Kristina draws tough guys!
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    Kristina draws tough guys!

    Because my portfolio needs more testosterone! :]

    These are two main characters from one of my favorite comics. I haven't drawn many action heroes nor buildings in my life so I would appreciate feedback.

    How are the poses working? Do they look good, correct, solid?

    Yes, the background is based on reference photos but don't worry: I only use those that I'm allowed to.

    I'll now experiment with possible color schemes.

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    At the first sight, I had problem with these:
    I don't like the younger one's gesture. Because of his somewhat raised shoulders, maybe? I can't really put my finger into it.
    The same one's left knee (our right) isn't there. No folds or anything, it's strange to look there.
    The standing one's legs aren't so good either, the similar "lack of information" than before, I can't read his gesture from that single stroke that shows the position of his right leg (and doesn't feel quite right. Partially because it's way too low, even if he has no heroic proportions).

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    shiNIN's covered all the issues with the characters that I can see. If you're hoping to use this piece for your portfolio it might be better to draw your own background instead of just running a filter over a photo.

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    bitjockey, don't worry! The background will be 100% painted (more or less copied from the photo - which I'm allowed to use). I need to see how it looks like as a line-art.

    ShiNIN, thank you! Here's what I did:

    Tintin (the kneeling guy)
    I experimented with Tintin's pose/legs. Just made an attempt where I tried to reference the lower body & legs from here:
    http://senshistock.deviantart.com/ar...im-2-134339365
    as well as from here:
    http://senshistock.deviantart.com/ar...47-5-120171396
    However, that looked awful. Maybe it would work if I referenced the entire pose 100% from one of these photos, but I don't like them that much: I don't want him to point the gun at the viewer. Also, I want to show his face.
    So with his pose, I'm back at square one. (still open for suggestions)
    I do think, however, his shoulders should be raised. It's not a relaxed pose, and I see a lot of raised shoulders in people posing with guns.

    Snowy (the dog)
    Someone pointed out that I might want to draw him looking more alert, which I did here.

    Captain Haddock (the standing guy)
    I tried to make it clearer how he's standing on the ground.
    And yes, fans of the series would probably say he looks too James-Bond-like, which is out of character, haha But I'd really like to keep that too-cool-for-this-world pose just because I like it He deserves to be drawn hot just for once!

    I'm going to bed now, will work on it tomorrow.

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    Nothing here feels like it carries 'weight' and feels unconstructed. I just sort of see contour lines. This feels especially problematic around Tintin's arms and the gun... just doesn't look like anything is actually grasping anything else or grounded.

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    There's no emotional tension in any of the three figures. Grab some friends and act this out. Bonus points if someone lobs small unpredictable and somewhat painful rubber balls at you the whole time you're taking photos. After a few hits your models will not be posing so casually.

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    Aaaahhh, damn, I have no idea what to about THAT. Makes me want to abandon it

    I just sort of see contour lines. This feels especially problematic around Tintin's arms and the gun... just doesn't look like anything is actually grasping anything else or grounded.
    Isn't that normal for a line drawing? If you mean it looks not 3D enough - it always looks a lot more grounded and solid when I actually start painting / modeling with light & shadow.

    I'll now ponder the problem of how to show more tension.
    I want to paint dramatic light in this scene, and maybe silhouettes of evil guys somewhere in the background...

    Last edited by Maidith; November 25th, 2011 at 04:49 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maidith View Post
    Aaaahhh, damn, I have no idea what to about THAT. Makes me want to abandon it
    All they might need is some tweaks in their expressions. I know -- rent some (good) action movies this weekend and study the acting. It'll be easier than getting models on short notice.

    I'd redraw Snowy as growling, though. It would add to the tension and if you can already see the bad guys you can bet the dog would have smelled them long ago.

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    I'd redraw Snowy as growling, though. It would add to the tension and if you can already see the bad guys you can bet the dog would have smelled them long ago.
    Good idea, thanks!

    This is what I did today. Off to bed now, I'll continue tomorrow

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    I like the colors so far on your lastest progress picture, but I have to wonder: if they're behind the pillar, doesn't that mean they're hiding behind it? Which means the bright lights should be 'behind' the pillar, instead of to the right? Because if something/someone is trying to get them from the right, they can see them!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maidith View Post

    Isn't that normal for a line drawing? If you mean it looks not 3D enough - it always looks a lot more grounded and solid when I actually start painting / modeling with light & shadow.

    .
    Oops sorry was busy from the holiday.

    No, I'm talking about how the objects seem to be sort of floating with one another and how TinTin's gun seems to have no structure or weight. It's kind of wavy/wobbly and feels like it has little basis in reality. It looks extremely flat, not like it was constructed out of actual 3D shapes but like a flat rectangle with a bent, smashed cylindrical tube stuck on the end. It looks like he is not holding it, its just a mass of disjointed and incorrect shapes floating in his arms.

    Gun Rant:
    Also your finger would never rest behind the trigger, curled up inside the trigger guard. He would not be able to react and shoot. If he's at the ready, his finger should extend beyond the trigger and rest on the trigger guard, not squeezing the trigger and not squeezing the stock. Speaking of which, where is the stock? This looks like it's loosely based on a Thompson, yes? How is tintin to support this weapon when it fires? As it stands now the recoil would drag his arms all over the place. Where does the ammunition go? It looks like a small submachine gun. Where is the magazine or how is the clip inserted? If he's kneeling why isn't he supporting his weapon on his knee so that he may take an accurate shot (right now he is tucking his elbows into his body - I'm looking in my NRA Rifle Handbook for proper postures)? These are all things that need to be considered. And yes if they are hiding behind that pillar, why is Tintin clearly visible to enemies that could be on the stairs? Captain Haddock is looking in that direction so it is reading to me that they have unseen dangers at the top of those stairs that he is preparing for.

    TL;DR - Support the weapon, construct the weapon using 3D shapes and make it look like it's actually being held, research real weapons, research kneeling firing positions.

    Last edited by Pezz; November 29th, 2011 at 08:24 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pezz View Post
    Also your finger would never rest behind the trigger, curled up inside the trigger guard. He would not be able to react and shoot.
    Actually I've been thinking of this, would this be excused if the character in question is a total n00b that has never shot a gun before? (Not speaking of Tintin here, god knows what that guy can do.) I mean so many people do tend to assume the finger is kept on the trigger so I could see this happen with a person who has not shot before, or would keeping a finger on the trigger actually be that clearly uncomfortable/make shooting harder that even a beginner would change to the proper hold after a while? Like, you mention not being able to "react and shoot" but what does that actually mean?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    Actually I've been thinking of this, would this be excused if the character in question is a total n00b that has never shot a gun before? (Not speaking of Tintin here, god knows what that guy can do.) I mean so many people do tend to assume the finger is kept on the trigger so I could see this happen with a person who has not shot before, or would keeping a finger on the trigger actually be that clearly uncomfortable/make shooting harder that even a beginner would change to the proper hold after a while? Like, you mention not being able to "react and shoot" but what does that actually mean?

    Then his finger would most likely be caressing the trigger itself, not tucked in behind the trigger as is in the illustration.Most trigger guards don't even give you that option! Your finger wouldn't fit back there.

    Also logically, why would you give the inexperienced kid who's never shot a gun before a submachine gun while you hold the pistol?

    Case in point regarding the trigger guard:

    Notice how you would not be able to wedge your finger behind the trigger.

    Trying miserably to illustrate what I mean:

    Name:  TinTin.jpg
Views: 293
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    Last edited by Pezz; November 29th, 2011 at 09:44 AM.
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    Before you go any further, stop and get decent reference for the Tintin figure.
    While you're at it, get some for Haddock, too. His proportions are off, both in general and for the character, and his pose is too relaxed.


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    I'll skip over the gun stuff for now, except that for a period piece, Tintin is handling his...Thompson? Well, he's handling his weapon like someone just took him off the set of a Magpul Dynamics video. That of course transitions to my main issue: The figures are pretty stiff. Tintin's left leg anatomy makes no sense to me, and feel free to untuck his right arm from under the weapon. There are also some rather interesting anatomy/proportion issues that I can't really get into right now.

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    I'm no expert on this kind of thing and it looks like others have given you plenty of feedback so I'll just say, I like what you've done with Snowy but I hope you'll do some work on him to make him more lifelike and energetic. Terriers are tenacious little beasties with big personalities so I'd hate to see a bland one.

    Good luck with the rest of this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pezz View Post
    Also logically, why would you give the inexperienced kid who's never shot a gun before a submachine gun while you hold the pistol?
    Well, I did mean more as an off-topic question since I specified "Not speaking of Tintin here".

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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    Well, I did mean more as an off-topic question since I specified "Not speaking of Tintin here".
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    I didn't visit this topic lately...
    Snowy got much better in the colored version, I agree with Candra though, there's room left for improvement. I don't know what he should express, right now he looks like agitated but more curious than frightened or angry, maybe it's not the best for such a situation. Surely a dog can have more character too but you improved him a lot, maybe you can return to him later.
    I like Tintin's shoulders better now too, raised shoulders are okay, they just looked raised in a wrong way, too much or something, I was at my limits criticizing this piece, I'm no good with nontrivial gestures, I just felt it wasn't convicing.
    Tintin still has a "blank" left knee, even now that you use values. Get a reference for it.
    Haddock's gesture is still too dull but I'm not the one who can say what to do with him, sorry. Right now, he's almost merging with the pillar, good for hiding (too bad the dog ruins it ), bad for artistic value. His body isn't conficing anatomycally, I'd start over (keeping the head, it's my favourite part of the whole painting, maybe the hand can stay too), simplified skeleton -> naked body -> clothes. By the way, I think even a black suit is lighter when lit with such a strong light.

    Oh and it's not very heroic from Haddock to keep "hiding" while the dog is all excited and even tintin is alert. It's like he needs to get his courage together but maybe it's my imagination. But it's really odd to see Haddock and Snowy together like this.
    Or maybe he looks for an enemy the (our) left? But for such an enemy Tintin would be an easy target, Snowy don't shows any signs about such a threat and it looks a bit odd anyway.
    I don't know, I'm not good with such difficult things, I just share my opinion.

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    OMG OMG where did all those replies suddenly come from?!?! X_X

    You guys and girls rock! Thanks so much for the wonderful advice.

    I removed the pillar (will post the next step later), because it looked silly when one of the guys was hiding and the other wasn't.
    But my main issue:
    I just returned from working on Tintin's pose. Never would have thought that one day some dude's legs would give me sleepless nights!
    Anyway, I got reference and came up with 3 versions...

    Which one do you think works best? I'm tending towards #3



    No, I haven't worked on the gun/trigger thing yet. I will do that later, after having read all the feedback here again! It makes perfect sense and will be on my to-do list!

    So far on my to-do list:
    - rework the gun (it's just loosely based on a Thompson, you guessed correctly)
    - Snowy looks too much like a cat, needs to look more like a fox terrier
    - try un-tucking Tintin's arm from under the weapon. Might look better when it's sticking out (?)
    - get a different reference for Haddock's pose (?)

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    Here's the current version...

    What I did:

    -Removed the pillar because it looks stupid when one guy is hiding and the other isn't
    - Reworked the gun to make it kinda look like a Thompson. It's not important to me that it's an exact copy of an actual gun, it should just look like it works.
    - also worked on Tintin's arm a bit
    - both guys now have their fingers on the trigger
    - changed Snowy into a real wire-haired fox terrier. I tried to draw him growling but found no references of growling wire-haired fox terriers, and without reference it looked awful. Anyway, he shouldn't be barking, because Snowy is smart enough to shut up when there's danger.



    All right, back to work! it's about 60-70% finished, esp. background needs more work.

    By the way, does any of you gun experts know what kind of device Tintin is running around with here?
    I (unsuccessfully) tried to find the original but maybe Hergé (the artist) has invented it:


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    Looks like a fictional considering the lack of detail that I have to work with, but it's blending elements of the MP-38, MP-40, M3, and bits and pieces of the MAT-49 among others. If you wanted something following that pattern, just use an MP-38.

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    The butt of the rifle -or what have you - should be wedged nice into the shoulder just above the armpit. This is to absorb shock and keep the gun steady when firing.

    Tintin's upper body is leaning too far back. One would lean forward with a slight curve to the back when using a gun like that. Keeps your head down so that you can quickly aim down sites, and keeps the gun steady when its time to shoot. The force of the recoil would push you backwards, and the last thing you want is to topple over.

    Captain guy now just seems even more out of place without the pillar for cover. At the very least give his legs a fighter's stance so that we know he's ready for action. I would be limber with bent knees (one bearing most of the weight).

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