Jpr's attempts to art! (Critique appreciated)

JproductionsJproductions Registered User regular
edited September 2013 in Artist's Corner
Thanks everyone who commented on my comic! While I continue to slowly work on it in the shadows, I'm no longer looking for feedback on this particular early version. This thread is now about my art in general!

The original first post can be found in the spoilers:
Hello everyone! New guy here. I'm an aspiring webcomic artist, and was wondering if you guys were willing to give me some crits and stuff. The people I usually hang around haven't been very good in that department.

So I'm working on this comic right now and my dream is to have a website dedicated to it one day, once I actually have enough content for one. The thing is I'm really self-critical and self-doubting at times and this has been greatly hindering my progress in the past. Anyway my goal here is to tell fun stories and make a webcomic that is fun to read, because not all webcomics are. I've come across many that have really good art, but are a huge pain to read, either the page layouts are confusing or there are walls of really tiny text crammed inside the speech bubbles. Whenever I have to go back to the previous panel because I missed a speech bubble that I didn't initially see, I'm sort of disencouraged to continue reading. Now I have no idea whether I've actually succeeded or not, I'm not entirely willing to trust my own judgement on the matter because I'm highly biased. So maybe some of you could tell me what you think?

Anyhow, without further ado, the comic. It's about two guys who live together and play videogames build stuff in sort of a futuristic sci-fi world. I have no name for it yet but that's probably irrelevant at this point. What I'm showing here are the first seven pages of the first story, so they're supposed to introduce you to the characters and to some extent, the setting. Please let me know if it makes sense on its own or if additional explanation is needed. So, yeah, here goes:

0001.jpg
0002.jpg
0003.jpg
0004.jpg
0005.jpg
0006.jpg
0007.jpg

I hope you enjoy it and thanks in advance.

Jproductions on

Posts

  • CyberMonkeytron3000CyberMonkeytron3000 Registered User regular
    I think this is some of the better art we have seen posted for a web comic in a long time! Congrats, great stuff. Digging your line work and colouring.

    The thing that gets me is the design of your main characters. I kinda wish you had used different shapes for them in their construction. When I first saw the 2 dude, I thought he was a clone of the first guy. Maybe brush his hair differently, change his eyes a little... Just a little something. Also I'm not a huge fan of the dudes skinny mo. in some of the smaller drawings, it starts to look like his mouth, and his mouth looks like his chin

    Honk
  • JproductionsJproductions Registered User regular
    Thanks!

    I do see where you're coming from with the characters looking a bit too similar at first glance, and I'm pretty sure the hair is the main culprit, since they both have these silly bangs. I'm definitely going to look into that. As for the skinny mustache, it has been bothering me for a while and if others are going to confuse it for a mouth, that's probably a good enough reason to just get rid of it altogether.

  • earthwormadamearthwormadam ancient crust Registered User regular
    I'd keep the mustache but try to work it into the design better. As it is, it looks like those dark lines football players wipe under their eyes. Also, I agree that the characters are all too samey. In the first panel you introduce the girl, I thought she was a clone on the blonde guy with eyelashes. If you blacked out the characters into silhouettes, they'd all be indistinguishable.

    I also agree that the colors are nice. Layouts are pretty good, and the word bubbles are placed with thought. I think the line width could use some work still, and having more thickness here and there, to emphasize space in a 3D world, would help punch things out a bit more.

  • JproductionsJproductions Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    Really? I can see how you'd initally confuse the two male characters for each other because of the eyes and similar bangs, but saying that a female character who has totally different facial features and this weird hair that stands out is indistinguishable from a male character I find unfounded. I mean, I guess her face has a similar shape but that's about it.
    Anyway I quickly whipped up some silhouettes to illustrate that I'm not in fact just crazy:
    silhouettes_zpsf4d1df86.png

    Also, I agree about the line width, and it's something I've been trying to work on, but also something I often just forget about.

    Jproductions on
  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Your hair silhouettes are fine, I'm sure what he was getting at more is the facial silhouettes. They look very much the same. Sorry for the shoddy job. My Photoshop isn't working, and I don't feel like reinstalling it just to make this example. (also touch mouse not tablet :P)

    0006cpe.jpg

    Take for instance the facial silhouettes of Hey! Arnold . Each character with a very distinct shape. I think that is more about what he's getting at. Hell, even penny arcade does it with their recurring characters. Round, square, teardrop, pointed etc.

    Hey_Arnold_Characters.jpg

    ninjai on
  • JproductionsJproductions Registered User regular
    Ah, yeah, I see your point. I would argue though that not every character's face needs to be a completely different shape to be distinguishable, and in this case it's not the level of stylization I want to apply. Also, you can't ignore the hair if it's visible, although I do admit that if there's ever a panel that only shows the face that is also blacked out, THEN you couldn't necessarily tell the difference. And... I guess there could be a panel like that in the future?

    I'll play with the design of the characters a bit and see what I can come up with.

  • JproductionsJproductions Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    First of all I don't know what the policy around here is when it comes to double posting so I apologize in advance if I'm breaking any rules here.

    Anyway, like I said, I played with the design of the other main character, and it took a while to get it right. I think I did though and I'm very happy with the result, and I do think this was important, so thanks all who gave their opinion on the matter. I think it took the redesign to really fundamentally understand what you were talking about.

    I updated a page with his new design and here's how he looks now:
    newmike_zpsb44548ad.jpg
    I think there's a nice contrast between the main characters now.

    Jproductions on
  • earthwormadamearthwormadam ancient crust Registered User regular
    No harm no foul on double posts. Just making that face longer makes a big difference. Keep pushing it, and apply that to the other characters, and you'll be in biznass.

    I DO think you are crazy with those silhouettes though, because when I squint my eyes, they all look pretty much the same except the middle one has slightly more puffy hair.

    ninjaibrokecracker
  • JproductionsJproductions Registered User regular
    Hi. I'm not quite dead yet, I've just been pretty busy lately.

    I'd like some comments on whether I should have each page stand on it's own a bit better. I'm planning on having a couple of stories ready before I launch my site, but after that I'm probably going to be updating one page at a time. So what I'm currently pondering is, whether the current format would work or not. Because I could concievably edit the script to have each page feature some sort of a punchline.

  • melting_dollmelting_doll Registered User regular
    This is great! It's creative in its content, and I love your colors and overall delivery. Your backgrounds are appealing and I've always been a fan of using different colored word balloons as a bonus storytelling device.

    The only thing that came to mind for me was refining your dialogue. It's pretty good, but there are spots where you could afford to cut it down a bit. Example: "You can't expect me to support the both of us by myself forever!" It feels slightly forced and redundant. Just removing the "by myself" part would be slightly more to-the-point. It's a little nit-picky, but you don't want to hurt the flow of your comic! The best tip is to read your scripts out loud so you can see if it feels natural.

    I love this format. Cucumber Quest is my favorite webcomic, and it is set in full-page form(versus the three panel jokes). If you take a look at a random page you can see that there's no "punch line" per se, but something at the end of each page that leaves you wanting more. It's a format that works really well, and I think it's truly a matter of preference.

  • SiegfriedSiegfried Registered User regular
    This is some good stuff and I like the redesign of that guy you just posted.

    Only complaints are: ditch the color scheme word balloons, I agree with MD's critique of your dialogue, aannnnddd for some reason I just don't like a single thing about that Irene character.

    The colored word balloons are kind of an eyesore and you could use some white in the panels anyways. The problem is they don't always mesh with the colors of the backgrounds and it detracts the viewer from the rest of the art.

    As for Irene...I don't know, her expressions and design just kind of feel forced to me for some reason. Maybe I'm the only one that feels this way.

    Oh, and I think you could cut down on your use of speedlines just a bit, you've got them like every other panel as it is, for stuff that doesn't really need that kind of emphasis.

    Portfolio // Twitter // Behance // Tumblr
    Kochikens wrote:
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  • JproductionsJproductions Registered User regular
    Thanks for the feedback! Writing dialogue is definitely my weakest point, english is not my first language and I'm not that good with words anyway. It's not something that comes naturally to me, but I guess practice makes perfect.

    I dunno, I suppose the current format works. It'll never be a three panel comic that's for sure, but I was thinking maybe something like a mix of the two? I'll see if anyone else has differing opinions and think about it while I edit the existing pages to match the new character designs.

  • melting_dollmelting_doll Registered User regular
    Consistency is important. I've seen multiple webcomics, some by personal friends, where the format changes too often -- then down the road they decide they want to put out a tangible book/collection and they're screwed.

  • JproductionsJproductions Registered User regular
    Oh man, I somehow completely missed Siegfried's post. I guess I posted at the exact same second? But those are good points.

    Since I wasn't very far into this yet, I'm going to redraw all the pages, I find that a better solution than a whole bunch of editing. Production so to speak is a bit slow right now though, because I'm in the process of trying to get into architect college or whatever it would be called in english, and I have to practise for the exams. Conveniently though, it's also practise for everything else. So I killed two birds with one drawing and did some world building or something:
    city1small_zps5f1bbdb4.jpg

  • JproductionsJproductions Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    In an attempt to be more active here, I'm posting some stuff that isn't related to the comic:
    skulls1s.jpg
    skulls2s.jpg
    speedpaint1to4.jpg
    speedpaint5to8.jpg
    speedpaint12to13.jpg
    speedpaint14to15.jpg


    I'm trying to get into painting but it's something I never really had any idea how to do, so please excuse my not-so-great attempts. Those are all based on photos, some more loosely than others. I should probably do some black and white studies first before getting into color, it's pretty complicated. Honestly though I don't think they're that bad for a beginner. Feedback would be appreciated.

    Jproductions on
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