Critiques and opinions before I carry on

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  01 January 2014
Critiques and opinions before I carry on

I've been working on a concept of an young Adventurer type character but before I continue on I just wanted to see what your thoughts are on my progress especially on the composition and anatomy of the character.

  01 January 2014
If this is supposed to be a character concept, then there's no composition to worry about, as concepts for characters, objects, vehicles, etc, don't really require any creative composition--you just slap them in the middle of the image and that's it. It's really when you depict other types of images that you need to think about composition (such as full scenes, environments, narratives, and non-concept art portraits/figures, etc).

The proportion of the figure looks okay, but the anatomy isn't quite there. The right arm lacks convincing muscular structure (has that balloon animal look), and exposed area of the left arm just under the elbow area looks odd too--the shape isn't right.

The character also looks very stiff and unnatural. Even just standing and holding a lantern, a person can look a lot more natural than that.

The clothing folds/wrinkles don't look convincing--especially on the legs. You need to use proper references instead of trying to fake it on your own.

The sword doesn't look right either--the perspective and angle doesn't seem to fit how it's strapped to his body.

His neck area looks too flat, lacking a sense of form/volume. If you have distinct form shadow on his face, then why not on his neck?

The only artists who can get away with not using references are the really advanced ones who's already done years of intensive anatomy/figure studies and have a strong visual memory bank as the result that they can utilize. If you are not an advanced artist who's done extensive anatomy/figure studies and really knows his stuff, then you have to use proper references.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to shoot your own references. Take photos of yourself or of family and friends if you have to. We all have cameras today, and I'm sure you've got a mirror somewhere in your home too. You might even have a tripod, or can get a cheap one easily.

When you have a real person you can direct like a movie director, you can get the most natural looking pose--which is something you cannot get on your own without expert-level experience. Also, shooting your own references, you don't have to be limited to what you can dig up with Internet searches and working with images that are from other people's creative minds instead of your own. Your own references can match your exact needs 100%, since you have control over every little detail as the creator of the reference photos. You can light the subject however you like, pick the angle you want, have the model emote/pose exactly how you want, put the clothes you want on the person, and so on.
  01 January 2014
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