.
You've got a real head start, I don't think you need much else except to knuckle down and begin experimenting with light sources.

Another handy little mini-guide to get your foot in the door

http://i1209.photobucket.com/albums/cc388/Tenebraestudios/1461134_774560202559317_1852226096_n_zps462d4343.j pg (http://s1209.photobucket.com/user/Tenebraestudios/media/1461134_774560202559317_1852226096_n_zps462d4343.j pg.html)

Also, do you work with thumbnails? Roughs? Lack of prep-work is something I am guilty of, but it helps a lot. Research is a vital part of successful illustration and involved doing studies even for each individual piece, combined with thumb nails (literally tiny quick sketches to nail composition) to help make the progress to the end result that much easier. Sometimes most of my time with a piece is spent doing research.

"Color and Light" will help you to nail down various environmental factors present in your piece, which all serve to tell a story and act as your guide in setting up the effect of lighting.

01-28-2014, 06:11 PM
Those look like amazing books; I'm totally getting them.

01-28-2014, 08:08 PM
"Color and Light" has been in my Amazon wishlist for a long time, actually -- I wasn't totally sure if it'd be worth the buy or not. But with your recommendation, it's going straight into my cart, along with the other book you listed. c:

I have had a serious issue in the past with remembering to do thumbnails and studies, but I've really been trying to do them more, lately. I can see how much it helps, I just need to get my butt in gear and put the time in. I think I'll add a daily reminder on my phone to do some kind of study.

01-28-2014, 08:15 PM
Definitely worth it. I keep it near me all the time.

When you start incorporating light and shadow into your work and begin colouring, block in the basic shapes of the characters very simply, literally by using contrasts of warm and cool. Keep it simple and then build up form from there, adding little details towards the end.

Though I must admit, I do not know what your approach is at the moment. So sorry if thats redundant.

QT Melon
01-28-2014, 08:18 PM
One of the things I notice is you have a habit of ...over rendering. Sometimes you need to do a bit of "hide and seek" with your paintings. It is quite easy to want to render a lot of feathers or details but sometimes you have to learn when to hold back.

One thing I was learning in painting is if you paint details in lit areas, keep the shadowed areas less rendered. It also works in reverse. That way you give people's eyes places to go to. I'm trying to remember if that was actually mentioned in Gurney's posts but I think it was taught to me by another instructor.

That being said you do render items pretty well. So it's not horrible, it's just a matter of learning balance to help your pictures work together better.

01-28-2014, 08:33 PM
@Tiamat - Thank you so much, that's all actually really helpful. c: I think I just kinda get stuck in a rut, and it's nice to have fresh eyes to point me in a better direction.

@QT - Ah, I can definitely see that. I do have a lot of trouble finding that balance (obviously, haha!). Do you have any more tips for knowing where and when is the proper place for lots of rendering, and where it should be a little more vague? Or maybe some examples of artists who've really nailed that?

01-28-2014, 08:43 PM
Do you have any more tips for knowing where and when is the proper place for lots of rendering, and where it should be a little more vague? Or maybe some examples of artists who've really nailed that?

Decide on what the focal point of your illustration is, that is where you want to lead the eye. Think of how when you focus on an object, objects in the distance or around it get unfocused in response. It's a good way to add depth to a picture. The Gurney books cover this in great detail and teach you about how to lead the viewers eye around the image using rendering and focus.

A basic tip is, the face of your character is normally the focal point in the picture. Our eyes instinctively seek out eyes in pictures we are looking at. Master the hands and the head and you can be forgiven for a lot of other things.

01-28-2014, 09:22 PM
I am guilty of this as well but maybe some more study into drawing scenery.
The back ground can really make a big difference. Right now some of the BG's you have seem quite plain.
The other things you mentioned are good too, I would say for sure the perspective things, like foreshortening and other such muse's

01-29-2014, 08:15 PM
@Tiamat - Thank you so much. That's extremely helpful, and I'll definitely be giving it a shot in the future. I think my problem is giving something the illusion of having detail without actually drowning it in detail -- when I try to keep the rendering focused primarily on one part of a painting I often feel like the rest of the image is lacking and looks unfinished. I'm sure it's just a matter of finding a good balance.

@Sammacha - I can definitely see that. I've been feeling like my backgrounds are pretty lackluster for a while, I definitely need to do some environment and perspective studies. Thank you!

QT Melon
01-29-2014, 11:54 PM
Well a lot of controlling that hide and seek has to do with using the right kind of edges.



Don't add Halos or harsh edges to work if you can't figure something out. It's a matter of mixing the background correctly with the foreground.