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    Cool Graphic Novels

    Hey, first timer here, I wanted to put up a few of the pieces I have been working with to se people's takes on them, I am working on a very basic Christian comic book/ graphic novel and I have a long way to go. But I wanted to bring some of these forward for viewing so I could get some basic suggestions that would not take long to add to a piece like this... Im thinking it will take around 900 of these guys to complete the novel. So shading is out the window. But if you have any ideas on simple ways to maybe do cuts, scrapes bruises? ONLY BLACK WHITE AND RED! Something very bold and easy. Thanks much!

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    Last edited by thelegacycreator; October 17th, 2008 at 04:16 AM. Reason: Trying to figure out how to add pictures...
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    That's weird, I posted a reply but it never showed up.

    In any case, the character mostly looks good, the posing works and he looks comfortable, although I wonder a little if his right leg in the second pic isn't a bit thin. Oh, and his arms are different sizes in the first pic.

    What bothers me most is the eyes. First thing I notice is he seems to be wearing mascara. You probably shouldn't be drawing in each individual eyelash, and with male characters it's usually not worthwhile to draw in the bottom lashes at all, unless you're trying to do a very realistic close-up of the eye itself. In any case, they shouldn't be defined so much. The eyes also seem very flat, filling the entire space instead of curving to create spaces on either end of the eye. He also doesn't seem to have a crease above the eye to indicate the eyelid, you might want to add that. Interestingly, the second image seems to have both of those problems fixed, with good curvature and the fold in the right place.

    The last two pics have one other big problem, that heavy black line you use to indicate the jaw. It's present in the others, but less noticeable. If you've got a character with a beard (or a creature with fur), you should let the hair itself define the jaw instead of drawing the jawline in. Having that line visible makes his beard look patchy and thin, which doesn't seem to be your intent.

    Should note that the teeth in the last pic look great, and as I noted earlier the posing works well. You might want to thin out the lines on that wishbone shape on the back of his hand in pic 3, but that's personal preference I think. As it is, it makes it look like he's making a tight fist, which doesn't seem to be the case.

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    Well, to be honest, these fellas are all pictures of me drawn over. So sadly, everything is in complete proportion, The whole I idea I have is to pose models to the idea I have, then sketch out the line drawing from the original photo.

    Those are my real eyelashes ^_^ and no, I dont wear mascara...

    Thanks for the advice though, I agree with a bunch you said! I'll put that into thought on my next few pieces.

    Do you think the eyelashes distract a bit too much? I was kinda liking the whole speed racer look with the long eyelashes... Since i have them in real life, I thought why not use them... the eyelashes underneath the eye kinda reminded me of that anime character from Naruto called Rock Lee.

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    Last edited by thelegacycreator; October 17th, 2008 at 05:49 PM.
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    Heres another one, but it really isnt what I envisioned

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    Quote Originally Posted by thelegacycreator View Post
    Well, to be honest, these fellas are all pictures of me drawn over.
    Problem is, a shot has its own perspective distortion. Ouch...
    Also, drawers tend to pick clear poses rather than fully realistic ones.
    I don't think working over photos for all panels is a good idea,
    but maybe someone has a suggestion on how to do it.
    Regarding the eyelids, maybe drawing them with thinner lines
    would match the realistic style better.

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    Starting with the eyelashes, keep in mind that Rock Lee is supposed to appear as an utterly uncool, out of touch, old-fashioned type, only to surprise everyone when he becomes the COOLEST CHARACTER IN THE ENTIRE SERIES by his deeds. Generally speaking, Japanese artists put those eyelashes on characters when they're supposed to look ineffectual, and in fact it does distract in realistic art (see Steiner from Final Fantasy IX for another good example). Also, the examples you give are very simplified faces, unlike yours, and Rock Lee's face is even more simplified than the others in his series. Somehow, I don't think you want your lead (I assume you're the lead) to be taken as a comic relief character.

    As to the new piece, you've still got the problem where the eyes look flat, and while the pose may be taken directly from a photo, the arm looks strangely small. Problem with photos is there's a certain amount of distortion as they flatten the image out, which isn't really noticeable in a photo but if you convert it to lineart it really becomes apparent. It would be better for you to draw images based on the photos, and develop your feel for proportion and structure that way, rather than drawing the photo directly. The other problem is your linework ends up rather stiff if all you're doing is tracing, rather than alive and mobile as your more action-oriented poses would dictate.

    As to the perspective issues Leo Ki pointed out, there's definitely a droop in the gun there. Looks kinda like it's made out of putty. It's also creating a near-tangent by his cheek, which ends up making it look like his shoulder doesn't exist. Again, drawing based on the photo would solve that, since you'd be free to move the gun without having to take an entirely new photo.

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    Point well taken... Sadly I dont have the skill set just yet to do a drawing by eye. So what advice can you give me that will keep my photos in proportion, and what would be an easy way to handle cuts, scrapes and everything?

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    Honestly, the only real advice I can give you is the advice that's been given me, and most of the other artists here. Draw a lot. From life, preferably. Read Andrew Loomis books (you can find them pretty easy online) and follow his examples. Get your skills up, and you won't be sorry. Fixing the issues that cameras present requires the experience you get from drawing on a daily basis.

    I'd say not to be in a hurry about getting a graphic novel done, but instead start up a sketchbook here, and start drawing like a fiend. Drawing from photos is okay, but drawing from life is far better. If you can find a local life drawing group, sign yourself up and go to town. Get people to look at your stuff, and give you advice on what to work on. All that will make you a much stronger artist, and allow you a lot of freedom to do things that you simply can't take photos of.

    And hey, have fun. Hopefully, that's what we're all shooting for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nezumi Works View Post
    Honestly, the only real advice I can give you is the advice that's been given me, and most of the other artists here. Draw a lot. From life, preferably. Read Andrew Loomis books (you can find them pretty easy online) and follow his examples. Get your skills up, and you won't be sorry. Fixing the issues that cameras present requires the experience you get from drawing on a daily basis.

    I'd say not to be in a hurry about getting a graphic novel done, but instead start up a sketchbook here, and start drawing like a fiend. Drawing from photos is okay, but drawing from life is far better. If you can find a local life drawing group, sign yourself up and go to town. Get people to look at your stuff, and give you advice on what to work on. All that will make you a much stronger artist, and allow you a lot of freedom to do things that you simply can't take photos of.

    And hey, have fun. Hopefully, that's what we're all shooting for.
    Nezumi's got some important stuff to say and well thought out critique. I know everyone wants to work on a huge 200 page epic comic book before they get the fundamentals down pat, but it shouldn't work that way. You can't run before you can walk.

    The drawings are okay, but it lacks life and excitement. Those things get sucked out after the photo is traced. It's basically rotoscoping (that's how Bakshi animated his LOTR movies and a lot of the animation ended up really awkward.) You can't imitate life by tracing. Without proper drawing skills it's hard to keep focused on drawing a story when there are just things you don't know how to do. Comics, animation, storyboards--anything involving telling a story, redrawing characters over and over and over (and over) are some of the most intense branches of drawing. It's stressful and frustrating. It'll take a LONG ASS time to complete a comic. Seriously--animation and comics--those people deserve more praise. What they do everyday is a small miracle.

    And continuously tracing will lead to nothing but bad habits that will be impossible to shake off in the future when you finally want to learn to draw the proper way. If you jump in the pool and you don't know how to swim...

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    Yeah I got a few books from Loomis, good, good stuff. I gotta go dig it out of the dust and look it over again. I've been nicknamed "The Renaissance Man" cause I sorta do a little of everything production you can dream of. And once I pick up another talent, I set one aside for a short time. But art has always been a stickler, cause it is the life breath for all things graphic... Obviously, but lately, i've started drawing all the same stuff, and its started getting kinda mediocre. Every piece you draw looks roughly about the same... I am sure that many of us as artists have been through this a bunch. Lately I have found that digital drawing has really pulled me out of that mediocre state. So i'm putting my nose to the grind stone, I have two tablets that I have been using quite often, and honestly, I find it easier than doing the same drawings on paper...

    I appreciate the advice. I have a feeling I am going to learn a bunch since I started coming here... and within just the week that I have been here, I see a bunch of people who actually take interest in me improving, thats very helpful indeed. Not to mention all the great art that continues to inspire ^_^

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    Quote Originally Posted by thelegacycreator View Post
    but lately, i've started drawing all the same stuff, and its started getting kinda mediocre. Every piece you draw looks roughly about the same... I am sure that many of us as artists have been through this a bunch.
    Yes, that's why drawing from life is a must, it injects knowledge and
    inspiration even with the most boring subjects. Drawing researches for
    a comic is a good cure too from stereotypes, because people move and
    do stuff all the time in a comic. No pin ups and warriors on a pedestal XD

    Also wanted to say: very very good posts by Nezumi Works and BubbaGump above...
    Couldn't help clicking Thanks on #6 and #9

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    anyone happen to know what the series is called that has rock lee playing the lead role? I wanna see it ^_^

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    Naruto. It's great up to a point, but I got kinda sick of it a little while after the big Gaara arc ended. Lee is a hundred different kinds of awesome.

    Last edited by Nezumi Works; October 18th, 2008 at 01:25 PM. Reason: typop
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    Rock lee didnt play the lead role... Naruto did in the naruto series... Ive seen a bunch of them... but I also found videos on youtube when rock lee starts doing drunken boxing... thats not NARUTO is it?

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    Uh...that is Naruto. Rock Lee is a Naruto character, it's the only series he appears in. He's not the title character, but seriously, he's way cooler than any of the others could ever hope to be (although Gau thinks he already is). Although we're straying off topic a wee bit here.

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    LOL my thread... ^_^ i agree though. I thought they had made a series for him alone... Go figure, now Im bummed. LOL! Well Keep lookin at my sketchbook, ive been enjoying working on stuff for that. Its nice to know I can just scribble and stick it up there for no reason. Just the thought of having to put this graphic novel off kinda sucks... Its been maybe 2 years in the making, and when I finally think I have a way to make it happen, it turns out to be on the mediocre side. Go figure...

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    Well, there's your valuable lesson. The easy ways to do things are rarely the most effective. Learning to draw well will not only stand you very well when it comes to doing comics, it'll allow you develop a recognizable style which people will associate with you. And that's a Good Thing.

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