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Dayan's art (feedback welcome)

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I’m dayan, I’m 21 and studying as an industrial design engineer. I’ve always loved creating art and nowadays I have to try real hard to get some time between the studing and the sleeping.

As for the pictures:
(They’re hosted on deviantart, my gallery might be nsfw.)

Please note that I’ve been drawing digitally since 2-2,5 years and I had no opportunity to take classes (nor will I be able in the near future). It’s always been like a hobby for me, and though I’d love to become a professional artist, I believe I’m (yet) below the industry standard.

I’m planning to work in the gaming industry, not necessarily art-wise, I have some experience and am interested about software/user ergonomy, usability and graphic design of interfaces. I’m creating a game as of now with my roommate, I hope we’ll be able to upload it here too c:

Thanks for looking & have a nice day!

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Cool stuff. You looking for critical feedback, encouragement, or just like to share?

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I’m looking for critical feedback, especially regarding my concepts and ideas. I also think I’m rather weak at colours. You can sure critique my technique and anatomy too, but I think (hope) they’ll get better with practice. I’ve recently been trying to go out of my comfort zone technique-wise and it’s been a huge progress since then.

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Well, first things first. Here’s how you link to images in your Kong posts:

1. On the page where your image is, right-click on the image (or control-click or whatever) and select “copy image address.” (Do NOT copy image or copy image address.)

2. In your Kong post, where you want the image to appear, paste the image address between two exclamation points.

Your anatomy needs work and the fastest way to improve that is to draw from life or photographs, and NOT from other people’s illustrations or from your imagination. (Especially not from your imagination. You will simply draw the anatomy the same way you’ve been drawing it all along and never learn how things really look.)

The color work on the above piece is nice but is a little bit out of gamut. The hue of blue on the subject’s hair is like, yet also unlike, the hue of the background. I recognize that the background color is suggestive of the nautical theme, so I’m unclear why the hair and dress are so vibrant.

Were you to redo this piece, I’d recommend looking at an analogous color scheme rather than a complimentary one. A split complimentary (complementary analogic) could be nice too, with a range of blue-greens on one side with orange highlights.


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Premature posting. Oops. (It happens to a lot of guys.)

Take a look at this site. It’s a pretty good place to see how the different color schemes work. Watch out! There’s some real bombs hidden in there.

My favorite color scheme tool is kuler. It’s community content, and it’s fast… just hop on, find something that captures the vibe you’re looking for, and add it to your palette (if you’re using an Adobe product).

I thought this was the strongest piece because it’s so thoughtful. The colors are terrific, though I would prefer a more muted backdrop. There’s something intriguing about the suggestion of infinity, and I didn’t really get “anger” out of it. I was also a bit confused by the tongue snapping at her chin. But the mobius-loop aspect is interesting.

On the nautical piece above you kind of went a little wild with the edge lighting. On the second piece, the thick black stroke around the outer contour holds it all in together in a graphic way. I prefer the latter quite a bit. (I’m partial to line-work rather than graphical illustration.) I thin that if the scales along the bottom of the loop were more uniform, it would have helped suggest the gradual transformation between hair and snake. The scales up top, by comparison, snap with direction intention… calculated and precise. I like those much better.

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Your colors here create a difficult foreground/background conflict. The girl pops like crazy. The bright, vibrant hue of her skin depicts her as out of place among her friends. The wolves are uniformly colored, and some variation there would be nice… perhaps with the ones around her being brighter (foreground) and reducing the value as they recede.

The trees carry a very similar kind of patter as the wolves, and this seems like a fun connection that could be reinforced… emphasizing that pattern somehow. The trees seem rendered neither literally or suggestively. I’d choose one or the other… but as they are, they feel very close to the foreground. More atmospheric perspective, a greater variation in value, and varying the level of detail would help suggest more depth.

The traditional trickery of having a subject looking at an object that is actually behind them is handled well.

The shading on the woman is handled cleanly and with precision. Yet on the wolves it seems scrubby, like you’re trying to suggest hair. Yet, she has hair too… and it’s handled differently. I’d encourage you to reconcile your “treatments” in illustrations like this.

The crow’s posture is really distracting to me. Photo reference would have helped this piece a lot.

Also, when characters are looking straight off the frame with no real sense of intrigue or hint at what’s coming, it weakens the whole story. There’s obviously more to tell about this guy than the fact that he has a big comical crow as a friend, so what is it? Given the intelligent ideas presented in your other pieces… lots of invention and concept… I thought this piece was a let down. (I actually like the color treatment, however.)

Same deal with this image. There’s just not enough story here to keep my interest. Color’s not bad, but without a sense of what it’s for or why you thought it would be fun to capture this, I’m just sort of lost.

First two or three pieces, great. Lots of stuff going on.

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First, thank you for taking the time to critique my stuff, it’s really helpful!
Second, if I try to quote you properly I can’t find my own text in this ridiculously small window, so I’m just gonna “quote” you.

I agree my anatomy needs a lot of work. Lately I’ve been drawing more from photos and videos (I like to draw people’s faces in moton so I can composit the images in my head), I think drawing for 3-ish years without references or life drawing really screwed up my anatomy, that was before I started the university.
I agree that the color scheme on the first picture is a bit of eye-killer. I’m interested how a split complimentary would look like, I’ll try to adjust the colors a bit and see where it goes.
“On the nautical piece above you kind of went a little wild with the edge lighting.” It’s funny because since then I know how edge lightning actually works! I’ definitely remove/redo that.
Kuler is pretty awesome and I should be using it more.

“I didn’t really get “anger” out of it. I was also a bit confused by the tongue snapping at her chin.”
I drew the tongue like that to keep the snake-head connected with the human-head, to sort of keep the loop complete. It’s somewhat poorly drawn and is in a bad angle though. Also I wanted to make her face some sort of very calm and emotionless, so that the actual anger is transferred to the snake-part, so it becomes something material instead of emotion in itself. (My english might not make any sense.)

“I think that if the scales along the bottom of the loop were more uniform, it would have helped suggest the gradual transformation between hair and snake.”
Agreed. I’ll try to retouch them scales.

On the wolves picture, the biggest problem is that around 2 months passed between me completing the girl and then drawing the wolves and all else. Making her and the wolves with a different style was a vey bad decision. I might be better off repainting her than everything else.
I’ll also try to connect the wolves and the trees a bit more, it sure seems like a fun pattern. I think adjusting the contrast and brightness difference between the foreground and the background will be a good solution, it’s especially missing on the wolves.

Yep, last to aren’t very meaningful compared to the others, I was more like experimenting with techniques, trying to draw proper sharp lineart on the first and keeping colors on different layers with multiple adjustment layers over them on the other.

Right now I’m trying to experiment with new and different things, like new painting methods, painting without or minimal transfer, different sorts of lineart, painting over flat colors vs. throwing in colors randomly, that’s why I asked whether my concepts themselves made sense since the technique itself is a subject to change.

Thanks again for the critiques, they are very helpful! Also, let me know if I can do anything in return :)

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No matter how I try to edit this text to be more readable, it just gets worse. I’m so bad at this D:

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Wow!! Is really cool!

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Haha, dayan, you sure do apologize a lot!

A lot of people don’t draw or paint at all because they “already know” that they’re not good at it. These are people that only do stuff that they know how to do, or stuff that they know that they’re good at. In other words, these are people who will live their lives only doing things they learned as children.

It’s awesome that you acknowledge that parts of your illustrations need help. Anything creative is going to be received subjectively, so there’s no real “right and wrong” about how you do art.

However, if you are trying to achieve a specific thing… like a pleasant color balance, or nice composition, or tell a compelling story… then there are tricks and techniques that can help. Learning those takes practice, then using them masterfully (or even going beyond those techniques) takes a long time.

So, you don’t need to apologize. I know what I suck at, but it doesn’t do me any good to tell people what that is. What I need to stay focused on is what I want to become better at. You’ve got some great stuff going on in your illustrations; it’s easy to see how it will grow.

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Thanks again and you’re right (again), I’d say sorry for apologizing too much but I guess that’d be a bit counter-productive. I’ll go work on my art and my self-confidence.

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Keep postin’ and keep on truckin’. Nice work, Pete made a good point about the colour scheme for the first piece, it just needs a hit of warm colour to really make it pop. I really like the lungs or water sacs filled with fish, I find it interesting. How did those fish get there? lol

I really don’t feel a sense of anger in the second piece to be honest. I’m not sure where to see it. The pinky-red hair? I do feel more of a tranquility, maybe even an embracement of a darker sinful side represented by the snake. This is strongest and most eye catching piece. I like the colours and the smooth strokes. A slight improvement could be made with the transition by adding a bit of green to the hair like you did to the snakes scales with the pink. I’d be interested in seeing how the piece looks without the black lines, I do not mean this to offend at all it’s just something I was taught, designs outlined in black are a crutch and a design should be able to hold itself up without them. Again, that’s just what I have been taught. I think the design of this piece can definitely stand on it’s own, with a lighter background, but that’s just an opinion of course.

I can’t really think of what else to comment on the 3rd piece. I like the glowing eyes of the wolves it feels almost magical.

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Originally posted by Zedzero2:

… something I was taught, designs outlines in black are a crutch and a design should be able to hold itself up without them.

Haha, Zed and I are of different minds. I really like heavy outlines. However, I do recognize that they can make a mediocre drawing better… and it is a bit of a gimmick. I’m not talented enough to be above using gimmicks whenever I can. :)

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Thanks, Zed! I’ll likely post here if I draw something I’m proud of. I’m glad you like my fishies, they are sneaky creatures, I’m sure they find their way around.

I had a long discussion of a friend today about my weird thoughts regarding “anger” and “evil”, basically what I’ve said was that the real danger lies in the lack of emotions, not the existence of them; the snake is meant to be the anger itself leaving the mind/body so it’s not present on the face anymore.Of course it might not make sense for everyone, it’s just something I thought up.

I love solid outlines and I also love painting without outlines (I find it very relaxing actually) so probably both of you will see something you like from me in the future :)

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I’ll just leave this here, I made it today and I like it:

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Wow, that’s great modeling in the mouth and nose… but around the eyes, too! Proportions are pretty solid. (Eyes might be just a little high on the head, or the crown a little short. Chin perhaps a bit narrow and pointed.) Nice palette. Good layering of value… doesn’t look overworked. Might be just a bit flat around the cheeks, particularly the right (light) side.

I’m impressed.

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Keep drawing like that. :)

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Thanks a lot! I really appreciate the encouragement!
I was trying to reference off a photo and my own face in the mirror, I’m glad the proportions turned out fine-ish. Strangely the pictures that I spend less time on (2-3 hours) turn out the best :)

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Dude, I’m telling you! I draw my best shit when it’s fast. That’s exactly why I encourage digital artists, (particularly if they’re just starting out), to draw by hand as often as they can. It’s quantity that makes you better, not quality. (Quality comes naturally.)

Quantity is the soil; quality is the plant. Without good soil, nothing worthwhile grows.

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The best drawing exercise I ever found is 30 second rapid-fire figure drawing sketches. It doesn’t have to be figure drawing, but forcing yourself to establish mass and form without worrying about the nitty-gritty details (which end up taking up 90% of your time if you spend hours on a single piece) makes you really good at establishing mass and form, which is the most important part in most illustrations.

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Interesting points, I think I’ll definitely do some exercises like this when I have some free time. Oh yeah, even though I don’t really enjoy the coloring, that last face was formed excellently.

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Do the Parquor(Free Running) Video Challenge.

Also that’s a fantastic portrait. Love the rising fire, a burning passion rising up within her. Yet she remans calm and in control. Good stuff!

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I don’t think there’s a lot I can say that others haven’t said already regarding critique/feedback. D:

So I’ma just say this stuff all looks really, really great. I especially like the face you most recently posted — the glow effect, subtle as it is, really works well. Really well done. Two thumbs up from me.

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Thanks guys, really! I go off the grid for a weekend and I come back to the most useful & nice comments c:
I used to do many 15-min figure sketches back in a highschool drawing course and I loved it. Nowadays I like to make small, quick sketches when watching a movie or a TV-show, sometimes without pausing it, I like to make a mind-composit of faces while they’re moving. Full figures is something I should do more often.

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Looks good.