|AlvinLeeArt Contest entry. Ended up in second place in the polls, and very honored to have been both a feature and a finalist.|
Welcome to our first installment of Nala's Critique Corner, so thank you Nekot for being the first to submit an entry for evaluation... Well this seems fun. Some traditional colouring work with pencils, a medium I am familiar with too. So far, this going alright enough. So here is the first thing that pops out at me. "Where is the light source?" I have an idea about the lighting and the shading, but there is no distinctive light source indicated during this colouring or in the sketching stage It's not too late to work some in. You'll want to figure where the light is coming from, where the shadows will be. Figuring the points of highlight is not too difficult once you got that down, it's simply where the surface is most direct to the source of light, for example, a sphere. If a surface is flat, the lighting will be more flat, if the surface is curved like a pipe or a sphere, you'll get a point of highlight that is closest to the light source. Shiny elements, such as metallic surfaces or damp surfaces like eyes, will have a higher contrast, so keep your brightest spots for that
The drawing is rather gritty with style, lacking a bit in construction, but seems to work with your subject here. There is a tendency to focus on some details, so be careful people, if you are relatively new to drawing and you work on elaborately detailed pieces, you may loose sight of the big picture in composition and construction. Don't lose too much time worrying over the little things when a few quick thumbnail sketches will get you a good idea to work on without wasting too much time. Gesture drawing is typically a good quick drawing method with helps to get a motion down, a pose, without working too much on proportions, it's like the wire maquette to your skeleton. Working on construction is done much like sculpting, you start with general shape, refine the proportions before proceeding with those details. So what have we lost in the big picture here? Perhaps some body proportions and posture, but it's not so bad, it will work fine enough for this type of character. The hands do feel a bit off, even if it is paws, we have a humanoid biped here. The hands of humans typically can cover the face, so the face makes a good yardstick for other body proportions. Reference sketching will also be good later on, be sure to practice both animal and human life drawing, may they be your friends, neighbors, pets and neighbors' pets in addition to photo references. Life drawing just gives you that much more dimension to study, which photos can't provide fully. Sure it is harder, but don't be afraid and keep on trying until you gain some satisfaction out of your results.
The base work is also gritty in a sense of the lines themselves, plenty of small strokes randomly going in a general direction. Some simple doodle practice will help with the following sketches. Lines need to be confident and lines aren't confident when there is lack of experience, especially with muscle memory. Going from point A to point B should be done in a single stroke, not lots of little strokes. If the line doesn't look right, then try it again. Just as earlier when I was speaking about being too focused on details, losing the bigger picture, sketching out some thumbnail pictures, the quicker you get the line down, the more practice you can get and the better your muscle memory gets. Cleaning up the linework, not just inking it, will give you a little extra practice in confident lines, this part is something you can take a bit more time with.
Back on track with the colouring. I can't get a close look at the texture, but I'll deduce what I can. At this point the colors are strongly applied. There is a practice of gradients and blending. I've learned to start with the pale colours first before proceeding with the dark colours, that way, the highlights can be planned out properly, as well as the shading. There seems to be a bit much focus on designated an item to it's respective colour, such as 'bandage wraps are beige' and there is no thought about texture, shade in relation to the arm and so on. I am certain that arms shouldn't be flat like paper, so think over where that shade is over the entire form. There is SOME shade on the glove, which relatively looks alright, but the shading over the entire body needs to be determined. Keep adding light layers of colour. With lightly pressured applications, you can achieve some more interesting blending through crosshatching, and in addition, curved shading this way too. This guy is massive and he will really need to have that volume emphasized with shade.
I am very curious as to the results of this piece since it certainly looks to be a milestone in your works at this point. You've come a good distance. It doesn't matter what quality of pencil you have, as long as you practice to master its usage.