Open Critique Day #37

Although my new full-time (non-HeroMachine) job might keep me from actually getting to these before this afternoon, it’s time 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.

107 Responses to Open Critique Day #37

  1. Here is an Assassin’s Creed-inspired knife gauntlet created for the Random Finalist Consolation Prize. It is modified to appear atop the forearm but can easily be flipped to its original “under the forearm” orientation. I still need to add Color 2. When I am finished with it I will also submit it with the knife separate from the gauntlet.

    Knife Gauntlet: http://forums.ugo.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=82891&d=1335475195

  2. I’ll take a look at any critiques later for this one, but I present Miss Lillian, a half-elf archer/mystic healer/personal assistant from my modern urban fantasy story. Being a little whimsical on my part, I made her farsighted, which means she needs glasses to read or see close-up detail.
    http://forums.ugo.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=82931&d=1336136747
    Well, hoping to try to grab a few hours of sleep.

  3. Myro:
    I’ll take a look at any critiques later for this one, but I present Miss Lillian, a half-elf archer/mystic healer/personal assistant from my modern urban fantasy story.Being a little whimsical on my part, I made her farsighted, which means she needs glasses to read or see close-up detail.
    http://forums.ugo.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=82931&d=1336136747
    Well, hoping to try to grab a few hours of sleep.

    I dig the glasses! Overall she has a Katniss-style vibe to her that works well. Good items, good colors, good job.

    My only nitpick would be to see if you could color out the bowstring where it crosses her fingers, but that’s pretty insignificant.

  4. I call this one Peace Wing…I like to take my time with the highlights normally but this one I think I rushed through and the highlights came out weird. What u guys think

    http://i979.photobucket.com/albums/ae274/capttravis/PeaceWingFinish.jpg
    PS – I’m still new to highlighting and shading on HM

  5. Kaylin88100

    http://i1111.photobucket.com/albums/h464/Kaylin88100/StoneAgecave.png
    Scene from (my fantasy version of) the Stone Age, when dragons ruled the skies. I’m using this in my wiki: http://kairula.wikispaces.com/

    Basically I’m looking for any improvements I can make to it, to make it more believable, more lifelike, anything really.

  6. Right… here´s mine.

    This is the Wild Witch, a character from a fantasy setting I´m working on. She isn´t the nicest person around, what with that whole being-driven-out-of-her-village-as-a-child experience in her past. She´s also not quite human, which is why she was driven out of her village.

    http://i990.photobucket.com/albums/af21/Sir_Chaos/Various/WildWitch5.jpg

    She still looks too clean, though. I´m still trying to figure out how to make her look more like someone who hasn´t seen a bar of soap since she was a kid.

  7. I used my Prize satyr legs for this peice.
    May Day or Beltain is a time of Spring and Fertility. In the Beltain Play the “Maiden” runs from the “Youth” who eventually catches her and they go off in the woods and go “a Maying” wink wink nudge nudge. Of course all of nature is feeling the joys of Spring and even animals and nature spirits feel the pull. So here is a Satyr crowned with Spring flowers and involved in the Chase to get his Mate.
    What do you think?

    http://s795.photobucket.com/albums/yy240/Cliff_HM3/Satyr_Beltain.png

  8. @ Myro – Great pic! The only thing that irks me is her hand positions for the bow. Try this…http://forums.ugo.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=82932&d=1336144632

  9. @ Kaylin88100 – Compostion is good, but for a “dragons rule the earth” scenario, I think your color choice says a smurf cartoon instead of Mordor in Lord of the rings.

  10. @ Chaos – For the dirty look, google some “Survivor” pics to get the idea of living in the rough. Maybe a different, darker skin tone could be used? Try using some of the shading options that are available.

  11. @ Cliff – Nice pic! What I think you could improve are your colors. Your main subject blends to much with your background scene.

  12. @ MScat – I agree when you say you might have rushed through your highlighting. It doesn’t look like you highlighted everything, just the wings. Some tips I could give you are don’t be afraid to brighten your highlights. The wings and helmut should shine compared to rest. Hope it helps.

  13. Kaylin88100

    MScat: I call this one Peace Wing…I like to take my time with the highlights normally but this one I think I rushed through and the highlights came out weird. What u guys thinkhttp://i979.photobucket.com/albums/ae274/capttravis/PeaceWingFinish.jpgPS – I’m still new to highlighting and shading on HM

    I like it, and I think the highlighting looks great. I especially like what you did with the wings.

  14. ams:
    @ MScat –I agree when you say you might have rushed through your highlighting.It doesn’t look like you highlighted everything, just the wings.Some tips I could give you are don’t be afraid to brighten your highlights.The wings and helmut should shine compared to rest.Hope it helps.

    Thanks ams…yeah i did highlight the rest of his body I played it safe because on a previous image someone said my highlights were TOO bright. I need to work on balancing

  15. Kaylin88100

    ams: @ Kaylin88100 – Compostion is good, but for a “dragons rule the earth” scenario, I think your color choice says a smurf cartoon instead of Mordor in Lord of the rings.

    They are meant to be nice dragons. :(

    …I’ll think about it. What exactly would you change?

  16. Kaylin88100: I like it, and I think the highlighting looks great. I especially like what you did with the wings.

    Thanks…I also enjoyed your piece it’s very creative and whimsical like your stuff normally is :-)

  17. Katydid
    http://i1100.photobucket.com/albums/g416/doornik1142/Katydid.png

    A science prodigy tragically crippled in an accident. Built an exo-suit so she could walk again and decided to use it to fight crime (because, come on, wouldn’t you?). The tech on her arms are aim-assist devices for her stingers (the little guns she carries) and the extra insect legs are how she walks.

    I had a lot of issues in the making of this one. First, I’m not sure about the green-on-green-on-grey color scheme. Second, I’m not sure about the legs. The idea was that she belts them together to keep them from flopping around while she’s fighting, but I don’t know if the idea is clear from the image. Lastly, I’m not happy with the coat. I wanted to give her some bit of clothing to wear over the suit to kind of bulk her up a bit, but in hindsight I’m not sure it was a good idea.

  18. Kaylin88100: They are meant to be nice dragons.

    …I’ll think about it. What exactly would you change?

    Well if nice dragons is what you were looking for, then your color choice is good. When I here dragons ruling the earth, I guess I assumed the wordt. Cheers!

  19. MScat: I call this one Peace Wing…I like to take my time with the highlights normally but this one I think I rushed through and the highlights came out weird. What u guys think

    http://i979.photobucket.com/albums/ae274/capttravis/PeaceWingFinish.jpg
    PS – I’m still new to highlighting and shading on HM

    I’ll have to disagree with the other commenters and say that I think the highlighting looks good. The wings come off as metallic (which has a harder-edged, brighter highlight usually) and the flesh looks like flesh. I don’t think I’d amp up any of it, personally. The only thing is that one wing has highlighting on the lower feathers and the other doesn’t.

    As far as the illustration overall, I really like it. You give him a great sense of pathos that I love. The pose is convincing and the staff is positioned perfectly. I think you did a great job!

  20. @ Doornik1142 – I like it! For the legs, why don’t you try some heavier leg braces or something that would look like the abdomen of a spider. Maybe something with a gun or spike on the end. Cheers!

  21. Kaylin88100: Basically I’m looking for any improvements I can make to it, to make it more believable, more lifelike, anything really.

    I like the general feel and look of the piece. You sell the idea well and it’s a pleasing composition.

    In terms of improvements, my main reservation is with the scale of the dragon. Given its position, I can’t tell if it’s a tiny dragon hovering just in front of the woman, or a huge dragon way off in the distance over the mountains. I think you can easily resolve that conflict by either putting the wing over the cave mouth edge if it’s small and close, or behind it if it’s big and distant.

    I also think you could darken the color tones on either the side walls or the front wall of the cave to give it some dimensionality. An alternative would be to use the big circular gradient that’s transparent in the middle to make a glow from the fire that would in effect darken the walls. Finally, some rocks or something in the cave itself on the floor or against the walls I think would help ground it more.

    But overall a really nice piece!

  22. Chaos: She still looks too clean, though. I´m still trying to figure out how to make her look more like someone who hasn´t seen a bar of soap since she was a kid.

    I think it’s a really nice character sketch. The environment is lovely and she has a distinctive look that works well.

    If you want her to look dirty, you ought to be able to use either the “dirt spatter” pattern from the Patterns tab over select body parts, and/or use some of the bubbly types of Energy effects scaled down, turned all the same color and transparency, and masked onto various bits.

  23. Kaylin88100

    @Jeff, thanks for the suggestions. I’ll try a few and see how it turns out. :)

  24. cliff: I used my Prize satyr legs for this peice.
    May Day or Beltain is a time of Spring and Fertility. In the Beltain Play the “Maiden” runs from the “Youth” who eventually catches her and they go off in the woods and go “a Maying” wink wink nudge nudge. Of course all of nature is feeling the joys of Spring and even animals and nature spirits feel the pull. So here is a Satyr crowned with Spring flowers and involved in the Chase to get his Mate.
    What do you think?

    I love the whimsy and personality of the piece. The satyr looks great and I like the forest a lot.

    In terms of improvements, I think I agree with another commenter that the lower leg color should be at least slightly different from the trunk he’s holding. I really like the way you’ve changed the line color on the second rank of trees, that helps create a sense of distance. I’d take it to the next step, though, and go even darker on the trees in the third rank.

    Great job on this one, Cliff, it has a lot of charm!

  25. Doornik1142: I had a lot of issues in the making of this one. First, I’m not sure about the green-on-green-on-grey color scheme. Second, I’m not sure about the legs. The idea was that she belts them together to keep them from flopping around while she’s fighting, but I don’t know if the idea is clear from the image. Lastly, I’m not happy with the coat. I wanted to give her some bit of clothing to wear over the suit to kind of bulk her up a bit, but in hindsight I’m not sure it was a good idea.

    First, I like the design and the image a lot. You did a really nice job putting it all together.

    I admit I didn’t get that her legs were bound together or useless. Could you maybe use one of the belts that looks like a wrap, multiplied and scaled, to look more like a tall swathe of bandages/wraps? Or maybe something to look as if she’s put them in a … well, I hate to say sack as that sounds weird, but basically a one piece spandex type of bag?

    I like the green on green, I think it works fine. But I would try to vary the green tones a bit, so go a bit darker on the leg green and the back of the coat.

    Love love love that head/helmet area, by the way, it looks great.

  26. alphaalpharomeo:
    http://i961.photobucket.com/albums/ae99/dhabirunner/hero.jpg

    I like the design of the character, but like AMS I feel like the color is letting it down. With everything that same shade of gray/brown and overlapping, the eye gets lost trying to separate out the various pieces from each other. You can keep the colors in the same family, but vary their tones. So go with two or three shades of the gray, trying to make it so no two shades are right next to each other where different planes overlap.

  27. Chaos:
    Right… here´s mine.

    This is the Wild Witch, a character from a fantasy setting I´m working on. She isn´t the nicest person around, what with that whole being-driven-out-of-her-village-as-a-child experience in her past. She´s also not quite human, which is why she was driven out of her village.

    http://i990.photobucket.com/albums/af21/Sir_Chaos/Various/WildWitch5.jpg

    She still looks too clean, though. I´m still trying to figure out how to make her look more like someone who hasn´t seen a bar of soap since she was a kid.

    Try applying the pattern second from the right in the top row to her skin. That’s what I did for my Swamp Witch: http://forums.ugo.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=76617&d=1302596212

    if that’s the sort of look you’re going for

  28. In honor of DBlade, here is Blademaster D, a figure made up of 100% DBlade parts.

    http://i1018.photobucket.com/albums/af309/skybandit/BlademasterD.jpg

  29. Skybandit: In honor of DBlade, here is Blademaster D, a figure made up of 100% DBlade parts.

    How fun!

  30. I don’t mean to highjack OCD, but who’s going to see Avengers today? I’m going tonight, and I super psyched!!!!!

  31. Hi! I’m kinda new to this but I figured I have to jump in some time…
    Anyway I mostly write, but I’ve been Hero-machining my cover and I need some help with one. It’s for my Skyrim Fanfic, and it looks a little odd to me. I don’t usually work with this much stuff in one image, so it was a little overwhelming. Also, I don’t know how to make the title pop more without making it flaming red.

    http://monalux.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d4xzdar

    And if the link doesn’t work and I look like an idiot, it’s because my grandparents are more tech savvy than I am.

  32. Here’s a creature I invented that is meant to be a common ancestor to both unicorns and dragons. (The unicorns and dragons in my story do not like to acknowledge that they share an ancestor, but they do.) I’ve included the original drawing I made of it years ago, which clearly demonstrates why I don’t draw.

    Primarily, I’d like to see if anyone has any ideas on how to make better “unicorn-style” spiral horns, as I’m not thrilled with how the two middle horns came out. Not knobby enough. But any other observations are good, too.

    http://forums.ugo.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=81586&d=1326075440

    Sorry for the enormous image.

  33. Lime:
    Here’s a creature I invented that is meant to be a common ancestor to both unicorns and dragons. (The unicorns and dragons in my story do not like to acknowledge that they share an ancestor, but they do.) I’ve included the original drawing I made of it years ago, which clearly demonstrates why I don’t draw.

    Primarily, I’d like to see if anyone has any ideas on how to make better “unicorn-style” spiral horns, as I’m not thrilled with how the two middle horns came out. Not knobby enough. But any other observations are good, too.

    http://forums.ugo.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=81586&d=1326075440

    Sorry for the enormous image.

    Very cool!

  34. MonaLux:
    Hi! I’m kinda new to this but I figured I have to jump in some time…
    Anyway I mostly write, but I’ve been Hero-machining my cover and I need some help with one. It’s for my Skyrim Fanfic, and it looks a little odd to me. I don’t usually work with this much stuff in one image, so it was a little overwhelming. Also, I don’t know how to make the title pop more without making it flaming red.

    http://monalux.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d4xzdar

    And if the link doesn’t work and I look like an idiot, it’s because my grandparents are more tech savvy than I am.

    Welcome aboard!!

  35. Here’s some more unfinished concept art. I know that some of the parts of the picture are a bit off, especially her right eye. I will be fixing that in the final drawing. Right now, though, what I think I need help with the most is the clothing and accessories. The race she belongs to is a race which typically obsesses over beauty, majesty, and similar whatnot. As a person who has never really had a clear or consistent definition of “beauty,” depicting this in my art is rather hard. Everything from the clothes she wears to the sword she wields, in my mind, fails to convey her love of beauty and majesty. Any ideas?

    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/jadebrain/2012/05/Poruqe-Female-1.png

  36. Here is a commission of my main character, McKnight, from my soon-to-be-published comic, Hero Corps. He’s immortal, 260 years old, the original US Marine, insanely rich, a great detective and also slightly insane. He also happens to be the only character who can break the 4th wall.
    http://heinz57xc.deviantart.com/gallery/32292234#/d4o44r0

  37. Here’s something I created to inspire myself for a fanfiction I’m writing over at http://www.fanfiction.net/ (Pen name Shadow Quickpaw).

    Basically this is the aftermath of a chase through the ducts, and he’s hanging in the firing chamber of a space station: http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm156/Tuldabar/Heros/FlightJacket.png. As you can see, this isn’t exactly his “shining moment.”

    See if you can guess what franchise this is set in (meh heh heh).

  38. dblade:
    Here is an Assassin’s Creed-inspired knife gauntlet created for the Random Finalist Consolation Prize. It is modified to appear atop the forearm but can easily be flipped to its original “under the forearm” orientation. I still need to add Color 2. When I am finished with it I will also submit it with the knife separate from the gauntlet.

    Knife Gauntlet: http://forums.ugo.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=82891&d=1335475195

    Fantastic! I needed this for a character.

  39. Tuldabar:
    Here’s something I created to inspire myself for a fanfiction I’m writing over at http://www.fanfiction.net/ (Pen name Shadow Quickpaw).

    Basically this is the aftermath of a chase through the ducts, and he’s hanging in the firing chamber of a space station: http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm156/Tuldabar/Heros/FlightJacket.png. As you can see, this isn’t exactly his “shining moment.”

    See if you can guess what franchise this is set in (meh heh heh).

    Gonna guess Star Wars. Mostly because it reminds me of the end of Empire Strikes Back.

  40. Tuldabar:
    Here’s something I created to inspire myself for a fanfiction I’m writing over at http://www.fanfiction.net/ (Pen name Shadow Quickpaw).

    Basically this is the aftermath of a chase through the ducts, and he’s hanging in the firing chamber of a space station: http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm156/Tuldabar/Heros/FlightJacket.png. As you can see, this isn’t exactly his “shining moment.”

    See if you can guess what franchise this is set in (meh heh heh).

    I love the face.

  41. I want to ask critique about this picture.

    I want to make a bloodsucking atempt. Here is my Bloody Night picture

    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/tarkabarka/2012/04/Bloody-Night.png

  42. MonaLux:
    Hi! I’m kinda new to this but I figured I have to jump in some time…
    Anyway I mostly write, but I’ve been Hero-machining my cover and I need some help with one. It’s for my Skyrim Fanfic, and it looks a little odd to me. I don’t usually work with this much stuff in one image, so it was a little overwhelming. Also, I don’t know how to make the title pop more without making it flaming red.

    http://monalux.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d4xzdar

    And if the link doesn’t work and I look like an idiot, it’s because my grandparents are more tech savvy than I am.

    Welcome, MonaLux! Thanks so much for taking the time to jump in.

    I think you have a solid basic layout here, with the three figures in the foreground relating well to each other and a lovely background.

    My main concerns in terms of a book cover relate to the relationship between the foreground and background, and the title. Regarding the former, I think you need to go lighter, more ethereal in the background elements to push them further back. We ought to save the solid colors and black lines for the foreground figures to establish them as very close to us, using lighter tones and colored lines for the background elements to make them feel shrouded in distance. That will help the most important elements — the three main characters — pop more.

    The title needs a lot of work, honestly. Being such a thin and reedy font, superimposed on some other reedy lines like the tree branches, makes it very difficult to read. I think the dragon silhouette could work integrated into the letters, but the letters need to match it in terms of weight and heft. Go with a bigger, bolder font, and lose one or both of the “drop shadow” elements by making color1 and color2 invisible. You might also consider a deep red bar across the top that would have some suplemental type of text, like “An epic fantasy adventure” or something. Take a look at professional covers on Amazon.com in the genre and steal liberally from the designs.

    But the bones are definitely there for a very successful cover, nice job!

  43. Lime: Primarily, I’d like to see if anyone has any ideas on how to make better “unicorn-style” spiral horns, as I’m not thrilled with how the two middle horns came out. Not knobby enough. But any other observations are good, too.

    I love when you jump in, Lime!

    I think the fundamental design of the creature is great. You’ve done a really nice job putting it together in HM as well, which I know couldn’t have been easy. But I like it!

    The only element I am dithering on is the near wing. The positioning of it feels crowded both where it touches the head and where it echoes the line of the tail. I’d fiddle with moving it around a bit to ensure we have clear figure-ground relationships there.

    I agree the horns, while not bad, aren’t quite up to the level of the other pieces. What if you used the horns from the Headgear-Fantasy set, the last page, top row, third item? You’d have to mask out the helmet part, but the horns themselves are kind of curvy.

    Anyway, great job!

  44. ams:
    @ Myro – Great pic!The only thing that irks me is her hand positions for the bow.Try this…http://forums.ugo.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=82932&d=1336144632

    Yeah, that looks way better. I’ll see what I can do.

  45. Dionne Jinn: Here is mine. I’ve got a whole set of pics of her…

    Really nice! I love the background a lot, and the character costume is spot-on. The helmet on the boulder is a great touch.

    I don’t have a lot to suggest in terms of improvements since it’s really good as-is, but you could maybe do a bit more with the sky — it’s a little plain compared to the rest, and so sort of jumps out at you a bit.

    Minor tweak, though, it’s very good as-is!

  46. Dan:
    I don’t mean to highjack OCD, but who’s going to see Avengers today? I’m going tonight, and I super psyched!!!!!

    Probably not until Sunday.
    Oh, and hey everybody: May the Fourth be with you. (I know I’m crossing franchises, but today is Star Wars day).

  47. Thanks Jeff, I will defiantly get right on it.

  48. Jadebrain:
    Here’s some more unfinished concept art. I know that some of the parts of the picture are a bit off, especially her right eye. I will be fixing that in the final drawing. Right now, though, what I think I need help with the most is the clothing and accessories. The race she belongs to is a race which typically obsesses over beauty, majesty, and similar whatnot. As a person who has never really had a clear or consistent definition of “beauty,” depicting this in my art is rather hard. Everything from the clothes she wears to the sword she wields, in my mind, fails to convey her love of beauty and majesty. Any ideas?

    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/jadebrain/2012/05/Poruqe-Female-1.png

    First off, I think it’s a lovely drawing. Nicely executed, clean lines, good design. So there’s that.

    In terms of your specific question, it’s tough because not only do standards of beauty differ between us humans, it especially would differ between us and non-human cultures. In other words, I think all you can do is make it look beautiful to you, and if it’s not coming off that way to you then you’ve got more to do.

    My first suggestion would be to search for ancient cultures that you think had beautiful raiments, and use that as inspiration for this. My instinct is that you’re going to want to do more — more detailing, more craftsmanship, more materials. The more elaborate, the more I think you’ll get the effect.

    Now, there are plenty of minimalist examples of beauty, but that’s much much harder to pull off in a drawing, because there you’re mostly talking about things like super high quality materials, expert forging, etc. Unadorned but absolutely perfect in design. That’s a tall order.

    So my charge basically would be “more”.

  49. McKnight57:
    Here is a commission of my main character, McKnight, from my soon-to-be-published comic, Hero Corps. He’s immortal, 260 years old, the original US Marine, insanely rich, a great detective and also slightly insane. He also happens to be the only character who can break the 4th wall.
    http://heinz57xc.deviantart.com/gallery/32292234#/d4o44r0

    Looks great! Can’t wait to see the comic.

  50. Tuldabar:
    Here’s something I created to inspire myself for a fanfiction I’m writing over at http://www.fanfiction.net/ (Pen name Shadow Quickpaw).

    Basically this is the aftermath of a chase through the ducts, and he’s hanging in the firing chamber of a space station: http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm156/Tuldabar/Heros/FlightJacket.png. As you can see, this isn’t exactly his “shining moment.”

    See if you can guess what franchise this is set in (meh heh heh).

    Very nice! Great pose and item selections. The whole idea is pretty darn neat.

    My main suggestions would be (as usual) in terms of color. I’d probably swap the color1 and color2 on the pants, so the interior is black and the highlights are blue. That says “blue pants in shadow” to me, while currently I get confused as to what color they are. For the highlights to be black … I dunno, it doesn’t scan right to me.

    Similarly, I am trying to imagine what materials a jacket would need to be made out of to have an orange/tan interior with green highlights.

    Finally, I like the whole shaft idea and I think it definitely comes across, but I could use a bit more to sell it. Openings, circuitry, pipes, door hinges or lines on the bottom circle, something to give it some detail. Otherwise you run the risk of it coming off as just a design type of element.

    Neat idea well done overall, though, and it looks like a fun character!

  51. Tarkabarka:
    I want to ask critique about this picture.

    I want to make a bloodsucking atempt. Here is my Bloody Night picture

    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/tarkabarka/2012/04/Bloody-Night.png

    Wow, looks great! One of the best 3/4 view types of heads I’ve seen thus far.

    I think you pretty much nailed this one, buddy — really spectacular, you should be proud.

  52. Myro: Probably not until Sunday.
    Oh, and hey everybody:May the Fourth be with you.(I know I’m crossing franchises, but today is Star Wars day).

    I just bought my tickets online for the 4:10 showing, I can’t wait!

  53. so, thought i’d doodle some before finals next week:

    water color pencil; the back shading i am not familiar with muscles or light patterns, so i had to guess alot. and the fur rug is awful!
    anyway,
    http://fav.me/d4ym6cc

  54. Tarkabarka

    Thanks Jeff.

  55. http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/084/f/7/arikarin_guy_by_malfar-d4tw8xg.jpg

    HeroMachine re-make of my friend’s original character Arikarin. I don’t know who Arikarin is and what he can do, this friend provided only a drawing and asked me to re-make it. As a revenge, I made it as simple as I could without spoiling the fun.

  56. Zarae:
    so, thought i’d doodle some before finals next week:

    water color pencil; the back shading i am not familiar with muscles or light patterns, so i had to guess alot. and the fur rug is awful!
    anyway,
    http://fav.me/d4ym6cc

    It’s lovely! Nice colors and technique, it hums with life and visual interest. I’ll agree the rug could use some work, but otherwise I think you did a great job.

  57. Malfar:
    http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/084/f/7/arikarin_guy_by_malfar-d4tw8xg.jpg

    HeroMachine re-make of my friend’s original character Arikarin. I don’t know who Arikarin is and what he can do, this friend provided only a drawing and asked me to re-make it. As a revenge, I made it as simple as I could without spoiling the fun.

    Very nice! He looks saucy. I dig the multiple power circles or whatnot around his head, those look great. The costume is nice as well.

    I’m not quite sure what’s going on with the pillars, as they seem to be falling over but I don’t see any rubble or cracks or anything … It’s almost like they’re those fake columns they use at Prom for photos.

    Anyway, nice job!

  58. Captain_Kicktar

    http://i891.photobucket.com/albums/ac111/Kicktar/HM/SavitriTrivais-1.png
    Savitri Trivais is a Sun’s Breath Walker, the counter parts to the Night’s Wind Hunters, who are two mysterious groups of magic wielders, only talked of in myths and legends.

    Not sure about the hanging part on the leopard thing, and don’t know how to do the face tattoo better.

  59. Jeff Hebert: Very nice! Great pose and item selections. The whole idea is pretty darn neat.

    Neat idea well done overall, though, and it looks like a fun character!

    I didn’t want to create any confusion as to where the pants end and the shirt begins, but I see your point. And the jacket is supposed to be leather; I’ll see what colors I can finagle with. Thanks for the feedback!

  60. RobM:
    Here is a space-scape.

    http://www.robertmckercher.com/Avatars/StarshipNebula.jpg

    Love the ship! The pink nebula is cool too. I feel like the upper part of the layout is a bit barren since all the action is happening in the bottom half or 2/3. Not sure how to go about addressing that but I thought I should point it out.

    Nice job overall though!

  61. Captain_Kicktar:
    http://i891.photobucket.com/albums/ac111/Kicktar/HM/SavitriTrivais-1.png
    Savitri Trivais is a Sun’s Breath Walker, the counter parts to the Night’s Wind Hunters, who are two mysterious groups of magic wielders, only talked of in myths and legends.

    Not sure about the hanging part on the leopard thing, and don’t know how to do the face tattoo better.

    Nifty looking character! I like the coloring and the concept.

    I agree the dangly-down bit is a little awkward, particularly given its shape and location. Ahem. I think you’ll have to go longer and less … um … phallic shaped to get what you’re going for.

    On the facial tattoos, I honestly thought those were metal highlights at first. I think if you maybe made the interior line less smooth, like with some swirlies or whatever coming into the area below her eyes, it would make it clearer that these are tattoos.

    My only other suggestion would be in the area of the boots. They seem so baggy compared to the rest of her skin-tight outfit, they end up sort of making her come off as slumpy.

    Hope that helps.

  62. Jeff Hebert: Looks great! Can’t wait to see the comic.

    So, is there anything you would add or take away from the costume?

  63. Lime:
    Here’s a creature I invented that is meant to be a common ancestor to both unicorns and dragons. (The unicorns and dragons in my story do not like to acknowledge that they share an ancestor, but they do.) I’ve included the original drawing I made of it years ago, which clearly demonstrates why I don’t draw.

    Primarily, I’d like to see if anyone has any ideas on how to make better “unicorn-style” spiral horns, as I’m not thrilled with how the two middle horns came out. Not knobby enough. But any other observations are good, too.

    http://forums.ugo.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=81586&d=1326075440

    Sorry for the enormous image.

    wow! that’s great!

  64. McKnight57: http://heinz57xc.deviantart.com/gallery/32292234#/d4o44r0

    No, I think he looks nifty. Very no-nonsense, street-combat ready sort of guy. Definitely NOT a candidate for Bad Costume Wednesday ;-) I dig the mask particularly, and I like the subtle use of yellow beneath the forearm guards. Nice touch.

  65. The Atomic Punk

    Another of my creations from CC: Sporty!

    Jurassic Joust

    I don’t like the pose of the knight. Moreso, I forgot to add a saddle! But then, a triceratops probably has a really tough hide.

    RIP, MCA.

  66. The Atomic Punk:
    Another of my creations from CC: Sporty!

    Jurassic Joust

    I don’t like the pose of the knight.Moreso, I forgot to add a saddle!But then, a triceratops probably has a really tough hide.

    RIP, MCA.

    Yeah, I see what you mean about the knight’s pose. I think the problem is his leg, it should be cocked so the thigh is parallel to the dino’s back. As is, it looks like he’s standing straight up. You might also play around with maybe him leaning against the bone head ridge with one hand or something … Anyway, less straight is the key.

    Fun drawing, though!

  67. This is Praetor, an immortal soldier who I recently made. Overall, he turned out well, but still I would like any advice on how to make him better.

    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/vampyrist/2012/04/Praetor.png

  68. Skybandit:
    In honor of DBlade, here is Blademaster D, a figure made up of 100% DBlade parts.

    http://i1018.photobucket.com/albums/af309/skybandit/BlademasterD.jpg

    I am truly honored! I must admit the sword is not my work though (although I wish it was).

  69. Lime:
    Primarily, I’d like to see if anyone has any ideas on how to make better “unicorn-style” spiral horns, as I’m not thrilled with how the two middle horns came out. Not knobby enough. But any other observations are good, too.

    http://forums.ugo.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=81586&d=1326075440

    I’ve been meaning to create a unicorn horn if Jeff doesn’t get to it first.

  70. Jeff Hebert: I just bought my tickets online for the 4:10 showing, I can’t wait!

    Not to boast or brag but I’ve already seen avengers TWICE. Once at midnight and once at 1 pm today. :-)

  71. Jeff Hebert: No, I think he looks nifty. Very no-nonsense, street-combat ready sort of guy. Definitely NOT a candidate for Bad Costume Wednesday I dig the mask particularly, and I like the subtle use of yellow beneath the forearm guards. Nice touch.

    Thanks, but seriously…”nifty”?

  72. Okay let me start by saying once again that for some reason I can’t view deviantart.com so if I don’t say anything about your art don’t take it in a bad way. I quickly looked through the art already here and I liked a few but before I contine I would like to express my opinion about something. I quickly scroll down the art and open each one in a new tab and then look at them. Sometimes there are really good ones but theres no name so I have to scroll up and down to see who’s it was or just post the link and say I liked this one. I know some people post with names attached like myself and I am not saying you have too, but it helps move things along and makes a good habit during contest so you dont get disqualified for not following the rules. Now that being said, there were a few that jumped out at me, http://forums.ugo.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=81586&d=1326075440, and http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/meniukas/2012/03/meniukas-tiefling-space-ruoge.png. Good job guys! Looks cool to me, oh and here’s one from my archive.

    http://i1224.photobucket.com/albums/ee363/cameron_stanley_84/My%20Characters/TOOL-Merc.png

  73. dblade: I’ve been meaning to create a unicorn horn if Jeff doesn’t get to it first.

    I would greatly appreciate it!

  74. Cape-Jacker

    http://i1138.photobucket.com/albums/n533/hannah_gibbs5/MindBot1.png

    Maria Blanchard was an officer in the American army, when a roadside mine blew up the Jeep she and her team were riding. Of the seven men and women, only two survived: the driver, who remarkably emerged unscathed, and Maria, whose legs were blown off. She later lost both of her arms to metal poisoning from imbedded shrapnel. A fighter and an engineer, Maria didn’t let any of this stop her, dictating instructions to fellow soldiers as to how to build replacements.

    The story was a bit quick, although I do hope to eventually expand it. Any feedback, on both story and picture, is welcome!

  75. Jeff Hebert: I love when you jump in, Lime!

    I think the fundamental design of the creature is great. You’ve done a really nice job putting it together in HM as well, which I know couldn’t have been easy. But I like it!

    The only element I am dithering on is the near wing. The positioning of it feels crowded both where it touches the head and where it echoes the line of the tail. I’d fiddle with moving it around a bit to ensure we have clear figure-ground relationships there.

    I agree the horns, while not bad, aren’t quite up to the level of the other pieces. What if you used the horns from the Headgear-Fantasy set, the last page, top row, third item? You’d have to mask out the helmet part, but the horns themselves are kind of curvy.

    Anyway, great job!

    Thanks, I will give the helmet a try. I hadn’t realized about the wing, I’ll poke at it. I wonder if colorizing would help, too? I just have never settled on what color(s) that creature is.

  76. Vampyrist:
    This is Praetor, an immortal soldier who I recently made. Overall, he turned out well, but still I would like any advice on how to make him better.

    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/vampyrist/2012/04/Praetor.png

    I like the mix of old and new in the costume, that’s a nice effect. You’ve done a nice job putting him together, I can’t think of anything I’d change.

  77. meniukas:
    My piece for yours criticue:
    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/meniukas/2012/03/meniukas-tiefling-space-ruoge.png

    Very nice! An impressive and ambitious scene that I think you pull off really well. The details help illustrate the concept without getting in the way of the design, which is hard to do.

    Great job!

  78. MScat: Not to boast or brag but I’ve already seen avengers TWICE. Once at midnight and once at 1 pm today.

    Nice! I just got back myself. Review to come tomorrow. Short version: Tons of fun.

  79. Well alrighty then, let’s do this! Since tonight also marks my first entry in a character competition, why don’t i make it a double whammo and also submit something for the Critique event :D

    So i would like to introduce you to a very recent (made today) character – non-canonical, as far as my main storylines are concerned, but still fun to make – which almost got into the SODWA submissions bunch. Almost. And since that ship has sailed now, i can share this guy anyway :)

    I myself like it – esp. the background, of which i seem to more and more be getting the hang nowadays, so perhaps i’d only tinker with the face, but he’s probably going to gather a little bit of dust first. What do y’all think?

    http://i1145.photobucket.com/albums/o514/ximero/HM%20Creations/ximero_FeastingIdol.png

  80. MisterDinoMan:
    What do you think of this?

    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/misterdinoman/2012/05/Titan.PNG

    Very fun! Good costume, good pose, nice color scheme. Well done! I don’t quite get a couple of the gleams, like on his glove and the two on his chest, but otherwise you did great.

  81. McKnight57: Thanks, but seriously…”nifty”?

    Yep, nifty. As in:

    1. Particularly good, skillful, or effective: “nifty footwork”; “a nifty little gadget”.
    2. Fashionable; stylish: “a nifty black shirt”.

    I’d say both definitions absolutely apply here.

  82. Ximero: I myself like it – esp. the background, of which i seem to more and more be getting the hang nowadays, so perhaps i’d only tinker with the face, but he’s probably going to gather a little bit of dust first. What do y’all think?

    Cool! Very “evil god” like. Love the blue wings and the headdress. A nice composition and character design, and I agree that the background rocks.

    Well done!

  83. OK folks, that’ll bring this edition of OCD to a close. I’m still in geeky post-coital bliss from “The Avengers”.

    Thanks for playing along!

  84. I don’t really know where else to ask, but while I’m making the finished version of the drawing I posted earlier, I’m gonna need sharper pencils. Does anyone know of a good pencil sharpener? I’m gonna need my pencils to be sharp enough to pierce the skin (I happen to know this because I accidentally stabbed my thumb on a pencil of the desired sharpness one time), because I’ve always found the sharper the pencil is, the smoother the feel of the pencil against the paper, and the better the drawing ends up. Now that this semester’s classes are over for me, no longer do I have access to the sharpener I’ve relied on for the past few months, and the one I have at home just doesn’t make them sharp enough.

  85. Jeff Hebert: Cool! Very “evil god” like. Love the blue wings and the headdress. A nice composition and character design, and I agree that the background rocks.

    Well done!

    Awesome! Thanks a lot for the props, Jeff! ^__^ Also, hope the submission email got to you in one piece :)

  86. Well I got mine in in time but I guess Jeff’s busy, does anyone have any thoughts on my art today?

  87. @ TOOL: so i guess this is what it looks like when Shao Khan gets tired of punching and kicking and watching others punch & kick? :D Apart from that, i quite like the weapons you have there, esp. their red handles, as they break the monotony of the grey/khaki while also giving the unsettling foreshadowing that “there will be blood”. The guns he holds are quite nicely shaped – which i think could be your doing, but i can’t be sure atm. Yet a tiny nit that jumped out at me was how his nails seem to be, uhm, nail-polished… pink-ified. Yeah, i do realise that’s just from swapping the skin colours around, but maybe give him some gloves? It’s just what it looks like to me – sorry for having made you unable to unsee it now :D And what’s up? What’s he looking at? Or just preparing to fire on some descending/incoming target? /.02$

  88. Sorry tool, it was buried at the end of your long review comment and I didn’t see it.

    Not much to say though, it looks great.

  89. I don’t actually have a work in progress right now, but here’s the first spandex-style superhero design I’ve done in ages.

    http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk15/Sulemania/Heromachine/StormCrowclassic9.png

    He’s supposed to be a bit over-prepared for high-altitude and high-velocity flying, with an oxygen mask, a gliding suit and leg protection. It was initially intended to look a bit silly, but I think and hope I got past that.

  90. Kaylin: litter the home & char-colored animal half out of cookfire. Maybe ‘scale’ the dragon with a tiny horse [under companion]silhouette? And might try 20 overlapping ‘pelts’ instead of one.
    Chaos: I think you might try masking the Backplane smoke cloud to the body very small vastly diff. x than y–so sweat ‘streaked’ the grime.
    Atomicpunk: forget the saddle, man! Use belt parts to ‘tie’ him on.

  91. Suleman:
    I don’t actually have a work in progress right now, but here’s the first spandex-style superhero design I’ve done in ages.

    http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk15/Sulemania/Heromachine/StormCrowclassic9.png

    He’s supposed to be a bit over-prepared for high-altitude and high-velocity flying, with an oxygen mask, a gliding suit and leg protection. It was initially intended to look a bit silly, but I think and hope I got past that.

    that doesnt look silly at all! the only part im not sure about is the neckwear. what is it?

  92. Lime: I would greatly appreciate it!

    Here’s my attempt at a unicorn horn….

    Unicorn Horn http://forums.ugo.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=82933&d=1336220993

  93. dblade: Here’s my attempt at a unicorn horn….

    Unicorn Horn http://forums.ugo.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=82933&d=1336220993

    Nice! Can’t wait to get that one in. Where would you put it? Wait, that sounds bad — what set of items should it go in? Still bad. Look, you know what I mean!

  94. FRM: that doesnt look silly at all! the only part im not sure about is the neckwear. what is it?

    The neckwear is supposed to be a sort of turtleneck collar, for warmth and wind protection. It’s a remnant from the earlier design from HM2: http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk15/Sulemania/Heromachine/StormCrow-1.png

  95. Suleman: The neckwear is supposed to be a sort of turtleneck collar, for warmth and wind protection. It’s a remnant from the earlier design from HM2: http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk15/Sulemania/Heromachine/StormCrow-1.png

    ah, i see now! i think the insignia looks like it’s floating in front of him. perhaps you should mask it to his tops(?)

  96. Lime

    Love the qyren!

    Dionne Jinn

    She looks like a Peacekeeper (Farscape). Great uniform.

    RobM

    Great effects with the nebula. You should add the spaceship in the Companions forum!

    Herr D: Atomicpunk: forget the saddle, man! Use belt parts to ‘tie’ him on.

    That could work. Thanks for the suggestion.

    At all and Jeff, thanks for sharing… I am off to see “Avengers!”

  97. Jeff Hebert: Nice! Can’t wait to get that one in. Where would you put it? Wait, that sounds bad — what set of items should it go in? Still bad. Look, you know what I mean!

    Hmmmm… That’s something to think about. I also have a rhino horn that I need to submit and I was going to suggest nose for that one even though it’s meant to go on the forehead. Maybe it could fit there. Or maybe a new category under Head called Forehead or Horns. :)
    Or maybe it could be under Hair or a subcategory of Hair.
    Or Ears with the other horns although it’s designed to be a central piece rather than on the side of the head.
    What do others think? If you were looking for a Unicorn Horn where would you go first?

  98. dblade: Hmmmm… That’s something to think about.I also have a rhino horn that I need to submit and I was going to suggest nose for that one even though it’s meant to go on the forehead. Maybe it could fit there. Or maybe a new category under Head called Forehead or Horns.
    Or maybe it could be under Hair or a subcategory of Hair.
    Or Ears with the other horns although it’s designed to be a central piece rather than on the side of the head.
    What do others think? If you were looking for a Unicorn Horn where would you go first?

    Ears, Headgear>Fantasy or Head>Aliens. But that’s with being familiar with HM. Not sure where I’d look if I were new to it.

    ETA: Oh, and meant to say the horn looks good!