Well, here goes. My name is Roy and I'm 39 I guess this would be a good place to post up my portfolio and get some helpfull suggestions. I am completely self taught and have no formal background and have only been doing this for a few years. I want to be an illustrator for fantasy covers and fantasy magazines. I know I still need work in many areas but other than the dreaded anatomy I'm not sure where my weaknesses are. Thanks for viewing.
You've got some cool concepts and nicely designed environments. However one area to work on in general would be your values and shading. Some of your figures and objects seem hollow because they don't have enough shape and volume yet they have textures and detail. For example, the wolf's facial anatomy and structure is not built up as solid as it could be but you put in all that fur texture and detail in his eyes. This makes him look like a strange mass of fur instead of an actual animal.
In the seascape with the lighthouse, I really like the misty atmosphere and the grand sky. The rocks have a pretty cool silhouette shape but again, lack volume and depth. You could add more volume but rethinking how the light would shine and the planes of the rock and factoring in reflective light from the water.
Those are just my general thoughts. I hope it helps.
I agree with @JJacks comments. I'd also say that spending time working on core principles of perspective will help a lot with thinking 'in 3D' and creating volumes and placing things believably in space/creating depth. I'd also suggest avoiding compositions where everything, particularly the main subject is flat on to the viewer (e.g. the wolf, guy in the chair, etc) as this is inevitably gonna make things look well...flat. Again, perspective will help with this.
Be careful of your black values on your environments. Things far away (e.g. the mountains in your environment) would not be very black due to the large amount of atmosphere the light is passing thru - it will diffuse and lose contrast and pick up sky tone etc. Some of your distant objects are at the same black values as the foreground ones and this will make your picture look flat, because the eye is fooled into thinking they are the same distance away.
As you've mentioned already, work on anatomy as much as possible. That girl in the 5th one down is pretty off in a lot of places.
Keep it up dude, you have lots of good ideas and good rendering skill, just need some time hammering away at the foundations (and who doesn't!?).
Venishi I think your right. Part of the problem I believe, may be due to my previous monitor. I had a Dell flat screen but it seemed to cause issues with contrast. I just bought a ViewSonic and the colors seem much richer and the contrast much better. I don't know how or if this will improve my color but it is something I'll be keeping an eye on. Thanx.
I think you should try to think more on the shiluett of objects, and how everything work together in the sence of positive and negative space. There are parts of the images that are really good, but I feel they dont work as a whole. Maybe you should work more at fit on screen zoom mode.
I hope you don't mind me delving in here, this is my first post and all, but I would suggest you get some kind of training, be it paid, or self study. I think you would benefit from figure drawing lessons of some kind. As you get more and more comfortable with the human figure it will become more natural and your instincts will be close. Until then I recommend working from reference. Get a friend to pose for you or pose yourself if you can.
I also recommend construction drawing (drawing objects in perspective- not actual construction blueprints). It's an often overlooked type of art but it makes a huge difference in being able to make believable objects and places. That will help you with your volumes.
One last thing I would suggest (and this is something I see pros neglecting all the time), is studying light and how light falls on objects- particularly cast shadow, and form shadow. Form shadow is usually softer like around the cheekbone, whereas cast shadow is sharper, like where the chin casts a shadow on the neck. You seem to be making all of your shadows soft. This creates ambiguity with the volume and overall appearance of your shading technique.
Keep up the drawing. I particularly like the picture of the ships.
Thanks everyone for the input. It has been most valuable. I noticed first of all that my colors are oversaturated and am working on that. I recently purchased the video tutorial by (Cryptcrawler) Brad Rigney: Hostile Takeover. I've learned quite a bit already just from part one. The importance of thumbnail sketches and and the use of the history brush. I find his manner of working more closely matches my own and I hope to intigrate a number of his ideas into my own workflow.
For now I want to focus on creating more depth and shadow and lighting, working on values, shape and shading. I will also pay some attention to perspective and anatomy. I feel that with the next body of work I can hone these skills and be able to move more more towards anatomy and building more characters and creatures as well as train my eye for details that I lacked before. That's my goal anyway so we'll see how it goes.
Last edited by kaber; July 24th, 2011 at 10:40 PM.