In the Lab...X_Sword Thread


What’s up guys and girls. Here I will post some art up of mines, but all of the pieces seem empty. They lack an artistic substance but I just don’t know what it is. SO this will be an improvement thread of some sorts thanks to your criticism and more

Any piece of help will be appreciated. I’m currently on a hiatus from games so I could improve my art


It’s a nice collection of art but nothing really stands out to me as truly sinking into the background or pressing into the foreground. Looking at your second and third images I can understand by looking at the line work that there are characters in the background, but your colors don’t sell it to me.

Try to use a less saturated palette and remember the properties of warm and cool colors. Having a background color other than white would also help tie your image together.


These are all very good artwork, but the characters do kind of appear flat. The characters in the background also blend a little too much with the one in the foreground, particularly the 3rd picture. Part of it may be due to coloring, but linework may also be a factor. One way to help separate them is to make the character in the foreground have thicker outlines, then go gradually thinner as you go back.


I think the colours may be a bit too blended together, looking at the 2nd one I think if the shadows were more stronger or darker, it would definitely help.


Man those are some very good tips–I will redo the last picture as those are my OC’s I have been trying to switch around


checking in! I put the perspective and foreshortening tips to the lab and I have a lot more to work on. I’m gonna be in the lab the whole week so I could further the practice and study up on some color theory to color these pieces. more sketches on the way.

*side note: Any one knows flash CS4/5 ? I’m looking for a good starter tutorial to get started and animate my characters


Big improvement on the first picture. The second one is good too, though you may want to move the robot a little bit upward. They seem like they’re intersecting on the exact same plane, making the picture seem either flat or the character on the left was just copypasted in.

Other than that, keep it up man. I really like your style, and if you improve on your perspectives and foreshortenings, you could get to pro status in no time.


Your style is really nice. It kind of reminds me of 80s pop art pre-digital/Photoshop era (mostly because of the markers, and, well, it’s not digital).

One thing you can try to add depth to the drawings is increase the line weight for the characters/objects up front, then use thinner lines in the background. Since you’re using paper, maybe use white-out or a white paint pen to add another outline to the foreground characters.

A pro photographer once told me, the secret to good art is LIGHTING. Lighting is everything. There’s a lot that you can do to control lighting, but for starters, make sure that your light sources match (imagine that there’s a light coming from a 45 degree angle or something, and it’s casting shadows on every object correctly). When shadows and highlights are all over the place, it looks flat, like you’re in an office building with fluorescent lights everywhere. Natural light casts shadows that increase depending on the time of day. Keep that stuff in mind and your art will start to pop out.


@Aku: Okay, I see it lol. I had brainstormed all afternoon about how looked clean, but I knew something was a little off. Will fix up tonight

@Taito: Would it be good to practice lighting on basic shapes? I will give the first blue sketch a test run on the lighting and see what i can come up with.

And thanks for the encouragement(i dont get much of it when it comes to my art lol). By any means if you’d like to color these you can. I got some art practice to do tonight lol


Yeah, basic shapes are a good start. Also look at photographs to get an idea of how light and shadow affect the look of 3D forms.


I love your second piece of artwork.


Your work is a lot better than you think!

As for your “lack of artistic substance”, I think perhaps it may be a case of trying to do too much in one piece. The simpler pieces you have like the hawk (which is by far my favorite and IMO has an ass ton of substance) have a lot more appeal and life to me than the others. I also think that you have attributes of conflicting styles within a single piece. I think generally your style favors characters who’s faces have a little more realism in than what you have drawn. For example take your Strider pinup and cover the bottom 3 characters… Then cover the top part. They feel conflicting to me?

Same with the joystick dude. You could simplify the lines on his body/clothes although the quirks in your line work convince me that upping the detail of the face would suit it even better.

I look at your sketch of the swordsman with the beads, look at his face and arms, and I see that cohesiveness… I dunno if you feeling me here haha. I also think it’s a good idea to thumbnail composition on a scrap piece of paper and then reframe them as you wish. A lot of your pieces feel a little suffocated because of lack of negative space between characters and breathing room on the edges. It feels like your characters are becoming unintentionally shorter as you draw and create a forceful composition because of it.

The first thing people look at on characters are the eyes. Maybe try focusing your line skills and touches on the eyes and face.

Great work…Just keep it up, mayne.


I’ve always liked seeing your work back in the Marvel Vs Capcom 2 thread. There was always something about it that really stood out for me and I think it was your use of copics while also going the more traditional route in doing things. I’m not very familiar with copics myself, but I always like the fact that you try to use every bit of the paper while using as much color as you can to make your sketches really splash out. Out of these ones I really like the strider piece you did. Theres something about it that feels very consistent with your style and the overall flow of the picture really stands out above the rest. That and i’m a huge strider fan, and it also reminds me of something from the old capcom design works book. But the picture with the 3 characters in it really brings out the best in your style and I really like the efforts you pulled in trying to show all three of them with different poses. I also like the fact that it shows alot of creativity in your design while also having just the right amount of balance with colors, linework, and craziness.

You also have a very unique style when drawing faces and body proportions, i’m not sure if its from the posing or perspective angles but they all seem to be very consistent from sketch to sketch. The poses might need a little work but it looks you seem to be heading the right direction in trying to get comfortable with the angles.I actually don’t have a problem with the colors since I’m not really good at it myself but some dark shadows might help to bring out the lighting in contrast with the brightly lit atmosphere. Overall it looks like you seem pretty confident in both drawing and coloring, it never looks like your struggling with getting one thing down. Your sketches are also getting cleaner and clearer while also saying alot more, so I think you’re heading in the right direction.

Anyway, didn’t mean to write an essay but i’m probably just jealous as to how my sketchbooks never had anything like what you have in them.


Damn…some pro stuf and thank you again. So this week, I’ll try to add more space to my drawings(?).

@Shubacca: I understand what you mean when you say that they conflict with the drawing. I took a good look at it and the perspective on the upper characters are kinda off lol. It wasn’t intentional but I wanted them all to represent different colors. And thank you for that comment with Hideki the sword dude. I felt the practice I’ve done to achieve a perspective foundation worked out well, specifically with this piece. I’ve recently been in the practice of doing thumbnail sketches before a 1st draft(I should’ve learned about that thumbnail idea a while ago lol.

I always draw on a Strathmore drawing pad on small pads of paper. I crop them to make them easy to color but some times when I finish a character I feel like I shouldve added a background. Its quite lonely for these characters. I guess smaller pads give it that look. What are some of the things you do to get composition in your art?You got a smokin’ C.V. on your thread

@CHOWZ: No problem about the essay man It’s an honor getting any critique at all lol. You should post up a thread yourself so you could receive some help(i’d like to give you a hand if I could). Copic markers are like my stepping stone before I touch anything that has to do with PS/ or Painter, since those programs are next in line that Ill concentrate on. Those 3 characters with the zany look? I revamped their costumes and changed up their looks some( The dude with the ‘dunce’ hat now has a telescope for a head and is depressed all the time lol). I will post up some of my drafting pages and more characters between today and tomorrow.


Yes, I would add more spaces around your drawing but not only that… make sure that your character body language is clear in the composition.

Just as an example your illustration with the pumpkin head dude. If I take a step back and look, the pumpkin gets lost in the silhouette of the dude behind him. That head can be mistaken as part of the leg of the dude in the back(This is also partly because the value+hue of the head are close to the pants, and that the green of the pumkin man’s coat contrasts the head so heavily).

All this and more can be solved at the thumbnailing stage. As for me, I do my thumbs/composition in photoshop as it gives me a lot of speed and control. I can resize pieces, liquify, re-crop, duplicate very quickly. I used to photoshop my thumbs, then do my drawing on paper… Whatever works to get the composition right. Sometimes I work for hours and hours only to realize that in the end I shoulda done something different to my drawing’s foundation. I by no means am a pro with it…I struggle with composition aaaaaaaaall day.

It would be great if you could upload a pic of your hawk without the pen… That is something people would buy and hang up.


A character I have wasted more than 6 pages one to try and redevelop his look and attitude. I have more pages like this but I just wanted to show you what I’m doing to get a character made or remade

UPDATE: Added a character from a canned project “Aut0 S0ul”. It was going to be crafted entirely withi copics, but copics are expensive.


How are you generating ideas? I want to know because I wanted to develop a spellcaster/swordsman, but I’ve been stuck on the same idea forever. I think it has to do with the fact I’m so caught in trying to sketch something cool rather than actually thinking.


Wow that pumpkin headed guy is awesome.


If I craft a fantasy character like a Dark Knight or mage, I put more effort into the items and spells that they wield, because elements like those could be the life of the picture instead of the character. I usually sit down with one character and continuously draw them, in different views, I do some gestures in positions I dont understand and look I the results I like most and emphasize on them. Some times if I dont feel like its working out, I’ll watch a movie(youtubes, flashes,etc.), flip through some art books, or my old drawings and find elements that can work.


thanks man. Bill O’ Wisp is his name:)