MARCH contest Serious Critique requested. Thanks in Advance!!!

  • So I finished this monstrous beast but I want to get some serious critique on the piece before submitting. @jdubz I got rid of the mirror. I liked the creativity of it but in the end it wasn’t a clear silhouette. @Valerie-Light I fixed the proportions. CED8EED9-BC14-4440-8C60-26A314D28BF9.jpeg

    I plan to add a texture layer to make it look painted on canvas.

  • @chrisaakins I enjoy this character as it is but I’m wondering if you were to lighten his eyes a bit more add more golden brown in there even if only the bottom half. I feel drawn into them and although there is much else to look at it’s a bit distracting.

  • @Asyas_illos I’ll play around with it. I was going for doe-eyed. Maybe not successful?

  • In a sense I just think they are a tad too dark. I like that there is no white space. But I think the black is a little over bearing, with a little more brown it would be a nice middle ground. Hope it’s not too harsh it’s just my op. Everything seems solid though.

  • Also I just noticed his antlers in the close up with the butterfly on the left are a bit longer than than all the others, maybe it’s just the one antler that is farthest left? this may not be a huge issue?

  • @Asyas_illos yep! I meant to fix that! Thanks! I added golden brown and it helps. Before they were on the spider eyes side of things but I didn’t know how to fix that. I don’t white because deer eyes usually don’t show white.
    I’ll post an update soon.

  • Here is the latest version with texture, antlers and eyes fixed. 55047ED3-BE2E-4E6C-A21D-ED24BD850FDB.jpeg

  • @chrisaakins

    This character design works just fine on one level, but if you were to hand me this character sheet for the next couple prompts I would be frustrated with some things. I look at character sheets as instruction for illustrators other than the creator of the character to use to keep a character consistent with the story. So although I love it as it is, here would be my instant frustration with drawing your character (is this even a legitimate basis for critique? I don't know, because what the hell is a character sheet):

    1. The direction of the eyes does not easily read from far. usually I would use eyes like this on the side of an animal's head, where they have the effect of taking everything in separately and so do not need to be pointed at any one thing. But since you have them both in the front, I would not know how to show where the character is looking. You've done fine showing where these are looking by making a lighter color, except maybe the one with the book? But generally the downside to the doe-eyed effect is a vacant look that would really struggle to avoid. So I want to be clear that that's the frustration I would have personally drawing this character in different settings.

    2. I would not include his shoes in any of the action poses. I think of the hoofs as shoes and since he is a traveler I would really emphasize that physical capability. To have such long shoes while he's running means that he would be instantly tripped up, so maybe it would be a character transforming in the story from working indoors to losing all the accoutrements on his new mission. The shoes look best in the one with the book. With the one on the cliff, I would re-angle his legs so that they don't go straight back and straight down, or make the shoes much shorter, because those two things together start to hint at the legs being backwards on the body.

    3. I'd have to work out a balance for myself in the colors of his face with the lighter outline of his eyes and mouth, because in the close up it looks like deer to human, but in the running one it looks a little bit like a rabbit. The close up has a structure to the outline that the others don't have, so I would go with the closeup and draw the ones further away without a full outline, just the top part. The lighter color around this mouth would frustrate me because sometimes is the furry mouth look and sometimes it suggests a lip.

  • @chrisaakins First of all, I read your other post and to see that you didn’t lose your energy and are working so hard is a motivation for us all!
    I really like your piece but was wondering if people will know it is a traveler. Maybe putting in some hints (without the cliches)?
    I like the improvement of the eyes, there is now more life in it, maybe adjust the focus of the eyes to the needle and his hands. Good luck!

  • @chrisaakins just to be super clear, I know you can draw this character any way you like (edit: I mean to say any way you need to for a story), so that is not the issue here. You can certainly enter the contest with the image as it is and honestly I think it would get tons of upvotes because it's an adorable character. But it seems like a good month to find different ways of thinking of how to understand character sheets better, so I was trying to find ways to apply this sort of thinking. I don't know if it's useful to anyone, but that is the check i'm starting to use for my own character sheets: can someone else use this to draw the character the way it's intended?

  • @chrisaakins I also agree with @carolinebautista it was my next critique that a couple of the frames there is no direction for his gaze or it is not matching up with his actions particularly the bookbinding frame.

  • @carolinebautista Yeah I like your question, What the heck is a character sheet? I thought it was to design a character for MY stuff. It never occurred to me that it would be for another person to draw. Not an animator as you can tell. I was thinking this was for a storybook.

    About the shoes... I am thinking he wears boots because that is what civilized people do and he is a well-read fella. He is wide-eyed and uses this opportunity to see the world and travelers wear boots, right? You are the second person to question his boots. Faun-Satyr Deer peeple can do what they want, right? 🙂 It's 1357 after all! (I will think about nixing the boots, even though I like them)

    Also can you show what you mean about the outlines around the eyes? I don't quite get what you mean.
    thanks for the input!

  • @chrisaakins I think the same idea applies for a character sheet for a picture book because you're still communicating what to expect from the character. Thinking of me animating your character just a way of testing it. I am not entirely sure how I would deal with the outlines in your character, to be honest, but with the eyes do you think it would help if I drew it ?

  • @carolinebautista Yes! I would love to see what you mean.

  • @carolinebautista Thank you for that explanation of how you think about character sheets! I needed someone to spell it out for me- I'm really new at this too. That makes sense to me whether you're looking at it from the POV of another animator, or an art director wanting to make sure the character works in different situations, or just wanting to figure that out for myself as an illustrator.
    @chrisaakins I respect your fortitude in asking for critiques! I agree with the assessments that the dark eyes run the risk of becoming directionless, and maybe fall a bit into the uncanny valley. The amber lowlight you added was certainly a help in warming up his gaze, but I think it's still a thing to address further. Also agree that showing his hoofs will make his legs/feet make more sense at a glance or from silhouette. And, not to overwhelm you with feedback, but i'm a bit distracted by the texture of the light beam in the center image. I think that frame might get more bang for its buck with a smoother background and/or some more of the light that is clearly falling on the character.
    Just for my own reference, because I'm still learning about all of this, what age group would you say your character's story is aimed at?

  • @Valerie-Light elementary age kids, I think.

  • I think the concept has some good depth. My biggest issue is with the perspective. It seems like a mix of flat/cartoony and 3d/volumetric. Like with the mouth on the side of the face. I would pick one style for consistency. Also the foot and leg anatomy seems off when he's wearing shoes.

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  • I just noticed he’s missing his eyebrows in half the images too😉

  • Thanks everyone! I listened to everyone and made some changes. I changed the eyes but kept the boots. My faun has feet that end in hoof toes, not hooves. that may bother some but that is my creative choice, right? 🙂 I appreciate the brutal honesty. It was hard to hear sometimes, but it did help me put together a piece that I am really happy with even if it there might be some small issues with it. I gotta get to work on actual paying gigs now so I am calling it finished not perfect! @Asyas_illos a special shout out to see the missing eyebrows. Haha!

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