Community Open Critique Week

Until Linea24 can return to the OCD's I will Occasionally post one of these COCW's Do not look for these to be regularly scheduled, I will throw one up when I have the time to do so, Also I call it a Community Open Critique week because I personally know that I am not comfortable in the role of giving Critiques on all your artwork, so this is for all of you to critique each other!

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How this goes:  You post a work of yours, finished or WIP, and then others give you critiques on your work. I do not mind if you post non-HM pictures or piece of writing. Just make sure that you only post pictures that are your own design and not any that are copyrighted or based off of copyrighted characters. 

Also, if you post a work, it is highly recommended that you also give someone else a critique.

This thread will remain active for one week from the day it is posted so feel free to post and critique all week long

Kaldath

About Kaldath

EMAIL ADDRESS: Kaldath@HeroMachine.com ---------- TWITTER HANDLE: @Kaldath ---------- YOU CAN FIND ME ON GOOGLE+: https://plus.google.com/+HarryCreter/about ---------- FIND ME ON DEVIANTART: http://kaldath.deviantart.com/ ----------

25 Responses to Community Open Critique Week

  1. Nick Hentschel

    Well, it looks like I’m starting! Thanks, guys; I’ve needed to share my “improvements” for a while.

    These pics are re-worked from a character that I showed you back in May:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/huskybike/shares/3uiw61
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/huskybike/shares/6845Rw
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/huskybike/shares/3g4sQV

    The character, if you’ll recall, is a Chinese-American girl, a martial artist and college student based out of Hong Kong, at the time of the picture, which shows her all dressed up for a public demonstration. My worries, were about her skin tone/color, and whether the Shaolin-derived, Northern-style uniform was appropriate, particularly the elaborate leggings.

    I’ve since come up with a more “Southern Chinese” look for her:
    https://flic.kr/p/vUs7Rt
    https://flic.kr/p/vUs7Tx

    In redrawing her with a “qipao” style blouse, I changed her color to red, because I didn’t want her to look too much like Chun Li. I also think that the color stands out from the background more.
    I ditched the leggings, and came up with another way to draw her “kung fu shoes.” However, I still worry that they look a little clunky. And lastly, I fixed a minor problem with her eyebrows.

    Thoughts?

  2. Okay, I guess I’ll start? This is Lady Anaconda, she’s supposed to be a no-nonsense kind of warrior who throws bolas. I wanted to make an aztec-influenced character with a pretty buff body type.
    http://img.blorgblorgbl.org/images/ladyanaconda2.png
    Can you think of some other item to use for the bolas and/or some better pose? Any other ideas?

  3. Suleman:
    Okay, I guess I’ll start? This is Lady Anaconda, she’s supposed to be a no-nonsense kind of warrior who throws bolas. I wanted to make an aztec-influenced character with a pretty buff body type.
    http://img.blorgblorgbl.org/images/ladyanaconda2.png
    Can you think of some other item to use for the bolas and/or some better pose? Any other ideas?

    Pretty good concept and execution. I think the color scheme could be made more consistent by making the shoes red instead of orange (or the other way around). Good shading and pose. To be honest it doesn’t look like a woman. It has a man’s proportions and features, and while I understand wanting to make her look buff and badass, this really just looks like a guy. Nice job on the shoulders and shoes, they look unique and creative.

  4. @dreadyacht: As far as Split goes, check out Ambivalence, page one of my thread–transitions are interesting. It’s a lot of layers to do something like that, but the effect can be worth it.
    @Suleman: I never looked up how bola are made in South America. If it’s rocks, you might try Earth or the moon from backgrounds at a few percent. If you’re going for new bronze, you may have nailed the shape, just try to improve the color from pix on the web. As for looking femme in practical armor? That’s behind the eight ball unless you make an hourglass-figure armor shape, which is a LOT of work. Good luck.
    @Nick: Southern is a lot more practical. Shoes are fine. You could try looking at the tabi and ‘joining’ the toes if you want something else. Eyebrows look better. Ready for an action pose? Lots of them available in Forums . . .

  5. Oh, and dreadyacht? For Piranha, the helmet has this feature where you can put translucent water in as the central color. Check the item.

  6. Nick Hentschel

    Suleman:
    Okay, I guess I’ll start? This is Lady Anaconda, she’s supposed to be a no-nonsense kind of warrior who throws bolas. I wanted to make an aztec-influenced character with a pretty buff body type.
    http://img.blorgblorgbl.org/images/ladyanaconda2.png
    Can you think of some other item to use for the bolas and/or some better pose? Any other ideas?

    I think you’ve got an excellent start to the Mesoamerican look here, although it’s important to separate the various, native traditions: “Aztec” isn’t the same as “Mayan,” for example, while the bolas come from the plains of Argentina, thousands of miles away. Research one tradition, and stick to it. (I hate to start off with such a strong criticism, but it’s the most obvious thing you could get “caught” on. Please pardon me.)

    I don’t quite share Rapidosian’s criticism of her androgynous look: some big, tough women do look like that (like the lady knight from “Game of Thrones”), there’s no real benefit to showing off her figure in costume or combat, and it might even be in her interest to confuse people, tactically speaking! (A scene where she disarms, and reveals her gender a la Samus Aran, would make sense for her story.)

    My main, aesthetic advice would be this:
    A) Go more all-out with her headdress. Use brighter colors, more like a feathered arrangement, isntead of using green leaves. I realize you’re thinking about camouflage, but emulating the brightly colored birds and animals of some South Mexican jungle might actually do that job better, and there really was a bright, loud, “dress to impress” aesthetic at work in the cultures you’re emulating.
    B) Adjust the leg armor, because it looks hard to walk in. Add a defined knee-piece, or end the armor *at* the knees while doing the calves differently, or adjust the width of the plates to suggest the shape of her legs, or some combination of the above.

    Overall, it’s a very solid beginning.

  7. Nick Hentschel: I think you’ve got an excellent start to the Mesoamerican look here, although it’s important to separate the various, native traditions: “Aztec” isn’t the same as “Mayan,” for example, while the bolas come from the plains of Argentina, thousands of miles away.Research one tradition, and stick to it.(I hate to start off with such a strong criticism, but it’s the most obvious thing you could get “caught” on.Please pardon me.)

    I don’t quite share Rapidosian’s criticism of her androgynous look: some big, tough women do look like that (like the lady knight from “Game of Thrones”), there’s no real benefit to showing off her figure in costume or combat, and it might even be in her interest to confuse people, tactically speaking!(A scene where she disarms, and reveals her gender a la Samus Aran, would make sense for her story.)

    My main, aesthetic advice would be this:
    A)Go more all-out with her headdress.Use brighter colors, more like a feathered arrangement, isntead of using green leaves.I realize you’re thinking about camouflage, but emulating the brightly colored birds and animals of some South Mexican jungle might actually do that job better, and there really was a bright, loud, “dress to impress” aesthetic at work in the cultures you’re emulating.
    B)Adjust the leg armor, because it looks hard to walk in.Add a defined knee-piece, or end the armor *at* the knees while doing the calves differently, or adjust the width of the plates to suggest the shape of her legs, or some combination of the above.

    Overall, it’s a very solid beginning.

    Nick: Admittedly, I did take influence from several south american cultures. It is for a high fantasy setting, which are typically not completely faithful to one particular culture anyway. Still, a fair criticism.
    The bolas are simply to give her a unique combat mechanic, authentic aztec weapons like spears and macuahuitls are not quite different enough from other weapons in the series ( http://pre04.deviantart.net/294c/th/pre/f/2015/199/8/1/lady_knights_by_sulemania-d77zl9x.png ), and bolas fit in with the constrictor theme.
    The leg armor could indeed use some work, I’ll look into that. Same goes for the headdress! I did not want to to use feathers in this particular case, though there are historical examples of that.

    Rapidosian and Nick: I wanted a very buff lady indeed to heavily differentiate her from the other ladies in the series. Thus, I felt that going so far to appear slightly masculine was appropriate. While Rapidosian makes a fair point, I feel it’s not quite enough for me to change the design.

    Nick Hentschel:
    Well, it looks like I’m starting!Thanks, guys; I’ve needed to share my “improvements” for a while.

    These pics are re-worked from a character that I showed you back in May:

    The character, if you’ll recall, is a Chinese-American girl, a martial artist and college student based out of Hong Kong, at the time of the picture, which shows her all dressed up for a public demonstration.My worries, were about her skin tone/color, and whether the Shaolin-derived, Northern-style uniform was appropriate, particularly the elaborate leggings.

    I’ve since come up with a more “Southern Chinese” look for her:

    In redrawing her with a “qipao” style blouse, I changed her color to red, because I didn’t want her to look too much like Chun Li.I also think that the color stands out from the background more.
    I ditched the leggings, and came up with another way to draw her “kung fu shoes.”However, I still worry that they look a little clunky.And lastly, I fixed a minor problem with her eyebrows.

    Thoughts?

    Having some experience of training martial arts with long hair: I would say tying her hair and getting it off her eyes could be a practical choice, if you are going for a strictly practical look. If you are not, you might even consider adding a hair ornament for extra stylishness!
    The shoes look fine, to me. If you want, you could consider texturing the socks to show them being cloth rather than paint, but that’s not terribly important.

    Any of my other criticisms would be mostly be about our personal styles and depend on what you’re going for. I am also not incredibly familiar with southern Chinese kung fu, so I cannot answer questions of authenticity.

  8. Nick Hentschel

    Suleman: Nick: Admittedly, I did take influence from several south american cultures. It is for a high fantasy setting, which are typically not completely faithful to one particular culture anyway. Still, a fair criticism.

    I just don’t want you to get flayed alive by some PC person or Mexican nationalist, someone who either knows better or *thinks* they do. I’ve had arguments like this on YouTube and elsewhere, and I’d rather you didn’t have to deal with them.

    The bolas are simply to give her a unique combat mechanic, authentic aztec weapons like spears and macuahuitls are not quite different enough from other weapons in the series. And bolas fit in with the "constrictor" theme.

    Okay, then. Intersperse them *with* some more conventional weapons, and she’s probably well-outfitted.

    Rapidosian and Nick: I wanted a very buff lady indeed to heavily differentiate her from the other ladies in the series. Thus, I felt that going so far to appear slightly masculine was appropriate. While Rapidosian makes a fair point, I feel it’s not quite enough for me to change the design.

    As I said, that’s totally fair. There are athletic women of both feminine and not-s-feminine appearance, and they both deserve a chance at recognition. It’s accomplishments, not looks, that count. 😉
    You could compromise a little, by giving her a long, tall, “snakelike” look, as well: it’s neither mannish nor womanish, but still appropriate to the concept. But only if you think it’s worth your while.

    Having some experience of training martial arts with long hair: I would say tying her hair and getting it off her eyes could be a practical choice, if you are going for a strictly practical look. If you are not, you might even consider adding a hair ornament for extra stylishness!

    Now THAT’S the kind of advice that I’m fishing for!
    Good points, both. And to be honest, I had a lot of trouble in developing a hairstyle for her. I *wanted* to come up with some kind of hair barrette, but I couldn’t find one, so I made do with the little braid on top (that is, actually, a Chinese style). And in working with bangs, I decided that sideswept ones looked better, but maybe I could hoist them up higher, over the eyebrows . . .

    Anyway, I understand your point of view: I used to have long hair, back when I took hapkido lessons: it made getting out of headlocks very difficult!

    The shoes look fine, to me. If you want, you could consider texturing the socks to show them being cloth rather than paint, but that’s not terribly important.

    No, I didn’t think that anyone would perceive them that way; all the components here seem designed to fit a little . . . tightly.
    I am worried that they look a little stubby, since I had to get the components from the Male lists; comparable, slender ones weren’t available in FemaleStandard.

    Any of my other criticisms would be mostly be about our personal styles and depend on what you’re going for. I am also not incredibly familiar with southern Chinese kung fu, so I cannot answer questions of authenticity.

    Don’t feel pressured: I’m fairly confident on those points, at least.
    If you’re asking, she practices Southern White Crane, plus a little staff technique; that’s why I added the “bird” emblem. You like it?

  9. Nick Hentschel

    Herr D:
    @Nick: Southern is a lot more practical. Shoes are fine. You could try looking at the tabi and ‘joining’ the toes if you want something else. Eyebrows look better. Ready for an action pose? Lots of them available in Forums . . .

    “Tabi” are actually a *Japanese* fashion, meant to be wrong with thong sandals; the Chinese are more into slipper-shoes. Sorry for being a smart-aleck.
    Action pose? Yeah, I guess it’s past due. I haven’t used the Forums, and have little experience with more elaborate postures: will I have to start a new drawing?

  10. Nick Hentschel: I just don’t want you to get flayed alive by some PC person or Mexican nationalist, someone who either knows better or *thinks* they do.I’ve had arguments like this on YouTube and elsewhere, and I’d rather you didn’t have to deal with them.

    Okay, then.Intersperse them *with* some more conventional weapons, and she’s probably well-outfitted.

    As I said, that’s totally fair.There are athletic women of both feminine and not-s-feminine appearance, and they both deserve a chance at recognition.It’s accomplishments, not looks, that count.
    You could compromise a little, by giving her a long, tall, “snakelike” look, as well: it’s neither mannish nor womanish, but still appropriate to the concept.But only if you think it’s worth your while.

    Now THAT’S the kind of advice that I’m fishing for!
    Good points, both.And to be honest, I had a lot of trouble in developing a hairstyle for her.I *wanted* to come up with some kind of hair barrette, but I couldn’t find one, so I made do with the little braid on top (that is, actually, a Chinese style). And in working with bangs, I decided that sideswept ones looked better, but maybe I could hoist them up higher, over the eyebrows . . .

    Anyway, I understand your point of view: I used to have long hair, back when I took hapkido lessons: it made getting out of headlocks very difficult!

    No, I didn’t think that anyone would perceive them that way; all the components here seem designed to fit a little . . . tightly.
    I am worried that they look a little stubby, since I had to get the components from the Male lists; comparable, slender ones weren’t available in FemaleStandard.

    Don’t feel pressured: I’m fairly confident on those points, at least.
    If you’re asking, she practices Southern White Crane, plus a little staff technique; that’s why I added the “bird” emblem.You like it?

    I didn’t want to use a tall look, since I had already used that for Lady Tiger in the same series. Variety is good! As constrictors, Anacondas are very thick and muscular beasts, so Lady Anaconda’s bodytype fits the animal fine.
    I tried out feathers and some other tweaks, including an added macuahuitl. If it looks like my heromachine exploded and I had to do nearly all of my shading nearly from scratch… well, that’s exactly what happened. Does it look like it’s going in the right direction?
    http://img.blorgblorgbl.org/images/ladyanacondafeathersupu.png

    The bird emblem is great! Doing really good hair in Heromachine is a lot of work and can require some advanced trickery. If you’re gonna do it, don’t be afraid to try all kinds of crazy combinations and masking tricks. Black hair is easier, as the parts blend together more easily.
    Some hair examples from my designs (not trying to toot my own horn, just showing examples):
    http://fav.me/d7qckj4
    http://fav.me/d85cmsf
    http://fav.me/d7drmfv
    http://fav.me/d74o0jv

    I don’t think the shoes are an eyesore or anything. At the level you’re currently working at, you’re better off thinking in terms of the big picture than the fiddly little details. I would say the shoes are fine, as I don’t have any good advice regarding them right now.
    If you were to using more advanced posing I could recommend a certain shoe from the Female section, seen on the front foot of this design of mine: http://sulemania.deviantart.com/art/Three-Eyes-465610637

  11. Okay, I am NO expert on Asian styles, but I do like the Red outfit a bit better…
    The Skin tone is my main concern. She looks very much like an American, and not at all Asian!
    That might have been what you intended, in which case, Great Job…
    But otherwise, you might want to work on it a bit.

    Nick Hentschel:
    Well, it looks like I’m starting!Thanks, guys; I’ve needed to share my “improvements” for a while.

    These pics are re-worked from a character that I showed you back in May:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/huskybike/shares/3uiw61
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/huskybike/shares/6845Rw
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/huskybike/shares/3g4sQV

    The character, if you’ll recall, is a Chinese-American girl, a martial artist and college student based out of Hong Kong, at the time of the picture, which shows her all dressed up for a public demonstration.My worries, were about her skin tone/color, and whether the Shaolin-derived, Northern-style uniform was appropriate, particularly the elaborate leggings.

    I’ve since come up with a more “Southern Chinese” look for her:
    https://flic.kr/p/vUs7Rt
    https://flic.kr/p/vUs7Tx

    In redrawing her with a “qipao” style blouse, I changed her color to red, because I didn’t want her to look too much like Chun Li.I also think that the color stands out from the background more.
    I ditched the leggings, and came up with another way to draw her “kung fu shoes.”However, I still worry that they look a little clunky.And lastly, I fixed a minor problem with her eyebrows.

    Thoughts?

  12. Nick Hentschel

    Suleman:
    I tried out feathers and some other tweaks, including an added macuahuitl. If it looks like my heromachine exploded and I had to do nearly all of my shading nearly from scratch… well, that’s exactly what happened. Does it look like it’s going in the right direction?
    http://img.blorgblorgbl.org/images/ladyanacondafeathersupu.png

    Actually, that looks quite nice! Her look almost echoes that of a velociraptor, or some other primeval reptile.

    Doing really good hair in Heromachine is a lot of work and can require some advanced trickery. If you’re gonna do it, don’t be afraid to try all kinds of crazy combinations and masking tricks. Black hair is easier, as the parts blend together more easily.

    That may be part of what’s getting in my way: I gave her brownish highlights, which may be throwing it off a little.

    If you were to using more advanced posing I could recommend a certain shoe from the Female section, seen on the front foot of this design of mine: http://sulemania.deviantart.com/art/Three-Eyes-465610637

    Believe it or not, I did consider using that one, before settling back into the use of the square-toed feet from the Men’s section. Of course, if I do that, I’ll have to get rid of the red trim on the shoes, because I can’t think of how to mask it in.

  13. Nick Hentschel

    WillyPete:
    Okay, I am NO expert on Asian styles, but I do like the Red outfit a bit better…

    Thanks.

    The Skin tone is my main concern. She looks very much like an American, and not at all Asian!
    That might have been what you intended, in which case, Great Job…
    But otherwise, you might want to work on it a bit.

    It’s hard to know what to do: Asians have more variety in skin than non-Asians give them credit for (they actually distinguish between pale and dark quite a bit, among themselves), and with half-Asians, even those rules arguably go out the window!

    Most of her Asian-ness, I admit, lies in the single eyelid, the high eyebrows, and the hairstyle. But I stopped short of giving her light-colored eyes, I can tell you!

    Maybe darker brown eyes would help, since Asians tend to have VERY dark eyes. I could also tinker with the highlights in the hair: maybe there’s too much brown. Skin tone will be trickier, since I have to make it blend with all the other colors, too. But I’ll keep working.

  14. @Nick: Not smart aleck, just missed the point! If you join the big toe of a tabi to the other toes, you HAVE a slipper-sock. Overlay the tabi item with the same color insignias for the look.

  15. Nick Hentschel

    Herr D:
    @Nick: Not smart aleck, just missed the point! If you join the big toe of a tabi to the other toes, you HAVE a slipper-sock. Overlay the tabi item with the same color insignias for the look.

    Ah, I see. “Missed the point of the toe,” perhaps? 😉

  16. Thanks Herrd. I’ll make a 2015 piranha soon.

  17. btw Herr D, how do you do the water effect?

  18. I actually have another picture in the works. How is the background looking for this one?
    http://img.blorgblorgbl.org/images/ladysharkbackground1zdz.png

  19. Nick Hentschel

    Suleman:
    I actually have another picture in the works. How is the background looking for this one?
    http://img.blorgblorgbl.org/images/ladysharkbackground1zdz.png

    Not bad, actually. I like the use of the “Balcony” background as the railing of a ship’s stern: very clever.

    It’s a “busy” scene, what with the burning ship, shark-fins, and tidal waves drowning people, all at once! You could probably remove an element or two, and it would still work. (Of the bunch, I think that the burning ship is the best.)

  20. Nick Hentschel: Not bad, actually.I like the use of the “Balcony” background as the railing of a ship’s stern: very clever.

    It’s a “busy” scene, what with the burning ship, shark-fins, and tidal waves drowning people, all at once!You could probably remove an element or two, and it would still work.(Of the bunch, I think that the burning ship is the best.)

    I actually do want the background to be a bit busy to show the sheer chaos that Lady Shark has created. However: Since she doesn’t actually control the tides, the waves are a bit too much. Let’s tone those down a little. Also, I made the railing a little higher so it can actually perform its intended function. Knee-high railings cause more accidents than they prevent. Better?
    http://img.blorgblorgbl.org/images/ladysharkbackground2.png

  21. @dreadyacht: The beauty of that water effect is that you just make the central color light blue at an alpha of a few percent. It really is that simple. It shows Jeff had foresight when he designed the item. Then, naturally, don’t do what I did and put parts of the face in layers above the helmet. Messes with the effect.

  22. Nick Hentschel

    Suleman: I actually do want the background to be a bit busy to show the sheer chaos that Lady Shark has created. However: Since she doesn’t actually control the tides, the waves are a bit too much. Let’s tone those down a little. Also, I made the railing a little higher so it can actually perform its intended function. Knee-high railings cause more accidents than they prevent. Better?
    http://img.blorgblorgbl.org/images/ladysharkbackground2.png

    Yes. It’s much easier to tell what’s going on, and now that all the background is “one one level,” it just looks better composed.

  23. Nick Hentschel

    WillyPete:
    The Skin tone is my main concern. She looks very much like an American, and not at all Asian!
    That might have been what you intended, in which case, Great Job…
    But otherwise, you might want to work on it a bit.

    Very well, then. In this picture, I’ve made subtle, but pervasive changes, not only to her skin tone (all of it’s from AsianMidtone), but her eye color, her eyebrows, and the braid in her hair. You can now, “sort of” see the Asian-ness in her face, I think. But it’s about as much as I can do:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/huskybike/shares/U61Gc4

    From this point onward, the only thing that could improve the character is to change her pose, a la Herr D’s suggestion. And I’ve never tried that before . . .