Needing tips & feedback on how to improve this character

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Catlip Candy
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Needing tips & feedback on how to improve this character

#1 Post by Catlip Candy » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:47 am

Hello! I'm currently doing another visual novel and one of the characters is Walter, a very shy boy who blushes at the smallest things. He also easily freaks out when he sees scary things. I want to achieve that feminine boy, but should has a strong-looking, manly physique. Now, I've made two versions of it, the pink-haired one, and the other one, I kind of want to have his hair as blue. But I haven't colored him yet so I can make more changes based on the critiques that I'll get.
[attachment=1]Yuki 1.png[/attachment]

[attachment=0]Walter 1.png[/attachment]


I'm primarily concerned with:

1. Which one's better according to Walter's personality description?
2. Do their bodies look kind of awkward? Especially the poses? I want a pose that's related to Walter's personality.
3. How should I improve the hands right? Cos I feel like I'm doing a terrible job with the hands and the shoulders.
4. Does the character looks alive? I don't know but like, there's this feeling when you look at an art and they look very much alive to you. Maybe I'm just hoping that my character won't look boring or something.
5. Is there any other small details I should add? Like, more creases on the clothes or like, if there should be an improvement with my coloring. I suck at coloring, too.
6. Any links to helpful tutorials are very much welcomed. I've seen a lot of links in the stickied threads from the Asset Creation: Art forum but I don't know where I should really focus on improving. There's a lot of tutorials about everything that I don't know which one to learn first >.>
Attachments
Walter 1.png
His hair should be a deep blue.
Yuki 1.png
All I ask from the readers is to give feedback on what they think I should improve more.
Even the harshest comments are welcomed and greatly appreciated, as long as it is your truthful opinion!
Please help me become a better visual novel creator!

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~~~~~~ Catlip Candy ~~~~~~~



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Re: Needing tips & feedback on how to improve this character

#2 Post by robovelociraptor » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:21 pm

To help answer some of your questions, I made a quick sketch. Hopefully, this will make what I'm going to talk about a little clearer.

But, before I start, I noticed there's a lot of negativity towards your own work in your post and I just want to quickly say that everyone starts somewhere. I don't think that your drawings are horrible / terrible by any means, and as long as you tried your best, you should be proud of your work! It's easy to get frustrated when comparing yourself to other artists, but don't put yourself down, you're doing great! :mrgreen:
walter.png
Do their bodies look kind of awkward?

Yes, they do. Mainly, this is because the poses are very stiff and his body is boxy. The human body actually has very few, if any straight lines (even in loose clothing). To make his pose more life-like, maybe try having him turned slightly to one side or the other, since he's shy? Giving his stance a bit of an angel can also really help to make the character seem less stiff, as well.

Lastly, I don't know if the other characters you've made have smaller shoulders, but definitely make sure his are broader than average for a stronger, manlier physique. You may also want to make him muscular/semi-muscular for even more effect.

Does the character looks alive? / Is there any other small details I should add?

To be honest, no. I assume this is in a high school setting, so it's a little harder to convey personality in clothing. Still, you can give him accessories to convey more of his personality and maybe even his class, just like people do in real life. Some things to consider: Does he have any hobbies? What sort of fashion does he like? Are his parents rich? ect. Presentation is key when it comes to character design. You should be able to tell a lot about a character just by looking at them. For example, in my sketch, I gave him a kitty hairclip and a cellphone with a cute keychain. These are both very basic things, and it's still a simple design, but they give him more character.

Any links to helpful tutorials are very much welcomed.

While I don't think you necessarily have to learn realistic anatomy, I think you should start trying, even if you always plan to draw in an anime style. It helps a lot when it comes to perfecting your own style and knowing how clothes work, ect. ^^ I would start off by drawing from reference, tracing models (As long as you don't post it.), and gesture drawing. (Great website [ here ]) These things take a lot of time to improve, so I'm not saying you should spend years practicing before you redraw or something lol, maybe just set some time aside every once and a while to practice. Also, maybe use references while you're drawing. It's honestly kinda tedious to do these things, but it's crucial to getting better.

Here are some references to get you started:

CHARACTER DESIGN (Doesn't really apply to a character in a HS setting, but still useful) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEpi3giVpdI
HANDS - ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, ref 4
POSE REFS - http://fav.me/d9hrbjz
POSE "FLOW" - viewtopic.php?f=46&t=40094#p426940
HOW TO DO GESTURE DRAWING - http://thevirtualinstructor.com/gesturedrawing.html
COLORING - http://fav.me/dawapbx

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Re: Needing tips & feedback on how to improve this character

#3 Post by Catlip Candy » Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:03 pm

robovelociraptor wrote:To help answer some of your questions, I made a quick sketch. Hopefully, this will make what I'm going to talk about a little clearer.

But, before I start, I noticed there's a lot of negativity towards your own work in your post and I just want to quickly say that everyone starts somewhere. I don't think that your drawings are horrible / terrible by any means, and as long as you tried your best, you should be proud of your work! It's easy to get frustrated when comparing yourself to other artists, but don't put yourself down, you're doing great! :mrgreen:
walter.png
Do their bodies look kind of awkward?

Yes, they do. Mainly, this is because the poses are very stiff and his body is boxy. The human body actually has very few, if any straight lines (even in loose clothing). To make his pose more life-like, maybe try having him turned slightly to one side or the other, since he's shy? Giving his stance a bit of an angel can also really help to make the character seem less stiff, as well.

Lastly, I don't know if the other characters you've made have smaller shoulders, but definitely make sure his are broader than average for a stronger, manlier physique. You may also want to make him muscular/semi-muscular for even more effect.

Does the character looks alive? / Is there any other small details I should add?

To be honest, no. I assume this is in a high school setting, so it's a little harder to convey personality in clothing. Still, you can give him accessories to convey more of his personality and maybe even his class, just like people do in real life. Some things to consider: Does he have any hobbies? What sort of fashion does he like? Are his parents rich? ect. Presentation is key when it comes to character design. You should be able to tell a lot about a character just by looking at them. For example, in my sketch, I gave him a kitty hairclip and a cellphone with a cute keychain. These are both very basic things, and it's still a simple design, but they give him more character.

Any links to helpful tutorials are very much welcomed.

While I don't think you necessarily have to learn realistic anatomy, I think you should start trying, even if you always plan to draw in an anime style. It helps a lot when it comes to perfecting your own style and knowing how clothes work, ect. ^^ I would start off by drawing from reference, tracing models (As long as you don't post it.), and gesture drawing. (Great website [ here ]) These things take a lot of time to improve, so I'm not saying you should spend years practicing before you redraw or something lol, maybe just set some time aside every once and a while to practice. Also, maybe use references while you're drawing. It's honestly kinda tedious to do these things, but it's crucial to getting better.

Here are some references to get you started:

CHARACTER DESIGN (Doesn't really apply to a character in a HS setting, but still useful) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEpi3giVpdI
HANDS - ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, ref 4
POSE REFS - http://fav.me/d9hrbjz
POSE "FLOW" - viewtopic.php?f=46&t=40094#p426940
HOW TO DO GESTURE DRAWING - http://thevirtualinstructor.com/gesturedrawing.html
COLORING - http://fav.me/dawapbx

Thank you very much for the tips and the links, and for being honest with my drawing! I actually didn't know I was being negative XD sorry bout that (^^;) I love your Walter sketch *^* that's the kind of character I want to draw ( >_<)9 and the tips about accessories! I haven't thought about that much >.> Thanks for telling me!~ The links are all so helpful, especially the hands references and the articles and links about the pose flows! Again, thank you very much for everything and your encouragement!!!~~~ I'll start re drawing and practicing again~ \(^U^)/
All I ask from the readers is to give feedback on what they think I should improve more.
Even the harshest comments are welcomed and greatly appreciated, as long as it is your truthful opinion!
Please help me become a better visual novel creator!

Image
~~~~~~ Catlip Candy ~~~~~~~



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Re: Needing tips & feedback on how to improve this character

#4 Post by robovelociraptor » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:02 pm

Catlip Candy wrote: Thank you very much for the tips and the links, and for being honest with my drawing! I actually didn't know I was being negative XD sorry bout that (^^;) I love your Walter sketch *^* that's the kind of character I want to draw ( >_<)9 and the tips about accessories! I haven't thought about that much >.> Thanks for telling me!~ The links are all so helpful, especially the hands references and the articles and links about the pose flows! Again, thank you very much for everything and your encouragement!!!~~~ I'll start re drawing and practicing again~ \(^U^)/
I'm happy I could help!! I look forward to seeing your improvement~

Good luck! ^^

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Re: Needing tips & feedback on how to improve this character

#5 Post by Catlip Candy » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:19 am

So today I made some quick sketches but I think I still need to practice a lot x.x
[attachment=2]Walter 2.png[/attachment]

[attachment=1]Walter 3.png[/attachment]

[attachment=0]Walter 4.png[/attachment]


I love robovelociraptor's sketch pose for Walter but I tried not to copy the exact pose x_x And I think I still haven't mastered the pose flow. I think there's not much changes since I get a feeling Walter's still a bit stiff but I hope I get better and I'll practice re-drawing it again!~~

Attachments
Walter 4.png
Walter 3.png
Walter 2.png
All I ask from the readers is to give feedback on what they think I should improve more.
Even the harshest comments are welcomed and greatly appreciated, as long as it is your truthful opinion!
Please help me become a better visual novel creator!

Image
~~~~~~ Catlip Candy ~~~~~~~



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Re: Needing tips & feedback on how to improve this character

#6 Post by Limabaen » Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:11 am

Good job with your latest sketches! I think it's a great improvement over your first ones.

In terms of improvement, here are my tips:
Consider making him turn away to the side even more to make him look more shy, because currently he's still facing it quite boldly front-on.

I would also suggest pushing the line of action more to make the pose look more natural/dynamic.
Currently Walter looks like this:
Image
But if you search up "dynamic standing pose" you get poses like this:
Image
As you can see, it's not just that the lines of the body have been drawn with curves, but rather the positioning of the body is a curve in and of itself. Even in fairly neutral poses you can see this, and the use of
Here's a good article that explains it better than I can https://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/q ... ector-5554
Also don't forget that in regards to making poses look less stiff and awkward you can also tilt the axis of the shoulders and hips so that it looks like he's leaning on one leg. If you search up "contrapposto tutorial" there's plenty of examples of how that looks and works.

When it comes to cloth folds, don't just make random lines and hope for the best. Cloth moves in accordance with the body and folds also depend on the type of material the clothes are made of.
I like this tutorial: https://thundercluck-blog.tumblr.com/po ... uesday-but This person has quite a few other good tutorials too

Finally, in terms of colouring I would suggest reading up on colour theory, or at least studying the colours used by your favourite artists. Your palette currently can be replicated nearly shade for shade from Lemma's font colour selection. Also I've noticed that it looks relatively flat- there aren't any shadows or highlights except for in the hair and eyes. Don't be afraid of using more vivid colours.
I'd also dissuade you from using pure black, as well as using grey to shade. For skin, I would suggest using a reddish tone to shade.

To better explain what I mean, I quickly threw together a sketch. I hope that's okay! First one with your colouring style, second one I used my colouring style.
Image

Image
(I did it in about 20min so it's a bit sloppy, apologies)

I chose to use softer colours, blue instead of grey for shading the shirt, and I added shadows, basic highlights to the hair, and I airbrushed it with a light pinky-orange.
I tried to keep him looking shy and feminine with the pose, but I made his neck thicker, broadened his shoulders but tapered his waist, and I made his torso longer (a la anime boy style) in order to keep him looking masculine as well. I also tried to tilt him a bit so he looked less stiff.

Anyways, this turned out quite long but I hope it helps. I'm not the best at explaining things but if you just search up what you want to know and add "tutorial" or "tutorial deviantart/tumblr/youtube" there are almost limitless resources and tips. And a lot of it comes down to practice and study, and there aren't any shortcuts around that. Good luck with your vn!

Also I need to learn how to attach files to posts

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Re: Needing tips & feedback on how to improve this character

#7 Post by Catlip Candy » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:32 am



Oh. My. Goshhfdsjkljljlljlkjsafasd. You know what, guys, after my younger sister and I read all of your tips, we began to tear up all of our drawings in our sketchpad's pages. Huhu. Jk. I think it'd all be better if I just hire you guys on my next vn to draw the sprites, and then again, just kidding cos I got no monies. Huhuhu. Cos like, seriously, @Limabaen? You did it for just 20 minutes and it's already well done to use for a visual novel T_T I was like, drawing for an all-nighter, pleeaase send me 5% of your talent XD

No, seriously, my sister and I shed tears, together. Seriously. We were losing hope but we just tell each other to keep holding on. </3

Right now, I was practicing my coloring skills and decided to use my latest sketch for practicing:

[attachment=0]Walter 5.png[/attachment]


As you guys can see, it's super.... err... urgh... I don't even know what decent words to explain it XD but all I know is that it isn't good enough. I was experimenting with darker colors for the skin to give more shade, and yep maybe I don't know where to put the shade or how to blend them well enough. Just maybe. And sometimes, maybe I blend too much cos I'm scared to see sharp colors that were left un-blended... or if there's such a word exists....

Thanks so much, Limabaen, for all the advice and tips!!! I'm going to re-draw him again later tonight! I am so loving that tumblr link with all those tutorials! Next time I draw, I'll work more on the clothes and the color! Thanks soooo much!!!~

Attachments
Walter 5.png
All I ask from the readers is to give feedback on what they think I should improve more.
Even the harshest comments are welcomed and greatly appreciated, as long as it is your truthful opinion!
Please help me become a better visual novel creator!

Image
~~~~~~ Catlip Candy ~~~~~~~



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Re: Needing tips & feedback on how to improve this character

#8 Post by Catlip Candy » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:29 am

Limabaen wrote: Also I need to learn how to attach files to posts


This little sentence I saw just now XD There's this Upload attachment below. You just Choose File, then add the photo, and you can also add File Comment for the photo's caption, and Add the File. You can make sure the file gets successfully uploaded below in the Posted Attachments.

Then, above the Preview, Submit, Save draft etc buttons, you can see the Options and above that, there's the Attachments.
You can see the name of your file there and a button beside it that says Place inline and by clicking it, you can attach the file anywhere or any part on your post :3 hope it helps cos I can't even comprehend my explanations and instructions \(*^*)/
All I ask from the readers is to give feedback on what they think I should improve more.
Even the harshest comments are welcomed and greatly appreciated, as long as it is your truthful opinion!
Please help me become a better visual novel creator!

Image
~~~~~~ Catlip Candy ~~~~~~~



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Re: Needing tips & feedback on how to improve this character

#9 Post by Mellanthe » Wed May 17, 2017 11:52 pm

My little tidbit of advice I have for shading is from my own experience so take it with a grain of salt. Practice colouring and DO NO BLEND. I know this sounds really weird but hear me out. I found that blending gives you nice soft lighting but is also a bit of a crutch that you think "I can just blend this colour in and make it look nice."

1) Being able to pick your colours correctly to your style is important and blending it (especially over-blending by accident) can trick your eyes into thinking certain colours don't go together. They colours may be murky or already start with too high of a contrast etc. which can make a picture look 'not quite right'.

2) Sharp unblended shadows also force you to really think about where exactly the shadows would go. It can be hard but will make you pay more attention and possibly learn faster.

To be clear, most of this advice is meant to practice and train yourself rather than creating finished pieces. Good luck!
Image
[CLOSED]

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Re: Needing tips & feedback on how to improve this character

#10 Post by Catlip Candy » Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:50 am

Mellanthe wrote:My little tidbit of advice I have for shading is from my own experience so take it with a grain of salt. Practice colouring and DO NO BLEND. I know this sounds really weird but hear me out. I found that blending gives you nice soft lighting but is also a bit of a crutch that you think "I can just blend this colour in and make it look nice."

1) Being able to pick your colours correctly to your style is important and blending it (especially over-blending by accident) can trick your eyes into thinking certain colours don't go together. They colours may be murky or already start with too high of a contrast etc. which can make a picture look 'not quite right'.

2) Sharp unblended shadows also force you to really think about where exactly the shadows would go. It can be hard but will make you pay more attention and possibly learn faster.

To be clear, most of this advice is meant to practice and train yourself rather than creating finished pieces. Good luck!


Thanks for your advice, Mellanthe!~ I'm actually guilty because I always blend colors too much! I maybe should go easy on blending and try to practice more with sharp shades! (I don't really know the terms for all these x.x)
All I ask from the readers is to give feedback on what they think I should improve more.
Even the harshest comments are welcomed and greatly appreciated, as long as it is your truthful opinion!
Please help me become a better visual novel creator!

Image
~~~~~~ Catlip Candy ~~~~~~~



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Re: Needing tips & feedback on how to improve this character

#11 Post by SinaAzad » Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:23 am

heya! great improvement I see there !

Just wanted to suggest using other colors instead of the darker shades of the same color if what i'm saying makes sense! it can change your style/quality of the work a lot, it may be a bit hard at times, well I'm still struggling to find the right color some times, but try it it changes a lot , like a bit of blue or purple when shading a white shirt.

http://orig09.deviantart.net/815c/f/201 ... b8mmjg.jpg

as an example , if you look at the hair , you can see I have used different colors , and for the parts that the hair should have looked lighter , instead of a light blue color i have went for a greener one. you can use water color to add the colors and give them a bit of blending feeling to it.


Mellanthe
is correct , I did that too , When I learned about blending I used it too often , it made my drawing look dead. well they still look like dead fishes from time to time xD
I am very proud to be a part of this generous, nice and friendly community!
but please, dong go around telling people that their work is somehow off! thats not how critique works!
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Re: Needing tips & feedback on how to improve this character

#12 Post by Catlip Candy » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:21 pm

I think that I improved a lot but I don't think I'm still okay with my coloring, especially on the clothes. It's difficult to choose a color that I'd blend for a white shirt! Now it looks more grayish than white!
Walter.png
All I ask from the readers is to give feedback on what they think I should improve more.
Even the harshest comments are welcomed and greatly appreciated, as long as it is your truthful opinion!
Please help me become a better visual novel creator!

Image
~~~~~~ Catlip Candy ~~~~~~~



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Re: Needing tips & feedback on how to improve this character

#13 Post by Catlip Candy » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:26 pm

SinaAzad wrote:heya! great improvement I see there !

Just wanted to suggest using other colors instead of the darker shades of the same color if what i'm saying makes sense! it can change your style/quality of the work a lot, it may be a bit hard at times, well I'm still struggling to find the right color some times, but try it it changes a lot , like a bit of blue or purple when shading a white shirt.

http://orig09.deviantart.net/815c/f/201 ... b8mmjg.jpg

as an example , if you look at the hair , you can see I have used different colors , and for the parts that the hair should have looked lighter , instead of a light blue color i have went for a greener one. you can use water color to add the colors and give them a bit of blending feeling to it.


Mellanthe
is correct , I did that too , When I learned about blending I used it too often , it made my drawing look dead. well they still look like dead fishes from time to time xD
Thanks for your suggestion and for showing your art! Yeah, I notice the green color, and green blends well with blue! They're quite closer in the color wheel, I guess? ANd yes I'm also struggling with the white shirt, or with black colors! I don't know which color I'm supposed to add into it :(

Your drawing is nice :D It didn't look dead to me and I like the color of your character's hair!~ I guess I like my character's hair, too but with the white shirt and the black pants? I'm not quite so sure :(
All I ask from the readers is to give feedback on what they think I should improve more.
Even the harshest comments are welcomed and greatly appreciated, as long as it is your truthful opinion!
Please help me become a better visual novel creator!

Image
~~~~~~ Catlip Candy ~~~~~~~



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