A little something for a contest
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  1. #1
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    A little something for a contest

    Sooo... this is a sketch of a piece for a themes contest in October. yay . This`ll actually be my first entry in any contest....Yea sad I know. Anyway, I need a little help on anatomy and background ideas. I can tell that her arms are messed up, but I can`t see why. Oh and the horse is huge because she`s short...Like midget short because she`s a fairy. Also, any tips on wings?
    =========================
    The top image is what the piece currently looks like! Thank you all for your help!

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    Last edited by Nisshoku; October 5th, 2009 at 09:31 PM.
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    Watch your proportions. Her head looks GIGANTIC compared to her body at this point.

    For the wings, I'd say decide on what your attachment point is. You've got a fair bit of latitude there, although the shoulder blades is usually a good choice. Between the shoulder and neck is another common attachment point, but won't look as solid. Then set up the wing as if it were an enlongated hand or arm along the top side, and have the wing itself descend from that. This page from Preston Blair has some really good material to work from, especially if you want the wings to be more expressive rather than just sitting there. Up to you if you want them to be more insect-like or bird-like, whatever fits your style.

    And watch your perspective. If we're looking at her in an eye-level profile, then the way it is right now her right wing is way higher than her left.

    I'd make your unicorn a little more delicate if you're going for the classic style. Right now it seems a bit more moose-ish (although a moose-corn would be AWESOME!).

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  3. #3
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    Whoops! The Preston Blair link is here, sorry about that.

    Looking at the hanging arm a bit, part of the problem might be that it's just hanging there. Try doing the pose yourself, act it out and see what it feels like, that should help a lot with posing overall. I'd expect it would look a bit more comfortable with the body turned slightly toward the viewer, so the shoulder would probably be a bit further back (and larger), as well as slightly bent. Generally speaking, the upper arm should be a bit over one head in length (Loomis says about 1 1/3 heads), so taking the head you have here the elbow should go right down to the bottom of the frame.

    Hope that helps a little.

    Last edited by Nezumi Works; September 5th, 2009 at 01:23 PM. Reason: more better link
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    Nezumi: Thank you so much for your helpful advice .

    Here are the changes I've made:

    *Redrew the horse entirely and made him more at the fairy's level.

    *Expanded my canvas horizontally

    *Fixed her head and other proportions

    *Drew her hand in

    *Added dragonfly inspired wings and markings on each
    -----
    Fewwwww, lots of work! I think I've been working for like....2 hours? Something like that. That's not long when you're painting, but sketching...that's a WHOLE other field. Very frustrating at times and I can feel my patience slipping so I'm stopping haha. Also, my CS4 still isn't working, but I'm trying out Photoshop 7 and I like it so much more. So yea, anything I need to fix before painting?

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    Definite improvements going on there. Her head proportion is much better, and her comparison to the unicorn look better. There are still some issues, though. First and most importantly is her left arm. That's really the closest thing to the viewer, so it's gonna get noticed, so you want to pay attention to it. Right now it looks very skinny, especially looking at how the sleeve goes over it. There doesn't seem to be any real shape to her shoulder, and it's really hard to tell just where it is (her right shoulder seems to be missing entirely). You should really draw out, at least roughly, where the arm is and its structure before you put the clothes over it, that'll guide you in how the fabric sits. You also shouldn't leave the arm just hanging dead like that, there should be some bend to it to make it look more natural. It doesn't have to be a lot, but there needs to be some.

    The wings are looking good, but remember a dragonfly wing is more or less straight along the leading edge. Making that simple change will help add appeal to your drawing, as having a straight on one side and a curve on the other looks pleasing to the eye.

    I'm not sure what's up with her jaw. It's like she has some sort of brace on it. The markings on the unicorn look a bit like metal plating, but I'm pretty sure that's not the intent. Speaking of the unicorn, it's minor at this point but do be aware of the structure of the shoulder, and how the neck attaches to the head.

    Your composition is much improved, moving the figures off to the side helps a lot. You might even move them a bit further to hit the third, but where they are isn't bad.

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    Oh mi goshness.......I cannot get that hand right D:. Please, redlines, tips, tricks ANYTHING to get that hand right! It's supposed to be holding back the jacket a little.......It doesn't really look like it......

    Here are the changes I've made:
    *Markings (except for the dots) have been removed
    *Added the dots to the horse
    *Arm position redrawn
    *Wings shifted slightly

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    Here you are Nisshoku, your redline just as you asked. I tweaked the pose a little to make it seem less awkward, shrunk her head a bit, made the wings more fairy-ish and doodled over the unicorn. Sorry it's wonky and the arm's out of proportion, I had to make do with the touchpad ^^; It'd do good to look for refs on the horse, girl and wings too. Hope that helps!

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  11. #8
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    Basic shapes are your friend here. Break down complex shapes into simpler, easier to handle shapes, then use those as a guide to make your final form. Here are a couple of quick fixes done in blue to give you an idea of where to go with it.

    Name:  nisshoku paintover.gif
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    What helps is to work out where the shapes of the shoulder, elbow, and so forth go first, and then do clothing over top of that (always "drawing through" as if your figure was transparent, so that the ends of your line match up). It'll give you a more natural appearance, and help you plan your drawing better.

    I really like the change in facial markings, the dots look more like a tattoo than a piece put on top of her face, which is a positive thing. Same goes for the unicorn as well. While I'm at it, I put a little blue line to show the closer leg and how it joins to the body. It's important to have that, since like the girl's left arm it's close to the viewer and will thus be noticed quickly. I used this photo as reference, it seems pretty close to the unicorn's stance. Hopefully that helps a bit.

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  13. #9
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    Foxtrot: Thank you for the suggestion! I had actually though about that pose quite a few times, but decided against it because it blocked too much of the space.

    Nezumi: Ahhhh I am in love with you haha. Thank you for being so supportive . The idea of your "basic shapes" helped A LOT. I was doing something like it before, but it didn't help much :/.

    -----
    *sigh* Ok after some more blood, sweat, and tears, I've gotten a new edit...With only a little difference from before. I went through about three different poses ranging from switching the right arm to the horse to the left and only showing her left arm. I finally decided to put her hand on her hip, but that came with SEVERE complications....Let's just say I learned quite a bit haha. So yes, this is (hopefully) the final sketch. Anything need fixing before painting?

    Here are the changes I've made:
    *Changed her hair a bit
    *expanded the canvas (now it's 4500x1886 o.o)
    *added a waterfall to the background
    *changed her hand position
    *made minor body improvements...which ended in pretty much redrawing her body minus the face...multiple times haha
    *added clouds ect. to background
    *changed the horse's stance slightly

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  14. #10
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    Coming along nicely, the unicorn is getting more and more refined as you go along. The new elements on the right side are good for balance, which works in your favour as well. And the arm really does look a lot better. Both of them, really.

    You're still missing structure around the shoulder, both in the unicorn and the girl, though. And again, basic shapes and reference are your friend. Here's a quick little redline of the girl, just to show the basic structure of ribcage and shoulder, plus the line of action. I'll use this image as reference, although she's turned a little more than your character is.

    Name:  nisshoku paintover 2.gif
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    Hopefully you can make that out. Essentially you've got a roughly oblong sphere for the ribcage, set along a line setting out the posture. The shoulders are rounded forms that sit outside that shape, and a little towards the back. Then the breasts of course go on top of that, giving the body structure and form. It also gives you a handy little roadmap to put on clothes, features and other details, saving you a lot of guesswork.

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  16. #11
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    Nezumi: Thanks again!! You're AMAZING .

    Ok so I pretty much finished out the sketch but now....I have no idea what to do. I've colored before, but it's no where near refined...I tried a bit and scrapped it three times. Any tips?

    What I've Changed
    *Breast size
    *made her less anorexic
    *Fixed her shoulder
    *defined the horse's shoulder more
    * redrew the horse's mane

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  17. #12
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    She DEFINITELY looks better and more comfortable. The clothing seems more appropriate, and the pose is more natural. Same goes for the horse.

    I'm afraid I can't help a lot with colouring, since I don't have much experience there. Most of what I've got at the moment has more to do with anatomy, composition and line work. Hopefully someone will pick up at this point, or once you've taken a shot at it.

    One niggling little thing that's bothered me though, her eye. It doesn't look like an eye in profile, it looks like an eye seen straight on. Or as Betty Edwards would put it, it looks like a symbol that means "eye". Take a look at pictures of girls in profile, especially closeups, and you'll see what I mean. This tutorial might give you a bit of insight as well, especially page 6. Remember too, that in profile the eye is set back a bit from the nose.

    And as long as I mention Betty Edwards, you really should check out her book, Drawing On the Right Side of the Brain. It's well worth it.

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    "Skill is the result of trying again and again, applying our ability and proving our knowledge as we gain it. Let us get used to throwing away the unsuccessful effort and doing the job over. Let us consider obstacles as something to be expected in any endeavor; then they won't seem quite so insurmountable or so defeating." - Andrew Loomis
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  18. #13
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    Nezumi: Well thank you sooo much for your help thus far!! That's the second mention of that book I've gotten so I do think I will check it out. Either way, I am aware of the thing about the eye and I'll fix it while I am painting.

    <b>Changes I've Made</b>
    *Started blocking in colors for the sky (doing a crazy color sky for fantasy effect)
    *Blocked in rocks and started detail colors.

    I. Need. Help. With. Coloring. PLEASEEEE o.o I've tried references ect. ect. but just some nice little tutorial links, or tups and tricks would be REALLY useful!! Thank you

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  19. #14
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    Glad I could help this far. Unfortunately I don't have any experience or knowledge about colour or painting, so I don't think I'd be much help there. Good luck!

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    "Skill is the result of trying again and again, applying our ability and proving our knowledge as we gain it. Let us get used to throwing away the unsuccessful effort and doing the job over. Let us consider obstacles as something to be expected in any endeavor; then they won't seem quite so insurmountable or so defeating." - Andrew Loomis
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  20. #15
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    SirCalypso is offline That winged, three horned mare Level 2 Gladiator: Ordinarii
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    I can't really help you with coloring, but you could probably find useful resources in the "References and Inspirations" (Check out the stickies, creature design has some horse references that I also used in my redline) section and the "Tutorials, TIPs, and Tricks" section. Horses more so than humans are what I thrive with, so I choose to redline on the one piece, especially considering that you've already received some nice critiques and redlines on the faerie already.

    Here's the redline with your picture left unadjusted:

    Your picture adjusted:

    The redline by itself, no mane or horn:

    Redline with "skeleton":


    1: This is the eye on the other side of the skull, notice how it has more definition both before and after the eye itself.
    2: This is the lower definition, and it represents the other side of the horse's jaw. There are three dimensions here, and horses with larger jaws like the one I choose to redline with often jut out even more.
    3: The nostril on the other side. These particular nostrils are flared, so the right (viewer's) nostril sticks out more so than usual.
    4: The ears are swiveled to add more personality and expression; in this case swiveling represents uncertainty and/or curiosity rather than unhappiness or moodiness which is what both ears back would typically represent. Keeping both ears perked also would have been acceptable, indicating enthusiasm.
    5: When you're unsure about a subject's proportions (and even if you are) and you have the option, it's best to expand your canvas temporarily to draw as much of the body as you possibly can. This will help keep your proportions accurate, and help to make sure that when you do crop the piece, your body isn't wonky (including muscles where they have no business being, etc.).

    Notes:
    I did make the head a little larger than intended, but it isn't anything obnoxious size-wise to worry about. Also, I did not really find proper references for the front legs, so the muscles for them are inaccurate. That also wasn't a large concern for me due to the crop. I also added the horn and mane as afterthoughts. ^^;

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