Art: Full Portfolio Critique, please!
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  1. #1
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    Smile Full Portfolio Critique, please!

    I'm working on assembling a professional portfolio and one of my classes asked us to request a critique from working professionals. Comments from artists in the illustration field are especially welcome, as that is the market I'm pursuing. However, I would appreciate feedback from anyone and everyone, even if you aren't a working professional.

    To introduce myself, I am an illustration student that will be graduating this December with a BFA. I want to pursue childrens' book illustrations and perhaps some editorial illustration work.

    The works shown are selected pieces created over 4.5 years at my university, though for obvious reasons they are generally more recent works. The watermarks will NOT be on any piece that I mail or formally show to a publisher/client.

    I am mainly looking for input on the portfolio(s) as a whole, though if there is some glaring mistake in an individual piece then by all means, point it out to me!

    Thank you so much!

    The Childrens' Book Portfolio

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    The Editorial Portfolio:

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    Last edited by Elwell; October 24th, 2009 at 07:36 PM. Reason: wrong forum
    - BreeAnn Veenstra -

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  3. #2
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    I'm pretty far away from being a prfessional illustrator so I just leave you an "awesome. I love your style" to bump your thread
    Wonderful use of textures!

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    Awesome! Realy cool style. I don't have enough words in my english to describe, how I like your sirens.

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    Failure is unacceptable!
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    I'm a fan. Love your style, and I especially like the mythology stuff Keep it up!!

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    I know you are looking for critiques and I would like to be helpful but uuhh ummm yeah....WOW! You should post this in the Finally Finished section, get some more eyeballs on it.

    Here come old flattop, he come, grooving up slowly...
    SpinalCracka's Sketchbook
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    sorry, again no crits, beautiful stuff. love 1 and 3.

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  8. #7
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    Thanks for the positive comments, guys!

    Would this be more appropriate in the Finally Finished forum, then? I didn't think about posting there, but I guess these do count as finished pieces.

    - BreeAnn Veenstra -

    .: lullafly.com | sketchbook | deviantart gallery :.
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    Yeah these are defiantly worthy of the finally finished section. Great looking stuff.

    Check out my sketchbook: Draw or Die

    Website: www.ericyoungillustrations.com
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    Generally as book illustrations I think they're wonderful and a really strong portfolio but perhaps for children's books some of it is too risque.

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    amazing stuff, love your style.

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    No critique here, but I did want to say that I love your color schemes. They're so beautiful and work perfectly with your style as a whole. Fabulous stuff!

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    I don't believe regular users have the ability to move their own posts. Would a mod be so kind as to move this to Finally Finished for me? I initially thought this thread belonged here since I was looking for critique, but I think it would be more appropriate in the Finally Finished forum.

    Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks in advance!

    - BreeAnn Veenstra -

    .: lullafly.com | sketchbook | deviantart gallery :.
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    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/att...7&d=1255966002

    My only comment is I don't know what the deer is looking. If there was a cityscape on the bottom or something that would be nice. My eyes drift to the bottom right and tends to stay there.

    *thumbs up* I like the style of your paintings.

    Make a sketchbook happy, feed it a tip to improve!

    http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=85628
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    They have a Bilibinesque quality to them, and that's certainly not a bad thing.

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    Like your style, but your anatomy's kind of weak in certain respects, most notably your heads. Your human heads are your weakest point across the board, in my opinion.

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    I love these images!

    The core shadows on the sharks could be pushed slightly more to pull out the form. This can be applied to other images as well in subtle places where shape 'turns'.

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  19. #17
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    Beautiful! It looks like you were inspired a lot by Alphonse Mucha. Have you ever seen the illustrations in the "My Book House," series, you might like them too.

    Style wise you look really consistent.

    My only complaint (and no, I'm not a professional illustrator - yet. , would be that a couple of your figures feel a little bit stiff as far as gesture. (the angel, and the sinking man particularly) And the sinking man's anatomy feels a little off maybe?

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    Really nice portfolio.

    However, I'll ditto with dragonroseart about the anatomy. I think you could strengthen yourself in this area in particular.

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    Moved, with pleasure.
    Definitely work on your human characters, they are the weakest link in an otherwise very strong portfolio.


    Tristan Elwell
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    Your work is inspirational thankyou so much for posting dont stop doing what your doing ever please!! ^^

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    Amazing! I love how these have such an old feel to them, great job!

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    I agree with Ewell and some of the others, you have everything down - composition, color, style, mood, movement - everything except human anatomy. It's not horrible, but it's weak and stiff. Once you can be as relaxed and natural with your faces and figures as you are with the rest of the elements in your work, there will be no stopping you. If you've got time left in school to get some extra life drawing classes in, do it. You won't regret it.

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    First, thanks for moving this for me, Elwell, and thanks for the comments everyone!

    I agree with everyone on my human anatomy skills. I find I have more personal interest in animals, so unfortunately my humans have suffered because I'm just not comfortable drawing them. This is definitely something I need to work on.

    I'll be graduating with a BFA this winter, so unfortunately I can't take any more life drawing classes as a full-time student. We were required to take a life drawing and a figure painting class, and though I excelled in both of those when I had the model in front of me, it doesn't seem to have transferred to my illustration work yet. I'm thinking this is because I tend to focus more on the other elements in the illustration, whereas in my life drawing classes the figure was THE subject. Regardless, it looks like I'll have to start sketching figures & faces after figures & faces!

    Jordan: Thanks for the quick correction image, that does look better! I try to retain a sort of flatness to my work, but sometimes I hold off too much, I think. I'm curious, what brush did you use for that?

    dragonroseart: Mucha makes me salivate oh-so-much. I just did a quick google of the "My Bookhouse" series, too. Thanks for sharing, I hadn't heard of the series before!

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    These are very beautiful images Dragonfly. What particularly strikes me is that your shapes, textures and colourings are constantly at the service of a very firmly gripped and intensly felt emotional force. You seem to hardly loose sight of it for a second and follows every mark you make. Even though, as Elwell has pointed out, your figure work needs a little more work, this direct connection between your heartfelt feelings and what you put down in shape, texture and colouring put these lovely images high above just pretty designs and into something that touches the heart. At least mine anyway!

    From Gegarin's point of view
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    Beautiful, compelling imagery.

    Work on your human anatomy.

    Work on your compositions:
    -The Icarus figure has a static pose, and the illo is bottom heavy.
    Overall, I feel this illo could be more dynamic.

    -The deer-man picture is cluttered, I like the peekaboo nature of it, but there's some
    difficulty with foreground/background relationships here.


    The eye-leading across your illos is important and I feel that although your work comes
    close, your compositions lack final polish.

    ------------------------------------------------

    Lastly, work on your volumes this is most apparent with your figure-based anatomy.
    As a whole, after looking at your animal and human rendering there's a recurring weakness
    in the three-dimensionality of your forms.
    Because you have such a strong outline to your figures you already have a flattening effect occurring.
    This can be counteracted by carefully articulating where the landmark anatomical points
    line up with each other in perspective.

    Your thematic imagery is compelling and dreamlike, and your portfolio is a wonderful start to
    articulating the world that's in your head. I can't wait to see more.

    I'm working on my portfolio right now, and once I put it up I expect you to be first in line to put in your two cents!

    Good luck!

    ~milo

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    For inspiration from people who are doing similar work, check out bluefooted's gallery here in ConceptArt.org, and then look up Agata Kawa, a French illustrator:

    http://www.agata-kawa.com/

    Both are amazing, and right up your alley.

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    Chris: Thank you for such kind words! Aside from giving me the warm fuzzies, though, your comments help me realize the strong points of my work so that I may build upon them.

    Milo: Thank you! I'll definitely keep your remarks in mind for future works. I'm trying to achieve an aesthetic flatness to my work, but it sounds like it's too flat for the rest of the elements right now.

    Does anyone think I should remove the Icarus piece from my portfolio? I know that artists are judged by their weakest piece, and I feel like this is that piece.

    Nathan: I love bluefooted's work! She was actually my inspiration to start incorporating textures into my work. Thanks for the other link, too! I haven't seen Agata's work before, but it's beautiful!

    - BreeAnn Veenstra -

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    Just to nitpick, the profile of the angel with scarfboy really rubs me the wrong way. Other than that, though, great use of line. And those bunnies... oh, man, those bunnies.

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  34. #29
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    To fix the figure work, I think you just need to use reference for the figures. I mean, you probably use reference for the animals, right?

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