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Sneaky Peek of the First NPC for my VP Site =D [Critique please?]

Discussion in 'Art and Writing Forum' started by Spizzled, May 30, 2012.

  1. [​IMG]
    origins virtual pet site origins kickstarter
    I'm not convinced on the skin shading...I may need to change it, seeing as I done everything cell-shaded other than the skin...
    But IMO skin just doesn't look right when it's cell-shaded...

    Anyway, any suggestions on the skin are welcome.

    And I'll love you forever if you can give me some critique on the overall image (other than anatomy, it's clearly not meant to be realistic).

    Thanks in advance <3
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  2. Though you've mentioned the anatomy being stylized in this image, I can't help but point out the facial distortion in the figure. I know that this character is meant to be done in some kind of "chibi" style, but if you could just smooth out the protruding cheek so that it doesn't look like her face is swollen, I think it would really help the image's appeal. :)
    • Like Like x 1
  3. ...Ahahaha, wow, I hadn't actually noticed!
    Yes, I agree, it definitely needs sorted!
    I hadn't looked at anything anatomically since the lineart, so hadn't been paying attention to that...oopsie!

    Thanks for pointing it out! Much appreciated! <3
  4. Completely off topic..
    But OHMYGAWSH, you live in Glasgow.
    That's where I'm from and visit on many occasions. c:

    Anyhow, this image is of a reasonable quality.
    I'm not going to say much, as I'm Livestreaming. c:
    But well done, nonetheless. c:
  5. No problem, Spizzled. If you like, I can also provide a redline of some anatomy tweaking. Even chibi-fied, there are some minor issues. :)
  6. I agree with Tama on the issue of chibi-fied anatomy - one of the things I noticed besides the cheek was that she has a very small neck, which doesn't connect to the shoulders/collarbone in an accurate way. In fact, another issue is that she doesn't really have defined shoulders, either, and her arms look a wee bit rigid and stiff. I could also do a redline to indicate what I'm talking about, though if Tama's going to be doing one I'm sure that that'll point out most everything (her redlines are awesome)!

    Another thing I wanted to point out was light sources - your light source isn't very definite. When looking at areas such as the head, hair, and legs, it seems that she's illuminated on the left side (our left). However, on the donut portions, it seems to be the opposite. I would suggest drawing a little light source in the corner just to remind yourself of where the light is being cast. And this is a totally stylistic option, but I would recommend using bolder shading (with perhaps some tints) to make the image look more 3D overall. You don't have to use monochromatic tones to shade, you can mix in a little bit of color to help the shading pop and give the image some mood (for example, more saturated and vibrant colors for a cheerful sense, cooler colors for a more somber mood, etc). The donut area looks a bit flat to me in particular, so giving shading to suggest the rounded form will help a lot!
    I did a little example with some multiply/overlay layers to show what I mean about bolder/tinted shading:
    Pretty rough and nowhere near perfect, but it'll at least illustrate what I'm talking about. xD I would correct the slightly lopsided donuts before trying to give them more form, though! I'd be happy to redline if you need it.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. @MartynMartyn - I'm actually living in Aberdeen temporarily just now for work, but I still call Glasgow my home =P
    Where abouts are you now? Scotland is the best, right? =D

    @TamaTama - Of course I'd really, really appreciate the help! I know it's not perfect, so that's why I wanted critique on this one, so that any mistakes that are pointed out now, I can fix for future work =)
    Only if you have nothing else to do! I don't want you wasting your time on me if you have something more important to do! =)
    But any advice you can give would be great <3

    @KikuKiku - thanks a lot for that!
    Haha, I'm going to be honest here. The doughnuts were done around a year ago. The hair around four months. The skin today.
    Hence the...odd differences in shading styles between it all. I didn't go back and correct it. Which, I know, was just lazy, and I should really not have done that.
    Although to be honest, I'm sorta glad now - cause otherwise I'd have to go back and re-correct it after your advice, which I completely agree with =)
    For the light source - that usually is what I do, but because I'd picked up the image a long time after I started, it didn't quite work the way I planned =P
    I also find it hard to visualise the light source on a cartoon style drawing. I'm much better at realism. But realism won't fit in with the pet site theme I have planned, so I'm practicing cartoon style shading.
    One thing about the shading style though. I was planning on putting this on my website as a free shaded PSD, for people to colour and make their own drawings. So keeping it monochrome makes it easier for other people to pick up later, in my opinion. I mean, obviously people who are good with photoshop would easily work it out. But the site aims at people who aren't good at making their own images. It's easier to write a mini-tutorial if it's just monochrome =P
    However, that doesn't mean I won't do anything about your advice, because I completely agree that it does look better. So I think I may make a 'simple' version the way it is now (maybe with slight improvements), then a 'better' version, which I'll use for my site, which improves on the shading I've already done, taking into account the great advice you've given me =)

    Ahhh, the idea behind the doughnuts was that they weren't perfect, because no real doughnut is. But on reflection, you have a point. It's a cartoon, why am I concerned about how a real doughnut would look? XD
    Cartoons look better when it IS perfect(ish) =P
    So I'll have a go at fixing that, too =)

    Thanks again for all your advice, and taking the time to help me out!
    I really appreciate it!! =)

    I'm going to bed now, but I'll work on your suggestions over the coming weekend, and hopefully post a v2 at some point, with all the improvements =)
    #7 Spizzled, May 30, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  8. @SpizzledSpizzled
    Oh no, I didn't mean that they had to be perfectly round or anything. I was referring more to the perspective/angles, which don't really match up in some places. Cartoons are based on realism, so they do retain conventions of realism such as perspective, anatomy, and the like, so that's mainly what I was going for.
    In light of what you've said about it being a template - I think that if it's free to color, it doesn't matter that much what the colors even are. They could be grayscale and work fine, since the customization options are really what templates are about. However, if you plan to use it for personal means, I really do think that more contrast and bolder, more definite shading will help you to create a more visually pleasing and more 3D looking image (even if it is a cartoon).
    At any rate, I'm glad if I helped at all!
    #8 Kiku, May 30, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Kiku is a wonderful colorist (and overall artist), and I would highly recommend listening to her critiques as they are all valid. :) Furthermore, she brings up very good points about colors that is very crucial to understanding color theory. Don't just stick with the values of a single hue; be bold and experiment. When coloring shadows, try going more towards a "cool" temperature by adding some blue hues. When coloring highlights, either try going warmer or up the saturation though, in the real world, highlights tend to desaturate the color slightly.

    It's also important to realize that cartoons might not be "realism", but, as Kiku stated, if you're going for something representational, then you gotta have SOME semblance of "real" in it. Otherwise, you risk losing the artistic appeal of your piece.


    Here's my redline of your girl. Even though she's done in the super deformed style, her cranium was stretched a little too wide judging by her ear placement so, if you want to fix it, you can merely fix the cheek and ear. Also keep in mind that you don't need to really fix the hair since hair can add mass to a figure's head. I tried making her arms a little less rigid, as Kiku pointed out earlier, along with SOME kind of neck (I'm not very good with chibis, lol). In retrospect, it might be a little too thick... but that's because I'm not used to something having such a huge head with a tiny, thin neck to support it. I also fixed the waistline and feet a bit.

    I wanted to give some pointers about ellipses and round objects as well since there seemed to be some confusion about the perspective of the donuts. I know round shapes give a lot of artists a hard time so don't feel bad. :) They're pretty tricky, and that's why a lot of my art professors were very strict about practicing ellipses in fluid, uninterrupted movements. Draw loosely and practice circular movements with your drawing hand so that the muscle memory can develop. Then you can eventually draw circles quickly and accurately. They're very important shapes in art so it's good to get this down early.

    Now there's the matter of ellipses in space. Study this concept carefully.


    Notice that, at the line (which represents your eye level), the cylinder pretty much becomes a flat line due to foreshortening. Below and above eye level, the cylinder shape becomes more visible the more it turns in space. This can easily translate into your donuts so, if you end up drawing more circular objects, keep in mind the angles and how forms change depending on how you look at them. If you need more advice, feel free to ask. :) I'd be willing to elaborate further if you need it.
    • Like Like x 4
  10. Thanks so much both of you! I've really learned a lot! =)
    Got a bit of an essay with specific replies, but it's more to prove to myself that I understand what you're both talking about =P

    @KikuKiku - Yes, you helped immensely! I'm currently working on a different drawing (I'll go back to the Doughnut girl shortly), and have been keeping in mind what you said.
    It's actually amazing the difference it makes! I owe you big time! <3
    Sorry if it sounded like I initially disagreed with your points - I tend to be unable to word things well past 10pm =P
    I definitely agree with everything you said, and it was super helpful, so thanks ever so much! I really, really appreciate you taking the time to give me advice! It's helpful not just for this drawing, but also for my future art in general, because I will definitely be applying it to my other cartoon style drawings.
    I'm really not used to the whole idea of it all...I'm definitely much more comfortable with realsim, 'cause then I know exactly how everything in the whole scene reacts with everything else to give colours and shades, because I see it all on a daily basis.
    But with cartoons, I was like ' Darker pink? Lighter pink?'
    I never thought to apply the knowledge that I have from real life. Oopsie? =P

    So anyway, in short, THANK YOU!!! <3

    @TamaTama - Pretty much the same as I said to Kiku, thanks a million for taking the time out to help me with the drawing.
    I never thought anatomy would have been a problem on a Chibi, but your redline definitely looks much better than my initial drawing, so I shall definitely be working on that!
    The part I actually think improves the most with your redline is the arms. I never realised just how off they were. The arms I had before, I swear she could've touched her toes while standing straight! Like big gorilla arms!! They definitely look a million times better with your redline, so I shall definitely be changing them first of all!
    I'll also be changing the rest, as it all definitely looks much, much better that way =)
    I definitely hadn't given enough thought to the overall form of her body while doing the sketch. I think in future, I may just do a sorta 'mannequin' with the base pose, then build on it to add the details and clothing, the way I usually do with realism.
    On that drawing, I pretty much just went "Doughnut - done! Face - done! Body - done!" without any concern with how it all fitted together as a 'person' (even if she is an overly deformed one). I shall definitely be changing that approach in the future, in line with what I've learned from you =)

    And thanks loads for the cylindrical concept tutorial. That was very, very helpful!
    As you can probably tell, I sorta went "Dougnut! Woooo! *plop*" on that drawing, without giving much consideration to the actual form.
    I shall be correcting that attitude in future!
    I also have the tutorial now saved on my hardrive for future reference, as it's really, really helpful! =)

    You guys definitely hit home when you told me about how even deformed cartoons have the same principals as realism. From what I picked up from you both (correct me if I'm mistaken), Chibis - deformed as they are - are still based on a warped reality, where the same basic forms and principals still apply?
    So all the knowledge I've gained by studying realism isn't useless when it comes to cartoon style drawings, I just need to think about things more, and apply the basic principals of shapes and forms to the drawings I do in future.
    Obviously, I don't expect to become a master overnight, but at least I now understand where I've been going wrong, thanks to you two, and hopefully I can become much better in the future!

    Thanks once again!
    I'm off to go apply this new knowledge to another drawing now! <3
    #10 Spizzled, Jun 1, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  11. As far as human figures are concerned, the main thing you want to keep in mind (whether you're drawing super-deformed or realistically) is proportions. Even the most unrealistic body type can seem viable when you keep in mind the most basic human proportions, and that's one of the most important elements that determines whether a figure will look "right" or not.

    It's always, ALWAYS much better to draw from observation and "realism" before beginning cartoon stuff. You glean so much more information from just the simple habit of drawing whatever is around you, whenever you can. If you want to better yourself as a figure drawing expert, pack a small sketchbook, take it with you wherever you go, and, whenever you find yourself idle, just whip it out and quickly sketch the people around you. Don't worry about details. Just get the figure down as accurately and as quickly as possible. Think of it like a challenge. These can be called "gesture drawings" or, more informally, "cafe sketches"... It's a form of artistic "note-taking" that all artists must do if they wish to understand the human figure.

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