My first comic, and other art shenanigans

TopknotTopknot ArtistMichiganRegistered User regular
edited April 2014 in Artist's Corner
My apologies on my original post faux pas, either way starting my first comic. Please enjoy and critique

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AlexSmithRoyceSraphim

Posts

  • AlexSmithAlexSmith Registered User regular
    Interesting character design, but with your comic lay-out I would plan out the progression of panels in your script to avoid the blank space. It looks a little messy, but the art's quite good. Definitely check out some resources on panel layout.

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  • TopknotTopknot Artist MichiganRegistered User regular
    The layout was very last minute; once I drew the cells on the "comic" paper and scanned them, I felt it was too...expansive for internet formats. So I whipped something together fast to get my website going. Thank you though for the input, that is something I've been wanting to explore more. I'm always concerned that intense panel layouts will seem arbitrary with cell placement.

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  • TopknotTopknot Artist MichiganRegistered User regular
  • AlexSmithAlexSmith Registered User regular
    Really interesting look to these guys, but maybe you should consider giving them a more interesting silhouette? Check out this excerpt from a book by Chris Solarski that shows how to use body shape silhouettes to make more dynamic looking characters.

    http://www.gamecareerguide.com/features/1119/excerpt_classical_art_and_video_.php?page=4

    I think these guys would look really awesome if you thinned them up and made them taller, to accentuate their alien nature and different biology. In that last picture, for example, if you gave the inquisitor longer legs to match his (?) torso and long arms, it would create a much more dramatic looking character.

    (Here's a bonus resource for comic panel layout; http://www.creativecomicart.com/comic-panels--layout.html)

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    Topknot
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    We have a monthly enrichment that has some silhouette advice in it, too: http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/183444/oct-monthly-enrichment-thumbnails-and-silhouettes

    If you haven't I really recommend reading all of Scott McCloud's books on comics. He gives you a really good perspective on panel layouts and why you should do what, while also giving a pretty good history of the industry, that I think is useful information that a lot of new web comic artists lack.

    I agree that the legs seem really stunted, There's just nothing else going on in the design that makes me feel like they should be that way.

  • TopknotTopknot Artist MichiganRegistered User regular
    edited March 2014
    I do honestly dislike the legs in the one character design for my Inquisitor. I gave them that "chicken leg" anatomy and tried my damndest to draw it facing directly on and came up short because I really needed to bow the legs a bit versus how human legs are very straight. Thank you guys for the input and resources!

    Topknot on
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  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    edited March 2014
    I understand your pain, I have never drawn feet to my own satisfaction.

    But you accomplished depth and volume with yours, kudos.

    RoyceSraphim on
  • TopknotTopknot Artist MichiganRegistered User regular
    I understand your pain, I have never drawn feet to my own satisfaction.

    But you accomplished depth and volume with yours, kudos.

    ^_^ thank you

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  • TopknotTopknot Artist MichiganRegistered User regular
    A better example of my layout, original post was from my website. I felt it was in a much cleaner format for web than this, but maybe I should rethink them...

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  • earthwormadamearthwormadam ancient crust Registered User regular
    edited April 2014
    What are you using for these, you're getting a nice looking grey scale ink wash, whatever your doing.

    The last layout is def an improvement. Layout is really key though, so it should be the step that gets a lot of time and effort before the nice lookin' draw'uns.

    The layouts seem overly ridgid to me, along with some waisted white gutter space. Like if they were just moved around a TEENY bit, or certain panels were elongated, a lot of the wasted space would be eliminated.

    It's kinda hard to tell what's happening, but it seems more like a I'm starting in the middle of the story type of thing, not a confusion of what order of panels I'm supposed to follow.

    earthwormadam on
    tynic
  • TopknotTopknot Artist MichiganRegistered User regular
    edited April 2014
    I'm using Prismacolor markers, and I love what they do as well. Though there tends to be some digital touch ups due to bleeding.

    Honestly this is my first attempt at a comic and I appreciate the input, it means a lot. And yes this is the middle of the story, minus text and digital touch ups. I didn't think about putting the whole thing up, but will make a point of it some time. In the meantime, if you really want I can send you a URL to my site to see the completed bits. I am leery about putting it here for fear of the thread it being closed...

    Topknot on
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  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Topknot, You can put the link in your signature, that has always been permitted.

    Do you have any recent drawings that aren't these alien dudes? I feel like some of your lighting abilities/construction maybe holding you back, but its sorta hard for me to tell what may be intentional and what is potentially problematic. Things feel kind of flat, which I don't think is helping your panels read.

    tapeslinger
  • TopknotTopknot Artist MichiganRegistered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    Do you have any recent drawings that aren't these alien dudes?

    Honestly all of my older stuff is very sketchy and has less shading than what you see. These are really my first steps into expanding my work. If you want to get into specifically what needs work I'd appreciate it.

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  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
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    What it comes down to is, you probably want to start studying form. Your dudes are made up of simple shapes, which should mean that they are fairly easy to light and manipulate, but first you'll need to spend some time figuring out how to do that. I would recommend looking at these enrichment threads:
    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/172670/feb-monthly-enrichment-simple-shapes-light-and-form
    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/180484/july-monthly-enrichment-character-construction
    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/183444/oct-monthly-enrichment-thumbnails-and-silhouettes


    And some crits for other people:
    http://bacon.iseenothing.com/otherpeoplestuff/maleba_pokemon.jpg
    http://iruka.iseenothing.com/dadcrit.jpg

    Work on the clarity of your characters, you want to be able to get the general forms at a glance, which is especially important in comic panels.

    tapeslinger
  • TopknotTopknot Artist MichiganRegistered User regular
    edited April 2014
    I feel like you've just used more dynamic lighting, which is great and I definitely need to work on so thank you. But I feel like there will be instances where characters will be in more filled lighting, you know? In all seriousness though thank you, now I just need to implement this with markers versus I'm assuming you're using a tablet

    Topknot on
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  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    You may have more overcast settings where things are won't have such dramatic shadows, but you really want to pick how you compose those moments. Try not to think solely about what is happening to your characters in the world, but also make artistic/designed choices about how the composition is playing out. Above all, you need your panels to read. You want to get a handle on light so you have a complete tool box for building form, if you then decide not to use it in certain places, you'll have good reason too.

    Good books on the subject are James Gurney's Color and Light, and Imaginative Realism. Worth flipping through when you have the chance. Scott McCloud's books are also a great essay on comic composition and timing, I really push them on people who are starting out. Gathering the information helps you make informed choices when you are starting out.

    m3nacetapeslinger
  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    Iruka is spot-on about lighting these figures to emphasize their form and volume-- Personally I can hardly tell what's background from what's character in some places, and the distinctions between the characters are hard to make at a glance because everyone is flat, so to speak. The feeling that I get is that they are meant to look robotic and artificial, but they need to take on an appearance that distinguishes them from pure hardware for the reader to be able to get into them-- while the appearance may need to maintain the artifice to serve your intended narrative, the reader is looking for a figure with which to empathize.

  • TopknotTopknot Artist MichiganRegistered User regular
    edited April 2014
    What I gather from you both is more fall off in specific areas? Just want to make sure, honestly I was afraid to do too much contrast and darkness on the characters cause if I fuck up with the markers there is no "ctrl+z", Ha! I will def try to implement your suggestions in my next panel. At the moment I'm on hiatus for some character design and freelance work :P, I can practice with that

    Topknot on
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  • TopknotTopknot Artist MichiganRegistered User regular
    Any better? I just did a slop touch up on the PS

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  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    The other thing to keep in mind is that even with using physical media as a jumping-off point, you can always tinker with something once you scan it.

  • TopknotTopknot Artist MichiganRegistered User regular
    The other thing to keep in mind is that even with using physical media as a jumping-off point, you can always tinker with something once you scan it.

    Ha, funny you should mention that ^_^

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  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    Topknot wrote: »
    The other thing to keep in mind is that even with using physical media as a jumping-off point, you can always tinker with something once you scan it.
    Ha, funny you should mention that ^_^

    heh, I missed the update because I think I left this window open for a while before submitting the post.
    anywho.
    um, that's a little better, especially in the background areas, but still has serious readability problems in the shapes of the figure because it's inked without any use of line weight to gauge volume and shape-- foreshortening and odd shading choices around the claws of the hand make it hard to tell what's going on there.

  • TopknotTopknot Artist MichiganRegistered User regular
    New format with improved lay-out! Sorry you can't read them, shrunk so they wouldn't take up too much space. Check the site if you really want to read them. Third page has my attempt at digitally fixing flatness to drawings. I've concluded that the markers faded more than I expected when I initially drew this and I lost a lot of my original shading. Will have to just shade more hard core.
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  • TopknotTopknot Artist MichiganRegistered User regular
    So I art a bit slow...mind you I did this mostly with a mouse, but new character design!
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  • TopknotTopknot Artist MichiganRegistered User regular
    It's been a while, and I go very slow...but page 4
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