I DRAW SPRITES: CRITIQUE/ HELP ME IMPROVE!?

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フリークェンシー
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I DRAW SPRITES: CRITIQUE/ HELP ME IMPROVE!?

#1 Post by フリークェンシー » Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:52 pm

HELP ME IMPROVE: SPRITES!?
So I have a lot of crappy art on my Deviantart, and the only way to get better is to get critique, which I don't get. (In fact I rarely get comments) So please help me out and critique my latest drawing. It took me forever to draw this set of sprites featuring my original character, Renchi in four expressions (left to right): annoyed/pouty,shocked, angry and neutral!
- 70-100 layers (Combined Method + One layer Painting)
- 25+ hours (Over 13 days!)
- Paint Tool Sai
- Intuos Small Tablet
It would be nice to get some help, I'll accept all comments mean or not.

YOU CAN HELP, DOs and DON'Ts

- DO point out what's wrong specifically (the specific the better)
- DO link tutorials that helped you or others
- DO share me your art, I love to exchange feedback :D (optional)

- DON'T say study anatomy (let's be honest, no one really knows what that means)
- DON'T leave straight hate because it's not 'your style' or 'personal preference'
Huge thanks in advance!
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Re: I DRAW SPRITES: CRITIQUE/ HELP ME IMPROVE!?

#2 Post by MaiMai » Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:57 pm

I did a quick (not entirely accurate) redline of your sprite. Head shape and facial proportions are okay for the style you're drawing in, but the body proportions can use improvement.

Basically, I moved the chest down, made the shoulders wider and made her neck wider so that it can look like it supports the head. For breasts, it's important to think of them as attachments that hang off the chest and not spherical globes that clothing wraps around (depending on the clothing of course). How clothes appear over the chest is actually more specific than you think as well. Here's some various tutorials about breasts that could shed some insight.

http://chronicfolly.deviantart.com/art/ ... -389431227
http://cali-dreams.deviantart.com/art/H ... -270477665
http://maiscribble.deviantart.com/art/C ... -404215398
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Re: I DRAW SPRITES: CRITIQUE/ HELP ME IMPROVE!?

#3 Post by フリークェンシー » Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:48 pm

Absolutely, thanks for the links for sure!

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Re: I DRAW SPRITES: CRITIQUE/ HELP ME IMPROVE!?

#4 Post by Ezri » Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:34 pm

Your coloring style is really nice! It seems like you've got your shading and colors down for the most part. and it's pleasant to look at. Her hair especially is pretty!

For critique stuff, MaiMai did a good job covering the anatomy so I won't go into that. I am curious about your painting method -- 70-100 layers is a lot, and if you take such a (relatively?) long time to finish one sprite, I feel like it would be very difficult to make a whole cast or even just a more detailed illustration. It might be worth examining your methods and seeing where you could speed things up, if you're concerned about that!
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Re: I DRAW SPRITES: CRITIQUE/ HELP ME IMPROVE!?

#5 Post by フリークェンシー » Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:47 pm

Yes, I always stress out when I see too many layers open and so much time spent. I use the 'combined method' ; base color layer, shade layer, hue layer then highlight layer then combining them. And editing it afterward. But, I spend less time editing and more time trying to make it right the first time and so I create so many layers because I'm insecure about which things to keep and abandon. (geez i'm kinda realizing my problem :0)

Any help with this?

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Re: I DRAW SPRITES: CRITIQUE/ HELP ME IMPROVE!?

#6 Post by hiko27 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:00 am

Maimai already redlined it, but yeah, chest is too high. Body looks smaller compared to her head, which would be bad for her since the weight of her head would tip her balance off. Hand -- mostly the thumb. Needs to be longer, and holding onto the wrench. Hard to hold the wrench, or anything for that matter, without your thumb.

Also, about the study anatomy part. Contrary to what you said, I actually do know what that means when people say it. I guess what you're trying to say is it's too vague of an advice since there's so much to study about anatomy. So I'm going to say it, and elaborate on it. Study proportions (like how long is your upper arm supposed to be compared to your torso -- answer's actually your elbow should be at the waist, and your arm is as long as your legs), muscles (which could help you with how to draw hands), and bones/skeletal structure (pretty much helps with everything, like trying to figure out why that arm looks like it's bending awkwardly, stuff like that). Start with anything you want, you think you need help on the most, or you draw the most. You can start by studying the torso, like where the clavicle starts, and where does it rest, how does it look in different poses. If you stretch your arms upwards, what does it do? Or how does your pectorals look when your arms are stretched. Stuff like that. It does take a while to get these things, but it's worth it in the end, imo.

Another is to up your contrast with the shadows. A way to check this is to view it in grayscale or black and white (you're using SAI so it's going to be the luminance to transparency one). Because you don't use lines, I can barely distinguish which is which. So you'll want to work on that.

And as for working too much on something: I don't think you should be alarmed at how you work. The time it takes to work on one piece is a work-in-progress in itself, just as your style is and all that. If you want to lessen the amount of time it took you to do this, find shortcuts, or combine a few steps. It's really up to you since this is your style. Also, this is just what I've seen, but you don't really make amazing art in just 10 minutes, so take your time on that. If you still feel bad about it, go look at some amazing artists' speed paints and notice how long it takes for them to work on one piece. I recently watched shilin's speed paint on one of her drawings of her Carciphona characters, and the whole video was more than two hours. And that's just sped up. The whole thing took her around 20 hours of working on the piece, so don't be alarmed. I've worked on a piece that took me more than 20 hours myself (though I think that's mostly because my laptop is shitty as heck, lagged a whole lot). Though for me, it only took me two days because I barely ate anything, just worked on my stuff, and only stopped to go pee, when my stomach grumbles, or sleep. I worked on it non-stop during the day, and throughout the night as well.

There are tons of pixiv artists that work the same method as you do. What I've noticed though is they usually don't do very detailed, very clean pieces when they work this way. It's usually very messy, so that's probably why it took you longer.
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Re: I DRAW SPRITES: CRITIQUE/ HELP ME IMPROVE!?

#7 Post by Ezri » Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:53 am

hiko27 wrote: And as for working too much on something: I don't think you should be alarmed at how you work. The time it takes to work on one piece is a work-in-progress in itself, just as your style is and all that. If you want to lessen the amount of time it took you to do this, find shortcuts, or combine a few steps. It's really up to you since this is your style. Also, this is just what I've seen, but you don't really make amazing art in just 10 minutes, so take your time on that. If you still feel bad about it, go look at some amazing artists' speed paints and notice how long it takes for them to work on one piece. I recently watched shilin's speed paint on one of her drawings of her Carciphona characters, and the whole video was more than two hours. And that's just sped up. The whole thing took her around 20 hours of working on the piece, so don't be alarmed. I've worked on a piece that took me more than 20 hours myself (though I think that's mostly because my laptop is shitty as heck, lagged a whole lot). Though for me, it only took me two days because I barely ate anything, just worked on my stuff, and only stopped to go pee, when my stomach grumbles, or sleep. I worked on it non-stop during the day, and throughout the night as well.

There are tons of pixiv artists that work the same method as you do. What I've noticed though is they usually don't do very detailed, very clean pieces when they work this way. It's usually very messy, so that's probably why it took you longer.
hiko27's comments about time are true as well! You should work however you're comfortable, and ~20 hours isn't uncommon. (I'm sure I've spent that long or longer plenty of times!) I didn't mean to imply that this was a bad thing necessarily.

If you feel like you're stressed out about making it perfect the first time, that's also totally normal but definitely not fun! When I'm not certain about something I find it good to take a break and come back to the picture later with fresh eyes, which helps me feel more confident in making decisions about it. Also, my experience with one-layer painting is that it can be easier to go back and edit things later compared to working with really clean lineart or something similar, but everyone works differently so it might not feel so easy for you. Working faster and more deliberately comes with confidence, so keep at it!
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Re: I DRAW SPRITES: CRITIQUE/ HELP ME IMPROVE!?

#8 Post by annpan » Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:38 am

フリークェンシー wrote:Yes, I always stress out when I see too many layers open and so much time spent. I use the 'combined method' ; base color layer, shade layer, hue layer then highlight layer then combining them. And editing it afterward. But, I spend less time editing and more time trying to make it right the first time and so I create so many layers because I'm insecure about which things to keep and abandon. (geez i'm kinda realizing my problem :0)

Any help with this?

Hey! Don't worry about that! I'm notorious for making 100+ layers and over. So I'm the best person to ask advice on dealing with layers exceeding fifty and over :lol: My advice is when dealing with a bunch layers of a sprite -- make sure you separate them into specific folders. Folders for hair, eyes, clothing, skin and lineart will make it to easy access them without getting confused in your mess. Also, make sure you don't got past 254 layers since paint sai tool limits it. I know this because I have a 357 layers count file for 14 chibis and I pass the file to someone who uses sai and they couldn't open it. HA HA HA. I use Clip Studio Paint EX which can go over that limit. *Phew* If you have photoshop, you shoud make your lineart in sai and carry it over to photoshop because it open up to 8000 layers! Or you can be like me and switch over to Clip which allows you to do your lineart + colouring all in one go. Oh yeah, do make a separate line for the hair, eyes, and skin (with or without clothing).

Recent art practice, not going to finish or refined it because I don't like it (everything is off and I loss my confidence). Layer count 21 but it'll probably go up or less since it's a kind of water colour art style which you just colour on a single layer. However, 21 layers here XD HA HA HA.
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EDITS: 357 layers chibis
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Re: I DRAW SPRITES: CRITIQUE/ HELP ME IMPROVE!?

#9 Post by フリークェンシー » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:42 am

First off, thank you everyone for all the tips. I will return with a new post :) :o
Study proportions (like how long is your upper arm supposed to be compared to your torso -- answer's actually your elbow should be at the waist, and your arm is as long as your legs), muscles (which could help you with how to draw hands), and bones/skeletal structure (pretty much helps with everything, like trying to figure out why that arm looks like it's bending awkwardly, stuff like that). Start with anything you want, you think you need help on the most, or you draw the most. You can start by studying the torso, like where the clavicle starts, and where does it rest, how does it look in different poses. If you stretch your arms upwards, what does it do? Or how does your pectorals look when your arms are stretched.
I will definitely keep this in mind when I work on my next set of sprites.
you shoud make your lineart in sai and carry it over to photoshop because it open up to 8000 layers
This has also been very helpful. I have photoshop just lying around, time to make good use of it.

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Re: I DRAW SPRITES: CRITIQUE/ HELP ME IMPROVE!?

#10 Post by Blank » Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:11 am

One thing I noticed is that the sprite looks slightly slanted, like the character is leaning backward, I tried turning the image and it looks a bit more natural.
The slanting is a pretty common issue, which I myself have, it's usually not too big in issue but when it's in relation to sprites it can become a problem when it's time for it to go into the game. It's usually best to try and double check the sketch before starting on the image proper, flipping the canvas can help.
Other then that nit-pick it's a very pretty sprite, I'm especially fond of the shading on the hair.
this is my first post on the forums i'm sorry if i messed up attaching the image :s
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Re: I DRAW SPRITES: CRITIQUE/ HELP ME IMPROVE!?

#11 Post by Taleweaver » Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:56 am

Moved to Personal Art Threads.
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