Liandro
Liandro
Cartoonist and drawing teacher
Liandro
Hey, @Jo Edgehill! I’m seeing your post now, and it seems you already got a lot of kind replies - I’m star-struck with the support these people put into their comments. Hope you feel encouraged already! “Am I good enough to continue?” is a relative and tricky question. Instead, try considering this: are you passionate enough to continue making art (whether professionally or not)? Because it’s the passion what fundamentally keeps us doing it, not the skill or the money (although, of course, developing our skills is also important, and being fairly paid as a professional is also necessary). With that said, in my personal opinion, I think your artwork looks pretty good for your age and context! I’d say, if you love what you’re doing, you should definitely keep doing it. The feeling of not improving happens to literally everyone from time to time, it’s just part of an artist’s life - we just got to keep going and, eventually, it passes, and we feel the art drive come back again. But one thing is to continue making art; another is to actually pursue a professional career as an artist. If you do want to pursue a career as an illustrator, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s a long journey and it’s not an easy endeavor - the industries are highly competitive, the jobs are volatile, it can be financially unstable and it can take many years of study and practice to develop our skills to a professional level. And even so, nothing is assured. It’s not just a matter of being “good enough” (whatever that means), it’s mainly a matter of having strategies to deal with all these challenges and uncertainties. I don’t mean to discourage you though: as I said, I believe that if you’re passionate about your art-making, that should be enough to keep you making it, whether as a professional or not (yet). Ultimately, I’d definitely encourage you to keep studying. Learning new things is the best way to grow that I know of. If you can’t or don’t want to attend a regular atelier or art school, it’s totally fine to study online - but doing it on our own can make it harder, so it helps a lot to follow some kind of structure, for example, things like a “coaching program” such as the one offered by New Masters Academy: http://www.nma.art, or having someone specific to act as a mentor for you, assign you projects, give you personal feedback, track your progress and provide you customized guidance. I hope this helps somehow! Please feel free to ask away any other questions you might have. Cheers!!
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Elia Miya
Marshall Vandruff!! I lost my father and I keep telling my nieces this is my other father lol, hoestly I keep repating draftmen podcast to listen to him over and over I hope one day I could attend one of his classes
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Liandro
Definitely, yeah!
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Rose Bernatovich
James Gurney/Cesar Santos, they both make my jaw drop and share their knowledge in a way that makes it clear, understandable and fun. I'd love to meet either one.
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Liandro
Indeed!
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Rima El Awar
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Liandro
Me too!
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Liandro
Hey, @paper, it’s nice to see you seeking feedback here for the first time! Welcome, and hope I can help! From your reference artists, I assume you’re working towards a figurative style, so what stands out most to me as not working very well is the construction, which ends up compromising the clarity. I believe this piece needs some more work in defining forms, contours and values - as it is, all the elements seem to be kind of fused together in a mix of colors and brush strokes, and it gets a bit abstract, so it’s hard for me to tell what’s going on in the scene. I gotta say your reference artists are awesome - from a quick research I did, it seems Wyeth, Fuchs and Cornwell are situated in similar contexts: they’re all from the US and lived close to the turn of the 19th to the 20th century (therefore near the “golden age” of illustration). There’s something about their style that appears similar to one another, at least to my eye (except that Fuchs’s way to compose the environments looks pretty unique to me). Sorolla, on the other hand, seems to me to have been more influenced by the European vanguards from the early 1900s, especially by Impressionism - to me, the style of his work seems to be a little bit more “painterly” and loose. But one thing to be pointed about the four of them is how masterfully they work the forms and the light in their images - more than that “brush and paint” feel, there’s a lot of knowledge in the structure underneath, which is a big part of what holds the paintings together and makes them look so well executed. So, what I mean is that it’s awesome to have “art parents” like these - by all means, do keep them in mind as artistic models, and even study their work. But, when studying, I’d recommend not focusing on just mimicking the style on the surface (at least not in the beginning), but rather try to understand what’s going on underneath: how they solve their compositions, how they treat and stylize anatomy, how they organize the values and simplify the textures. And as you study in general, try to get a good grip on the fundamentals (perspective, form, anatomy, light, composition) - then, as you evolve artistically and attempt to find your own voice and style, it’s likely that something about those artists you admire will naturally and effortlessly show up in your original work. Hope this makes sense to you, and hope it helps! Please feel free to let me know if you have more questions or thoughts. Best regards!
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Liandro
Great construction of the facial bones and features, @Maria J Venegas-Spadafora! Pretty good lighting too!
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Liandro
This looks awesome, @Richard Ennis! What better time to restart than now? 😄 Welcome back, and feel free to count on this community for feedback and support!
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Liandro
Best of luck, @jcarter20! Let us know how it turns out! 🙌🏻
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Liandro
Nice examples, @William P, and super important topic to be brought up. Construction is essential in most cartoon styles too, and it’s something many beginners tend to overlook or ignore. After some practice of this, even when we’re sketching more fast and freely and don’t literally draw a construction layer, I’d say we’re somewhat visualizing the parts and making some kind of quick “mental construction”, don’t you think? 🙂 I really like the expression on the character to the right, and I love the “inky” quality of your lines. 👍🏻
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Liandro
Hey @William P, this is pretty cool! This “semi-realistic” style of cartooning is strongly based on the construction of the realistic head, so, if you’re having trouble drawing lips, you might wanna check How to Draw Lips – Anatomy and Structure for some general tips on the basic structure - then, you can adapt, exaggerate or stylize based off the average proportions. Also, you might wanna consider exactly what is giving you a hard time having the head face forward - is it the construction, perhaps the alignment or proportion of the features? Maybe it’s general perspective, or it might be something else? Depending on what it is, there might be suggestions of different materials to study from, so feel free to elaborate and let us know if you’d like. As a general recommendation, I’d say How to Draw the Head from Any Angle and How to Draw the Head – Front View might already be helpful. Keep up the good work!
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Anubhav Saini
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Liandro
Hey @Anubhav Saini, so sorry for the late reply! . Yes, I think the gestures are fluid; . and no, it doesn’t look stiff to me! In other words, good job! I like the balance between simplicity and clarity you’ve been achieving with these! In my opinion, it’s a good-looking batch of gestures, and I agree with Andrew regarding the proportion aspect: over some more mileage, you should be able to be more aware of these size relationships during gesture. And, after all, proportion is something we can always adjust at later stages, so, as long as your gestures feel natural and alive, I’d say you don’t need to worry too much about nailing proportion on the first lines. As a suggestion, I’d say you could try playing a bit more with exaggeration, push the poses some more: think of the line of action and see how far you can take it while maintaining the clarity of the pose and the action. Hope this helps! Keep it up 👍🏻
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Charline B.R.
That would be to be an independant comic artist, or graphic novel illustration artist with my own project and company. I already tried working in video game studio and saw from my eyes how it can quickly turn to hell. It cooled me down to try again any team work in "the industry". But being independant and managing to live from it would be a dream. Also I speak about independant and personal creation, not freelancing. :') Yet I'm growing old and don't fancy it happening, I'm already happy to make progress as an hobbyist now.
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Liandro
From what I've been seeing, this digital age we live in seems like virtually the most fortunate time in history to be an independent artist - if we can connect to almost anyone around the world through the internet, there should be a niche audience out there who is interested in what we want to create. The biggest challenges: finding that audience; and creating meaningful art in order for that audience to feel driven by, connected to and willing to independently support it. So living in a favorable time doesn't make it easy... but it's possible. If there are so many other artists doing it, why couldn't we? :)
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Zoungy Kligge
My dream art job pays the bills, while providing a sense of creativity, freedom, purpose, and wonder. I get to work alone sometimes but also connect with a team at other times. The team is cool. It's easy to communicate with them even through our challenges. There are elements of storytelling, and an appreciation for drawing, craft, color, emotion. I don't know what the job is called but I've described it.
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Liandro
That's clever! Often, when we think of "dream jobs", we think about titles, companies or industries... but so much of the daily challenges in almost every job involves communication and dealing with the people we work with. I definitely agree, a dream job could only ever be dreamy if it includes a "dream team". :)
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Yiming Wu
Being able to draw/paint without worrying about living costs and stuff... I don't want to have an art *job* but if there's people want to pay for stuff I do then cool, just don't tell me what to do XD.
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Liandro
Sounds like a dream, haha! :D
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Liandro
Hey, @persona937, I think this is a good drawing! Taking in consideration that you're not familiar with the medium, I'd call it a nicely done job. I just checked the reference photo and, differently than what Antti mentioned, I don't see such relevant proportion issues. I see a few small things such as the size of the hands (which seem a tiny bit too big), the foreshortening of the left foot and the right arm (which maybe needs to be emphasized a tad), and the left shoulder (which seems to be very slightly larger than what it should) - but I think none of that is worth any concern at this point. Since the drawing is finished now, I wouldn't bother changing anything anymore, and, for future record, these kind of proportion slips are little things that you can adjust with relatively low effort at an earlier stage of the drawing, so just remain aware of checking for proportions in your process - and, in the long run, as your eye gain even more training, such proportion mistakes are likely to happen less and less if you keep yourself aware of them in your regular exercising. Two other things stand out to me though as more relevant to focus a critique on for this drawing: . Value range - I think your drawing may be a bit too light overall. We see a few very small dark spots, but the bigger forms almost don't have any mid to dark values. Since this is a shading exercise, designing how the values will fit in the composition is a very important part. Quick exercise tip: put your drawing right next to the reference, then squint your eyes and try comparing how dark and how light the values look in one and in the other. One practical suggestion I'd give is to spread out some more darker values throughout the drawing: the guy's hair, the staff. Bigger shadow areas, such as the right side of the torso and the pinch below the right scapula, could also get darker - having darker shadows would give you more room to work a greater variety of halftones in areas of light. Getting a wider value range overall would also help you do a more refined modeling of the forms, which will then give the drawing a greater sense of 3-dimensionality. Also, you might want to dare using less contour lines so that your drawing holds itself together just on shading and value contrasts. . Anatomy - It seems to me you did a nice job drawing from observation; however, applying a deeper anatomy knowledge into a drawing like this would not only make the result more consistent, but also make you more confident and deliberate about how you draw it. So my suggestion would be to maybe consider going through Proko's Anatomy of the Human Body course as a possible next step (in case you're done with the Figure Course by now - if not, make sure to go through Figure first, as it should help a lot with Anatomy later on). Take it easy though - this suggestion is something for the long run! For this drawing in itself (especially because it's still part of the Figure course, not the Anatomy course), I'd just leave it the way it is and simply be aware that anatomy is an area where you can put in some study effort in a near future. Keep in mind that Proko's Anatomy course is super long and dense, so it might take several months to complete (or, depending on how much time you can dedicate to study, even some years - which was my case a while ago...), but take your time - if you're really interested in strengthening figure drawing skills, it will be totally worth the while. Regarding shading study resources: besides @Antti Kallinen's awesome suggestion about @Steven Zapata's Secrets of Shading course, I thought you might also like to take a look at @Dorian Iten's The Shading Course – Fundamentals of Realism, Light & Shadow. That's it! Hope it's not too much, and hope it helps. Please let me know if you have any questions or believe I can help with anything else. Best of luck! And keep it up!
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Rubén Frutos
Here's the new version after @Steve Lenze 's critique. I actually went back to my color sketch, and touched it up a bit. Which means that I screwed up trying to "render" the bg and got carried away with contrast and detail. Thanks a lot for the critique!! It helped me out a lot. I'd still love to know what you guys think about it!!
osov2
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Liandro
This is gorgeous, @Rubén Frutos! Lovely concept, great scene. I feel like the color choices really match the idea described in the brief. Very assertive value design too. I see @Steve Lenze already gave you some precious help - I like this new version better too! Great job! I understand your goal was to design a keyframe, but I see a few character related things which I believe I’d spend some more time on - since you asked for feedback, and this is supposed to be a character-focused shot, I figured you might like me to mention: . The pose of the bear. To me, it feels a bit like he’s lifting his paw, but is standing still on the same spot (like a “fake walk”) - I think I’d go after some reference to make it look like he’s in an active forward motion, walking or maybe even slightly running. . The girl’s facial expression. Since the story is about the beginning of a big adventure, I imagine it would be nice to make her look a lot more excited and happy, maybe with wide open eyes, a hopeful and confident smile showing through. I think I’d also change her body language to match this excitement, perhaps push her torso forward, tense up her legs just a little, pull her hands a bit upward closer to her heart? That’s it - hope it helps. Best regards!
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Liandro
Hey, @nahgul! This is a pretty nice sketch, I like the colors, mood and brushwork. Overall, what I think could be worked some more is a stronger definition of the face and neck anatomy, and also spend some more time designing the edges: keep the edges more crisp near the facial features in light in order to draw attention to them as a focal point, and then make the edges in shadow areas and on the outer silhouette softer, maybe even blending a bit with the background. I did a little paint-over and attempted to explain the main aspects of my thought process with a GIF - despite there might likely be flaws (I'm not a painter :D), hope I can at least get the point across. Please see the images attached and, if you have any questions, just let me know! Hope this helps. Keep it up!
nah1
n5
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Liandro
Hey @Matthew Alexander! I really enjoy looking at the expressiveness of these lines. They feel energetic and somewhat carefree. As a quick and loose sketch, I think it looks pretty cool! If this was to be a more developed drawing though, I’d say it could use some more work on defining the anatomical forms of the facial features. It would also be nice to design the values and edges in order to enhance your composition - for example, at first glance, I’d add stronger value contrasts on the eyes and brows, and soften the edges of the sides of the head. For the hair and external areas, I think I’d keep the loose and abstract lines because I personally like the style, but a nice alternative would be to work more subtle textures and some atmospheric perspective. Maybe you’d like to check out (or review) Stan’s lessons and demos for more information, techniques and ideas: Portrait Drawing Fundamentals Also, I second @Steve Lenze’s comment on alignments and placement of the facial elements. Long before shading, it’s essential to figure out the structure and construction of the forms - it’s what holds the drawing together! Hope this helps! Good studies!
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Jo Edgehill
Here's my attempt to fix it a bit (I also added in some color haha) .
Screenshot 20211222 214211
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Liandro
I love these colors!
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Steve Lenze
Hey Jo, sorry I've been away for a while, but I wanted to give you some help on your drawing. I did a draw over to show you some things that I think will help. Just remember, if it doesn't look right, build it out of shapes in perspective. Always think of your drawing as a 3D object... and don't forget gesture! hope this helps Jo :)
twist
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Liandro
Hey, @Jo Edgehill! I just wanted to reinforce @Steve Lenze’s observations - these are pretty much the same things I would critique too (great feedback by the way, Steve). Simplifying the limbs as simple volumes such as cylinders, spheres and/or boxes is what will help you solve most perspective, proportion and construction issues when drawing the human figure. In order to do this with confidence, also make sure you’re familiar with the general basics of linear perspective! About the dynamics: in this pose in particular, a big part of what makes it look dynamic in your reference is the vigorous tilt on the upper torso, where we really feel one side of her waist pinching, and the other stretching. (Again, Steve’s diagram is a helpful pointer!) Parts facing opposing directions can make poses dynamic - in this case: the head is facing front, the torso is facing rightward, the hips are facing slightly left. When possible, try deliberately pushing, exaggeration these motions - it often helps. If you’d like more helpful insights and information on this, make sure to check out (or review, in case you’ve seen) all lessons in Proko’s Figure Drawing Fundamentals course! Hope this helps. Best regards!
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