In my very first post, I asked for feedback on my strengths and weaknesses as an artist.
The wonderful and talented SALISON responded with a visual critique that has been insanely helpful, so I thought I’d share it.
Here’s my original drawings, some character design sketches from K’tharis, my graphic novel that is currently a work in progress. Wangari is a very strict, military minimalist type of person, so I tried to convey that stiffness in her posing.
I had forgotten how important composition is when designing characters. I spent the last year trying to perfect my anatomy, but unless you’re working in photorealism what matters more is the gesture of the pose, its readability and interest. And Salison totally called me out on that (THANK YOU).
The book she mentions, Character Mentor by Tom Bancroft, is an INCREDIBLE book. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in character design or animation. It’s also on my Reading List.
So here’s the before and after. I put in the back hand, as Sal suggested, and tweaked everything else, including her outfit, to create a more deliberate, dynamic pose. You can still see the rigid element of her personality in the new version, but now it’s conveyed in a more commanding and active manner than before.
Aaand because I liked the new drawing so much, I went on to ink and color it. It’s not finished quite yet, but here’s the inking and flat colors: