Need advice & help.

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Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 1:44 pm
Preferred Name: Heather
Species: Human
Location: Louisville

Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:29 am

I have two requests for you all. I would really, truly and honestly appreciate any and all feedback you have in regards to this subject. Here is my main gallery in advance:

The first is that I would like to know what you like in others' art. Their shading? What about their shading? The anatomy? What about the anatomy? Things like that. If you could even link me to some pieces you particularly like and explain (shortly [or lengthily]) what you like about them, I would really appreciate it.

The second thing I would like to know is how you feel about my artwork. I mean, I know that you feel some sort of way about my art if you are watching me (I really appreciate my watchers), but I'm not perfect. What is it you would like to continue to see me do the same way I am, and what would you like to see me change, and how? I don't mean content - I mean technique.

Here are some things I see in my artwork:
1. Not enough depth in environment.
2. Stiff anatomy. I try to be anatomically correct, but I notice more and more that artists who are creating purposefully anatomically incorrect pieces tend to be more loose and more pleasing to the eye.
3. A lack of expressiveness. Mouths are super hard to draw and eyes are too. Not sure why, since I had no problem with eyes until around two years ago.
4. Inconsistency. I think it's good to have a varied gallery but I would like to be at least a little more consistent.
5. A lack of play in color and texture. I want to try this more, but I feel wrong when someone commissions me and I play with colours to have fun lighting. If I was a customer, it'd probably tick me off.

I'm not saying that I am going to change my art around completely in order to appease people, but I would like to work on things. I am not happy with my art, and if I were anyone else, I would more than likely not be watching myself. I think that's the one thing that really bugs me - I wouldn't watch myself. I want to get to a point where I would.

Anyway, if you've taken the time to read and comment on this, I sincerely appreciate it. I'm hoping to improve through reaching out.

Thank you everyone.
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Adept Protector
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Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:12 am

I’ve always been a big fan of your work so I want to mention firstly that I don’t believe it is any less good or pleasing to the eye than others, but I do completely understand the feeling of it not being good enough for yourself, so I’m going to try and touch at least a little on each of the points you mentioned.
I don’t want to come across as nitpicking or rude, but I want to give my opinion as an artist on each point as opposed to my opinion as a fan ;___;

1. Not enough depth in environment
Now, I can agree somewhat on this. I’m assuming you mean backgrounds, environments, etc.
I think my main issue with it is that it feels very synthetic in the pieces, like it shouldn’t be there. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but it speaks that maybe you just aren’t as adept with natural environments and struggle to create an organic feeling area for the character in it. I think studying layered wildlife, such as undergrowth and what you can do to further fill and add a deeper sense to your environments would be very helpful to you. It’s easy to draw things like grass as one large, attached being and forget each blade is individual and flows a different way. Environments are EXTREMELY tedious, but taking the extra time almost always pays off. A wonderful example of depth and color use in backgrounds and environments is rejamrejam @ dA:
If you study it closely, there’s no complicated line work or shading - it’s just use of color and shapes layered over and over again to create a feel of lush environment.

2. Stiff anatomy.
With this, your anatomy is great. However, there is a certain stylized anatomy that has always been and will always be favored to almost everyone because it pleases the eye. This is the more comic-box style anatomy, the cinch-tight waists and wider hips, thicker calves and angular shapes. You have all the steps right - learning proper and correct anatomy first is absolutely fundamental. If you don’t understand how bodies move and are shaped, trying stylized anatomy will always look wrong, but you have the understanding of normal anatomy down. Now you just need to build off that. I generally draw normalized anatomical shapes on my sketch layer, and then go above those lines to make the stylized anatomy so I don’t lose the correct form in the process.

3. A lack of expressiveness.
I notice a lot of your pieces have a pouty expression, with very basic eyes. Part of this may be they are generally drawn at the same angles, and part of it may be the way they’re drawn/colored seems a tiny bit flat. Possibly adding in a little more eye detail or shadows will add more depth to them?

4. Inconsistency.
I don’t have too much to say here, it’s not really for me to say whether you feel consistent or not. You have a very uniform style to your art that keeps your gallery looking similar, but if you feel it’s inconsistent than I fully support striving for more consistency.

5. A lack of play in color and texture.
As a commissioner I love when artists play with different shadows and styles with my art. There is a big difference with quality changing and lighting effects changing, and obviously it needs every bit of the same effort and work that it normally would if not more. I do think being more loose about lighting and color use would be interesting to see in your work, as it’s very uniform. My absolute favorite piece you’ve done was the collab here:
The way you shaded it, and the way it was colored by Wyla, is something I would 100% pay any price you asked me for. It doesn’t feel stiff and restricted with the way it’s lined or drawn, it feels soft and loose and easy.

Overall, the only true critique I have is that your pieces sometimes can seem stiff in the sense they feel almost controlled. By that I mean, the line work and shading style feels almost too perfect. It’s definitely not a bad thing for most people, but as a personal choice I love variation in lines and shading and color technique and gravitate towards the “imperfect” artist styles more because it feels loose and breezy. I certainly don’t mean sloppily done, just not done with a feeling of restraint or holding yourself Barack back to please a customer

I hope you take this all with a grain of salt because no artist is the true one perfect artist and all opinions are just that, based on personal taste and styles. I really do love your work and I hope you can improve in the ways you want to, and feel satisfied with your work as an artist ;A;
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