Hello there... Some of you may know me from the Comic Battle Forum (where I am known as Einheit12), most of you won't, I guess.
So, I made this Picture... It took me about 22 Hours to make, it started as a plain sketch in Class, I edited it in Photoshop, I forgot it for 2 months and I picked it up again last weekend. I had a pretty hard time correcting the anatomy, and I know it's still not right... But I need to go on, I spend 12 Hours on the Lineart alone.
I would appreciate your comments on it...
You can click on the Image for a larger size version.
Also, it annoys me a bit that she's off center in the light-circle :S
Flickr ... Myspace
wii Number 0648 2052 0203 3154
How was the background made? Photo collage? I can see some shapes, but the background is way realistically rendered, and then the figure is just a cartoony anime character with weak coloring/shading and very few details. If you took away the background I would have thought this was a sketch. Line work for a figure like that shouldn't be taking you 12 hours. Maybe it's because you haven't done a lot of practice inking digitally, but that just seems like a lot of time.
How much digital practice do you have under your belt? The coloring of the figure could use some work, but some of that relies on the detail of her. You need folds in clothing, something more dynamic. The figure alone is really bland, just standing there. You have all these floating lights but you made them all white, and the shading on her form doesn't completely correspond with them. If you have a figure just standing there, make the lighting more dynamic, like a dark room with just floating lights would actually look like. Think of or even watch movies (scary movies work, but others as well) to see scenes where the lighting affects the mood of everything, and the color as well.
Your anatomy isn't that bad, but I'm guessing some of that 12 hours was from fixing/drawing it. I'll just say that anime isn't the best way to go when practicing, and you should work more from life and then your style will just develop.
So, I'm really curious how you made the background. The figure shows that you don't have a ton of experience with digital coloring, but then the background looks like some 3d rendered abstract piece. Looking at it now, it looks like over-layed images and such. Am I right?
Sorry if this sounds harsh at all, I'm just trying to help.
 I saw your coloring on the battle forums. Not half bad, but could use some work. In some places it's really good, in some places sketchy. I would know better if I saw like a fully digital finished piece or something, which I this is supposed to be I guess, so most of my advice still stands.
Not to say that the all of critiques are invalid, but I don't think you're getting enough credit for how clean piece is. I also think the inking is very well done. The contrast between the character and the background doesn't really bother me because it seems like a desktop background picture almost. The spell effect thing is sweet action too.
How can you even tell with anime? They all look like chicks... Even the guys. Usually I go by if they're wearing a dress or not to tell weather they are male or female (unless the have noticeable boobies).
Over all, I'd say I love what you did with the background, but the character being off-center of the ring and the stark contrast of her dress with the rest of the room (too bright, not enough shadow) and the fact that there is so much detail going on in her surroundings and she's so... Simple throw it for me. Over all better then 50% of what's out there though.
It drives me nuts when people offer "looks too manly" as a critique, offering suggestions on how to make a face more feminine. Go look around, guys. A lot of women have "masculine" features.
Anyway, I'll just echo what everyone else has already said-- the contrast between the character and background styles is jarring. Also, lose the anime face.
So, I tried to fix this and that, not all of it really worked. I probably still need too add more detail to the figure.
As to the Question how the Background is made and why it differs so much from the style of the figure:
I have a different approach at backgrounds. I cell-shade figures when doing Manga-Style works while I use an acrylic painting style of approach on backgrounds. I use photo textures to give the surfaces more structure.
Is a guy.
The lesson is, always be skeptical. Always be afraid.
I like the new crop, I still think the white dots are too bright.
Also, she does seem to pop out from the background as if she doesn't exist in the environment. This is probably a combination of lighting and textures. The background is more realistic and grimy and she is more cartoony.
I do love the background though, but it detracts from the character because it seems to be more realistic and detailed.
hahaha... you don't know what you're talking about... The only thing that's off from the depth is the swirling lights in the foreground... If you can't get that through your monkey skull... then don't critique...
Wow, that's a little hostile. I thought the point of a critique was to give one's impression on how a work looks, what's working with it, and what's not. That was mine. :P
Anyway, I think the walls look great now. They're much easier to read. I'm looking forward to seeing more work from you.
I have changed a few things about the picture, primarily the face, as I didn't quite like it as it was.
This is the last version, as I need to go on and not get stuck on this picture any longer.
Even animated / simulated life images should seem life-like, and that does count even for animated / sequential art. She looks like she's a little off balance, and from what I'm seeing it looks like the sword she's holding. If it was a very light sword (or -saber), I'd probably recognize that it's supposed to be light.
Also match up the light sources. She's being illuminated from close, intense light. This should, if nothing else, put some deeper contrast closer to the bulges (more than just the two) on her body.
Good luck for next time; it looks like you know the tools, but you just need to single out specific shapes in relation to each other, you know? Even with something simple as a pencil you'd need to establish the deeper surfaces against the nearest major light source. With circular warm light and all that, the part of her (and other nearby shapes) that's farthest away should definitely be cooler-shades, if not just simple gray shade.