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The new guy wants brutal criticism. (NSFdialup)

LesterDMLesterDM Registered User regular
edited October 2008 in Artist's Corner
Hiya,

I've been lurking for years, even posted a painted drawing awhile ago. I have honed my skills and learned some new techniques with the software I use and have developed a style that I believe is relatively unique.

you be the judge. and be mean, as you usually are. Here are a few examples of my work:



Charactoons7_by_PCMStudio.jpg



Charactoons14_by_PCMStudio.jpg



Charactoons12_by_PCMStudio.jpg



Charactoons1_by_PCMStudio.jpg

LesterDM on
«13

Posts

  • ScosglenScosglen Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I really can't offer much advice for vector artists in terms of technique, but I will say that flat shaded vector tracings of photographs(and my gut tells me these are probably tracings) is not even remotely close to being a unique style.

    That said, there's some basic line quality issues in a few of these. The left arm on the first woman is all kinds of messed up. The hand doesn't read well at all and the simplification of the muscle on the inside of the elbow looks off.

    There's some similar issues with the hands, most notably the fingers, on the third picture, and the detail on the shirt collar of the last one is pretty scribble-y.

    Scosglen on
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Yeah, vector-traced photographs (which is what this looks like) is a relatively common style, actually.

    NightDragon on
  • MustangMustang Arbiter of Unpopular Opinions Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I have to admit the first thing I thought was 'traced photograph'. Not that I'm accusing you of being a tracer, but you might want to watch whatever technique you're using because it does look traced.

    Mustang on
  • BroloBrolo Broseidon Lord of the BroceanRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Yeah, this looks an awful lot like rotoscoping, which tends to have tell-tale problems where the wrong elements get outlines, shadows don't simplify properly, and exaggeration ends up in the wrong places, particularly during strong expression - you can really see the last going on in your bottom portrait.

    Brolo on
  • GrennGrenn Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    These are flat and characterless and look like clip-art.

    Being able to trace vector lines is no substitute for learning how to draw proper lines. My advice is go get a brush and some ink and learn how to actually draw in the style that you are hoping Illustrator/Flash will do for you.

    In this case it seems like you're going for a pop-art sort of thing, in which case check out the work of Lichtenstein and Warhol.

    Keep at it and good luck.

    Grenn on
  • LesterDMLesterDM Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Thanks for the input, I'm not sure what you mean by 'vector tracings' and 'rotoscoping' but I do use software to clean up the rough lines from the original drawing, and yes i do use a photo as a reference.

    I am familiar with the works of Lichtenstein and Warhol. Can anyone provide any references to others that do similar work?

    All of my work is either 100% digital or a pencil drawing scanned and up, then painted. I use a Wacom tablet for the majority of the work and rarely ever use any filters.

    Any suggestions on how to get my lines to look better using a tablet. I have many different styles of nibs for my pen, and have tried them all. I started this type of stuff late last November and have been practicing over and again with different brush settings and keeping a steady hand. I did a lot of drawing when I was in highschool 20 years ago, but only recently started drawing again about 2 years ago.

    I have a ton of reference material, and have been copying other peoples work over and over which has allowed me to retain poses and shapes for creating original work.

    Again, I appreciate the input, and find that while the attitude some of you have is somewhat condescending, there always seems to be some sort of encouragement as well. Thanks.

    My graphic design instructor told me a few years ago, if it looks good, it is good... if it looks right, you did it right,

    LesterDM on
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    This is pretty much what's meant by "vector tracing":

    vector01.jpg

    A "reference" photo is found, and this photo is literally traced and "filled" through the use of a vector program, like Illustrator. The end result looks like the above, in one way or another.

    I don't really think any of us are being condescending - we're only answering your "question" honestly. :) "I think this is unique. You be the judge."

    And if these aren't traced photographs, what we're telling you is that that is what they looked like, and that style (your end result) is not unique at all, but instead, rather common. Just letting you know that if you're looking for a unique style, you may want to try a few more things out, and experiment.

    This guy does some very unique (at least to me) vector art.

    http://limkis.deviantart.com/


    I'd suggest looking up a bunch of vector artists, and checking out what they do. Be inspired rather than copying their style, and experiment on your own a bit...practice, develop...and you can have your own style that really is unique. Just takes time to develop, usually. :)

    NightDragon on
  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Why don't any of your images have backgrounds?

    MagicToaster on
  • LesterDMLesterDM Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Why don't any of your images have backgrounds?
    I am not that experienced with drawing environments. I just haven't tried. Focus on one thing at a time, right?

    LesterDM on
  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Well, if you're gonna focus on one thing at a time, I'd focus on drawing before style. I can't seem to get over the fact that one of those girls is missing her cleavage. I don't want to be harsh, but you did ask for us to be brutal.

    Draw draw draw.

    MagicToaster on
  • NakedZerglingNakedZergling A more apocalyptic post apocalypse Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    LesterDM wrote: »
    Why don't any of your images have backgrounds?
    I am not that experienced with drawing environments. I just haven't tried. Focus on one thing at a time, right?

    actually no..you want to build up all aspects at the same time.

    NakedZergling on
  • LesterDMLesterDM Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Well, if you're gonna focus on one thing at a time, I'd focus on drawing before style. I can't seem to get over the fact that one of those girls is missing her cleavage. I don't want to be harsh, but you did ask for us to be brutal.

    Draw draw draw.


    Haha, yeah - well she is rather flat chested, I just drew what I saw. All the responses are exactly what I asked for, not complaining about that. Just observing. I have to provide criticism to my employees in a constructive manner to get the results I need... so I appreciate the brutal honesty.

    The link to the Vector artist.. thank you! Wow that stuff is amazingly detailed, gives me something to aspire to.

    LesterDM on
  • ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2008
    LesterDM wrote: »
    Well, if you're gonna focus on one thing at a time, I'd focus on drawing before style. I can't seem to get over the fact that one of those girls is missing her cleavage. I don't want to be harsh, but you did ask for us to be brutal.

    Draw draw draw.


    Haha, yeah - well she is rather flat chested, I just drew what I saw. All the responses are exactly what I asked for, not complaining about that. Just observing. I have to provide criticism to my employees in a constructive manner to get the results I need... so I appreciate the brutal honesty.

    The link to the Vector artist.. thank you! Wow that stuff is amazingly detailed, gives me something to aspire to.

    I think he the one that's bending over to reveal that her breasts are one large mass.

    Scalfin on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The rest of you, I fucking hate you for the fact that I now have a blue dot on this god awful thread.
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I'm pretty sure her chest in the reference photo would have had *some* form, if not cleavage, then shadows or something. However, drawing her with solid, flat colors like this changes the way the form is being viewed, and it really does look like she needs some cleavage or something.

    Do you mind posting the reference?

    NightDragon on
  • ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    LesterDM wrote: »
    My graphic design instructor told me a few years ago, if it looks good, it is good... if it looks right, you did it right,

    That's either:

    A. a horrible approach for a teacher to take

    or

    B. Taken, or remembered, out of context

    I think its more, "If it looks good, you're not looking at it hard enough. If it looks right, you probably don't know what 'right' is.

    Also, upload or link to your reference photos.

    ManonvonSuperock on
  • PROXPROX Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    You're style is not stimulating, and like others have said before, looks a lot like vector tracing. There is some potential in the first image.

    Since you are working very flatly ( i.e. no shadows) your color choice, silhouette and line weights are most important. For the first image, line weight is actually quite good but the shapes you've chose are boring. Exaggerate and express yourself more, put some nicer curls and curves. Instead of doing a one to one copy of your reference, add some style and design the shapes to have more character and definition. In short, spend some more time with the shapes pushing and pulling. This flows into good silhouette design where mass and form are indicated in a flat illustration.

    The key features that help you define 3D on the face are the brow and chin. Push those corners so that they read. Observation: observe the muscles and arms, and take note of the basic geometry. Ask yourself what defines the 3 dimensional aspect of this form.

    Color: Color is very important. I suggest reading up on Color harmonies and playing around with colors more. Illustrator makes it really easy to mess with color. Right now everything is atrocious, with dull skin tones and garish neons for clothing.

    design tips:

    Tangents: The way two lines meet help define form. 3 lines meeting at a same point is flat because you can't tell which form is on top. Look at a "Y". It looks like the shapes are right next to each other. The worst element is the X. A flat cross that destroys any dimension in your image. The same can be said for ramming one shape right up next to another. Don't cut off your forms. Make one form on top of the other.

    Decision making is important when designing. You gotta have guts and be willing to push things. Don't be afraid of integrating type and experimenting with background graphics.

    edit: And how do you know what good or right is? It is only through the critique of your peers that you can grow beyond yourself. Therefore it depends on what looks good to who.

    PROX on
  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    LesterDM wrote: »
    My graphic design instructor told me a few years ago, if it looks good, it is good... if it looks right, you did it right,

    That's either:

    A. a horrible approach for a teacher to take

    or

    B. Taken, or remembered, out of context

    I think its more, "If it looks good, you're not looking at it hard enough. If it looks right, you probably don't know what 'right' is.

    Also, upload or link to your reference photos.

    I was gonna say something about this, but decided against it since it wasn't relevant to the post. But since you've brought it up I'll chime in as well. Graphic Design isn't created in a void, it's made for a specific purpose. How it looks is important, but also how it relates to the purpose it was created for. Grunge fonts look good, but maybe not the best type face for a delicate ballet poster, things have to work within a certain context.

    The same goes for these vector drawings; one could argue that they look good... but good in relation to what context... An artist must be versitile, he should be able to work with any style and adapt to any situations. Which is why I think it's a horrible mistake for you to box yourself in to this "style". Learn basics first, then work from that.

    MagicToaster on
  • BelruelBelruel NARUTO FUCKS Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    it'd be nice to see your reference images, think you could post a few?

    Belruel on
    vmn6rftb232b.png
  • LesterDMLesterDM Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Here's the reference for the third picture, upon revisiting, I do see the 'shape' that was talked about, I decided against adding any definition because i couldn't envision any lines to use. I am going to revisit many of the photos i have referenced and start practice with either painting shadows and highlights or using vector shapes to achieve those results. I see that a lot of amateurs 'posterize' the photograph. I'll see what I can do when more time permits.

    I'll start with this photo as it's desaturated and the shading and highlighting in color will be more of a challenge.

    any tips>

    l_b7889ea2c790293e4cba2f01f79c6955.jpg

    LesterDM on
  • CrowlestonCrowleston Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Someone else is going to get into it because someone always does, but for the sake of making this post worthwhile, using the word reference when you are tracing a photo is usually frowned upon. It can be seen especially in details, like the jeans, and where the hair is falling.

    To reference a photo is to use it as a base in what ever you are creating, something solid to be inspired, or guided by, not something to directly take from. Personally, I find its even okay to use a photo to create a skeleton, but to each their own.

    Crowleston on
    useless but necessary objects of society.
  • LesterDMLesterDM Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Crowleston wrote: »
    Someone else is going to get into it because someone always does, but for the sake of making this post worthwhile, using the word reference when you are tracing a photo is usually frowned upon. It can be seen especially in details, like the jeans, and where the hair is falling.

    To reference a photo is to use it as a base in what ever you are creating, something solid to be inspired, or guided by, not something to directly take from. Personally, I find its even okay to use a photo to create a skeleton, but to each their own.

    ?

    Thanks?

    LesterDM on
  • LesterDMLesterDM Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Crowleston wrote: »
    Someone else is going to get into it because someone always does, but for the sake of making this post worthwhile, using the word reference when you are tracing a photo is usually frowned upon. It can be seen especially in details, like the jeans, and where the hair is falling.

    To reference a photo is to use it as a base in what ever you are creating, something solid to be inspired, or guided by, not something to directly take from. Personally, I find its even okay to use a photo to create a skeleton, but to each their own.

    Okay..

    Thanks for the input. Point is, vector tracing isn't art.. this I know from the many posts from others claiming to be artists.

    Tracing implies to me that someone were to draw lines on top of a photo. That doesn't occur with my work. I do like the fact that some of you have added some ways to improve my 'art' I'll be back with a post in a month or two. I am not so happy to see that what I have done resembles 'non-art'

    So, that being said... I will continue to draw what I enjoy and look for ways to improve my lines without the use of any software. Until then i will enjoy creating caricatures for my friends and family, and get what little praise I can from them. The problem there, they are untrained, inexperienced and cannot offer any kind of criticism (constructive or otherwise).

    Enjoy your day, no matter who tries to ruin it for you!!

    LesterDM on
  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    So, wait... you draw for praise?

    MagicToaster on
  • beavotronbeavotron Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    i don't think anyone was trying to ruin your day
    people here deliver crits, which is what you asked for and tend to not butter them up first
    no one was attacking you personally, you wanted input, it was given... you take it for what it is

    if you really want to improve i'd say the first step is to separate yourself from your work when putting it up for public scrutiny. people not liking your work or criticizing it has nothing to do with you as a person and shouldn't ruin your day, it should make you think about it from another perspective and think about what you can do to make it better.

    beavotron on
  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    "The new guy wants brutal criticism."

    I think people want you to succeed, but you did ask for it.

    NibCrom on
  • beavotronbeavotron Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    yeah the best part is you asked for brutal criticism right in the title of the thread!!!
    what were you honestly expecting?

    beavotron on
  • TamTam Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    beavotron wrote: »
    yeah the best part is you asked for brutal criticism right in the title of the thread!!!
    what were you honestly expecting?

    asspats clearly. yes is the new no.

    Tam on
  • LesterDMLesterDM Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    beavotron wrote: »
    i don't think anyone was trying to ruin your day
    people here deliver crits, which is what you asked for and tend to not butter them up first
    no one was attacking you personally, you wanted input, it was given... you take it for what it is

    if you really want to improve i'd say the first step is to separate yourself from your work when putting it up for public scrutiny. people not liking your work or criticizing it has nothing to do with you as a person and shouldn't ruin your day, it should make you think about it from another perspective and think about what you can do to make it better.

    Who among you can say honestly, that when you produce a work of art that you are proud of, you do not want others to see it and say OOOOH! that's cool!! ? That's the praise I am talking about - a warm fuzzy in my tummy. No i don't do it for praise, I do it because i enjoy it, and I enjoy seeing the enjoyment the subject of my drawings get out of it.

    I wasn't implying anyone was trying to ruin anyone's day... It is a common phrase I use at the close of informal email. I would be offended at the insinuation that I am thin skinned, but it's tough to offend me.

    Again, I asked for the criticism, I appreciate the criticism... sarcastic, genuine, condescending or straightforward. It's all a learning experience. I have read the scathing remarks many of you have left on others posts, and would not have bothered if I weren't prepared and willing to accept a barrage of possibly passive aggressive yet educated insults.

    Question: Is it considered cheating to draw (pencil and paper) a picture with a reference of someone elses work? I find that drawing/emulating/plagiarizing others work is good practice to lead up to more and more original art. I used to spend all day on the phone, and draw draw draw based on photos and artwork from others. I was wondering if that might be recieved in a similar light as my post previous.

    LesterDM on
  • PROXPROX Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    It's okay to do master copies to study techniques of others as long as you don't claim it as your own and sign your name on it.

    PROX on
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    LesterDM wrote: »
    Who among you can say honestly, that when you produce a work of art that you are proud of, you do not want others to see it and say OOOOH! that's cool!! ? That's the praise I am talking about - a warm fuzzy in my tummy. No i don't do it for praise, I do it because i enjoy it, and I enjoy seeing the enjoyment the subject of my drawings get out of it.

    ...

    I would be offended at the insinuation that I am thin skinned, but it's tough to offend me.

    That last line totally contradicts itself. You'd be offended if somebody told you you weren't thick-skinned, when you consider yourself to be? I dunno, in my mind, if you're thick-skinned, that comment easily would NOT offend you.

    And not trying to start an argument with you or anything.....but while hearing people say "wow/nice/awesome/cool/etc" may be nice, it doesn't help me learn. I am honestly more interested in getting better, than having people praise me. Praise doesn't get me anywhere.

    The ONE and ONLY case where I'd enjoy praise is if somebody in the industry, or somebody whose work I admire says "wow" or "that's really good" or something....and even then, the reason I like the praise is NOT to feel "warm and fuzzy inside", but having them say that means I'm on the right track, and I'm doing good work that they can recognize as good work...and that's waaaaay more important to me than just impressing them for the sake of impressing them. The warm fuzzies are quite secondary to being told that I'm doing what I should be doing (to improve). If I've worked hard on something, and I'm very proud of it.....but there's a major issue in it that I'm not seeing, I would MUCH rather have somebody tell me "you need to fix this" than ignore it and say "wow, that's really good!".

    PROX wrote: »
    It's okay to do master copies to study techniques of others as long as you don't claim it as your own and sign your name on it.

    Or use it in your portfolio, or try to sell it, yeah.

    NightDragon on
  • BelruelBelruel NARUTO FUCKS Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    the problem is that you didn't "base" it on a picture, it was just traced

    tracefk6.jpg

    Belruel on
    vmn6rftb232b.png
  • LoomdunLoomdun Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Dont worry everyone he wants his work criticized so obviously we still have to wait for him to post his work
    ..
    ..
    .
    .
    .
    .
    ....

    ..
    .
    .

    oh.... wait

    Loomdun on
    splat
  • PROXPROX Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Nightdragon's attitude is one every serious artist needs to develop.

    But anyhow let's see what you come up with next.

    PROX on
  • JohnTWMJohnTWM Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Well, whether or not it was traced, we seem to have a problem with understanding basic English sentence structure. He said, "I would <blank>, but <blank>." This means that he isnt offended BECAUSE he IS thick skinned. That is all :D

    JohnTWM on
  • BelruelBelruel NARUTO FUCKS Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    john, so silly with all the semantics

    Belruel on
    vmn6rftb232b.png
  • beavotronbeavotron Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    lester: i totally copied other artists when i started
    it helped me develop my own style
    everyone does it whether consciously or not

    so don't feel bad about it or whatever, just like everyone else said, don't blatantly copy something, post it and claim it as your own. that's kinda bad, but yeah, draw whatever you want, emulate others, it's a good learning experience...i think it is anyways, other people will probably argue the point, but i personally learned that way so i can't knock it!

    beavotron on
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    JohnTWM wrote: »
    Well, whether or not it was traced, we seem to have a problem with understanding basic English sentence structure. He said, "I would[/b] <blank>, but <blank>." This means that he isnt offended BECAUSE he IS thick skinned. That is all :D

    See, this is why italics are important.

    I can see that now, but the way it was written originally probably wasn't the best way to put the thought into words.

    In any case.

    NightDragon on
  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I come here for praise! Love me please.

    But seriously though, praise has been an important part of my developement. I used to go home everyday after school and show my father everything I did and he was always really motivating because he was proud of it. When he died I almost got completely off track and nearly stopped drawing entirely. I don't think there is anything wrong with finding motivation like that, we each have our own drive.

    Also yeah, more tracing. I don't think you are a bad person for tracing, just misguided. And in time you may develope into a great artist, but you will have to stop tracing before that ever happens. Vector work can be cool, even through tracing, but don't be surprised when people around here are not impressed by it. Many of us, including myself, have done it in the past and it is not a difficult endeavor, and chances are you feel dirty doing it. I know I did.

    rts on
    skype: rtschutter
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Hell, I feel dirty using grids.




    Alright, no more derailin' for me.

    NightDragon on
  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Hell, I feel dirty using grids.

    Grids for drawing or grids for designing?

    MagicToaster on
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