Yes, definitely improved. And no, I don´t see Thanos chin in there at all.
Posts made by smceccarelli
RE: Hi all!
Hallo Sas! Welcome to the forum to another scientist/artist. I was in medicinal chemistry for 11 years (and doing academic research before that - so nearly 18 years in science) and then...decided to skip it ;-) I was 39 when I started with art seriously and 44 when I started working full time in an art-related job. Now I work as art director on a 20 hours/week contract and the rest of the time I freelance in children’s illustration.
So, the journey can start anytime and you can come from any path - don´t worry about your age, your legacy or your level of confidence! And learning and growing your skills, especially in art, is a recipe for eternal youth anyhow ;-)
RE: Help! Question about future pathways
Hi Chris! I guess if there are artists who make art while holding down one or two day jobs and writers who write their novel in a broom cabinet during the night, there should be no problem with being both a fine artist and a comic book writer/illustrator - especially with the possibility available today of publishing your comic in installments by yourself.
The major issue, I believe, is that when you have a lot of time and your day is sort of unstructured, it becomes more difficult to actually do stuff - for some weird human psychology reason. So I would invest in preparing yourself for a structure and schedule - maybe having a list of commissions already lined up and some sort of client base. Portrait and murals may be easier for that, but you could also look for jobs as colorist or inker in comics.
As for artists who do both - the most famous one must be Frank Frazetta. Though he was not a fine artist properly, he did a fair amount of portraits. And he switched from being a comic artist for about 20 years to doing book covers in oil.
One of my friends is a mural artist who works as a designer in his day job. He does live mural-paintings at street events. There is also the market of indoor mural painting (for offices, restaurants, bars, etc...) which seems to be quite lively judging from what I see around and on the internet.
RE: ***Critique*** Give me 3 things to improve my art.
I love the format of “giving you three things to improve”! That makes it definitely easier to give a critique.
I know from your other posts that you like stylized comic art with strong contrast (Mike Mignola - type) and would love to do posters (I’m assuming posters for events and advertisement and that kind of stuff? Or print and sell your own posters?).
What works: I think your line-work is very expressive, color choices are good and the flat shading technique is in a good shape.
The first thing I would work on is adding backgrounds. I think doing just isolated figures is going to be your biggest limitation going forward: whether you want to do comics or any other type of commercial art which is not concept art. If you want to take a step further, you could start studying and applying display typography, so you can really position yourself as a poster artist.
The second thing I would work on is your “problem spots”. Looking at your instagram channel, there are a few things you avoid drawing: hands are almost always hidden or blurred (which is quite typical) and human figures are underrepresented in your “final” illustrations (though you have a lot of studies - way to go!). Talking as AD now, this is one of the first thing I judge in a portfolio: how does this artist draw humans, particularly faces and hands. It´s also the one thing I look at to judge if the style of the artist is suitable for the project I have. After scoring through hundreds of artists` portfolios, this is probably my biggest flag (in the positive and the negative). It doesn’t mean that the humans need to be realistic - a successful and expressive stylization can be even more effective for many things.
You have some little issues with volumes and shapes here and there: for example the ellipses on the banana, the perspective of the peel and the position of the mouth and teeth are a little off. The blue figure anatomy is slightly skewed, the tongue on the blue figure looks weird, etc...These things probably just correct themselves the more you draw.
A third thing I would think about is your subject matter. It doesn’t look very cohesive and I’m not sure, at first sight, what you actually like drawing. If your aim is poster art, you could look at posters you like (there are also books that collect successful or award-winning posters) and see what kind of images work. Or you could give yourself a fake but realistic assignment of coming up with a poster for an event, organization or concert.
I’m not sure this is the kind of “things to improve” you were looking for, but more and more I’m thinking that just looking at technique and fundamentals is sometimes not the most helpful input. Advice that has helped me most in the past has been about content and direction - so offering the same here ;-)
RE: Does this look too digital?
Wonderful image: characters, shapes, line quality: all awesome!
I’d recognize it as digital because of the regularity of the texture...but I’m not sure everybody would. I do digital art exclusively, so I know how the brushes look like and recognize them when I see them.
Applying overlay textures is a common way of avoiding that and I do it myself. An excellent source of textures is Textures.com. You need an account, but after you login you can download up to 16 mid-res textures for free per day. If you want high res, you need to pay something, but mid-res is often enough. Another source I found recently is called PixelSurplus. It´s a marketplace, so you buy the files, but there are quite a few freebies and there´s a guy there who specializes on textures.
Applied textures have a problem though: they don’t follow the forms, so they don’t really look as if they were made by hand. I can definitely recognize them too, though it’s not so easy if it´s done well.
The best approach to avoid the “digital look” for me is to use highly textured brushes that have an inbuilt texture “variance” in their stroke. Many of Kyle´s brushes are like that, so I tend to use them exclusively. Also avoiding to “clean up” too much - leave the edges a bit irregular, leave the pencil strokes partly visible, etc...
There are other tricks with colors and process, but maybe the subject of another post!
RE: Another opinion on what are the fabled "fundamentals"
Yesterday I listened to an interview of Wootha on YouTube and that lent some more clout to what this artist is saying. Wootha was a software engineer until he was 36. He came from an artist´s family, but he didn’t draw or paint himself. At 36 he went to a comic convention and decided that´s what he wanted to do. Because he didn´t know how to draw but he needed to earn money straight away, he applied for a job as colorist. He spent 20 hours coloring the test page they gave him (because he didn´t know how to do it) but he got the job.
Three years ago, he got fed up of just working on other people´s drawing and took 6 months off work (6 puny, little, short, months....) to learn how to do his own art. He said he had to be very selective on what to learn because he didn´t have much time. He showed some of his own work at the start of those six months and it was really not good.... So after those six months, he was working as concept artist and has been since. Looks like he chose the right things to learn, apparently....
You can look it up if you´re interested in more details, but this guy is really humbling (and humble!).
@Teju-Abiola great summary of the elements of composition! Value, color, edges, detail-density, shape and rhythm. They apply to layout of text and graphics (aka, classic design) as much as they apply to art.
And knowing anatomy, drawing, perspective, lighting, etc... I always thought those were equally important and definitely don´t regret studying them...but now I’m not so sure. There´s so much wonderful art that doesn’t use that knowledge at all. I’d argue that the majority of great children illustration doesn’t. And I very often feel that sticking to them is holding me back.
@chrisaakins Because composition is largely intuitive, Wootha mentions an exercise that I’m going to try. He suggests picking 100 pieces of art that you feel are closest to the type of art you want to do and are highly inspirational for you and putting them all in a folder. Then look at them every day for 10 minutes - six seconds per piece. You can analyze them if you want and take more time, but he suggests not doing that because the most essential thing is looking at them every single day. That´s why he thinks there should be definitely never more than 100, so that it takes a max of 10 minutes. What that achieves, supposedly, is that your brain slowly absorbs at an intuitive level what makes those pieces work - and then automatically applies it to your own art.
It´s an unconventional approach, for sure, but I think he has a point....and 10 minutes per day is worth a try!
RE: Another opinion on what are the fabled "fundamentals"
@davidhohn It´s available on Gumroad for 4 USD - if you search for Wootha on Gumroad you´ll find it straight away.
It´s only 1.5 hours and he only introduces his general thoughts on the matter - but I found it interesting and worthwhile.