Critique - Does my linework work?

  • Moderator

    Hmm. I think if you just had these three images in your portfolio people would think that they look more comic-y πŸ™ƒ because they are very saturated spot illustrations with defined line work (not a bad thing). But thinking back to your full bleed work that you’ve done for the monthly contest I think that it, your work/line art, does not read as comic. I’ve always liked your line work. You have a good style that’s fun and easy to read visually.

  • Your line work is very nice. The only suggestion I can make for line work that I sometimes do is indicate texture by cutting into the line on the inside edge of thing like hair that have soft edges. I try to use some of the same brush work I use in the halftone I also use the trick Jake Parker teaches about duplicating your line work and blurring one of the copies. One other critique based on these three images is that your two young girls would look like males if the hair was changed. Your work is some of the best on this site.

  • @swordofodin Thanks πŸ™‚ All feedback is good feedback!

  • @jon-anderson Oh I totally want it to look this way πŸ™‚ I'm liking the way it's starting to turn out. The question is, do OTHERS like the way it looks. Sometimes I tend to get just a wee bit o' tunnel vision when it comes to this kind of thing.

    Thanks for the name suggestion, too! I'll totally look at his work. I'm slowly adding names to a list of illustrators to check out πŸ™‚

  • @demotlj said in Critique - Does my linework work?:

    I was drawn immediately to what the characters were doing and feeling

    Well that's a good thing πŸ˜„

    Thanks for the feedback πŸ™‚

  • @kylebeaudette I do definitely tend to paint too dark πŸ™‚ There's a still a disconnect in my brain between the value stage and the colour stage.

  • @burvantill Thanks for the feedback πŸ™‚ Maybe next to other portfolio images they'll blend a bit

  • @rcartwright said in Critique - Does my linework work?:

    the trick Jake Parker teaches about duplicating your line work and blurring one of the copies

    Absolutely a good idea πŸ™‚ I'm trying to incorporate something like that, but instead of totally smooth inky linework being blurred, I'm trying to build in some grain and fuzziness into the brush (more of a pencil than a pen if you get what I mean).

    Thanks for the feedback and the kind words πŸ™‚

    @rcartwright said in Critique - Does my linework work?:

    your two young girls would look like males if the hair was changed

    True! This is one of those things where my character design isn't quite good enough to distinguish girls and boys without relying on things like long hair, and lips and such. But the physical things you can accentuate in order to scream 'this is a girl' (hips, bust, makeup? etc) is limited when it comes to illustrating children. As I draw more kids I think I'll slowly get better out picking out the details that really lend character.

  • @art-of-b Yes I like to use a pencil also so it has some texture

  • Pro

    Your style reminds me a lot of traditional coloring pencil laid on thick! Personally, I think it's lovely πŸ™‚ There's something about it that feels "heavy", both with the dark line work and the saturated, dense and rich colors you use. Not the light, soft and fluffy that we see a lot in children's books, but there's a need for many different "feels" and I think this makes you stand out. If an art director is in need of a style that feels heavier, richer, you'll be the obvious choice. I can see this style working really well for a story set in medieval times, full of dark saturated colors and velvet dresses, or maybe some sort of old time circus, or a deep lush jungle!

  • SVS OG

    I think they all look great. The only thing I would say is the drummer looks like she has a moustache because of the line... Cool graphic style though I like πŸ‘

  • @jason-bowen Ah the dreaded munchkin-stache :smiling_face_with_open_mouth_cold_sweat: it seems to sneak in from time to time. (seriously, it does,! I was doing a commission at a convention once and the client red-facedly demanded that I remove her moustache while her friend insisted she was crazy) But not everyone sees it! It's like a magical elf or somethin'. But it's a moustache. Where there should be no moustache. Damn magical pixy staches.

    Thanks for the feedback πŸ™‚

  • @nessillustration Thanks for the feedback and the kind words :smiling_face_with_open_mouth:

    It's interesting that you find that the art feels heavy. That may be an area where I need to show that I can do 'lighter' things as well! It'd be good to show that I can both be heavy (syrupy?) and light 'n floofy.

  • SVS OG

    Hey @Art-of-B ! I like your linework in the finished look of illustrations of this post. It isn't overpowering or strong as in comic books . I also like the dynamic movement you have in your characters' poses. A lot of energy & action going on.

    The only crit I have (if I may) is that I find the illustrations tend to have quite a few hot spots that make the eye bounce off different areas of the design very quickly. E.g with the girl playing the cello? (I hope I got the instrument right πŸ™‚ ), we have hot-spots(high contrast) on the girl's hair, the top of the instrument & at the side of the instrument. Maybe two hot-spots instead of 3 is a possibility or reducing the intensity of the contrast in areas of lesser importance. (maybe bottom of the cello in this example)
    Not to sound rude or anything, as I tend to do the same thing in my illustrations as well :/.

    Or maybe it's because the base tones & colors are darker to start off with, and you feel the need to brighten things up a little?

    Love the linework, the shapes & the gestures :D. Looks great!

  • First of all i would like to say these are amazing! I’m still an ametuer. The thing that comes to mind are the values. I do the exercise of taking a screen shot and putting the mono effect on it to see how heavy or light it is. When i did this i noticed the tuba outfit was a little dark; The, what i think is a chello, where the seat meets the instrument blends together in value; and the drummers hair seems to be one value. It might be a saruration thing but im not sure. Again it is not bad but if your like me you notice something but cannot pinpoint it. You can try this and see if that is it. I hope you figure it out and share your findings! Im still a whatever is before an ametuer so my word isnt much right now. Much love and God bless!

  • Pro SVS OG

    You know I think your linework is amazing. You evidently enjoy the inked lines and you're a master at it - so I wouldn't see a reason to change that unless you want to. You've got it all figured out: the line control, the width variation, the way it describes the shapes - I like all of it.

    Now for the render - one thing that strucks me consistently in your work it's that it's overall very dark. Your shadows and midtones are consistently on the dark to very dark side and that, combined with he limited and relatively unsaturated color palette, makes it look "heavy" and a bit "unfriendly".
    Here's one of your images with the midtones considerably lighter and a slight increase in saturation (compared to the original):

    0_1544435703289_Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 10.53.11.png

    As for the rendering style, why not just experiment? If you're not sure you want to keep doing it this way, try cell-shading or flat coloring and see how you like or dislike the process and results. I like rendered comic books when they are well done (like in your case) and I also like more flat coloring. It can be a bit easier on the eyes, especially when you're looking at a whole page with many panels.

  • SVS OG

    @art-of-b haha I felt a little harsh bringing it to your attention but now I feel ok about it, great story maybe its another one of those things like the blue dress πŸ™‚

  • @darian I was in no way thinking about 'hot spots' but I'm gonna have to start! That's an awesome tool for personal critique I think I was missing.

    Thanks πŸ™‚

  • @dafoota Thanks for the feedback πŸ™‚ Goes to show that no matter how much you try and keep values in mind, they sometimes blend together.

  • @smceccarelli As always, awesome feedback πŸ˜€ Thank you! The side by side comparison really makes it super obvious.

    I do work unnecessarily dark. This morning I thought to myself 'it's gotta be my cintiq, I gotta recalibrate that thing', buuuuuuut I'm pretty sure I need to recalibrate myself. Maybe I'll try restricting my starting values a bit more...

    I'm PRETTY sure I want to keep doing it this way. Pretty sure. I do like it and it gives me opportunity to lose some edges. For some reason I really like flat colouring with other stuff, but I've always HATED the way my line work looks with cel shading.

    Thanks again! You've given me lots to think about πŸ™‚

Log in to reply