View Full Version : Starry Jake

03 March 2006, 06:32 PM
This is my first WIP post (I think) so I'll just get right into it.

I was thinking that this would be my final product, but after looking at it and looking around these forums some more I've decided to put it up on here to see if I can get some good feedback, anything to improve upon it.

03 March 2006, 09:50 PM
Is that you? a friend?
I like the background alot :thumbsup:

He probably needs an undershirt. Also, if viewed head-on, I don't think you see very much of the hood.

03 March 2006, 10:12 PM
Thanks , it's my best friend and cousin

I've been thinking that he needs an undershirt, but I just can't bring myself to do it, I guess I could try and if I don't like it just hide the layer, but I dunno, I like the chest, like the little shadow you can see on his...umm, breast plate? I dunno if that's what it's called.
It started out as a magician so it was gonna be more of a cloak than a hoodie, so not giving him a shirt made sense.
And now that you say that about the hood I definitely agree, I'll let it hang down a little more.

03 March 2006, 03:06 AM
I made some of the changes but I'm not on my computer to post them, so I just wanted to post these pictures that I did have, they're my 1st and 2nd drafts of the drawing, the 2nd one is how most my previous drawings looked.

1st (

2nd (

05 May 2006, 04:52 AM
finally got around to doing an update:

there are a couple of things I'm hoping you guys can help me with
I can't figure out how to shade black hair, cause his hair has so much more depth than that, but it looks flat on the top, in my last version i faded in white, but it made it look kind of gray in my opinion, maybe i was just doing it wrong.
also he looks kind of girlish in this one, i will say that he does kind of have cute girlish/young boyish looks, but i'm not sure if i necessarily want to convey it that way, i moved his eyes apart a bit since posting this image, and I think it helped alot, but any other suggestions?
also, anything you would like to add, i'm giving him a a-shirt right now ("wife-beater") i like that you can see his chest plates (or whatever they're called) so I don't want to give him a real tshirt.

05 May 2006, 07:04 AM
I think the placement of the features on the face is rather off. There's a basic list of rules here ( Check out the Anatomy Forum ( too:)

As you can see, the eyes are way too high and there isn't sufficient space between them. Don't be afraid to go darker in the nostrils and lips :)

As for the hair, try picking one of the colours in the background (I'd pick blue) and paint the highlights with low opacity, gradually building them up.

05 May 2006, 01:27 PM
Thanks for the tip, and both links were VERY helpful. I've moved the eyes down a bit, and i moved the nose and lips along with it, but now I'm thinking maybe the nose and lips are too low....I don't know though, I pulled a picture of him for referrence finally, and it seems that he has a bit of different positioning, but....i don't know, i think it was just the picture, because as I'm typing this i look down at my desk and see a DIFFERENT picture and it seems a bit more on point, so maybe i'll scan that in and compare.
Thanks for the reply
here's an update

I think he looks less dirty in this one

05 May 2006, 07:34 PM
Much better :)
The neck looks a little too narrow for the head though. Why don't you scan the image in and compare it alongside, it would be easier to see where you're going wrong that way :

05 May 2006, 07:52 PM
I was about to do that this morning, but I had to leave for work (kind of a little loopy this week for certain reasons). So i'm gonna try that when I get home, but the problem with that is this image isn't based off of one picture, when I drew that first pencil drawing I had 3 or 4 wallet photos laying out on my desk, and just used them all to get my sketch down. And from then on I haven't used a photo reference, just been working off of memory.
I guess scanning in the photo to compare will still help quite a bit, I guess I was just thinking it wouldn't because i was using photos from like a 6 year period of time (from when he was about 7 until 13)....but now that I say that I realize that that doesn't really matter, because the image will just help me to clarify placement of main features....hmm. I'll definitely do that than.

do you think the body looks too small too?
I think it kind of looks like a caricature...and I don't think that's what I want

05 May 2006, 12:03 AM
So I compared the images, and I think this is alot closer

05 May 2006, 12:32 AM
I'm sure there are plenty of people here who can give you much better comments than me, but for what its worth, this is my input :) Wow, lots of improvement! My advice would be to not be afraid of sharp lines, highlights or shadows - you can always smooth them out later, when the drawing feels right to you, if a smooth look is what you're after. Try adding shades with blocks of colour, or make some bolder shadows. And the hair - you seem to be drawing lots of seperate strands; try seperating it into locks and shading/highlighting each one seperately. Are you using the smudge tool? If you are using photoshop you might want to try pressing alt while you have the brush selected, you can then use the eyedropper quickly to sample colours from other parts of the image which can give blending more texture, if that makes sense. I do think you need more shadows though, the drawing is a little pale. It's looking good though, the features are looking a lot more realistic, and the drawing is showing lots of personality.

05 May 2006, 03:13 PM
Thanks alot for your advice howlinghorse, I went back through and added deeper shadows throughout the whole thing and I think it has alot more depth now. Geeze I'm becoming so happy with this. Like when I posted the rainbow background version 2 months ago I was so happy with the outcome, and now that I've decided to do more I'm exstatic(sp?).
So here's where I'm at with it.

I brought in 2 photos and had them sitting on each side of his face, one was from about 2 years ago and one from about 2 months ago. since this wasn't made from one particular moment in time. I'd say my proportions are pretty close now

I can't decide how far up the arms would go though, or the armpits i guess...I just don't know how to do that part

05 May 2006, 03:31 PM
Nice progress aldog, but I know you can do still better :)

Right now the biggest problems I see in your image are that the face is really wide when compared to the neck, the mouth to chin distance is too much and the body needs some work. Don't be afraid to use references. I did a quick search in Google and found this ( Notice the neck width in comparison to the width of the face, the width of the shoulders and the collar bones.

Something for the ear ( too. And more anatomy ( stuff.

Have fun! :thumbsup:

05 May 2006, 03:42 PM
Thank you thank you thank you.
here's my image with my 2 reference images on either side

i'm going through your links right now =)

05 May 2006, 04:36 PM
Ok, I'll list out the differences I see between your image and the reference :)

Starting from the top:
The eyebrows are much lighter in the reference. Easily fixed, just colour pick the skin tone

from your image and lightly go over the eyebrow with that till it looks ok.
The lower eyelid doesn't have much of an angle in the ref, it is more or less flat.
The nostrils are thinner, this makes the bulb of the nose look bigger( in the ref).
I think the lips should be a litle thicker.
You should reduce the width of the face a little too.
Don't be afraid to add more reds to the face,Remember you can always go back to a previously

saved version.The background tends to reflect on the face too.
Also, like howlinghorse said, don't paint each strand individually.Paint the main masses first

and add the details later.

05 May 2006, 05:31 PM
easy enough with the eyebrows. but should I draw them differently? like right now they're just kind of scribbled on...I don't know how to go about drawing eyebrows so I just put something there so that...well...there would be something there, I'm guessing just short strokes with a small brush would mimic them the best.

with the lower eyelid part, are you saying that he doesn't have as big of cheeks as i've given him so maybe I should just flow them a little better?
I agree about the face, it looks so cute being chubby, but I have another one saved where his head is shorter I'll just keep that one for me to giggle at and take your advice with my current one =).
I keep getting nervous to add shadows and highlights, because I'm working on a lot fewer layers than usual...but that's just silly because I can easily just do it on another layer and merge them when I get what I want. So I pretty much just need to suck it up...i just don't want to ruin it is all.
I'm not sure what I'm gonna do for the background, seeing as I've already changed it 3 times...but as I'm typing this I think I've come up with what I want. I think i'll do some sort of sunny background...california style, cause that's where him and I met. woo that brought a smile to my face =)

so about the hair...
what I did was just painted all of the black and then made a new layer and did some sloppy strokes...color overlay...outerglow...but I'm really not happy with it, and i know you 2 think it could be much better. so I'm just wondering what you mean about painting the hair.
hmm...i dunno...maybe I just need to look up some how to's...but my main problem is keeping his looking black. I guess with a sunny background he would have orange and yellows bouncing off his head though....hmm, i'll experiment and you guys can tell me when I'm going in the right direction

05 May 2006, 06:19 PM
You answered the eyebrow question yourself:) Just look at the ref on the right and try to see the "flow" of the hair. Keep it light though.

About the eyes, I mean that in the refs, the bottom eyelid is almost horizontal with the top eyelid curving over it. If you check your image, it is pretty much the opposite.

I'd suggest keeping the hair mostly dark (almost black with a few other dark tones) and using highlights only where it is absolutely necessary. You can see an example here ( I have given the hair almost bluish highlights. Remember to paint with low opacity :)

05 May 2006, 06:07 PM
so....I did a little bit, and I wanted to do ALOT more, but I have to start packing now. I'm still going to go back through and do all of your guys' suggestions, but I guess I'm just posting this something up?!?
meh...teeth suckfile:///F:/icons/RandomStuffwithPhotoShop/StarryJakeFinalSize-4.jpg

05 May 2006, 05:54 AM
More with the teeth, and just random touchups, but I gotta get the mouth right before I can move on, I was zoomed in the whole time and I thought they were looking good,but in full view it looks like crap still.

05 May 2006, 11:07 AM
It's looking better each time, well done. The nose is very well done.
Right now he looks like he's biting his lower lip, just thicken it up a bit. Also with the expression lines, whatever they're called, on either side of his mouth should flow all the way to above the nostrils. The chin is a bit flat, a highlight there will fix that problem. Actually the light source is a bit of a mess, the nose is being lit from the front and his left cheek from his left. I reckon you should decide first where the light is coming from before you do any more shading that might need to be fixed later on.
Looking forward to updates! Keep up the good work.

05 May 2006, 05:11 AM
Thanks for the nose compliments, I forgot to work on the expression lines, hopefully your advice will help because they look stupid now
also i couldn't stand looking at the teeth so i went back to the previous lips, but i still am going to get that smile looking good.
mainly worked on the body

05 May 2006, 10:28 AM
Good, you fixed his shoulders. I think the body should be a little bigger, though. Also, those expression lines are still a bit out of place. They go from the corners of the mouth to the sides of the nose, yours are too far from both. Also, if you don't plan to have a giant grin or a wide smile, I doubt they'd even show up. At least not as much as you have them now, they look very exaggerated. Also, on his left, that expression line looks like a depression in the skin since it has highlights on both sides. An expression line is simple the cheek being pushed away a bit and rising out a little, so it should have shading more like a lump in the skin rather than a depression. Since your lighting is coming from (his) right, the area below the nose should get a little bit darker by the line, and the line itself should be a highlight. The intensity of both would of course depend on how pronounced you want the expresssion lines to be, since everyone has different ones. I for one, pretty much completely lack them.

05 May 2006, 08:19 AM
Thanks eishiya,
I've worked a bit on the expression lines, but still not perfect, I've also made a new mouth, which I really like, but I think he looks like he's got a forced smile, and just not how jake actually smiles, but still I like it better than what I've had.
Also worked on the chest skin, smoothed it out a bit, I think that's about it. I wanted to do the hair but it's too late, gonna have to happen tomorrow.

05 May 2006, 10:28 PM
It's looking better each time, well done. The nose is very well done.
Right now he looks like he's biting his lower lip, just thicken it up a bit..
do you think the nose look proportioned? I've got people telling me that everything is off and I just don't get it.

how's the lighting too?

Good, you fixed his shoulders. I think the body should be a little bigger, though.
about the body being bigger, the person is a young boy, so do you think that it should be bigger for a littler boy? I've just kept it small so far because he's kinda small, but I'm going for proportioned, so if you think it should be i'll give it a try.
I think i've fixed the smile a bit, still not perfect.

05 May 2006, 12:25 AM
The hair looks like its greying when it's uniformly highlighted like that. focus on chunks of hair and only highlight in some areas. I took 2 minutes to try to show you what I mean.

05 May 2006, 01:05 AM
ooooooooooooooooooooh, hah, I think that's what everyone has been telling me, but I'm just not smart enough to understand it in words, thank ya

06 June 2006, 04:37 AM
Dang't, I forgot that you gave me an example on how to do hair.
and now i'm tired as hell and just need to go to bed.
but i wanted to post something
Just the hair a little bit, and trying to get the lighting all the way right.
I didn't do a whole lot, but I had to do SOMETHING with it, i want it to be finished and I just had to keep it going.
do the muscles on teh arms look ok?
I like that he looks muscly, just want to make it look right.

06 June 2006, 02:24 PM
and what about the mouths

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