The Greek pantheon gets a makeover
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    Red face The Greek pantheon gets a makeover

    Hello ConcepArt,
    I'm a new member and have just become aware of this site (because of the rage caused by some Sonic troll I've heard of on another site), and I thought that I could use the critique of artists like you all, rather than, say, the critique of DeviantArt members.
    I know that most, if not all of you, will have skills superior to mine by far, and I'm expecting to be kind of ripped apart.

    My art style is European semi-cartoony (as in, proportions close to a normal human's, but a little license on expressions, and some exaggerated silhouettes) lineart, probably going to be coloured with simple cartoony shading (think Questionable Content style colouring). Although I never really took a proper art lesson besides the rubbish I was taught at school, I've learnt valuable lessons as far as character drawing is concerned (yes, I do draw the skeletons before drawing the characters ), and I'm ready to learn many more... hopefully.

    Ok, so, here's the thing. I'm preparing to launch a little webcomic, a comical rendition of the Greek myths in modern times. However, before drawing the first page, I've decided to give the characters, whom I designed years ago, when I first got the idea, a nice makeover. And one of the worst things I could do in the webcomic field would be to pull a Buckley, right? So I thought I'd dump a few concept sketches here so that people who obviously know more about art that I do can give me a critique, be them on how to improve the design of the characters or to get more skilled.

    I'll just start with four of the muses I've drawn so far:
    • The emo one is Melpomene, the muse of tragedy. Her former self I drew in high school had a... well, tragically plain style.
    • The kind of hippie-ish one is Thalia, the muse of comedy. She used to have the same clothing style as Melpomene, but brighter.
    • The one with the sunglasses is Euterpe, the muse of music, whom I tried to dress like some kind of urban-styled DJ.
    • And the PVC-clad one is Erato, the muse of erotic poetry (yes, you read right). She speaks in raunchy haiku.


    I'm awaiting your critique, I hope my skill isn't too abysmal.






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    Last edited by Greek Pantheon; April 17th, 2009 at 03:11 PM. Reason: Giant enemy sketches.
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    I'd say these are solid characters. Their proportions, except for the arms
    are close. The overlapping lines are thought out, just needs some more studies.

    Their arms are the glaring fixers. The 4th's dress is being blown forward?


    PS. Please resize your images so that it's easier to critique the form/mass/gesture. I could just zoom out on the browser window, but that
    still doesn't leave the fact that I'm downloading extra KBs that I don't need to. (Yes I'm Australian, but we're still throttled ISP wise)


    My current workflow, and general rule of thumb.
    Work small. Generate the gestures, mass, values.
    Then enlarge, render and colour.

    Hop over to the CA Study Centre to join the hoard getting with the basics.
    Good luck and keep your mind open.

    Last edited by vardoburrito; April 9th, 2009 at 07:02 PM.
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    Smile

    Hello, and thanks for the critique. I knew conversing with people more skilled than me could only be a good thing.
    Yes, I'm aware I'm kind of crap at arms, especially when I need to put them in perspective. Maybe I should get one of those little articulated wooden mannequins some time.

    Also, sorry for the size of those sketches - they were doodled on paper, then scanned. I need to find the resized versions I put on my site for easy observation.

    Theeeeere you go






    The PVC dress isn't blown forward, but... yes, it DOES look like it is. I need to fix it... well, not really there since it's concept art, but when I do draw the actual comic pages.

    I'll go to the Study Centre to learn more about proportions before I start, just so that I correct the glaring flaw before even getting a consistent number of readers. Of course, I'll also submit more sketches that I've already scanned before (i.e. not fixed) to see what needs to be improved, both technique- and design-wise.

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    I'm not far from where you are, believe me. I can do
    silhouettes ok. But I still just barely know the proportions.

    Right now, off the top of my head.
    I kind of know where the elbows can reach, where the knees should be.
    A couple of landmarks (you have to look this up) like the clavicle, the hips
    and the sartorius. Google them.
    The rest of the body, I'm still going through. I'm sure you can catch up to me
    in no time, as long as your mind wants to, and you put all the hard work.


    Some quick keywords, pointers that I do.
    Gestures. Work small. Do a lot. Use a mirror to reverse what your seeing on paper. If your doing digital see if you can flip the image horizontally.
    You can pick up a lot of mistakes this way.

    [What else .... that's all for now]

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    A few more of my (unfixed yet) pictures in hope I'll get more critique. This time, for more caricatural bodyshapes, Ares and Aphrodite.




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    Hey there. These're actually quite comical. I hope you'll forgive me, but attached is a quick red line of your Aphrodite sketch, to point out some errors.

    First thing I noticed; she's a bit.. Top heavy! I like girls on the busty side as much as the next (wo)man, but she seems to be lacking in stability. Her ribcage and pelvis seem to be missing, as from her breasts down to her hips, she's a tube! Hips, ordinarily, do not suddenly flare on a woman if she is well-endowed, as fat likes to settle on a womans' hips, it's not just pelvis we're seeing.

    It's more of a gradual curve from the end of her ribcage to her legs. Also, her pose seems stiff. Perhaps making is so she's striking more of a flirtatious pose with her legs (See attachment) her character will come off as more relaxed and convincing.

    I'd also like to point out that the length of her body in "heads" is off. Normally, the "usual" for human proportions is the body fitting into 71/2 "heads" (Taking the length of the head from top of the skull to the chin,) but she seems to only fit 7, if barely, and it makes her head appear larger then it should in comparison to the rest of her.

    Good luck, and happy drawing! (I'm gonna watch this thread, these are some pretty funny interpretations of the Greek Gods!)

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by A'mihisss View Post
    Hey there. These're actually quite comical. I hope you'll forgive me, but attached is a quick red line of your Aphrodite sketch, to point out some errors.

    First thing I noticed; she's a bit.. Top heavy! I like girls on the busty side as much as the next (wo)man, but she seems to be lacking in stability. Her ribcage and pelvis seem to be missing, as from her breasts down to her hips, she's a tube! Hips, ordinarily, do not suddenly flare on a woman if she is well-endowed, as fat likes to settle on a womans' hips, it's not just pelvis we're seeing.

    It's more of a gradual curve from the end of her ribcage to her legs. Also, her pose seems stiff. Perhaps making is so she's striking more of a flirtatious pose with her legs (See attachment) her character will come off as more relaxed and convincing.

    I'd also like to point out that the length of her body in "heads" is off. Normally, the "usual" for human proportions is the body fitting into 71/2 "heads" (Taking the length of the head from top of the skull to the chin,) but she seems to only fit 7, if barely, and it makes her head appear larger then it should in comparison to the rest of her.

    Good luck, and happy drawing! (I'm gonna watch this thread, these are some pretty funny interpretations of the Greek Gods!)
    Excellent, more critique! I'll keep that in mind when drawing her in the comic. Of course some of the disproportionate effect is all but fortuitous, but the too big of a head bit wasn't, and will be fixed when I re-use the character. Same for the lack of ribcage and poses, that will both be corrected.

    I'm glad to hear my concepts are appreciated, too, I'm getting even more motivated now, and motivation boosts my creativity! Wonderful.

    NOTE: The "hip fat" note will be taken into account for a character who has more realistic proportions than Aphrodite's, like, say, Thalia. Nothing you guys say will ever be completely ignored, as I'm aware critique is the way to go if I want to improve.

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    Using a tutorial by webcomic artist Jeph Jacques, I coloured the characters I submitted the concept sketches of earlier. Only flat colours at the moment, I may add some shading later in the comic if it's not too time-consuming (I'm an engineering student... not much free time). Since I'm not all that great at choosing colours for designs, I remain open to suggestions... although I challenge you to find better colours for Erato's outfit (I forgot to colour Thalia's headband though)








    Also Hephaestus, god of fire and ugly duckling of the pantheon. I'm aware I drew his head FAR too big, but I couldn't scan the drawing again. I'll keep proportions in mind much more when later drawing the comic pages. If you see obvious other mistakes though, feel free to tell me!


    PS: I'll soon be the proud owner of a graphics tablet AND a drawing mannequin. The latter should improve the proportions of my characters (at least the tall, slender ones).

    Last edited by Greek Pantheon; April 17th, 2009 at 03:14 PM.
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    Everybody's falling over to the right - flipping your image will help you catch that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MiniGoth View Post
    Everybody's falling over to the right - flipping your image will help you catch that.
    So noted. When I draw the actual comic, I'll make sure I check the characters' angle by flipping the image.



    Eris, goddess of the Discord... and argh, she is falling over to the right.
    In case you wonder, those are not her eyebrows... her eyebrows were shaved, and replaced by curved lines. Any input on the character design or other?

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    Looks good—these characters are hilarious!

    My only suggestion is to ink them, either with a brush or Micron felt-tip pen. I normally don't care about that sort of thing, but the penciled lines here really detract from the art.

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    I say neon pink PVC is the best! but I gess you could also go with black.

    Let's take your latest, and I hope you won't mind the redlines, but since my english can get a little...lousy at time, I'd rather have them to illustrate what I'm trying to say. Now, from what I can understand, you're aiming at something more like skydoll, Aurore (aka blackcat) and other artist from europe who've adopted a style of comics that isn't as patatos-nosed and simplistic as what we were used to. (correct me if I'm wrong, poke me in the eye if you want links because you have no idea of what I'm talking about xD)

    Thing is that these styles are heavily based on life drawing and one's application of real proportion and occurences on a stylised drawing. For exemple: tight clothes will create fat bumps even on skinny people. Therefore, when you draw that thong stiking out, you make it put pressure on your girl's skin and fat and it creates not only bumps: but a more detailed and interresting drawing! Life drawing will also help you structure your characters better and although you might think it as fastidious or time-consuming, try it. You'll soon notice that 3 hours a week of nude drawings accually flies by at the speed of light, especially if you divide it in one hour sessions. It's all about kicking one's ass to do it.
    Now all the redlines are more like general structure problems so I'm not going to develope on them to much but here's a little trick: Use straight and curved lines to help you create muscle tension. Most cases, only one side of your arm is going to be doing the working and thus depending on if you're pulling or pushing so it's a great way to avoid putting curves where they don't belong as well as creating dynamic images. As you get more comfortable with anatomy and muscles, you'll be able to depict more complicated moovement and muscle interractions. (it's accually not THAT hard but sometimes it's just easier to start slow)

    and finaly, I think the least I could do is point out how nice it is that you put so much character into your drawings and not stop yourself into this one pose you're more comfortable with but has no personnality, you need to keep that up.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo View Post
    Looks good—these characters are hilarious!

    My only suggestion is to ink them, either with a brush or Micron felt-tip pen. I normally don't care about that sort of thing, but the penciled lines here really detract from the art.
    Thanks Since the main tone of that comic will be comedy, I find it important to make those characters much sillier than their ancient counterparts. But as I said, those are just concept sketches; the actual comic will be drawn using a tablet, so it should get rid of the "sketch lines" and make the drawings much less messy

    Quote Originally Posted by freiheit View Post
    I say neon pink PVC is the best! but I gess you could also go with black.

    Let's take your latest, and I hope you won't mind the redlines, but since my english can get a little...lousy at time, I'd rather have them to illustrate what I'm trying to say. Now, from what I can understand, you're aiming at something more like skydoll, Aurore (aka blackcat) and other artist from europe who've adopted a style of comics that isn't as patatos-nosed and simplistic as what we were used to. (correct me if I'm wrong, poke me in the eye if you want links because you have no idea of what I'm talking about xD)

    Thing is that these styles are heavily based on life drawing and one's application of real proportion and occurences on a stylised drawing. For exemple: tight clothes will create fat bumps even on skinny people. Therefore, when you draw that thong stiking out, you make it put pressure on your girl's skin and fat and it creates not only bumps: but a more detailed and interresting drawing! Life drawing will also help you structure your characters better and although you might think it as fastidious or time-consuming, try it. You'll soon notice that 3 hours a week of nude drawings accually flies by at the speed of light, especially if you divide it in one hour sessions. It's all about kicking one's ass to do it.
    Now all the redlines are more like general structure problems so I'm not going to develope on them to much but here's a little trick: Use straight and curved lines to help you create muscle tension. Most cases, only one side of your arm is going to be doing the working and thus depending on if you're pulling or pushing so it's a great way to avoid putting curves where they don't belong as well as creating dynamic images. As you get more comfortable with anatomy and muscles, you'll be able to depict more complicated moovement and muscle interractions. (it's accually not THAT hard but sometimes it's just easier to start slow)

    and finaly, I think the least I could do is point out how nice it is that you put so much character into your drawings and not stop yourself into this one pose you're more comfortable with but has no personnality, you need to keep that up.
    Thanks for the redlines I'm not the kind of person whose pride gets massively hurt by those, I see it as a way to improve my skill while remaining in my style (which you probably guessed right - no poking in the eye for you). And you're right, since it's only semi-cartoony, I have to take some body facts in consideration, and even though things like body shape realism will be ignored for some characters, general body physics are something I'd rather respect, so I'm taking notes about the tightness and muscle physics So noted, will be fixed in the comic. I believe it'll be a general skill improvement, but also super useful for Ares... whose sketch I haven't put there yet.
    Thanks for the note about the poses, too, but since those characters are for a comic, I'll just have to pose them in various positions, right? :p That's not something I can avoid - fighting for a golden apple, slaying a Minotaur or completing 12 trials are hard things to do while standing still

    PS: My site appears to have gone down for a bit. The uncoloured sketches of the first post were uploaded there.

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    Come to think of it, I'd appreciate it if someone could point out the obvious mistakes in that preliminary sketch (it's totally related). Now, I'm not sure if the fight for the Apple of Discord only involves Hera, Athena and Aphrodite or if they just happen to be the three contestants for round 2. I thought a large fight would be more fun to depict.

    If you're wondering what the Tartarus is happening:
    Left: Hera's giving a violent uppercut to Athena, who's flying out of her shoes.
    A bit more to the right: Euterpe is slap-fighting with another character, not sure whom.
    Center: Thalia is piggybacking on Demeter in an attempt to grab the Apple.
    Center-right: Persephone's performing a Boston Crab on Erato, who's enjoying it (yummm, domination), while another character, possibly Aphrodite, is lunging onto the pair from above.
    Right: Eris's just laughing her arse off.

    The thing I'm the most worried of having messed up is the perspective, but any thoughts will be welcome.

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    I got a tablet, and I'm trying to draw a picture of one of Melpie's futile attempts at self-harm. I seem to have trouble with the arms though (arms! My Achille's heel!), so I would appreciate a bit of red-lining to help me get it right. Thanks in advance!

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    I have finally been sent that drawing mannequin I had ordered, so I decided to make an Aphrodite wallpaper using the mannequin as a pose reference. Any remarks so far?

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    This is looking good....I think the pose mannequin is a good idea!

    Don't cut her feet off, though. You should extend the image (under "Canvas Size" in Photoshop) enough to fit the entire figure on it. While you're at it, you can also crop it down to get rid of all that blank space.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo View Post
    This is looking good....I think the pose mannequin is a good idea!

    Don't cut her feet off, though. You should extend the image (under "Canvas Size" in Photoshop) enough to fit the entire figure on it. While you're at it, you can also crop it down to get rid of all that blank space.
    Done, by moving the entire character towards the right to keep the image ratio right (being a wallpaper and all). I also gave shading a go, as shading my artworks would probably increase the average quality of my upcoming comics' graphics.

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