NOTICE: I DID NOT MAKE THE ORIGINAL CONCEPT OR ART THAT I HAVE SUBMITTED HERE. THIS IS AN EXPLANATION I USED TO HELP IDENTIFY A PROBLEM I SAW IN A FELLOW DEVIANTS WORK. HERE'S TO YOU
Let's start off good. The character concept is fitting, and pretty cool looking for this rough'n'tough viking guy. Your lineart and style are both really on point for this kind of thing and it seems that you've gotten the characters mood really solid. The grimace, and the blocked eyes are both pretty strong stylistic choices for a character. All in all, the concept and character design are both pretty good.
There's only 2 real problems with the piece, in my humble opinion. They go as follows: Pose, and dynamics.
Basically, the pose is a very strong one in the minds eye, but it has a few issues with it that detract from the effect of the piece as a whole. Your character (I'll be calling him Ken
for simplicity's sake) is standing upright, and walking directly towards the viewer from the center of the piece. As he is the only thing with any color or depth to him on the white background, this makes him the focal point. This is totally okay for a submission where you're testing out design elements, but from your library, it's a very soft expression of movement, moving towards the camera in this sense. Ken here is taking a single step, and this similarly small movement is seen in your other works too, (specifically Empress
, but also to a lesser extent in Rufus
and to greater effect in Pitch Black (Boogeyman)
) Making Ken center of the screen juxtaposes him from his background, (which isn't there, as shown in my first edited version of your pic) and that makes his central role in the picture feel almost awkward when out of context of the picture, yknow? His covered eyes give him an air of power, and dangerousness, but those things feel out of place with no background other than his shield. His posture makes him look intimidating, but his motions don't give off an air of danger outside of his weapon (and the striking red of his hair against his otherwise very humble color scheme). >>How to maybe improve on pose?
Try drawing Ken here in another stance, preferably one taking inspiration from your other piece, Fighter
. In this stance his actions seem very softspoken, when it feels Ken would be more at home with a more exaggerated pose. Maybe try more of a 'still shot' of when he's in the middle of a movement when you see him next time. In this pose, he has presence, but it's lacking because there's no real frame of movement (which is compounded by his lack of a background to interact with). It can be hard to show powerful forefrontal movement, because it relies heavily on foreshortening, which is easily the first or second hardest things to get right in drawing ANYTHING
, so don't get discouraged. Just try playing around with more expressive poses, because Ken's here could be doing more for him than it is right now. Remember, the best drawings are NOT mirrored on both sides. If you wanna show action in your character, draw them with that one action in mind, because the more you can get to show that single action, the more powerful that one pose will be. (Comic-Books tend to have just absurd amounts to teach about this kind of thing, and if you're okay with learning from comics, I'd suggest one that moves around a lot- He goes by the name of Spiderman.)
Now, about your dynamics... You have a pretty solid grasp of what to do and not to do as far as technical skill is required. Your lines are solid, your colors don't fade or bleed where they don't need to, and you've seemed to have stuck to a concept pretty well throughout the piece's run. You had an idea, and you went with it 'till it was done. We really like that. Your problems are only minor ones, but they're things no one really actually talks about, so they bear mentioning. Your color scheme draws the eyes to 2 or 3 very specific places, just because of how the colors were chosen, and the brightness of everything in the picture. Kens hair, the fur on the shoulder-horns, and the fur on the boots (the cuffs most specifically). These are very dark and with the rest of the picture being pale browns, greys and whites, the deep blue/black and orange/red pick up your attention and can draw the eye away from important details in the picture, especially on the boots with their placement in the picture, as their color scheme is actually dark-blue on background-white. Your darks are near the sides and bottom of the oc, which directs the eye off to either side of the picture, especially where the pants/shield meet and direct the eyes along its (Orange highlighted) gesture lines back to the horns/face, as shown in the second edit, where the darkest colors were made more apparent, to show the effect.
If you're curious on which parts catch the eye most quickly, zoom out your picture really far so all the parts are teeny and indecipherable, and see what your eye picks up on first. These are your most powerful tools in coloration, so it pays to figure out how they all work, understand?>>How to maybe improve on dynamics outside of poses?
This is all about personal preference, and you might actually like putting a lot of emphasis on Kens face and loosely hunched shoulders, but I think you could use some help with learning how the eye is drawn to different colors when lain on top of one another. It's all about playing around with this stuff, and learning what you like/don't like as an artist. I'd suggest making/saving your linearts, and then playing around with color palletes to get a feel for it. just have fun with it d00d! You're making progress all the time!
Sorry to say that so much of it is just practicing, but.... It usually is. The trick is to have a good time while you're learning!
If you have any further questions, be sure to leave us a comment below. Thanks fir lettin' us help, Archoin ^^