Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Unbelievably angry.

I've been happily working on that pchat doodle the past few days, playing with the concept, trying to see how well I could work up a finish and... Saving a jpeg for a CA critique thread I LOST THE LARGE FILE. I don't know if I'll work on it any more, but this is how it looks now. All 600px width of it.

I also made a book. PLEASE crit the hell out of it, I'd like to figure out whats wrong with it besides the unavoidable fact that its 'cute'. It might be unintelligible, its getting lukewarm reviews. So if you can figure out how to improve it I'll be happy, it'd be nice to have something small and dinky worth selling at babahogs.


Much love, and always check before you save.


  1. The feet, calves and carpet section of the picture look amazing, some good strong shadow behind the legs, good use of highlights on the leg to the soft texture of the carpet, but the rest of the picture looks really muddy. The softer shadows on the guy and the sofa don't make much sense either, mainly because you've still got a strong shadow on the wall behind him (shadows get weaker the further you get from lightsources obviously, and even if the walls are dull I'd assume it would have a softer shadow regardless of the tonal difference in the armchair and wall).

    As an aside, if the guy had that much paunch to him, he'd probably have thicker thighs (more fat on em rather than muscle though) and chubbier upper arms. His right hand looks a little big, too. And the flap on pants like that don't go that far down normally, so he's rocking a bit of a nappy look instead.

    Not that I think it's that bad, but the reflection in the picture frame would be different too- I didn't recognise it as one at first. If you think about how both the TV and our view are below the mirror (not to mention difference in positioned angles), we probably wouldn't see a a perfect reflection of the TV at all, just some diffused light from the glass in the frame.

    I'm sure andy can give you some much better help on colour theory than me though, and like you said you'd lost the file so couldn't change more.

    Onto the book, I think the style works really nicely, but the whole thing wanes in the second half and has no real resolution, and the link to the song (or verses you put on it at least) seems a bit superfluous, but maybe that's just me.

    In terms of pacing, I think a good few spreads in the middle would've worked a lot better with vignettes as opposed to one page illustrations- it really slows down the reading, and makes it feel like a list rather than having any particular rhythm to it.

    Nellie's character design works really well, nice and selective detail with good colour, and although I'd prefer some more animated poses at times (when Nellie first reads the paper and is licking the envelope seem slightly awkward, and the scale difference when she's putting on the stamp is a little noticable if not bad), I think you've done well for the most part. Besides the ostrich however I think the character design suffers a good chunk- the patterns on some of the other animals I think makes Nellie's design (which seemed circus related) a little less noticable, and the colour outlines don't really work since it's different to everything else, and is tonally too different at least. Another thing that personally seems a little strange is that you never actually get any feel for or see any jungle, and that none of the animals seem jungle related? I mean, a sheep? But I think that's just me being pedantic :)

    Clearly it's just a faux-kid's book, but if I was going to have a jungle in a book I'd really want to imagine lush greenery and dense atmosphere, and the bright colours of it would've let you get away with the patterns and colours of your animals a lot more. Even though you clearly wanted white to be the strongest value in the book, I think you could've tried adding a bit more of the jungle into it.


    Even with basic shapes and design, Ronnie Del Carmen gets a real vibrancy to his scenes in this book, but still uses white to maintain space so as not to overload the reader.

    Really nice embellishments though, and a good effort for a weeks work!

  2. Oh, and the last little panels of journalistic fury seem at odds with the rest of the books elegant design, change the scratchy pen look of the frames to some neat ones and you'll have it made!

  3. Your still doing the whole small brush thing.
    Youve got hard edges, but they are all between the objects. Each object has there own sort of rendering, which is all smooth and 'blendy'. I dont want to use the word 'muddy' because its more to do with colour. But thats what comes to mind rly. maybe it is a little muddy, youve got this bright tv screen, but everything is awash with a very pale ambient light. It needs to be a lot harder. Maybe it would be helped by more black aswell, it looks like youve used non.

    Also i know it affects me, but its helped me alot. Branch out with what brushes you use. Just using the plain old round, makes it look pretty stale in a way.

    The thing id say is. the Colour are ok, the drawing is good, your ideas/placement of lighting are good. To me it just seems like your brushwork/actual painting is what lets it down.

    Its all there, its just not put together as good as it could be.
    I may be talking crap tho....

  4. The art looks great, though I suppose I'm not in a position to comment on that.

    What I think holds it back is the writing. I agree with Marcel about the jungle, it's inclusion seems more to remain faithful to the verses you've included which, again, seem superfluous.

    When Nellie was feeling "abstract" I think I immediately disliked it. Your word choice on various occasions is one of the biggest complaints I have with it, aside from having no resolution. I wouldn't say word choice is a technical issue but stylistically at least it doesn't gel. Your use of "Notwithstanding" is incorrect because you have it as a double negative, "she didn't have the looks... notwithstanding... her fingers.." doesn't work; notwithstanding should act as a fancy "but".

    The following page has a problematic metaphor in "drifting wildly." Drifting is anything but wild. "Plowing" too is an odd metaphor as well but that's personal rather than technical quibble.

    The "certain liberal newspaper" reeks of pretension simply because of your adjective use. If that's the goal then great, but I know that Andy too found this, coupled with the abstractness of her emotions on the first page are two of the weakest pieces of word choice in the whole piece.

  5. Yeah, i found it a little pretentious. Even by your usual standards. Maybe your not pretentious on purpose, just feels like you were trying too hard.

    Also - Max is gud wiv dem words and ritings and stuf. Listen too the maan!

  6. I love dem wurds, i stoody it @ unibersity