Hi I’m back again :) I just recently submitted one of my work, an experimental cartoon style artwork that I tried, and it has already been critiqued and I thank you all who liked it and gave comments on how I can improve it and I’m gonna do an improved one in the near future :)
So for the mean time I’m gonna ask again a little of your time, this time to give comment on my best artwork so far. Here you go, I hope you like it and again I’m gonna ask; What is wrong? What could be better? Thanks a lot in advance everyone :D
I like what you have here and I understand that it’s a different style from what I usually do, so please take the following with a pinch of salt.
The pose looks slightly forced, awkward. Having the two hands up to her chest and shoulders, plus the scarf, is just too much clutter for the top half of her body. Slightly exaggerating the pose, at least of the hand holding the headphones could help in making the whole thing less solid and add some movement. The other hand is covered by the scarf and that makes me doubt there’s any reason for it to be in such position.
Ref. 1 - The girl in this picture has some shy pose going on, but the pose of her whole body flows with the arms and makes it look more interesting.
Ref. 2 - The pose here is more open, with a clear view of the arm holding the headphones.
How to pose hands - This is a blog post on how to pose hands for professional photography and modeling. It’s very helpful in finding the perfect balance between accurate and visually interesting. Most of the pictures focus on portraits similar to what you have here.
Whenever you take elements out of something, the ones that you can see are more evident. That’s why I mentioned that hidden hand behind the scarf: it doesn’t make sense to include a hand if it’s going to be obscured. It would work if she were hiding something. That way you could make her intentions evident and give her some depth. But this is not a murderer hiding a dagger behind her back. This is a girl enjoying a song. You could emphasise that by making her dance or sway to the music. Add some flow to her clothes and hair.
I like the colours and, I assume, you were going for a pop of colour with her hair. The problem is that it clashes against the darker colours way too much. And I’m not a huge fan of eyes and brows showing through hair. I get that’s part of the style, but you can make it more balanced, so the hair doesn’t get kicked out of the spotlight. If her eyes are closed, I don’t see the point in making them stand out through the hair so much. Perhaps parting her bangs a bit— like here— and making her brows more detailed and expressive could explain why they’re so relevant. And for the sake of expression, they are. I’d add some texture to the hair. Again, it may be the whole style, but I always found this kind of shading bland. There’s no reason you cannot experiment with some degree of texture. Same with the scarf: where you going for a knitted scarf? Is it supposed to be more of a cotton cloth to cover your neck?
I said her clothes didn’t match the hair, my reasoning being he hair is too light and takes all the attention from the clothes. The red skirt could help gather some attention, but it sinks in a sea of black. I love black and white, I think there’s nothing easier than mixing black and white and adding a pop of colour to make an interesting colour scheme. Especially when it comes to clothes. But that pop of colour has to be obvious, and here that’s the hair, not the skirt. A brighter red could help with that, but you don’t want to go overboard with it. So I suggest making the black pieces more interesting. Seeing as she’s wearing a jacket and a shirt— both black— you could add some white to the mix: a white pattern (black and white stripes, for instance) can give the design some balance. I like to add some extra details to buttons and zippers and some extra shine could also help break that black sea you have going on. Also, never be afraid to add colours to black and white. Use layers and blending modes to make the piece more interesting. I’ve used lots of colours to shade black: from red and purple to browns and greens. I’d use some pinkish hues to make it cozier, more interesting. The worst you can do with black and white is shade it with grey.
It’s a nice drawing, but it lacks the degree of detail that would make it more catchy. Above all, the shading is correct but lacks depth: no deep shadows or highlights, and no texture. Some richer colours for elements you want to stand out— i.e. her hair— would also be a good idea. Adding these shouldn’t go against the style. I keep thinking of this artist FionaCreates— tumblr & portfolio. She also has a more simplified style, but still keeps some degree of depth in her colours (my favourite part of all her work) and texture. It’s not about rendering every single freckle on her skin, but about making her believable and interesting to look at.