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Critique: What are my artistic flaws?

Robinik

Grotesque freak.
Currently, I only have 69 watchers on FurAffinity despite having this account since 2016, and I barely get any engagement, so I can't help but wonder what's holding me back.

I don't tend to really respond well to positives. Not that I fume or anything, I love being complimented, but my mind tends to prefer hearing the negative in my artwork in order to make proper changes. You can point out some positives if you must, but I prefer to focus on the negatives. What about my "art" in general is so terribly bad? What can I improve on and how can I work to make these changes? What are some tips on how to improve significantly in those areas? My biggest desires for critique are coloring, anatomy, proportions, form, fluidity, composition, and perspective. I'm currently trying to work on making my poses more dynamic/fluid since I've been told they're stiff, but it's slow and steady work since I'm not especially experienced in drawing full bodies, but I'm still trying to push myself out of my shell and work on it. (I've only started doing them frequently in the past 2-3 years, out of the 9 years I've been drawing seriously—if you don't count the simplistic ones I did when I was 11-12—because I prefer close-up images in general.) I'd especially like help with my coloring since I believe that's especially what's holding me back, but I'd also like help with things that also apply to my sketches & lines since I believe those are the foundations of excellent artwork.

I'd like to be as good as my inspirations someday, but as I get older, I've noticed I'm improving very slowly. I'm not quite as good at realism as I'd like to be, especially in order to stylize properly. I've been told by a friend that most of my artwork is mostly simplistic portraits which is something I'd like to avoid in the future in order to be like my biggest artistic inspiration who draws a lot of dynamic things in a very beautiful, romantic art style. I especially want this since I plan on being a comic artist in the future before moving into animation. I want to be able to draw out my characters' stories and gain a small following for them, regardless of whether or not I get paid for it. As well, I'd also like to start taking commissions, but I've only gotten 1 commission in the past 5 years and nobody else has shown interest, which I believe is because my "art" isn't that good. I'd simply like to be able to accomplish my goals, but I'm entirely self-taught, aside from looking at tutorials and videos occasionally, and I'd like some small guidance to help push me there. On Discord, I barely get any feedback unless I post a specific piece, I don't have really any close artist friends I can confide in who aren't constantly busy, and I'm not sure where else to look for guidance, particularly in anthropomorphic artwork. And, of course, I don't have enough of a following anywhere to ask my followers for anything.

For general advice, here is my FurAffinity gallery. More of my artwork can be seen here and here.

For less general advice, here is a drawing I am working on:
FEBWIP.png
Other examples of my more recent, personal favorite works. General examples of how I color my artwork can be seen in my FurAffinity gallery and website linked above. A lot of these are WIPs because I have trouble finishing my drawings and nowadays, I've become too lazy to color. I've been considering being like hotchkisstank and becoming a primarily colorless sketch artist. They seem to pull it off really well. This may not be necessary soon because I'm saving up to be able to afford the lessons, et al. from The Drawing Academy, but I thought I'd get some advice in the meantime.
COMWorkingOutSFW3.jpg
RogerComicPanel.png
SwarmsofAngels.png
BlixaAF.png
ShaunSweater2.jpg
TriggerWIP.png
BeckkeWIP.png
Eeeee.png
VntaRdrwWIP2.jpg
Corneliussss.png
RogerWarmups.png
ColorTest02.png
RogersMumWIP.png
RBHsptlWIP1.png
FleurDeLis2.jpg
GunnarAF.png
CloverAlpacaAF.png
ClippitRQWIP01.png
BeckCryes2.png
REBLWIP.png
OutfitWIP2.png
SergalWIP.png
BeanieWIP.png
And, yes, some general advice for account growth can surely help, too. I know engaging with others is one tip and drawing gifts for popular artists is another, but I don't think either of those would really work if my artwork is not likable... especially the latter (I'm sure popfurs wouldn't really appreciate a gift from me, especially enough to acknowledge me, since I'm not really that good).
 
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tuxedo_fish

how i mine art?
You can point out some positives if you must, but I prefer to focus on the negatives. What about my "art" in general is so terribly bad? What can I improve on and how can I work to make these changes? What are some tips on how to improve significantly in those areas?
I must, because your art is absolutely good.

It's not polished-- like you said, a lot of what you're making right now is unfinished sketches --and that's fine. That'll come with time. But it is good.

You have a unique, almost indie comic style that is very visually appealing. I'd love to see you develop it more.

Okay, so critique! It looks like you put a lot of time and effort and attention into the heads and faces. You have a real eye for what shapes and forms make up the heads of various species, and you give those spots the lion's share of your focus. But it's coming at the cost of the rest of the figure. It's clear from some of the pieces that you do have a pretty decent working knowledge of the basic muscle groups elsewhere in a humanoid form, so make sure you're showing those areas the same attention you're giving the heads. Especially in the limbs. It'll save the image from looking lopsided or unfinished, and make your figures look more dynamic without changing the pose at all.

The other major thing I'm noticing is that you aren't keeping perspective consistent regarding definite shapes. Frex, in the weightlifting image, the weights are all at different angles to their own pairs, and they seem off-kilter from the bars, too. The wonderful fluid feel of your figures will stand out even more if you make sure your backgrounds and inanimate objects are 'real' and grounded and follow perspective to a T. The contrast would work well.

As for improving: You already have a great style and a pretty solid foundation. Now you just have to refine it. Draw legs and arms and wrists and hands. Try to bring some of the attentiveness you have for faces to the rest of the body. And don't be afraid to break out a ruler or a t-square when you're dealing with objects that have straight lines, or sit along a plane.

Finally, since most of your stuff edges more toward humanoid, I can very much recommend Burne Hogarth's "Dynamic Anatomy." Hogarth breaks body shapes down into chunky shapes that are easy to follow as a figure moves through different poses and motions, and I think it would appeal.
 
L

LameFox

Guest
The main thing to stick out at me here is that you seem to move on to doing small finicky things before the foundations they are built on are up to scratch. You have gone over entire bodies making tiny individual brush strokes to indicate fur while the composition and gestures still need work. In many cases you have shaded small forms with equal or greater ranges of value than you used to shade the larger forms they are situated on, which gives things that kind of lumpy-rug look. Your lines and edges are also quite lumpy and seem to be made of many tiny strokes, and this appears to be the case as much in sketches as things you have gone on to block in and shade. In cases where there are no lines at all the shapes you've painted still have this lumpy quality to them. I think you might benefit from trying out sketching and painting with larger brushes, ideally during studies, and only working your way down to small ones when you can no longer achieve anything at a higher size. That might teach you to make your lines a bit more loose & smooth when drawing and to sculpt your shapes with a bit more intent & control when painting.
 

marshmellerditty

Active Member
i second tuxedo_fish and LameFox in their comments, but i have a couple of things to add: to get the dynamism you want for your poses, i would practice gesture drawing (that is, drawing a full-body pose within a short time limit; this website is a good way to practice) and keep the line of action in mind. here's an example illustrating how the line of action works:
LofA.jpg


last thing i would add is to include some harder edges in your shading. right now your shading is very soft, and while this does add to the realism, real life also has hard edges in shadows on occasion. that said, your art is very good and you're totally on the right track, keep it up!
 

BSporn

Active Member
The others kind of have you covered on drawing advise.

So I'll give you some advise on account growth.

My number one piece of advise is honestly just draw shit you love and are happy with and don't concern yourself too much with growth as an account but rather growth as an artist.

But also that's a huge fucking cop out non answer so like actual advise on growing your account.

Think of how your page looks to a first time viewer. I go there now and on mobile like I have to scroll through half a page of coloured squares to get to even get to your art. If you're an established artist with a following that might be fine but if you're trying to get new people to look at your stuff that can be a problem. You want as few obstacles between a new viewer and the art they might like as possible.

You also upload a lot of WIP stuff to your gallery.
WIP stuff really works better on blog format sites, like tumblr or twitter or something. Places were your posts have a sense of time and a space within that time. Gallery format sites like deviant art of fur affinity tend to work better with finished pictures only.

Again think of providing as little obstacles between a new viewer and the art they might like from you as possible. Save your WIPs for the scraps folder and try and keep your gallery filled with finished art you like. So that when someone new comes to your page they look through the gallery and it's all bangers.

Third and probbably the most crass way to get views and followers is fanart. Draw shit you love. People search those tags. In my experience original art and ocs will get a fresh hit of views and likes and shit when they're just posted and people see them on the front page, but it will quickly die off. Where as fanart will get a constant trickle of new eyes on it from people searching for new art of the stuff they like.
Dont be afraid to look at the metrics for your stuff and see what people like and are engaging with and do more of that while dropping the stuff people don't engage with.

Like it all feels crass and mercenary and like, anti 'art' but when you focus on growing your account it becomes more of a buisness then a form of artistic expression.

The key is finding a space where you feel comfortable with the space between art and commercialisim to exist in.

Like keep in mind its perfectly OK to look at this and just ignore all of this and just keep doing what makes you happy. Drawing and art and shit doesn't have to be about views and commissions and becoming a side hustle etc. It's perfectly OK to just have a hobby that you do cause you like it.
 

Ramiel0912

Active Member
Hey! Sorry if I'm repeating what others have already said, but I'd rather explain how I learned to draw than to try to look for a new argument.
I'm sure that in all these years of learning you have heard a thousand times that anatomy is really important, and the reason why, is because whatever else you attempt to do relies on it as a basis.

You can't do perspective if you don't understand the shapes that make up the human body.

You can't express movement if you don't know how to successfully build up that structure while still.

You can't understand how light interacts with the surface of the figure if the figure itself lacks tridimension.

If I were in your place, I'd forget about painting for a while and solely focus on practicing from reference, but not in the way you have done it so far. Every sketch you've shown is reduced to an outline of the figure, which's not really helpful since it's missing a lot of valuable information.
First, start with basic shapes like squares and cylinders, then slowly try to get closer to the actual muscles that make up the human body. Draw daily if possible and I guarantee you will see an improvement. Here's one of my latest drawings as an example of what I mean by this and some resources I found helpful:

tuto.jpg


Structure/Anatomy:
Movement:

I'm sorry if you've heard this a thousand times before, but understanding it will inform everything else, no matter how many brush strokes you add on top of things, if the drawing underneath is wrong it wont work. Good luck my friend! I know you can do this ^^
 
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Robinik

Grotesque freak.
Okay, I'm going to confess something: If you guys are especially wondering why I'm more skilled at drawing heads and not bodies, it's not only because I used to hate drawing full bodies when I was younger and therefore lack practice with it. It's also because I don't actually look at references for bodies often while drawing. I tend to only look at references for the characters' heads and faces, but when it comes to bodies, I tend to do a lot of guesswork. The reason for this is that I'm not good at looking up names or keywords of poses to get specific results (because Google is wonky and sometimes gives unrelated or loosely approximate poses/angles and looking up specific keywords may result in inaccuracies as well from my experience) and some of the time, I'm not even entirely sure what pose I'd like the character to have. Plus, I hate taking too much time on drawings and I tend to think looking up references for everything I draw may result in longer drawing times. I feel as though I'm already slow enough (a commission I did this year took almost 3 months to complete), but looking for more and more references would make me slower. I'm trying to fight these habits, though, and I'm going to take everyone's advice. Thank you all so much. ♥
 
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