tomb raider pages
These are the pages I did for the Wizard/Top Cow contest. I know they're not good or great, but am looking for any insight that you all can give me. Saying simply that they suck won't be very helpful, so a little elaboration beyond "they suck" would be appreciated.
Page Two and Three
JN- these aren't horrible, but you do have things to work on. You have some nice structure going on in your faces and hands but it all needs to be tweaked. Your BGs need a lot more attention and pulling some reference before starting a page would be a good idea. You have internet access so use it to your advantage. You can key in just a few simple words and get a ton of images that will at least get you started if nothing else. I'd really suggest doing that here for the graveyard. As I remember it being described in the script, it is supposed to be in the center of a huge city somewhere like NY. In the later pages you've made it appear to be in the middle of a desert because you indicate a background with the fence but nothing extends in front of it toward the viewer and certainly nothing behind it. I'd suggest some serious practice with perspective. I too for the longest time believed in the false-hood known as one point perspective, there is no such thing, not really. You can fake perspective with one point but it ends up looking just like that, fake. If you don't understand or not sure what I'm talking about, email me and I'll try to explain this further.
With your anatomy, you tend to make arms too short and legs too long. You make the waists of your characters too tiny and they have the proportions of a Barbi doll. If you can't find references for certain positions, in a crunch, you should at least use a decent model/figurine. I'd suggest investing in the most realistic BBI/Sideshow/Dragon figure you can find. Or even the Toy Biz figures, but go with the ones that are more clothing oriented, like Blade or Punisher. You can get use out of them for normal people and heroes, not just costumed guys. You do some nice hands which for a young artist is a major thing so you're on the right rack there and I have to admit even a lot of your faces look good. It seems to be the adding of the body that causes you fits. One thing I notice you do is over "define" the lower edge of your women's breasts. Back off of that a bit, we know they're breasts and you've made them big enough. After all we don't need to be hit over the head with them to...wait, forget I said that last bit.
To specifics, the first spread the old woman seems more like she's burned some eggs by her facial expression than turning demon-like on us. Your man falling on the slab seems underplayed and stiff. It looks more like one of those "trust" exercises where a person falls backward in the belief that someone will catch them. He should look more like he was thrown.
Page 4, the last shot is way off. If you don't have the references, then I'd suggest sketching it out a few times until you feel comfortable with it. If you can't get it right then I'd suggest you resolve the issue some other way. It ends up hurting the entire page, which otherwise has some nice points.
Page 5, the opening panel has WB walking across the circle but you place her feet on the panel border. Careful, her feet should fall under her and right now it ends up looking like a stage play with the BG as a painted backdrop. P-2 bring WB over to the right more, don't crop her like that unless you treat both figures that way. You had the room, so get them both in there. It's unnerving to a viewer to see something inconsistent like that. Plus both their arms are way too short. P-4, again, arms are too short and WB's butt is really high. P-5, there's that desert I was talking about. How about some trees at least?
Your last page is the weakest, one thing is most people are "laid" to rest in a mausoleum, the structures you have the people would be standing up. Those are some pretty vertical looking boxes there. I think the last panel on that page is nice but the previous one is cropped in an odd fashion. Careful how you compose things, don't hide too much of the information.
Do some research, sketch from life and keep drawing. you've got a nice start here.
Thanks for the compliments. I really appreciate them. I do have quite a ways to go though before I'm up to pro standards. I not only have to work on my quality, I also have to work on my professional work ethics (i.e. time spent actually working on the pages and sketches).
SCGallant has given me a lot of helpful tips on how I can improve my skills, and I'm going to also refer to my drawing books and magazines more, as well as visual reference.
As far as what boards I used, I used the Blue Line Comic Book Art Boards. I ordered them from my retailer through the Diamond Comics Previews catalog. If you ever go to any of the conventions, Blue Line sometimes has a table set out in the Artist's Alley section.
In the end, all I can say is that if it's something you want to do, you have to take your time and devote the time to it. This is advice that I need to follow as well. If you rush it, it will show in the work. Also, as I am learning as well, you must put forth the effort in looking for reference. Never make it up from your head. Another little tidbit SCGallant pointed out.
Good luck in further pursuits, and keep improving.