Incoming wall of text.
Not edited for typos.
At 12/29/10 02:15 PM, Kakashi1930 wrote:
Thanks. It kept looking so messed up to me, like he had a gimp leg. Now it looks much better :)
Your shading is very cylindrical meaning that you're leaving out a lot of the details of the texture of whatever surface/material you're working with and the intricate details of your characters' musculature (or if musculature doesn't apply, whatever rising and falling the surface of any object does). In other words, your forms are being simplified down too much (obviously this doesn't apply to your cartoon images, which are fine). The black dog and the flood picture start to break away from that issue, but it happens in many of your images and even in those two to some extent. For the sake of brevity--as I can become too long-winded too easily--I'll just focus on this wolf picture.
The biggest thing that hurts it is that you didn't put any definition into the fur, save for the outline. Since I get the impression that this is supposed to be a logo instead of a complicated digital painting, I recommend that you cell shade instead and use the boundaries of said cell shading to create your fur detail.
But also, even if you want to stick with this softer shading, there are a lot of details that you missed. For instance, the neck shouldn't look like a cylinder. Where you have those tufts of fur outlined indicating that it's convex at that point, there should be highlights. Also, on the back and legs, use your shading to define the muscles. Right now, they look like tubes. And if you have decent-sized, individual strands sticking out like you do on the tail and the belly, put some highlights an/or shadows on them to show that they have form.
Next, never blur. Well, I shouldn't say never, but try to avoid it at all costs if you can. Blurring robs your image of a lot of potential tonal depth. When you use too many shades of the same tone, your image looks flat. Consider that in reality, nothing is comprised of solely one tone and so even the simplest of drawings should reflect that. If you want to have soft shading, rely entirely on various colors to create your transitions instead of something like the blur tool/filter or any other tool that simply makes something lighter or darker.
Here's a poorly drawn and sloppy example of what I mean. I threw this together a while ago for the sake of simply explaining color theory so it's not exactly what I need (if you want more awful-looking examples of things you should and shouldn't do with color, I have them); however, although it's essentially cell shading, for all intents and purposes, it's blended shading simplified. What it serves to show how having a more diverse variety of tones can give something more depth and make it look fuller. What you would do to make this soft shading would just be to use more colors.
Another piece of color theory advice is to avoid white (and black as well). They're flat-looking colors in general just by their nature. It's not a hard and fast rule, but it's something to keep in mind.
Onto more specified details about the wolf, the shoulder of the front leg facing the viewer should be defined by a bulge on the back by the neck. The bone/muscle extends all the way up there. The ear on the left side of the image seems to be positioned farther forward than the other. The eye on the left seems to be in the wrong perspective.
At 12/4/10 01:42 AM, Kakashi1930 wrote:
Anyways, I wanted to draw hair. And fur. And I just thought I'd experiment with a different way of coloring hair and fur while I was at it. It was kinda time consuming, but the results pleased me.
I know this is a few images back, but I wanted to give some advice on it anyway.
The best example here by far is the fiery red one on the right, I think, both because of the coloring and because of how the strands seem to flow naturally--that is, given that this is intended to be short hair/fur. If it's meant to be long, then that leads me to my first point.
Hair is very complicated. In the two examples on the left, you have the right idea, but it's too simplified. The way that hair falls is much looser and more random than how you have it here. You do need to separate it into tufts when shading, but those tufts should be small and less prominent. This is a good example here. You can see the distinctions between one tuft and the next, but it's subtle. Now, this is an example that doesn't have a lot of contrast, so I'll provide one that does. There are a lot of different tones and values in this second image, but you can still see how it stands as one single object. It's one object that's broken into parts which are then broken into more parts. Basically, with hair, you need to start large and get smaller without making it look like a collection of many separate objects.
Secondly--and this is mostly referring to the pink hair--you always want to draw a strand of hair by starting at where it connects with the scalp and moving your pencil/cursor/whatever outwards. It will come out looking more natural that way. Now, I don't know if you did that in the pink drawing, but it looks that way. If this wasn't the case, then I'll move on to saying that you shouldn't have solid squiggles of highlights (or shadows) like that. Strands and tufts are separate and should be shaded as such.
Lastly, if you're going to have realistic shading, don't have hard boarders. Allow the ends of the strands to create your boarders for you.
At 12/4/10 02:16 AM, Lintire wrote:
though I'd never have the patience for that,
It can go pretty fast if you move fast, which is what you want to do anyways. If realistic hair is taking you a long time, consider not spending so much time thinking about where you want to lay your strands. Just let your hand do its thing (and in my experience, working this way makes hair come out more natural anyway). With practice, doing the hair of a medium sized character only takes a few minutes as long as you become acquainted with ctrl+Z.
At 12/29/10 02:57 PM, Kakashi1930 wrote:
Yeah, I probably could've made it more defined. Thats my fault. Maybe next time I'll get off my lazy bum and make it more defined ^_^.
Still, thanks for pointing it out.
I don't know if mentioning this helps, but the linework on your two middle legs there doesn't seem to be following the skeleton--or vise versa.
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