Requesting advice on faces.

MightyMooseMightyMoose Registered User
edited January 2011 in Artist's Corner
Hello good people of the forum!

I, like many people, run my own little webcomic. It's relatively new, and I'm still getting the hang of basic things such as lighting, scale, how much speech to use per page, background work, etc. When I've shown my comic to people, I've mainly heard comments on the faces.

To be more specific, I hear that the facial expressions are good, but some of my females look...off. Manly, perhaps? I suppose there's no other way to describe it than to link you to the comic, which I'm not sure if I can do, but it's the only way to properly show it.

The question is this: do you have any advice on how to make my female faces look more...feminine?

If you have any other comments, critiques, etc about the comic, feel free to put them here as well. I like to say that things have gotten better from page 1 to page 40, but I know there are certainly things to be improved, and I'd love to know what they might be. (I'm a trooper; I can take it. ;-))

Spread the word. It's time for a revolution. (Rated PG-13 for Blood, Language, and Violent Pokeyman Murder)
MightyMoose on

Posts

  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Here is a good place to look. Check out the loomis book on drawing heads and hands. Excellent resource.

    Also you may want to post some art to get real feedback.

    ninjai on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited January 2011
    Just post some pictures directly so we can crit it, like this:
    2011-01-03-Page-39.jpg2011-01-07-Page-40.jpg


    Your drawings seem to indicate a lack of anatomy, your skulls are very lumpy and all over the place. I would be more worried about this than making your girls look more feminine, as some of it is random man chin appearing on a character that didn't have it in the last panel. Getting a nice feminine touch will require some subtle details, but those need to go on top of a solid foundation.

    Iruka on
  • DirtyDirtyVagrantDirtyDirtyVagrant Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I pretty much agree with all of that.

    If you look at the drawing there you've done of the woman in the green armchair, her forearms appear to connect just inches away from her shoulders. There is definitely a lot of structural work to be done here. The short and unfortunate answer is that there is no shortcut. If you want to improve your art, you're going to have to pick up some of the fundamentals and really study them.

    I'd recommend you start with simple shapes. Learn about perspective and draw simple shapes from as many angles as you can. Cubes are a good place to start, but have fun with it and experiment from time to time. Draw pages and pages of shapes until you just get it, and then maybe move on to something else.

    DirtyDirtyVagrant on
  • MightyMooseMightyMoose Registered User
    edited January 2011
    Thanks for the advice. I had a feeling this would be a wake-up call, and I was right. I'll get some work done on fundamentals before I start improving anything else.

    MightyMoose on
    Spread the word. It's time for a revolution. (Rated PG-13 for Blood, Language, and Violent Pokeyman Murder)
  • travistravistravistravis Registered User
    edited January 2011
    I just gave up trying to be good. Stopped worrying about it, just did whatever I wanted, and things slowly just improved on their own. It's sounds easy, but giving up and letting go was pretty difficult.

    travistravis on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited January 2011
    I generally disagree, improvement is always was slower when you have no goals and aren't looking into how to push yourself forward. I'm sure you will start to get better just by doing, but it will be at a snails pace, plus you can easily hammer in bad habits.

    Moose we have tons of tutorials in the stickes that you might find some useful advice in. You seem to have some general ideas about anatomy so I would concern yourself with construction and measuring. You want all the parts to fit together and be the right size, even if you are rotating them in space. Check out animators turn arounds to see how they handle it.

    Iruka on
  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I'm with Iruka. I mean, I'm not good, and I've still sooo much to learn about everything, but I'm seeing improvement, and thats because of effort, and persevereance. I still look at my work and think, man that's hideous :(, but stick to-itiveness will help you get better, like in anything else.

    MJordan didn't get better by playing streetball, he practiced the fundamentals.

    ninjai on
  • earthwormadamearthwormadam ancient crust Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Well besides the weird proportions there is other weird stuff going on too, like the flow of the dialog. Its hard to tell what bubbles I'm supposed to be reading first and what not, which also becomes a matter of layout. That blur filter looks really bad. Don't use filters.

    The panels with just faces look okay, but as soon as you draw arms and other body sections it all falls apart. So keep drawing people and eventually you'll have it all on lock. Also practice drawing people from all angles because your profiles look kinda strange. Like the eyes are so close to the nose it defies all logic of the human skull. I have the same problem.

    You've got some good things going on, so bone up on some of the basics and you'll do just fine. Those Understanding Comics books by Scott McCloud would be good to check out if you haven't already, they cover a lot of the basics of comic-ing.

    earthwormadam on
  • travistravistravistravis Registered User
    edited January 2011
    eyes are sort of two curves with circles in. noses are nose shaped. if a head is on a 2 thirds view from the fron the start of the eye tends to be in most people from the end u the nostril if you draw a straight line up, from the side and fron as well. ears are ear shaped. in art school or something you will just get people saying thats a bit wrong draw it again. i guess as well its always hard to comment because you dont know exactly what someone wanted it to look like. If you want it to look like something else copy that, and if it doesnt look like it, draw it again until it does. I'd always reccomend finding 'good' teachers, there are bad ones but good art tutors will always help speed up the rate of improvement. I think knowing what you want as a result is a good place to start. dont know really, i haven't got a clue what im doing

    travistravis on
  • melting_dollmelting_doll Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    noses are nose shaped. ears are ear shaped.

    Uhhh

    It's really really important when you're trying to learn to draw what you see, not what you know. What you think a nose or ear looks like is not what my nose and ears look like. I'm sure it's not much like Adam's, or Iruka's either. "Knowing" what one nose looks like means nothing for all the other noses in the world.

    Draw from life, go to the park and draw people once a week. Again, draw what you see, not what you think you see!

    melting_doll on
  • FugitiveFugitive Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Yeah there is an intense amount of complexity to noses, eyes, and ears, and amazing subtly that sets them apart from person to person. You can only really break them down to their more basic elements once you have a better understanding of those complexities.

    "What you want it to look like" is irrelevant when trying to learn that, since you want it to look accurate to your reference. Again, I'd suggest checking out the Questions and Tutorials sticky for almost all of the links you'll need in order to learn how to do that, since at first it can be really challenging to get your brain to see objects as they are, and not just "two lines and a circle".

    Fugitive on
  • HugmasterGeneralHugmasterGeneral Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I just gave up trying to be good. Stopped worrying about it, just did whatever I wanted, and things slowly just improved on their own. It's sounds easy, but giving up and letting go was pretty difficult.

    This is bad advice. Focused drawing is the only way to get genuinely good. Otherwise you end up like graffiti artists who can only do graffiti, or a car painter who can only do crab claw flames.

    HugmasterGeneral on
  • The_Glad_HatterThe_Glad_Hatter Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    rfilyaw wrote: »
    I just gave up trying to be good. Stopped worrying about it, just did whatever I wanted, and things slowly just improved on their own. It's sounds easy, but giving up and letting go was pretty difficult.

    This is bad advice. Focused drawing is the only way to get genuinely good. Otherwise you end up like graffiti artists who can only do graffiti, or a car painter who can only do crab claw flames.

    There's a grain of truth in this advice though.
    Be sure to practice seriously, but don't let that get in the way of actually having fun with your drawings. Don't let ambition cripple you, but don't let acceptance of shortcomings make you lazy. Some people can handle applying a huge amount of pressure to themselves, while others mainly want to have fun and enjoy a light hobby.

    The_Glad_Hatter on
  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    That's a good point, I have put a lot of effort into developing my drawing and painting ability but rarely apply it because I am still not happy with what I am capable of.

    rts on
    skype: rtschutter
  • ScosglenScosglen Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    If someone is self-critical to the point of losing motivation to work, then at that point it is completely appropriate to drop all pretenses of success for the sake of allowing yourself to continue practicing.

    I have to remind myself constantly that it's alright to make a bad drawing sometimes, and even more that it's not a reason to get discouraged, but it is a sign to press on with renewed conviction.

    Failing should be exciting, because it's in moments of failure that we learn the most and are closest to taking a step forward.

    The road leading from the struggling student to intuitive professional is littered with bad drawings.

    Scosglen on
  • MightyMooseMightyMoose Registered User
    edited January 2011
    After taking a glimpse through some of the books (wonderful links on here, thank you very much!) and working on it a bit more, I want to show you the next page.
    20110110page41.jpg

    I think the proportions look better than before. The only thing I'm worried about on this page is Panel 3. It's supposed to look as if she's turning, but I'm not entirely sure if I've conveyed it properly. Something about the arm looks off to me (although that might be because I stared at it for a long time, haha...)

    I'm going to keep on truckin' with this. I figure if I work on one thing at a time, I can slowly and steadily improve with each consecutive page.

    MightyMoose on
    Spread the word. It's time for a revolution. (Rated PG-13 for Blood, Language, and Violent Pokeyman Murder)
  • NealDKNealDK Registered User
    edited January 2011
    Far too much dialogue on the first page, and the rhythm is erratic. In comics, the drawing should sell the majority of what is going on to the audience, with the dialogue being icing on the cake. It's unfortunate, but people simply won't finish your comic if there's too much reading to do and not enough visually engaging narrative to look at, and the flow is hard to follow.

    NealDK on
  • acadiaacadia Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Moose, this is loads better.

    There are still a lot of proportion problems, though. In the first panel, for example, she's walking away from him, and from the position of his feet and where hers would fall, she should be pretty far away from him. You seem, however, to have made their heads the same size (might have even made his bigger), which doesn't help with the desired illusion of distance between the two. You kind of shrunk his body down as well, which just kind of makes him look like a comically large-headed midget. As far as body structure, though, you made some strides. The woman looks like she's put together a lot better, and there's more consistency to her face (less lumpy, too).

    Keep it up!

    acadia on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited January 2011
    You may want to consider posting your studies and sketches as well, sometimes its easier to crit before you take things to a final polish. Seeing how you are setting things up can help us direct you are well.

    Starting to look a bit better though, keep working at it.

    Iruka on
  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    With even that small amount of study that latest one's already a huge leap forward. Keep practicing. :^:

    squidbunny on
    header_image_sm.jpg
  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    eyes are sort of two curves with circles in. noses are nose shaped. if a head is on a 2 thirds view from the fron the start of the eye tends to be in most people from the end u the nostril if you draw a straight line up, from the side and fron as well. ears are ear shaped. in art school or something you will just get people saying thats a bit wrong draw it again. i guess as well its always hard to comment because you dont know exactly what someone wanted it to look like. If you want it to look like something else copy that, and if it doesnt look like it, draw it again until it does. I'd always reccomend finding 'good' teachers, there are bad ones but good art tutors will always help speed up the rate of improvement. I think knowing what you want as a result is a good place to start. dont know really, i haven't got a clue what im doing

    Actually an eye is a sphere, sitting inside of a socket. The nose is made up of the bridge, the nostrils etc. Ears are all different and very intricate with a lot of different parts.

    Know the structure of what you are drawing, not just the symbol.

    Zombiemambo on
    JKKaAGp.png
  • travistravistravistravis Registered User
    edited January 2011
    yeah that's what i meant. nah, i meant the iris and pupil. As for the other stuff I did say I really don't know, but it might not be as easy as just asking people. You've got to study people faces and drawings and it takes a while. So you might as well chill out whilst you do that and as for the comic just keep drawing them as much as possible just for the hell of it. I was sort of thinking more about penny arcade. The early ones don't look as good as they do now. They just got better because they were drawn everyday I'm guesing.

    travistravis on
  • MightyMooseMightyMoose Registered User
    edited January 2011
    I'm not going to post every page here, but I figure every now and then I can put something up. This time, I included the scan. I don't know how much this will help, as I added on a lot of the finer details before ultimately scanning it into the computer, but it might give you some more information!
    imgzd.jpg20110117page43.jpg

    Once again, thank you all for the advice.

    MightyMoose on
    Spread the word. It's time for a revolution. (Rated PG-13 for Blood, Language, and Violent Pokeyman Murder)
  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2011
    The scan shows me that you're not laying down a proper structure before drawing. Oh, I see the circles marking joins and centerlines, etc, but there's no concept of the body as a single interconnected structure and a lot of the time the markings seem frankly arbitrary - is that an elbow occurring at nipple level on the guy in the last panel?

    It looks like you've learned some rough rules of thumb for anatomy - eyes in the middle of the skull, elbows at waist height - are putting down those guidelines and then just going straight into detail over the top the top of them. There's no flow, no concept of how the muscles and joints interact, and hence the figures are stiff, lifeless and lack three-dimensionality. As well, the shoulders are almost always presented straight on to the viewer, which pretty quickly starts to look very odd. I would prescribe a serious dose of gesture drawing, really start to get a feel for how the human body fits together, both moving and at rest.

    For your comic itself, apart from the figures there's some noticeable perspective issues leaping out - it's good that you're doing backgrounds and scenes from different angles, but there's an art to choosing perspective, as well as simply drawing the gridlines and making sure everything meets up. I don't know if I want to go into that right now, though, this is getting pretty long already - there are resources out there which help with deciding on emphasis and choosing perspectives that won't look flat (bottom panel), dramatically foreshortened (again, bottom panel), or strangely parallel (top right panel - ok I could talk for a while about this panel - let's just say I see what you're going for, but it didn't quite work). But it wouldn't hurt to do a lot more thumbnailing and roughing before you lay in your panels. They're cramped, the characters are cut off in odd places and have no room to breathe - it's very claustrophobic.

    tynic on
  • earthwormadamearthwormadam ancient crust Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Copy/paste benches gave me a lol. This little glimpse into how you do your planning shows a lot about how anxious you are to hurry up and start inking. This is a bad habit. If you really want to take comics serious, you should avoid lazy shortcuts like this. How much more time would it have taken to draw out those 2 other benches? It may seem like a minor quibble, but perspective is important, and when you copy one bench and paste it for the entire row, the result is something that defies all logic of how vanishing point works. If you want people to take your art serious, than YOU have to take your art serious!

    Yup, I agree that a lot of gesture studies will do a world of good. There's a lot to work on, flat and lifeless problems won't be easy fixes. Everything is shown from a very stilted dead on front perspective. How much time are you spending on the thumbnailing/planning stages? How long are you spending on the inking/coloring stages? I'm guessing it's drastically more on the latter. Spend more time planning and thinking things out because all the time in the world spent rendering cannot fix rushed layouts.

    earthwormadam on
Sign In or Register to comment.