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Thread: Critique wanted - detective story

  1. #1

    Critique wanted - detective story

    Hi all!

    So I've been working on a detective story for a while and would love som thoughts and opinions on what I've done and how I can improve. Currently there is no text and some pages are missing a bit of art. I'm planning to add speech text and building names, also I've been thinking about the contrast. There isn't much darker tones in the art but I'm probably going to add a couple of levels of grey for windows, backgrounds etc. Would that be a good idea?

    I'm not so happy with the background house under the bridge in pages 5 & 6 but I'm having a hard time to make it look better, any ideas?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Hey, you have some great stuff here! It's nice to see a bit of a Tin Tin vibe, which I love.

    So on to critique. Perspective. The one thing that stands out as being generally incorrect in several panels is the perspective. You have a nice clean line quality, good proportions, generally ok cloth, but perspective is where you need to focus.

    I'm going to tackle page 5. There are a few different things going on here, so I'm going to use a couple of different drawings to show what needs to be fixed.
    The first thing to recognize here is that you have two different horizon planes. One is for the buildings sitting on a level plane, the second is for the water and the bridge which are on a sloping plane. This makes things a little bit tricky to make things look right.
    First, let's look at the bridge.

    Next, is the water.
    The water is falling over a ridge where the level plane changes angle and slopes down a hill, but the problem with this is that the top of the river that is further away from us must be much, much wider than the water that is closer to us, and it makes the buildings in the background seems like they would be sitting in the middle of a lake.

    Drawing the water like this below would be accurate, but probably not what you want because it makes the river look small compared to the bridge.

    I would suggest that you might want to do something either like this...

    ...or this...

    I'll try to critique the buildings tomorrow.
    Last edited by Nexus; 08-16-2017 at 04:38 AM.

  3. #3
    Great stuff Nexus, I really appreciate it!

    You really hit the nail on the head with the areas I need to improve, they are also the ones I'm most uncomfortable with drawing. Regarding cloth, do you see any general issues with the way I draw cloth? I'm trying to improve but my current approach to learning is just mixing drawing from reference and drawing from my head.

    Will I prevent the water looking like it's coming down a ridge by extending the water to the horizon line?

    Many thanks

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Gurkan View Post
    Will I prevent the water looking like it's coming down a ridge by extending the water to the horizon line?
    Yes... and then use this single horizon line for the whole picture, which means you will have to adjust your buildings accordingly, but it will make everything easier to understand visually.
    You can still have your water curve out of the picture frame, but the water won't be chopped off where the plane is changing angles to the other horizon like it's doing in your picture right now.

    Before getting to the buildings, first we have to fix the height of that dead guy. Assuming that the police inspector is average height, if we push him back in space so that he is standing right next to the dead guy, and then lay the police inspector down next to him, you can see that the dead guy is huge.

    So you have to either draw the dead guy smaller, or you can move him closer in the picture plane until he fits the height of the perspective lines of the inspector.

    I'll get to the buildings later, but sizing the buildings uses the exact same method of as I just did for the dead guy, except instead of comparing the inspector to the dead guy, I'm going to compare the inspector to a doorway that I'll add to the building.
    Last edited by Nexus; 08-16-2017 at 05:57 PM.

  5. #5
    Ok man, I hope all this "instruction" isn't driving you crazy, but I'll try to leave you alone after this...

    So, let's get to the building.
    One of the problems that everyone has at one time or another with two point perspective is putting the vanishing points too close together. They need to be far apart. It can be sort of annoying how far apart they have to be (especially if you are drawing on paper and don't have a large, dedicated work table), but if you put them too close together you get warped perspective. I won't get into why this is, but always keep it in mind.
    The vanishing points was a problem with your building, so here is one I've drawn up where you can see the VPs are nice and far apart.

    Now on to checking the size. The building size isn't really what matters so much as the windows and doors... making sure that they are the correct size according to the figure(s).
    One thing I would note here is that you don't have to use a figure as the measuring stick for everything else, but it usually makes sense to use characters because characters are the focus, and people are easy to compare the size of things to.

    When the smaller figure in perspective is moved directly horizontal into the doorway, it fits pretty well, which means the size of the doorway (and building) is correct. If the figure looked too small or too big for the doorway, then either the figure or the building has to be fixed so that the size of the doorway corresponds with the size of the figure.

    When the size of the doorway is correct, you can then draw all the details on the building to correspond with it in size, such as windows, garbage cans out front, etc.

    And then I'm just going to move the building over out of the waters way.
    Last edited by Nexus; 08-18-2017 at 02:01 AM.

  6. #6
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Gurkan View Post
    Regarding cloth, do you see any general issues with the way I draw cloth? I'm trying to improve but my current approach to learning is just mixing drawing from reference and drawing from my head.
    Most of your cloth looks pretty good. Maybe a couple of spots here and there, but this is coming from someone who overlooks drawing cloth properly all the time. There are some good, simple books on how cloth works that can really help to demystify the whole thing. I really like "Drawing Cloth From Head to Toe" by Cliff Young.
    I think reference photos work best, but at the same time understanding why cloth does what it does makes it so much easier to draw from your head and often makes reference unnecessary.

    Lines in cloth happen for the three reasons... gravity, tension, and compression. When you see these explained in a good diagram, it makes drawing clothing so much easier.

  8. #8
    Nexus, your instructions are fantastic.

    I've read about these perspective rules before but never truly grasped them until now. Very good feedback. Keeping vanishing points for buildings far away is something that I never even thought about before.
    Here's an updated (in progress) version of the page and I've tried to have these instructions in mind:

    I'll check out that cloth book.

    Many thanks!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by amadarwin View Post
    Your main character looks like he loves chewing tobacco.

  10. #10


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