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Old 04-29-2012, 07:20 AM   #1
mark_barnett
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please judge my artwork


Hello, this is my first time to post here. Would you please give me some feedback on my artwork? Is it good, bad, old and outdated, etc.?



A lot of times I work from photos that I find from doing Google searches, but I can freehand draw and dream up things as well. I do all kinds of art including comics, fantasy, and portraits.



I'm looking for freelance work and would like to find some companies that might be interested in using my style of artwork. Any help is very much appreciated. Thank you !!!
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:47 AM   #2
creativesynergy
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First off, Mark. Welcome to the club!

Now, onto the word that describes best what needs to change in your work, whether portrait (like the Nicholson JOKER) or the Spider-Man/Green Goblin: Life.

Everyone has life. That's why they call images of people "life drawings". Inanimate objects such as structures don't have life. They have never been alive. Living organisms do, such as animals, plants, and insects.

That's what I'm getting right now from these images.

Here's what I want you to do: Get a camera out and take pictures of life. Get out there and take pictures of nature, of people walking down the street, of animals and insects in there natural habitats or even at an enclosed setting like a pet store or zoo. If you have pets, look through old pictures or take new ones. Take pictures of trees and how they have the trunk, branches, and leaves going in different directions, from one tree to another. Take pictures of the same flower at different times of day. Even take a picture of the sun at dawn, mid day, and dusk over the same setting. Look at and study the nuances.

Nothing and no one, not even twins, look exactly alike as they have "personality" and "character" of their own. For example, in the case of twins, one may have a sparkle in their eyes while the other is more subdued, even if both have blank looks on their faces. You can always see that difference. An image of Wednesday Addams as twins comes to mind. Try to find a picture of Christina Ricci as the character from the movies and make two photocopies. Put them side by side. What do you get? A copy. Now, reverse the image of one. Now you have "character". What made the difference? The fact that one is leaning to the left and the other to the right (for example), showing that one may be right handed and the other left handed. It's the same picture, but you've changed their characters.

I don't know how old you are, but take pictures of those close to you, whether parent, sibling, partner, or even fellow students/co-workers. What makes them special?

Stan Lee has been a very important part of my personal education when it comes to people. Before he came into comics, everything was black and white, in my opinion. He gave background, issues, and plight to his characters. They were no longer unidimensional. He set the stage for comics today. I'm actually going to see him today at our comic and entertainment expo.

Two things I will tell you right now to get away from are coloring your work and backgrounds. Don't worry at this point about anything other than life drawing. Isolate it and "perfect" it (meaning concentrate on one thing at a time).

You have talent and a great future if you only work on one thing at a time and get as good as you possibly can with it. And remember one important thing: Judging is bad because it means a final outcome. We don't judge here. We critique, assess, and help one another.

Welcome aboard and good luck!

Steve
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creativesynergy View Post
First off, Mark. Welcome to the club!

Now, onto the word that describes best what needs to change in your work, whether portrait (like the Nicholson JOKER) or the Spider-Man/Green Goblin: Life.

Everyone has life. That's why they call images of people "life drawings". Inanimate objects such as structures don't have life. They have never been alive. Living organisms do, such as animals, plants, and insects.

That's what I'm getting right now from these images.

Here's what I want you to do: Get a camera out and take pictures of life. Get out there and take pictures of nature, of people walking down the street, of animals and insects in there natural habitats or even at an enclosed setting like a pet store or zoo. If you have pets, look through old pictures or take new ones. Take pictures of trees and how they have the trunk, branches, and leaves going in different directions, from one tree to another. Take pictures of the same flower at different times of day. Even take a picture of the sun at dawn, mid day, and dusk over the same setting. Look at and study the nuances.

Nothing and no one, not even twins, look exactly alike as they have "personality" and "character" of their own. For example, in the case of twins, one may have a sparkle in their eyes while the other is more subdued, even if both have blank looks on their faces. You can always see that difference. An image of Wednesday Addams as twins comes to mind. Try to find a picture of Christina Ricci as the character from the movies and make two photocopies. Put them side by side. What do you get? A copy. Now, reverse the image of one. Now you have "character". What made the difference? The fact that one is leaning to the left and the other to the right (for example), showing that one may be right handed and the other left handed. It's the same picture, but you've changed their characters.

I don't know how old you are, but take pictures of those close to you, whether parent, sibling, partner, or even fellow students/co-workers. What makes them special?

Stan Lee has been a very important part of my personal education when it comes to people. Before he came into comics, everything was black and white, in my opinion. He gave background, issues, and plight to his characters. They were no longer unidimensional. He set the stage for comics today. I'm actually going to see him today at our comic and entertainment expo.

Two things I will tell you right now to get away from are coloring your work and backgrounds. Don't worry at this point about anything other than life drawing. Isolate it and "perfect" it (meaning concentrate on one thing at a time).

You have talent and a great future if you only work on one thing at a time and get as good as you possibly can with it. And remember one important thing: Judging is bad because it means a final outcome. We don't judge here. We critique, assess, and help one another.

Welcome aboard and good luck!

Steve
I was reading and though these words are not directly for my art, I felt inspired and learned a lot from this. Thanks for being such helpful. More power to you Steve.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:33 PM   #4
Randychen
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Suggestion

Although a little flat (2 dimensional) on the first picture, but I think it could have a potential to be an unique style. Not every art in the world has to have dead on anatomy or perspective.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:40 PM   #5
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Here's a freehand sketch that I did in 2004. Does this have any life in it?
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:29 PM   #6
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Yes sir. That's EXACTLY what I meant. Good on you.

Steve
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:08 PM   #7
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I think your Maul picture has life as well.
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:28 PM   #8
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Yes it does. You'll notice I didn't mention that one.

Steve
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:28 AM   #9
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Well, I've done a lot of different kind of artwork over the years. If you're interested in looking, here's a link that shows 4 pages of my work. I've done art in pencil, ink, pastels, paints, etc. I hope you enjoy looking at it.
http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/mark-barnett.html
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:48 AM   #10
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Mark, I'm going to tell you something honestly: You're very strong in some pieces and styles and not as much in others. Your "comic work" doesn't come close to your work on pieces like the INDIAN CHIEF image, which I absolutely loved. Your B/W landscape work is also a strong point, especially with your camera angles, which literally makes a world of difference. However, looking at (or trying to determine) the dates, pieces like the DEVIL'S TOWER and MAN VS. T-REX don't come close to THAT GIRL, WOMAN IN BLACK, and HEART BREAKER.

Even your KISS images have differences in their effectiveness. GENE SIMMONS, PAUL STANLEY, and TOMMY THAYER (ACE FREHLEY) have that life I was talking about, mainly due to nuances in their gestures, GENE with the standard face tilted down and eyes up, PAUL with the tilt to the side, and TOMMY with the face up looking down at us, all work wonderfully, but the ERIC SINGER (PETER CRISS) piece is straight on with no real nuance or gesture, even with the mild pursed lips, making him less effective. Take a look and see if you can tell what I'm talking about or, better yet, post the four of those here for comments.

ARTISTIC ARMADILLO and FISH HEAD are actually styles that could work in comics. If you look at the older DOOM PATROL by Grant Morrison and Richard Case and SHADE THE CHANGING MAN by Peter Milligan and Chris Bachalo, both of which appeared in the early '90's when VERTIGO first came into being, you'll see what I mean.

Some have life, others have none. It's a matter of the style you're working with, not the genre, because you could apply some of these other techniques to the comic world and be very effective, but there needs to be some form of consistency. I would like you to make a mock cover, maybe get a couple of ideas from people posting here. Work on composition a lot more, camera angles, and worry less about color right now. This mock cover? Use a couple of different styles such as your photorealistic touch and the style that you've used for the FISH HEAD piece. Stay away from things like your BATMAN and SPIDER-MAN work. They don't do you justice. I also enjoyed your LILO & STITCH piece (above), but again, it looks like it was done by someone else altogether.

And yes, I care enough to take a full look through your online portfolio and tell you honestly what works and what doesn't.

Good luck, my friend. I'll be waiting in the wings.

Steve
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:38 PM   #11
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Today I started on a new ink drawing of "The Incredible Hulk". Right now I just drew it out using a pencil and I'll start inking it tomorrow. I'd like to get some feedback on this B & W illustration after I'm done with it. My hope is that I might be able to find some freelance work as an inker or I'd like to be someone who does comic book covers or book covers. To be honest with you, I'm just looking for the right place where my style of art fits in. It's been really hard to find that place. You know what I mean? It's been hit and miss with no steady work so far. The downtime is killing me. That's why I'm here -- I'm just looking for work and some advise. Thanks!

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Old 04-30-2012, 10:00 PM   #12
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some of the work on your site is very strong but others are not up to that standard. im not sure if there is a long time line you have displayed. i would try to have a portfolio thats geared towards the type of work you want to do. you have a wide variety of work on your site, it might help to start a blog or tumblr or have a simple website of your work thats geared towards a specific field. if you want to try and do book covers find the art directors for the publishers who do similar work to yours, make postcards and send them out. go to conventions if you can. look at online forumns for job postings. put your work up at a bunch of different forumns for feedback and it helps you get exposure. good luck
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:36 AM   #13
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Here is my KISS painting. This is acrylic paint on a 16" X 20" hard canvas board. Done in Feb. of 2012.
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:16 PM   #14
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Left, is my pencil sketch from yesterday. Right, is my ink work from today. Any feedback, please?
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:28 PM   #15
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Mark, your strength is pencils, not inking. Your line weight is way too thick and dark with no variation. However, your pencils are pretty good. That being said, I find the musculature isn't referenced and if it is, not referenced enough. Everything fits conveniently in the image, from the way his muscle striations are balanced on both sides of his body like a mirror image to his pants looking "perfect" in the way they have torn.

Take a look at bodybuilding magazines for reference. Guys back from my days as a bodybuilder in the '80's are minuscule compared to guys nowadays. Look online for "the biggest bodybuilder", considered to be Markus Ruhl. Look at his form and the striations in his muscles during competition. He's ripped and massive. Use photo reference to get accuracy. The pose itself is okay, but again, look at bodybuilders in competition or when working out to get the intensity.

Right now, I'm not getting a sense of "pro work" which may not pay your bills. Keep at it and listen to everyone's points to help you grow, okay?

I'll tell you something, though: I've been in your boat on numerous occasions in my life. Disappointment in hearing you're "not there yet" or "not there at all" is very hard to hear, but those who learn and adapt to that eduction are the ones who succeed. It isn't a matter of "I'm gonna make a living at this no matter what". As a freelance editor, I figured everyone and their cousin's best friend's aunt's second husband's brother would hire me, but that hasn't been the case. Hell, even the cousin's best friend hasn't hired me. But y'know what? I'm completely fine with that. It doesn't mean I'm incapable because I've done it successfully numerous times in my life with great results. You will never, ever please everyone, so don't try. Find your niche and work towards that. Like I said before, the indian image was strong, so maybe seek work outside of comics while honing your craft. And maybe, just maybe, you aren't cut out for super-heroes, but instead another genre or even another print media such as reference material or kid's books (as your Lilo & Stitch was good). This may sound corny, but to coin a phrase from the Care Bears cartoon (I have five kids), "Don't lose heart!"

Steve
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