>>[Portfolio Update Thread]

F87F87 So Say We AllRegistered User regular
edited July 2010 in Artist's Corner
Friends, PA, countrymen, lend me your eyes.

I'm working on 5 new pieces for my out of date portfolio. I really need to get my art on the right track and I could use some feedback. :winky:


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These are still mainly work in progress, but I hope I can finish them off in the next couple weeks. Thanks for any critique or suggestions!

F87 on

Posts

  • swoxswox Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Great work - do you use illustrator?

    I especially like the gold in the second one. My wife, an artist, suggested that you add a bit of that same gold elsewhere, like in the skyline or on the characters to bring your eye around the image more. As it is, your eye kind of rests in the gold and doesn't move much around the painting.

    We both really like your work!

    swox on
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    swox wrote: »
    Great work - do you use illustrator?

    I especially like the gold in the second one. My wife, an artist, suggested that you add a bit of that same gold elsewhere, like in the skyline or on the characters to bring your eye around the image more. As it is, your eye kind of rests in the gold and doesn't move much around the painting.

    We both really like your work!

    I use photoshop. That's a great suggestion, tell your wife I said "thanks"! I appreciate the help and the kind words!

    F87 on
  • KendeathwalkerKendeathwalker Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    What is the application of this portfolio?

    How close are you to applying for an industry position if that is your intent?

    What do you feel your own weakness are and what specifically would you like feedback on outside of general critiques?

    Have you researched what company/application you are going to apply to? and you are tweaking your porfolio to appeal to them/clientèle ?

    These all appear to be unfinished save for the second one. Yet that is only relative to the others. You could pass it off as a quick color study fore a more fleshed out peice but not much more I think.

    The poses all being generally the same pedestrian basic-structure type deals scream a lack of sophistication. They just look unfinished- and if you are considering them finished- You should return to studying the fundamentals because that is a severe limitiation.

    In every piece it feels the composition/pose/etc. was dictated by your comfort zone and that you went with the first idea you fleshed out. I get very little sense of planning and very much of reacting as you went a long.

    e: I re-read this and can see how this might seem harsh or that Im picking on you. But these are just questions and observations from personal experience that I am relating to your situation. I by no means wish to discourage you. I hope the action to address some of the things I have raised benefits you.

    Kendeathwalker on
  • PROXPROX Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    You need to flesh out your ideas more. Elaborate. concept art isnt just about making these nice finished pieces, its about idea and about saving money for your director.

    PROX on
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The atmosphere you've got going in that 2nd one is really beautiful. I think you need to develop it a bit more, though..along with the other pictures, too. Prox is right.

    Check out this website and have your face blown off your face.

    http://conceptartworld.com/

    Compare the artwork there, with your own. What do you find appealing in those pieces? What are your own pieces missing that are preventing them from being at that level?

    You tend to do very centralized pieces... whether they're environmental or character pieces. Try the rule of thirds, for a start.

    The thing you seem to consistently lack in all of your pieces is a sense that you never pushed the idea(s) far enough. However much time you spend on one piece, try to double that for the next piece. Spend the same amount of time rendering, if that'll keep you afloat.....but twice the amount of time designing. With your character designs, there's always virtually the same pose, with three or fewer design elements that don't seem to mesh entirely well, and leave the rest of the character untouched. This gives the impression of the design elements simply having been "slapped on" to one of your go-to poses, like a paper doll. There doesn't seem to be much thought going on for silhouette (which is over and over again emphasized in its importance for concept artists)...I just get the feeling that you start off with a very rough idea of the character, and spend more time thinking about colors and rendering and background elements than you do designing the character and the character's clothing. You even seem to constantly pick the same body type.

    Think of a character, and then try writing a whole page about who this character is, where they came from, what their goals in life are, their history. Don't default to making the character a mirror copy of yourself in personality or in style. You could even try making a character that you would genuinely hate. The purpose of the process is to develop a more solid character design that isn't a cut-copy version of any of your other previous designs, which seem to always lack much personality. Once you've got a better understanding of who the character IS, think about what what they would look like....has their horrific military background on a foreign planet given them a different demeanor/pose/personality than their fluffy tree-hugging friend who's regularly taken part in re-aligning their chakras with quartz crystals and the like?


    I really can't tell anything about these characters right now.

    Just look at different world cultures, and how diverse they are. Look at the types of people in the world, and how diverse they are. You are showing none of this. If you stripped all of your characters from your add-ons, they would be the exact same person, with a single difference - they're either male or female. They'd all have the same build, usually the same hair style, the same facial expression, be the same age, have the same pose, and the same clothing, with extraordinarily minor differences (pants. shorts. a bra top. boots. sandals. a harness for something somewhere. a single tattoo that doesn't really say anything about the character. etc).

    Browse through this for awhile, too:

    http://www.flickr.com/search/?s=int&w=all&q=culture+portrait&m=text

    Find all the portraits from people around the world that you can and analyze what makes them different. It's more than something obvious like "this person is wearing an insanely complicated ceremonial outfit, and this other person is wearing a shawl on the street"....look at the poses, expressions, their entire outfit as a whole, how the outfit's minor parts combine cohesively into an entire ensemble, their build, their age, etc. Can you imagine what this person's life has been like? What clues are you given? How are these clues different from this other person's? And, similarly: how do these people from the same culture, wearing virtually the same thing, differ? Because they do. If two of your characters were wearing the same clothing, they'd be the exact. same. person. It seems that you design on a minor scale. Try designing on a huge scale. Try designing a ceremonial outfit for some crazy occasion - make it up. It can be a crazy occasion from some crazy culture. If somebody is in a higher position than somebody else, how would that be reflected in what they are wearing? You could even try designing a set of 5 designs: same culture, but different purposes in society. How would all of these 5 people relate to one another - so you could tell they're part of the same "group" - while still remaining distinctly unique from one another? Somebody who works in the fields, barely eats, and lives in poverty vs. a skilled craftsman who makes enough to feed himself, and has pride in his work, vs. a temple guard with decades of training experience, vs. a temple monk who lives a quiet life in solitude, vs. the emperor/tribe leader/king/etc who is waited on hand-and foot, and is a strong, angry leader.

    How would these people differ from eachother, while still obviously being from the same place and coming from the same cultural background? Think about it. Design design, design. Put more thought into everything as a whole, and THEN worry about the details. Don't design the hell out of a Battle Bra, and then slap it on a character...and then design the hell out of some boots, and slap that on the character...and then slap on a few dots for a "Tribal tattoo" and some bracelet or something to try and make her more "tribal-looking". Design as a whole. You can worry about the embellishments after you've got a cohesive whole going on. Think about repeating shapes, materials, designs, angles. What is this person's purpose? What is their background? Why would they be wearing these things? Do these things makes sense to be on one person at the same time? How does their outfit work for them, with them? How does their outfit fit to their status, profession, culture, personality?

    Also, think about breaking out of the box a bit. Maybe there's a monk who's a total slacker and was forced into the temple by his parents, who were sick of his trouble-making, and he takes nothing seriously? Maybe the leader is really inexperienced, shy and young, and would rather play with the dogs than sit in a boring meeting with a foreign ambassador? What about somebody who was once great, and lived a life of luxury, but was exiled and now has to live a lesser life, yet they still hold their pride?

    NightDragon on
  • KendeathwalkerKendeathwalker Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    PROX wrote: »
    You need to do more planning and include your process in the portfolio. To show an art director you wont break his/her budget.

    Kendeathwalker on
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    @Ken
    What is the application of this portfolio?

    How close are you to applying for an industry position if that is your intent?
    About a year away.
    What do you feel your own weakness are and what specifically would you like feedback on outside of general critiques?
    My art is boring. Even to me. I have a lot of technical weakness, but mainly my problem is concept and design.
    Have you researched what company/application you are going to apply to? and you are tweaking your porfolio to appeal to them/clientèle ?
    Not yet, but that's a fantastic idea and I've heard people suggest the same.
    These all appear to be unfinished save for the second one. Yet that is only relative to the others. You could pass it off as a quick color study fore a more fleshed out peice but not much more I think.

    The poses all being generally the same pedestrian basic-structure type deals scream a lack of sophistication. They just look unfinished- and if you are considering them finished- You should return to studying the fundamentals because that is a severe limitiation.
    These aren't finished, but that doesn't change the fact that the poses are weak. Another problem of mine.
    In every piece it feels the composition/pose/etc. was dictated by your comfort zone and that you went with the first idea you fleshed out. I get very little sense of planning and very much of reacting as you went a long.
    Spot on there...
    e: I re-read this and can see how this might seem harsh or that Im picking on you. But these are just questions and observations from personal experience that I am relating to your situation. I by no means wish to discourage you. I hope the action to address some of the things I have raised benefits you.

    It wasn't harsh, it's the kind of insight and advice I need to hear. Thank you.

    @Prox
    Well said. What is an effective way of showing my process? Thumbnails on a separate page? That kind of thing?

    @ND
    Thank you so much for the in-depth critique.

    I'm trying to break down what you have said and figure out how to fix my art and design. I feel like these general problems you are describing are like a boss battle. I just want to figure this out and really start getting better, but it's so hard to do on my own.

    A couple artists that I like: Daryl Mandryk and Anthony Francisco. Their art immediately hits me as "engaging". I don't feel that in my art. I want to say it's like comparing apples and oranges, but my apples are actually really shitty oranges! I also really like the mixture of themes. Sci-fi/fantasy, that kind of thing.

    What their art has that mine is lacking: They are fully finished. The compositions and subject matter are varied. As for the pieces themselves, they have elements of story and intriguing design. It just seems like they know exactly what they want and push the piece until it's there.

    When I look at the cultural portraits you linked, I tried to grab a few that caught my attention. I'm trying to analyze these like you suggested. 1, 2, and 3. These people are just bursting at the seems with culture and character. It's a mixture of everything that gives that effect I think. The face, the expression, the texture. The clothing, jewelery and paints. It all feels cohesive and pertinent. How could I design things like that? Should I use more reference? Maybe I need to slow my roll and fully flesh out an idea beforehand? I really wish I could just pump it out and get better through finishing pieces.


    Also, sorry about the late reply everyone, I appreciate all the advice. I need to figure out a strong plan for getting better. I'm going to start these pieces over with the exception of the first 2. I will try writing a bio out and actually DESIGN a cool character. I know I need to do a couple rounds of thumbnails and flesh the idea out in my mind. Then maybe I will have something I can be proud of, which is what I really want.

    For some reason, this post has taken way too long for me to write, I'm feeling somewhat overwhelmed today.

    F87 on
  • KendeathwalkerKendeathwalker Registered User regular
    edited May 2015
    .

    Kendeathwalker on
  • winter_combat_knightwinter_combat_knight Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I like the top chick & wolf and that last dude (kinda Bioshocky)

    I think ken is spot on with his writings.

    My thoughts are...


    If you find your ideas/concepts boring, or find it difficult to come up with interesting ones from your head, read a crap load of interesting books and draw/design based from the images you see in your head.
    Ive started drawing based on books i'm reading. Its so much easier because all the rules of the world and characters are given to you. Its just your job to translate what you see in your head down on paper (or monitor).
    e.g. ive been reading Stephen Kings Dark Tower series. Freaking awesome for ideas! He describes enough to give you visual ideas, but leaves out enough for your own imagination to fill in the blanks.
    ____

    Dont forget to do it for fun, and work your ass off. Personally ive given up on the idea of working in concept art. It seems like a rush/cheap ass industry trying to get out any generic shit to speed up and reduce production costs. *im Mr Negative today*
    Dont limit your options by restricting your development process and portfolio to just concept art. look at other contexts like childrens publishing, comic book, editorial, advertising. Most of the best concept artists are actually real comic book/childrens book illustrators!

    thats my thoughts. your stuff is good. keep at it man. theres no doubt in time your stuff will be badass! keep working hard!

    winter_combat_knight on
  • SabSab Registered User
    edited July 2010
    It looks like you have a decent sense of figure form and movement, though the first girl is a bit stiff.

    For the environments the most important thing to consider is value. Depth is what makes environments truly work and appear believable, no matter how crazy they get. With those environments you have right now the darkest darks are kind of hap hazardly placed in middle and foreground and there just isn't a lot of smart value differentiation.

    If you find that you're having trouble controlling value in color then go to black and white and work on it that way. After all, the beauty of photoshop is you can just use the "color" layer mode to keep all your values and change the color as much as you want.

    Sab on
    pasigsab.png
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