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Trev's doodles for critique


#1

Hey guys, I’m re-posting my entry into the annual artist talent hunt for your critiquing pleasure. Looking to receive constructive feedback on it, good or bad to see where it can be improved or enhanced. Thanks in advance and if you like what you see, head over to www.trevordmello.co.uk for more samples.
Cheers
Trevor




Official Feedback for 2015 MW Annual Submissions
#2

Goddamn, the mods are right – you artists are amazing. I don’t really have much to add except what I said to another artist earlier today, that the physiology of your lead seems to change. At some stages she seems like a really sexy woman like a Victoria’s Secret model or something, and at other times she seems real butch and manly. But otherwise your backgrounds are incredibly dense and detailed and clear and beautiful. Sorry I don’t have more advice to offer, it just looks great! I’m incredibly impressed!


#3

Thanks man, I think I can see what you’re saying about her physique. Good feedback, thanks!


#4

Hey Trevor! There’s been a lot of work put into these pages and it shows. Your backgrounds are chock full of detail and well drawn. Everything that follows this sentence is meant to point out the areas it appears need to be focused on. Please don’t take it as being overly critical. You’re doing such awesome backgrounds I’d love to see your pages as a whole reach that level.

When looking through the pages I can’t help but think that car being run over should be facing away from the camera. But this is something that might be clearer to me if I could make out the lettering. The reduced resolution has them just this side of legible.

Other than that minor quibble I think your backgrounds and object drawing is so strong, that your figure work kind of fails to keep up in places.There are points where Witchblade seems to be floating above or pitched forward from the backgrounds.

I think page 1 is the biggest case for this, she doesn’t feel like she’s on the stairs so much as drawn above them. And in the bottom panel I don’t think at least on first examination that she is following the same perspective grid as everything else in the room. That’s a super tricky angle, and you’ve handled it BEAUTIFULLY for all the objects in the room. Even down to the parquet floors! If I had to guess, she’s drawn perfectly up and down for the page, but the room is drawn slightly askew of that.

Last thing (And it’s a minor storytelling question) In page 2 does witchblade stomp the drivers face by kicking through the roof of the car? Her foot is clearly through the roof and it looks to be making contact. If so how is the driver casually looking up at her through the same hole in the roof, even after crashing his car up and over a parked one? With not much more than a concerned look on his face.

Hopefully some of this is a help. (And hopefully down the line you can pop into one of my threads and give me some pointers on architectural and set drawing. That’s an aspect I feel like I really labor with. Yours is really well grounded.


#5

That.

Wish I knew stuff about ‘perspective grids’ and such to be as articulate as you on these matters, but now that you say it that was partially what I was trying to put my finger on (and the manner of her ‘floating’ above or forward of the beautiful background images).

The only thing I would disagree with you on is that the driver looks to have much more than a ‘concerned’ look on his face – he looks positively distraught to me. Although if there’s any way to amp that up, I’m sure that would work even more.


#6

Hey Warren, thanks for taking the time to review my work in such detail. No offence taken from your comments, I’m putting myself out there for feedback on how I can improve so all comments are welcome. You’re right about the figure placement, perspective on the human body is something I tend to struggle with and something I’m trying to challenge myself with by drawing relatively tricky angles as frequently as possible (case in point the Top Cow talent hunt entry I’m currently working on).

In response to your points, clicking on the images should make the text legible. The idea with page 2/3 is that she has indeed stomped the driver causing him to lose control of the car, it was tricky trying to nail the driver’s facial expression in a small panel on page 3, so point taken :).

Thanks again for spending the time and providing useful feedback, I’ll be sure to check out one of your threads soon!


#7

Glad I could be of some help!

As far as looking into figure drawing goes, especially the figure in perspective Ithink you could do much worse than taking a look at the Andrew Loomis books. I mentioned them in the resources thread here. But I think specifically with your grasp of perspective, they’d come in really handy. Here’s an excerpt I grabbed for a google image search.

This particular book is called Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth. I know personally it’s been a huge help to me.


#8

Thanks for sharing this!


#9

These are some awesome pages. Your ability to render detail and creating of dynamic compositions is really strong. Thanks for sharing. I only really have one general note, and feel free to disregard if this is more of a stylistic choice. So it seems that your work wants to rely on color in order to create depth, mood and texture. As drawn pages, i’m having a difficult time with spatial depth since there is so much open line type of approach here, especially on that large interior panel on page 1. Its an interesting creative consideration to make going forward, if you want to control more of that kind of thing with your pencil and inks or if you want to leave it up to the colorist to create all the depth and atmosphere for you.


#10

An interesting point. I guess I’m relying on the inker and colourist to add the depth. I’ve inked my pencils before (not particularly well hence the pencil only submission) and brought out the depth with the thickness of the inked line. Not too sure how you can differentiate between foreground and background just using pencils but if anyone’s got any tips, I’m interested in hearing them. Thanks for the feedback.


#11

Your pencils are so clean you almost don’t need an inker. I’ve seen that being done a lot more these days where pencils go directly into color. Its a very cool look. It’s an interesting conversation to note. In terms of depth, the old rules of playing with light/dark lines, thickness variation etc. Study pencil drawings of old master painters outside of comics. Guys like Ingres, Sargent, Velazquez etc. I mean they could create entire worlds on a piece of paper with a piece of graphite. Just a thought.


#12

Good advice! This thread’s already been worthwhile.


#13

Wow. There’s a hell of a lot of detail in these few pages! Nice work. I’d say I’d agree with the comments made above about perspective. I’d like to see a bit more movement in the last page - each individual panel makes it look like the car is starionary. I’m not sure how you could achieve that though - maybe an artist type could offer some advice on that.


#14

Agreed. I didn’t realise till now that it wasn’t stationary. As a non-artist, I could only say ‘motion lines’? I feel that would be out of place in your style of art, though, so yeah if an ‘artist type’ has any ideas that aren’t ‘motion lines’ please share!


#15

Yeah, I tried using her hair and parallel lines to convey the motion, perhaps a little unsuccessfully. Maybe a few more objects flying around might add to the sense of motion.


#16

More carnage is one way of emphasising movement. I personally am a sucker for the polyptych panel / multi pan layout to describe movement:

http://henryjenkins.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/mp-understanding-comics-3.jpg

I’m not sure how you could translate the car crash into this though but I reckon it’s something that you could keep in mind.


#17

Where did that top one come from?


#18

Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics.

I’m not an artist but I really fancy reading this sometime. Just a case of working through my growing “to read” pile and getting a copy of it!


#19

That’s Scott McCloud; it’s from Understanding Comics (or maybe it was Making Comics). It goes without saying that everyone needs to read both of those. Great reference, Bruce – I think it could’ve totally worked for this car scene, even though the layout would obviously have had to completely change.


#20

I agree that that last page would need to change. It’s a shame there’s no way to easily insert something new as there’s clearly been a lot of work put into the page as it is.