Critiques please!

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Critiques please!

Postby Karasu Inoue » June 4th, 2012, 11:24 am

I want to know how I can improve my artwork. My poses have gotten less stiff over the years but they're still pretty darn stiff, I'll be working on that in college.

I also just got a tablet yesterday and tried it out. I'll definitely still be using traditional mediums though. I love my pastel pencils.

Anyway here we go!

Traditional


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Here's a panel layout I did a few weeks ago. (Drawn on paper - Toned in Gimp)

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Here's a picture of my character Sky Rivers colored with pastel pencils.

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I'd say this is one of my most dynamic illustrations ever. But I know I can improve somehow.



Digital
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My first tablet drawing of Sky. Toned

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And colored.

So how can I improve my work?

(I'll add in my panel layouts later on when I get the chance.
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Re: Critiques please!

Postby Karasu Inoue » June 14th, 2012, 7:15 pm

So I tried out cell shading for the first time today.

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This one was not drawn by me, but I did color it. Riruka Dokugamine from Bleach.
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Re: Critiques please!

Postby Lapsang » June 16th, 2012, 4:58 am

There's some very serious background/setting avoidance going on in all of these. Your people are confidant enough within the style you're going for, there's always room for improvement of course but I think you're on the right track there. Your environment drawing is what I think you need to concentrate on improving the most.

Two lovely little words: reference photos. I've only recently started training myself to draw scenery after avoiding it like the plague for years and believe me it's allot less difficult than you think. Don't expect your self to be able to draw these things strait of from memory. Go out, take reference photo's of the kind of places you want to set your scenes in and then just COPY THEM until you are confidant enough to start working from imagination.

You also have no sense of directional light or shadows in your comic pages(although you do have some in your stand alone digital pictures). I think having more fleshed out scenery may also help with this. Be aware of where the main light source in the scene is and do your shading accordingly.

Hope some of this was helpful, good luck!
-Comics coming soon-
In the meantime, WIP and other illustration uploaded here - http://moomieswan.tumblr.com/
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Re: Critiques please!

Postby Karasu Inoue » June 16th, 2012, 10:47 am

Thanks for replaying!

It is something I have trouble with. If every scene took place in a white room, I'd be golden! But unfortunately, I'm going for a bit of a western-y, steampunk-ish setting, so I have to master settings and backgrounds as that is usually a very important characteristic of those types of stories. I'll definitely work on it once I have a few more characters designed and mastered. I'll probably have to do my backgrounds traditionally and then scan them in though... I just have more confidence working with perspective on paper right now... As you can see, the ones I did traditionally at least have some semblance of a "background" to them, while the digital images are just floating in the void. Lol

Thanks again for replying!
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Re: Critiques please!

Postby Karasu Inoue » June 29th, 2012, 2:45 am

This is a pic I drew for my debit card. Since the card is so small, I made a really big image and gave myself a tiny bit of leeway for any small errors.

What do you guys think?

Spoiler! :
Image
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Re: Critiques please!

Postby Guest » June 29th, 2012, 6:43 am

You need:

- Thinner lines.
- Variable line thickness.
- Cleaner lines.
- Smoother lines (Your lines are too aliased/jagged)

That will increase the quality of your lineart.
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Re: Critiques please!

Postby Snuffan » June 29th, 2012, 7:00 am

I suggest you look into basic anatomical structures. Draw skeletons and bases. When you have a hang of this you can start drawing different poses and try focusing on capturing movements and then perspective. You're already experimenting with movement and perspective, wich is very good.

So yeah, try to practive drawing skeletons and practice skeletons for different poses and try mastering movement. Don't focus too much on making "finished" characters and people. Try to get the most basic basics done first. You improve more through a lot of half-finished sketches than you do through completely finished works.

Also I suggest you look into colour theory. I like this thingie. It's not exactly a tutorial, but it gives you a new perspective of colour and it's something you can go back to and look at a lot.

Also, a small tip for coloured pencils. Try to get as much of the pencil against the paper as possible. Draw VERY lightly at first, and then gradually and slowly build up colour. It shows that in your pencil drawing the pressure is very uneven, and you've used a kind of back-and-forth-motion. For an even coating, covering a bigger area with a light circle-motion is more effective, and works best when slowly built up to the colour you need.
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Re: Critiques please!

Postby radiostarkiller » June 29th, 2012, 10:25 am

I think that if you're more confident with using traditional materials, then you should definitely stick with them. There's plenty of wonderful comic artists who use traditional media and their work looks pretty stunning. And with your traditional works, you can supplement it with digital touches, but you shouldn't be too reliant on them, otherwise the screentones will overpower the core of the actual drawing and look very busy. Here's an example of a favorite traditional artist of mine (more like favorite artist ever LOL), nobita.

Spoiler! :
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As you can see here, a lot of it is mostly pencil with a touch of grey. You don't have to go all the way with pencil or whichever medium you choose for the drawing, but understand that the drawing is much more important than the effects. In any case, I do encourage you to go the traditional route! It's rather charming, in my opinion.

I also agree with the commentary about doing backgrounds. They really establish a setting and give your story a sense of atmosphere. Also, try different angles, because from what I see, everyone is in 3/4 view. It's pretty crucial to do every kind of angle if you're going to make a comic, otherwise it'll be bland to read. Using nobita again as an example. He does an excellent job in setting the scene and effectively choosing angles.

Spoiler! :
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Basically, try studying other manga/comics that focus less on effects and more of the drawing aspects of a comic. Take note about panel amounts and arrangement. What does the artist do when there's an important scene and when there's a less important scene? How does an artist establish their setting? What angles does the artist use for the characters? Always ask yourself questions, and try to draw out your own answer. It may not look great at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll get a better understanding on how to build comics. Study and practice more.

And for one last thing, if you're going to go the digital route, do you notice that your comic has all these scratchy looking white areas? I'm not sure what program you're using, but you should probably fill in those scratchy areas or be more precise when you're cutting out tone for your work. Also, I'd personally just stick to plain grayscale fills over tone; personal taste but it looks cheesy and sometimes it doesn't translate well digitally.
just call me sai. it's easier to type. <:

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Re: Critiques please!

Postby Karasu Inoue » July 2nd, 2012, 7:11 pm

I've taken into account a little bit of everyone's criticisms in this pic. I think it came out all right. Tried a few new things here. What do you all think? Step in the right direction or did I fall on my butt...?

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Re: Critiques please!

Postby radiostarkiller » July 2nd, 2012, 7:28 pm

Definitely getting somewhere. The thinner lines are looking nicer and the colors are easier on the eyes. I think at this point, you should give some anatomy studies a shot. I know that you draw in an anime style, but anatomy studies and knowledge are a great supplement for an artist's repertoire. I recommend Loomis' books, personally. Also, for the skirts, pleats are tough to draw, but it doesn't hurt to look for a tutorial. Just do a quick google search. <:
just call me sai. it's easier to type. <:

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Re: Critiques please!

Postby Karasu Inoue » July 2nd, 2012, 7:39 pm

Thanks, my anatomy has actually come a long way since I first started out though. http://byakuya.smackjeeves.com It's something I need to work more on though.


Also, for Grey-scale tone fills... What do you mean by that? I can color an image and grey-scale it to decent effects, but is there a faster way to this result?
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Re: Critiques please!

Postby radiostarkiller » July 2nd, 2012, 7:58 pm

Karasu Inoue wrote:Thanks, my anatomy has actually come a long way since I first started out though. http://byakuya.smackjeeves.com It's something I need to work more on though.


Also, for Grey-scale tone fills... What do you mean by that? I can color an image and grey-scale it to decent effects, but is there a faster way to this result?


Ah, well, good work for coming this far. I hope to see more improvement in the future! <:

Ah, well, grayscale as in no dotted tone usage, like you see in traditional manga. It's just a personal taste, but just solid greys are easier on the eyes and easier to work with. If you want, you can use some gradients, too. Here's an example, a now-defunct webcomic of mine:

Image

As you can see, the lineart and black shades are strong, so the supplementary grayscale tone doesn't need to be over the top. As for a faster way to tone, I understand you use GIMP, correct? I don't use GIMP, but from what I've seen about the tools, here's a very basic method:

1. set your lineart layer to multiply
2. create a new layer and put it under the lineart layer
3. this step is a two-parter:
a. on the lineart layer, use the lasso/free selection tool and very carefully trace out the area you want to fill, then on the layer under the lines, fill in the gray.
b. you may notice you might have tone seeping past the line or you have some white. manually color/erase the tone so it's neat and inside the lines.
just call me sai. it's easier to type. <:

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Re: Critiques please!

Postby Karasu Inoue » July 3rd, 2012, 2:21 am

Wow, your lines are so good! Is there something I'm doing wrong or is it the program?

I have some drawing programs but they crash sometimes. Gimp is usually the most reliable for me... And I think I'd have an easier time making panels in Gimp...

I also have My Paint and Krita. If you've heard of those programs which do you think would be best to make manga. My computer can't run Manga Studio or Sai... I have a linux. lol
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Re: Critiques please!

Postby eishiya » July 3rd, 2012, 5:41 am

SAY makes it a bit easier to make nice, wispy lines with its tools, but you can do the same thing in GIMP (or with ink on paper). You need to learn to control your strokes very well.

The GIMP is the best thing for comics on Linux that I know of.
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Re: Critiques please!

Postby Azumitaiko » July 3rd, 2012, 1:15 pm

In all honesty, no program can make your lines pretty until you learn how to control your strokes. I've noticed that in comparison to your more traditional pieces, your CG art tends to have thick and rushed-looking strokes. In your latest drawing, i.e. the one with the two girls holding hands, it looks like you drew in thick lines and then just used the eraser to make them thinner, right? I'd suggest using a smaller sized brush, and to really zoom in a lot when you start your lineart. That'll make sure that your lines come out a bit cleaner. Also, starting off with a big picture and then resizing it will result in cleaner looking lines once you make it smaller.

As for anatomy, I've recently picked up Bridgeman's Complete Guide to Drawing From Life and I can tell you it's easy to follow and anyone can learn from it. Try to draw from life, too. Posespace has a lot of models to look at in many different poses, some with weapons, some not. I've been using that instead of paying for a life drawing class myself.

When it comes to coloring, most people use the lasso tool the select the area they want to color and fill it in. I use the more tiresome way which is pretty much take the brush tool and paint the area I want myself. Like Sai said, the key to not getting those white dots is to make a new layer on top of your lineart, set it to multiply, and go to town with your colors. Also, I recommend making a new layer for every color/shade you make, that way if you mess up really bad, you can delete the layer you messed up on and not ruin anything else along with it.

All in all, you're definitely on the right path. Just practice a lot, and everything'll come to you. Also, does linux not have photoshop available? Cause if it does, you can always buy an older version of photoshop since they tend to be cheaper than the newer versions.
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