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Hey there. I really want to be a professional illustrator. Mainly Fantasy illustrations or Children's books. but anything in the field would be awesome. I feel like my skills are lacking professionalism though. I feel like I may not be able to start now. Am I being too hard on myself? What can I do to push myself?
You should start thinking about colours in the shadows. Right now all your shadows and highlights are just different variatons of the same red hue. In reality shadows change colours depending on the route they have to take to light up the object. Take the blue surface underneath her for example. The light will first have to bounce from the blue surface, wich will give it a blue character. Doing this will make your object seem more into the enviroment aswell. Also, start thinking about the skintone. If you look at people there skin wont just have a reddish colour, there will be yellows, blues and even green parts in it. I took a look into the tips&tutorials-section here on CA and found this, itīs not the best one Ive read, but it gives a good idea of what to think of.
aw man D: I followed a tutorial for this too. Would a color theory book help me out here too? I guess my big thing is the contrasting cool with warm in the shading, then huh?
Nice drawing! Free advice:
1. If you want to be an artist, you should study as much as possible with actual art teachers. There is no substitute for working from a live model and getting real-time feedback from someone with a lot of experience who actually knows what they're talking about (i.e., a "real art teacher.")
2. If you want to be a professional illustrator, you should start assembling a portfolio of the kind of work you want to do--if you want to do fantasy bookcovers, pick your favorite fantasy books and do new cover art for them. The stuff on your DeviantArt page is good, but you need to produce work that demonstrates your ability to produce finished product.
As always, just my two cents.
I couldn't say based on one image. This piece has a stylized, cartoony feel (reminiscent of Vaughn Bode) which is fine for projects/work with that feel. I would say even given that focus though it seems that your drawing skills may not be quite there - there are issues with drawing, light and placement of features apart from the stylization that you need to work on.
My advice would be to just study the fundamentals more - work from life - develop your observation skills.
What do you mean by drawing? I understand the light, but I'm confused with the other part. sorry.
The main problems with drawing are in the face/head structure and feature placement - her foot as well is quite awkward. Head structure is off - possibly due to hair but that's where you alter the reference or your drawing to at least "feel" right - her ear is way low and probably a little small (being small is no big deal though - usually a good idea to de-emphsize them) - the eyes don't seem to be the same size - her left seems too large - the interior lines around breasts. Her foot anatomy seems very lumpy - like it is swollen. Figure doesn't seem grounded at all because there is no sense of "flat" space she could be lying on (no horizon).
Basically the piece feels very flat - like she's cut out and pasted on that background. This mostly has to do with not implying any "z" or dimensional space but also with lighting and heavy outlining will always flatten things.
Hope that makes sense and helps some.
that does help. thank you so much! ha. I was proud of that foot too lol. I'm terrible at them. I should do some foot/leg studies. as well as hands. and faces. I get that my faces are off a lot. It's hard for me to see that until someone does like a draw over or something and then I'm like. Oh wow...but thank you again for the help!
The short answer is, everything is unprofessional about this issue. It's not the worst thing on the forum, but it's not "professional grade."
Here's what I would suggest -
Do pencil drawings until you start getting a lot of good compliments, from the knowledgeable people here, on your pencil drawings.
Repeat with greyscale paintings.
Then move on to color paintings.
Don't try to jump into color paintings right off the bat, it's too much.
Unfortunately, I'd say Jack has the right idea. It's decent work in many ways, but you have to be of the caliber that people are going to pay you to do it. That's pretty high, and it takes loads of work to get there.
My issue with the piece is mostly anatomy-based, same as JeffX pointed out. I don't know how much life drawing you do, but if you're not doing it you really should. Anatomy studies, too. In pencil and in pen, to really train your eye and hand, and then work your way toward colour paintings in the progression Jack stated. Keep working, you've got the chops to get there with effort.
The Nezumi Works Sketchbook - Now in progress
My online portfolio
"Skill is the result of trying again and again, applying our ability and proving our knowledge as we gain it. Let us get used to throwing away the unsuccessful effort and doing the job over. Let us consider obstacles as something to be expected in any endeavor; then they won't seem quite so insurmountable or so defeating." - Andrew Loomis
there are anatomy mistakes in the style or there are general anatomy mistakes? I exaggerated a lot in this and I just want to make sure. is it that things dont flow with the style or I'm just "doin' it wrong" in general.
It's not so much that there are tremendous mistakes as that the flow of the forms looks like an early, not-very-good-yet effort. If you will go back to drawing, pump out a hundred figures over the next few months, then come back to this one, you will see what I'm talking about. Over that same amount of time you might do a few paintings, and your sense of rhythm and balance will get better, but not that much better because you've only done a few paintings. It's not worth your time to skip steps.
Last edited by Jack the R; February 1st, 2010 at 02:38 AM. Reason: Missed second page
Professional is a relative term. Your style beat's alot of comissioned work but there's a differance between say illustrating for toddlers or illustrating for teens. It depends on what you want to do as an illustrator or what your assighnments are and weather you can succeed at them.
Personally I like the amateur look and feel for toddler or most story books etc. There's a place for that. In alot of cases an amateur like picture is more interesting to look at than a simple but perfect PRO image. Perfection is actually a form of mediocrity if you can't make it original and interesting at the same time.
There's always room for improvement though no matter what you are doing and who you are targetting.
Scetchbook: View the exhibitionist's stuff.
In regards to knowing when you're ready:
Look through the artists that are featured in the header at the top of this forum. If you feel your work is on their level and can explain why it's on their level, then you could probably make a living as an illustrator. There's a big difference between getting work illustrating and making a living doing it. I'm sure you could get work if you put together a portfolio with a range of work in a unified style and found the right client (i.e. local or student papers, websites or blogs, friends, etc.) Making money with art is about networking and self-promotion. Making a living is about being better than 99% of the other folks making art out there; sadly you, me, and well, 99% of everyone else just aren't that good...yet!
You've got skill. Keep working hard, keep your eyes on the prize.
Both. I realize that I will sound mean in this post and this is NOT my intention at all. Please don't take it the wrong way. I admire your imagination as far as posing the figure, and the way her limbs are positioned is very interesting. Some parts are painted pretty nicely.
The problems are for one, the exaggerations are over the top. Her head and limbs are extremely large and her torso looks uncomfortably crunched. It looks like you understand some basics of anatomy but that knowledge is limited and not very complete. The biggest example is her ribcage which is just shaped incorrectly. In fact, that was the first thing I noticed.
I will second what some other people said about color. The background is so saturated and colorful and the skin is just a really earthy brown. When separate the are fine, but when put together the result is something that is a bit amateur and tacky even. Also, there is hardly any contrast in her skin and except for the exaggerated shapes in her body, she looks rather flat.
You would benefit from copying some colorful paintings from masters and working hard on your realistic anatomy skills. Then you can try a stylized approach and see the difference. Balance real study with creative projects and you'll be well on your way to developing professional skills. There are a lot of challenges and activities to get involved with on the forums. Keep working.
Schatz, I know all this is a lot, but they are all right. I want to recommend something that helped me out a long time ago. There's a book that is available called "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain", by Betty Edwards. This book will teach you how to SEE when you are drawing and painting. This book helped me out a great deal when when I started getting serious about my art. It is no substitute for a real live teacher, but It will help you, as long as you follow it's lesson plan. I have recommended this book to soooo many people, and everybody who has picked it up and used it has benefitted. It is a different approach to art, although there are a lot of good traditional lessons as well. Your art will improve. However, there is no substitute for practice. Draw and paint a LOT. And remember, all of our criticisms are opinions based on what our perception of art is to us. Keep in mind of where you want to go with your style and work accordingly. But if you are serious, keep at it, and take the crits as what they are: crits. Keep painting, and lets see more!
I don't think you need to go all the way back to "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain." I think that apart from the anatomy issues, your major problems are the colouring and the rendering.
Beginners tend to paint in "obvious colours". Grass is green. Sky is blue. Skin is peach (or brown, or orcish-green or whatever). There is very little colour variation. Just looking at my hands right now, though, there are bluish highlights on them from the light coming from the window, even more blue veins, yellow-peach midtones, pink knuckles, brown-purple shadows and so on and so forth.
If your style is very very simple (like Herge's with Tintin, or cell-shaded animation) then of course you can get away with making the whole face one or two colours. But once you go for more realism and shading you have to put some more thought into how you use colour. And even with simple styles, using less obvious colours to get different effects helps keep your work from being dull and amateurish.
Colour is a tough thing to use effectively. You want the whole thing to feel unified and not look like a mess, but you also want there to be variation and you also want to lead the viewer's eye to the important bits. There are things you want to abstract away and things you want to detail.
As for rendering, it looks somewhat blotchy in places it shouldn't be, and that implies texture. You probably want to be more careful with that so your people don't appear to have spots or wrinkles where spots and wrinkles shouldn't be.