Is my character art good enough? (please critique)

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mikolajspy
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Is my character art good enough? (please critique)

#1 Post by mikolajspy » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:17 pm

Latest update worth showing:
TestAnimeComp.png
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Hi, I've been learning to draw in anime/manga style for almost a year now (digitally for few months), and I wonder if my art is good enough now.
Please let me know what you think :D

Here's one of my characters from a game I'm working on with few example clothes, expressions and two hair styles.
The game would be slice-of-life/comedy if it matters (I'm aiming for happy-colorful style)
emma sprites.png
Last edited by mikolajspy on Tue May 08, 2018 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is my character art good enough? (please critique)

#2 Post by eStuff » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:58 pm

I think your art is great for a game. I don't think it has to be too complex to look good in a game. Just keep the style consistent if you can. If you have trouble with consistency, it does help to practice drawing your characters over and over again until they turn out how you like them. Don't be bothered if it looks slightly different, I know that its hard to keep it 100% consistent 100% of the time unless you have been doing it for years. My art is fairly consistent, but sometimes it looks a little different in some places.

If you are going to have background images that you draw yourself, make sure that it matches the style of your characters. It's just a thought, but not super important I don't think.

I do see some room for improvement though on anatomy and proportions. Though in some styles proportions are different depending on the character. Like the shoulders on your character. Perhaps make them a bit wider and see if you like it. Or, you could make the head a little smaller. It's just a suggestion, though, I tend to draw my characters a few different times with different proportions to see which looks best to me. And with the expressions- don't just change the face. Change the pose of the character as well to give it more feeling. It helps make the player have a better thought of the expression of the character. It doesn't have to be a dramatic change in the pose, it could be that the head is tilted slightly to the left, or it could be that the hands are on the hips. That sort of thing.

I think over all your art is perfectly fine to be in a VN! Keep it up =^.^=
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Re: Is my character art good enough? (please critique)

#3 Post by puppetbomb » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:26 pm

I think it would work with the kind of game you're going for :3

A suggesting I have would be to not be afraid of drawing hands, even though I know they may be quite daunting. Hands are great at adding and/or enhancing emotion and attitude, and they'll add a lot to the body language of the character.

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Re: Is my character art good enough? (please critique)

#4 Post by Mammon » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:45 pm

It looks cute and not cringe-worthy, I've played plenty of games with art of this level that I enjoyed. Sure, this is very acceptable, even if the less relevant part of the cast (assuming this is a main character?) would be a tad lower in quality.
Last edited by Mammon on Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is my character art good enough? (please critique)

#5 Post by mikolajspy » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:01 am

Thank you for kind answers, I was afraid that my art is... well... way below "acceptable". As I said it's not even a year since I started drawing (maybe having experience in 3D Art helped a bit).
I know that I'm still lacking in anatomy, perspective and so on, and I want to improve on that in future.
I somehow can draw hands with sketchy pencil on paper, but doing digital lineart seems to be still problem. But I'm thinking about doing some workaround like the one in image below. Drawing hands in front, back or side looks fine to me, but in perspective and angles doesn't.

And yes, she's one of the main characters, other's won't have so much expressions, clothes etc. and other characters will have similar style (or at least I'll try to keep style consistent with other characters, backgrounds and event illustrations).
I've changed shading a bit, added more expressions and added one more pose.
I'm also showing them on white background to give you better idea of the relation to the screen, other chracters will be higher.

I also have question about flipped versions: should I shade them again from start or can I keep them with flipped shading? Would it bother players?

Here's current progress:
emma sprites V2.png
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Re: Is my character art good enough? (please critique)

#6 Post by Mammon » Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:09 am

mikolajspy wrote:I somehow can draw hands with sketchy pencil on paper, but doing digital lineart seems to be still problem. But I'm thinking about doing some workaround like the one in image below. Drawing hands in front, back or side looks fine to me, but in perspective and angles doesn't.
Damn hands, how often I create monstrocities or sausage-fingers when I try to make them. Hands are very hard to make well, but try to remember that few people will notice it (when the hand is not above chest-height). Go back to games you played and whose sprites you enjoyed, and study their hands. Either you'll notice how awful they look and that yours don't need to look perfect either, or they'll be good references.
mikolajspy wrote:And yes, she's one of the main characters, other's won't have so much expressions, clothes etc. and other characters will have similar style (or at least I'll try to keep style consistent with other characters, backgrounds and event illustrations).
Restricting expressions might not be necessary. I usually give my characters four mouths, four eyes and four eyebrows: mouth smile, sad, laugh, shout - eyes normal, scared/angry, look down, look side - eyebrows normal, sad, angry, frown. It's quite easy and quick with the simplistic expressions that you and I use, but it does make for 64 expression combinations. :wink: Especially if you put the eyes in layers that allow for easy manipulation (eye white - iris - eyelashes, then copy paste drag the iris.) and cheap out by making the frown by copy pasting half of the sad or normal and half of the angry, it's done in no time. With those expressions you'll probably will be able to do whatever you want with your support cast, unless the character has a personality-related expression they really need like pout or grind teeth. Your main cast might need some more expressions though.
mikolajspy wrote:I also have question about flipped versions: should I shade them again from start or can I keep them with flipped shading? Would it bother players?
It can annoy people indeed, but I'm not sure if your shading would even be noticeable. I've seen a thread about that around here some time ago, a shirt with text on it (which was mirrored in the flipped version, rather than being corrected) is most definately not acceptable. With your sprites on the other hand, only the shadow under the chin and the utmost left/right seems to be an issue. If you split the layers you can probably make a flipped version rather easily, but I doubt people will really notice it if you don't. I'd say it's up to whether you deem the effort worth the gain.
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Re: Is my character art good enough? (please critique)

#7 Post by SinaAzad » Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:24 am

hmmm, to be honest, your art is far better than 40% of the artworks on visual novels made with Renpy.
So yeah it is far more acceptable than you may think.
just go and take a look at my art topic here and you can see what I used as my first sprites. well dropped the project though.
you might even be able to sell them with low price tags.

but as other people mentioned above, I suggest you to not hide the hands behind the character.
one thing I noticed when I was making my first sprites was that you may need to fix the light source and shades to sync it with the background.
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but please, don't go around telling people that their work is somehow off! thats not how critique works!
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Re: Is my character art good enough? (please critique)

#8 Post by Rhea07 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:24 pm

Honestly, like Sina said above, your art IS better than 40% of the artworks of visual novels made with Ren'Py. So be proud of your art ^~^ One thing you can improve on is clothing. I recommend you draw the base or nude body of your character first in whatever position and then draw clothes on top of that. Study how clothes fold and such. There are many tutorials online that can help you with that. Otherwise, good work! <3

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Re: Is my character art good enough? (please critique)

#9 Post by SinaAzad » Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:35 am

Rhea07 wrote:Honestly, like Sina said above, your art IS better than 40% of the artworks of visual novels made with Ren'Py. So be proud of your art ^~^ One thing you can improve on is clothing. I recommend you draw the base or nude body of your character first in whatever position and then draw clothes on top of that. Study how clothes fold and such. There are many tutorials online that can help you with that. Otherwise, good work! <3
like Rhea said Studying cloth will help a lot, here is my suggestion: http://tokyofashion.com/
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but please, don't go around telling people that their work is somehow off! thats not how critique works!
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Re: Is my character art good enough? (please critique)

#10 Post by mikolajspy » Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:26 pm

Thank you all very much for helpful and encouraging answers!
I started drawing some CGs, I'd like to ask you again for opinion, are they good enough for a (commercial?) game?
Can you tell it's the same character as in sprites above?
I know that few areas are a bit off, but is it very visible?
Cat.jpg
EmmaPromDress.jpg
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Re: Is my character art good enough? (please critique)

#11 Post by SundownKid » Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:40 pm

I don't want to pop your bubble, because your art is competent (and better than mine), but it's still not quite good enough for a commercial game.

You are at the cusp of it being good enough but still need to work on certain aspects. The hands need improvement (fingers are kinda like sticks... no bend in the middle) and the mouth's placement is unusual. Also, proportionally the girl's eyes are bigger in the bottom image than the top, having a changing proportion like that feels unprofessional. I like the slightly smaller eyes in the first one better, in the bottom they are like 90s anime huge.

The cat's eyes look a little too much like a ferret, or maybe a bush baby. Need to also work on those references from nature. And where the heck is it sitting, in midair?

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Re: Is my character art good enough? (please critique)

#12 Post by mikolajspy » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:00 am

I'm trying to get better with event illustrations (CG) - fullbody poses, colors, lighting, backgrounds etc.
Here's something unrelated to previous images, please let me know what do you think:
S10.jpg
Fullbody pose, colors, light, background practice
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Re: Is my character art good enough? (please critique)

#13 Post by MaiMai » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:45 am

I think with the angel wings, you could have benefited from looking at references for wings since they look like flat pieces of cloth instead of being soft and fluffy and they lack the structure.

In terms of background and lighting though, I think it looks pleasant and I like the consideration you took into how the lighting would hit the wings. With more practice, your backgrounds will definitely improve at this rate.
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Re: Is my character art good enough? (please critique)

#14 Post by mikolajspy » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:37 am

MaiMai wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:45 am
(...)you could have benefited from looking at references(...)
Yeah, I got a habit of drawing from my mind, without references :/

Recently I've been practicing digitally and here's what I got.
I wonder: should I also learn to draw backgrounds, or just focus on characters?
S15.jpg
And I got a strange problem. I think my sketches are getting better and better, but final lineart seems still to be somehow off.
I don't know, should I increase stabilization in software even more? Or I just didn't draw long enough to get to some decent level with more complex images?
Here's comparison between sketch, lineart and final colored lineart.
S15_process.jpg
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Re: Is my character art good enough? (please critique)

#15 Post by pikabyunn » Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:19 pm

References are only one google-search or one look away though (DeviantART has stock photos for example). You could practice by drawing your own hands and feet too; Its something every live art class has somewhere during the 1st semester aside from learning to freehand straight lines and basic proportions (the "ideal" proportions being 8 heads tall - though in real life you will find that almost no one actually has said proportions. Same as how only few ladies actually have a perfect hourglass shape. The head also has a few shortcuts like that - like how the pupils of the eyes usually line up with the corners of the mouth if you draw a vertical line.)
Another assignment one of my old teachers used to give me was taking a small booklet along on public transports or when going somewhere with friends or the library (Like A6 sized so it can fit in any clutch/handbag/ etc...) and just draw people - if they see you they'll most likely assume you're just another art student. 7 images per week and mix it up with drawing not only people but objects too. Glasses, bottles, chairs, etc...
For the record; using reference isn't cheating and learning the basics is important no matter which style you practice. Because everything you learn there (the basics) can be applied any style you want. And it gets really fun once you know the rules and can start breaking them.


Learning how to draw backgrounds may definitely be something you could invest time into if you want to. Being able to realistically place a character within an environment would broaden your skills to be able to draw CGs too and not just character sprites.


The most important thing is to keep drawing. Even if you feel like aren't good enough for complex images yet; just do it. For example with those lines - search for a level of stabilization you are comfortable with and stick with it. It can also help to look at tutorials and the linearts of other artists and try to see what they do differently compared to yours.

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