Hello I made some new drawings, would like some critism
1mo
paper
Hello, I haven't been here for a while. I got sucked up into writting and reading books (Actually I guess I'm still sucked up as I'm reading 2666 and other stories right now). Anyway I got so into writing that I finished another fanfic and decide to illustrate the cover and some opening illustration for it. The first illustration I did was based on this folio society cover of Dostoesky's 2 novel crime and punishment and the brother karamazov (the latter was illustrated by nigel lambourne, though i'm not sure who illustrated the former) I finished Karamazov when I wrote the fic and searched up different edition of it. I stumbled on the version below and just though of how perfect the illustration was (since the fanfic i'm writting is set in a fictionalized russia) but also because the tone of the drawing fit in so well with the story I wrote. So I decide to try emulate the style. I thought the illustration was done with charcoal, but I couldn't find my charcoal stick. So instead I used a glass pencil (the one glen keane use). But then after I did the value placement, I found that the illustration was done in ink. So I added that on top of the pencil work. In the end I thought the drawing was good, but the added red made it so the detail and texture of the original a bit lost. (Any thoughts on this would be appreciated) The second drawing and third drawing was influenced by the drawings of John Singer sargent (particulary this one of robert gould shaw the third) I wanted to capture the elegance and beauty sargent's portrait and applied to my own stuff- At this point I also found my charcoal stick. In term of feedback, I really want to know if the first drawing have a good composition and if maybe the style is too "slap-dash" and doesn't have enough rendering. For the 2nd and third drawing, I would like to know if my value and edge control is good. I really want to have that soft edge that sargent does- also here are the references I use( would also like to know if I captured the likeness) P.s. if possible, I would also like to know if anything jumped at you and it doesn't feel "right" But anyway, that's all, thank you for the criticism and feed back and I hope I didn't babel too much >_< (Oh and, even though it's been a while @Liandro and @Christopher Beaven , any thoughts?)
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Liandro
Hey, @paper, it’s been a while indeed! Let me go straight into the comments. ---------- 1st DRAWING I think adding the red overlay helped hide a bit of the original drawing’s dirt and smudge which, to me, felt a bit like visual noise. So I wouldn’t say adding the red layer was a bad thing. Honestly, yes, I do think the drawing looks a bit slapdash - although, to me, this is part of what makes it interesting, as I, personally, tend to like the rough quality and spontaneity of sketchy lines. To me, the drawing really doesn’t appear to have any rendering at all, it really looks like a loose sketch. As I already mentioned, I like the sketch quality it has, but if what you were going for was something with more rendering, then I’d say you’d have to put more time and work into it in order to develop the image to a rendered stage. I believe some elements in the picture may have become a bit too ambiguous - for example, the little dots on the ground to the left: at first, I thought these were pebbles or soil texture; but they also appear on the sky, so what are they exactly? Sometimes, intentional visual ambiguity can be nice to play with, but, in this case, I think it might have gone too far and could be making the illustration a bit confusing and hard to read as a piece of visual communication. As for the composition, I feel that the values may have gotten a bit spotty, as there are many contrasty areas spread across the picture. For example, the large black spot on the top right is drawing so much attention to itself that it’s hard to keep focus on the character. The best way to solve this would be to choose a focal point and make it have the most contrast in the overall composition, while having all other areas with lower contrast in order to create some visual hierarchy. ---------- 2nd AND 3rd DRAWINGS I like these as little pieces of concept character portraits. To be honest, it’s hard to judge these drawings from a likeness standpoint because, in terms of style, they look so different from the characters you used as references. I can tell which is which, so yeah, to some level, I’d say you managed to keep recognizable traits of each character in your drawings. But, in the reference, the character designs are so cartoony and stylized (awesome, by the way), and your drawings seem to push them into a slightly more realistic realm, with a much smaller dose of “cartooniness”, less exaggeration and facial proportions that stay in a more standard, “average” zone. To me, this is neither good or bad, it’s just a different approach in style. Anyway, I’d definitely not get concerned about nailing the likenesses in these - at most, maybe just consider getting a “recognizable translation” from one style to another. As for value, I think maybe you could try achieving a bit more tone variations with your charcoal. When I squint at your drawings, I only notice two major tones (light dray and dark gray) besides the paper color, while, when I look at Sargent’s sketch, I can see at least five or six major value gradations. Have you tried practicing with a value scale exercise? Maybe do some of these and try to make at least four or five different values with the same charcoal stick by varying there pressure you put on it and the spacing between the hatching lines. Edge control: honestly, I don’t think it is a noticeable quality in these two drawings in the way they are right now. Both drawings feel very loose and, to some extent, even a little random and untidy, so they kind of go the opposite way of what I’d consider “having good edge control”. Personally, I don’t see this as a bad thing - in fact, I think it resembles the same visual qualities as most of your other drawings I’ve seen, which I think is nice because, in a way, this shows that your outcomes have a sort of personal consistency. But the way the edges are being handled in these two drawings here is still really not very close to the smoothness and control we can perceive in Sargent’s work. Now the bar is set way up high here: Sargent became a true master of painting while he was alive, so of course his edge control should be very skillful. If that skill is what you’re going for, maybe go a little beyond just attempting to copy his style - perhaps investigate what fundamentals he studied, how were his practice routines, what kind of exercises and basic knowledge did he go through in order to build up to that level. Keep in mind that, in an artist’s work, there’s a lot more than just what the image shows, there’s a whole imbued lifetime of studying, practicing and honing of skills. All that is more revealing of the artist’s path than just the surface of one specific artwork. ---------- Here’s one extra recommendation: in future posts, it might be nice to organize your images in bunches, according the theme or to the specific assignment you worked on. For example, in this case, you could make some quick collages to assemble each drawing close to their specific references, and post less images in a clearer way. I’m attaching a visual example of could be a possibility! To make these collages, you could use either a regular computer software such as Photoshop, or even just a simple phone app such as Canva, PicCollage, Layout or another similar one (there are lots of those out there). Organizing the images in your post like that would make it a lot easier for us to see the overall scope of your work and also to refer to each image as needed when commenting. Whoa, this reply has become way too long. :) Sorry! But hope it makes sense, and hope it helps. Please let me know in case you have any other questions or thoughts to discuss. Best regards!
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paper
Hello @Liandro ,thanks for replying! As always it's very useful :D -On the topic of the looseness of the first drawing. Actually I quite like the roughness of it too, I'm just afraid people wouldn't like it because of how "unfinished" it looked. -On the topic of the dots. Yes I agree! After looking at it, I found that they indeed have become more of a distraction. (I'm pretty sure I was only doing it because in the original book cover I reference, there were random dots scatter about. and I thought of experimenting and seeing if it worked) But they were annoying I delete them digitally and added grey color to kinda implied rough snow pile. I also darkened the sky in an attempt to not so much attention to the rooftop of the house. I sacrifice the black sun at the sky, but I think I agree that it made less contrast and a stronger composition. -On the topic of the value of the portraits. I did as per recommend and study a bit on how Sargent draw. Then I remember reading this blogpost by James Gurney on Sargent's painting. (http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2009/02/sargents-painting-notes.html ) And though it was indeed more on his painting than his drawing, I've come to realize that he is using the same technique for his charcoal sketch. I.E establishing a standard half tone and adding the highlight last. I've come to realize this when I saw the Sargent's sketch I posted was quite different to his other sketches, where he would establish the shadow value first and let the white of the paper fill in for the light family (see image for comparison). So I speculate that he must've smeared his charcoal at the paper and "rubbed out" the highlight with a kneaded eraser- A genius technique, one would love to film him thrashing a farmer on the countryside. Anyway I tried doing this technique digitally. First adding a multiply layer with a darker value, then using a pencil brush, add white highlight to the forehead and cheek area. I did this for both but change my mind halfway for the second portrait and use Sargent's pre-establish value technique as to give better shadow shape and also made a more ominous tone. I also did 3 version for the second drawing and chose this one because I think it's the best. -On the topic of edge control, Oh! I didn't realize they give the same quality ! I never noticed that >_<. Honestly I'm not sure either if I should reach for Sargent's level of smoothness, as since I posted that feedback question, I come to realize that doing it so pristine doesn't seem as fun as doing it rough. Though I guess for this drawing specifically, that is what I'm going for. So I tried my best making it more smooth (At least the first one, since I like drawing of girls with smoother edges than men) As always I would love any feedback on suggestion on this. And Thank you again for the reply by the way, your instruction always make my drawing better :D
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