So I've been drafting some stuff for a series of pieces, conveying a loose narrative. I've completed the first of one of these pieces, I was just wondering if anyone had any general pointers on anything at all with it visually? I guess I mean stuff like tone or line when I say that.
I've been in a bit of a slump creatively as of recently, and want to get some critique if possible.
I really love the black/white balance you have going on there, like how the black fox has white wings and vice-versa, and of course the white snaking arm against the black background. I've been doing a bunch of black and white stuff too and it's really fun :O I also like the minimal hatch shading you have going on. It gets the message across without being distracting or having the arm thing disappear into the background entirely.
I think what would help the most is adjusting the composition a bit. You have a lot of cool symmetry with the foxes mirroring each other and the black/white being split horizontally in the middle, but then the arm breaks it by being a little too far to the left (crowding the black fox a bit). I think it'd look better directly in the middle (I know it's like conventional composition wisdom not to put things right along the center lines, but here I think it would work. Also it kinda suggests an order-chaos balance, with the symmetry on top and the twisting chaos on bottom).
So... I don't know how helpful that'll be for the next pieces, whoops. Just general advice would be to give the things/characters in a piece enough breathing room, and either put something on a center line or a good bit away from the center line (like on a third).
I love the way you did the black-to-white fade (how did you do that? a pen running out of ink or something?). They look like little beams of light! Overall I think the ink looks pretty good. The only thing is it's a little hard to see the black fox's eyes and nose. I'd try to mark the white parts how big you want them in pencil and then ink around them as opposed to doing lineart for the whole thing, then filling in the black (if that makes sense). The little marking on its forehead is perfect as kind of an idea of the thickness of the white lines.
I hope you post the series of illustrations somewhere!
I like your use of white and dark space, and the contrast you created in this image :3
I'm not sure what the message is the image is conveying. I think the hand thing is creepy, and since it's coming up from the bottom I get the sense it may be an antagonist, but the expressions on the character's faces aren't conveying any sense of fear, so I may be misreading this feel.
I like that you're using hatching, especially in the bottom. You could maybe also use that element in your cute animamal characters, too :3
Because of the lock and key, I get the impression that the characters may be guarding something, or be a gateway to something? But I'm a bit crazy so that could all be in my head XD
I definitely want to re-iterate that I like the contrasting elements of the top and bottom of the image. The more I look at it, the more I like that light and dark contrast.
Clean up is a little bit of an issue, but you're probably aware of that and it may have to do with how you have to scan the image in (like, phone or whatnot.) If you have a program you upload it into, you may want to clean up a bit of the ink spots floating around. It would also make the darker character's facial features maybe a bit more pronounced.
I like it. It seems like it could be an interesting, original concept if I was able to grasp what's going on. It may be some mythology I'm not familiar with, or one you're creating. In which case, the image is definitely original! Overall, I like it.
I hope this helps you get motivated. It really is an interesting image! Almost surreal with the bottom figure :D
Edit: I swear I didn't see Wesley's response XD I was still typing this (not copying!) XD
Wesley-Draws-I've taken onboard your points about the composition. To answer your question about the black to white fade, I just used a dry brush with my ink. Thanks for the advice and kind words! I'll be sure to post it somewhere, I might even post the subsequent pieces in this thread for critique.
BlueDragon-Your interpretation is interesting, don't worry! I'll take on board your advice about cleaning it up a bit. I need to get into the habit of doing that more with my drawings and comics. Thank you as well!