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November 20th, 2010 #1
"Behind You" (lighting and color crits, please)
FIRST POST UPDATED. THANKS SO MUCH, finally moving on to a real painting now! I'll leave the rest of the post here for history's sake:
I was introduced to the idea of using silhouettes and abstract solid shapes as a technique for character/creature creation to help you get around writer's/artist's block. This would be my first attempt outside of the classroom to apply some of the techniques we discussed seriously to a character design. I don't have any future plans for this character as of yet; this is more for me to learn from than anything else. And with that, I'll say that it's free-for-all and all crit is welcome.
Is my lighting really poor? I tried to have at least SOME sense of consistency and directional light. I'm trying to work gestures and poses, as well as technique and fundamentals.
I'll admit that I am still working on anatomy, but the purpose of this drawing is to work on gesture more than anatomy. I've been having issues with uninteresting and uninterestED poses. The little roman numerals indicate the order in which they were drawn, and when I changed things about the character, I left the older images alone.
If you mean a specific figure, just use the numbers for simplicity's sake. And feel free to be as harsh as needed. My storyboarding professor this semester doesn't sugarcoat anything EITHER, so I've had my skin pre-thickened for me, thankyouverymuch.
Thanks in advance for any and all crit, positive or negative. I'd especially like to hear the negative, since that helps me more than the positive. I've learned to construe the silence to mean that there's nothing wrong with what isn't mentioned. I will continue to update this thread with new gestures of this character, as well as improvements on the existing image.
I removed all but the current image, since you can just scroll down to see the original gesture drawings.
Last edited by JereduLevenin; December 3rd, 2010 at 01:17 PM. Reason: update
Hide this ad by registering as a memberNovember 20th, 2010 #2
Is that an Elder Scrolls Khajiit?
November 20th, 2010 #3
It wasn't intended to be. Then again, Khajit are just the Elder Scrolls' flavor of cat-person. I was just going for a panther with humanoid anatomy, because I don't draw cats often and it's fun.
November 20th, 2010 #4
November 20th, 2010 #5
By sharpening, you you mean to shrink them, so it looks less frosty and more glossy? Your wording confuses me a leeetle bit, Purgatory. I can kinda see how it's a little too plastic.
Thanks, though. Should I start over on the highlights, or work on the existing ones, do you think?
November 21st, 2010 #6
Okay. I repainted most of the light values. Let's see how this worked~! I was more detail-oriented this time. The first one, I was going for that quick, painterly, kinda sketchy look that uses rapid brush strokes and simple/more abstract shapes for the color pools. This one is more deliberately rendered.
EDIT: rearranged them for easier viewing (and updated first post):
Last edited by JereduLevenin; November 21st, 2010 at 07:34 PM. Reason: smaller file size
November 21st, 2010 #7
November 21st, 2010 #8Registered User
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November 22nd, 2010 #9
The next step
Does anyone spot things that need fixing? I know the anatomy is kinda wonky in a few of the poses on the first page.
I'm thinking about taking image IV from page 2 (the one with the torch) and doing a full illustration. Are there conceptual things about this character that needs work? I appreciate the praise, but in order to improve, I also need to hear the criticism.
I STILL don't have a name for this guy yet. His outfit keeps changing because I'm still experimenting with his character. I don't draw cats often, but I love how I was able to render a recognizably feline face with just a few well-placed green blobs!
I've attached the pose I mean to use:
Last edited by JereduLevenin; November 22nd, 2010 at 03:28 AM. Reason: whoops
November 22nd, 2010 #10
Well, I've decided I'm gonna move forward and attempt a full illustration using the torch image. I mean, a redrawing of it, not copypasta.
Do you folks think I should keep the posterized, stylized coloring, or would this character lend himself to a more realistic style well enough that it's worth a shot? I work much, MUCH better with a limited palette. Thus the simple cel-shading or monochrome (or both) I prefer for this sort of quick rendering. For example, my PIXEL art seems to actually be my highest-caliber work. However, the sprite field is getting smaller professionally, since even handheld games are making the shift to polygons. Nowadays, I mostly see pixel art in online, amateur, free, and indie games.
Anway, that's a little off-topic. If you want me to post my spritework here for crit, I'd be happy to, but it's not what I'm focusing on at the moment. This character is actually an exercise for my Storyboarding class that I've decided to develop further on my own time for the sake of improvement, thus my unnatural desire for punishme- er, constructive criticism. I know it's not exactly a WIP or painting YET, but that's because I simply want a solid character to work with BEFORE I begin inserting him into any sort of environment.
For example, does he tell an interesting story with his posture and clothing? Is it easy to tell what he is? (a panther man) Does his outfit design seem ludicrous or physically problematic? It appeals to ME, but that doesn't mean it's practical, a good idea, or appealing to anyone else. Does the specific pose I plan to use have any glaring anatomical issues that need addressing?
I will admit that absolutely zero references were used in creating these images (other than the image itself, for some consistency between gesture drawings), though I DO usually use reference as much as possible.
How is the lighting, drapery, foreshortening, etc.? I know my memory can't be perfect. I was attempting to see how much I've learned about those concepts to see if I could render at least SOME of them accurately from my own head.
I hope I'm not being a pain; I just want to improve. That's why I came here, and not deviantART- I trust you guys to have at it and tell me what's wrong with a piece or concept so that I can learn. It's what I love about CA.
November 22nd, 2010 #11
As far as gesture work and quick sketching to get your character down I think what you're doing here is working out really well. This would be a good way to start the "final painting" in my opinion.
At this point I think you've gotten all you need to get out of this. His outfit isn't ludicrous, but I will say the "Assassin's Creed" character armor gets a little old after a while. Still, there is a time and a place for everything and this seems to work well as is.
At this point I would encourage you to take a step back and REALLY examine your character. Look at him in every context- is what he's wearing REALLY enough to survive in whatever environment he's in. Does he carry any heirlooms, have any marks, etc. from his previous journeys. Anything you can do at this point to help make him believable, and still make him memorable and stand out will really help you transcend that "Khajit/common panther man" into something memorable.
November 22nd, 2010 #12
@Quigleyer: All right. I think some of those characteristics are things I'll need to figure out in the next phase, which is creating an environment for them. It feels kinda like creating a conlang, trying to crate from scratch what would be a product of its environment in real life, so I don't think I can give definitive answers on those things yet- which means, yes, it is time to start on a "final painting."
Ha, I haven't played Assassin's Creed, but now that you mention it, I can see the resemblance. I'll try to help alleviate that by not putting him in eye-catching white (what kind of assassin wears white? I never understood that, any more than ninjas wearing orange jumpsuits. Ahem). His outfit is loosely based on one I constructed in Soul Calibur IV, actually. Dark colors, and the metal parts more bronze-hued than steel, well-worn and with a nice patina from the copper coating used in the detail.
I picture him either spelunking or in a forest, either thigh-deep in water or surrounded by greenery, casting light on some ruins he's investigating. Maybe Aztec/Mayan/Incan, since Panthers ARE just black jaguars/leopards (I can't remember which), thanks to melanism, and he would actually be of a species with ancestors native to such an environment. Then again, it's fantasy, and I'd rather not B.S. a real-world culture's relics when I can create my own. It really comes down to which version I can paint successfully- stone or greenery.
Thanks for the feedback! The previous times I've come to C.A. with art, it's never passed the initial inspection, which is why I didn't want to move on here before hearing something definitive one way or another. It's a pleasant shock to hear that my initial gestures are turning out well enough that I can move on without needing to really do anything else to them for now.
I guess I'm improving. Well, hopefully my next update will include some roughs for a full painting. Alas, I have class now that the weekend's over, so I won't be able to spend as much time on it. And then I'm going out of town for Thanksgiving.
Anyway, this is what I needed to hear. Thank you!
November 22nd, 2010 #13
Is he going to be wanting to get greaves/boots all wet all the time? I think there are other solutions you could come up with- could be a worthwhile investigation.
However- there's nothing wrong with just rendering out your character and I don't mean to be a pain. If you want you can try to use some of this thinking in future paintings or something- don't feel like I'm telling you to change what you're doing. Your project is already underway and I'm suggesting something long gone.
November 22nd, 2010 #14
No, it's helpful, and definitely not too late. I've already decided to go with ruins, but I'm gonna try something a little colder. I may regret bringing up Final Fantasy, but the Feywood from FFXII, as well as Giruvegan, the Necrohall of Nabudis, the Pharos and Ridorana, and just about every other hostile environment in the game are full of fascinating ruins in places besides caves and jungles. And ice, frost, snow, and mist might not have me tearing my hair out in frustration. I like reflective surfaces, so I'll experiment. I've decided that I'll do a quick render of the general idea using the existing drawing first, and post it here for crit. You've already brought up some very valid points I hadn't really considered, like climate. I may do away with the greaves in favor of worn leather boots (which would let him move more quietly and flexibly, anyway). I'm just fond of greaves. Loose clothing is also more difficult but ultimately more believable. I just like light armor because it's a comfort zone for me- I'm better with rigid, curved, reflective surfaces like armor than I am with materials like skin and fabric that require much more work to get believable values.
Thanks! I'm more inclined to change the environment to suit the character, since I DO have a general look and feel for him that I like, but I'm still figuring out the environment.
November 22nd, 2010 #15
Here's a rough sketch along the lines of what I have in mind! I know it's really rough and doesn't show much yet, but I didn't want to leap into this without posting it here first. Are there any huge problems with, say, perspective or whatnot? Redlines welcome. And that is supposed to be a really, really big statue. That's sky visible behind him- these ruins are outdoors, in a somewhat barren environment. Arid, cold, snowy, and hopefully not too crazy. I like tall pillars and vaulted ceilings. I'm picturing a strange mixture of Greek and Egyptian architecture for inspiration, but staying away from pyramids.
Oh, and he's holding a photo of a machete which is a placeholder while I figure out the environment. Also, I forgot to sketch in his back foot. Oops. I picked this pose with the right foot forward to imply that he is walking forward (albeit cautiously). I found that keeping his torso straight and putting the other leg in front just made him look like he was standing still, and boring to boot.
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