Dealing with art inconsistency

Questions, skill improvement, and respectful critique involving art assets.
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Dealing with art inconsistency

#1 Post by Fisseha » Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:32 am

Hello! I'm here today to ask for tips in dealing with Inconsistencies in art.

I've always had this problem about not having a solid art style. Everytime I draw it's just... Different.

In this pic, I compiled different drawings of my character. It has a one year gap, but hey, it's still pretty inconsistent.
Maybe I'm just highly insecure about my art style. Or maybe it's because I'm trying to imitate an element of an art style I like, but I'm in doubt.


I really want to avoid this in the near future, especially if I'm going to be making sprites.

So if anyone has techniques/tips/pointers, please enlighten me.

Have a good day/night, Thank you!
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Re: Dealing with art inconsistency

#2 Post by Holland » Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:10 am

Systems and reference sheets can help. Reference sheets are documents with things like color schemes, body proportions, eye/nose/jaw shape, piercings, tattoos, etc. A system is just a breakdown of the process you use to do something (drawing a sprite, in this case). ex:

1) Open [x] program. Start new document named "[character]_[expression]" at 300x500.
2) Add "sketch" layer. Start sketch with #000000 g-pen brush at 1-5px size. Reduce opacity to 50% when done.
3) Add "lineart" layer above "sketch". Clean up lineart on new layer, reduce to as few brush strokes as possible. Use same brush size and color as step two.
4) Add "color" layer between "sketch" and "lineart". Pick solid colors from character ref sheet. Use g-pen brush at 5-25px size to fill in each solid color.
5) Add "shade" layer above "color". Pick shade colors from character ref sheet. Use same brush as step four.
[...] and so on

Some people can develop these systems naturally and draw in the same style again and again without much thought. For others (me), it helps to put the process into words and see exactly what the difference is between each style we use and how to fix the discrepancies between them.

(A bit of inconsistency should be expected in long-term projects, though. It's normal to get better, cleaner work after practice and experience. It's also normal to have periods of time where your art seems worse as your head is trying to wrap itself around new concepts and techniques.)
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Re: Dealing with art inconsistency

#3 Post by morinoir » Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:59 am

Your art in 2018 seems consistent enough to me, as well as those in 2019. I think they look different because the character's hair style changed, along with the color palette and shading style of the eyes. I actually suffer the same style inconsistency until this moment, but it's not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I actually find that having style inconsistency gives me a lot more room to explore, to try different art style and emulate it to my work, making me a flexible artist that later becomes my strength.

However when handling a client or project, your art indeed needs to be consistent. I found that the easiest way to keep the style consistent is by simply following the style of artwork that you've made before. Pick an artwork that you're gonna use as a model/sample, and when you draw a new character, see if the style match well with the sample artwork. You'll want to make sure they have the same coloring style or the same line thickness and other things. Or if you have to draw the same character again but in different pose, you'll want to make sure they still have the same hair style and color palette. This is when working with layers and color-pick tool come in handy.

Eventually you art style will settle. Even if you haven't found an art style that you're comfortable with, don't get discourage because we are always improving. Looking forward to see what you're going to make. Good luck!

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