Finished this piece yesterday and after being inactive since about summer, this was a surprise for me.
I though I was no good, and then I managed to get this done and thought I had gained my touch again. I really liked the finished product.
Then my sister jumps in the picture when I asked her for a critique- she's studying art and naturally understands a lot more of conceptualism, painting and line technique, color theory...etc, than I do - and begins to point out a load of things that are ''not quite right'' about it. I tried asking for advice, as in, what was exactly wrong, but she herself couldn't tell. She just said it didn't feel right and that I was lacking emotion.
This bums me out and now I'm here.
Thanks in advance btw
I'm no pro at all but the first thing that jumps out is the inconsistancy of the lighting. Can you locate where the light comes from? I can't. There are shadows and highlights where I didn't expect them. You seem unsure about it. His head lacks of underlying structure even for a manga-style picture.
About the emotion, well, to me the character seems a little sad and tired but relaxed at the same time. Maybe experiencing nostalgia by thinking about memories.
That being said I think the overall result is good and I like it especially the delicate color palette you chose.
I'm like your sister, I can't really put my finger on it, but I'll give it a shot.
The angle and pose don't seem to match the emotion of the picture. Tilted angles are generally used for action shots, high energy or 'flashy' scenes, or the 'bad***' look. There's inherent action and energy in a tilted shot, because the character is always 'falling' a little bit (at least that's how my subconscious sees it) due to being off balance. Oftentimes they look like they are levitating. 'Tired' or 'sad', however, is all about the stillness and weight. Even if the things around the main character are moving (they could be in a tornado for all i care) the character itself is normally pretty still and quiet.
To summarize that rambling: I think it would look better if he was angled normally.
As for the pose, I really am not sure what he's doing with his arms. It looks like he's doing something, but it's confusing, and I don't see how it connects to the emotion of the picture.
That said, the colors are really nice overall and I like how you handled the shadows on his face. I think the problem is primarily pose/angle, as I think the colors are nice, and the value range look good to me (though I can't say if the shadows/lighting are accurate and whatnot, I'm bad at judging stuff like that)
Well, you got the emotion right, so that's a relief.
''His head lacks of underlying structure'' - How so?
Thanks for the critiques guys.
I agree that it's not really much of an image without some context, part of a comic panel or something.
anyway, here are some of your issues with the lighting, it's a bit nit picky but it might make a bit of a difference, some shadow around the jaw area and correct shadowing in the neck area. a paintover too show what I mean.
Fireblade was the first about the shadows but I wanted to show you what I meant more underlying structure (eyes aren't flat, have undersockets, so are cheek bones and area around the mouth) which leads to give more volume. Nothing ground breaking but:
I hope it helps.
fireblade and SefRob, thanks for the advice, that helped a lot.
I'll look into it once I get some free time on my hands (hopefully soon)
But I'm still not sure how I would go about framing it better. I mean, I wouldn't want to leave it with such a strange pose (no hands and all) when people can't seem to understand what he's doing.
Yeah, I agree with eezacque... the major problem is compositional and can be fixed by better framing.
I had read all the other comments and got the feeling I should give a critique of my own
So first of all I have to say that I simply love your color choices. Rather than the shading and pose which I don't find problematic at all and very nice and leaves a good impression-
I suggest you practice some more on your styling. Leave more sharp shades on the clothes and hair like you do on the skin.
Generally I just love it, really. You don't have to think too much about how to make this character more clear n things like "what is he doing" is a question the viewer HAS to ask himself, this is what makes the artwork INTERESTING!!
I look at the artwork and I think: what is he doing? what is his name? what made him make this expression?
This is why we don't draw a name-tag and a story "what happened before" each drawing we make, we have to draw attention to the artwork and make it stand for itself.
I opened a deviantart gallery few months ago and I was surprise that my most popular (not that popular though haha) artworks were my most unclear and mysterious. A head with an expression is enough for people to say "I like it", maybe if I add hands and scenery and a clear storyline people would say "well not good enough". Making a clear artwork is not the point, the point is to get the maximum of the possible minimum .
Excellent points Herp. I have to reinforce that in the world of art, knowing your audience matters. Sometimes it's not about whether or not the piece is anatomically correct. More often it is whether it can interest the viewer, move them somehow. Your colors in this piece are excellent and so is the angle. Keep pushing your style, the rest will come.
whoa, thanks for all the criticism and kind words guys. It makes me glad to know that somehow and in some way, I managed to get people to feel pleased with my work (even if it needs some touchings here and there)
Made my morning
Last edited by BaraUjo; December 23rd, 2013 at 08:35 AM.
Looking at your DeviantArt, you seem to suffer from "too much anime syndrome". You're pretty skilled with color, but it appears that you rely almost exclusively on other anime pieces for reference. You need to develop a strong base and fundamentals before your style (be it anime, cartoon or whatever) can really shine, otherwise it's like putting icing on a cake without actually having a cake. Draw more from life, and check the usual book recommendations (Loomis, etc).