Brett Barkley

Aaaaand another tie. I’m going to have to do something about this. It would be good to have more people involved. But for now, I’ll get a new challenge posted tomorrow.

I wanted to give some feedback to the entries for this week, some things to work on for next week.

Steel – This was a different style for you. I’m glad to see you’re experimenting. I love that! I really like what you did with the ear and the rim lighting on the opposite side of his face. You work is coming along really nicely, but I’d like you to focus a little more on symmetry and how you suggest that when a character is turned in 3/4 view. Remember, all of this stuff is just simple shapes and they’re generally symmetrical, so if you keep that in mind, you should have generally the same dimensions and placement on either side of the face. I tried to work up a quick draw-over for you to get an idea of what I’m suggesting. Check that out here:

I made a couple of extra changes as well, for the ear and nose placement. It’s a general rule that we can draw a line around the head at the level of the eyebrows and it will match up with the top of the ears. A similar line drawn around the head at the tip of the nose will match up with the bottom of the ears. The guidelines I drew should help a little bit in seeing how we use parts of the face and head to compare to one another…sort of triangulating to get accurate proportions and dimensions.

Knight – This is a really interesting piece and I like what you’re going for. I like how The Joker is framed and I like how the Jack in the Box dolls all point toward him. This is a fun image…not really all that sinister and I love it. Honestly, the only suggestions I could offer would be to work on your basic drawing skills. You’ve got fantastic ideas and I believe you see the images in your head. Trust me, I know how frustrating it can be to not be able to nail what you’re seeing in your mind. Please try to spend more time penciling. I’d love to see what you can do with a stronger foundation. I think you’ll have even better finished products and that is certainly exciting to me.

Daniel – I really like the style of this piece, Daniel. I like where you’re going with. The more I look at this work, the more I really like the potential I see in it. There’s something that almost reminds me of old Frank Quitely, or maybe old Doug Mahnke, which is a good thing. In any case, I have some thoughts for you. These are things I’d like you to consider in your work and if you do, I believe you’ll quickly become a much stronger artist. It always comes down first to the simple things. All the details, the hatching, the stylistic decisions are just icing on the cake. We HAVE to get the simple things right. I think you did this piece digitally. If so, I want you to flip your images from now on. I’ve done so here:

Do you notice at first glance how it seems a little off, or lop-sided? I’ve made a few highlights to show where the image is off. The eyes are different sizes, the ears are at different angles and one eyebrow is significantly higher. These are all easy mistakes to make. We get used to looking at something one way and may not notice how we’ve skewed things to one side. By flipping the image we can get a better idea of where we’re a little off. I’ve also made some suggestions for hair. You do a fine job thinking of hair as clumps, but I suggest now trying to show hair as DIFFERENT-SIZED clumps. This gives a little more visual interest to the piece. I hope this makes sense, but feel free to drop me a line if you have questions.

I hope some of these thoughts can help give you guys something to try for next week. Good luck!