Marco Bucci
Marco Bucci
Toronto, Canada
Marco Bucci began serious study of art when he was 19. He began with drawing fundamentals for 3 years before discovering a love for painting.
hugolotter
Hi! Im Hugo, im a second year animation student from switzerland and im trying to learn as much as possible to be animation-industry ready when I graduate! I would really like to work in feature or tv animation and im trying to focus on Layouts and Background design.
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Marco Bucci
Hey Hugo - thanks for sharing! I think this is a very well focused and curated porfolio. Would easily catch the attention of anyone hiring for layout/background work. Nice! My main comment is that I think you could work on pushing the lighting, to help service the focal point. Specifically, I think these are being hampered a bit by refusing to lose too much information in shadow. I think you'd benefit from letting your shadows eat up large chunks of information, but then hyper-focus that in the light instead! Paul Felix's work is really testament to the power of this. Here's a quick Google search I just did that brought up a lot of good results: https://www.google.com/search?q=paul+felix+pencil+art&rlz=1C1CHBD_enCA852CA852&sxsrf=AOaemvLTlmvK7N4MFX8adQ5gjT1jjXXffg:1631321272963&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwin4PSn2fXyAhUBFVkFHV0gDX4Q_AUoAXoECAEQAw&biw=1344&bih=759 Notice how he's really lumping light and shadow shapes together into clear families. And about 99% of the time, the information is targeted toward the light family (as our eyes are used to seeking out light for information; that is, we don't look to the darks for information primarily.) So doing that in your work plays to already-existing human tendencies, and can make your art stronger. You can try this in basically every image you've shared here. As a specific example, the palm leaves in the first one. Instead of showing the viewer the contours of each leaf like that, try clumping the shadowed leaves into more subtle areas of lost & found shapes. But the leaves that are catching light - those are the ones that need to be kept sharp! Give it a try - I think it'll really help your stuff! Marco
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Joy Nigam
I am a 20 year old artist from a third world country. Being an artist isn't seen as much of a profession here and I want to get to a better place as soon as possible. I want to get better at my current art and I am willing to put in very hard work into it. Please give me a few tips on which fundamentals do need to fix immediately, and which ones can I fix overtime:
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Marco Bucci
Hi Joy, Thanks for posting! I can already see the hard work you've been putting into your art. It's paying off! I like the direct nature of your question. I think I can take that on: The fundamental that most needs work is gesture. These poses appear quite stiff, which is a bit of a shame because the color and rendering are for the most part upbeat and fun. Gesture - or the pose itself - is maybe the most fundamental of all things when doing character art, and what I'm seeing here feels like parts of the body being posed without regard to how other parts of the body react in tandem. For example, the cowboy/pirate guy sitting cross-legged under the lamplight. The way that leg is bending looks very uncomfortable. It looks more like you forced the leg to be there, rather than breaking down how the body has to move to achieve that pose. Because gesture (IMO) is even more fundamental than anatomy, if the gesture is off, you then can't add the correct anatomy to it. Another example of that is the pink-haired girl seen from the back view. Her head does not connect properly to her neck in that image (I can still tell, even though the neck itself is hidden,) but it's not an anatomy problem: it's a gesture problem first. I think the best thing you can do right now is grab a pencil, or pen, and a sketchbook (an electronic device will work too), and go outside, find the nearest bench, and sketch people going about their day! Real life is full of so many varied gestures, and because the people are on the move, you will be forced to really think about how you can visualize someone's pose after they've passed by, and how you can jot down the appropriate marks to capture it. It's different than working from photo ref, because it engages your brain more. With a photo, the information is always there, stagnant, available at any time. From life, you have to develop a system of priority that you can reliably use when catching the briefest glimpse of somebody. That type of stuff really has helped me, along with many, many students I've seen develop over the years. Give it a try! As for what you can fix over time: I think your staging/composition is already looking fun, but the more you do, the more you'll get more subtle with your design elements, and how everything in the frame interacts to deliver the story. Think of composition as how you bring together every single other fundamental. So, in a way, the more you improve things like gesture, the more composition will reveal itself to you. This, though, can definitely develop over time, whereas with gesture I think there are things to do that'll help improve your stuff immediately! Good luck! Marco
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Carissa Nacol
Hello, I'm Carissa Terra Nacol. I'm a recent graduate from Savannah College of Art and Design. Recently I have moved from illustration to visual development and character work, and am looking for advice to be the professional I can be. I still struggle to know my strengths, and guidance for helping me see them and refine them would be amazing. I enjoy lineart and sketching. I like fantasy inspired by history and nature. Thank you and have a good Lightbox!
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Marco Bucci
Thanks for posting, Carissa! Scrolling through your stuff, I think there's a lot of appeal here. I definitely see a stronger application of line in these designs than color. Not that your color is bad or anything, but for the most part (particularly with the character pieces) I'm not entirely sure the color is adding to the presentation. In fact, it almost detracts - as when a viewer (or a hiring studio) sees color, I think there's a tendency to assume the person is interested in painting. But if one of your goals is to do character work, I would try a few pages/spreads where you eliminate color and only show the line work, or at the most the lines with a touch of grayscale/marker value work. I'm reminded of Jin Kim's work, how it's 90% line, but sometimes he'll spice it up by adding a quick value pass. It's so strong (obviously mostly because he's a master artist) but also because it guides you into his strengths and doesn't put anything else forth. If you google 'Jin Kim Art' you'll see several examples. As for the environment stuff: this is the classic portfolio problem. Do you show characters AND environments to a studio, and risk confusing people as to which department you belong in? (It's a lot easier to hire people when their portfolio clearly shows what role they're interested in!) Or do you bank on the jack-of-all-trades thing, which may better appeal to smaller studios that may indeed have you wearing different hats? For the first...10 years of my career, I did the former. I ONLY showed studios my environment work, even though I did also enjoy characters. That always worked for me. As far as a critique goes, your environment stuff (at least, the two main pieces I see here) are at risk of being too heavy on the light:shadow ratio. I'd say these are 80% light, 20% shadow. It's a bit of a compositional risk to do that, as it takes away from a good sense of staging. Check out a real great layout artist like Armand Serrano - who uses very simple tones to group things into big areas of light and shadow, which help serve the focal point. That's what I'm not getting as strongly in these environment pieces: a clear focal point. I think you do have them ready to go - for example, the dock in the lower piece could be a fantastic focal point in that picture, but you haven't used the lighting to bolster it and make it clear. I'd try a lighting pass on that where the trees on the left get grouped into shadow, along with the shadow patterns they'd throw on the ground. Then from there emerges the dock, into a strong contrasting light. Give it a try! I hope some of this is applicable and makes sense to you - keep it up! Marco
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kika27
@sokolovska_art Artworks done with pencil, charcoal, sepia, oil paints... :)
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Marco Bucci
Hello - thanks for sharing your work! While it's a little tough to do a portfolio review without knowing which type of industry you want to appeal to, I can make an assumption that you're interested in a fine arts path, based on the pieces here. I like the drawing and 3D form happening here. What I think is coming off as a bit static are your edges. It looks (to me, anyway) like you're going for a natural feel to your renderings, but the hard edges are fighting against that. Hard edges are fantastic visual tools because they draw the eye so strongly. It's a form of contrast really: just as a pop of light in an area of dark will gain interest, so too will a hard edge. The issue comes when too many of them are used, and the eye doesn't get a rest. I believe that is happening in your work. I don't want to suggest a style change or anything. But one exercise that may be of help (it certainly helped me!) is to begin your painting with abstract blobs of soft color and value passages, then adding key shapes and harder edges into it. This is like working in reverse: instead of starting with an "in-focus" drawing and then adding "in-focus" shapes, you are now starting with something cloudy, soft, and abstract, which you then *bring* focus to. By nature, this process will give you a range of hard vs. soft, and the goal of the exercise is to gain more insight into what that kind of range does visually, and how you can implement it into any process. A few artist demos come to mind: Jeremy Lipking's old portrait DVD goes about it this way, and there's a plethora of examples in Henry Yan's figure drawing book. Good luck!
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Jo Edgehill
Hello! I am sixteen ,and aspiring to be a professional artist in the entertainment industry. I have been doing digital art for about a year now ,and would like to find out what things I need to work on in order to get closer to my goal. I included one of my unfinished pieces (fourth), because I would like to show my "process". Any kind of feedback would be highly appreciated , thank you so much for the opportunity!!
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Marco Bucci
Hi Jo, Thanks for sharing! I think the main thing to work on (and this is true of so many artists, both beginner and intermediate) is gesture drawing. Gesture drawing may look simple, but it's the key tool you'll use to capture both movement and weight in your work. The poses you've got here are cool, and I like the shapes and shading (and you should definitely keep going with those things!) One thing I noticed, however, is that each pose is very close to what I'd call "straight up and down," meaning if you were to draw a line of action, it would essentially be very close to a straight line for all of them. Sometimes people do indeed pose like that. But generally a pose can be made more interesting by pushing those gestural rhythms, and the best way to have that as a tool in your toolbox is to do lots of gesture drawing. Thankfully, gesture drawing is probably the easiest thing to find reference for! My recommendation is to head outside - maybe at a park or something - with a simple sketchbook and ballpoint pen (pen, because you can't erase that), and try jotting down quick gestures of the people you see. Real life is full of interesting poses, and very rarely will you catch someone doing the "straight up and down" thing. I know Proko has many videos on gesture drawing, and I did a little segment on them in this video: https://youtu.be/gI62rHNtg2w Other artist recommendations when it comes to gesture drawing and movement/weight: -Glen Keane -Wouter Tulp -Dave Pimentel -Mark McDonnell -Glenn Vilppu (who has appeared on Proko's channel - amazing teacher, including with gesture drawing!) Hope this helps!
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Miroslava Reza
Hello! My name is Miroslava and I'm an illustrator, I like creating unique characters and connecting with people through my art. My goals are have my own branding and to be known as a character design and enviroment design. I would also love illustrate books for children's. Thank you for your time!
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Marco Bucci
Hi Miroslava, Thanks for sharing! I definitely think there's lots of children's books out there that are suitable for this kind of graphic work. The main thing I see here that I think is lacking is composition. It's only four pieces, so it's tough to tell, but the composition on these is basically all the same - that is, everything is centered and near-symmetrical. This will limit you in a portfolio, because subliminally (composition being the thing we all 'read' first about an image), all your images will start blending together. One of my favourite graphic children's book artists is Jon Klassen. His stuff appears so simple (and it is, in a good way) but his sense of composition is fantastic. His style is different from yours, but on the composition level I think it'd be a good idea to look at his work and see what you can gain from his compositions and what makes his pictures feel unique. Another recommendation to look at/study from: Benji Davies, who wrote the Storm Whale series. So much juicy mood and great composition, with such simple forms and shapes. Hope this helps, and keep it up!
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Brad Sutton
Hey everyone! My name's Brad (30), I currently work full time in animation as a BG artist. My long time goal has been to get a piece onto a magic card. However, I'd really be happy with any major similar achievement; D&D, Gwent, Hearthstone, book covers, board game art, etc. Lofty goals, I'm aware, but I enjoy the passion of learning and the journey along the way, to have at least tried my best towards it. Working in the field long term would be cool, but right now I'm just focused on eventually (hopefully) being capable of that that echelon of work. Here are a few selects from my Art Station portfolio, I wish the age range of these shots were a bit tighter, a few are a bit older and I've definitely grown since. I'm wondering if I'm on track/getting close? is it just more banging my head against this wall? any specific tips/criticism of the work is welcome! Cheers, and thanks for taking a look if you get around to it!
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brx sutton dune ish
brx sutton evilportrait
brx sutton frontierfinal
brx sutton girl on horse stage 14
brx sutton mtg knowing wizard3 feb4
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Marco Bucci
Hey Brad, Thanks for posting! You know what, I just completed a run of cards for MtG (which won't actually be published until next year), so I may have some fresh input for you. First, I like your work, and I think you're totally on the right track here. I like that your portfolio sample that you've shared highlights both environments and characters, as well as various types of shots and perspectives. I can tell you first hand that the folks over at MtG like that kind of range. My experience with them has been a heavy preference for action shots. I know MtG does have cards where the characters are still and "portrait-like" (like your female warrior piece,) but I would try to add more action stuff, closer to the dude with the glowing blue orb. Try even more action though, like people actively engaged in a fight, or a march, or riding a roller coaster. That is, different actions, but also different ranges of emotions that are tied to those actions. That will *really* speak to your range, and make you all the more hirable. Also, art directors generally know those things are harder to draw than the more static stuff, which will make your portfolio stand out more, even if they are looking for a more simple portrait. Good luck!
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Annalisa Sapone
Hi! My name is Annalisa, i'm from Italy and i'm 32. I've always liked drawing since i was a little girl (i used to draw cartoons and anime characters) but i've been taking art seriously only during the last few years. I'm self-taught and i mostly like drawing and painting people so i would like to do portrait commissions. Here are some of my works.
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anderson paak
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Marco Bucci
Hi Annalisa, Thanks for sharing your work. I think you've got a good handle over likenesses, as well as solid drawing skills. Back 10+ years ago, I also tried my hand at being a professional portrait painter. I targeted businesses (like suit stores who might want some original art featuring their clothing), and especially weddings. I got a few gigs here and there, though I found it quite tough to bring in any kind of consistent work. One thing I found that A LOT of people wanted was some kind of background - which I think could help your portfolio presentation here, as most of these are on blank BGs. But also - THE biggest thing - everyone wanted to be depicted smiling. I almost couldn't believe how unanimous it was. Nobody was interested in candid shots, or "serious" expressions. Everyone wants to be seen smiling. So my advice to you is simply this: get used to painting smiles (they're not easy either, as so many muscles in the face activate for a convincing, genuine smile!) and get lots of those samples in your portfolio. It's a small bit of insight, but I hope it helps!
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The Asian Sam
Hi, thanks for doing portfolio reviews. I attached 10 of my favorite character drawings below. 8 of them is original, and 2 of them is a original fan art of Dante and Zelda. I am still in college and I actually don’t know what I am aiming for and what’s my goal after graduating. I just draw, practice and rendering out my characters. That’s why it’s very inconsistent and I don’t have a style yet. Could you point out my strengths and weakness are and which aspect of the art industry I have a best chance getting a job?
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Marco Bucci
Hey Asian Sam! Thanks for sharing. I think your work shows tremendous promise, and is already at a saleable (or hirable) level. You asked specifically for us to point out strengths and weaknesses, so here goes: Strenghts -- Your 3D form is consistently solid and accurate looking, without looking overly labored or technical. That's great! It's also very cool to see a variety of subject matter, demonstrating you can pull that aesthetic off with more than one thing - in this case, from creatures to robots to costumed figures. I also enjoy how your color doesn't appear formulaic, and that you seem comfortable working in different keys and color palettes/harmonies. Weaknesses -- I'll focus on one main thing that could be improved: your lighting design. First I want to say that the forms here *do* appear solid, which means your lighting is at least serviceable. Before you read on, I want to make sure I say that your lighting isn't "wrong" or "bad." It is, however, not quite hitting the aesthetics of lighting that, say, filmmakers or photographers would be aiming for. Namely, in most of these, the light direction, as well as the type of lighting (hard/soft/diffuse, etc.) is not immediately apparent, and forces my brain to whir for a bit too long before I can settle in and simply enjoy the design. You want your lighting to reveal your design in the strongest way possible, and to that end, there are a few things I think you could try -- 1) Separate your light and shadows more. Build in more value contrast into your images. Take the 4th dragon image there (that green dude seen from a low angle against the blue sky.) I think that image would be much more powerful (lighting-wise) if you lowered the value of the shadows, thereby revealing bigger graphic shapes of light that would pop. This would occur in real life too, given this natural light. Currently there is an equal amount of visual information in both your light and shadow families, and I'd submit that viewers tend to get overloaded when equal amounts of information is presented like that. So, as a way to shake things up, try doing an image where you reveal 90% of the information in light (thereby massing the shadows into deep, soft darks -- look up Phil Hale for some great inspiration here.) Then try another where you reveal 90% of the information in shadow (likely this entails crushing the light side up to near-white, so you have lots of 'exposure' in the shadows. Drew Struzan did this quite often in his work.) 2) Have you ever played around with 3D software? That may be the best way to get a sense for how lighting works with staging. I say 3D software rather than just getting some real lights because in 3D you can easily toggle the type of light you're using (it'd be very expensive to own all that gear IRL) and you can move the light around and see near-realtime results. Grab yourself a copy of Blender - or better yet, something with preloaded models and lighting setups, like Anatomy360 - and just start moving lights around, playing with different ways of revealing the subject. One video that may be particularly inspiring is this one, by Creative Shrimp: https://youtu.be/5WjAXWjCJsY (Ignore the technical 3D talk when it comes up; just focus on what the lighting is doing!) 3) Use your choice of lighting to play with lost & found. One great way to deliver imagery quickly and impactfully is to lose information where you don't need it. For example, in your last image (the guy holding the shield), I would ask myself how many of those buckles and straps we need to see in their full glory. Likely we do not need to see all of them equally, as it is currently. There is, I think, lots of room to render a few of them fully, and let some of the other ones get lost (in shadow, for instance) and piggy-back on the more rendered ones. Viewers are incredibly good at filling in information - it's one of our brain's primary functions, actually! So exploiting that in your image-making almost always makes for improved work. All right, I think that's all from me. I hope some of these tips help. Keep on rockin'!
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Marco Bucci
I'm happy to be here! Looking forward to checking out some portfolios :)
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Kelly Ramirez
Yes! The class I've been waiting for! :D
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Marco Bucci
Hope you enjoy it!
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