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Artist Resources Fan Art Forum Critique Group

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by HanSolo29, Mar 19, 2011.

Moderators: Corellian_Outrider
  1. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    This thread is intended for serious critiques ONLY! Comments that are posted intentionally to be harsh, demeaning or hateful towards the artist will not be tolerated. All comments must abide by the TOS at all times. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.


    Welcome to the Fan Art Critique Group! This thread is intended to be a resource for artists seeking help, opinions or recommendations about a particular piece of artwork. Simply post an image of your artwork here to display and the group will do the rest.

    What is an art critique and how do I survive it?
    Source found here

    It can be invaluable to an artist who needs or wants outside input to have access to a caring person with experience and knowledge in art. Another?s eyes might help an artist see their work more clearly and the artist might learn much via constructive criticism.


    • A critique is a planned exercise or discussion agreed on by all parties. It is NOT involuntary criticism thrown at an artist while caught off-guard, against their wishes or without their expressed permission.


    • Getting work evaluated by others can be invaluable and one of the very best or the worst experiences for an artist. If an artist is NOT PREPARED to accept some negative criticism then they will definitely get their feelings and egos hurt by a critique - a complete waste of time and causing unnecessary pain.


    • A critique is useless if the artist just receives a pat on the back! Expect and hope for some negative yet constructive criticism! Hope for compliments but be more prepared for negative comments, suggestions for further study in areas needing improvement, or even insults!


    • Try to stay calm during the critique. Make notes about any questions you might have on any comments made about your work. Try to have all of your questions answered during or directly after the critique by someone you respect as an artist. Then take your hurt feelings home or to a coffee shop and try to calm down. Be prepared to ignore those comments which you feel are totally invalid, but don't dismiss any comment too quickly. Try to be very objective about your work. Think about each of the valid comments, and what you can do to remedy any problems in your work that were addressed.



    Do's and Don't's of the critical evaluation:
    Compiled by Princess-Leah

    Do...empathize with the artist whom you offer constructive assistance. It's a big step to open art and soul up for critique.

    Don't...tell an artist they have a bad idea.

    Do...keep in mind that those sharing their criticisms may have ideas and solutions that you haven't thought of. You asked for their help and they are giving it.

    Do...tell an artist what they're doing right, placing criticisms between positive statements, focus on the solution not the weakness. Focusing only on weaknesses is counter productive.

    Don't...intimidate; one-up or deliver judgment. This is destructive.

    Do...make sure that the criticism being given is constructive to the situation. State the issue and let the artist fix it (if they choose to do so)

    Do...ask the artist their thoughts and what they feel about your critique, adapt an attitude of a team member trying to help a colleague (regardless of their skill level). If you have your own artwork, then offer yours up for critique. This can only help stimulate artistic dialogue and expedite the learning process.

    Don't...attack an artist's traits/character, or degrade or demean their *works. It's unprofessional, distasteful and unwelcomed.

    *Not everyone is trying for the professional art gig. Many people are creating simply because they love to express themselves in an artistic way and more than likely want to improve their abilities. It's best to leave the "big, bad world" stuff to teachers, mentors, jurors, and p/>
  2. Tarsier Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2005
    star 3
    Well, if no one else is going to go, I'll give it a shot. :)

    [image=http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2011/078/6/1/star_wars__tooke_by_jadetarsier-d3c0a38.jpg]
    Tooke 1
    [image=http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2011/079/a/7/star_wars__tooke_backflip_by_jadetarsier-d3c3goe.jpg]
    Tooke 2

    They were both drawn in pencil, the first was cleaned up a bit in Photoshop.

    I'm a complete beginner, so any advice is much appreciated. I'm not too emotionally invested in these pieces, so feel free to tear them apart. Specifically, I really don't know how to go about shading (especially without a reference) so any tips on that would great.
  3. Iverna Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 20, 2008
    star 3
    Okay! I'll kick this off then. First of all, d'aww. I have no idea what it is, but it's adorable!

    I can't say much about proportions etc here since it's basically a cartoon; it looks fine to me, though. I like how you showed the backflip, actually, very cool.

    Shading-wise, I see what you mean; there's not much there, especially in the first one. If you want to shade something properly and you have no reference, the first thing to do is to decide where the light is coming from. I'd always go with the front, top, and either left or right; it's much easier to shade when the light's coming from above, because that's what we're used to seeing, and from the front of the page (as it were) is always easier as well.

    So once you have your light source, look at the shape. Which parts are facing away from the light source? They'll be darker. So start with those - don't immediately go REALLY dark though. Save that for details at the end. If you're working in pencil, you can't add highlights, you can only go progressively darker, so you'll end up shading most of it and just leaving the highlights white.

    Keep the shape of what you're drawing in mind. Try to see it in 3D. Figure out which parts will block the light from other parts. I've done a few really, really rough sketches in Photoshop which will hopefully give you an idea of light and shadow here:

    [image=http://i971.photobucket.com/albums/ae198/ivernasolo/Sketches/tooke-1.png] [image=http://i971.photobucket.com/albums/ae198/ivernasolo/Sketches/tooke-2.png] [image=http://i971.photobucket.com/albums/ae198/ivernasolo/Sketches/tooke-3.png] [image=http://i971.photobucket.com/albums/ae198/ivernasolo/Sketches/tooke-4.png]

    And an animated gif to help you see the progress:

    [image=http://i971.photobucket.com/albums/ae198/ivernasolo/Sketches/tooke.gif]

    Forgive the messiness, but you get the idea, right? You can see how the shading lends the creature a 3D look and gives depth and so on. And one one thing - oftentimes, you'll get a reflected bit of light in the "shaded" parts. You can see it on the belly here; I put in a bit of highlight there. That's because when you've got a strong light source or a lightish surface or both, some light will often reflect upwards. It lends a bit more 3D to it as well.

    You did better with the shading on the second one, and it's very smooth. The main problem I can see is that it doesn't look as round as it ought to. I can't tell where the light is supposed to be coming from here, but I think the front since the back hind leg is darker? So I think there's too much shading in the middle (where the ear is) and not enough at the edges. The middle should be lightest, and the edges, including along the top (from where we're looking) of the leg and the belly.

    Once you've got the basics down, pay attention to details; the claws are rounded as well so add a bit of shading along one edge, as well as the different parts of the paw. Same goes for all the other features. The white dot on the eye, which I presume is reflected light, needs to be in the direction of the light source, wherever you decided that is.

    Okay, this turned into more of a tutorial than critique, I guess, but I hope it helps. The big lesson here - never ask me for tips, I'll talk your ear off. :p
  4. Tarsier Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2005
    star 3
    Awesome! Thanks so much, Iverna! I wasn't expecting a whole tutorial. :D

    I definitely need to work on seeing things in 3D - I tend to see two lines overlapping and figure there ought to be a shadow somewhere...8-} The reflected light sounds tricky, thanks for sketches and the gif, they help a lot.

    I really can't thank you enough, Iverna, I can't believe you took so much time to respond!
  5. Corellian_Outrider Art Curator | Oceania RSA | CR of NSW

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2002
    star 5
    Bringing this useful resource thread back to the foreground for everyone to use.
Moderators: Corellian_Outrider