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Merph - The art of Thornwolf — LiveJournal
Hokay. I have an idea. I'm sick today and I'm feeling particularly blunt/honest (yanno, pain does that to ya) so here's something to do.

If you would like me to give you an honest one to two sentence criticizing statement about your art/style/gallery what have you, please comment and provide me a link to said gallery. I will then tell you what the biggest issue I think you need work on without doing a long drawn out critique.

Ive begun to realize that you can critique people's individual drawings all you want but if they don't understand what they're doing wrong in the first place they'll just keep making the same mistakes. So here's your chance to get my honest opinion.

And please, I'm not going to be mean, I'm just going to tell you like it is. I'm not gonna go "OMG YOU SUCK LOLOLOLOLOL" cuz dude, thats not constructive. I'll say something like...okay for my own art style "You should really try to incorperate more backgrounds into your drawings and do more full body poses. A lot of what you have are just head shot sketches".

So yeah, post away.

(secretly knows no ones going to post) .... >=) Yeah thats me daring you.

EDIT *waves hands* okay okay! I think I'm done accepting new ones, you guys sure made me eat my words as far as saying no one would post! Looks like I have strangers coming outta the woodwork here, but seems that I've got my hands full. Sorry I kind of dropped off the face of the earth yesterday, I took a long hot bath and went to sleep at like..7:00. (its 1 AM now..now I can't sleep ;P )I'm still sick too so I'll get to the remaining few then I'm gonna go pass out for the rest of the day tomorrow.

Thanks all so much for letting me do this and also being very mature about it, its so refreshing to actually be /appreciated/ for trying to help for once, this has been seriously fun and interesting =D Love the art guys, love the art.

Current Mood: sick sick

107 comments or Leave a comment
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visioncrafter From: visioncrafter Date: February 16th, 2005 04:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Go right ahead! ;)
I know I have many things to work on with my anthropomorphic work... (especially anatomy and making things more realistic instead of stylized...)
I'm actually always open to constructive criticism... even to an extreme point as long as it's still constructive... I just never get any! ;)
My challenge to you... be honest...Have fun! XD

thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 16th, 2005 04:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
The main thing I notice, and I've thought this before I just never got around talking to you about it, was that almost all your drawings are a headshot with the paws or hands in some clever way sneaking into the frame. You should really do more full body shots and try a different composition because you have good skills, yet I don't think you're using them to their full potential and it makes it look like you don't know how to draw full bodies even though you do.
From: senotay Date: February 16th, 2005 04:16 pm (UTC) (Link)


I haven't cried in a few days. XD

http://naon.deviantart.com has more of my recent stuff because I haven't updated my website in a few months.

Please ignore the squirrel and the sheep. They were done mostly to be an ass, and don't reflect my work at all so much as my general stupidity :D
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 16th, 2005 04:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yay!

Facial anatomy regarding all your species whether it being canine human or duck. The duck thing I'm not going to touch because it seems mostly derived from a specific fan style for the most part and I don't know much about that but I do know about canines and humans, and you need to pick up the formula for drawing heads (I think you can google it honestly just go "formula for drawing heads" and some charts/sites should come up) to help you with perspective, and the canine heads, the muzzles are off perspective and the eyes are too far apart. I guess just facial anatomy in general.
digitalis From: digitalis Date: February 16th, 2005 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Go for it!
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 16th, 2005 04:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Leg muscle anatomy and feet. I noticed that almost all your digitigrade figures, the rest of the body was awesome and fully fleshed out but the legs seemed to taper out into what seemed like lack of knowledge of anatomy. Try googling some pics of dog legs or some animal anatomy book pics and focus on the similar structures human legs and animal legs have and combine the two to bulk up your structure a bit, right now they'r very 2 dimensional.
zzyllo From: zzyllo Date: February 16th, 2005 04:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
It can't hurt... http://nashoba-hostina.deviantart.com/


thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 16th, 2005 04:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ive actually been trying to figure out what you talk to you about since your last yerf application but here's what I notice right away:

The "fur clump" look, while effective in some areas of wolf anatomy doesn't work for the whole thing and/or the background. You should focus on what fur really is...solid strands. Sometimes they come together in clumps but not all the time, most of the time it just looks like a solid flat color and you don't need every detail. Same goes for the backgrounds: why draw out each individual leaf when you can push the background back a little by taking some detail away from it?

Also you should try working with markers or digital work and see how that works out for you just to see, because for some reason the colored pencils arent giving you the harder edge you need in your figures and the figures blend into the background.

God all of these are turning into longer than 2 sentences.
tivadu From: tivadu Date: February 16th, 2005 04:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know ya dunna know me XD but I lurk about and dude, this would really help me... heh I hope you dunna mind XD LOL


I'm a very speradic poster anywho XD LOL! whoohoo.. >
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 16th, 2005 04:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Never seen you here before 0_o Hey!

Okay..what I've noticed: Your cat anatomy looks the same as your canine anatomy but with bigger paws. If you get some animal anatomy books youll find that cats are a lot stockier with shorter beefier legs (at least the cats you seem to be drawing) and dogs are leggier and sleeker.
featherlady_jt From: featherlady_jt Date: February 16th, 2005 04:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ok, tear it up if you like.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 16th, 2005 04:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooo pretty =) Never seen your art before I don't think.

Biggest thing: Facial anatomy and perspective. A lot of the facial features on your animals appear to be on different planes of perspective for the most part and their heads, in some cases, lack symmetry, like one side is beefier than the other even in a full frontal head shot.
From: animarelic Date: February 16th, 2005 04:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh! Me...

Since I really admire your art, anyway. ^_^


is my most recent.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 16th, 2005 04:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Oh! Me...

Okie dokie (aw thanks)

Main thing: the limbs on your figures are doing the "sausage link" thing where they don't have much underlying structure ie: the wrapping of muscle tissue to bones, thus coming out looklike like buldgy sausage links (and no I'm not making this up my figure drawing teacher used to whack our papers with a stick and say "no sausages!")

Try learning about the underlying structures of the limbs and then incorperate that into your drawings.
talynwolf From: talynwolf Date: February 16th, 2005 04:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 16th, 2005 05:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Based on your gallery one would assume you only know how to draw things at a side view. You should mix it up a bit and try some different perspectives with the face and body.
chlorophyta From: chlorophyta Date: February 16th, 2005 04:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ideally, I'd link to my yerf gallery, but yaknow.

Thanks for doing this. ^^
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 16th, 2005 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor Yerf! *weep weep weep*


Main thing I notice is that your figures, while pretty sleek and nifty up top, as you move down the figure they tend to get thicker and "bottom heavy" (is that a word even?)
To better illustrate my point, in some instances such as your char ref sheet for your canine character, the calves appear thicker than the thighs, and the feet even thicker still. Try to keep the proportions evenly distributed even when drawing digitigrade characters. Making them bigger down on the bottom isn't going to help them stand up any better than giving them solid thigh structure in a digitigrade posture.
nambroth From: nambroth Date: February 16th, 2005 04:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
AWESOME. I'd love this.
I'm going to link you to my elfwood page (scary I know) because it has less you have to wade through.
It doesn't contain my newer stuff, but this way it'll only take you a few moments to look through/
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 16th, 2005 05:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is tough!

Arm anatomy mostly. I notice your shoulders tend to be a bit higher up than they should and your arms in general are pretty long, such as in that self portrait of yourself as the gryphon dragon person thing sitting on the log. Also, in that bloody gryphon piece, it appears the arms are coming directly from the neck, which can also be credited to the "shoulders too high" thing.

autumn_sunrise From: autumn_sunrise Date: February 16th, 2005 05:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooo, too fun! I love hearing outside criticism so as to improve...feel free to comment all you like!
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 16th, 2005 05:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
*psst, I like your cel shading*

Ok, main thing I'm noticing in your anthro/human and in some cases your animal anatomy, that while you have the idea of muscle structures down, your attention to muscle structure seems to be making the joints and bones bend in ways they shouldnt. For example, not sure of the title of the image, but its in an anthro female wolf in clothes sitting down hugging her knee, her wrist is bent at an uncomfortable angle, yet you've focused on the musculature of the arm so greatly its almost as if you didn't account for the underlying position.

Sometimes people try to beef up their figures and exaggerate it in places that don't need it or make really great muscles in positions that are impossible/uncomfortable. Hope that helps.
kylet From: kylet Date: February 16th, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hit me.

Um...I don't really have an archive, save for this, which is on AOL and may not work well anyway.


Wonder if you'll have comments besides the similarity of subject matter ;-)
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 16th, 2005 05:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well it was tough but I think I got something.

Your coloring style. Its kinda muddy in areas because youre using colored pencils so harshly to achieve a flat color look. I think digital coloring may work for you or a combination of markers and colored pencils, using markers as the medium tone and colored pencils to do the highlights and the shadows *ala Erin Middendorf*

Also, when you have a full colored background there is this weird halo around the character separating it from the background that's not very uniform. Go ahead and go right up to the black outline with the background color and you can avoid that.
westly From: westly Date: February 16th, 2005 05:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Always looking for construsctive crit... Mostly I just get a "you suck!" by folks who have no idea what it is...


I know about the backgrounds, I just have a hard time finding them interesting enough to draw. ::Grins::
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 16th, 2005 06:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Your sketches are "fluffy", and by that I mean you seem to focus a lot more on the texture of the character rather the underlying structure. Where's your structure lines? To help remedy this try allowing yourself to only work in harsh motion angles until you get the form the way you like it, THEN go back and add detail =)
(Deleted comment)
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 16th, 2005 06:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Anatomy in general you could use some work on, you may want to check out some books. Main thing I'm noticing though is that the limbs on your figures don't seem to match up much in size, for example, one side of the body is disproportionate to the other side of the body. You may want to work on making things a bit more even.
neogeen From: neogeen Date: February 16th, 2005 05:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is really awesome of you to do Thorn. So, I'm going to throw myself into the cleansing fire also. I don't have any active galleries though, since Yerf is down.

My VCL gallery is pretty outdated, I just don't upload anymore. Same with my site...since I'm trying to spruce that up a little. I think all I do these days is sketch posts in my LJ. Whooo, I'm so fun.

VCL: http://us.vclart.net/vcl/Artists/NeoGeen/
Site: www.glowqrow.com

But I'm really interested in hearing what you say...I might even try to take up this in my journal for something different to do. I self critique myself really hard these days, which I would like to blame my lack of finished pieces on...if just for the fact that they never get past skecthes becasue I find so much wrong with them. I'm curious to see if you pick up on the flaws I look at myself. I've blathered enough...
Have at ye!
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: February 16th, 2005 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love your style because its very stylized with shocking color useage and nice thick black lines.

Anyways: main thing I'm noticing is a lack of consistancy with the length/anatomy of the limbs. In some cases youll draw the forearms waaaay too long, but othertimes they'll be fine and its the lower leg just under the knee that are waaaay too long, and it cant really depend on your style either. Its just..too long. Mostly though you are drawing your character's legs way too long for their overall body, which is a common thing I see when people put pants on their characters (ie: they get so wrapped up in the clothing they forget their original underlying structure, its fairly common). Also in regards to the arms and legs you have a tendency to make it appear that the bones are bending in a "bow" like fashion when the style of the rest of the image doesn't account for it. Bones dont bend, joints to, and muscles can create structure ;D

Hey, just tryin' to help, I'm half afraid I'm going to get majorly flamed for this "OHNOEZ THORNWOLF IZ A BITCH CUZ SHE THINKS SHES GOOD ENOUGH TO TELL PEOPLE THEY SUX0RZ" or something. *paranoia*

Btw. I need this on a shirt @_@ : http://www.glowqrow.com/imgfanart/neo_tarag.jpg

*raving fossil beasty fan*
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