Open Critique Day #28

Folks, 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.

117 Responses to Open Critique Day #28

  1. Albannach says:

    I was in a minimalist mode when I made this, clearly ๐Ÿ˜› In case anyone is wondering, the head is the hammerhead shark’s, just flipped upside down.

  2. Vampyrist says:

    Albannach, I like it.

    Here’s mine for critiquing, an armored hero named koutetsu.

  3. Jadebrain says:

    Here’s a character I’m playing in a friend’s World of Darkness game. And before anyone asks, yes, he is based on Bubs from

  4. Jeff Hebert says:

    Albannach: Interesting silhouette! I like the general outline and the menacing nature. I do wonder if the effect might be even more threatening without the mouth and going with some glowing blank eyes instead of something with pupils in it.

  5. Jeff Hebert says:

    Vampyrist: That’s a really nice looking armored avenger type of guy! The good item choices and consistent colors help tie it all together very well. I’m not a huge fan of the glow around the head fin, as I keep wanting to think it’s the same kind of ray due to gradients and color as what’s coming out of his hands. But those are (apparently) actually propelling him through the air, so I can’t figure out if the head glow is supposed to also be propulsive in some way, which threatens to venture into Bulletman “flung by the neck at the speed of sound” territory …

    I like it, though, very nicely done!

  6. Jeff Hebert says:

    Jadebrain: I like the beefy normalcy of the character, combined with the menace of the gun. Your use of those yellow road stripes adds a lot to the image, as well. He looks good!

    In terms of suggestions for improvement, I think I’d go with a darker yellow for the “Bubs” on the building, so it looks further in the distance than the one on his chest. Similarly, I’d go with a darker maroon for the background building that’s furthest in the back, for the same reason.

  7. Tarkabarka says:

    @Albannach (1) – Very intresting looking. Great item usage. Looks like an evil sect insignia. I think the face no needed, or i find another face.

    @Vampyrist (2) – Nice coloring and shading effect. Very attractive armor. I like the pose. But i think if you give the legs side by side not the right front of the left looks much better. BTW Good work Vampyrist very good work.

  8. Jeff Hebert says:

    Kaldath: I like the grayscale treatment, I think in this case it adds an air of fantasy and etherealness to the illustration. The sky background and pose are also both excellent — that’s one of the nicer 3/4 view faces I’ve seen to date.

    My only minor concern is the moon she’s sitting on. At first I couldn’t find the top part (between her wings) and I was pretty confused as to what was thrusting between her legs. I knew the top had to be there somewhere so I did find it, but it’s visually confusing. At least for me. I am not 100% sure on how to resolve that, but maybe if the near wing were one that was spread out more. I think the problem currently is that you have three roughly similar shapes in the same tones and position all right next to each other (wing, moon top, wing). It might also work just to lower the tops of the wings, so the top of the moon crescent is clearly higher than they are. I think that would help immediately separate them, visually.

    That’s fairly minor, though, it’s a really nice illustration!

  9. Tarkabarka says:

    @Jadebrain (3) – Nice stance. Very monstrous looking char. I also think a darker background more prefer. And me the forearms a little bit bigger than the upperarms.

    @Kaldath (4) – First of all i like every type of angel. I think this angel is so cool. Very intresting pose and coloring. The moon sitting so similar my angel of night. I personally don’t like the standart thigh, if i make it i use a female head for thigh. I very like this picture. Very intresting. Great work Kaldath

  10. Tarkabarka says:

    One picture for me.

    I really like shadowrun. If i have free time i go and play. After the last O.C. I think i practice more the shadows. So i made an elf decker. She is Carla Aegis an elf battle decker. She goes in the building to help the runners and switch of the security system.

  11. Jeff Hebert says:

    Tarkabarka: Very nice! I like the environmental elements very much. The elevator, laser sight on the gun, keypad, and accessories are all great. I like the character design as well.

    The bits that concern me are anatomical. It seems like her head should be further over to our left (her right) than it is. And either her right breast (to our left) has been thrown waaaaaay over too far, or she’s got an enormously broad ribcage. I’d want that entire coat segment (with the built-in breast shadow) moved pretty far over to our right.

    Otherwise, great job!

  12. Jeff Hebert says:

    alphaalpharomeo: I like the basic design and layout of the card, and I think the opposed figures are cool. I like that the facemask is the huge diamond. I do think it needs “more”, though — a border, some treatment to make the “J”s in the corners stand out, a white background (maybe with some sort of design element framing just the figures), some way to make the figures look like flipped mirrors like two different-sized swords on the backs, that kind of thing.

  13. Albannach says:

    A revised version of my original post, with new eyes and no mouth.

  14. Trekkie says:

    A hand-drawn Batman and Robin picture. I’m not quite sure whether I’ve got the hands right. Also, ignore the triangle-shaped bit sticking out of Robin’s cape (that was a failed attempt to make his cape billow out), the scribbles next to Batman’s head and the random picture of the Flash. I also haven’t added any shading to Batman’s cape yet- I’m leaving that until last. (It’s a bit fuzzy, but I hope not too much.)

  15. Zarae says:

    wow, i finally make it on a friday!

    anyway, heres an old one, yall can ignore the other two in the back ground, esp Dorky horse-

  16. Kaldath says:

    @Meniukas (17) That is an absolutely Gorgeous illustration!! Only two things I note that could make it better. The first I think the foot she is standing on should be flipped, it doesn’t look natural they way it is now. The only other thing is the calf on the bent leg is blocking too much of the thigh. I think it could use an insignia in there to cover up part of the curve of the calf.

  17. Kaldath says:

    @Meniukas – WOW that is an Absolutely GORGEOUS illustration! Only two issues. I think the foot she is standing on should be flipped, it looks unnatural the way it is. The other issue would be I think that the calf on the bent leg is covering too much of the thigh making it looks like it is not attached to it. An insignia placed to cover up a small part of the calves curve would solve that.

  18. Kaldath says:

    @Zarea – That is Very very good, Colored me impressed!

  19. Jeff Hebert says:

    Albannach, I like that better, though now I keep wanting to do things like color the eyes and put that crackling energy effect around them, that sort of thing. But you quickly start to get away from the minimalist approach you were going for, so that’s up to you.

  20. Jeff Hebert says:

    Trekkie: Very nice! The hands are fine, in my opinion. All the proportions are well done, and the costume details are spot-on.

    The only bit that throws me some is Batman’s head and neck area. The back of his head seems to stick out too far, and he seems like he’d have more trapezius showing, along with a thicker neck.

    Otherwise I love it!

  21. Jeff Hebert says:

    Meniukas: Wow, great job! Love the colors, the pose, the concept, and the overall layout. The background is outstanding.

    I’m not as crazy about the blue hair thing, as I’m not sure what it’s supposed to be or how it actually would work in practice. And her right foot (the one on the skull) is backwards — the big toe is always on the inside of the legs, not the outside. I also get a little confused by the lower leg that’s tucked under — it looks like the calf is laying on the outside of the thigh, which is awkward. But if it is that way, then her foot would also be on top of the opposite thigh, I’d think … I expect the lower leg to be tucked under the thigh it’s attached to, meaning the foot is up against the butt and out of sight. I dunno, I’m just having a hard time figuring out exactly how all of that works.

    Putting those things aside, though, it’s a great effort and an excellent illustration.

  22. Jeff Hebert says:

    Hi Zarae, glad you made it! That’s a very cool set of horse armor, I like it. The details and design are good. I like that you left the rivets in. The bit around where the unicorn horn is works well, too, that’s a nice flowing element to place next to the more rigid lines of the rest of it.

    Great job!

  23. Abraxas says:

    The most recent version of a character I have been kicking around in my head for a very long time as created through Hero Machine 3. Please tell me what you think and where it can be improved. Thanks.

  24. Kaylin88100 says:

    OK here’s one. It’s a tiny fairy who’s just been attacked by some sort of creature that “Was THIS big!”
    Hope you like.

  25. Doornik1142 says:

    I have one character but two different color schemes.

    Ver. 1:
    Ver. 2:

    The first one is very reminiscent of the Flash, which seemed appropriate. But looking back maybe it’s a little too much like the Flash. The second puts a different spin on it but feels a little plain.

    Which one is the better color scheme? (Any other ideas for improvement would also be welcome.)

  26. Doornik1142 says:

    Kaylin88100 (25)

    You know it never occurred to me until just now, but there is no fig leaf piece in HeroMachine. Someone should get on that.

    Well anyway, I like this and I think you did a great job. My only issue is the scars on the fairy’s leg and torso. Are those from the thing that attacked her? How big could it have been if it left such small scars? But eh, that’s a minor quibble at best. Very nice work.

  27. Mr. Q says:

    I’ve been messing around with Hero Machine 3 for almost a week on the following two entries. I got inspired to make a female outfit and weapon based on the artwork of Jack Kirby (New Gods, OMAC, etc).

    Not really the most original design imo and I’m nowhere near Kirby’s level. But its the most detailed HM3 piece I’ve done by far. I had to use multiple layers for each part of the outfit plus use full colored (including the lines) shapes and items to hide lines like in the arms and legs. I’m nowhere near the level of skill the rest of community has shown in the past, but I’d like to get some comments and advice on it.

    Mr. Q

  28. Worf says:

    Ok, I’m a little late to the party but here goes: (in 4s so the posts don’t go overboard)

    @Albannach(1): Nice silhouette. Menacing. Liking the redesign as well.

    @Vampyrist(2): I really like this. Great design and great color palette.

    @Jadebrain(3): Nice. Very good composition. I’d perhaps try to make his lower half a bit larger. To me he looks a little “dwarvish”.

    @Kaldath(4): I like the overall picture and agree with Jeff that the moon needs some change to make it pop/distinguishable. There are two other parts that bother me. Her left tight and it’s position. It seems a little too long in comparison with the other leg. Also it almost seems to be placed too low. The moon feels like it’s cutting through her lower torso/leg.

  29. Cliff says:

    So what does everyone think about this one?
    I posted in in Animalia II
    It’s my Bullywug

  30. Worf says:

    @Tarkabarka(11): I really like it. Also I think Jeff nailed the commentary on the breasts.

    @alphaalpharomeo(13): Same as above basically. I like it a lot and think Jeff is right on the money.

    @Trekkie(16): Overall a very nice drawing. Wish I could come close to that. A couple of things… His right leg(our left) is a couple of milliliters shorter that the left leg. Same thing with his right shoulder. On the head I think if you moved it a little forward and took a little off of that bulge in the back you’d be golden. Still, I envy you and that ability to draw like that.

    @Meniukas(17): Double WOW! Great composition. Also, another case where Jeff said everything I was going to say so I’ll leave it as is.

  31. Jeff Hebert says:

    Kaylin88100: Very cute! Great layout and I love the character. You’ve illustrated the idea well, it has a lot of heart to it.

    I think what it needs more than anything is just some more depth of color. The green value of the background is so close in value to the greens in her skin that they flatten out a bit. I’d go darker on the background part — still that same green but several notches down in darkness. Similarly, I think some tonal variation is needed in the middle-ground purple flowers. You don’t have to go much up or down the value chart on those, but even a notch or two leading the eye from lighter in the front to darker in the back, some hint that there’s shading where one petal overlays another, would help add to the depth of the illustration a lot.

    Great job, though, it has a lot of fun and whimsy, and looks good to boot!

  32. Jeff Hebert says:

    Doornik1142: Personally I like the more traditional Flash-style color scheme. But that might just be because I am old-school. Or, you know, just old.

    I love her shoulders and chest area, I think that all works great. I’m not as in love with the yellow thong stripe down the torso … I keep looking at it and seeing it as a thong, and thinking how uncomfortable that must be. I mean, I know it’s not, but visually that’s what I get from it. Maybe some more integrated color shapes in and around there would help?

    I also think part of the Flash-like nature of it comes from the boots, which look a lot like his, right down to the little swoosh thingie on the sides. Maybe bring them up to mid-thigh instead, with an angled top? Or lower? Or even just make the tops angled, something to differentiate it. I think that would help a lot, as it’s really mostly the red tights right on the Flash-like boots that are the most reminiscent of the DC character. The whole top part looks quite distinctive already.

    Hope that helps, nice job!

  33. Jeff Hebert says:

    Mr. Q.: I’d say you definitely have the Kirby-like vibe down pat! It has a really nice Big Barda type of feel to it. I particularly like her top a lot, that’s a cool design.

    Honestly, I can’t think of much I’d add to it or change, I think you pretty much nailed it. Good job!

  34. Jeff Hebert says:

    Cliff: I thought this was a clever and fun piece the first time I saw it. He has a lot of personality, and I think the background is excellent.

    My main problems with it, as I recall, started with the tongue, which doesn’t come off as very tongue-ish. Since it’s one undifferentiated color with no line detailing or shading at all, it ends up completely one-dimensional and flat, whereas from the outline it seems like it ought to be loopy and slithery and somewhat folded around the edges. Another minor area of concern was the right arm. There’s a glove on the hand holding the weapon, but then there’s fur on top of that the same color as the rest of him. That makes me think it’s part of him and not part of a separate glove, but then he doesn’t have fur anywhere else. And the glove’s the same color still, further confusing things, but it must be a glove as it’s metal and engraved. It’s just a little confusing as to what’s clothing and what’s flesh.

    Like I said, though, I love the fundamental character design and think he has lots of sparkle.

  35. Jeff Hebert says:

    Abraxas: Sorry I missed this link the first time around! It’s a really good character design. All the items fit well, and come together to tell a story about who this figure might be. The color scheme is solid, giving support to the figure without overwhelming it. I really like the patterning in the leg skirts.

    I think mostly it just needs a little tweaking here and there to go to the next level. Things like making the colors of the glasses and their rims slightly different, adding to their dimensionality. Or using more of a brassy yellow to differentiate the metallic items in his gear from the cloth trim.

    You did a great job on it, thanks for sharing!

  36. Tarkabarka says:

    Sorry i’m lost in the Skyrim world. – Thanks Jeff if i have a little time i remade the head and the coat.

    @Alpharomeo(13) – Very good idea. I also like the spades in the head. I think a white background is more better.

    @Albannach (15) – Yeap more better, but if you made the eyes red the char have more nasty looking.

    @Trekkie (16) – Nice work. I really like Batman. I agree with Jeff, Batman head shape not perfect. But i think this
    picture is sooo cool. Nice work Trekkie.

    @Meniukas (17) – Nice coloring and shading. Firts see very remaining me an MMO char. Good Idea. Yeap the right leg a little bit unnatural, and i have a visually problem with the left leg. For me now looks like she haven’t got left feet. I think if you pull back the thight it’s more fit.
    BTW very good picture Meniukas

    @Zarae(18) – Very good horse armor. I also like the horse head. Very hard to draw a good animal head, but you made it. Nice work Zarae

    @Kaylin88100 (25) – Very good idea. The fairy really looks like tiny. I agree with Doornik i think the scars no needed, and i think the green backgroun is not good. Very similar with the char skin color. Good Work

    @Cliff(28) – Nice fantasy character. I like the armor, and the shield. I think the camuflage pattern off the sword is not really good. I like this picture very unusuall.

  37. Worf says:

    @Zarae(18): Great horse armor. I envy all you people that can draw like that. With that said, I think the only problem is proportion. The blue horsehead, for me, has a better proportion to the neck, so I’d try to emulate that. Otherwise, I still envy you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    @Kaylin88100(25): The only thing I’d change, and I’m not sure exactly how, is the colors. She somehow blends a little too well with the background, so a little more differentiation would go a long way.

    @Doornik1142(26):I’d go with the red/yellow, but that might just be my DC-favoring-Flash-liking brain talking. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    @Mr.Q(28):I think you have a Big-Barda-esque feel to her outfit and I like it. Where you could go more Kirby-like is the headgear. He was one of those “go big or go home” kinda fellas where that was concerned, and that’s where I feel you lost it a little. Maybe some over-the-top shoulder gear as well to round it out? Still a very good effort.

  38. Jeff Hebert says:

    Must … control … seething jealousy … of Tarkabarka playing “Skyrim” …

  39. Captain Kicktar says:
    Amy doesn’t have any story, lore, or anything, so you can feel free to critique, Jeff.

  40. Jeff Hebert says:

    Captain Kicktar: Very nice concept and good execution. She looks like she SHOULD have a backstory and some lore!

  41. Worf says:

    @Abraxas(25): Your comment must have been waiting moderation or something because It wasn’t there when I made the first run-through. Anyway, let’s get down to it. I’d change exactly ONE very small thing. The angle of the floor. For me it reads as WAAAAAAY to sloped for him to be standing like that. It feels like he should be holding onto something. Try 240%x60% on that floor and lowering the rocks.

    @Cliff(31): Yet another case of “Jeff stole my thunder”. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    @Jeff: STOP THAT! You’re posting what I want to post, just before I post it! hehehehe ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜›

    @Captain Kicktar(41): Niiiice. Great bit of “thumb-masking” on that left hand. I would perhaps move both legs a few pixels to our left as it looks like she’s just about to topple.

  42. Jeff Hebert says:

    Asder: I like it! Great colors, item choices, layout, etc. I keep trying to think of something to say to change on it, but I can’t come up with anything. So … yeah, good job!

  43. Myro says:

    I really don’t know what to go with today. I’m thinking I’ll just go with ol’ Scrappy here. It’s a steampunk mecha unit I cooked up. Since it’s homemade, I made it look a little gritty looking, and hopefully make it look like it’s cobbled from spare parts.

  44. Jeff Hebert says:

    Myro: Love it! She has a lot of personality. It looks a lot different than the usual mech type, which is all to the good as far as I am concerned. This is one of my favorite things you’ve done.

    Man, I am just full of positivity today :-/ Sorry I can’t think of anything to suggest on this one, either, I think it’s great.

  45. Worf says:

    @Asder(44): Other than Great Picture, I got nothing….

  46. Tarkabarka says:

    OOPS. Sorry Jeff. I Don’t know what i started… with my word. Skyrim is so fabolous. Now a game than i more than 15 hour play and only discovered a the few percentage of the world.

    Abraxas(25) – Nice coloring. My favourites color in this picture. Red and Black. Very nasty looking char.

    Doornik1142 (27) – I think the red and yellow version is more better for the picture.

    Mr. Q (29) – I agree with Jeff. Simple and elegant. I like her tops. Need nothing too change

    Captain Kicktar (41) – I agree with Jeff and Worf. Nice work. I really like the pose, the coloring and the insignias. For me only one thing disturbing is the insignias in the cheeks. I think my problem is the color. BTW very nice work.

  47. Worf says:

    @Myro(46): Unlike Jeff this time, I would change something. And that is the position of the right arm (our left). It ends just as the knee begins on the leg and reads a bit as if it were one item. Other than that, great work all around.

  48. Jeff Hebert says:


  49. Myro says:

    Worf (50): I see your point. I could try to shade that leg down a bit to give it a little contrast.

  50. Tuldabar says:

    I was inspired to do this for the Animalia II, but I might mave rushed it a little, as I’ve already gone back and fixed a few minor issues with positioning and such.

    Anyway, I wanted to get the feel that darkness surrounds them save for a single shaft of light. I wanted to give the impression that the werewolf is leaning over his lover’s body, but it hasn’t quite worked out. Any tips?

  51. Worf says:

    Jeff, what can I say… I’m my own man. I’m not a clone or someone’s alter ego (as it has been suggested here). Plus, now that I said it, you tell me you totally disagree on that arm. Go ahead, I’ll let you try. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  52. Jeff Hebert says:

    Tuldabar: I like the concept on this one, but I’m having a hard time getting past the sacrifices you had to make on the female figure to make it look like she’s collapsed. The lack of an upper line on the one leg, for instance, is very jarring. The elbow and knee joints end up looking like the limbs attached to them are broken at that point. Her bangs would be hanging down, as would her skirt.

    I mean, I applaud you for taking risks and trying to push the program beyond what it’s designed to do, but in this case I think it was pushed too far and as a result just doesn’t work. I wish I had something more positive to contribute ๐Ÿ™

  53. Worf says:

    @Tuldabar(53): Jeff’s got it in a bunch. Sadly this is NOT HM3D, so certain things are a little hard to do (meaning almost freakin’ impossible). Body-MaleMilitary Item 2 might help you a little with the leaning-over aspect of it but I got nothing for the rest of it. sorry.

  54. Tarkabarka says:

    Ok if i understand well what i need to change i remade few things (i really hate to rebuild, but i think now see much better.)

    And more reviews.

    Asder (44) – Great coloring and idea. I like the pose. I can’t see any mistake, this picture is great. Nice work Asder.

    Myro (46) – Nice work. I agree with Jeff and also Worf. I like the coloring. Great work Myro

    Tuldabar (53) – I see a lot of visual mistake. The girl right left (for me the right) is not seeing, the man right arm is too long (you need to rotate the upperbody of the woman.), The man head is so dark. And the woman face is so manly. But very good pose. I think i steal the idea. I like the concept.

  55. Collex says:

    Been a while since I,ve had the time to play with HM, but I always wanted a bit of feedback on this one.

    I wanted a though, punk-style street heroine. I am happy with the results, but what do you think?

  56. Tarkabarka says:

    @Tudalbar – I think not to hard make this pose. So i really steal for a picture next time. (Not perfect, but i think not hard to make it)

    I save the text file

  57. Nick Hentschel says:

    To all:

    maybe you remember my “black half-elf dancer” character, which I submitted a few weeks ago. At the time, I was soliciting ideas, both for a different pose, AND for a background. Well, I figure now that changing her pose is a lost cause, since I’ve assembled her too carefully to screw it up, and it’s not as if she looks UGLY. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I did experiment with Jeff’s suggestion of using “the tavern, masked,” as some kind of background. It’s not easy to do, but here’ the best image that I’ve come up with so far (the “star” seems to frame her well):

  58. Nick Hentschel says:

    In case it didn’t get through (Flickr is being a pain):

  59. Jeff Hebert says:

    Tarkabarka: Yes, I like that much better! Small changes but they have a big impact.

  60. Jeff Hebert says:

    Collex: Good job! I do get a street-punk vibe from her, definitely. I love the rose tattoo, the pink shoes, the scarf, and the way the whip wraps around her legs both in front and behind.

    The only thing I can think to suggest is in terms of the environment, and that’s maybe to put in a spotlight effect behind her body on the wall, so we focus on her a bit more. I think the way to do that is with one of the gradients in Background, with the inside color set to 0% alpha and the outer set to like 60% black or something.

    Good job on her, I like it!

  61. Jeff Hebert says:

    Nick: I think that’s pretty good. I personally would have done a circle background with the rest either left white or maybe black, but this is good too.

  62. ams says:

    This was going to be my entry for the random name character contest, but life has been BUSY in these parts lately. Would still like to get some input on it, so here it is.


  63. Nick Hentschel says:

    I tried a circle, at first, with the tavern in back and the stars IN FRONT, but it shut out the fireplace area, and I got hung up on the “star” concept, which extends to even her costume.

    I also tried putting little images into the “corner” around the star, but it got really cluttered, so I ditched it… for now.

    Lemme try again. And by the way, which image-link worked better?

  64. Keith_Kanin says:

    Finally I get to submit one that I have been working on for a while. This is the Frost Maiden.

  65. Waaly1 says:

    i feel like a n00b here

  66. Jeff Hebert says:

    ams: As soon as that image loaded on my screen, I literally said “WOW!” I love that thing, man, it’s outstanding. I’ll go so far as to call it one of my favorite HM3 character sketches ever … it looks so tight, so well put-together, it looks custom drawn by hand. Simply fantastic.

    My only minor thing would be to nudge the background circle down a smidgeon (or make it bigger) so its outer rim doesn’t coincide with the tops of his boots.

    Really stellar work, sir.

  67. Jeff Hebert says:

    Nick: I’d lose the stars completely, personally. I feel like they’re distracting as a pure design element and confusing if we’re to take them as literal stars.

    I think I tried the first link and it was fine.

  68. Jeff Hebert says:

    Keith_Kanin: Very nice! I love the frothy water and the environment in general. The snowflakes in her cape work great too.

    Something is bugging me about her body but I can’t figure out what … maybe it’s that it’s so narrow, especially with the size relationship to the head, that she looks squished a little. Like her hips ought to be bigger, or something. The ear also doesn’t quite work, as it’s a side-view ear but we’re supposed to be seing it straight-on. Not your fault, as there’s not an ear in the proper orientation, but I’d try to tuck it behind her hair or something, fudge it so the user just gets the lobe or something.

    The piece has a lot of good impact to it, though, with a very cool, atmospheric feel. Good job!

  69. Tuldabar says:

    @Jeff and Worf: I appreciate your feedback guys, and I’m going to see about tweaking a few things before I give up on it.

  70. Jeff Hebert says:

    Waaly1: Welcome! This isn’t noobish at all, I think you did a good job on it. I like the way you have added a gradient to that background to give it some visual depth. That helps the whole thing feel much more vibrant. I also like the character’s upper body a lot, the arms fit well and the side view along with the facial tattoo makes for a nice look to him. You picked good colors and good items, and overall it makes for a convincing and interesting illustration.

    Two things I might tweak, if I were you. First, I don’t care for the pointy feet. He seems like a strong, massive guy, I’d like to see him with flat feet planted solidly on the ground. The second is the spell effect. Having all of it opaque (alpha=100%) makes it look like a solid object affixed to his hand, rather than energy crackling around it. I’d play around with the transparency on the center piece for sure, let more of the hand show through. You might even move the disc so that the hand occludes some of the back part of it, so you get the effect of a disc going around the wrist.

    Anyway, those fairly minor points aside, I think it’s really good, I’m glad you chimed in today!

  71. ams says:

    @ Jeff- Thanks for the high praise! I wasn’t expecting that because I fussed over this pic so much I was ready to scrap it. I changed colors,eyes pants, you name it. I think it is probably the longest spent time on any piece I’ve done. Cheers and have a great weekend!

  72. Kaldath says:

    Ok I worked on my Angel from scratch, and this is the end result:

  73. Doornik1142 says:


    Why on Earth would you say that? I think your guy looks really good. The blue skin brings out the details of the muscles really well and I like the doubled-up shoulderpads. I don’t know why that works for me but it really does.

    The only problem I have is that the portal thingy looks like it’s too far in the background so with that pose it looks like he has to look back over his shoulder to see it. I think you could fix it if you enlarged the portal thingy so it was about as tall as he is. That way it would seem like he’s looking off to the side instead of looking behind him.

  74. D says:

    collex (59): I’d bring the right arm forward and move the left arm back slightly to help sell the idea that she’s walking toward the viewer, and I’d swap the heels for Army boots; they would be more practical, especially if she had to get away in a hurry. Also, I’d swap the whip for a knife or something similar. Otherwise, it’s pretty cool.

  75. Zarae says:

    thank yall for the critcs!

  76. Jeff Hebert says:

    Love it, Kaldath!

  77. Jeff Hebert says:

    MisterDinoMan: Sorry, your comment got sent to spam initially. But now it’s rescued!

    I dig the black zig-zag on his tunic, that’s cool. The highlighting work is all excellent as well.

    My main suggestion would be to juice up the energy/electricity effect on his hands. The current ones (no pun intended) are a little wimpy given the beefy, steely goodness going on in the character itself.

  78. Jeff Hebert says:

    OK folks, I’m gonna bring this OCD edition to a close. Many thanks to all who participated either through submission of illustrations or by providing feedback! We’ll see you again in two weeks.

  79. ajw says:

    Hey jeff could you critique my photoshop? It took me a couple hours, just wanna see what you think.


    Condor photoshop:

  80. TOOL says:

    Decided to make a character to kinda go along with the story we got going right now.

    @77,Kaldath, I was going to say something about your entry on 4 but I like what you did here on this one. Very nice!
    @29, Mr. Q, I don’t think I have had the pleasure of seeing your work here before so Bonjour to you. I like the look a lot!
    @66, AMS, You never cease to stun, it kinda looks like what Colossus’ dad may of looked like.

  81. Nick Hentschel says:

    Thanks, Jeff. I’ve taken most of your advice; the background evolves as we speak……

  82. TOOL says:

    Oh come on! I missed it by two mins, Jeff can’t you give me a quick look, I can understand if you can’t. Shows got to end sometime…

  83. Jeff Hebert says:

    ajw: Love it! The feathering effects are awesome. Great job!

  84. Jeff Hebert says:

    TOOL: I like the general design of the guy, especially the head area. But, I’d say it’s a little busy with so many colors and items and patterns going on. I get a little lost as to where I ought to be looking.

    The main problem area is his waist. With the way everything is lined up, that fleece ends up looking like negative space so I thought for a few seconds that he had just a green camo spine, like he was a skeleton or something, no lie.

    Neat looking fellah though!

  85. TOOL says:

    @Jeff, I can see your point, and thanks for the look. I went a little over the top with some different things I guess, I just wanted to try and make a better more interesting piece than I usually do.

  86. Jeff Hebert says:

    I find all your pieces interesting and good, TOOL!

  87. TOOL says:

    @Jeff, THANKS! I have been making a few more pieces lately for my folders. Some are my own creations, and some are what I call my version of other characters. Do you have an archive?

  88. Phatchick says:

    @ Cliff (#32)- Nice frogman, my only suggestion would be to make the toungue a little bit thinner.

  89. TOOL says:

    @Phatchick, I think it looks interesting but the hand and weapon don’t seem to mesh, one or the other needs to be rotated. I know you were trying to tie in the whole egyptian can thing too it looks but I think it may look better without the cat.

  90. Phatchick says:

    @Tool (#97) You might be right about the cat, it doesn’t seem like the right type of companion for an egyptian.

  91. Kaldath says:

    @Phatchick (99) I wouldn’t say that considering cats were a Holy and Revered animal in Ancient Egypt

  92. McKnight57 says:

    I know it’s late but I have a few here. Separately, of course. First is the newest version of my HM McKnight + the commission on the same character.

    HM McKnight:

    Commission McKnight:

  93. Mr. Q says:

    Thank you Jeff, Worf, Tarkabarka, and TOOL for the comments. I greatly appreciate the feedback. I’ve been around once or twice but with RL, my time to play around with HM3 is limited. @Worf: I might tweak the design down the road but, at this time, I can’t see how to add more to this outfit. Plus when I hear big shoulder pads, Rob Liefeld seems to come to mind. ^^; But I thank you all for your comments and suggestions.

    Mr. Q

  94. TOOL says:

    @McKnight57, I like the second link on your last two post. Very good art.

    I guess since were just going to keep this blog going, I was messing around with trying to make an Orc, see what you guys think. I may of one over the top again by putting too much, and I know sometimes more is less but I guess I’m in a phase of growth and just trying different techniques.

  95. Whit says:

    @Kaldath : You just gave me my new computer wallpaper. It’s so beautiful!

  96. Doornik1142 says:

    TOOL (104)

    It’s mostly good. I don’t think it’s necessarily too much stuff. The cluttered nature actually works for it, making his armor look very hodge-podge like he assembled it himself from stuff he scavenged.

    However, two things. First, the face seems out of place. The rest of the skin is dominated by light green, so the face should be do. Second, the way he’s holding his weapons in reverse-grip style really doesn’t work for me. Maybe the sword is okay, but the axe definitely looks wrong. I would suggest putting the axe on his back rather than in his hand.

  97. TOOL says:

    @Doornik, I see what you mean, I can move the axe and it would work with across belts that are already there, I see that I did put darker on the face, I could use the other shade of green I was using to see if it helps the flow.

  98. TOOL says:

    How’s this one, I deleted the old pic so the other link won’t work for comparison, I forget about that sometimes.

  99. Malfar says:

    Crap in the hat! Skyrim made me completely forget about OCD, I didn’t prepare anything. Well, next time, I guess.

  100. It’s difficult for me to put into concise words to offer meaningful critiques. But here goes.

    @Mr. Q(30): I really like your New God. The black trim is very effective.

    @Myro(46): Scrappy is fantastic.

    @Phatchick(95): The Mummy Queen herself is great. I would use a different feline companion offset to our right (her left) rather than the rock jutting from the ground.

    @Tarkbarka(11): Your Decker is awesome!

    @Vampyrist(2): Koutetsu’s feet don’t work. I understand that it is to add to the flying motion. However, they don’t seem “convincing.” Maybe lower them so the ankles align with the armor.

    @Abraxas(26): I would bring the pattern of the legwear more to the forefront but not too much. The pattern breaks the monotony but needs to be a little more prominent.

    @Meniukas(17): Love it. The foot needs re-worked, as others have said. Given the other spikes, I would think that she is impaled on the top!

    @Captain Kicktar(46): I like the overall concept. She reminds me of a modern re-enactor or cultural fair dancer.

    @Zarae(18): I like the seahorse design of the armor.

    @alphaalpharomeo(13): If the diamond is part of the mask, I would suggest masking it to make it contour to the head. If it is meant to be a placard, I would re-size it.

    @ams(68): I really like the face of Absolute. Not sold on the hands, tough. Overall, very “solid” piece.

    Apologies to those I missed, but I have to get going.

    Finally, special thanks to MartianBlue for the Flying Cape pose:

  101. Joe says:

    I dabble in painting Nerf Guns. Here’s my latest attempt.

  102. Phatchick says:

    @Kytana (#112) The overall look is great, I like the black and white scheme. My only suggestion would be to flip the ungloved hand, it looks like it’s twisted the wrong way.

  103. Kytana says:

    I have test on a mirror so i find that this is the right way, but thanks. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  104. Debochira says:

    If I submit a picture here for critique, is it disqualified from any contests?

  105. Jeff Hebert says:

    Debochira: Yes, it’d be disqualified if posted here. However, since this session ended days and days ago, the point is kind of moot.