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Charles' Artist Corner Thread [NSFW]

charlesartistcharlesartist Artist and Game DeveloperCaliforniaRegistered User regular
edited June 2015 in Artist's Corner
Hello Everyone,

I'm Charles.

I would like to start with my info gleaned from the Information for Artist's sticky:

Tell us what your goals as an artist are:

#1 GOAL: I am at this development level:

1) I draw at least six or more sketch cards every week.
2) I complete a new (browser) game module at least bi-monthly using the above sketch cards. Note that these are not 150 level 3D MMPORPGs, these are quick game modules you can play and finish during a coffee break and still take your time savoring that bagel and cream cheese.
3) I complete and publish one flash version of the best of the two modules, described above, once a month.
4) I complete one game app collecting only the best of the best of the above along with all new content exclusive to the app, at least once every season (quarterly).

Are you a hobbyist looking to learn to draw landscapes for fun?

No, I'm a pro artist with experience in game development, comics, and storyboards, mostly game dev.

Are you putting together a portfolio to get into art school?

Hell No.

Are you currently a professional looking to further refine your skills in a certain area?

Yes. I am currently developing a Dueling Sketch Card game series and I've finished the first module. I need another set of eyes (hopefully more) to look at my work and tell me how I can improve overall. Because the artwork is natural media and not digital, I especially would like some help on how to make it measure up to digital as much as it possibly can. The works are all hand drawn and colored sketch cards, so when I scan them in, they are not as crisp as if I airbrushed them in an image editor. I'm sure I can just do a drawing of the card and then digitally paint it, but I don't want to do that. I want my collector patrons to have the full color version. Also, because time is limited, I wouldn't be able to draw it, color it digitally for the game, and then color it by hand for the collector.

How long have you been practicing this form of art?

Sketch Cards? Since about 2006. My work has been collected all over the USA and internationally as well. I've been employed devloping games for years, but that was a long time ago and I'm going to pursue creator owned projects exclusively from now on.

Who are some artists or styles that you admire who you strive to be like in your own work

Shane Glines, Bruce Timm, Otto Schmidt, mainly. Also a teensy bit of Jack Kirby via Mike Mignola, many others a distant 5th, 6th, 7th, etc.

Iruka on

Posts

  • charlesartistcharlesartist Artist and Game Developer CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    I will start with the Curvy Crossbowman sketch card:

    gs1oh95prghg.jpg

    Preliminary Drawing for Curvy Crossbowman
    2.5 x 3.5 inches
    Colored Pencil

    o6jhjmvrli0g.jpg

    Curvy Crossbowman
    2.5 x 3.5 inches
    Mixed Media: Markers, Ink, Colored Pencil

    comments and criticisms welcome.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited June 2015
    Even for a heavily stylized pin up, those proportions are a little weird. Her left boob appears to be beginning at her collarbone, and the crop of the image at her shoe cuffs seems a little strange.

    Your goals read more like a work schedule than something we can use to help you. What do you want your art to look like in the future? How do you plan to actually push yourself to achieve expanded results?

    Assuming that pin-ups and sketch cards is your main interest, anatomy is what you need to double down on. I would seek a foundation of some solid anatomical knowledge plus regular gesture drawing.

    Iruka on
    NightDragontynictapeslingerJacobkoshF87NakedZergling
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    A lot of artists seem to like to ignore that the female body has something inbetween the ass and breasts. Focus your anatomy construction on learning how the stomach and abdomen actually look on both female and male forms. It's not a tubesock connecting two sex parts, it is a dynamic area providing support and protection for a lot of critical functions. Mastering that area will make your characters look both somewhat realistic and probably more attractive.

    tapeslinger
  • charlesartistcharlesartist Artist and Game Developer CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    Even for a heavily stylized pin up...
    ... What do you want your art to look like in the future? How do you plan to actually push yourself to achieve expanded results?
    ...

    The artist I'm looking at the most right now is Shane Glines. He epitomizes the stylized pinup drawing for me, in terms of the direction I want to go. I don't want my work to look exactly like his, of course, but I want my work to have the fluidity of line and form that he has as I develop my own style organically from that study. The girls are cartoons but they're believable and lifelike, and of course oh so sexy! How I'm going to actually push myself is do more and more, looking at how my favorite artists solve those problems, and get those results.

    I'm making cartoons not Madonnas, but I can see where you're coming from and I thank you for your input. I've been out of the game for too long, and I agree my work looks a bit stiff at the moment. I'm confident as I continue to study artists like Glines and others, along with some good strong reference, you should definitely see improvement soon as I sail back into my usual form.

  • KochikensKochikens Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    seems like that person youre really into can also do pretty amazing non-pinup art, you should try some of that. Your current work just seems like a kind of a dull derivative of that guys. you said you want to make a "Dueling Sketch Card" game. Not a "Pinup Dueling Sketch Card" game?? it would be good to post some of that stuff.


    Also just the character design does nothing for me, its just generic blonde babe standing very awkwardly/uncomfortably wearing uninteresting fantasy clothes. Like, a default level one fantasy-mmo character where someones taken her armor off and left her in her underclothes drawn in batman-animated-series-style. There's nothing gimmicky or cool or unique that would make me want to collect it. You should try doing some character design sketches first, see what you can come up with to give them personality and life.

    Kochikens on
  • charlesartistcharlesartist Artist and Game Developer CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Kochikens wrote: »
    ...you said you want to make a "Dueling Sketch Card" game. Not a "Pinup Dueling Sketch Card" game?? it would be good to post some of that stuff.

    ... a default level one fantasy-mmo character where someones taken her armor off and left her in her underclothes drawn in batman-animated-series-style...

    This project will definitely incorporate more than just pin-ups eventually, but for now quizgirls is all about the beautiful women. ;)

    You're right on the money as far as noticing the Batman Animated Series influence. Bruce Timm, the art director for that show is also a huge influence. He and Shane Glines both met working on that show.

    It's OK if you're not into it. I appreciate your honesty. I can't expect to be as good as the artists I aspire to yet, but it will come. I'll keep plugging away and you'll see in time, hopefully quickly like I said, I'll find my stride and you'll be able to see what I can really do.


    charlesartist on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    All the artists you keep mentioning have a solid understanding of anatomy and gesture drawing. "I'm making cartoons not Madonnas" is a horrible way to look at it. You are trying to make cartoon madonnas, at the very least. That is going to require you to do more work than look at the handful of artist who do comic book pinups.

    You are subscribing to the John K school of thought, where excellent cartooning is the pinnacle of what you are trying to achieve. That's fine. But the trajectory for improvement doesn't change just because you are interested in cartoon ladies over everything else. You'll find your style by doing two things, expanding the pool of artists that influence you, and drawing from real life sources. You don't want your skill set to be a watered down, derivative set of motions that is from a small set of specific artists. Which means you'll need to look at real people and learn how to make solid choices based on the actual anatomy present.

    Check out the anatomy master post for some book suggestions:
    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/196617/anatomy-resource-masterpost?new=1

    The comic resource post also has some different books: http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/196619/comic-resources-masterpost#latest

    Drawn to Life/The Illusion of life/The Noble Approach are books that are pretty much on point for cartooning, I would in invest in them. I'd also read through John K's blogs labeled construction: http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/search/label/construction


    Finally, ask yourself what you want out of the AC, too. We provide critiques. If you just want a platform to post your work where we sit back and wait to see if you can grow, you are in the wrong place. Everyone here is going to try and push you forward for better art making. We're going to critique the work you post and not some dubious future true form you have. The more open and receptive you are to trying new things, the better your work will get and the quicker you'll expand. You don't have to convince us you can do better, just draw, experiment, and show instead of tell.

    F87tynicNightDragonWassermeloneKochikensm3naceEnc
  • KochikensKochikens Registered User regular
    Im not unimpressed ("not into it") because youre not as good as those people yet. Im unimpressed because youre trying too hard to copy them rather than do anything interesting and new.

  • charlesartistcharlesartist Artist and Game Developer CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    All the artists you keep mentioning have a solid understanding of anatomy and gesture drawing. "I'm making cartoons not Madonnas" is a horrible way to look at it. You are trying to make cartoon madonnas, at the very least. That is going to require you to do more work than look at the handful of artist who do comic book pinups.

    ...

    Finally, ask yourself what you want out of the AC, too. We provide critiques. If you just want a platform to post your work where we sit back and wait to see if you can grow, you are in the wrong place. Everyone here is going to try and push you forward for better art making.
    ...

    I can see I'm going to learn a lot here. I'm really impressed with "You are trying to make cartoon madonnas at the very least". That's why I'm here. I can see you will be honest. I'm very grateful that you took the time to write that post and I want you to know I have bookmarked your links and will read them soon. If they are relevant to me, and it seems that they will be, I will be applying them.

    What I want out of the AC is just what you are giving me: Direction on where I can improve and as you say to push me forward for better art making. Every artist needs a forum for his work. I'm actively searching for that elsewhere, though I did try and get my work shown in the Indy game thread, I'm not holding my breath. What you are giving me here is gold that I am not getting anywhere else, and I thank you.

  • charlesartistcharlesartist Artist and Game Developer CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    Please give your honest criticism. I will listen:


    sexypinup006_drawing.jpg

    Buxom Buccaneer Drawing
    2.5 x 3.5 inches
    colored pencils




    And here is how the final art turned out...

    sexypinup006.jpg

    Buxom Buccaneer Drawing
    2.5 x 3.5 inches
    Mixed Media
    Art Card Edition Original(ACEO) Sketch Card

  • bebarcebebarce Registered User regular
    She will have a rough time eating Ship's Biscuits with a collapsable waist.

    NightDragontapeslingerEnc
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Can you post more than one image at a time? This card honestly looks close to a carbon copy of the previous - the character is even facing the same direction. I understand it's a pin up but I think you can make things much more diverse in body shape/pose/face/etc.

    We don't need to know the name/size/medium/etc info with every piece, by the way. It is hard to critique a single piece, or two pieces that look incredibly similar. The more you give us to work with, the better our critiques can be.

    Are you doing any rough sketches before jumping into these, or do you just draw out what you first think of and then ink it? Lots of sketches or multiple finished pieces will help us help you more than your current method of posting.

  • charlesartistcharlesartist Artist and Game Developer CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Kochikens wrote: »
    Im not unimpressed ("not into it") because youre not as good as those people yet. Im unimpressed because youre trying too hard to copy them rather than do anything interesting and new.

    First off, I appreciate your attention to this and your comments. I'm just not at their level yet, though not from trying. Like the great artist's of old, I look at the masters who have come before me. Do you know who Bill Sienkiewicz and Neil Adams are? Sienkiewicz was bashed and berated for being a watered down Neal Adams in his early career. That early work did look derivative but as he plugged away, he gradually developed a style and sophistication that was singularly unique in comics.

    I totally agree what Iruka said about (paraphrasing) not expecting you to trust me that I am better and I will get better, so I don't. But it is so anyway. As I continue to look at solid real life examples, as well as how the artists I most admire do their work, I will shake off this horrible lull I'm in and get back to drawing the way I did when I was practicing every day and beyond from there, if not a Sienkewicz-like uniqueness, a distinctive voice all my own.

    charlesartist on
  • KallistiKallisti Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    I think you may be interested in the Ben Caldwell books, they're incredibly cheap, I literally got a used copy off amazon for a penny, and you can find the .pdfs around online.

    51T73S7GTYL.jpg

    I'm a fan of Shane Glines myself, but I'm seeing a lack of underlying construction in your work, it looks a little flat and some of the anatomy feels broken. This means your under drawing and thinking need to be in terms of 3d shapes to construct your character along with a clear understanding of anatomy. It's important to consider how the parts are constructed and how they fit together.

    a880bb14efe9f7bcbb06d2028613e164.jpg
    combining-forms2.gif
    torso-breakdown1.gif

    If you do a search for 'Rad Sechrist construction', you'll find a lot on this topic, but things like understanding anatomy and how the parts work together, that can then be reduced into a cartoon style is important.

    tumblr_nls2uk04e01r0yesao1_500.jpg
    Here Glines is using construction lines and thinking through the form, thinking about volume, most likely looking at old playboy pinups and doing studies where he's translating them into a cartoony style. This is skipping a few steps as shown above and only really showing the outside line, because most likely he can already see it for all the practice he's put into it.

    tumblr_ku5u7kFpM61qz6c02o1_500.jpg

    There's a lot going on in terms of what makes this work: curves vs. straights being a major one, overlapping shapes, understanding planes, but underneath it all it's an understanding of anatomy, how everything is constructed, how the parts interlock, and how to exaggerate. I'd recommend looking at his stuff and drawing over it to figure out how it was constructed from the ground level.

    23b6edd58188933c66a5aab76ceb4a51.jpg

    You may also want to look into the playboy artists of the 1950's that Glines is inspired by like Erich Sokol.

    Kallisti on
    tynicKochikensNightDragonbeckerskullsWassermelonetapeslingermiscellaneousinsanityNakedZerglingEncNatricharlesartistJolliDversed
  • KochikensKochikens Registered User regular
    Okay


    It's not about not being at their level

    I don't care about them! I don't care about who you're inspired by or who you're linking to. They have nothing to do with what you're posting right now. It's not about you getting better as far as emulation skill goes. it's not about practising the same thing you're doing over and over, or looking at more of these people and trying to emulate them and get 'to their level'.


    Your character designs are boring and unoriginal. Make. Better. Character designs. It's about creativity. What you're producing right now isn't creative in any way. Be looser, be doodlier, draw more costumes. You've done generic sexy pirate girl instead of anything new or fresh or interesting with the medium or concept of sexy pirate girl. Your poses aren't particularly interesting, neither are your body types. Post something that shows us your WIP, that shows us how creative you are. Or do work that helps you become more creative/explore your creativity.

    NightDragon
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited June 2015
    If they are relevant to me, and it seems that they will be, I will be applying them.

    Just to isolate this. You wont always know whats immediately relevant to your work if you aren't flexible. We're going to be honest, but at the same time people will not take the time to critique you if it seems like you are going to throw it away if you don't feel like taking it in. If you want to improve, you have a difficult road ahead of you. Anatomy, lighting, composition, are all very technical subjects that every artists has to tackle in some capacity. You'll also have to accept that you are going to need to draw things other than sketch cards to improve upon them. Do studies and post them. Try new things and post them. Otherwise its all hot air.

    You have to open your mind to being influenced and excited by concepts that previously didn't interest you. Be willing and ready to face new subjects and media, be more in tune with art in general. If you want the most out of the AC and all it has to offer, consider that you will have to take on a different mentality about improvement. There are a bunch of artists here and we draw from many different backgrounds, so while its clear you know a lot of folks in the comics industry and study it heavily, consider that you are going to get advice from a much wider lens here if you plan to stay.

    @Kallisti, Excellent post.

    Iruka on
    NightDragontapeslingerNakedZerglingEncNatri
  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    re: Shane Glines, doesn't he post a ton of reference to that classic playboy stuff right in his tumblr? I feel like I was following him expressly to get all of that awesome vintage ref.

  • NakedZerglingNakedZergling A more apocalyptic post apocalypse Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    not to derail at all.... but
    "Focus your anatomy construction on learning how the stomach and abdomen actually look on both female and male forms. It's not a tubesock connecting two sex parts"
    is the funniest damn thing ive read all week! lolol

    Otherwise i agree with the feedback you're getting here. Keep posting man.

  • charlesartistcharlesartist Artist and Game Developer CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Kallisti,
    Thank you for that awesome post! Cool to see a fellow Shane Glines fan. I've seen Ben Caldwell's work too; another good suggestion. I like his adaptation of the Odyssey. When I visited the site you recommended, I saw some of the Andrew Loomis drawings from Figure Drawing For All It's Worth; a book I read at least a dozen times, though you wouldn't know it from the previous posts. Thanks again, really! Wonderfully informative and inspiring post.

    I can't believe I lost sight of the fundamentals re: figure construction. I'll give it another go.

    Oops. Forgot to post my images. I'll be back in a few with my latest...

    charlesartist on
  • charlesartistcharlesartist Artist and Game Developer CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    figure_drawing.jpg

    Above is the construction that went behind the work. I will definitely work larger eventually, but right now I'm strictly in sketch card mode; I'm developing a CCG game.

    sexypinup008_drawing.jpg

    This is the preliminary drawing. I already made some refinements that you don't see up there. I'll be back with the color version when it's done.

  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    A lot of CCG artwork is produced at well above 2.5 by 3.5 specifically so that it looks good at smaller sizes, though, so the sketch card logic doesn't make a lot of sense here.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    The construction, as in just the technical nature of drawing a sphere and a cylinder, isn't really what the issue is. The problem is more a lack of some realistic context for your anatomy, which is making for wacky, unappealing proportions. To overcome that, you need to study some anatomy instensly, that means actually looking at real people and trying to draw them with some degree of accuracy.

    You'll have to try something different if you want useful feedback.

  • charlesartistcharlesartist Artist and Game Developer CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    @tapelinger: Of course you're right about that. Nothing about developing a CCG game means you have to use such a small format. In my case, I am developing dueling sketch cards as the CCG format. I'm deliberately working in the small format as an essential part of the project. It's designed for sketch card enthusiasts and delivered in a CCG context. For reasons I won't go into here, making them larger and reducing them digitally will not work for this project.

    @Iruka I really appreciate your persistence in trying to get me to improve. I am still influenced by your cartoon madonnas comment. It's very challenging to fit a figure in a 2.5 x 3.5 inch box and that's probably influencing the wonky anatomy. For the scope of this project as I've explained above to tapelinger, it's essential that I remain in the small format with the goal of making cartoon madonnas in miniature.

    I wish there was a way we could just focus on making it work in the smaller format but I totally get what you're trying to say that I need to make time to work larger and from life. I will try and do that to get further feedback. In the meantime, here is how the latest one turned out...

    sexypinup008.jpg

    Bodacious Blacksmith

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    @tapelinger: Of course you're right about that. Nothing about developing a CCG game means you have to use such a small format. In my case, I am developing dueling sketch cards as the CCG format. I'm deliberately working in the small format as an essential part of the project. It's designed for sketch card enthusiasts and delivered in a CCG context. For reasons I won't go into here, making them larger and reducing them digitally will not work for this project.

    @Iruka I really appreciate your persistence in trying to get me to improve. I am still influenced by your cartoon madonnas comment. It's very challenging to fit a figure in a 2.5 x 3.5 inch box and that's probably influencing the wonky anatomy. For the scope of this project as I've explained above to tapelinger, it's essential that I remain in the small format with the goal of making cartoon madonnas in miniature.

    I wish there was a way we could just focus on making it work in the smaller format but I totally get what you're trying to say that I need to make time to work larger and from life. I will try and do that to get further feedback. In the meantime, here is how the latest one turned out...

    sexypinup008.jpg

    Bodacious Blacksmith

    To talk a bit about the unappealing geometry, her shoulder is thicker than her neck and her waist. You appear (even on your construction) more with having sufficient mass to house your pre-determined breast size than massing the body first and then determining how to make her appealing after.

    To put it another way, if she were standing straight with the viewer looking dead-on, her shoulders would be about the height of her ears and probably be about 5-6 heads wide based upon what you have in this thumb. Even stylized that's less sexy than freakish.

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