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Author Topic: New question  (Read 1350 times)

Offline Glory

New question
«: February 05, 2009, 07:25:44 PM»

Click for bigger view if it seems deformed.
Newest near the bottom.

More of an opinion of prefered style but I thought I'd ask:
Are my portraits too generic/'anime'/cartoon/something style, or are you able to regconize any pattern in the anatomy or shading that would tell you this is my work?

I allow vulgar words to be used in critique, BUT under the condition it is contructive as well. Seriously I hear so many of these words in school they are completely dull to me, and I understand some people just have the habit.
"Oh shit, your torsos suck" is NOT constructive.
"Fucking forget the ideas of how to draw a torso right now, that is not how you draw one. this is how/what you should be thinking of when drawing one... insert explanation here... see?" Is consturctive.
I only post this so people don't start bickering at each other about using language or seeming harsh. I see too much of this go on. I am fine with the idea.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2009, 10:56:19 PM by Glory »


Offline Pocketmew

Re: Critique time
«Reply #1: February 11, 2009, 06:17:21 PM»
I think that with the time ou put in, you do deserve a good profit. The shading though looks a little weird with the lines though. I suggest maybe trying to put lineless art to the test. With such dark shading values, it does offset the black outlines. Or maybe tone down the shading some so that the overall peice matches. In my honest opinion I think if you lowered your price to 5-10gd/$ you can make a lot more business. Its not always the price of the commission, but the quantity you get commissions in. (Thats probably just me) I'd rather do 5 commissions for 10$ than 1 or 2 commissions for 15$.

Offline Lovedoll

Re: Critique time
«Reply #2: February 12, 2009, 11:00:23 AM»
I think it may give you more business to price them between 5-10 dollars right now. The reason is that I feel your shading is quite messy looking and unnatural. Chances are you're trying to define too much; up close it looks good when zoomed in, but zoomed out it just looks cluttered and in some places too dark. Especially on the top right in the examples you posted, the shading on the collarbone and nose is so heavy it just doesn't look very good anymore once zoomed out (especially on the yellow fur skin sample).

Another thing that I feel would make your ports look better is to adapt to a different technique for hair shading. Again in the top right sample, the effect that was created is not that of shaded hair, but looks more like hastily scribbled shades that don't match properly.  Again, probably due to the use of too heavy a shade and too much definition.

Now too little shading isn't good either, but perhaps leaving the darkest tones for the smallest bits (rather than for a large part of the portrait as you're doing now) will work out in your favor. It may also be that I'm simply not attracted to the style you used. :) It's my personal opinion that 'less is more' more often than people think. All I can say for sure it's worth a shot to experiment with shading more (or less!). You can always go back to what you are used to if you don't like how it turns out.

Offline ReiYukihana

Re: Critique time
«Reply #3: February 17, 2009, 03:48:12 AM»
Very much in agreement with Lovedoll!  The biggest detractor from your work is how noisy things are, and they all seem particularly difficult to read.  Lower the contrast and don't try to cram so many details in right away, try dialing it up gradually and stopping 2 or 3 steps before you usually would and see if you like it then.

(Don't feel bad; good art professor fortune cookie advice say 'It's easier to reign yourself in from going too far than it is to push yourself out there where you need to be,' so in not being afraid to go overboard you're still doing one step up.)

Nitpicks include compositions, what with all of your (non-feral) ports there looking a bit too straight on and stuffy.  You don't necessarily have to try and get crazy action shots in there, just try to incorporate more dynamic, personality infused compositions and poses with a bit more diagonal use.  Also, I think you've got some anatomy questions going on that'll have to be addressed once you've got the noise pulled back.  Headshapes don't seem quite proper, and there are little niggling structure things that says a little more study wouldn't hurt.

The feral port looks to be the strongest, and you seem confident in your work.  All in all: Dial back the details, little bit of form study, play with your compositions/poses, and above all keep drawing.  As far as price is concerned, I'd consider closer to $10 to be about right.  I feel like a few weeks of actively messing with the addressed issues could bring it up to $15 in my mind, if you work hard.

So even vulgar-yet-constructive language is fine with me!

...Don't encourage people to give mostly crappy critique, srsly. ;P


Re: Critique time
«Reply #4: February 17, 2009, 05:33:28 AM»
In a similar vein to the previous posters' comments, I'd like to stress the importance of form before detail. This is something people often blatantly disregard when drawing things like hair -- instead of singling out the details and shading everything as if it were on a 2D plane, you should approach the entire form of the hair "(or wings, or whatever might have very prominent textures) as a whole. Before you etch out every detail, define the form of the hair; areas that are further from the light source or obscured in some way will be darker than those closer to it.

Here's a quick picture to illustrate what I mean (it is messy and there are errors, ignore them):

With the proper method, I clearly defined the form of the hair first -- I darkened the areas that were furthest from the light source while leaving the areas closer to the light source lighter. Only after I had laid down this base did I detail the actual texture and fine strands of the hair. In the wrong example, I colored every section of the hair as if every part of it were equidistant from the light source. Unless the hair was laid upon a flat plane, that would be impossible.

On a more general note:

I don't know if you've actually done nothing but portraits since 2007 or if you're just not posting any of your other work, but I would highly suggest working outside of portraits either way. Though you might expect it to be to the contrary, working with something other than portraits will actually increase your ability with portraits far more than actual portrait work would. This is mostly because of Furcadia's grossly limited canvas and palette; you are exercising a far fewer skills relevant to portraiture (and artistic understanding in general) by actually doing portrait work itself. You will never be able to, as an example, fully understand how light falls on a form through portrait work alone -- this is because the Furcadia remapping system more or less eliminates several aspects very crucial to understanding of rendering (color theory, reflective color and reflective value, probably the most important deficit in the lot). As an additional negative corollary, if you work with nothing but portraits, this very limited technique probably bleeds into your non-limited work as well. (tl;dr: you will have more success working from the basics to the simplified form than you will if you start out with the simplified form itself.)

If you have done some full-er pieces (even sketches would do), it'd be nice to see them. Because of the limitations of the Furcadia portrait system, it is very hard to actually discern errors and deconstruct the process; the small canvas is also very conducive to the easy concealment of problem areas. I can sort of tell you you need to work on hands based on the portraits alone, but there's no way for me to really critically assess your process because it is so heavily cloaked by the homogeny of pixel art. There's just so little there to actually comment on.

...Don't encourage people to give mostly crappy critique, srsly. ;P
There's a difference between crappy critique (something with wrong information, poor advice or blatantly deconstructive content) and something that isn't particularly nice. "Mean" and "constructive" are not mutually exclusive -- and neither are "nice" and "deconstructive", for that matter. Niceness is often synonymous with dishonesty, which is far more of a hindrance to artistic progress than a bruised ego.

Offline ReiYukihana

Re: Critique time
«Reply #5: February 17, 2009, 06:08:50 AM»
...Don't encourage people to give mostly crappy critique, srsly. ;P
There's a difference between crappy critique (something with wrong information, poor advice or blatantly deconstructive content) and something that isn't particularly nice. "Mean" and "constructive" are not mutually exclusive -- and neither are "nice" and "deconstructive", for that matter. Niceness is often synonymous with dishonesty, which is far more of a hindrance to artistic progress than a bruised ego.

I'd agree with the underlying idea that honesty is the utmost important aspect of any good critique and being rude isn't an automatic qualifier for a bad critique.  Just, in my experience, honesty or even bluntness are not mutually inclusive with vulgarity or rudeness.  Hell, when it comes to critique, sometimes rudeness is purely mistaken for honesty.  Actually kind of find it rare to see critiques that are both informative, helpful and insulting.  A lot tend to put down some blunt, vague statements ('your anatomy sucks make it better') and then just leave the artist more confused than they were when they started.  As much as niceness can be equated with suspected dishonesty, it's fair to say snottiness and rudeness in this type of thing is more often than not equated with a need to inflate ones ego and general selfishness.  Not that I want to get particularly psychological up in hurr.

Not that most 'nice' critiques are helpful either.  There's always lots of "OMG I LOVE IT" flying around the internet too. 

Also tend to think it helps more if you can try to comment on aspects that an artist might be doing well additionally, with the dual purpose of encouraging them and also helping them know what they've got going on so they can further focus their practice.  Not that I think critics should give flowery asspats and kisses all of the time;  Just helps to be descriptive and honest about everything, including when something's done well.  People that have trouble seeing their own errors usually aren't too sure what they're good at, either.

Anyway, helpful critique by the way.  Feel like the message "General to specific" can't be repeated enough when it comes to artists.  Know I have a huge problem with remembering it!

Offline Glory

Re: Critique time
«Reply #6: March 24, 2009, 10:45:07 PM»
Whoa late reply here but thank you everyone. You found things I'd of never really thought to try since I am just used to doing my style. I'll be trying all of the listed once I finish my commissions up. I'd do it right away, but just in case someone commissioned me for 'this' version of my style I don't want to dissapoint or surprise (in a bad way).

Going to update this in a moment with updated question.
Edit: added new question.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2009, 10:56:34 PM by Glory »


Re: New question
«Reply #7: March 24, 2009, 10:59:51 PM»
are you able to regconize any pattern in the anatomy or shading that would tell you this is my work?
Not really. You have a few consistent problems, but I don't really think I could pick your work out of a crowd.

Honestly, I don't really think this is something you should be worrying about at this point. Remember the rules of art ::)