Open Critique Day #12

It's time once again for another Open Critique Day!

If you have a HeroMachine illustration or another piece of artwork you've done that you'd like some help with, post a link to it in comments along with your thoughts on it -- what you think is working, what you're struggling with, etc. I will post my critique of the piece, hopefully giving some tips on how to improve it.

Of course everyone is welcome to post their critiques as well, keeping in mind the following rules:

  • Make sure your criticism is constructive. Just saying "This sucks" is both rude and unhelpful without giving specific reasons why you think it sucks and, ideally, some advice on how to make it better.
  • Each person should only post one illustration for critique to make sure everyone who wants feedback has a chance.
  • I will not critique characters entered in any currently running contest, as that doesn't seem fair to the other entrants. You can still post it if you like for the other visitors to critique, but I will not do so.

That's it! Hopefully we can get some good interaction going here and help everyone (me included!) learn a little bit today.

149 Responses to Open Critique Day #12

  1. ams says:

    Here’s a pic I made this week called “HACK & SLASH”, husband and wife hitmen. Since many of the layering bugs have disappered (Thanks, Jeff), I’m not so bother to make more than one subject per image. I believe I got the husband positioning right, but the wife still bothers me a little. What do you think?

    On a side note for future “tweaks” to the system, I suggest maybe enlarging the canvas more so aspiring artists will not be confined to the exsisting frame. I guess what i’m saying is that I would like to see more images widescreen! Cheers!

  2. Rosco says:

    Third in the croquet pin-up calendar, Miss March:
    1. She’s pretty much the best one
    2. I’m ecstatic that I posted these here: my images are now the first you get when you search for “croquet pin-up calendar” (without quotation marks)
    3. I’d better hurry: April is th’only one I’ven’t made yet, and I want to keep adding them in order.

  3. Rosco says:

    @arms: Hack+Slash are great! I love the matching colors, and yes, the wife’s position is a little wonky when you look at it too long, but it seems like the best that can be done with Heromachine.

  4. ams says:

    Great pic, ROSCO! Very St. Patrick’s Day. Of couse, she looks a little too sober….

  5. Anarchangel says:

    One of my newest creations is Fyro.

    I’m fairly happy with the design but I feel like there’s something missing. Would also like to get your opinion on the flame effect. Not sure if I pulled it off right.

  6. Captain Kicktar says:

    Mira is a sailor, and that’s about all I know about her.

  7. Rozenstal says:

    New Yearโ€™s fanatr to Russian card collection online game: super-Santa against bad guys. The full name of work โ€“ โ€œBehave well in New Year, boys and girls!โ€
    Interested persons can look at originals of characters of the latest work:
    P.S.: Nobody makes comments on it in Contest, let though here.

  8. Me, Myself & I says:

    ams (1) I really like this image!

    Great colors.
    Great Contrast.
    Fantastic poses.

    When dealing with really neet poses it is very difficult to get everything to line up, especially the knees and hips. Despite that you’ve done a really wonderful job of that.
    I’ve said before that I’m a picky git and the image is good enough that the amount it is off doesn’t even bother me much and it often does.

    I would suggest moving his lower left leg to the right which would line up the knee better. Also I’d try planing with her belt so that it hangs more like it should if it was actually worn.

  9. Me, Myself & I says:

    Could use some feedback on this one. He was supposed to be a Dwarven Paragon.

  10. Rozenstal says:

    Rosco (2), simply, but VERY stylishly! A charm!

  11. Me, Myself & I says:

    Rosco (2) I think the luck O’ the Irish was with you on this one. Disturbingly I find it remeniscent of The Clockwork Orange. I think that’s because of how simple it is mixed with the inherent violence implied by that “mallet”.

    Its nice and simple. Maybe a translucent shamrock in the background might be an OK little tough?

  12. Me, Myself & I says:

    Anarchangel (5)

    Really neet character. The only thing that throws me off is his hair. All the other fire seems more detailed and realistic. His hair seams to plain in comparison. I would keep the hair template you have and add a few more flames in front to add dept to the hair.

    The beards a neet touch.

  13. Me, Myself & I says:

    Captain Kicktar (6) I find her sword is disproportionately large for her. I find it hard to get a feel from the image if that makes any sence. Maybe more detail would help.

  14. ams says:

    @Me,Myself and I(9). Strong image with the way you’ve highlighted the subject. Try using the pattern shading to darken the left of the items. Even items on the right. It should add more depth. Two things that I’ll critique on, first his face. It seems to blend-in to much to his body with the colors. Maybe brighting it up somehow. And second, with all the excellent highlighting you did, you didn’t touch your background piece. Again try to use the pattern shading to add more depth to that item. I like the way you used the white highlights and you’ve inspired me to try something along the same lines. Cheers!

  15. Violet says:

    This is Exclaim, who has no power beyond hyper enthusiasm. And carrying around that stick. At least she’s really good at it. (But that is what happens when you receive training from the Batman Expy of the universe.)


    Any improvements are welcome. There are certain things I just could not get to work on her costume, regarding the white parts at shoulders/torso, and it is frustrating.

  16. Me, Myself & I says:

    Rozenstal (7) You certainly stayed true to the reference material. I’m not sure what’s happening with the gun.

  17. ams says:

    Anarchangel (5) I agree with MMI’s critique and I would add changing the fire’s colors a little. Personally, when I color fire items, I think of the hottest area as red the mediums orange and outlines yellow. I then throw a little pattern shading in to add depth. But other than that, Great character creation!!

  18. ams says:

    Sorry for being outspoken today. Not much to do!

  19. ams says:

    Sorry, Canadian habit..d’oh I said it again…sorry.

  20. Rozenstal says:

    If you about a pistol, the villain has dropped it.
    On idea, of Santa has approached to villains behind and has suddenly called them.

  21. Rozenstal says:

    Me, Myself & I (15): The message above – to you.

  22. Me, Myself & I says:

    ams (14) Regarding shading the background, I was specifically trying to represent a metalic sheen and the way metal reflects more light while other objects absorb more. If you look closely, you’ll see that the highlights only exist on metal objects.

    I actually did darken the left side with patterns as well but apparantly not enough.

    I see the face could probably be a little lighter.

  23. Tuldabar says:

    This is a piece I did a while ago: I kind of had this idea for a more “adult” version of a power ranger (former PR enthusiast before I came to my senses), and this is the first member of my supposed “team.”
    I have a slight problem with the left arm. I wanted to get at the fact he has his hand on the gargoyle, but I remain unsatisfied. Any tips? Anything at all?

  24. Violet says:

    Tuldabar (23): Hm…It appears, especially with all the shadows, that your dude has one arm stubbier than the other. Try adding another piece to lengthen it, then see if your grabbin’ hand looks better. Otherwise, I would try one of the more casual feeling ones, so it looks like it is merely the palm touching the gargoyle.

    Disclaimer: I have no clue if any of that will work.

  25. Violet says:

    Tuldabar: Oh! Or you can use the casual hand to make it seem like his legs are doing all of the holding him on the gargoyle part and his hand is just sort of dangling. And I realized what it was that was bugging me about the arm: lengthen your lower arm armor piece.

  26. Jeff Hebert says:

    ams (1): Awesome! I love the layout, the poses, the colors, the framing element in the back, all of it. Just a great piece.

    Unfortunately you have now entered the “Myro Zone” where I think your creations are of such a high quality so consistently that I’m going to start going low on the praise and high on the nitpicky critiques to make them even better. For your stuff, I’m starting off with the assumption that “This is already excellent, so let’s try to kick it up a notch”. In other words, that first three sentence paragraph is all the attaboys you get on this one, but don’t lose sight of the fact that I think it’s stellar!

    The male figure is great, I wouldn’t change anything on him. The female figure is also good, but I think she gets a little thick in the middle. Mostly I think the problem is that her right thigh (on the viewer’s left) should have its upper curve OVER the loincloth. Currently it’s behind the loincloth which creates some visual confusion.

    Her belt waistcoat thingie is also a bit more tubular than you’d expect. Would it be possible to use the female torso section that’s cocked to one hip as the base for that, and then mask those belts to it so you preserve some of the waist curves?

    The other area that could use some tweaking is the background rectangle. Specifically, I’d scale it down a bit so it hits the nifty curved chain weapons at different spots. Right now his right weapon touches the upper right corner of the rectangle. Bringing the rectangle down five or ten pixels would create some clearance there and resolve the figure-ground conflict between them — when you put the edge of two objects in different planes together like that, the eye wants to put them on the same plane and as a result you get a logjam.

    The same is true for his left weapon, where the top of the actual weapon tangents the top line of the rectangle.

    Like I said, little stuff, but I think just those few tweaks would really help the whole thing pop even more. Great job on it, though, I really like it a lot.

  27. Jeff Hebert says:

    Rosco (2): LOVE it! I agree, the best one yet. I honestly can’t think of anything to improve it, I think it’s absolutely stellar. Great job! I can’t wait to see the rest of these.

  28. Jeff Hebert says:

    Anarchangel (5): Nicely done! I love the fire curling around his right forearm, that’s a great touch. The piping on the costume (especially on the torso) adds a lot of interest to the design and works perfectly there. I like the subtle blue glow behind him too, it sets him off really well. The fiery color on his goatee is nifty, a small but important addition.

    As for what might improve it, I think the major problem area is the hair. It looks so flat, while everything else has lots of color and roundedness. I think you might be better off either using an actual flame item (transformed appropriate) for hair, maybe with a relatively short actual hair item as the base. Or, use a hair item or two that has more line variation in it colored to look like fire, as you did with the goatee. Right now it almost looks like it was cut out of construction paper and just doesn’t match the rest of the figure.

    Another couple of small areas that I think could be fixed with just a different line color are the glasses and the insignia. The black line of the glasses at this resolution just gets a little lost and choppy, I think a dark red would probably look better.

    For the insignia, I’d like to see it look more integrated into the red portion of the torso costume, like it grows up out of the red and the line conforms all the way from the V shape and traces up along the flames. I’m not sure EXACTLY how you’d accomplish that, but that’s what I’d like to see. Barring that, maybe you could just set the insignia’s line color to white?

    Anyway, very neat character and a striking image. Great job!

  29. Jeff Hebert says:

    Captain Kicktar (6): I like her expression! She looks like she has something to say about whatever situation she’s found herself in.

    Overall, I think the image is solid, but too plain. There’s just not a lot going on with her to make her an individual, beyond the expression. I think that particular shade of red and that blue are difficult to put together in a good way — the red is so dominant that it tends to flatten out the blue, which is a problem in a design that is already pretty two dimensional.

    This might be one of the illustrations that would really benefit from the “outline” feature. Give it a try and see how it looks — she needs something solid and definitive to help her stand out. I think a nice bold line surrounding the perimeter of the figure might help.

  30. Me, Myself & I says:

    Tuldabar (23) What I think would make the biggest difference is more contrast between your character and the background. He kind of blends in.

  31. Jeff Hebert says:

    Rozenstal (7): Very clever! I like the idiot zombie cowboy and the eye-in-a-fishbowl alien particularly, neat concepts that are well executed. The setting works too, making it all feel very much like a Christmas card. In particular I think using white as the line color for the city portions was very clever and works well.

    In terms of the overall layout, I think Santa needs to be more front and center. Currently the figures are just a touch overwhelmed by the setting, and I think it’s just that they’re too small in relation to the size of the picture. Santa being off to the side like that and overlapping the tree diminishes his importance even more. I think you need to play around a bit with positioning and scaling of the figures to get them to be in harmony with the scene. I know that’s a lot easier said than done.

    And while you’re messing with the figures, I would probably put Santa standing on both legs. The way he’s posed now, he’d fall over — you can’t have your torso perfectly upright like that, with one leg way off to the side and the other off the ground. His center of gravity would topple him right over.

    I also wonder why the alien fish bowl eye guy has dropped his gun.

    But the image is fun and I think you pulled off the overall concept very well.

  32. Rozenstal says:

    Jeff (31): It not the zombie, is a mutant, shooting fire and often burning)
    The alien has dropped a pistol from a fright.
    And Santa is a little sideways not to cover a fir-tree.

  33. ams says:

    Tuldabar (23) I’m going to let this example image speak for me. I think this is what you are trying to accomplish. Let me know in the forums if you need more suggestions.

  34. Jeff Hebert says:

    MMI (9): Nice job! You’ve done some very clever things here, particularly masking the same scale mail chest piece onto the vambraces and greaves to give them a very unique look. That’s cool. The colors are great and his face has a lot of character. I like how he’s holding his helmet particularly, it looks natural and adds a lot of visual interest to the piece.

    For me, the main area that could use work is in the scaling of the big rock and of the shield. The rock currently tangents the figure right at the base of the axe, along the back heel, and along the top of the shield, all points that are outer bands of the space occupied by the character. That makes him feel like he’s bound up in the rock, or getting crushed by it, visually speaking. Some parts of his figure need to thrust outside the confines of the rock (probably by scaling and repositioning slightly the rock iteself). Yes, the feet do that, but because the rock hits them on the line of the back heel, the effect is as if he’s standing on it. And then on the other foot that’s unambiguously thrust out of the rock line, they intersect right at that thick shadow below the cuff, again cutting into the lines of the figure.

    The shield has a similar problem, hitting the lower shoulders right where the armor comes in from two different directions. I think scaling the shield down maybe 10-15% would help clear up those intersections quite a bit.

    I also think there are a few too many highlights on the armor, particularly the greaves and vambraces. I think it works mostly on the torso, but on the other pieces they LOOK like they’re scales, but the light doesn’t hit them that way. The effect is like they’re solid glass with a smooth exterior, and the scales are inside of that somehow. They don’t read as leather or metal or whatever they’re supposed to be.

    Finally, I don’t quite get “dwarf” from him. I think you have the shoulders proportioned well, but the head seems smaller than I would expect. Right now I’d have thought he was just a barrel-chested normal human.

    Like with AMS and Myro, I am going heavy on the criticism because your images are already at a very high level, so it’s time to take them to the next level with all the little noodly stuff. Basically I am treating you guys like pros — this is the kind of feedback John and I give each other, for instance. We don’t need so much time spent on what’s good, we need to know what to do to make it perfect.

    So don’t lose sight of the fact that you in general, and this one specifically, are already very very good.

  35. Jeff Hebert says:

    Rozenstal (32): Mutant, zombie, it’s all good.

    So is the idea that Santa has appeared behind them and scared them? I didn’t get that at all, I confess. I thought they were a trio of allies. Oops.

    I get that you didn’t want to cover the fir tree. What I’m saying is that the result is, the fir tree gets center stage and is as important visually as Santa. Which it’s not. Santa ought to be the main focus around which the rest of the composition depends, but with the current layout he’s marginalized. He’s way more important than the tree, which ought to be a background element.

  36. Me, Myself & I says:

    Jeff (34): No worries regarding any of the critisism you’ve given me. I feel flattered really that you feel you can be as direct and to the point. Turns out that when I think about your critisism, I almost always much agree with it so it can’t be that bad, eh?

    Rozenstal (32) & Jeff (35): The easy solution Rozenstal would be to move the tree to one side so that Santa can fill the middle.

  37. Malfar says:
    Some post-apocalypse bishop guy. I don’t remember if I posted him simewhere else.

  38. Malfar says:

    Somewhere, of course, not simewhere

  39. Anarchangel says:

    Thanks guys. And I totally agree about the hair. I was never happy with that but I tried various other methods with it and it just never looked right.

    I’m gonna go back and take another crack at it though.

  40. SeanDavidRoss says:

    Rifle Gal (Steampunk-ish Sniper with a Clockwork Heart) :

  41. Jeff Hebert says:

    Violet (15): I think hyper-enthusiasm is a great power! GREAT! !!!! … !!!!!!!!!! Exhausting, though. Phew.

    She looks neat! And interesting. One of the hardest things for a creator of any type to do is to make the person experiencing their work want to know more, and you’ve done that here. Her expression, particularly with the mask, looks great.

    In terms of improvements, I think you could probably use some square insignia, colored white, scaled and rotated and masked to the underside of her upper arms. That would match the way the white in the torso pipes down into the legs.

    To clarify, the white part of the upper arms would be on the underside, closest to the torso, while the upper part of the upper arms would remain the current color. Hopefully that’s as clear as mud.

    I’d also use a very dark purple for the line color of the hair instead of black.

    Finally, I’d do something with the line color in the star sky background. Black is too harsh.

    I think the character herself is great, and with just a few tweaks could be stellar.

  42. Worf says:

    I’d like to get your take on this character. He’s a Sea Wizard (Sea Hag prestige class for you D&D Types) and Captain of his own ship:

    to get a better view click on the magnifying glass on the top right….

  43. Jeff Hebert says:

    Tuldabar (23): I have to agree with some of the other commenters, that is REALLY hard to see with the dark blue character against the black background. The white crackling pattern also leaps out of the page with all the dark around it, kind of overpowering what it’s laid onto.

    For the hand holding onto the gargoyle, you ought to be able to use pretty much the same hand (I think, it’s hard to see for sure which hand it is) and just Mask it onto the gargoyle. To review, you’d:

    1. Click the hand so it’s the current, active item.
    2. Click the mask button, turning the cursor into a mask.
    3. Click on the gargoyle.

    That should make it so that the fingers are in front of the gargoyle but the palm and thumb are hidden by it so it looks like he’s holding it. Like it was a sword.

    As for the rest, it’s hard to say anything one way or the other because I honestly can’t make out the figure from the background.

  44. Jeff Hebert says:

    Tuldabar, I take back what I said, I think AMS’s solution is better. Although I’d put the figure’s left leg (to our right) down more, so it looks less like he’s crouching there and more like he’s standing mostly on one leg with the other leg cocked and up on the ledge/gargoyle as a support. His hand placement though I think is good — more like he’s leaning on it rather than holding it. Although if holding is what you want, my solution would work.

  45. ams says:

    Thanks for the “In yer face” critisism. It’s CRITIQUE DAY, goddamnit, not pat on the back day. If I want a hug, I’ll go see my mother! And when does my “MyroZone Platinium Card” come in? Kidding. Anyways, I love the outside critique ’cause even though sometimes you try to get everything perfect, there are some things you just don’t see. Here’s the update


  46. Panner says:

    MMI (9): I really like your dwarf, and I wanted to make some comments. All this is of course just my own very amateurish opinion.

    -First off, I’d lose the necklace – there’s enough going on around his neck with the dreads and the beard.

    -Having the scar layered above the eyebrow looks great, but I don’t like what it does to the beard. It might help to shorten the scar a bit.

    -The background is nice and dwarf-themed, but being the same color as the pants makes them disappear. The same thing holds, to a lesser degree, for the boots as well.

    -I’m not crazy about the green axe handle. All the other colors in the picture are either earth colors or in the gray scale, with the only exception being the necklace jewel, which is obviously meant to draw focus. I’d try dark red or very dark green instead.

    Wow, that’s some hardcore nitpicking. But hey, you posted it up for criticism, I’d make you a disservice if I didn’t tell you my opinion.


    SeanDavidRoss (40): Wow, lots of stuff going on here! I like it! But there’s one thing I’d like to comment on. Her cloak sort of blends in with the background while all the other colors on her contrast rather well with their surroundings. I’d suggest swapping colors on the cloak and belt, either the yellow or red depending on how bright you want it. If you pick yellow, you might want to make that piece of coral a bit more dull.

    Ok, two things. The leaves on the ground look a bit off. I’m not sure what to do about it. You could try moving them down so that they start below the picture frame. That would also help emphasize the rocks in the foreground.

  47. Violet says:

    Jeff: Thanks. I really liked how she turned out. I lost the original design for her I did in HM2, which involved more of a Black Canary look, but I like what I ended up making here better. It is certainly more practical than the fishnets.

    I tried out what you said regarding the underarms. Was this what you meant?

    Also, that was snow in the background, so I fixed that too. But I left the hair outlined in black, because I tried it in several different dark purples and ended up not liking the aesthetics of that one thing not being blacklined. (I really enjoy the “drawn” qualities of leaving it like that all the time.)

  48. Panner says:

    Worf (42): Sea Hag is a class now? Isn’t that a monster? Anyway, about the picture. My first thoughs was that there might be too many colors here. The cloak is green, sash is bright blue, main chestpiece is brown, pants and hair are red, belt and boots are black, various details are bright yellow – you see what I mean? It’s not really a problem, but the character doesn’t convey any theme. I’m personally a big sucker for having strong contrast between hair and clothes, you could try dressing him mostly in blue and see if the magic happens. I recommend dark blue to separate the character from the sky.

    There was another thing too, the crown. Don’t you think it’s a little girly for a badass brute like him?

    Either way, the polearm is great. It really screams “Wizard’s trident”.

  49. SeanDavidRoss says:

    Panner(46): My intent with original cloak colour was to make her be able to blend into the scenery when she needs to – she’s a sniper. The new cloak colour looks nice. I kept the blue-y purplish trim so that I could repeat the colour of the mountains somewhere lower in the image. I left the belt as it was, since it matches her cape. I used the cape colour in the leaves to help bring them in line with the colours for the rest of the image.

  50. Worf says:

    @Paneer: Sorry, meant to type Sea Witch.. (he has 1 racial level of Sea Hag descendence). The somewhat mismatched items are meant to convey that he didn’t get to buy all them, but gathered them as he adventured… The crown… well, my wife did that…. This is the one I had on originally:

  51. Myro says:

    Woot! I have my own zone! Glad to see the impression I’m making here.

    I ended up making this earlier this week, for this week’s contest, but ended up deciding that it lacks punch. All’s well that ends well though, because what I made last night was way better.

    Backstory: I made an assassin/poisoner character in the Scorpio contest that turned out pretty good, with the exception that the dead legionnaire didn’t jibe. (NOT UP FOR REVIEW, I put this one up for critique some time ago)

    For the contest, I decided to revisit the character, and somewhere along the line decided to make it look like an indie comic book cover.

    Problem is, it just doesn’t pop as much as I’d like. It’s not a bad picture, just not my best. And I’ve since done much better. But I’m interested in what everyone else thinks.

  52. Panner says:

    SDR (50): Yeah, something like that! I think it helps a bit with making her stand out, especially with the spaces between her body and arms, that could be mistaken for background before.

    Worf (51): Hey, that’s a cool helmet. And now with the headshot, I can see that the hair is layered above his left hand. Might want to check that!

  53. Kaldath says:

    Hey Jeff, here is one I’d like your feeb back on.

    Tallis Fleetfoot, an old Kender Character of mine, on his homeworld of Krynn. I honestly HATE how the Hoopak came out but other then that I think it came out alright.

  54. Panner says:

    Kaldath (53): You could try using pieces of the sling from ItemRight-Ranged.

    My character is a future RPG character. She’s so far nameless, but she’s the most beautiful half orc in the kingdom, and also a tattoo artist.

    Also, Jeff, the boots in this picture don’t work very well patterned or masked upon.

  55. Myro says:

    *sigh* stupid comment awaiting moderation.

    Kaldath: I tried looking into the hoopak, and I think first of all, a more wooden-looking shaft would help. And if you maybe worked the sling from the Ranged sets in for the sling, it could help. But the head isn’t right, and I can’t figure out how to make that work.

    As for the character himself, he looks very Kender-ish. And I like how you worked in the three moons of Krynn. I was a big Dragonlance fan back in the day, so it’s nice to see your picture for nostalgic purposes.

  56. SeanDavidRoss says:

    Kaldath(53): It might be better if the top/torso were slimmed down to better match up with the arms. As it is now, it seems over-sized/disproportionate in relation to the rest of the body. His chest and shoulders are huge but his arms are puny. It almost looks like he is wearing shoulder pads with the shirt standing out so far from his arms; in fact, it very much reminds me of a skinny high school freshman trying out for the football team….

  57. Fyzza says:

    Here’s a character I made waaaay back for the Road Warrior contest but I never got an opinion on it. I’d just like to see how well I did on him and what I did wrong.

  58. ams says:

    @Panner (54)- The tattoos are awesome. What items do you choose for tattoos?

  59. Tarkabarka says:

    A month ago i want to make some shadowrun char picture for to my friends. – She is an elf mage runner.

  60. Nick Hentschel says:

    More goofiness from my ongoing story-in-development. In this case, have you ever wondered what a half-orc barwench might look like? Well, here she is!!!

    Still fairly early in development, I’m trying to do more with her outfit, before I start adjusting her pose, or putting stuff in her hands. But anyway, her friends call her, “Piglet,” as her appearance would suggest:

    Here are two of the latest versions, one a “conservative” version with short sleeves (which is probably more “historical”), and a sexier, bare-armed version (which may look more “orkish”):

    I’m worried about striking the right balance between cuteness and barbarism. Maybe the skeletal hand from ShoulderRight (what’s left of the last guy who tried to grab her somewhere)?

  61. HairWhip says:

    I remade my character Hairwhip…enjoy!, or not….

  62. Panner says:

    Fyzza (57): There’s a lot of black in the lower parts of the picture, the trenchcoat and the motorcycle sort of blend together.

    And IMHO, no biker is complete without a bandana!


    ams (58): Thanks, I think they turned out well for the most part. The items are mostly insignias except for the Aura(s) on her stomach. The left side is just black insignias masked to flesh-colored limbs. The right side is flesh-colored limbs masked to invisible insignias placed on top of black limbs (to keep color1 and color2 working correctly).


    Tarkabarka (59): Looks great, if maybe a bit gravity-defying (I’m thinking of the skirt mostly). However, I can’t help but feel the opportunity of having the searchlight as the top layer is missed!

  63. Jeff Hebert says:

    Malfar (37): I like his head area a lot, with the kerchief and the hood and glasses. I get a cool vibe off the guy, like he’s some kind of post-apocalyptic ninja priest or something.

    The only part that strikes me as “off” a little bit is that you have the green armor portions with a gold line, but then regular black lines on the rest of it. The effect is as if he’s got some sort of energy armor or something on. Which if so, cool, but if not it’s a bit confusing.

    But overall a nice image!

  64. Worf says:

    @Zarae(61): That is one awesome picture. Even more awesome for being hand drawn.

  65. Jeff Hebert says:

    SeanDavidRoss (40): I like it! Nice construction of the figure, good color and costuming choices, a neat idea, and a solid setting. Good job! I like that you have the leggings, sleeves, hat, and cape all in the warmish brown family, and the overlaid clothing in a cooler blue. That’s a nice contrast and makes her interesting to look at.

    For me the only areas to play around with involve the setting. For instance, I’d go with a much darker and warmer green for the patch under her right foot (our left). That swath being so light and cool tends to drop away visually so it almost seems like the figure is going to slide down it. The leaves are a nice warm transition from that area to the next swath of ground you have (good layering there, btw), so I think you can get away with something darker and warmer in the foreground.

    I’d nudge that tree on the left over a bit so it clears her arm completely. Or, move it to the right more so it occludes it more. Right now it lines up with the outer edge of the sleeve and you get that logjam effect I always rant on about.

    I’d be inclined to leave out that seascape bit on the lower right. It’s like, why is there coral in the mountains?

    Someone I think mentioned they didn’t like the purple mountains but I like them very much, I’d definitely keep ’em.

    Finally, this might just be an optical illusion (ha!) but she looks a bit cross-eyed. Maybe if the monocle were moved to the right a few pixels that would help dispel that effect.

    Good job, interesting character, nice background!

  66. Dionne Jinn says:

    I got a little bit cruel when working on my collection of characters from Emilio Salgari’s novels. So here he is: Red Corsair (Corsaro Rosso) hung after being captured.

  67. Jeff Hebert says:

    Worf (42): I like the bold “animated” flavor to the whole scene. You chose to go with simple lines, bold colors, and a “flat” sort of feel, and I think that’s a good thing here. I like the basic design of the guy, his face, attitude, etc. The trident is very cool. You did a great job making that rock ledge thing look like an island, that’s a great effect. The sky’s perfect, too.

    For me the area that needs the most attention is in his left hand with the spell effects. It’s odd because one of the colors is very transparent, but the lines and the other color are not. I’d probably go with some level of alpha less than 100% on all of those because right now it introduces a lot of clutter in an area that already has a lot going on with the hair, the scale torso, the armband, etc.

    Speaking of which, I think you’d be better off with some other cloak clasp, or at least change the color on the one you have. Right now it’s like an arrow pointing from the arm guard on his arm through the same color yellow chain to the big yellow circle to the same yellow trident bits. It’s like a line drawn right across the image cutting it in half.

    The other bit that troubles me is the sash, and again you have one color semi-transparent and the other not. With the scale lines underneath showing through it’s all a bit confusing. I’d definitely go with two solid colors there, no transparency, and I’d consider using a darker green than the cape instead of blue.

    As long as we’re talking about color, I’d probably also go a darker brown with less red in it for that island. Right now I feel like it has too much in common with the red pants and they blend in a bit.

    But, all that aside, he has a great presence about him and you’ve done a nice job picking a visual style and going with it. Well done!

  68. Jeff Hebert says:

    ams (45): Yeah, I think that’s much better! You? The very tip of the weapon on the right side of the screen still touches the border of the rectangle, if you could introduce a few pixels of space there that would seal the deal, for me at least.

  69. Jeff Hebert says:

    Violet (47): That’s not what I was going for, but that looks good too. At least it finishes that white shape off a bit. I was thinking more of an actual stripe of white running along the bottom of her arms, like the stripe of white runs down the outside of her legs.

    If snow is what you were going for, this looks a lot better, yeah. I wouldn’t have gotten snow from that before.

    Nice job!

  70. Vampyrist says:

    Here is my work I’d like to get critiqued. This is an image of my character Joey, who is dead/dying after a fight with a telekinetic. My only problem with it is the car that he is resting on is too small in my opnion, but I’d love to hear what you have to say about it.

  71. Panner says:

    Tarkabarka (61): I was thinking about something like this –

    (NOT for critique, Jeff and others!)

    Is it better? Worse? I dunno, either way works.

  72. Jeff Hebert says:

    Iain (48): Love it! Great sense of character, he just oozes slightly crazed backwoods menace. The teeth in particular are fantastic, but the whole head area is really well done. How’d you get that bloody drool effect? And that’s a bandana painted brown, not an actual beard, is that right?

    Well done, I like it a lot! Can’t think of anything to add to improve it unless maybe you went with a non-black but still darkish line color for the clouds. You convey a real sense of who this guy is and it’s a very effective composition.

  73. Jeff Hebert says:

    Also, just let me say how awesome it is that some of you (ams, Panner, etc.) are willing to put together samples showing what you mean to help out the other folks who’ve posted. That’s fantastic, thank you!

  74. Jeff Hebert says:

    SeanDavidRoss (50): I think that looks a lot better actually — ignore my green color suggestion and go with this one, that’s an excellent solution. The warm color of the leaves helps give a border basically to that area so the green reads as ground again.

    Good suggestion, Panner!

  75. Tarkabarka says:

    Panner (75) Thanks. I think it’s better – but now i have a problem i don’t find the saved char – i save it 2 times today. – I lost the char ๐Ÿ™

  76. Nick Hentschel says:

    (79) Oh, dear, Tarka, I’m so sorry. This could be something as simple as pressing the wrong control, without realizing it; don’t blame yourself. This is why I’ve become downright paranoid about saving every “stage” of the character, as I draw. Despite that, I *have* had to reconstruct a character from scratch once; I was lucky that I had a Jpeg handy in iPhoto.

    Hang in there!

  77. Myro says:

    Vampyrist: I really had a hard time deciphering your picture. It just doesn’t seem to say “top of car” to me. I think size is an issue, sure, but it doesn’t seem Luke there’s any depth there, like he’s lying on one long, flat surface. Sorry.

  78. Jeff Hebert says:

    Myro (53): “Death of the Party” is an awesome title! I love it!

    The figures are both great, they work perfectly. I think all you have to do to punch it up is to reposition the elements you already have. I mean, first of all the proportions I think are off for an actual comics cover, it seems like it’s wider than they would be, no? That would make a lot of difference in how it lays out.

    I’d probably end up cropping it with slightly less curtain on the left. The male figure I’d bring over to the left quite a bit, and up some, so his shoulder’s somewhere around her mid-thigh. The title would be across the whole top.

    There’s just so much white space right in the heart of the space where you have the issue title, and that’s where the eye wants to stay. I think moving the figures around so the male is more center stage and the focus is on him & her instead of the words would get it where you want to be.

    Great figures and concept, though, I really like it.

  79. Jake says:

    Here’s a character I’ve been working on recently. He’s a dwarven tax collector that is completely hairless. Given the importance that the dwarves place on their beards, he’s always been an outcast. Now that he’s fully grown, he’s quite mean and relishes his career.

  80. Jeff Hebert says:

    Kaldath (55): Yeah, very nice character and layout. The colors are simple but strong, as is the design of the main figure. Nothing crazy fancy, but all very effective and cohesive. I think the bold use of the black trees as background elements works really well.

    I’m not as sanguine about the orbs in the sky. Are those moons? They kind of scan like spotlights or just pure design elements, but it’s hard to know for sure. The other thing that confuses me is whatever that is hanging off the tines of his spear/spike staff. Is it a necklace? Having it hanging there while he’s just standing around, I can’t help but wonder what the heck he’s doing. It’s like, pick it up already! If it’s supposed to be a sling staff, it definitely doesn’t read that way.

    But, a very good composition and character!

  81. Jeff Hebert says:

    Panner (56): Love it. Great use of consistent colors that work well together. The body tatts are fantastic, they give her a very cool flair. Especially on her right (our left) side, the upper arm looks almost like a tribal skull or something. Just great stuff there. I dig those half-sleeves too, that’s a neat idea.

    I can’t think of anything to offer in terms of improvements, it’s a great image. Well done!

  82. Panner says:

    Tarkabarka (79): Until you in some way force the file list to reorder the files (change sorting or reload hm3) your newest saves are always at the bottom. You probably know this, but I wanted to mention it just in case.

  83. Nick Hentschel says:

    Jake (83): It’s hard to get that “Little People” feeling in a modern-dress drawing, isn’t it? I can see that things like the shoes and the cane may have been struggled over a bit.
    It’s a little hard to connect the character with the classic, LOTR-style dwarf, thanks to both the absent beard AND the modern dress; if it were only one, we’d pick up faster. But since I can’t ask you to re-draw all his clothes, let’s concentrate on details.
    You might need a more obviously dwarven implement than the cane, such as an axe or a hammer. Another subtle touch might be to play up his eyebrows more; his beardlessness is part of his concept, I see, but there’s no reason he can’t have hair THERE!
    lastly, you could use some of the “wrinkles” that Jeff added, in order to make him seem older. For even when dwarves are young, it often seems that they don’t look it.

  84. Jeff Hebert says:

    Fyzza (59): Ha, that’s great! Bold attempt at an in-your-face composition here. I love his upper body, from the arms to the weathered face and cigarette to the torn coat. Really well done. The setting is solid, too.

    I can tell you took a lot of time with the motorcycle, and I applaud the attempt. Unfortunately, I think this is where the image loses some of its steam. After the initial “Ooo, neat, a motorcycle coming at you!” you start to notice some of the problems with it. The biggest of those is the positioning of his legs. They just look like they’re WAY too high; the feet should be down by the engine, shouldn’t they? Once that hits you, the other stuff that otherwise might slide by start to become troubling as well, like the patterning on the wheel that doesn’t quite look like treads, or the handlebar that looks more like one from a Segway than a motorcycle, etc. Then you wonder why his coat isn’t blowing in the wind if he’s driving.

    So I think if you took the excellent top half of the character and the setting and instead of having him riding at us, instead had him parked with one leg down and the other on the foot rest of the bike, that would be more effective.

    Hope that helps!

  85. Tarkabarka says:

    Dionne Jinn (70) – The composition is very good, but i think the body is too rigid for a death person.

  86. Nick Hentschel says:

    And by the way, what *is* my drawing(62), chopped liver? Or does the silence mean that nothing was wrong with it?

  87. Jeff Hebert says:

    Tarkabarka (61 & 79): Yeah, what Panner (75) said — that looks a lot more spotlighted than the one with the black rim on your original.

    Speaking of which, GREAT illustration! I love her being upside down, the clothing choices, the hair, all of it. Just a really nice job.

    In terms of saving, Panner is right (again), the names don’t show up in the proper order. That’s a bug I just noticed a few days ago (I don’t do much saving) and intend to fix in the near future. Hopefully that’s all that’s happening here.

  88. Nick Hentschel says:

    The names *do* go back into proper order when you come back to the site later, if that helps. I’m also glad that the “scroll” buttons move the list in the right direction now. (Just saying, before I forget.)

  89. Tarkabarka says:

    Panner (87) – I probe it. – And i check the flash files in my computer. – Completly lost but i don’t angry, if i make it once not hard to make it again.

  90. Jake says:

    Nick Hentschel(88) – Most of what you are telling me to change is extremely important to the character. He’s not supposed to look like other dwarves. This is a character for my DnD campaign. They’ve seen probably a dozen dwarves. The fact he looks different is a huge part of his character. The modern, gaudy clothing represents his disconnect with dwarven society. This is not a guy that does any fighting himself. A hammer or an axe would go against who he is. And hairlessness means hairlessness. Plus, I think he looks far creepier without any eyebrows. I may give him some wrinkles though. Thanks for the critique, but I probably should have given more background on the character.

  91. Jeff Hebert says:

    Nick Hentschel (62): Speaking just for me, I’m still behind; I work through the list in order and just hadn’t gotten to yours yet. I woke up about an hour and a half late this morning and have felt like I’ve been running in molasses ever since, I just can’t seem to catch up.

    Anyway, on to Piglet!

    For me personally, I like the with-sleeves version much better. It says “barmaid” to me a lot more than the other one, which comes across as more of a warrior vibe. Not that most barmaids aren’t ready to fight if it comes down to it, of course.

    I like the character design a lot, I think she’s good. I’m not crazy about those particular lips with the fangs, as they were supposed to be the person biting her lip like she’s worried. For some reason they just don’t seem to go with the eyes, which are in kind of a neutral position. I can’t tell if she’s concerned, or not that bright and subsequently blank-eyed, or what.

    Like I said, I think she looks good overall, and I like the sleeves better. Good luck with the story!

  92. Jeff Hebert says:

    HairWhip (63): Ha! I think I saw his alter ego on American Idol this week, but he was way skinny and had red hair.

    I think your character looks good, I can’t think of much to add in terms of his basic design. For this specific illustration, you might play around with repositioning the hammer, it tends to get lost in his crotch region. So to speak. Even just juicing up to a somewhat darker gray and a different tone of peach would help it pop.

    Too funny … “Hair Whip”. That’s great.

  93. Nick Hentschel says:

    Thanks, Jeff. The facial expression was somewhat randomly put together: I saw stuff that looked good together, ultimately giving her a quizzical, hard-to-read expression. (She *is* rather hard to get along with; she’s had a tough life.) I sometimes have doubts about it, though, so maybe I should listen to it.

    The lips had always looked kind of “snarly” to me, so I used them that way (originally, only one tusk was visible). But I can always experiment more. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  94. Me, Myself & I says:

    Vampyrist (74) I would considering just shopwing the whites of his eyes. This whay he looks intent on commiting violence.

  95. Jeff Hebert says:

    Somebody (64): Nice! The background sky looks almost like a photograph. I like how she’s leaning against the image frame, that’s cool. The highlighting on the body is nifty too, it definitely gives that “limned by the moonlight” feeling.

    For me, I’d work on the lower background a bit. I feel like the castle area gets lost and overwhelmed by the same greens both above and below it. I’d either move it up to the actual horizon so it’s a break between the sky and the ground, or color the rear green area much darker so you get some layering effects in there.

    Strong, simple, bold image, though, I like it.

  96. Panner says:

    Vamp (74): Yeah, that car is too small alright, but you know that. In other news I don’t really like the foot to the left in the picture. Hiding the leg behind the roof like that gives the impression that it’s hanging down, but the foot doesn’t follow that up.


    Jeff (86): Thanks, I like the ‘non-inverted’ side slightly better as well. I’ll put that one in the ready-to-go pile.


    Nick (91): I didn’t really see anything wrong with it, but if you insist! The stripes on the skirt don’t work, something new will need to be tried. When I think ‘barmaid’ I don’t think ‘belt adorned with demon skulls’. Also the hair looks a bit large, especially with the thick black parts.

    There, that nitpicking enough for ya?


    Tarka (94): Just to make sure… you didn’t save while having the save file open in another program and ended up with a ‘.sxx’ file? Because I’ve done that myself so many times.

  97. Jeff Hebert says:

    Zarae (65): A hand-drawn image, hooray! Thanks so much for taking the time to scan and post it.

    It looks good! I like the basic anatomy and structure, it’s all very solid and believable. The horns in particular are really well rendered. The drop shadow on the first set of ear fins helps set that area up and gives a lot of dimensionality to the whole drawing. I’d like to see that same concept done for the lower fins as well.

    I think the main ear area (the part connecting to the mandibles) could use some more definition; it gets a little squishy in there, as if your’e not quite sure what is supposed to be there. It ends up looking mushy or vague, and especially contrasted with the immediately adjacent very well-rendered horns, it jumps out at you a little.

    Great job, though, I love seeing actual pencil drawings! Keep up the good work, you look like you have a lot of talent.

  98. Jeff Hebert says:

    Dionne Jinn (70): Hey, sorry about getting the second part of your name wrong in that other thread. I’ll remember to do it properly from now on, or at least to try very hard!

    First, I think this is a great illustration (no pun intended) of how you can use just a few tonal variations of one color and still get a very effective, fully dimensional drawing. Well done! The outfit hangs together (again, no … oh hell, yes, that one WAS intended) very well. I can’t think of anything to suggest in terms of improvements on that.

    However, I don’t think this comes across as a hanging guy. He’s just so stiff and upright, particularly in the shoulders. I think of a hanged person as being slumped forward, shoulders rounded in front and arms dangling more in front of the thighs than off to the side like you have here. I can’t imagine how you’d do that in HeroMachine given the limited number of body parts, though.

    So the good news is, great design. The bad news is, the effect of hanging doesn’t really work for me.

  99. Jeff Hebert says:

    Vampyrist (74): I’d agree with you and the other commenters that the car is definitely too small. It also doesn’t really say “car” to me; honestly I thought it was a coffin when I first saw it. That might be partially because the background reads like “dirt” to me.

    Which is a shame because I think the basic figure looks really good. I like the blood around the mouth particularly.

    Although, with the clenched teeth and the open eyes, he doesn’t actually look dead or dying to me. He looks pissed.

    Anyway, hope that’s somewhat helpful, though I didn’t actually offer any concrete suggestions.

  100. Dionne Jinn says:

    Thanks for your comments Tarkabarka (90) and Jeff (103) – I had hard time with this one, especially with the hands. You should have seen the first try, the one posted here is the fourth. With the shoulders the problem is not so much in the bodyparts but in the top I chose to replicate something that reminds clothing people wore around 1600-1700. I’ll make another try with the hands, according to your suggestion Jeff.

  101. Jeff Hebert says:

    Jake (83): I’d give him a big long flowing mustache, beard, and eyebrows, and then a big axe or hammer and … ha ha, just kidding! I had already read your comment 85. I’m evil.

    I actually think he looks really good, particularly given the character concept you’ve advanced for him. I’m not quite sure why there are modern suits in a D&D setting, but it’s all good as long as it makes sense in your campaign.

    The only thing I might suggest is to try a larger head with that body. I generally think of dwarves as having a more normally sized head on a very wide shouldered, stout-waisted, short-legged body. Right now he’s sort of more on the “stout human” side of proportionality, though not drastically so. I mean, it’s close, I just think tweaking it a little would make the concept dead-on certain.

    He looks good though, don’t get me wrong!

  102. Tarkabarka says:

    Jeff Hebert (92) Thanks Jeff – Yeah Panner spotlight effect is better.

    Panner (101) – So i lost the concept and i know what is the reason. My antivirus program make an update in the back. Now when it finished I make a probe in HM with a simple body part and save it. And now i find the save. But anyway i thanks the help.

  103. Nick Hentschel says:

    I’ll second Jeff’s advice about head size; I should have noticed that in the first place. You can also add some antiquated or steampunk-looking GLASSES, now that I think about it.

    Sorry to sound impatient before, Jeff; I didn’t realize that you were doing them in order. (P.S. I found a better mouth.)

  104. SeanDavidRoss says:

    Here’s a version of Rifle Gal including both sets of suggestions:

    I moved her right eye slightly to the left to minimize the ‘cross-eyed’ effect. I shifted the tree over as suggested. I wanted to break up the darker blue green line of the background that introduces the piles of rocks on the right hand side, so I thought some shrubbery would help. Unfortunately, ferns, bushes, shrubbery, individual plants of any sort are not available in HM3, so I’ve used the coral as a substitute. Rather than remove the coral, I reworked it to look more like leaves, and introduced more on the left side, to balance out the warmer green colours that were introduced on the right side.

  105. Fyzza says:

    @Jeff and Panner – Thanks! I’d say it’s one of my best creations, but it’s definitely far from perfect. Perhaps if I was better at making poses I could’ve made it less flawed.

  106. Jeff Hebert says:

    SeanDavidRoss (109): I like it! What do you think, are you happier with it? Do you think it looks better and was worth the effort of updating it? The corals work well now, I like them.

  107. Panner says:

    Tarka (107): Ah, antivirus programs, they do love screwing things up. Anyway, good luck with redrawing it. It sucks, but as you said it’s far easier the second time.


    SDR (109): I dig the reworked coral, it looks like rhubarb leaves or something. I didn’t really see anything wrong with the eyes in the first place, so I won’t comment on that!


    Fyzza (110): It’s the knees, they are really tricky to get right in any other angles than the premade ones. My get-out-of-jail card when it comes to knees is to just draw them however, and then cover the mess up with kneepads. It’s dirty, but it gets the job done.

  108. Nick Hentschel says:

    On the subject of re-drawing, I’d like to say that I actually improved the lost character’s face, when I restored her! So some good might actually come out of this (hard though it must be to believe).

  109. Jake says:

    Thanks, Jeff. His head does seem kind of small, but I think part of that is that dwarves are usually so hairy, we assume their face is larger than it is.

    Here’s where I tried out the larger head. Better? I’m having trouble deciding.

  110. SeanDavidRoss says:

    Jeff(111): I think it was worth changing. I’m not entirely sure about losing the brown cloak, but the reddish cloak does pop more. I’ve added one last touch, to bring that red into the upper part of image – a flower on her hat:

  111. Dionne Jinn says:

    Okay. Here is a new try with Red Corsair. I changed his top and moved his arms around a bit to get a more slumped effect. It is still too rigid, but there is only so much you can do even with a program as great as HM3…

  112. Dionne Jinn says:

    Wow! That is really great picture you have there SeanDavidRoss (115). I love it!

  113. ajw says:

    Brimstone-one of 4-8 members of a team i’m making called THE NEGATIVES, that one pic if you remember that looked like rosemary’s baby is another member, the team is composed of pairs of opposites 2-4

    and now Brimstone:

  114. Jadebrain says:

    Here’s Skivuld, a goblin NPC in a DnD 4e game I’m running. I did not put much detail into him yet, as this is just a brainstorming picture (as in, I’m just looking to make a good character design and not a good picture).

    In my DnD game, goblins aren’t all bad. In fact, some have banded together to form the nation of Dinburra, a lawful-good nation that has allied itself with other good nations. Skivuld is an exile from a different goblin nation, who joined Dinburra and gained much respect among his new neighbors. Having joined the Dinburra military, Skivuld is a skirmishing warlord, which for those of you who don’t play DnD 4e means he’s a general that focuses on ranged tactics.

  115. Myro says:

    Dionne Jinn (116): Try dropping the head one more notch in order to give him a more slumped look,. It’s surprising how much the noose cuts into the neck sometimes, especially if the neck breaks during hanging. A good reference is Leonardo da Vinci’s Portrait of Bernardo Di Bandino Baroncelli hanged.
    Other than that, he definitely looks less rigid than before.

  116. Worf says:

    What? I don’t get a re-critique? (#85)

  117. Nicholas/GtaMythMaster43 says:
    This is Cammy Verns. One of my all to many 700+ characters.
    I think the face is ok, but I think it could be a hell lot better. Any tips Jeff?
    Thanks in advance!

  118. Troy Prine says:

    [The MegaGoober]
    This is my most recent creation, named Brian Altic, sort of a Righteous Mercenary. Any advice at all will do. I know I probably should have colored his bandaged hand differently, and his swords were kind of made hastily, but anything else you find wrong or that I could fix would help a bunch.

  119. ajw says:

    troy overall he’s pretty awesome but the sword/arm pointing down could be changed to either match the one on the left or maybe over the shoulder, other than that its all matter of what you wanted him to look like.
    like this

  120. Nicholas/GtaMythMaster43 says:

    @ ajw-118)
    That thing is Image Comic’s golden years [it’s a complement I swear]! It look’s awesomely out there, and I like the wierd’o lines going across him. But lose the eyebrows, they look hella silly.

  121. ajw says:

    yeah nicholas I think the eye brows look dumb the more I look at him thanks for the complements!

  122. Jeff Hebert says:

    Worf, much better! Far more menacing. I like the headgear a lot better and now the cloak chain works much better. The green sash ties in the cloak, the island is visually clearer, and in general it’s just a lot tighter and more effective.

    I hope you like it as much as I do, it really is light years ahead of the first pass. Nice job!

  123. Jeff Hebert says:

    Jake (114): I think it’s still too small, and it looks a little like it’s been scaled more horizontally than vertically. I’d bump it up another 20% or more and see how it looks.

    It might NOT look better and it might be you had it right the first time, but I think it’s worth trying at least.

  124. Jeff Hebert says:

    SeanDavidRoss (115): Nice touch!

  125. Jeff Hebert says:

    Dionn Jinn (116): I do think that’s closer. Isn’t there a set of those puffy sleeves that are just the sleeves? If so, I think putting them so that they are in front of the chest piece would seal the deal. If not … well, yeah, this might be as far as it gets with the app. He looks great though, for a dead guy.

  126. Jeff Hebert says:

    ajw (118): Nice! I really like the black and goldish color palette, it gives the whole fiery lava thing a twist that works. Having his head framed with the solid lava explosion is a wonderful technique, too, it adds a lot of oomph to the design.

    I like the ovoid bone-like shapes in his legs and such, although I’m not sure what they’re supposed to be, especially since they overlap some joints like the knees. A little clarity on what they’re supposed to be might help them scan a bit better.

    But, an evocative and effective image, good job!

  127. Jeff Hebert says:

    Asder (119): Great Magneto-style “Hovering badass” type pose! I like the colors on the character himself a lot, especially the use of the red lines on the black parts working into the actual red bits. Very cool. The background clouds, sky, lightning, and ground work great too.

    I’m not as enthused about the black and red lines, they seem very solid for being energy effects, almost like they’re actual bars rising up from the ground. I’m not sure that’s what you were going for. I don’t know, maybe if they were made more transparent? Maybe use the spherical gradient from Patterns-Standard masked onto them? Something to make them less solid than they appear, anyway.

    That aside, great job on a total bad-ass looking dude.

  128. Jeff Hebert says:

    Jadebrain (120): Awww, he’s so CUTE! If my army had to get cut to pieces by anyone, I’d choose him so long as I got to hug him after.

    On a more serious note, I think he looks good. Definitely I get a goblin vibe, but one who’s more civilized than the usual, so I think you pulled off the look you were going for very well.

    I can’t think of anything to suggest you change, I think you’ve gotten exactly what you were going for, it’s a good image, and you should run with it.

  129. Jeff Hebert says:

    Nicholas/GtaMythMaster43 (123): Nice! You drew that yourself? Impressive! As a drawing and design I think it’s fine, although it looks like it was drawn digitally, is that right? The line work is a little thready/thin, but that’s more of an inking thing.

    The only two things I can think of to point to for improvement are both pretty minor. One, her nose looks like it’s a little far over to our right. Right now its right side (our left) matches up with the edge of her mouth, when it seems like it ought to start right about in the middle.

    The second minor thing is that her right eye (our left) has nice lashes, while the other one does not. I think adding a lash to that one would help it pop more.

    Otherwise, though, I think it looks great and you should be proud of it!

  130. Worf says:

    @Jeff: Yeah, I think you helped bring him those last few steps into completeness. BTW, first pass? HAHAHAHA! You haven’t the faintest idea how many “passes” there were…. I’ve been playing with this picture since before HM3.

    Oh, and sorry about that last comment, I was getting impatient and I think it came across as a little pushy.

    @Panner: Thanks to you too man. Now I gotta tell my wife that she was wrong…. Dang! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  131. Jeff Hebert says:

    MegaGoober (124): Neat! Cool looking dude and he really jumps off the page thanks to a strong color design putting bold primaries on the figure and paler pastel type colors surrounding him. That hawk/bird insignia works perfectly with that breastplate, it’s a really cool effect.

    The main problem area for me is his left (our right) arm. The biceps are on top of the upper arm, which would necessitate the sword being held upright. To hold it pointing down like that would require the biceps to be rotated more towards the bottom of the arms, particularly with the hand oriented with its back towards us.

    Besides the anatomy of it, you have the sword jammed right up against the edge of the building, making it really hard to separate out visually. You definitely need to move the building either to the right or the left a good 50 pixels or so, preferably to our right so it is totally clear of the sword.

    I also have trouble resolving the details of his face. I think you need to tweak the colors of the nose, specifically, as right now it’s just lost. But the same goes for the eyes and mouth, the line color I think needs to be bumped up several levels of darkness.

    Finally, I don’t think his left shoulder guard quite works. I get what you were going for and I applaud the effort to keep it real, but it just wouldn’t rotate THAT far behind him. Actually, if he were holding his arm in that position, the shoulder pad would be rotated a little more towards us, I think, than the other one, at least according to the very scientific test I just did by holding my arm out.

    Anyway, he looks good, I like his design and the color scheme of the overall image, it’s just mostly that arm and a little tweaking of the face colors that would take it to the next level.

  132. Jeff Hebert says:

    No worries Worf, I usually accidentally miss one or two in the scroll, I’m glad you pointed it out to me.

    And with that, we’re done for this extra-long edition of Open Critique Day! The alcohol has started to flow here at HeroMachine central for the weekend, and I hope you all have a good one.

    Many thanks to everyone who was willing to either post their creations or to help out with a critique of someone else’s. You guys are the best, I am continually humbled by your creativity and generosity.

  133. Me, Myself & I says:

    Jadebrain (120) I’ll tell you what I really like about it, other than the fact that it is overall a really good image. I like the fact that you put the bow string behind his arm. So many times I see it in front and that annoys me because you wouldn’t hold a bow that way.

    A silly detail to focus on perhaps but what do you expect from us anal retentive types?

  134. Nick Hentschel says:

    No offense taken at my end, MMI; I’ve fussed over that detail quite a bit on at least one character of mine. (The price I pay, I guess, for having actually SHOT a bow!)

  135. Iain says:

    Hey thank you so much that was kind of an awesome first critique the beard is an actual beard but the face is actually the chimpanzee head with a few of the wrinkles and a lot covered up with the beard as for the blood i just the blood effect on one of the zombie faces made the rest invisible them covered the white spots with completely brown mouths

  136. Nicholas/GtaMythMaster43 says:

    Yeah it’s digital. And I’ll try to follow what you said.
    Thank you Jeff!

  137. Bael says:

    Vampyrist (74) The thing that caught my eyes first, and that I haven’t seen anyone else mention, was the lack of hands. After a fall onto a car, they should still be visible. As is, it looks more like they are tied behind it for some reason.

    Kaldath (55) Just for the pure nerd cred, I must point out that the white moon should be the farthest out (and the black one the closest) and therefore be eclipsed by the red one.

  138. Dionne Jinn says:

    Thank you for the tips Myro (121) and Jeff (131). They were very helpful. I now think he looks much better (if you can say that from someone who’s dead). Thanks again.

  139. Etory says:

    My knight (in black and white style) :

    the video (time 5 minutes and speed x10) to show how I drawing it with Heromachine :

  140. Etory says:

    Sorry, I don’t see that Open Critique Day was ended. another time maybe.

  141. Nicholas/GtaMythMaster43 says:

    TheRandomHERO Jeff ends these at the end of each day they’re opened. You gotta post earlier dude.

  142. TheRandomHERO says:

    Ah crap, well I’ll rememebr that. Thanks.