Open Critique Day #40

My full-time (non-HeroMachine) job might keep me from actually getting to these before this afternoon, but 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 guidelines:

  • 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.

99 Responses to Open Critique Day #40

  1. Jack:
    Here’s a creation of mine:

    http://www.majhost.com/gallery/bobobo1/Rorschach/rowtag.png

    Really nice, Jack! Great color, clean design, distinctive face, and enough cool details to make him stand out. I love the tunic especially, you did a great job putting that together. The use of the belt as a bandolier works perfectly.

    Nothing much to add other than “Great job”!

  2. alphaalpharomeo:
    http://i961.photobucket.com/albums/ae99/dhabirunner/HAPPYBDAYJESUS.png

    Um, not really my thing. Just as an illustration, though, I’d say the yellow of the explosion background is too dark, and too close in tone to the skin tone, they mesh together too much. I do like that you made him look more like the inhabitants of that area at that time would have (darker skin and eyes) rather than the Westernized blue-eyed, fair-skinned version.

  3. It’s really good but if you made him Asian it would be better

  4. Something I’ve been working on. The arms and upper body are bugging me. I want to go more for a child but now I’ll settle for teenager.

    http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/4487/beanstalk.png

  5. Diga:
    http://fav.me/d1ivpp2

    Very nice! I like the Harley Quinn vibe. I prefer the one on the right — brighter colors and more visual interest.

    Well done!

  6. Drellade:
    Something I’ve been working on. The arms and upper body are bugging me. I want to go more for a child but now I’ll settle for teenager.

    http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/4487/beanstalk.png

    I think the main thing is that you’re trying to make a back-view figure out of front-view parts. It’s a hard thing to do. The major area on this one is the crotch — that just isn’t a butt no matter how you look at it.

    I’ll leave suggestions on workarounds to those who’ve managed it before; sorry I don’t have more to offer.

  7. Hot off the press! This is for a contest in the forums to redo a character by the legendary Blue Blazer. This guy is named ZIGZAG. Let me know if the proportions are right. I was stuggling with the legs, more with the back leg and its length.

    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/ams/2012/06/ZIGZAG-by-Blue-Blazer.png

    Oh, and I heard through the grapevine that it’s the Bald Avenger’s birthday today. Happy B-day and all the best! Cheers!

  8. ams:
    Hot off the press!This is for a contest in the forums to redo a character by the legendary Blue Blazer.This guy is named ZIGZAG.Let me know if the proportions are right.I was stuggling with the legs, more with the back leg and its length.

    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/ams/2012/06/ZIGZAG-by-Blue-Blazer.png

    Oh, and I heard through the grapevine that it’s the Bald Avenger’s birthday today.Happy B-day and all the best!Cheers!

    I would reverse the lightning bolt on his shirt, it would go with the momentum of the image. Other than that, I really like it! Looks like a mix of Flash and Quiksilver.

  9. ams:
    Hot off the press!This is for a contest in the forums to redo a character by the legendary Blue Blazer.This guy is named ZIGZAG.Let me know if the proportions are right.I was stuggling with the legs, more with the back leg and its length.

    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/ams/2012/06/ZIGZAG-by-Blue-Blazer.png

    Oh, and I heard through the grapevine that it’s the Bald Avenger’s birthday today.Happy B-day and all the best!Cheers!

    The proportions look good to me! The only thing that bugs me is the position of the right foot, but I don’t know if we’ve got the tools to make it look fully articulated.

    I think the only other thing I’m not so hot on is the lightning pattern overlaid on the speed-marks. I think it looks too uniform to my eyes.

    Overall, great job!

  10. Kaylin88100

    Nothing for critique this week, but I’d like to wish you a happy birthday, Jeff. :)
    (No, I’m not a stalker. Kaldath posted it on the forums. :P)

  11. Drellade:
    Something I’ve been working on. The arms and upper body are bugging me. I want to go more for a child but now I’ll settle for teenager.

    http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/4487/beanstalk.png

    ams might be able to help you more here than I, since most of my figuring out how to pose back-view images came out of his book (thanks ams!), but one of the things that really helped me was checking the old forums: http://forums.ugo.com/forumdisplay.php?f=264

    There’s a couple back-view images in there, with their text files. Looking at those and manipulating them to see how they fit together was a gigantic help for me.

  12. I designed this logo months ago, thinking of using it as a logo for my online persona. It’s a combination of the lowercase Greek letters lambda and gamma for “logosgal.” I haven’t started using it much yet, though, because I feel like most people will just wonder why I have a weird loopy N-thing in a circle. (Then again, I feel like a lot of people probably wonder why my online name seems to imply I’m into graphic design when I’m not…) I did use it for my Halloween costume, though, when I went as “myself as a super-hero.” :)

    So what do you think: good logo, or just weird? Or good logo even though it’s weird?

    And sorry about how grainy it is; I made it in MS Paint, and will probably be using it mostly as an avatar-sized version anyway.

    Oh, and happy birthday, Jeff!

  13. Drellade:
    Something I’ve been working on. The arms and upper body are bugging me. I want to go more for a child but now I’ll settle for teenager.

    http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/4487/beanstalk.png

    1) Your beanstalk is really clever. I would see how it looks with closer shades of green, however, as I suspect that would go a long way in making it look like an object of its own, rather than something pieced together from parts.

    2) An easy way to deal with the “butt problem” Jeff mentioned is to make the top a long tunic rather than a tucked-in shirt. There are lots of choices in Legwear>Male Outerwear that would work.

    3) The hair looks odd, not coming down to at least the base of the head. I would try adding the long hair from the next-to-last panel of Hair>Standard, reducing the length to 50% or so, and tucking it under the first hair you’ve got there. It’s a dark enough shade of brown that I don’t think blending in will be a problem. Alternately, you could try using the side-view face (use the female if you’re wanting a child look) and see if you like that.

    4) Arms & upper body: making the upper body (and lower, for that matter) narrower might help with giving the impression of youth that you’re going for. Whenever I make a child, I start by pulling up the “skinny” body from Body>Male Alternate, reducing the height to about 80%, and using that as my guide for sizing and placement. As for the arms, firstly you’ll probably want to move them closer to the body, as I get the impression his shoulders have been pulled out. On the left arm, I’d put a flesh-toned round insignia over that line cutting off the elbow from the upper arm. For the right arm, the first thing I’d try is replacing it with a straight arm. I always use female arms for children.

    Hope some of this helps!

  14. Tik Tak Tik Tak here is the Clown.

    I take back my hermit mode, and want to ask some advices how to improve this picture.

    http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/146/8/3/phantom_summoner_by_tarkarra-d5153eq.png

  15. ams:
    Hot off the press!This is for a contest in the forums to redo a character by the legendary Blue Blazer.This guy is named ZIGZAG.Let me know if the proportions are right.I was stuggling with the legs, more with the back leg and its length.

    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/ams/2012/06/ZIGZAG-by-Blue-Blazer.png

    Oh, and I heard through the grapevine that it’s the Bald Avenger’s birthday today.Happy B-day and all the best!Cheers!

    You blew my cover! Thanks for the well wishes, though.

    I love the lightning streaks in the windstream. The pose is good, too, with the usual great AMS coloring. I dig the racing stripes down his leg, that’s a nice effect.

    Overall, I think I am bugged by the torso. The chest piece doesn’t quite fit with the angle of the chest, and the shoulder pads feel like they’re pinching in his entire upper body.

    And a nitpicky thing, but it seems off that the puff of smoke from his foot is blowing almost straight up, while there’s this massive wind streak behind him going horizontally.

    Anyway, as usual, a really nice illustration and fun design, nitpicks aside.

  16. Kaylin88100:
    Nothing for critique this week, but I’d like to wish you a happy birthday, Jeff. :)
    (No, I’m not a stalker. Kaldath posted it on the forums. :P )

    ::shakes fist at Kaldath::

    Thanks Kytana!

  17. And i don’t forget Happy Birthday Jeff!!!!!! or like in hungarian
    Boldog Születésnapot.

  18. logosgal: I did use it for my Halloween costume, though, when I went as “myself as a super-hero.”

    So what do you think: good logo, or just weird? Or good logo even though it’s weird?

    And sorry about how grainy it is; I made it in MS Paint, and will probably be using it mostly as an avatar-sized version anyway.

    Oh, and happy birthday, Jeff!

    Thanks for the birthday wishes :-)

    I love the idea of a “yourself as a super hero” theme! I need to write that down.

    I like the logo. I agree that it will be fairly obscure to most people unless you explain it to them. But screw those guys, it means something to you!

    I would probably play around a little with bringing the circle down to where it intersects with the letters, sort of Superman’s “S” style. I’m not sure that will look good but it’s the first thing that sprang to mind when looking at it, that the letters were sort of swimming around in a lot of empty space defined by the circle.

  19. http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/9349/frankennya2.png

    Dr Victoria Frankenstain and her androginous creation.

  20. Harlequin:
    Tik Tak Tik Tak here is the Clown.

    I take back my hermit mode, and want to ask some advices how to improve this picture.

    http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/146/8/3/phantom_summoner_by_tarkarra-d5153eq.png

    Welcome back, we missed you!

    I like this one. It’s cropped really well, bringing focus to the character and the important parts while not losing the background elements completely.

    I’m not sure if the effect is supposed to be that she’s making the dragon tattoo on her arm come to life, but that’s how it comes across to me and I think it’s awesome. If that’s not what you meant to do, don’t tell anyone. The spell effect on her palm with the glowing fingernails is really cool as well.

    Good job!

  21. Mad Doctor:
    http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/9349/frankennya2.png

    Dr Victoria Frankenstain and her androginous creation.

    The most disturbing part of all this is the chastity belt. I don’t. Even. Wanna. Know.

    Nifty, if slightly over the PG-13 rating of the site, image. The only bit I might fiddle with is the way the whip fits into her hand, it seems like it’s just laying there rather than being held.

    Otherwise I think it’s a great idea very well done.

  22. MisterDinoMan

    I like the design I made for Stratogal, but something just doesn’t feel right.
    By the way. Happy birthday, Jeff!
    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/misterdinoman/2012/05/Stratogal.PNG

  23. MisterDinoMan

    Harlequin:
    Tik Tak Tik Tak here is the Clown.

    I take back my hermit mode, and want to ask some advices how to improve this picture.

    http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/146/8/3/phantom_summoner_by_tarkarra-d5153eq.png

    Tarka, that image is perfect in my opinion. No need to change anything about it.

  24. @Jeff – If that come across i’m happy thats my try what i want to do.

    @MisterDinoMan – THX

    And the picture i think the clothes. Don’t show the dinamically of the pose. I give her a cape which is fly in the wind (HOW POETIC :D) And in the sky i give a little clouds to shown more better the perspectivity.

  25. Jeff Hebert: You blew my cover! Thanks for the well wishes, though.

    I love the lightning streaks in the windstream. The pose is good, too, with the usual great AMS coloring. I dig the racing stripes down his leg, that’s a nice effect.

    Overall, I think I am bugged by the torso. The chest piece doesn’t quite fit with the angle of the chest, and the shoulder pads feel like they’re pinching in his entire upper body.

    And a nitpicky thing, but it seems off that the puff of smoke from his foot is blowing almost straight up, while there’s this massive wind streak behind him going horizontally.

    Anyway, as usual, a really nice illustration and fun design, nitpicks aside.

    Thanks for the critique. Here is an update. What do you think?

    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/ams/2012/06/ZIGZAG-by-BLUE-BLAZER-2.png

  26. MisterDinoMan:
    I like the design I made for Stratogal, but something just doesn’t feel right.
    By the way. Happy birthday, Jeff!
    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/misterdinoman/2012/05/Stratogal.PNG

    I think most of the issues are proportions/posing. You might try breaking up the torso a little bit (i.e. masking it into two or more pieces) so it isn’t so “straight” feeling.

    The legs also seem a little off to me. The curve on the upper part of her leg (and its connection to the knee) is a bit unnatural. Other than that, I think the perspective on the boots isn’t matching the angles of the legs as much as you’d want (her right boot is the bigger offender IMO). You might want to try some foreshortening tricks on that one.

    The last bit of posing I see that you might want to mess with is her arms. On the right arm, her forearm is significantly shorter than the upper arm. The left arm seems a little too long to me (though not by too much).

    I like the perspective in the background a lot.

  27. MisterDinoMan:
    I like the design I made for Stratogal, but something just doesn’t feel right.
    By the way. Happy birthday, Jeff!
    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/misterdinoman/2012/05/Stratogal.PNG

    I like the character design and the idea of putting her in front of the perspective buildings. I think the main problem for me is in the pose of her legs — the feet don’t seem right. I’d probably go for the “legs together” item, I think that would help.

    Looks good, though!

  28. ams: Thanks for the critique. Here is an update. What do you think?

    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/ams/2012/06/ZIGZAG-by-BLUE-BLAZER-2.png

    Yep, I like it better! You?

  29. Hello! I seam to be here every other week…not sure what that’s about.
    Anyway, I have been observing the shading/highlighting/coloring methods of images I like and think I may have figured it out. This image originally related to something but it eventually became a coloring experiment. Kinda post apocalypse type look. Might have been able to shove it into one of my stories if it weren’t for the magicky looking effect on the right hand. Anyway, I have yammered enough, here it is.

    http://monalux.deviantart.com/#/d511gbe

  30. barbario:
    http://i1260.photobucket.com/albums/ii579/barbario1/ghost.jpg

    a ghost….

    and her zombified corpse!

    http://i1260.photobucket.com/albums/ii579/barbario1/zombiegirl.jpg

    This makes me wonder, could you be a ghost while your zombie body wanders around? Or is your soul still entombed in your body? That would be an awkward meeting…

    Both of these are nice illustrations. I feel like the ghost one is a little plain, while the zombie one is a little dark. But they’re both pretty darn good.

  31. http://i1260.photobucket.com/albums/ii579/barbario1/snowzombies.jpg

    oh also. this is probably my best illustration

  32. Hello

    I started this one a while ago (it’s a companion piece, a supervillain getting well and truly whammied) but ran out of steam, somehow. I quite like some of it, but other bits… not so much. All suggestions much appreciated.

    http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj596/largebluecat/fuzztone-carrion.png

  33. MonaLux:
    Hello! I seam to be here every other week…not sure what that’s about.
    Anyway, I have been observing the shading/highlighting/coloring methods of images I like and think I may have figured it out. This image originally related to something but it eventually became a coloring experiment. Kinda post apocalypse type look. Might have been able to shove it into one of my stories if it weren’t for the magicky looking effect on the right hand. Anyway, I have yammered enough, here it is.

    http://monalux.deviantart.com/#/d511gbe

    I like the design you have going, but since you asked about the coloring, that’s where I’ll focus.

    The skin coloring on the figure is great. But if you’re going to go for the colored line look, you have to do it on everything that is on the figure, including the cybernetic leg, the shirt, etc. Otherwise you get a jarring juxtaposition between the black line bits and the colored line bits. So I’d go for a dark gray line on the shirt and the cyber leg both rather than black. It looks like you’ve done that in the cyber arm which I think looks a lot better than the lower leg.

    For the energy effects, I like the blue more than the red, but I think mostly that’s a transparency issue. Either tone down the alpha on the red parts, and/or use a different shade of red so it’s not all the same.

    Neat illustration, though, I think you’re definitely on the right track for that sort of effect!

  34. barbario:
    http://i1260.photobucket.com/albums/ii579/barbario1/ghost.jpg

    a ghost….

    and her zombified corpse!

    http://i1260.photobucket.com/albums/ii579/barbario1/zombiegirl.jpg

    I don’t usually comment but I think I will try. The ghost image is really cool, the only thing that I would pick at is the arms, they just don’t look right (I know, how incredibly helpful). I might go with a different sleeve or something. The corpse relates really well to the ghost, again the only thing I would pick at is the feet and lower legs look intact, but the rest of her is kinda falling apart. On one hand it brings your focus up, but I might carry the “dad and decaying” look all the way own.

  35. barbario:
    http://i1260.photobucket.com/albums/ii579/barbario1/snowzombies.jpg

    oh also. this is probably my best illustration

    I only do one critique per person barbario, though of course anyone else is more than welcome to chime in.

  36. fuzztone:
    Hello

    I started this one a while ago (it’s a companion piece, a supervillain getting in right in the phiz) but ran out of steam, somehow. I quite like some of it, but other bits… meh. All suggestions much appreciated.

    http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj596/largebluecat/fuzztone-carrion.png

    I think it’s neat! I love the head and far arm, it works great with the “shot in the face” concept. The other arm gets a bit long for me, and in general that leg/lower arm area is a bit muddled. I’d reposition that arm so it doesn’t overlap the leg shapes as much and work on the coloring there (especially on the lower coat behind the legs) to help clarify the shape relationships there.

    I also like the beam but I feel like I want some more oomph where it impacts his face rather than just a glow. Like some sort of scatter beam or explosive lines or something.

    It’s a neat project, though, I hope you keep it up!

  37. thanks jeff! i used those as some visual aids for a dnd encounter. it was loosely based off of a hp lovcraft short story involving necronomicon. the pcs saw her ghost. then it vanished. then later her corpse showed up. i imagine evil forces had her trapped as a ghost and were animating her body. thanks for the critique.

  38. fuzztone:
    Hello

    I started this one a while ago (it’s a companion piece, a supervillain getting well and truly whammied) but ran out of steam, somehow. I quite like some of it, but other bits… not so much. All suggestions much appreciated.

    http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj596/largebluecat/fuzztone-carrion.png

    cool pic. reminds me of spike from buffy

  39. Jeff Hebert: I only do one critique per person barbario, though of course anyone else is more than welcome to chime in.

    oh my bad. ill use it next time. lol

  40. MonaLux: I don’t usually comment but I think I will try. The ghost image is really cool, the only thing that I would pick at is the arms, they just don’t look right (I know, how incredibly helpful). I might go with a different sleeve or something. The corpse relates really well to the ghost, again the only thing I would pick at is the feet and lower legs look intact, but the rest of her is kinda falling apart. On one hand it brings your focus up, but I might carry the “dad and decaying” look all the way own.

    thanks! noted about the feet. didnt occur to me. it should since shes leaving a trail

  41. @Monalux. – The coloring process is very important thing. The good color choose sell a picture. – I the second who use brighter outlines. The reason is to i choose this method i made a lot of darker background pictures and that mode pop up the picture in the background. The zypping is an other thing. The zypping is give a little + for a picture. And the picture. The background also bright and the character outlines also to bright the character lost in the background. I also think you give a too many item for the arm, the tattoo and the spell is a little bit dizzy. The steel looking machine parts looks good, but need a little dark zypping to shown the effect.
    The original concept is good, i really like it, an angel combine with cyber method. (Why not my idea.)

  42. Harlequin:
    @Monalux. – The coloring process is very important thing. The good color choose sell a picture. – I the second who use brighter outlines. The reason is to i choose this method i made a lot of darker background pictures and that mode pop up the picture in the background. The zypping is an other thing. The zypping is give a little + for a picture. And the picture. The background also bright and the character outlines also to bright the character lost in the background. I also think you give a too many item for the arm, the tattoo and the spell is a little bit dizzy. The steel looking machine parts looks good, but need a little dark zypping to shown the effect.
    The original concept is good, i really like it, an angel combine with cyber method. (Why not my idea.)

    Thank you for all the help, it is really appreciated. I shall take it all under consideration.

  43. Captain_Kicktar

    Mirko Damir Novar
    http://i891.photobucket.com/albums/ac111/Kicktar/HM/MirkoDamirNovar.png
    Bounty hunter of monstrous creatures.

  44. A few weeks ago I posted this characted for Open Critique Day. Dragonslayer http://www.robertmckercher.com/Avatars/RobM_Dragonslayer_4.jpg.
    You gave me some advice, and I have since reworked the illustration accordingly. http://www.robertmckercher.com/Avatars/RobM_Dragonslayer5.jpg

  45. wow! great pic rob

  46. Captain_Kicktar:
    Mirko Damir Novar
    http://i891.photobucket.com/albums/ac111/Kicktar/HM/MirkoDamirNovar.png
    Bounty hunter of monstrous creatures.

    I like it! One of my favorite illustrations of yours, simple but effective with strong colors and solid item choices.

  47. RobM:
    A few weeks ago I posted this characted for Open Critique Day. Dragonslayer http://www.robertmckercher.com/Avatars/RobM_Dragonslayer_4.jpg.
    You gave me some advice, and I have since reworked the illustration accordingly. http://www.robertmckercher.com/Avatars/RobM_Dragonslayer5.jpg

    Personally I like the revised one much better, great job! The relationship between the head, figure, and dragon body is much clearer and as a result I “get” the story being told right off. Good job!

  48. Here’s my latest, Lightning Pug (as in pugilist or boxer). An old-school hero. He has a very similar power set of Ultra Boy from LOSH, though with different abilities such as speed, strength, invulnerability and flight, though he can only use 1 at a time.
    HM3 version: http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/141/0/0/lightning_pug_by_mcknighthc-d50o02v.jpg

    Commission version: http://fc05.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/149/3/c/lightning_pug_by_mcknighthc-d51kvg6.jpg (he’s landing from a night of urban recon)

  49. McKnight57: Here’s my latest, Lightning Pug (as in pugilist or boxer). An old-school hero. He has a very similar power set of Ultra Boy from LOSH, though with different abilities such as speed, strength, invulnerability and flight, though he can only use 1 at a time.

    Although I almost always am a fan of your work, I have to admit that this particular one is not my favorite. I think combining red and green in the same outfit is always challenging — I can’t help but think of the original Daredevil or 3-D Man — because they’re contrasting colors. So by nature juxtaposing them brings the risk that the impression will be of something non-harmonious, clashing, or disjointed. And that’s pretty much what I come away from this design with, feeling disjointed. I think having the sleeves different colors exacerbates that effect as well, plus with the white on the white background the whole middle of the character gets washed out visually, trying to compete against the strong greens and reds. This is one of those somewhat rare cases where I think a simple background design element like a circle or something would help set off the white portions by giving them something to play against.

    The mask seems like it comes from the wrestling world, which if that’s what you’re going for, great. It just seems incongruous with the metal chest plate and such. The fact that the lightning bolt is so straight and yet it’s sitting on a curved surface with lots of planes like the head, on a skintight fabric, throws me a bit as well. Maybe mask it to the headgear so it bleeds to the edge of the mask line?

    I hate coming off as so negative because as I said I like your work. This one just isn’t doing it for me.

  50. Jeff Hebert: Although I almost always am a fan of your work, I have to admit that this particular one is not my favorite. I think combining red and green in the same outfit is always challenging — I can’t help but think of the original Daredevil or 3-D Man — because they’re contrasting colors. So by nature juxtaposing them brings the risk that the impression will be of something non-harmonious, clashing, or disjointed. And that’s pretty much what I come away from this design with, feeling disjointed. I think having the sleeves different colors exacerbates that effect as well, plus with the white on the white background the whole middle of the character gets washed out visually, trying to compete against the strong greens and reds. This is one of those somewhat rare cases where I think a simple background design element like a circle or something would help set off the white portions by giving them something to play against.

    The mask seems like it comes from the wrestling world, which if that’s what you’re going for, great. It just seems incongruous with the metal chest plate and such. The fact that the lightning bolt is so straight and yet it’s sitting on a curved surface with lots of planes like the head, on a skintight fabric, throws me a bit as well. Maybe mask it to the headgear so it bleeds to the edge of the mask line?

    I hate coming off as so negative because as I said I like your work. This one just isn’t doing it for me.

    I have to add that he was an 80’s hero and he uses the color scheme to denote the fact that he’s originally from Italy. I never said he was a man of style.

  51. Better get something in before I head out. Tracy is one of my story characters that I didn’t put up for critique yet.
    Tracy was diagnosed with having an “altered reality disorder” (i.e. suffering halucinations), requiring therapy, even institutionalization for a time. The truth is that Tracy Kwong was born with the ability to see into the “shadow world,” allowing her to see the fantasy beings that walk among us for what they really are. Because her perception didn’t fit with that of society’s, her diagnosis and the stress because of it has haunted her.

    http://forums.ugo.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=8

  52. barbario: wow! great pic rob

    Thanks. I’ve put a lot of work into it, more than my wife finds reasonable.

  53. Myro:
    Better get something in before I head out. Tracy is one of my story characters that I didn’t put up for critique yet.
    Tracy was diagnosed with having an “altered reality disorder” (i.e. suffering halucinations), requiring therapy, even institutionalization for a time.The truth is that Tracy Kwong was born with the ability to see into the “shadow world,” allowing her to see the fantasy beings that walk among us for what they really are.Because her perception didn’t fit with that of society’s, her diagnosis and the stress because of it has haunted her.

    http://forums.ugo.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=8

    I get an “invalid link” when clicking through on that, Myro.

  54. Lime: 1) Your beanstalk is really clever. I would see how it looks with closer shades of green, however, as I suspect that would go a long way in making it look like an object of its own, rather than something pieced together from parts.

    2) An easy way to deal with the “butt problem” Jeff mentioned is to make the top a long tunic rather than a tucked-in shirt. There are lots of choices in Legwear>Male Outerwear that would work.

    3) The hair looks odd, not coming down to at least the base of the head. I would try adding the long hair from the next-to-last panel of Hair>Standard, reducing the length to 50% or so, and tucking it under the first hair you’ve got there. It’s a dark enough shade of brown that I don’t think blending in will be a problem. Alternately, you could try using the side-view face (use the female if you’re wanting a child look) and see if you like that.

    4) Arms & upper body: making the upper body (and lower, for that matter) narrower might help with giving the impression of youth that you’re going for. Whenever I make a child, I start by pulling up the “skinny” body from Body>Male Alternate, reducing the height to about 80%, and using that as my guide for sizing and placement. As for the arms, firstly you’ll probably want to move them closer to the body, as I get the impression his shoulders have been pulled out. On the left arm, I’d put a flesh-toned round insignia over that line cutting off the elbow from the upper arm. For the right arm, the first thing I’d try is replacing it with a straight arm. I always use female arms for children.

    Hope some of this helps!

    Thank you for the tips. I guess I was focusing more on the arms than the overall picture.

  55. Here is a character I’d like to review. It is one character, but two images, a transition piece of sorts. If this is too much to do, I would like his demon form to be critiqued if possible. Cody Bishop is a hero who allowed his body to be possessed by a demon in order to not die after taking an explosion. I just want to see if the transition through time is done well enough. I tried to make the after more serious looking and made the hair darken with each following image.
    Before Human
    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/vampyrist/2012/05/Cody-Bishop.png
    After Human
    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/vampyrist/2012/05/Cody-Bishop-After.png
    Demon
    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/vampyrist/2012/05/Cody-Demon.png

  56. Vampyrist,

    I like the transition between the first two, but I don’t think the glowing eyes are enough to say “Demon” in the third one. He pretty much looks exactly the same to me except the pose and the eyes. Maybe that’s what you want it to be, though.

  57. barbario: http://i1260.photobucket.com/albums/ii579/barbario1/snowzombies.jpgoh also. this is probably my best illustration

    I remember something like that from a D&D campaign 20+ years ago! Great pic! Thanks for bringing back a fond memory!

  58. Jeff Hebert: I get an “invalid link” when clicking through on that, Myro.

    Yeah, I got the same thing on my phone. Here’s the link to the version on the HeroMachine forum.
    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/myro/2012/03/tracy1.png

  59. http://i1224.photobucket.com/albums/ee370/rhinoman151/Rhinoman-SirTech.png

    Here was a submission from the Sci-Fi Dungeoneering. Even though I had 2 Honorable Mentions in that contest, just wanted to know how I could have improved on this one

  60. Actually, that is what I was going for, more of a Supernatural like demon where they can be more incognito, but have those cool eyes. I figured storywise his actions would also help sell demon.

  61. happy B-day, Jeff!

  62. http://img710.imageshack.us/img710/9022/birthdayg.png
    Happy Birthday, Jeff!
    In german: Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, alte Socke! ;)
    (Very old picture, no vote need)

  63. Kytana:
    http://img710.imageshack.us/img710/9022/birthdayg.png
    Happy Birthday, Jeff!
    In german: Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, alte Socke!
    (Very old picture, no vote need)

    Ha! I remember seeing that one before. :)

  64. Zitat Jeff:
    ::shakes fist at Kaldath::

    Thanks Kytana!

    …What? Are you visionary?

  65. I was jokily cursing Kaldath for letting the news slip that it’s my birthday when I hadn’t intended it and thanking you for the well wishes.

    Speaking of which, folks, I’m going out to have fun for my birthday, so this draws this edition of OCD to a close. Thanks, and have a great weekend!

  66. Drellade:
    Something I’ve been working on. The arms and upper body are bugging me. I want to go more for a child but now I’ll settle for teenager.

    http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/4487/beanstalk.png

    I haven’t done much with back views or with children, so I did a little experimentation.

    Pants: If you want to keep the shirt tucked in, there’s an item in Body > FemaleStandard that’s meant to be breasts but works well as a backside. It’s easiest to use as a bare backside, but it can look okay clothed, too. What I did was I used insignias to cover over the solid line, then another insignia to add a little bit of wrinkle back in. I also used the belt to help with the transition between pants and shirt. It didn’t look bad without one, but I thought it helped distract from the smoothness of the base. If I were trying to get a serious illustration out of this, I’d probably also add pockets and more wrinkles.

    I also used the shortest of those baggy tucked-in pants legs from Legwear > MalePants to give more wrinkles in the knee area. I’d probably fiddle with that more, too, if I were going for something serious; maybe add some insignias in there to make the transition smoother.

    Arms & Body: I agree with Lime’s idea that the arms need to be closer to the body, and I would also say you could work with the flipping and layering to make it look more natural. On yours, you’ve got the sleeves for the shirt rotated so that the shoulder muscles are on the bottom, and it contributes to the disjointed look. I flipped mine so that those muscles are still on the shoulder, and I layered the right shoulder under the body because even with it flipped like that, it still looked a little awkward.

    I kind of like the idea of a somewhat heavy kid, so I kept the wider proportions in mine, but for the arms you do want less muscle definition, so as per Lime’s suggestion, I went with female arms. They should actually probably be a bit thicker than they are, though.

    Head: I think this is probably the most important thing in getting a picture to look like a kid: kids’ heads are bigger in proportion to their bodies than adults’ heads are. I don’t know what proportion you’ve got your character’s body in, so telling you what proportion I used for the head won’t be very helpful, but I’d guess you’d probably want the head about 50% bigger. Also, I think kids’ heads are wider than they are long, so for mine I only increased the vertical proportion by a little bit (125%), but the horizontal proportion is under twice as big as normal (185%). Of course the head is entirely covered by the hair (for which Lime’s suggestion of the long hair in Hair > Standard worked very well), but having the head there in those proportions told me where to put the hair.

    Feet: You seem to have the feet pretty well under control, so I didn’t try anything with them. I especially like the left boot and am curious to know how exactly you did it. The right boot is maybe a little off, but I don’t think I could do better without a lot of work.

    Background: Excellent job! Are those arms you used as vines around the main stalk? Love it!

    Hope at least some of that is helpful. I know I learned something!

  67. OdioAmoris

    http://i1251.photobucket.com/albums/hh559/OdioAmoris/brainbot.jpg

    i am making a series of brain-bots and this is my main one any comments?

  68. OdioAmoris:
    http://i1251.photobucket.com/albums/hh559/OdioAmoris/brainbot.jpg

    i am making a series of brain-bots and this is my main one any comments?

    Cool! My only suggestions would be to pick a different color for the background so that the red brainbot stands out better, and to maybe lower the alpha on the helmet a bit so that it looks more transparent.

  69. Harlequin:
    Tik Tak Tik Tak here is the Clown.

    I take back my hermit mode, and want to ask some advices how to improve this picture.

    http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/146/8/3/phantom_summoner_by_tarkarra-d5153eq.png

    that’s AMAZING!! you never fail to astound me!

  70. Here’s a finished version of my previous picture, now with a name for the character. You’ll notice I completely redid the sword, in my attempt to add visual majesty to the picture, and I also tried harder to make her face look less like a human’s face with a muzzle tacked on. One thing I’ve had trouble with throughout the making of the picture has been the general area around her right shoulder – I really do need more practice on the female form, especially with how the chest interacts with the shoulders. As for the problems specific to this final rendition, I do believe I’ve gotten sloppy with my ability to shade fur, and my lack of decently-sharpened pencils certainly isn’t helping; for example, you almost can’t tell that her left hand has fingers, even before the scan-induced detail distortion. In addition, the hilt guard looks far too large to be practical; I tried experimenting with using the same general shape repeatedly, which wasn’t such a good idea in retrospect. Any other thoughts?

    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/jadebrain/2012/06/Sharal.png

  71. Jadebrain:
    Here’s a finished version of my previous picture, now with a name for the character. You’ll notice I completely redid the sword, in my attempt to add visual majesty to the picture, and I also tried harder to make her face look less like a human’s face with a muzzle tacked on. One thing I’ve had trouble with throughout the making of the picture has been the general area around her right shoulder – I really do need more practice on the female form, especially with how the chest interacts with the shoulders. As for the problems specific to this final rendition, I do believe I’ve gotten sloppy with my ability to shade fur, and my lack of decently-sharpened pencils certainly isn’t helping; for example, you almost can’t tell that her left hand has fingers, even before the scan-induced detail distortion. In addition, the hilt guard looks far too large to be practical; I tried experimenting with using the same general shape repeatedly, which wasn’t such a good idea in retrospect. Any other thoughts?

    http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/legacy/forum-image-uploads/jadebrain/2012/06/Sharal.png

    The only things I see that really need to change are the paws on the hind legs which are way too big and the sword hilt. It should just be barely big enough for the hand to comfortably grasp it.

  72. http://cs402529.userapi.com/v402529168/15c/wU7SYiqGmk8.jpg
    Victorian zombie.
    I’m sorry I’m late, it is, as always, blame your time zone. I hope you consider this and still comment on my work?

  73. I redid my logo. I think I maybe do like this one better, but I’m still not sure. If anyone feels like commenting, I’d still appreciate feedback.

  74. logosgal:
    I redid my logo. I think I maybe do like this one better, but I’m still not sure. If anyone feels like commenting, I’d still appreciate feedback.

    I do like the new one better. And the design, in general, is pretty cool.

  75. Rozenstal:
    http://cs402529.userapi.com/v402529168/15c/wU7SYiqGmk8.jpg
    Victorian zombie.
    I’m sorry I’m late, it is, as always, blame your time zone. I hope you consider this and still comment on my work?

    Awesome! I especially like the blood splatters and the crooked mouth. The only thing I really have a problem with is the wrinkles on the right knee looks a little weird. The line comes too far in.

    I also like the tattered tail on his coat.

  76. Myro: I do like the new one better. And the design, in general, is pretty cool.

    Thanks! :) While I think the new one looks better just as a design, I think it looks more like an N, which is why I’m still not sure.

  77. Crap. I missed the OCD again.

  78. HB2JH!

    Logosgal: you may want to look at leaving it as is except ‘swapping’ the circle for a trapezoid border. Then add small ‘tics’ protruding inward so that the border looks like a ‘case’ for 2 letters. It will be off-center, and so might induce the scrutiny necessary for more ppl to recognize Greek ltrs.——Malfar–my sympathies–my sched makes it happen often. RobM? check the hair’s shadow. Fuzztone? cover his right elbow joint. Drellade? Insignia-tech category to build back pockets.

  79. Blue Blazer Rocks enter him if we ever do a speedster contest

  80. Wonderboy’s powers are super jump super strength and hand blasters

  81. Jeff Hebert: Although I almost always am a fan of your work, I have to admit that this particular one is not my favorite. I think combining red and green in the same outfit is always challenging — I can’t help but think of the original Daredevil or 3-D Man — because they’re contrasting colors. So by nature juxtaposing them brings the risk that the impression will be of something non-harmonious, clashing, or disjointed. And that’s pretty much what I come away from this design with, feeling disjointed. I think having the sleeves different colors exacerbates that effect as well, plus with the white on the white background the whole middle of the character gets washed out visually, trying to compete against the strong greens and reds. This is one of those somewhat rare cases where I think a simple background design element like a circle or something would help set off the white portions by giving them something to play against.

    The mask seems like it comes from the wrestling world, which if that’s what you’re going for, great. It just seems incongruous with the metal chest plate and such. The fact that the lightning bolt is so straight and yet it’s sitting on a curved surface with lots of planes like the head, on a skintight fabric, throws me a bit as well. Maybe mask it to the headgear so it bleeds to the edge of the mask line?

    I hate coming off as so negative because as I said I like your work. This one just isn’t doing it for me.

    I agree Jeff. I think the white does set off the red from the white that 3d man didn’t have. I also would like to see more of an idea of his persona in his costumes. The reason that good costumes ARE so good is the costume helps tell the story of the hero wearing it. Why is Batman in black? Because of the sorrow he felt when his parents died is reflected in his costume. Frankly I don’t get anything from this costume. I do on the other hand love your shading, and stunning background deserves a recoloring.

  82. McKnight57:
    Here are some alternate designs: http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/153/3/c/lightning_pug_2_by_mcknighthc-d520pmf.jpg
    http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/153/4/3/lightning_pug_3_by_mcknighthc-d520q5r.jpg
    and finally an HM3 version with just a touch more spandex: http://fc09.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2012/153/a/1/lightning_pug_spandex_by_mcknighthc-d520t9c.png

    Looks better without the hood.

    Jeff Hebert: Although I almost always am a fan of your work, I have to admit that this particular one is not my favorite. I think combining red and green in the same outfit is always challenging — I can’t help but think of the original Daredevil or 3-D Man — because they’re contrasting colors. So by nature juxtaposing them brings the risk that the impression will be of something non-harmonious, clashing, or disjointed. And that’s pretty much what I come away from this design with, feeling disjointed. I think having the sleeves different colors exacerbates that effect as well, plus with the white on the white background the whole middle of the character gets washed out visually, trying to compete against the strong greens and reds. This is one of those somewhat rare cases where I think a simple background design element like a circle or something would help set off the white portions by giving them something to play against.

    The mask seems like it comes from the wrestling world, which if that’s what you’re going for, great. It just seems incongruous with the metal chest plate and such. The fact that the lightning bolt is so straight and yet it’s sitting on a curved surface with lots of planes like the head, on a skintight fabric, throws me a bit as well. Maybe mask it to the headgear so it bleeds to the edge of the mask line?

    I hate coming off as so negative because as I said I like your work. This one just isn’t doing it for me.

    I agree Jeff. I think the white does set off the red from the white that 3d man didn’t have. I also would like to see more of an idea of his persona in his costumes. The reason that good costumes ARE so good is the costume helps tell the story of the hero wearing it. Why is Batman in black? Because of the sorrow he felt when his parents died is reflected in his costume. Frankly I don’t get anything from this costume. I do on the other hand love your shading, and stunning background deserves a recoloring.

  83. Jeff Hebert: Um, not really my thing. Just as an illustration, though, I’d say the yellow of the explosion background is too dark, and too close in tone to the skin tone, they mesh together too much. I do like that you made him look more like the inhabitants of that area at that time would have (darker skin and eyes) rather than the Westernized blue-eyed, fair-skinned version.

    I would also use the cloth briefs.

  84. http://i1126.photobucket.com/albums/l607/DiCicatriz/Kid%20Chaos/Future%20Timeline/Lowry-Totonia.png
    The problem I see is there is not enough contrast. If you use oranges in small parts of the yellow and lightning some of the yellows it will pop more

  85. punkjay:
    http://i1126.photobucket.com/albums/l607/DiCicatriz/Kid%20Chaos/Future%20Timeline/Lowry-Totonia.png
    The problem I see is there is not enough contrast. If you use oranges in small parts of the yellow and lightning some of the yellows it will pop more

    I like the update of the old brain-in-jar villain during the early days of comics. He looks a lot more menacing with legs instead of the traditional tank treads. I makes me want them to use this in a Doom Patrol update.

  86. Wil:
    Wonderboy http://th05.deviantart.net/fs70/150/t/2012/154/d/3/d3767649323be16678e2e791151a4a7e.png

    I like it. One thing that would make it perfect would be to put a dark grey in the details so that it would be more 3-d

  87. DiCicatriz:
    Sharing a few new ideas…

    These are a few original characters, empowered by specific Aztec deities. Hope you guys like them.

    http://i1126.photobucket.com/albums/l607/DiCicatriz/Kid%20Chaos/Future%20Timeline/Danford-Omotac.png

    http://i1126.photobucket.com/albums/l607/DiCicatriz/Kid%20Chaos/Future%20Timeline/Quevedo-Quiahuiz.png

    http://i1126.photobucket.com/albums/l607/DiCicatriz/Kid%20Chaos/Future%20Timeline/Diez-Mictiz.png

    http://i1126.photobucket.com/albums/l607/DiCicatriz/Kid%20Chaos/Future%20Timeline/Durbeyfield-Yahualoa.png

    I guess this one may be the one I was having doubts on. I don’t know, she just looks a little stiff. Any thoughts?

    http://i1126.photobucket.com/albums/l607/DiCicatriz/Kid%20Chaos/Future%20Timeline/Lowry-Totonia.png

    She looks great! Just the pose, as you said looks stiff. I recommend you change her legs to be closer together (ankles touching) and open her arms out and straighten her hands. Gives the figure a more feminine look. Don’t change the coloring! Your other pics look amzing also!

    Can you tell me how you get the multicolor effect on the wings?

    Love your stuff and concepts. Cheers!