Art Dumpage! Show your art ^^

Questions, skill improvement, and respectful critique involving art assets.
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Samu-kun
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Re: Art Dumpage! Show your art ^^

#1486 Post by Samu-kun » Thu May 29, 2008 4:47 pm

BTW, I've made this new picture. This supposed to be my Avatar but I have no clue how to upload an avatar. I made this as GIF but the animation is screwed up (it's OK in my PC though).
Don't you just go to "User Control Panel" -> Profile ->Edit Avatar? :3 Be careful, your avatar might be too big and might not upload. Make sure you resize the image so that it's about 100x100.

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Re: Art Dumpage! Show your art ^^

#1487 Post by Jake » Thu May 29, 2008 5:48 pm

Mirena wrote: It's just that I'm quite desperate for constructive criticism at the moment.. but I don't really get a lot of it. Guess this was the wrong place to look..
I can't speak for the other guys, but I tend to scan over this thread, and sometimes miss the text entirely in favour of looking at the pictures... :/

Anyway, since you asked, here's a couple of suggestions:

Firstly, she looks a little too boyish to me, compared to official art; I think the main two areas this comes from are the pudgy chin and the V-like collar her cape makes in your picture. I've had a go at demonstrating an alternative:
Image

In retrospect I think I pulled the cape down a bit too far, but still... the more closed it is, and not being able to see the brooch, makes it look more like a shirt.
(And again; she does have a slightly pudgy chin in the official character art, but... well, it's a tradeoff between accuracy and femininity... ;-) I think the main thing is to pull the rear (ear-end) of the jawline up, men tend to have 'squarer' jaws than women; the chin doesn't have to be pointy, just shouldn't look too heavily set.

I think the only other things I can pick up on are:
- Her right eye (our left) seemed a bit small, to me. Only a touch, but it set her face a little oddly.
- Looking back at the official art, one of the defining characteristics of Trucy to my eye is the curl of hair in front of the ear on her left side (our right); you have the hair there, but it's a little too straight to make it a recognisable character point.

Other than that, it's pretty good! The expression's nice, all the positioning and proportions save for that one eye are spot on. Background colours are nicely chosen. ;-)
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Re: Art Dumpage! Show your art ^^

#1488 Post by Hime » Thu May 29, 2008 5:51 pm

Samu-kun wrote:
BTW, I've made this new picture. This supposed to be my Avatar but I have no clue how to upload an avatar. I made this as GIF but the animation is screwed up (it's OK in my PC though).
Don't you just go to "User Control Panel" -> Profile ->Edit Avatar? :3 Be careful, your avatar might be too big and might not upload. Make sure you resize the image so that it's about 100x100.
I think the limitations are 140x140 on this forum. ^^

As for Mirena, I think the picture is somewhat hard to critique on because the picture is small and has only her head and shoulders. However, I'll try my best to give you some constructive feedback... I think your linework is good, but you could focus on enchancing your colouring technique and especially the shadows. Soft brushes are a safe choice, but if you don't use harder brushes often enough to create a contrast between the two sharpnesses, your picture might end up looking somewhat 2-dimensional. The most usual reason for an artist to use soft contrast in either the sharpness or the shades of the shadows is that they aren't sure enough about where the shadows should be located. I don't know whether or not you have this kind of insecure feeling about shadowing, but if you do, I suggest drawing pictures with exactly two colours: Absolute black and absolute white. No greys. By doing practice pictures this way and trying to make them look as natural as possible you can lean a lot about shadows. Shadows and contrast can make a picture twice as awesome as it's without them, so remember not to be afraid of using those! I think you have a lot of potential and your pictures are really cute (another reason why it's hard to give critique), so please don't stop posting your artwork here. I bet a lot of people want to see more of it. ^^
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Re: Art Dumpage! Show your art ^^

#1489 Post by Jake » Thu May 29, 2008 6:15 pm

Hime wrote: I suggest drawing pictures with exactly two colours: Absolute black and absolute white. No greys. By doing practice pictures this way and trying to make them look as natural as possible you can lean a lot about shadows. Shadows and contrast can make a picture twice as awesome as it's without them, so remember not to be afraid of using those!
I'd totally agree with that. I'd also add that it's also worth trying the same thing without using lines to delineate areas, only solid blocks of colour. Or cross-hatching, which can be a nice in-between. It really does make you think more about the shapes of things than their boundaries, which is a really useful thing to learn.

Hime wrote: I think you have a lot of potential and your pictures are really cute (another reason why it's hard to give critique), so please don't stop posting your artwork here. I bet a lot of people want to see more of it. ^^
This too. ;-)
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Re: Art Dumpage! Show your art ^^

#1490 Post by Spiralbunny » Thu May 29, 2008 6:21 pm

Mirena wrote:..so much for opinions on my drawing.. guess I might as well stop posting here..
Other people have said lots of constructive comments now, so I'll just point something out that disturbs me greatly (r-really, not to be rude or so, but since you want opinions! *3*; ) :
Eyes don't pop out over hair. They just don't.
I see a lot of people drawing like that, and it looks as horrible every time. Really, if there is any hair hanging in front of the eyes, then hair covers eyes. Not the other way around. (It'd surely hurt.) Drawing like that looks... ahem, quite n00bish. In my opinion.
I usually hear reasons like "but I want the kewl manga eyes to stand out!" or "but it's just a few strands of hair, being so thin that they magically disappear in front of the eye!" or "but my idol, the great artist X draws like that!" and... neither of these are good reasons. Actually, there probably aren't any good reasons to draw hair behind the eyes. Evar.
(If you really feel like you have to do something like it, then make the hair slightly transparent just in front of the eyes instead. It doesn't look good either, but it's still a thousand times better than Magical Disappearance.)
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Re: Art Dumpage! Show your art ^^

#1491 Post by Mikan » Thu May 29, 2008 7:55 pm

Game shot :p
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Re: Art Dumpage! Show your art ^^

#1492 Post by Jake » Thu May 29, 2008 8:10 pm

Spiralbunny wrote: I see a lot of people drawing like that, and it looks as horrible every time.
... neither of these are good reasons. Actually, there probably aren't any good reasons to draw hair behind the eyes. Evar.
"I see a lot of people drawing with huge eyes and tiny mouths and silly specular hair highlights, and it looks horrible every time. There probably aren't any good reasons to draw disproportionate non-realist eyes. Evar."

The glib response is that if so many people do it, then obviously someone doesn't find it horrible. It's a stylistic choice, some people like that kind of thing. If people like the way it looks, then that in and of itself is a good enough reason to draw stuff like that.


From a more analytical perspective, there's a very good technical reason to draw the eyes in front of hair: expression. The manga style is all about displaying emotion, which trumps realism. Eyes are big because eyes are the most expressive part of the face, and being bigger means they can be more readily expressive. Mouths are small because the mouth does relatively little emoting. Noses are next to invisible because noses practically don't emote at all. Hair covering eyes might be more realistic, but then eyes which were one-fifth the space across the head with a pupil-to-pupil gap equal to the size of the mouth would also be realistic; the manga style has cast aside realism in favour of emotion, and eyes hidden behind hair can't emote.
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Re: Art Dumpage! Show your art ^^

#1493 Post by Sin » Thu May 29, 2008 9:10 pm

Mirena: When I saw your drawing I was lost in thought about my own Phoenix Wright/Apollo Justice fanart I'm supposed to draw and forgot about posting.

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Re: Art Dumpage! Show your art ^^

#1494 Post by Spiralbunny » Thu May 29, 2008 10:07 pm

Jake: I'm whining more about it looking horrible than about it being unrealistic, since yes, I too know that there are lots of unrealistic stuff that various people find good-looking. Sure, lots of people obviously like, for example, the eyes-over-hair style, since lots of people draw like that.
Hmm... well...
"If people like the way it looks, then that in and of itself is a good enough reason to draw stuff like that."
Reading that line there... I don't think there's any point for us to discuss more about this. My instant response to that line would be "oh dear god no"; I believe our opinions are too different for this to lead anywhere good. :o

Edited a few seconds later to add: Oh right, and, yes, having the eyes do that means that yay, the Greatly Emotional Eyes are shown better and all that, but really, there are better ways to show emotion than to use a method like that. Pictures where the feeling is just shown in the eyes and the tiny nose and weird mouth, that's no good, either. All of this is "in my opinion", people in general sometimes think quite differently. Even if someone decides that they're drawing in "manga style", there are other elements in a picture that should be able to show the feelings. Surely you realize that a faceless figure striking a dramatic pose could be drawn in "manga style" and still have some sort of feeling in the image.
(Sorry for any bad grammar or spelling, it's 4 a.m. and I'm Swedish.)

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Re: Art Dumpage! Show your art ^^

#1495 Post by Mirena » Sat May 31, 2008 6:32 am

Wow, thank everyone for their comments and advice.

Hime and Jake: Thanks for the suggestion, I'll give it a shot sometime since I'm quite unsure about shading in general.

Spiralbunny: Well, I do mostly make hair a little see-trough when it covers an eye, but this time I decided not to.. can't quite remember why, really. I never really thought it would make a big difference, so it was interesting to read your opinion.

Oh and Mikan, those screenshots look great.

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Re: Art Dumpage! Show your art ^^

#1496 Post by Jake » Sat May 31, 2008 7:44 am

Spiralbunny wrote: "If people like the way it looks, then that in and of itself is a good enough reason to draw stuff like that."
Reading that line there... I don't think there's any point for us to discuss more about this. My instant response to that line would be "oh dear god no"; I believe our opinions are too different for this to lead anywhere good. :o
. . .

Are you seriously saying that looking good isn't good enough to justify the existence of a picture? What other criteria should something fulfil before it's acceptable to draw something a particular way? I have to say, if I'm reading that right than it's the single most bizarre thing I've heard anyone say about art in years.
Spiralbunny wrote: I'm whining more about it looking horrible
...
there are better ways to show emotion than to use a method like that
...
Pictures where the feeling is just shown in the eyes and the tiny nose and weird mouth, that's no good
...
Surely you realize that a faceless figure striking a dramatic pose could be drawn in "manga style" and still have some sort of feeling in the image.
One important point was that all of these things which you assert as fact are just your opinion of what's aesthetically pleasing. I know you state that in text for some reason smaller than the other parts, but it's important to bear this in mind.

The other important point is that it's an entirely stylistic decision. When someone draws the eyes too close together or one arm longer than the other, then there's a reasonable chance that it was an accident, that they weren't paying attention or didn't understand proportions or anatomy well enough to draw it 'correctly' - and thus, it's possibly useful to mention those things in a critique, because they're things which the artist might want to improve upon. But when someone - for instance - draws in the manga style, or gives everything thick outlines, or elects to draw an eye over hair rather than under it, then that's pretty clearly a deliberate stylistic choice they've made, and it's not in the least bit helpful to complain about it in a critique; constructive criticism is supposed to help an artist improve those things that they want to draw, not persuade them to draw something totally different.

I mean - I really like art noveau, with the thick delineating outlines and graceful swirls and ornate drawn frames and all that. I think it looks better than oil painting, and I tend to prefer to look at pictures of pretty girls than pictures of burly tooled-up men or landscapes or whatever. Is it reasonable for me to mention this in every critique I write for someone else's art? "Spaceships look horrible, and 3D rendering is a tacky way of rendering things. It would look much better if you drew a girl in a summer dress, and did it in the art noveau style - make it look like one of Mucha's litho prints." Maybe if the question was "would you want this picture hanging on a wall in your house", it would be a reasonable response, but the question for a critique is more "can you see any way in which my technical skill as seen in this picture can be improved?".

As it goes, I don't really like seeing eyes drawn over hair either. It's just not really helpful to comment on that kind of thing when an artist asks for a critique.
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Re: Art Dumpage! Show your art ^^

#1497 Post by Spiralbunny » Sat May 31, 2008 11:36 am

Jake wrote: Are you seriously saying that looking good isn't good enough to justify the existence of a picture?
No, I'm not. Remember what you said - "if people like the way it looks", not "if it looks good". I'm not sure there's such a thing as generally "looking good". I'm saying that having (some, many, a few) people like the way something looks doesn't mean that there's a reason to draw it that way. That's my opinion. It's different from yours, and you might find it strange. And that's okay, at least by me.
Jake wrote: One important point was that all of these things which you assert as fact are just your opinion of what's aesthetically pleasing.
I do bear that in mind, and I don't state it as any sort of universal, general fact, but rather - yes - as my own opinion. When I talk, I tend to speak for myself, as do many others? (While I don't often participate greatly in discussions, I have been lazily following some of the discussions going on in this forum, and I do believe that it is common to speak for yourself.) I have already noticed that my opinions at times are rather different from many other people's, and thus I don't claim to be speaking for anyone else. I was not aware that you, the artist who wanted help, or anyone else interpreted my words that way. And what I write in smaller text is usually some sort of minor comment or reminder.
Jake wrote: As it goes, I don't really like seeing eyes drawn over hair either. It's just not really helpful to comment on that kind of thing when an artist asks for a critique.
I have to ask about your way of thinking, out of curiosity - the fact that a lot of people (and not just you and me, I know quite a few others) don't like eyes-over-hair doesn't mean that there's good enough reason not to draw like that? I'm really not trying to find flaws or anything, I just don't quite understand the way you think. Which I don't need to do, of course. Buuut since we're talking anyway.
And well, in my opinion, it was critique that can help the artist to develop. While you can have any opinion you want about that, in the end, it comes down to the artist to decide which parts of the comments/critique that they want to care about and which parts to ignore. In my years of drawing, I've been given constructive critique that I've laughed at and ignored, both the general universal type and the someone's-personal-ideas type. I think you agree that the artist themself must decide which ways to follow. Personal preferences can be as helpful as general advice, and both can be useless, as well.

Edited to add (I like doing that, don't I): And Jake, I just re-read your critique on the image - in my opinion, what you said about the chin being more round than pointy is more personal ideas than general. There are lots of "manga artists" that don't use pointy chins to express femininity. Some do, some don't.
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Re: Art Dumpage! Show your art ^^

#1498 Post by Spiralbunny » Sat May 31, 2008 11:46 am

Mirena wrote: Well, I do mostly make hair a little see-trough when it covers an eye, but this time I decided not to.. can't quite remember why, really. I never really thought it would make a big difference, so it was interesting to read your opinion.
It makes a big difference to me, and a bunch of other people, but there's also a bunch of people that don't think it makes a big difference at all. Personally, I mostly draw hair completely solid even if it happens to cover the eyes (as you probably understood from my opinions on the other ways). It tends to give the image a bit more... depth, maybe? I'm not so good at putting these things in words...

And because of the discussion I'm having with Jake now, I'll just remind you that in the end, it's all your choice how you draw, no matter what some Spiralbunny, or some people on a forum, or the people of the universe think about it. I'm quite certain that you're aware of that, but still. :)

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Re: Art Dumpage! Show your art ^^

#1499 Post by Jake » Sat May 31, 2008 1:05 pm

Spiralbunny wrote: No, I'm not. Remember what you said - "if people like the way it looks", not "if it looks good". I'm saying that having (some, many, a few) people like the way something looks doesn't mean that there's a reason to draw it that way.
And I'm talking about the artist. When I said "if people like the way it looks", I meant "if those people are drawing something, and they like the way it looks".

"Looking good" is an entirely subjective thing -there's no such thing as an absolute metric for "looking good", so it's entirely down to the individual. What I'm saying is that if the artist thinks that it looks good to have the eyes drawn over the hair, that is enough of a reason for that artist to draw the eyes over the hair.
Spiralbunny wrote: I do bear that in mind, and I don't state it as any sort of universal, general fact, but rather - yes - as my own opinion. When I talk, I tend to speak for myself, as do many others?
It's a wording thing. "X is horrible" is a statement of absolute fact; "I think X is horrible" is a statement of opinion. It doesn't matter that much, 'cause mostly people will be able to work out for themselves which bits you intend to state as opinions and which bits you intend to state as facts, but it's polite to phrase your opinions as opinions, particularly when you're essentially saying to someone "you did it wrong" about something subjective.
Spiralbunny wrote: I have to ask about your way of thinking, out of curiosity - the fact that a lot of people (and not just you and me, I know quite a few others) don't like eyes-over-hair doesn't mean that there's good enough reason not to draw like that?
. . .

I think you're totally missing the point. It's not about what I like, or what you like - it's about what the artist likes, since it's a stylistic decision and they're the one who's making it.

If I didn't like the manga style, then it would be completely unhelpful and unproductive for me to write a critique of someone's manga art which said "I think the manga style is horrible and you should have drawn it in a realist style instead". It would be worse than useless, in fact - it could come across as quite insulting. The artist obviously likes the manga style because they elected to draw a picture in it. Human beings don't have eyes the size of fists, and they don't have hair which magically becomes totally transparent when it passes in front of eyes, but both of these things are stylistic choices - if the artist has elected to make those choices, it's totally worthless to point out that you don't agree with them in a critique.

The fundamental point here is that a critique - constructive criticism - is intended to help the artist develop their skill in the direction they want to develop it in, it's not for the world at large to impose their tastes upon the artist. I don't like cubism, but if I were critiquing a cubist painting that would be totally irrelevant, because the artist has chosen cubism and they want to know how to improve their cubism, not whether I prefer it to art nouveau or not.
Spiralbunny wrote: Personal preferences can be as helpful as general advice, and both can be useless, as well.
. . . how, exactly? If you ask me to tell you whether the cake you've baked is a good cake or not, it's totally irrelevant whether or not I happen to like cake. Telling you that you should have spent that time cooking steak instead is unhelpful, because you already decided to make a cake.

Maybe if you were asking what I wanted for dinner, it would be relevant. But generally speaking, I'd say it's probably a bad idea to encourage artists to develop only in the direction that pleases the most people, because then we would end up with all art looking the same. And it probably wouldn't be manga-style at all, because interest in manga is still in the minority worldwide.
Spiralbunny wrote: Edited to add (I like doing that, don't I): And Jake, I just re-read your critique on the image - in my opinion, what you said about the chin being more round than pointy is more personal ideas than general. There are lots of "manga artists" that don't use pointy chins to express femininity. Some do, some don't.
Actually, I was stating an anatomical fact about human beings - generally speaking, human females tend to have wider cheekbones, more oval faces leading to sharper, more-pointy angles around the chin. Human males tend to have squarer, more thick-set jaws and chins.

I wasn't intending to directly state that a stylistic decision was 'wrong' (or 'horrible') because it wasn't clear that a stylistic decision had been taken. As best I could tell, she'd not deliberately given the character a stocky face; if she had, then the point that she's missing some element of femininity still stands, I've just picked the wrong thing to suggest to fix it.
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Re: Art Dumpage! Show your art ^^

#1500 Post by Spiralbunny » Sat May 31, 2008 2:09 pm

Jake wrote:And I'm talking about the artist. When I said "if people like the way it looks", I meant "if those people are drawing something, and they like the way it looks". (...) I think you're totally missing the point.
I see. Your wording didn't make that clear, and I understood you wrong. I missed the point because I didn't understand you correctly from the start.
Jake wrote:It's polite to phrase your opinions as opinions, particularly when you're essentially saying to someone "you did it wrong" about something subjective.
I'll try to do that more often, then. But I still don't see anyone saying that they actually read my post as if I were talking for more people than myself.
Jake wrote:But generally speaking, I'd say it's probably a bad idea to encourage artists to develop only in the direction that pleases the most people, because then we would end up with all art looking the same. And it probably wouldn't be manga-style at all, because interest in manga is still in the minority worldwide.
And I didn't encourage them to develop only in the direction that pleases the most people - I don't know how many percent of the world's population prefers hair-over-eyes to eyes-over-hair. I "encouraged" the artist to develop in the way that I find to be the best way, and it's all in my opinion, as we've made fairly clear by now - both the artist and anyone else reading will have understood that, if they didn't from the start. My comment was perhaps badly phrased (remember, though, that English is not by any means my native language, and ways of expression may be different with different cultures) and probably seems egoistic, but if I may assume that your opinion about it being better if there are many different art styles also applies to the world's people's personalities, then allow me to be egoistic. I still consider it to be as potentially useful for the artist as general critique. How? Because, in my opinionnn, individual ideas can have as big or as little an effect on the artist as those general ideas - didn't I already say this? - and if it leads to the artist changing something, not neccessarily the exact thing that was commented on (sometimes other ideas grow from someone's words), then, in my opinion, it was constructive critique. The border between comments and critique is very blurry in my opinion, while it may not be in yours, and we're allowed to have different ways to look at that, I hope.
And, I don't understand what the point was of the "(...) and it probably wouldn't be manga-style at all" comment? Just curious.
I don't think that all art could ever come to look alike. Theoretically, yes, but not practically. Besides, I wouldn't care if it did (not because I have little interest in art, but because I don't care what paths the development of Earth takes) but I see that anyone who does care would find that theory disturbing, and also find my comment disturbing since it would, theoretically, be one of the forces that drives the development in that direction.
Jake wrote:Actually, I was stating an anatomical fact about human beings
Yes, exactly; that's what I had a problem with, since you already said that "manga style" isn't always anatomically correct. Thus your comment should be more personal-preference than general, in your opinion, and so you shouldn't have said it at this time.
Jake wrote:I wasn't intending to directly state that a stylistic decision was 'wrong' (or 'horrible') because it wasn't clear that a stylistic decision had been taken.
I would say that it's about as clear as if the artist deliberately drew the eyes above the hair or not. I wouldn't say that it's obvious that eyes-over-hair was a stylistic choice which the artist thought about and made. I, at the least, wanted to make the artist think about how they want to draw that, because it's not certain that they thought a lot about it. Just like you wanted to make them aware about different ways to draw the chin. (I'm not saying that your advice about the chin was bad, I'm only commenting on it because in my opinion, it's the same thing as my post except not as final and egoistical in nature, which you complained about. Had you not commented on my post, I wouldn't have said a word about it, because I think it is as useful as other comments.)

Also, shouldn't we end this or take it to PMs, if you want to continue? (I don't in particular feel a need to continue, but since we don't know each other and seem to be quite different as people, I can't tell what you want.) My understanding is that this thread is for showing off and commenting on art, more than discussing the things we are doing now.

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