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Thread: Need advice and critique

  1. #1
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    Need advice and critique

    Hello.

    I'm trying to draw some fantasy and sci-fi art. Drawing for me is just a hobby, still I'd like to improve my skills and style.

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    Last edited by HochSpannung; December 4th, 2013 at 07:19 AM. Reason: sized-down the pics
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    I like it it has a unique style to it. I would bring out the highlights more, to me it seems the tone you have the lightest is the mid-tone. Also uniting the background colors onto the dragon in the lighting will also marry the two together. You have nice and dark shadows on the body but no the face? You could bring those dark shadows into the face as his face is pointed toward the camera, from my understanding it would be darker looking at the background.
    Hope this helps =)

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    your scalles look to much like a wireframe because they don't have shadingand there there flat and personnaly i don't really like the head looks a bit like a cat but then again that's personnall taste don't known what your intension was

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    First and foremost, make your images smaller. My monitor is pretty big and yet even I had to scroll to look at them, which is not good.

    The scales are not a problem at all actually. It's quite refreshing to see a more crocodillian skin on a dragon as opposed to the plates and fish-like scales you see around so much. You also varied them in size very well, and the feline head is obviously just a matter of taste. Most of the crits I have are on structure/proportion and the pose, as explained in my redlines. I actually need to hurry up and leave now so I hope it's clear and that you can read my handwriting, heh!

    Need advice and critique

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    Lhune,
    Thanks for the scheme! It's clear what I should do. I'll post the pencil draft as soon as I have time.

    Also I'd like to ask you what would be the optimal neck-to-body length ratio?

    Last edited by HochSpannung; December 22nd, 2011 at 10:57 AM.
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    The perspective and the flow of the wings are awkward. Also, limit the amount of detailed scales. The scale of the farther wing shouldn't as detailed as the closest one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vay View Post
    The perspective and the flow of the wings are awkward. Also, limit the amount of detailed scales. The scale of the farther wing shouldn't as detailed as the closest one.
    Oh, yes the wings are screwed-up, I'll try to do better on them. Wings are the hardest part to draw properly for me. And thanks for the scales tip, I'll try that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HochSpannung View Post
    Lhune,
    Thanks for the scheme! It's clear what I should do. I'll post the pencil draft as soon as I have time.

    Also I'd like to ask you what would be the optimal neck-to-body length ratio?
    You're welcome .

    There isn't really a rule for that, although I wouldn't make the neck longer than the body length (minus the tail) myself. There are more things to consider than just length though; a very long neck will likely not be very thick, and the size of the neck will also largely determine how it is held by default. A long neck is often held much more upright than a short one. Again I'd advise you to look at birds (and dinosaurs) for reference.

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    Here's my take on fully-digital drawing. It's going to be a dragon perching on a telegraph pole.

    Done with the pole and wires so far.

    The first pic is a basic sketch, the second is the pole without the dragon.

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    The textures are very well done but the pole especially isn't very convincing. Why did you shade it towards the edges? There's no reason to do that, light is coming from all sides, if anything it should be lighter around the edges.

    I'm also not too sure about that top side, I don't think we should be seeing so much of it considering that we're looking up at it.

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    I've looked up some more poles photos and it turns out I was wrong about the shading. The pole must be shaded much less and only towards it's right edge in my case so I'll redo that. As for the topside, I've seen some old poles with their tops sewn off in a manner of a very pointy roof so I've tried to imitate this.

    I'd like to ask wether the wood texture is alright or should I rework it? Old wood is pretty challenging for me to imitate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lhune View Post
    The textures are very well done but the pole especially isn't very convincing. Why did you shade it towards the edges? There's no reason to do that, light is coming from all sides, if anything it should be lighter around the edges.
    Thanks for the tips, I'll have this in mind.

    Now I've another question. I've drawn a new sketch of Smaug basing it on your suggestions but I'm screwing up the wings. So I've decided to post this raw scetch before I screw it "beyond repair". How should the wings be drawn correctly if the viewpoint is positioned as in the second picture.

    Sorry for the picture quality, I had to photograph it in order not to disband the staples fixing the sheets.

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    Yeah, I agree with Lhune on the shape of the light pole. To me, it looks like it would be shaped like this if you were to look at it from the side:
    Need advice and critique
    The light poles have flat tops here but, I don't know, maybe your light poles are shaped differently over there.

    If you really want to learn how to draw dragon wings, I recommend that you sketch a TON of flying bats from photos. Here are some photos I found of bats in similar poses: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29848963@N03/5571383554/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/petpursuits/5127085233/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/rajnishjaiswal/5302410918/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/ogcodes/3074806821/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/vermininc/3178348121/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/tariquesani/4449374539/
    None of these are exactly like the pose you're trying to draw, but the point isn't to go on an endless search for the exact wing pose that you're drawing. The point is to study how a bat's wing is shaped and how it moves so that you can draw the wing correctly even if you don't have the exact pose laid out in front of you. All of your dragon sketches have very stiff and unrealistic wings so studying how a bat flies will also help you to make more realistic/dynamic poses. Good luck!

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    Yeah, I agree with Lhune on the shape of the utility pole. To me, it looks like it would be shaped like this if you were to look at it from the side:
    Need advice and critique
    The utility poles have flat tops here but, I don't know, maybe your utility poles are shaped differently over there.

    If you really want to learn how to draw dragon wings, I recommend that you sketch a TON of flying bats from photos. Here are some photos I found of bats in similar poses: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29848963@N03/5571383554/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/petpursuits/5127085233/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/rajnishjaiswal/5302410918/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/ogcodes/3074806821/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/tariquesani/4449374539/
    None of these are exactly like the pose you're trying to draw, but the point isn't to go on an endless search for the exact wing pose that you're drawing. The point is to study how a bat's wing is shaped and how it moves so that you can draw the wing correctly even if you don't have the exact pose laid out in front of you. All of your dragon sketches have very stiff and unrealistic wings so studying how a bat flies will also help you to make more realistic/dynamic poses. Good luck!

    Last edited by AboveClouds; January 22nd, 2012 at 09:01 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lhune View Post
    Too long for this position. Look @ birds. Keep head and arms closer to body for a less clumsy look.
    But Lhune! What about swans, and cormorants, and storks, and flamingos, and...?

    Although, if your meaning was to keep the neck in a coiled S, ready for a predatory heron-style strike, I agree.

    ...which is only my opinion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vermis View Post
    But Lhune! What about swans, and cormorants, and storks, and flamingos, and...?

    Although, if your meaning was to keep the neck in a coiled S, ready for a predatory heron-style strike, I agree.
    Yeah, I realized there are birds who keep their necks stretched in flight (my bad for generalizing), but they have a very different body type to this dragon (in that the body is rather big compared to the neck and head) and are admittedly all rather clumsy animals, both in the sky as well as on the ground (they are built for long flights, not for agility). Not very suitable for a predator, though if the dragon is a herbivorous migrating creature then I guess it would work.

    I drew a little sketch to see what it would (or could) look like;

    Need advice and critique

    It just doesn't look as natural or logical to me, though that could be just a matter of my taste.

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    I would agree that dragon's neck should be somewhat shorter.

    As for the poles there are some old (1900s) telegraph poles with pointy-roof-style tops. The newer ones have flat tops indeed.

    Lhune
    Here's another sketch, are the wings more correct on this one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AboveClouds View Post
    The utility poles have flat tops here but, I don't know, maybe your utility poles are shaped differently over there.
    This pole is based on 1900s telegraph line poles. In those times they made such pointy-roof-style tops. As for the newer poles they have flat tops.

    Thanks for the bat idea, I'll try that.

    Lhune , I've made another sketch with shorter neck and different wings, is that any closer to what it should look like?

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    That looks pretty good to me, yeah. The arms are still a bit long/heavy, but the pose works like this. If you're going for an interesting illustration though I'd pick a different perspective.

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    I decided that before I come over to drawing the dragon in different perspectives I should make a "blueprint" to line out all proportions and angles. So I drew this (I've erazed all auxillary lines and labels, the position is as if the dragon is in flight at the cruising speed but the wings are folded to show different possible positions):

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  26. #22
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    His front paws would most likely come closer together at the chest rather than spread apart in flight. It's a more relaxed position and probably more streamlined, too.

    Something like this but then the right way up, heh.

    Need advice and critique

    Good idea to practice the different angles though! Should help you get a good feel for the forms of the dragon .

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    I've been pretty busy and now have some spare time to draw. I've decided to step aside from drawing Smaug for a little. So I drew this weird creature from "Alone In The Dark 4" computer game. The game's box had a picture of the creature on it. I don't know how exactly it looks in the game but I tried to stick to box art's concept.

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    One more try on the dragon:

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    Last edited by HochSpannung; March 30th, 2012 at 07:48 AM.
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    Hello. I haven't been here for a while, don't have much time for drawing. Here's what I'm trying to draw this time:

    My first take on a sea serpent creature:
    (Warning! The pictures are 4000 pixels wide!)
    Need advice and critique
    I'm still not very much used to drawing with a tablet so I draw the basic sketch with a pencil. The tail and the neck look lame and the texture is far from perfect.

    Second try in progress:
    Need advice and critique
    The pose is still static. Trying to enhance the textures and details.

    I feel like I should practice on something other than dragons and mythical creatures. Upon finishing this I'll try to make a portrait of Kaiser Wilhelm II in pickelhaube.

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    Why so much veins and those ridges? If this is some deep sea dweller and a predator too, I'd figure it would have a much thicker skin and it would have to move fast in the water, but the veins make it look like you'll poke it once and it'll bleed to death and those ridges just increase the drag it'll have in water. Like compare if the ridges went from head to tail, and the water could flow between the ridges, creating less drag. Even the teeth in shark's skin are positioned so (pointing towards the tail) that they'll create less drag.

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    TinyBird

    Thanks for the crit! All fair points, it's just me interpreting exhisting fantacy designs once again I have something of my own in mind for a sea serpent that I'll draw after Kaiser so I'll use your remarks when I'll be working on it.
    By the way, I have a question about the ridges. I've chosen to draw them because sea serpents are often depicted with those ridges in fantacy and mythical drawings. Personally I don't feel like they're really important for the design. Third pair of limbs is also sort of out of place. Mathematically speaking, accurate designs of such sea creature converge into that of a Plesiosaur. But plesiosaur, while being accurate hydrodynamics-wise, is not so interesting as a mythical creature. So the question is wether it is better just to make those ridges smaller/change their shape or to get rid of them at all? It also applies to the head design. Logically it would be better to use a smooth shape like that of the aformentioned Plesiosaur. As for the veins and skin- the dorsal surface of the serpent was intended to be covered in very thick skin, maybe even something like an elastic shell while the ventral side is softer. Can't say for sure how how elastic is the creature's skin. It could be pretty elastic and endurable at the same time (Nonsence in terms of real nature, but it's a fantacy creature) Besides I thought these areas behind and under the limbs have thinner skin like that in the armpit. Anyways these assumptions now seem to be out of place so I'll remove the veins and use another skin pattern (in the next drawing). Ofcause, ideally the skin sould be as smooth as possible to avoid vortices shedding from the surface asperities.
    Besides, I have another question not quite revelant to the sea serpents. Are there any concepts of wake-induced and flow-induced oscillations (such as flutter) in those sea creatures' (such as plesiosaurus or some modern animals) limbs? The process is pretty much Von Karman's vibration but the aspects of are interesting if they were any research. Sorry if the question is inappropriate, just wondering...

    Last edited by HochSpannung; July 4th, 2012 at 11:08 AM.
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  33. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by HochSpannung View Post
    So the question is wether it is better just to make those ridges smaller/change their shape or to get rid of them at all? It also applies to the head design. Logically it would be better to use a smooth shape like that of the aformentioned Plesiosaur.
    Well, I think that might depend on whether you wish this to be more unrealistic "storybook"/cartoon sea serpent or more natural one, but which ever you go with, personally I'd unify the head and body. Like if the head is smooth, go with a smooth body, or if the body is ridged, then try to incorporate that in the head and fins so that they don't look like they're "stuck in" to the body. At the moment is just gives vibes that it's a cartoon serpent body that has mismatching more realistic monster head and fins.
    You could also give a try to this sort of ridges, like the ones sperm whales have. http://wildwhales.org/wp-content/the.../sperm_900.jpg

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    Current design is intended to be more of the storybook thing. The lay of the hides here is in fact more of a problem dynamics-wise than the fins (causes vortex-shedding and drag as well). So I'll finish it more or less as-is.
    But I'd like to make the next one realistic. As far as I get it should look kind of like this:
    Need advice and critique

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    So I've currently done with the sea serpent from above. I've decided to finish it as-is (considering this serpent is a more fantacy-wise thing) and implement the aformentioned advices in my next work involving sea serpents.
    Need advice and critique
    The background is crude and the serpent needs to be worked on more but I feel like making a completely new variant where I'll try to implement better environment and more realistic anatomy.

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