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Am I doing something wrong? Including sketchbook

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Amiir

Guest
People don't seem to give much of a shit about what I draw. I was hoping that maybe someone could give a look at some of my pieces and pinpoint what's causing that. Maybe. If you gave me some critique I'd really appreciate it but even a simple thought is more than enough
I'm actually a bit nervous that I'll get panned or that this thread will be ignored altogether and that I'll just stand here like an idiot (which is much worse IMO) but fuck it, here goes.

1) Explorers today, conquerors tomorrow (lineart is sketchy I know but I liked the composition regardless)
1424632708.amiir_boh_2.png


2) Fighters of Ankberia
1426114368.amiir_fighter_jet_copia.png


3) High Military Fashion
1427742713.amiir_high_military_fashion_2.png


4) End of the Line (was too big to be featured here, one of my best works) ===> http://d.facdn.net/art/amiir/142800...e_auzigo_and_his_knights_5_resized_larger.png

5) Future Killers
1430078757.amiir_future_killers_2.png


6) Selfies in Space! (I experimented with a different brush here, as well as in drawing 8 )
1433190343.amiir_selfies_in_space.png


7) A Rebellion Rests
1431889912.amiir_a_rebellion_rests.png


8 ) Dying Over A Little Bread
1433694419.amiir_dying_over_a_little_bread_resized.png


9) The Beauty of the Cosmos (Space Exploration)
1433938376.amiir_space_exploration_resized.png


10) Killing With Style
1434743128.amiir_uniform.png



In the unlikely case someone was wondering, I like to worldbuild and all pieces except for drawings 6 and 9 are related to my main universe-world, the one I'm putting most effort into, complete with a most believable as possible historical timeline and maps. I designed 4 personal species to populate this world and I made my best so that each has a distinct look, clothing and architectural designs (even if there isn't much of that here) while still looking likeable. To my tastes, at the very least.
If there's one thing I have to criticize about my own universe is that it's devoid of characters. As of now I only made the protagonist (seen in drawing 10) but that isn't remotely enough. I guess that's the reason why my stuff's ignored for the most part? Like, what would Mass Effect be without Shepard, Garrus, Wrex, Grunt, Miranda, Jack, Thane, Tali... In my drawings there's mostly random people. Ok, I'll quit my rambling now, sorry



Any thoughts about the drawings?
 

Drexel97

Member
Well when it comes to drawing, I'm not to great at it, and i know with practice I could be but I'm to lazy. The point is I don't have the knowledge of how to nitpick drawings properly, but I can give you some thoughts from the perspective of a viewer! What I liked: I love the world building you did! I am a mega geek when it comes to stuff like that in comics and movies. speaking of comics, I love how your art kind of has that comic book style. its not that exaggerated comic book style, but still it was one of the first things I thought when I looked at it. I did like the emotion featured in the art, I found it extremely believable and realistic. I like the details on clothing, that's something I REALLY suck at, so when I see someone do it right, I like to say something. Things that I thought were meh: in #8 the blood looked out of place, I get that it needed to be there, and I'm not saying I don't want it, but it looks almost explosive if that makes sense? I feel like it would be more runny. some of the positions are a tad bit awkward but that is a nitpick for sure, more of them were natural than awkward, and it could be my unfamiliarity with the species. all in all I think its better than the majority of art I see on here. I wouldn't be bothered to much by the slow responses, thee forums have been slow the past couple days. also I hope I wasn't overly critical I really did like it, I just felt like I wouldn't be helping out if I only said the positive!
 

Kuzooma1

Understand It
Please take this with a grain of salt, but your work pretty alien to FA. Granted your work is more science fiction but what really mean is that your work very unique. I think a lot people go for more the fetishy content first then go for something that out of there confront zone second. I think you should try to find out what people want to see and start making that. Once you think you have a big enough following you then slowly up to people with your new ideas, or this case your world.
 

Charrio

Artistic Mouse
I really like your style and the unique race is cool too.
I do have to agree, it is a bit non furry or scaly for most on FA.

I'd add a character or race in the BG that gives it some fur, anything really
doesn't have to be a real animal, but just adds that appeal too.
But damn don't stop man more
 

Willow

FAF's #1 Terrorist
I'd say probably because it's more sci-fi and not actual furry stuff and this is a furry art site. I do like it though.

Please take this with a grain of salt, but your work pretty alien to FA. Granted your work is more science fiction but what really mean is that your work very unique. I think a lot people go for more the fetishy content first then go for something that out of there confront zone second. I think you should try to find out what people want to see and start making that. Once you think you have a big enough following you then slowly up to people with your new ideas, or this case your world.
I'd have to disagree with this because there are a lot of really popular artists on FA who don't draw a lot of porn or fetish content. Yes I know some of the most popular artists here are known for that but I'd also argue that most of them have been here since FA was started. You don't have to do what everyone else is doing to be popular.

If you post often and interact with your watchers, that'll also get you a lot of recognition.

Edit: I'm also gonna actually consider the fact that your account isn't that old yet so you can probably also chalk it up to the fact that you're new. Very few newcomers immediately get noticed
 
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Amiir

Guest
@ Drexel 97: You haven't been overly critical at all! And yeah, I can understand that the blood may seem a bit off as I don't draw it very often

@ Kuzooma1: I'm not very keen about the idea of drawing what other people want instead of what I do personally, but I see where you're coming from. I considered doing what you mentioned in the past. It might be worth a try. I may not like it but it could indeed be a viable solution. When it comes to NSFW I could be drawing nudes and maybe a bit more suggestive things as well, but I won't go as far as drawing explicit adult content (yet) and I certainly won't EVER draw any of that fucked up fetish shit, just to be clear. I can do a few sacrifices but I'm certainly not doing that

@ Charrio: Fuck, I never thought my species to be that alien. I mean, they are extraterrestrials but still resembling Earth animals, no? Huh

@ All: Thank you all guys for giving me your input, I really really appreciate it so fucking much :D
 
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Amiir

Guest
I do like it though.

I'm also gonna actually consider the fact that your account isn't that old yet so you can probably also chalk it up to the fact that you're new. Very few newcomers immediately get noticed

First of all, thanks!

Secondly, I guess you're right. I guess I'll keep posting and try to be more patient (even though my patience has grown pretty thin). I'll try to interact with my watchers more as well, despite not being a people's person. Actually, now that you mentioned it, how is it that I should interact with them? What am I supposed to do exactly?
 

Yamidog

Member
These are really good! Your art is narrative and good variety in topic while maintaining the same subject. I would agree that it's a bit sci-fi for FA, but definitely don't quit drawing your characters just to be noticed. You could draw more animal-y anthro in the same sort of thing in addition to what you're doing already. Your art is great by itself though - you have a ton of potential for super pro illustration-type work, especially since your composition is so varied and there's obviously a story going on in each of these, so it's immediately engaging.

If you'd like an overall art critique I'd suggest adding some colour to your shading layer (maybe dark blue instead of black) to give a bit more life - black and grey tend to suck out life from a painting. Also adding another layer for highlights to give it a bit more depth. But overall your use of shadows is good and consistent and it's great to see a young artist painting backlighting - that's a tad uncommon. Keep it up!!!
 

FireFeathers

Mr. Red Flag
Ooh! OOOH, I can do that for ya.

So what I see off the bat is a lack of contrast/ direction and appeal. Basically you have a lot of muted tones, some lighting, but not enough to draw a person's eye. The 101: Your area of highest contrast is your area of greatest appeal - where people look when they first see your image, it's a window of about 5 seconds that needs to convey the mood and tone of your piece. People are lazy- they're not going to stick around in an image if nothing interests them in that slot. Right now in a lot of your images, it's the difference between the choppy, heavier lines and the light behind them. Which for the most part you want to try and make that the eyes.

You've also got this long, somewhat unnecessary jawbone. Look at how things like Deer's jaws are structured, maybe build off of that. http://www.skullsite.co.uk/Red/red_lat.jpg I get the alien look and feel, but as it stands, they'd barely be able to open their mouths and their jaw would snap trying to eat something. That's not really something someone's going to nitpick over, but people do have that uncanny valley sense for stuff that isn't human. Shading with black's like coloring for a universe that doesn't exist. The environment bounces a ton of reflected light around, and shading with black would literally mean there is an absence of all color in the world. That's why it looks odd to people.

The gist is that you need more color in your images, more reflected color on your aliens to make them fit in that scene, they don't do that yet. Maybe try painting without lines, do some expirements painting only with the middle of the color palette on photoshop, do some color studies of objects under different lights, etc. As for "you need to draw porn or furries to be 2 cool 4 school" that's a sort of yes and no. People do like stuff they can relate to, and Aliens only relate if they're in emotional, easy to read scenes. You don't NEED furries to make it here, but making your aliens a bit more feline might help draw people in if you're going for that. Otherwise, I'd say keep to what you do, do what you like, and keep trying to learn new things and push yourself. Hope that helps!
 
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Amiir

Guest
@ Yamidog: Thanks! I'll try to keep it up

@ FireFeathers: Them jawbones make perfect sense and work just fine. If something like that were incorrect, being the nitpicky person I am, I would have surely noticed but that's the point: nothing's wrong with them
 

DrGravitas

Member
I don't really see anything wrong with your alien designs, in fact I rather like them. I don't feel the need to suggest incorporating more animal components if your comfortable with the design as they are, but if getting noticed is your goal then I might not be the right person to ask. I'm not very good at guessing what people like. :p

I will say that I agree with some of the above posts about style and technique. I'm a sucker for details, which I think is why I really like #7 and #10. But, #9 is a real stand out that grabs my attention everytime I scroll past it. Something about the use of color in that one, I think it's how clearly the star's light and color influences and contrasts its surroundings, and implies a great deal about the power of the ship's thrusters by association. Or maybe I just made that up because I can't express why I like it. #5 and #1 are interesting in their own way, but feel like their lacking in something. I'm afraid I'm not very helpful in these things. If you want to stick to using images for the backgrounds, I think you would benefit greatly from spending effort integrating your drawings into them. #1 does a nice job of applying lighting and shadowing that fits the background, but the levels of details are very different. Perhaps consider using a variety of photo filters to alter the backgrounds in a fitting manner. But, even this can be tricky to accomplish without creating a jarring effect.
 
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I think it has less to do with them being aliens and the designs themselves, and more to do with boring colors, textures, and contrast. It's not all bad, though! You often multiple characters in the same piece, have them interact, include backgrounds (fyi, photo backgrounds are terrible), design machines, and you add props that the characters are holding — all valuable and interesting things to illustrate.

Personally I really love the design of their military uniforms (the muted colors work fine in this case if you're going for realistic, and the pockets look like they could actually be used), but I feel you could use more work on some basics like clothing folds. There isn't much in the way of secrets here other than practice and observation. Even if you have some scrap cloth or a coat or something, put it under a light/bend it over a chair/etc and spend some time studying how it looks.

Shading — You seem to choose a blurry brush and sort of stick with it, and any variation (there's a tiny bit in the first one) seems to be completely accidental and in the wrong places. Here's some recommended reading that might give you an idea of what I mean. Drawing from life will also help, as it doesn't seem you're 100% confident on how to visualize shadows on shapes with certain lighting conditions. This is especially apparent in #8 — the bright lighting coming from the left wouldn't cast so many weird mushy shadows on the guy's clothes. (Not the best example, but note how the shadows on the guy's lit side are much lighter, and they gradually get more intense on the darker side)

Texture — Just about everything has the same texture — skin, metal, the pipes on the wall, airplanes, clothing, etc. Do your alien characters have skin or fur? If it's skin, look at things like a sphinx cat (note how the intense lighting makes the ears transparent) or look up some human skin tutorials on dA. Everything looks a bit different under lighting, and by using references you can make a much more convincing painting.

Color — I think this is your weakest point. Your palettes tend to be extremely muted and unvaried — even with something a single color like cloth, there's going to be variation in color from ambient lighting and shadows. This is a tough one to explain with words, but one way to start studying (beyond the standard "draw from life" thing) is to look at your favorite artists' pieces and study them. Why are they successful? What did they do? Explore their colors, take notes on their technique. See if they write tutorials. Do quick studies of their art (copying is wonderful for practice, but remember that your own style should definitely draw from multiple sources of inspiration, rather than just one). Color is hard to improve, but if you apply yourself I know you can do it!

Your anatomy on things like hands could use a little work, too — #5 has some lumpy-ass thumbs. It's okay to use a reference, and if you find yourself struggling with hands the best thing to do is to force yourself to draw them A LOT. Like, a dumb amount. Make it your strength. People look to hands and faces first to get an idea of emotion, and you can tell an unskilled artist instantly from how they paint hands.


Hope this helps!
 
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FireFeathers

Mr. Red Flag
@ Yamidog: Thanks! I'll try to keep it up

@ FireFeathers: Them jawbones make perfect sense and work just fine. If something like that were incorrect, being the nitpicky person I am, I would have surely noticed but that's the point: nothing's wrong with them


....This is why i don't write nice long critiques anymore. God this makes me so, so angry. If you're so precise on spotting things that were incorrect, I don't think you'd have a thread called "Am I doing something wrong" At least consider the REST of my critique.

You doing this because I yelled at your friend's photoshop fiasco?
 
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Amiir

Guest
....This is why i don't write nice long critiques anymore. God this makes me so, so angry. If you're so precise on spotting things that were incorrect, I don't think you'd have a thread called "Am I doing something wrong" At least consider the REST of my critique.

You doing this because I yelled at your friend's photoshop fiasco?

I have no idea what you're talking about. I have no friends and I haven't seen you yelling at anybody.
And (even if I'm still firmly convinced about the jawbone thing I said) I DID consider the rest of your critique, I really did. Believe it or not I truly am thankful that you (as well as the others) spent time and effort to help me out: you and the other people in this thread have used your experience and thoroughly analized my works, giving a complete stranger very insightful critique. That's selflessness right there

I reckon I may have been a bit touchy there, which resulted in me overlooking all the rest of what you said to focus on just one single aspect which, yes, could have been worded out with a bit more tact.
My reason tends to be fogged by emotion from time to time. Heh, that's a terrible habit of mine unfortunately. If I angered you then I apologize, you did not deserve that. If that's what makes you happy, don't stop making ''nice long critiques'' just because of one pissy guy. Just sayin'
 
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PlusThirtyOne

What DOES my username mean...?
Safari likes to crash on me mid-post so i'm hoping it doesn't happen again. i've tried thrice to leave my comments on your art here but for some reason my phone HATES this thread in particular.
Your character design are so cool they leaves me disappointed this isn't a video game or a sci-fi animation or something. Something like Mass Effect comes to mind. Like i said, i'm a real sucker for alien designs (for lack of a better term) and i'm difficult to please in that regard but your humanoid design really appeal to me. is there a long form story to accompany your artwork or perhaps a comic series in the works? i think if you tried inking your drawings and cel-shading them, they'd look more fitting in a comic. As much as i like sketchy drawings like #6 and #8 (and i mean that), applying color to pencil drawings looks way too gritty to me. Have you considered inking your drawings in a thicker solid line style or apply some cartoon shading? i'm also curious what your designs would look like with a mild texture applied to them. Have you tried texture "wrapping" with photographed patterns before? Something similar to the gun in #10 up there. if your characters aren't fuzzy, have you considered elaborating on the texture of their skin? Your style is significantly more detailed so i wanna see how far you can push that envelope. Your style falls just short of the uncanny valley of simple and detailed, if you know what i mean. There's detail, sure, but it falls a little short in the texture department.
 

Fallowfox

Are we moomin, or are we dancer?
You've also got this long, somewhat unnecessary jawbone. Look at how things like Deer's jaws are structured, maybe build off of that. http://www.skullsite.co.uk/Red/red_lat.jpg I get the alien look and feel, but as it stands, they'd barely be able to open their mouths and their jaw would snap trying to eat something. That's not really something someone's going to nitpick over, but people do have that uncanny valley sense for stuff that isn't human. Shading with black's like coloring for a universe that doesn't exist. The environment bounces a ton of reflected light around, and shading with black would literally mean there is an absence of all color in the world. That's why it looks odd to people.

This is clearly a point of contention, and while I think that Amiir's dismissal was curt, and I think your advice is generally good [it's going to be because your art is about two orders of magnitude more popular than most other posters on the thread] I don't think you've laid out a good reason to criticise the way amiir's drawn the jaws, in these examples.

Let's take an extreme example we can all agree on; I think you'd agree with me that most people would say that a jaw with two joints at the back, rather than 1, would not be able to open. You would need to break such a jaw to open it, wouldn't you? People just have a sense of what would and wouldn't work anatomically.

...except that double-articulated jaws exist in the natural world: http://palaeos.com/vertebrates/cynodontia/images/CynodontApomorphies3.gif
That's a cynodont, and its jaw is articulated at both the dentary-temporal and the articular-quadrate.
Modern mammals are only articulated at the dentary, and modern reptiles are only articulated at the articular.


Amiir's creature's skull clearly doesn't match a deer skull: http://storytrail.com/SabinoCanyon/images/deerskul.gif
but it is almost an exact match with a the layout of a possom's skull: http://img13.deviantart.net/1d19/i/2010/303/7/9/virginia_opossum_skull_by_fossilfeather-d31tr6d.png
It has the same flared zygomatic arch, flattened mandible and the therapsid window is confluent with the eye socket.
 
A

Amiir

Guest
@ PlusThirtyOne: Thank you for the compliments, I'm happy to hear you like my shit! And yeah, there's lore accompaning this little world of mine, a timeline of the contemporary history of these 4 races. It's... Quite a long story actually. I don't really post that stuff very often for fear of boring my watchers to death haha. I'd like to make a comic outta this but I first would have to write a script and, unfortunately, I'm terrible at writing
Those pencil drawings you see (number 6 and 8) were experiments to try out the pencil tool. It just feels so natural that it feels like if I were drawing on paper. Very comfortable, the only problem is that, yes, it looks a bit gritty. What I do now is making a second layer with the brush tool so to better define the lines but even so the lineart still looks a tad too dirty. Doing a proper, clean lineart is a better option, but it requires precision and patience. I blame laziness

@ Taralack: Oh that. I posted a few comments then unwatched the thread. I figured it had run cold or I lost interest in it. Or both

@ Fallowfox: In all honesty I'm using the human skull as a base for my creatures, then I take inspiration from other animals to differentiate them. Here, I made a drawing to clarify how a nisten skull (the nisten are the reddish ones, like in number 10) would work. It operates similarly to a human skull when it comes to jaw opening. What do you think of this?
1436105318.amiir_nisten_skull.png


EDIT: Note to self: get inspiration from wolf skulls as well
 
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