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You're welcome Your style looked like it was close to mine so I thought I'd share what I feel needs work in my own artVak: Thanks! I'm glad you like it and I really appreciate your comments. You make a lot of very good points that I will consider to get better. The highlights, lighting and color consideration I am going to take into my next piece. The scarf is somewhat done on purpose though,.. a bit from laziness unfortunately.
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Better lucky than good!
I really dig your work and I think both pics look great!
I also checked out your site and was surprised to find you'd done the 'Thief' pic... i've seen that around and had never known who was behind it until now. It was a great pic - still is - but I can honestly say from seeing your new stuff that you've improved quite a lot.
Some of the crits on here have been pretty harsh and I wouldn't be surprised if its the reason more people don't post their own work up.
As for all the comments about style and 'this looking like that', forget about it. We're all influenced by someone else's style and its a good way to start, grow, and compare our own work/progression.
Oh and I agree with your point made about going for something different from the realistic stuff - stylized rocks.
Keep at it man, the pics look ace!
I love this character idea. I love the purple streak in her hair. It really gives me something to relate to in the real world. I think that connection is good. I never for a second thought that the legs were too short. I have cousins that have MUCH shorter legs so it's really no big deal (No one's perfect!) The yellow jacket reminds me of Scorpion for some odd reason xDD. I really love how you did her face. Lovely work.
Story, give them something to be in relationship with. Thanks for posting!
Kamui, what a shame that you stopped drawing for a while! As mentioned, I hope you don't do it again! These are lovely works, and they have a sense of fun that makes me think you enjoyed doing them, so I hope you'll keep doing that! ^_^
I also think it's awesome that you're experimenting and developing your style. One thing though, and of course this is just my opinion, so take with a grain of salt, but I don't know if it's really the best idea to just dismiss any comments that compare the work to HTK. I know it must be frustrating if it's an influence you're trying to move away from, and you want your work to be recognized for your efforts, not someone else's. But if a piece I did was instantly reminding people of someone else's work, that's something I'd want to know, personally. And if you're working on moving in a new direction, that can be a good gauge of how it's going.
For myself, I was also immediately reminded of HTK, but only in the colouring. I think HTK's colour work has many admirable qualities, and of course it's not like he has a copyright on any elements of style. Anyway, it would probably be more useful to think about what elements it is that's making that connection. As others have mentioned, the bright white highlights - it is actually a look I quite like sometimes, but perhaps worth limiting the use of - this could add more realism too, as not all materials respond the same way to light. Another big thing I think is the shadows and highlights. He tends to use very cool (often greenish grey based I think?), very desaturated shadows, and very yellow highlights. This is very much present in the second pic, with the shadows on her sweater and the highlights on her tights/pants (the grey bit). These are really beautifully rendered, and working fine here, but I'm just pointing it out as since you're experimenting, playing with different tones and approaches to shadows and highlights might be fun and useful. He also tends to work with a limited tonal range, expressing the shadows more through desaturation than contrast, which is also something I see here - and one thing this does is give the pieces a more light, fun feel, so perhaps more contrast might not be a look you'd be into - but again, might be fun to play with?
As for her design, I agree with previous comments that it's really refreshing to see a more stocky, muscular build ^_^ And I like the sense of fun in her design. However, the total package of the design in the second piece isn't really working for me - now, I know you weren't going for practical, and it's not because of that (although I do like practicality, especially as a woman - it does sometimes bother me to see female characters in, say, combat, with all the most vulnerable areas exposed simply to allow for more T&A - but that's not my point here! ^_^). Rather, I think what's bugging me here is a lack of unity - impractical designs can still be unified designs. Anyway, it's a compliment to you really, because the way you've done her sweater, it looks so much like a sweater, that it looks really warm and cosy! Plus the fact that her legs are covered - it makes me feel cold looking at her midsection! I think if the hoodie was short-sleeved and drawn as if made from a light material, it might read a bit better overall?
Anyway, hope this is helpful, and that you won't automatically disregard it because it mentions HTK. Keep it up, and I hope you'll post more work for us to enjoy! ^_^
Ramza: thanks man, that thief pic is really old. I'm actually quite surprised and happy it was published in the first Expose. I think I lucked out somehow on that one.
Tedison: Thanks for your kind comments. It's words like these that make me want to create more and get better!
Twinkie & markwagner: cheers guys
gekochan: wow, thanks for the long reply! You do make a lot of very good points. Right now, the desaturated shadows on the skin is working for me for some reason. On my new pic I tried to use a bit more contrast and more saturation in the shadows but it came out muddy and not appealing. In any case, my coloring is quite simple. I did take out the hot white highlights except for a few places like the metallic bits.
As for the costume design, it was intentional. I've kinda figured that when designing a girl with T&A to show, you have in general 3 things to work with: boobs, midriff, and legs + ass. Showing 1 out of the 3 is conservative, 2 out of the 3 is okay (I guess) , and showing 3 out of 3 just looks skanky.
I didn't want to go for a short sleeved hood since it is already an extremely cropped shirt (if you can call it that). It is basically a hood and sleeves so it has to have the sleeves. It makes no sense I know. I did another one that is a bit more "practical".
The new one is good. Love the body armor.
The shotgun looks good so far but seems to be unfinished. It lacks some detail and some space in the hand grip for the shooter thumb.
I was hoping for more. The new character looks great. it seems we have the same confliction about how much skin to show on female characters
anyhow, keep it up!
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Hey, you added new work! I must say, I *adore* your new design! She looks solid and practical but still cute.
Colourwise, the choices also seem to have an element of practically or realism - but for the sake of balance, I'm kind of dying for some small hit of colour in her lower half - like a criss-cross band on the right thigh or something...either that, or for the contrast to be stressed more, like the rest of the costume being even more monochromatic, with the bit of sweater showing an iconic hit of very red red. That's totally just me though ^_^
One small thought about the pose is that if her right foot was turned out instead of in, that small gestural change would make it a lot more consistent with the calm, cool expression on her face (which maybe jars a bit with the cuteness of the inturned feet).
Wonderful work! And not just because I find it refreshing to see varied figures and practical designs, but because you're obviously experimenting and trying all sorts of things, which is awesome. Can't wait to see more! ^_^
(PS Your equation on how much skin to bare made me laugh ^_^ I do agree that 3 out of 3 is a bit much!)
Moar! Post Moar! Keep drawing.
I like the third one you posted with the darker colors. Her clothing looks just a little bit more pragmatic, but then I think these gals are going more for style than pragmatism. Keep it up.
Well I dont know if anyone has made this comment or not because I got tried of reading about HTK instead of what you have done here.
This stuff looks really good. My big crit is that the feet look like you drew them head on. If you figure that the view point is at least waist high you would really see more of the top of the foot.
Cool- be good
Awww, man!! Sorry about that. Yeah,thats gonna stain.
Hey Kamui, these characters are lookin great! keep em coming.
You kill bugs good Johnny. . . .
Man I saw the 2nd page and I thought there was going to be an update.
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the third character is nice, but i think what I like most about your style is how you pick up this highlights on the materials. I was kind of disappointed to see that the third piece reads a little flat compared to the other two. Great design though and looking forward to further updates!
Thanks for all the support guys, really It gives me motivation to do more and to do better.
However, I'm still a bit unhappy with the way things are turning out. I need to be taking my drawing to the next level, and right now it still feels very amateurish. I really, really need to learn to incorporate backgrounds into my work, and rely less on the lineart. Look for something different next time.
illustratorwayne: everyone told me to tone down the highlights so i took it back. At least there's someone who liked it!
Long time no post Anyways, been practicing lately by doing some fanart. Just some simple pinup style character illustrations. I'm getting a bit more comfortable with my rendering as well. First one is Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell. Second one is Morrigan from Darkstalkers. I'm quite happy with the way this one turned out. Let me know what you think! Thanks for looking .
The anatomy on the pieces of the first page look much better than these. you would gain alot if you stepped down a notch and nail those anatomy and proportion issues. Rendering wise you can handle yourself very well. But there's just something uncomfortable with Morrigan's torso and abdomen looking over extended, and according to her pose, her left glute is too far down. Her left arm also seems to rotate the other way at the elbow.
I can't criticize on the face, it looks very good.
Great works, keep posting!
You have a great attitude, I think you will go far
I like the hair in the Motoko piece. My critiques are that the highlights are too white and round in shape. Try observing highlights and see what shapes they make.
Keep it up! Not many people in this world have the character strength to accept critiques as you have done.
Last edited by Derlaine; December 11th, 2008 at 02:30 PM.
CA sketchthread: http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=86266
These are great. Ok I wanted to drop some thoughts, but bear with me as my thoughts are often a train wreck mess of sorts. I like the style but I feel like there are a little too many hard angles, some of the colors are a little too saturated (comparatively to their local surrounding colors) and there are too many bright highlights over the entire image. These are still style choices, so my observation here is mostly just my opinion. I'd say pick an area to highlight the most, an area of interest, and downplay the others to support that, otherwise you might risk making everything look "balloon-ey" or plastic. Some highlights will be sharp crisp and small, others might be spread out, softer, or less noticeable.
I like the designs, but I think you might benefit from a little more thorough thought, and perhaps playing with your approach as it might benefit any given character, or mood. The 3 on the first page look great, but I didn't get the sense that they belonged together so much, maybe from the same world perhaps, but probably not the same group. The sweatshirt and hood thing doesn't really tie them together as much. If they were banded together maybe they would have similar armor types, similar weaponry (with the appropriate changes to their respective job types) and similar motifs. I'm not saying make them all alike, but find something to tie them together as a group, but keep them different to one another. It might also help to inject a little personality quirk into each character...maybe one is a little more snappy, she's feisty, her clothes are tattered because she gets into trouble often, she sports a small smirk, a little attitude. Maybe another is a little careless, or a little unsure, she might usually carry a look of worry about her, maybe her equipment isn't fully fastened... she loses things easily, ect...
As far as the design goes I would worry more about it looking cool, than it being totally 100% functional, a good approach might be to just design with a totally open and free mind, who cares what it is, who cares what it does, sketch it out, then go back into it and try to make it work somehow, make it make sense, but I think you absolutely have to make it cool first. If you worry too much about it's functionality up close, you might lose track of what makes it look cool, and end up with something that is a little too grounded in realism, when maybe you were shooting for something more fantastic, or abstract. I think as a character artist it's good to be a designer first, and an engineer second (ok I know some will disagree).
A lot of Japanese artists are really unabashed with their designs, body parts are exposed or not protected, pieces of gear placed in areas that might not make sense, little bits and pieces, as long as it looks like it has a function, or looks like it serves a purpose, there is some thought and design choice behind putting it there (function or just simply design).
Also think about your approach to your own style, how you are handling the characters and telling us something about them through presentation. Again, there are a lot of good Japanese artists to draw some of this inspiration out of. If the characters are supposed to be innocent, or soft, simplistic, or complex.
The way you approach something and how you depict it can tell a lot about the subject itself. This character being very simplistic on the surface, very free. Lots of white, in the character and background, very thin and delicate line work, the colors that are there all support each other. Does the outfit make sense, no. Does it need to make sense? In this picture I don't think it does. So..with Morrigan, maybe more complex, more mischievous, more mysterious, jaded, darker...not afraid to expose herself:
Your interpretation of her character is also valid, but I only point this out because I think a little more thought about her character, who she is, and what style and presentation to show her in might bring out the character that you wish to show a little bit more. I'm not saying to change your style or anything like that, but I'm saying that you have a little more control within your style to showcase the characters a little stronger..
Ok, not sure if these ramblings make any sense or help, it might be inspirational for you to look at broad variety of Japanese/Eastern art styles since it seems like you draw influence most from that - if anything just to expand your horizons, and open your mind up to some new kinds of approaches or design choices. I find that Pixiv has a wealth of really really great Japanese artists if you dig around deep enough.
Last edited by Extollere; December 11th, 2008 at 02:50 PM.
Something about the shape of Morrigan's hip/thigh area looks distorted to me. I also think the highlight on Motoko's hip/abdomen is misplaced, as it makes her look like she's got some kind of abdominal bulge. Those are minor critiques, however. Overall these are very sexy and stylish. Great work!
Yo. Dropping by to comment on a blossoming artist.
Recent stuff: not as good as initial stuff. The new Motoko and Morrigan pics are alright, but [Insert Extollere's comments here] and the anatomies don't seem to work (Morrigan: it may be possible to have a hip that sharp, but it's not appealing to me, her arms are too short, Motoko: Hips/butt ain't right, she's too bulgy, like a Stretch Armstrong doll).
Really, you're doing okay, but I really liked the full-characters in your first post and that's the standard I'm holding you to. (Not that my standard really matters.)
You can eat me.
The Atkins Diet
Nice shorties man. legs R bit short I think....
These are great. However there seems to be a problem with the anatomy on the Mokoto piece. I think what's making people think its 'off' somehow is the unnatural curvature of her spine, if it was set at such an extreme curve relative to her shoulders and pelvis she would probably be dead.
I'd like to thank the people who took some time to reply.
You guys are a tough crowd to please, but in a good way, because I wouldn't learn anything if all I got was "that looks great! nice job!"
In any case, I'm feeling better about my painting and rendering. I'm slowly getting this lighting thing, bit by bit, and it's a very rewarding experience.
Just conner: Thanks!
WODZGN: You know, I can see exactly what you mean about the torso. It was the heart cutout on her bodysuit that must've thrown me off. I didn't see it earlier but yea, it's quite odd. Thanks for chiming in!
Derlaine: Thank you. Yes the round highlights strike once again. It was a stylistic choice and it's a hit or miss I guess.
Extollere: Wow, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I read through your comments and it took me back to my character design class days. Yes you are absolutely right that the characters don't seem to fit that well together. I unfortunately didn't design them all at the same time with the idea. In fact, the first 2 are the same character. The thing is, I was really trying to do an interesting looking character that I would take and build a 3D model out of for my portfolio. However, I've been avoiding the 3D part and want to practice my drawing more and more instead. :p
Thank you for taking the time to post examples as well. The morrigan you posted is nice in its way, but I find also does not represent the character properly. If I think of morrigan, I think of a playful succubus who uses her sensuality. She is often laughing in the games and seems like she's enjoying what she's doing. I actually dislike the face I drew for her. I think she would look better with a mischevious grin instead.
Dahami: yes, there are a few issues here and there. The Morrigan one was a bit of a slip, the Motoko one I tried to stretch the anatomy a bit. I sketched it fairly quickly and was just going by feel. Thanks!
Twinkie: Yes, they're a bit off in places. I have to admit that in these pieces, I chose to do fanart instead of original characters and also half body shots instead of full bodies so I could work on my painting. It was just so I could just draw and paint without any concerns. Both the pieces came together really quickly and I had fun doing them.
GRMC: cheers. Anther short legs comment again tho
In Amber Clad: Thanks for the observation. Yes, there seems to be some issues in both pieces. I will take them into consideration
Well, here's another fanart I completed about a week ago. The first is the messy sketch that I gave up on, and the second is when I went back and redid the lines and the colors as well. I originally drew her right hip a bit too wide so I took it back a bit using the Liquify tool in PS. One of my favorite Final Fantasy characters.
It doesn't mean that it isn't a valid interpretation of her. When any artist draws or paints a preexisting character it's almost always an interpretation thereof. Any interpretation is valid if recognizable, some are more successful than others. The point wasn't that one was a more accurate depiction of her original personality, the point I was trying to make is that one has more emotion, it utilizes more elements of picture making and good illustration that benefit and showcase that interpretation of personality better. Ok, I'm rambling again.... maybe I'm not making sense hah.
Point is - you can make any interpretation you want to, you make any character appear anyway that you want to. Morrigan could be sexy, lighthearted and generous, or she could be evil, deceitful and malice. It's all up to you what you feel is best and what you want to show, but show it through choices that support your voice in that one statement, through color, composition, style, mood, atmosphere, value range, quirks, anything that benefits that statement and benefits your interpretation of the character, even if your interpretation is to stay as close to the original as possible. Don't worry if you're going to make your character grin or not grin until the very end...little details come last, and they don't ultimately change much...it's the big decisions you make up front about your piece that decide what it's going to say about the character and ultimately what it says about you as an artist, whether or not you are proficient in making the best choices possible to have the most effective characters possible.. one of the things that separates the pros from the amateurs and intermediates. That..and doing a lot of work. Lots.
-cheers! (and the last piece is looking nice)