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  1. #1
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    MARVEL MATERIAL? You tell me

    My goal is to work for a major comic company as a cover artist.
    I need 10 cover illustrations to hand in for my portfolio.
    What do you think?

    Thanks,

    Mike Maher

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    WILDCATS

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    Venom

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    Nightcrawler

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    Last edited by the_flash; January 4th, 2010 at 07:55 PM.
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  4. #2
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    looks better then alot of the covers i see thats on sale today!

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  6. #3
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    looks great but I for some reason Venom's face looks a lot like alien.

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  7. #4
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    I like the Venom in the shadows with reflectivity reminiscent of Alien. You should be able to get a job working for someone with skills like this.

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  8. #5
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    Marvel material?

    Don't aim so low, you're better than alot I've seen on the shelves.

    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
    -John Huston, Director
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  9. #6
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    You definitely have the potential to land on the shelves, but don't be content when that happens. Keep studying aspiring for greater things. You're still nowhere near the likes of say, Marko.

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    they are OK and you are probably gonna get the job, but they lack some stuff
    like for instance the venom one- venom is more bulky with bigger body(spidey must look like a bug compared to the gorilla dude that is occupying the venom suit) now looks more like carnage material then venom and the thumb(looks like it's the thumb- might not be) on venom's right hand looks kinda twisted in the wrong direction
    check this link to see what I mean: http://i27.tinypic.com/1zcd5jd.jpg

    the nightcrawler is the best out of the three- it has kinda Marko Djurdjevic feel coming out of it maybe cuz of the colour palette, but all the same pic is nice

    on the first one- the clothing and the monsters render is not ok- maybe if you put some black on the monster then darker green the monster will look ok
    about the clothing I'll say check some refs about clothe foldings cuz right now it looks more like a speedpaint then finished on

    but as a whole pics are nice, just need a little more rendering

    whadjoomacallit
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  11. #8
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    Well done on the pics
    I agree with what Drazen said. I also have a few things to add.
    On the first picture what bugs me most is the sharp highlights on the monster. It looks like it's chiseled out of a very reflective rock. Also, the area around the shooting guy's shoulder lacks depth.
    On the Venom pic the eyes seem really gray to me. Almost as if they are stickers on top of his head. Maybe add some light comming from them.
    But, as with the monster from the first picture, that may be what you've been after.
    About the Nightcrawler picture - I think it's the best of the three. Love the pose and the general feel of the picture! Well done!

    Good luck with your portfolio too Keep us posted on the progress!

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  12. #9
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    Very nice!
    Really strong compositions.

    My only problem is the consistent level of unrefinement.
    You have handled things is a beautiful, loose manner...
    but at some point you need to pick a focal point and refine it a little bit further.
    You don't need to tighten everything up, just a few key elements, notable the faces.
    As a viewer, we want to linger there a bit, and you aren't giving us any incentive to.

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  14. #10
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    I'll be surprised if you don't get something from this Mike. The comments above concerning focal points I can only echo. There is energy, dynamism and good posing in all three, so good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by riceface View Post
    looks better then alot of the covers i see thats on sale today!
    You're right, I sometimes grab a Spidey issue and think to myself: "Sure it's a decent drawing, but cover material ???"

    Anyway, the Nightcrawler piece is the best, visually striking. The rendering on the Wildcats piece could be better and the backround on the Venom piece a little more interesting, even if it is just meant to be a dark place. I have no idea if Marvel would hire you based upon these. Better just finish the remaining 7 pieces and find out for yourself

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  16. #12
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    and they already have a marko.

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  18. #13
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    I'm noticing they're all about cooled down color wise. S little bit of warmth to the pics might help them pop a bit. Nice work, though. There's definitely worse out there on the shelves today.

    * Help a CA artist! Visit the Constructive Critique section! *


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  19. #14
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    Wonderful work! I hope you get the gig. My favorites have to be the one with Grifter and Nightcrawler. The Venom piece for me is not much of a strong contender for a comicbook cover.

    I think if you follow DSIllustration's advice, your work will become much stronger.

    Keep it up!!!

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  20. #15
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    Great work!

    I really like the Doomsday/Superman painting on your site

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  21. #16
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    I am excited to have shared my art with such a talented audience. I am also very thankful to have received your comments.

    riceface- thank you

    The Original- Good spot, I definitely used Giger as a reference.

    Dahami- I hope so.

    OmenSpirits- Thank you sir, I've wanted to work for Marvel since I first saw Jim Lee's X-Men spread.

    Liffey- Yeah, Marko was painting covers when I was half-way through art school. That's tough competition right there. Established and very talented.

    Drazen- Right on. Venom, more bulky. WILDCAT's, more drawee.

    Windmaker- Thanks for the crits. I will re-think my alien skin and Grifters shoulder. As for Venom, I am happy with his eyes. I might bump them up in value if anything.

    DSillustration- Right on, I agree. Beautiful paintings by the way.

    Poshspice- Encouraging. I love that word 'dynamism'. Beautiful work as well.

    Uche Achonu- Yes, work = maybe

    Jason Manley- So you think my work is too similar to get hired?

    Interceptor- Will check the color palette.


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    Superman and Doomsday

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  23. #17
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    Superman vs Doomsday rocks! Maybe you can add just the red color for his cape to act like an accent?

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  25. #18
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    Cool work!...I can see these on Marvel covers, especially with the little extra polishing mentioned above. I must say the Marko comparisons are something I don't get, or rather, I do get, but in the same sense that other similar styles get lumped together (gothic=Tim Burton for example). I don't think your any more similar to Marko than Marko is to other cover artists.

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  26. #19
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    awesomme stuff! sooo amazing!!!

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  28. #21
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    Really cool work here, I dig it. I'm sure you could find a job, but I agree with Dan Santos, you should try and work a little more detail into the focal areas. I want to rest my eye on the face and some of the more interesting parts, but there simply isn't enough detail to keep me looking. You're really close though.

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  29. #22
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    The Superman vs. Doomsday is looking Great, keep it up.

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  30. #23
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    Dizon Thanks, I added red in the cape and it was too much of a distraction. My eye kept coming back to it.

    Daveneale Yes, I see your point.

    jatherip Glad you like them.

    Smellypunks Thank you sir.

    cdejong Right on. Yeah, I think it's the best advice I've received thus far. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Victor B You should look at it while listening to the 'Superman theme song' by John Williams. I know I did at least thirty million times while I was painting this

    Thanks for the comments all-
    More to come soon!

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  31. #24
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    You know, I was thinking on the Supes piece... perhaps grain it up and set it in a newspaper (you know, angle it slightly, show a bit of a headline and some of the story; and of course, give Olsen the photo props). While it's nice as is, I think that might add some oomph.

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  32. #25
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    Almost, but not quite. Everything needs a little more refinement, and you need to get some more variation into your compositions. It looks like you're studiously avoiding backgrounds and multi-figure scenes.


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  34. #26
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    Heya, Mike--

    Since you're aiming high (and good for you), here we are:

    You are better than 99% of the people in the world. But that doesn't mean anything when you're trying to be absolutely top-shelf. I think your work looks like the cream-of-the-crop Second and a half Tier. You're here to *get* that job you want--not be coddled, from what I'm reading, so here's my constructive Unvarnished:

    In that competitive market, you need to do one of two things:

    1. Be a fast, prolific machine that can churn out whatever product Marvel (or whomever) assigns you, to spec, on time--and with no hassle to the AD stylistically/fundamentally/conceptually-- and without much of a Signature Style (cause you're their faceless, go-to Stable Boy).

    or,

    2: Be a Superstar of Signature Style that everyone wants, which might buy you some artistic leeway with AD's looking to impress their bosses and claim your successes as partially theirs, etc.

    If #1 is the case, you have to tighten your work down at least 40% more. Even the guys that suck at drawing, the guys who've never touched a real pencil or brush--the guys who I think are total jokes are at least...Machine Jokes. They can turn out the crap fast and furious, and even though it sucks--it looks like polished Suck. That's a paradox, for sure--but you and I both know it when we see it. Sad, but true.

    If this is the case, you have too much "may be expressive, may be unfinished" marks. The detail isn't there. The composition isn't. The "sell" isn't--and that's your target with a cover.

    If #2 is the case--let that shit fly, mang! That's where it's at, as far as I'm concerned! Who wants to be the #1 scenario guy? Make your marks MARKS, make your color COLOR. If you want to draw some fucked-up anatomy or pass off some inherent drawing funkiness (just look at Simon Bisley's almost *always* mis-drawn arms--but he gets away with it because...who cares?!) go for it. Be original. Be authoritative.

    I'm not going to go on forever, so let's leave it at that: Be authoritative, no matter which road you take. Either be an EFFING POLISHED MACHINE, or be an EFFING, A.D.-CHOMPING STYLIST.

    Don't fall in between.

    I hope this makes sense and doesn't come across as harsh--I want you to succeed!

    best,
    Nick

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  36. #27
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    I like these. The easiest way to know if you're ready to work for Marvel is to just send it in or track down some of the artists at cons or on-line and talk to them. Out of curiosity, have you had any contact with them and what have you gotten back?

    I agree with the comments that it can be a little derivative, pushing these to "second tier" which is a shame because the work is high quality with lots of great things going on. It will be cool to see what you do with all the feedback here if you channel that back into this stuff for a second or third post.

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  37. #28
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    just like jason i thought "marko" when I saw the covers, esp. the 1 and 3. Now that doesn't mean they're bad or sth, you just might want to discover your own style of communicating the characters attributes.

    i think its not the rendering or the style, more the simple graphic designy compositions with the minimal backgrounds that remind me of marko.

    Try experimenting more with the possibilities and attributes of the characters. The MAX Punisher Paperbacks have very almost photorealistic look to them to communicate the seriousness of franc castle, see http://prettythings.pullbot.com/artw...l_2_medium.jpg for example.

    Or see David Macks beautiful Aquarel Covers for the Daredevil, it fits the being blind character of Daredevil really well (dreams, memories etc).

    On the technical side I think you got the important feedback, like working more on the focal point etc.

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  38. #29
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    Nice work dude. Im agree with allot of what people had to say. Better than much ive seen on the shelves as said, which is great and encouraging I'm sure. Marko does come to mind when I look at some of the work. I love his work too, and I myself fight to avoid his and many other influences so that I can just paint like me. I hope you consider my comparison as way of saying your ability is not lacking so much as having your own look.
    I to am at the point where im X-ing out my influences and trying work work as much as I can do get me own look.
    It'll come

    Thanks for sharing.

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  39. #30
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    Hot update Mike! The face on Venom is sick! Keep it up!

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