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  1. #1
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    First 2 characters

    Hey, as I'm learning everything by myself, well, along with some books and dvds, it just came to my mind that I can always ask for critiques from you guys, so, here I am.

    Anyway, these are my first two character drawings from imagination, one influenced by Frazetta, and the other one by Assassin's Creed, though that's it. I tried to come up with my own costumes, and have used references for pistol and hand holding it, although those were sketched quite fast. While working on barbarian, I realized I could as well draw some enemies there, though that will come afterwards, as it's pretty late here now.
    I wasn't working on rendering assassin too much. I just applied some basic cast shadows mostly, but I'll work on that one too. I tried to draw him into a drunk pose, just for fun.

    I am using all-in-one shitty scanner, as I don't have money for new one currently, and I did my best to adjust quality of those, so hopefully it's good enough to get critiqued. Thanks!

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  3. #2
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    I enjoy the look of the pencil shading that is seen in both pictures. There are also some nice, unique hints of stylization in both of them. The first picture has a relatively good sense of movement and a distinct line of action which gives it a dynamic, action-y feel. The softer shading almost gives it more of a painterly quality. The second one has some pretty good delineation on the clothing which gives it a slight hint of graphic quality to it, which is also nice.

    I do see some anatomy issues with these two sketches, though. In the first picture, the barbarian's limbs are too short in comparison to the torso and the head. He almost looks like a dwarf to me. Now, considering that this looks like a fantasy-related character, that would be a perfectly reasonable thing to assume- he's a dwarf barbarian. I'm not sure if that is the type of character you are going for, though. The arm which is holding the weapon in it (I feel kinda bad because I feel I should know what that type of weapon is called) is too close to his head or something. I think the foreshortening might be off.

    In the second one, the head is a little too big for the body. The thing that most stands out to me is the curvature of the spine. A little curving back of the spine is good. It gives the pose a more dynamic feel then just having the character stand straight up. Here, though, the spine is bending way too much back to the point where it looks unrealistic, and frankly, a little painful.

    With the anatomy fixed in these two sketches, I think these could end up being some really cool, dynamic conceptual art for some fantasy-based characters. And I definitely applaud you for being self-taught. That definitely isn't an easy thing to pull off. Considering how these sketches look, I think you are doing rather well.

    Sorry if this is a little too long, but hope it helps.

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  5. #3
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    As quaidezmaster said, are they supposed to be short? Because the height looks intentional but I'm not sure. They're only about 5.5 heads tall, whereas standard humans are about 7.5-8 heads, generally.


    For the first guy, I would show the stick part of the flail, rather than having a chain come out from behind his head. Show the whole weapon, or at least give an idea of what the whole weapon looks like.

    For the second guy, I would re-check his shoulders/upper torso. Try the pose yourself. One cannot (or at least not easily) have their left shoulder that far back, without the right shoulder rotating forward as well. And turning both shoulders that way, likewise will rotate the chest/upper body more towards us, the viewers. Right now it's at a perfect side profile, which is awkward.

    Lastly, as quaidezmaster mentioned--Why the pelvic thrust? =)

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    And then God said, "Let us make man in our likeness and our image. Let us make him ridiculously hard to draw so that poor artists everywhere will have to spend 10,000+ hours failing repeatedly before they can begin to capture the form and likeness onto a two-dimensional surface." And there was man. And it was good. And artists everywhere lost their minds.
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  7. #4
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    Hey guys, thanks a lot for your comments. Yes, the first one should've been a dwarf, although I realized that he should have stronger core. But instead of going for that, I listened to you guys, and changed proportions to more human like, for the sake of practice. I also changed his pose and design, cause previous one was a bit awkward, so this is what I came up with. I didn't work on legs yet, so I can hear your thoughts and change pose again if needed. Thanks a lot again!

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    The weapon reads better now. There are still some anatomy issues.

    Imagine for a moment that his right arm is transparent like glass, and his beard is shaved off. What would you see? How would his neck look, connected to his body? How would his torso look from his chest to his shoulder? I think he would look a bit like this fellow, though perhaps not so extreme.

    So I think his right shoulder/back need to come forward more, and I also would consider his pose. If you were swinging a heavy flail, you would want to put your shoulder and torso into it. Right now there's no wind-up other than his arm swinging. His torso isn't twisting, his shoulder isn't reaching forward, he's pretty stiff over all. Try the pose yourself, make a ferocious swinging motion and see how your body reacts.

    Edit: Also, try turning your head that far. I can't do it. He's an owl dwarf. =)

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    And then God said, "Let us make man in our likeness and our image. Let us make him ridiculously hard to draw so that poor artists everywhere will have to spend 10,000+ hours failing repeatedly before they can begin to capture the form and likeness onto a two-dimensional surface." And there was man. And it was good. And artists everywhere lost their minds.
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  10. #6
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    Firstly, I think you're learning the right way. Starting with pencil and paper is most assuredly the best learning method, and sound, foundational skills should be developed extensively before you move on to painting / digital / whatever.

    That being said, the anatomy stuff should be obvious. Probably a solid 75% of the critiques in this subforum could be summed up as "Bro, do you even Loomis?" Now, anatomy is important, but let's talk about something else that, in my opinion, is more meaningful.

    What do we actually mean when we talk about "characters". It's a word used in your thread title. "First 2 characters". If your conception of a character is "generic barbarian" and "generic thief character", then you're not really thinking about characterization, or what a character really is. What you've really done is illustrate characters without character. This is fine, generally. As artists, we might be required to do this for a project. Like, design some typical bad-guys, or what have you, that the player character might encounter.

    However, if you want to design a proper character, then you have to expand your conceptualization of what a character is. Let's examine your current work. Can we determine from your drawings what kind of personality they have, or what sort of attitudes they posses? Can we identify anything on their person that makes them distinctive or robust? Can we infer any kind of personality or emotion? These are, of course, rhetorical questions; questions you need to ask yourself any time you go about designing a person. How can you imbue a character with characteristics in a visual, nonverbal way? How can you illustrate a character such that the observer instinctively and intuitively grasps the quality and depth of their person-hood? I don't have all the answers myself. I'm still developing my ability as well, but these are tough questions you have to ask yourself if you want to improve.

    Just look at it like this. Some might say that being able to capture the form of a person is the same as capturing the essence of a person, but don't believe this is entirely true. I've seen plenty of figure studies done in what is essentially art-cruise control, that most certainly capture the figure, but fail to capture the essence of the person they're depicting. We should stop calling them figure studies, really, and start calling them people studies. Draw people, not figures. If you think about what a person is, and then try to capture that, then you'll be one step in the right direction toward designing characters.

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  12. #7
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    Thanks a lot, again! I realized it would be easier to start a new drawing, instead of fixing old one. The thing is, it seems that I'm falling into trap of jumping into details too early, and then I lose the picture as a whole. This one is a new sketch, well, mostly gesture and me exploring some things. Also, about characterization. Now that I think of it, I really haven't though about it, and neither I would if you didn't point it out to me. I'm trying to make him aggressive, tough, well, barbaric really. As you said, it's pretty much a generic barbarian, probably drawn for millionth time, and I hate generic characters, books, music, and what not. So, I'll have to give him more uniqueness, somehow. Maybe adding something, or someone, into the scene. Something that would make him look aggressive, but would also add totally new feeling of him. Defenseless lady would still be generic. I'll have to sit down and think about it a little. Anyway, this sketch was made before I read your post Fez, so it's still about crude, generic barbarian.

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  13. #8
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    And hey, I'm not saying that you have to reinvent the wheel or anything like that. There's nothing wrong with a straight up, oldschool barbarian. It's not so much about making your design "unique" so much as it's about making the illustration speak a certain language about who the character is. It can be a generic barbarian, but think about how to make the character emotive.

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