monster

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  08 August 2013
monster



yes i know, unrelated title sorry

is there ever a time when doing artwork from the top of your head without having to rely on reference material ... "ok"?

anyways usual feedback is appreciated
 
  08 August 2013
Well sure, your sketchbook. If you can come up with really fun and pushed designs off the top of your head, you can always look at reference to fix and refine the anatomy later. Raw design and anatomy are both important, but they don't have to be right in every single drawing you do. In fact it's a good idea to occasionally oródepending on what your strengths and weaknesses areófrequently free yourself from reference and just create appealing designs. But in the end you want to make sure your designs are grounded in reality. Again, that can be done later, before the final artwork is done.

The other time when it's okay to not use reference is when you know the subject matter so incredibly well that you don't need the reference. Some people have the human body memorized so well they don't need the reference. But even people like that, I bet they still check reference occasionally throughout the process simply because they know that type of knowledge can deteriorate over time.
 
  08 August 2013
For future reference, if you simply want to ask a question about art, do it in the Art Techniques & Theories forum (linked below in my signature). The WIP forum is specifically for critiques on images you're working on.

Other than what Glen has already said, one more factor to consider is style.

If you are working in a cartoony style with very basic stylistic vocabulary, such as The Simpsons or South Park, you really don't need extensive understanding of human anatomy/figure/clothing folds. Any decent artist would be able to work in those styles without reference.

The more complex/realistic the style, the more knowledge in anatomy/figure/clothing folds you would need to have in order to work without reference. As soon as your chosen style become more complex than the amount of knowledge you have, you would require help from references.

Different artists have different levels of understanding/knowledge, so while one artist might be able to do anime/manga/Disney styles out of his convincingly, but not the more realistic styles, another artist might be able to do more realistic styles out of his head.

On average, artist that aren't working in really cartoony styles would require the help of references. How often depends on the person's knowledge/experience. Some artists only need to use reference when doing really difficult expressions/poses, while some would need references regularly.

Extremely few artists can work in the more realistic styles completely without references, as that would require a very advanced level of knowledge and experience, and even among professional artists, not many can reach that level, since the average human brain simply isn't capable of storing that much information, and really deep knowledge in anything requires many years of prolonged, focused study, which is more than the amount of discipline most human beings are capable of.
 
  08 August 2013
i find that information to be somewhat depressing

any feed back on this particular image?

ive been told that the composition/cropping of the image has problems
and that there are issues with proportions and form but haven't received much input on how to address these things


Last edited by nelson-press : 08 August 2013 at 02:57 PM.
 
  08 August 2013
Well, I will say one thing, your line quality is pretty good: very smooth and deliberate lines with thick and thins, nice and angular, and the clothing folds look convincing

Regarding the critique that you alluded to that was posted at CA.org <wink> the cropping TinyBird was talking about refers more towards the composition and placement of the characters. The composition is neither following the rule of thirds nor are the placement of the characters asymmetrically balanced (if there was less space on the right of the image that would fix that). She could also be referring to the cropping on the bottom of the page. The shoulder of the middle character is making a near-tangent with the bottom frame. Speaking of tangents there's one on the right character's forearm and head, so you'll want to fix that.

As far as "questionable proportions" and "huge heads and tiny arms" I would ignore that critique. Head to body ratio is about character design and you are not trying to go for realism here. So don't worry about that. There are only two things about the anatomy that I would critique on.

When I'm looking to find a character artist to hire, I look at how they draw hands. In particular I'm looking to see if the characters in their portfolios are posed in such a way that their hands are even visible! If someone's gallery/portfolio is full of characters who are folding their arms, have hands in their pockets, or are otherwise obscured from view, it communicates to me that the artist knows they can't draw hands and is hiding that through posing. When I do see hands in your drawing, they are kind of blocky. Make an attempt to draw hands.

The other part about anatomy has to do with Tiny's comment about the faces being flat. Yes, it's part of the manga style, but there's a reason why character design instructors don't like it when students draw in that style. Out of all the people we taught, students with an anime/manga background have the hardest time coming to grips with facial anatomy. They got the body down okay, because anime does have (generally) realistic anatomy from the neck down. But there's so much shorthand in the face, and manga has it's own iconography to depict emotions: cruciforms for anger, floating water droplets, crosshatching for cheek blush, nose bleeds, not drawing the eyes, not drawing the mouth, and so on. The students with that background would also draw the mouth in profile the same way they do in anime, which is not physically accurate but is done so that the animator can animate the mouth separately from the jaw to save money. All of that shorthand and iconography for the face totally breaks away from 3D form even though from the neck down the anatomy does not.

In a way it makes anime uncritiqueable because the style dictates that it should be drawn like that. It's not merely the "it's my style" defense, it's the "style of a genre" defense, and all we can say is "stop it" which isn't really helpful. Full disclosure: I do like anime, so this isn't xenophobic genre hate.

In short, I really can't critique the way you draw faces or give you feedback on it.

Recommendation: Post something we can critique, something that is going for realism, something that will require you to use nuances of the mouth, eyes and eyebrows to evoke emotion instead of anime iconography. Those students with the anime background I spoke of earlier? The only ones who made it through the program and incidentally became better anime artists where those who started to draw realistically and later came back to the anime style. Once the learned how things looked in the physical world, and knew why anime characters are drawn the way they are, were able to better replicate the style and make good anime art, or went on to create art in their own style.
 
  08 August 2013
And you just barely edited your previous post with a new image.

Oh, I was going to ask you, what was it about the earlier posts that you found "depressing?"
 
  08 August 2013
You should also tell us about the image. What exactly is the narrative you're trying to convey here? What is happening in this scene? Who are these characters and what is their relationship? In any image that actually has a narrative, you need to explain what you're trying to express, so that we can assess whether you conveyed your intention clearly and effectively in terms of body language, facial expressions, or how the scene is composed (including the overall composition of the image).

As for the figures themselves, you're working in a highly stylized manner, where features are extremely distorted, so it's hard to critique. If you tried to apply logical anatomy structure to a very stylized approach, you'd have to pick and choose what to remain logical about, and what to exaggerate, idealize, and simplify. This is one of the most difficult aspects of stylization. For example, you show the nose in profile with nostril and nose bridge, and nose tip, but suddenly, in other views the nose disappears. Where is the logic in that? And just because some anime/manga artist in Japan decided that's the approach he wanted to take, and somehow the style caught on and became popular, doesn't mean it is a good stylistic convention in the first place. There are plenty of bad trends in the world, and it's the same with art. (Yes, it's subjective, so ultimately it's up to you what you personally like. But at the same time, you can't control whether your audience will also like it.)
 
  09 September 2013
Originally Posted by glenmoyes:
Regarding the critique that you alluded to that was posted at CA.org <wink> the cropping TinyBird was talking about refers more towards the composition and placement of the characters.



#^^#



Originally Posted by glenmoyes:
The other part about anatomy has to do with Tiny's comment about the faces being flat. Yes, it's part of the manga style, but there's a reason why character design instructors don't like it when students draw in that style. Out of all the people we taught, students with an anime/manga background have the hardest time coming to grips with facial anatomy. They got the body down okay, because anime does have (generally) realistic anatomy from the neck down. But there's so much shorthand in the face, and manga has it's own iconography to depict emotions: cruciforms for anger, floating water droplets, crosshatching for cheek blush, nose bleeds, not drawing the eyes, not drawing the mouth, and so on. The students with that background would also draw the mouth in profile the same way they do in anime, which is not physically accurate but is done so that the animator can animate the mouth separately from the jaw to save money. All of that shorthand and iconography for the face totally breaks away from 3D form even though from the neck down the anatomy does not.

In a way it makes anime uncritiqueable because the style dictates that it should be drawn like that. It's not merely the "it's my style" defense, it's the "style of a genre" defense, and all we can say is "stop it" which isn't really helpful. Full disclosure: I do like anime, so this isn't xenophobic genre hate.




i was talking to a friend about life, i was saying something like:

"seems like in order to get by in life you basically have to be perfect" and in a very comedic fashion they simply replied to me

"yes"

---

in regards to the anime style comment i because i must have had the same kind of "why anime style is bad" conversation with so many different art ppl over so many years

in the same comedic fashion i can only reply

"yes"

i guess i should post some of my life drawings or anatomy studies someplace or something :/
 
  09 September 2013
Originally Posted by glenmoyes: And you just barely edited your previous post with a new image.

Oh, I was going to ask you, what was it about the earlier posts that you found "depressing?"


i find it depressing because as much as one may love art, and as much as one may draw or study art the skill level that they are able to attain seems to be somewhat limited by the physical limitations of the human body

its like 'i can't become as good as i want to become because of the physical limitations of my brain and my body'

that depresses me
 
  09 September 2013
uh, yes, it's a panel for a comic or something like that

usually when i do stuff i do at ratio 8.5x11 or something like that






sorry, im not certain if this makes any sense
sorry updates are so long apart but you know, life and surviving and what not

maybe i should have a background
 
  09 September 2013
As long as you enjoy the process of creating and it makes you feel fulfilled, then it really doesn't matter if you can become "perfect." The goal posts are always moving, and when you achieve the level you set out to reach, you'll realize that your goal posts have already moved and you have even more challenging goals waiting for you. It goes on and on like that, and it's the same for everyone. Even those who are masters and revered by others go through it too--they still have goals they haven't reached.

As for your image, you really need to think about the narrative context before you start drawing. You need to ask yourself what the image is about, and why should people care. As soon as you start depicting characters that emote or perform an action, you are stepping into the realm of visual storytelling, and you are no longer just making a picture but conveying a story, expressing a mood, or making a statement. So ask yourself what you want to convey here. These characters are interacting, but what are they saying/expressing to each other that's interesting enough for your audience to care about? If this meant to be a scene, then yes, make this a scene at a specific location, and better yet, make sure the location fits the context of the narrative and help express the mood you want to convey.
 
  09 September 2013
hmmm ... yeah ... the story telling in this image is a little weak isnt it

need to find a way of enhancing the characters, how they emote to support the story better i guess

and i think back ground might help support the story too
 
  09 September 2013


is that girl in the back middle larger than that guy on the left?
that doesnt make sense

and that dudes shirt is kinda tangenting with the edge of the image
 
  10 October 2013


lights and shadows need major work
my color theory is still pretty weak i think T_T
 
  10 October 2013
Hi Nelson,

I can't draw out of mind that well, nut mainly not that fast.

As for coloring. It's simple

Desaturate for objects further away. For cartoon style I'd do this for non acting abject too.
More saturated and darker closer.
 
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