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Candid Feedback Please
Hey Bowsiters -- No one in my family will give me feedback beyond "That's really a great drawing." Even though I want brutal honesty. This drawing is on a 12x18 done with charcoal pencil.
Please give me something to work with. I see nothing but flaws, but interested to hear what ya'll see and how I might make it better.
Shoulder and hump needs some work....blend the shoulder in on the front and back...you have too much shadowing going on. Other than that looks great.
Beats the hell out of anything I could draw. Franklin has good suggestions. Great work
That's nice. I have no idea how much practice or training you have as an artist. If you are just looking for things I think you could improve on, here are some thoughts:
The shading on the body is a little off--the shadow line does not usually wrap around the top of the shoulder. He could use a little more muscle definition on the shoulder and side. The horns could use some shadowing and the growth rings are not that uniform in reality. The face is good, but the nose could use some more shading.
I always had to look at photographs when I did my drawings. I can't create the kind of detail in my head to make things look right. I still think what you did looks good. :)
It's a great picture and you have some awesome talent! My only criticism is that it appears to blocky or angular. Smooth the lines out some and a little more muscle definition. I like the look around the eyes, that is extremely well done IMO.
Really nice. My only observation is the body parts are too angular. If you soften/blend/round, it would look more natural. Great talent you have.
HD, you have a great talent!!. As stated above, the top of the shoulder looks blocky. Also, I was immediately drawn to the nose because it is darker compared to the rest of the sketch. The eyes are awesome but maybe the ears need to be a little larger? Maybe slim his right jaw a little and make a small jawline on his left side to make it look more symmetrical. If you draw another one please post it. I love the little head tilt.
The face, jaw and nose look out of proportion and too square looking. Shadowing is throwing me off too. The horns almost look inverted (just off) at the top portion (heavy side). They look more normal on the bottom 1/4-1/2 of the curl. Not sure what I would recommend as I can't draw that well, I'm just a better critique-er. :) Oh, and the eyes do look nice!
If you are trying for ultra realistic take a picture! Art has its own style so be confident in your style and interpretation.
If you want criticism I think the head looks more like a deer than a sheep. On sheep the eyes tend to bug out more and the ears come more straight out the side than up and back.
Wow Fellas! Cannot thank you enough. I'm just a dude who likes to draw. Doing this as a gift to my best friend who lets me use his home as base camp when I hunt elk in Colorado.
Going to give this one a shot on a much larger canvas and wanted to see if I was seeing the same problems that ya'll see. Yup!
-Head proportions are off a bit. -Forehead/top of his head proportionally needs to be about 20% wider. -The entire nose area is rotated 10-15 degrees to the left of the general angle of the head. -Agree on the overall sentiment that he's too angular. Need to smooth and actually draw the hair. -Horns got messed up as a result of the proportion of the head being incorrect. -I SUCK at shading and will continue to suck at it until I don't! Haha. Need honest people to tell my WHY it sucks though if I want to get better. Thanks!
Embry -- you are an excellent critiquer-er!
That’s really nice work. And you’re a braver man than most to put it out there, so no matter what, keep at it. Almost all of us loved to draw at some point in our lives and hardly any of us ever do it any more. Good on you for taking the time to do it at all
Main thing I see is that the lines are too well defined. A great caricature artist (like Hirschfeld) would start with a beautifully detailed & shaded, “3D” drawing and extract that One Clean Line that captures it all, then erase everything else.
For what you’re trying to do, you have to remember that those lines don’t actually exist.. so you need to make them become just “more” or “less” light coming from a particular area...
And I’d recommend having lots of pics or rams around you as you draw, because you have to understand the 3-dimensional shape of a thing in order to transfer it to a flat medium.
I'd do it more like this. I and I have drawn a lot!
Just kidding looks better than I could dream of doing.
Holy crap John that’s amazing.....
Yours is pretty awesome too Horn Donkey !!
John is that a limited edition print? How do I get my paws on one?
yooper - you don't have enough money is all I can say.
Alot better than mine but maybe if you turned head alittle you could show horns more which are coolest part of bighorn
John --Novices should always bow with reverence in the presence of genius. I offer you my most humble gratitude for gracing us with your presence and your inspired sketch work. 8^)
I had a friend that made these beautiful baskets. Someone once asked him how many perfect basket he had made and his answer was none. The same with my fly tying I can tell you everything wrong with each fly. Message is its easy to be critical of yourself.
That’s one good looking elk picture!
Looks great HD! I can suggest blending in the lines more, and shading less, but overall, I think its a nice job. Esp. the eyes.
JohnMC- that is one good looking wold!
John, yours just needs more filler. :)
Paul -- You're a beauty. Appreciate those pics
Look for some of BB's old pics on here. Lots of material for you. Also, if adventurewriter chimes-in, listen to him. He's continuing to perfect his artistic talents.
I shouldn’t even comment, (I can’t draw a bucket of well water), but I’m with Brotsky and Ken. As others said, it’s much better than I could do.
Honest feedback is that is great
Brutal feedback is it is a robo-ram
Bou --- knew i could get brutal out of you. Thanks.
You are close. Just work on the front shoulder and make the edges less crisp. Other than that the only thing missing is a red dot to indicate shot placement.
HD, it's no big feet getting brutal out of Bou!
Per usual Brotsky pretty much summarized my thoughts. Really impressive as is.
Here are some for reference.
Richard, I will say this as was said above, many wildlife artiest have their own style. Some very realistic and some more contemporary. Here are two pictures I have in my house. THe style you chose can be up to you. Nicely done. Paul
Love both of them Paul, both for different reasons. Appreciate the reference photos more than you guys know. There are tons of sheep pics on google, but very few of them are in the angles that fit my eye.
My pics are ones I took myself on a sheep hunt this year. The "real deal" if you will. Lots of video footage as well giving all sorts of angles and posturing.
Drawings and paintings, like taxidermy, captures only one moment of thousands an animal can be doing. Mostly, we have an "ideal image" of everything and everything should match that ideal image we have.
The only thing that looked a little off from yours is the mass circumference on the sheeps right base up to the top curve relative to the left.
Horn Donkey, looks pretty good from here, but if you see 'flaws' fix 'em in the next one. ;-)
Horn Donkey, impressive opening yourself up to straight criticism. I agree with what most are saying about the angular/blocky if you are going for an ultra realistic look, but I personally really like that look in a drawing. Sheep are a little blocky and angular and I think that drawing captures that really well!
Here's another that I'm completely open to criticism on. This comes from a pic that Brun took on his adventure. It's the elk he named "LT" or "Long Tines". Still playing with it, but I'm almost done.
It's charcoal on 18x24 paper.
HDE, Dana, and Feedjake -- Thanks so much for the comments and constructive criticism.
Feedjake -- easy to open up to criticism when you accept it with gratitude. Whether it's helpful, harsh, or otherwise, it helps.
Ram pictures from the Badlands if that helps.
As a gift from a friend or from you saying thanks for the cabin use.
I would want that first rendition, not the perfect one.
Now if I’m paying or I don’t know you Might change Things.
The elk looks great also.
Well, being totally honest. You have a talent way and above most and I have zero. I appreciate wildlife art. Everybody has their own style and medium they like to use. Keep honing your craft and the style you enjoy. Its great you are open to be critiqued
The reference photo
The reference photo
Back to work on these animals. They aren't just tough on the mountain....they're tough to draw! Haha. Hope ya'll enjoy and welcome feedback again.
That's awesome HD! Beautiful work! I would say that the chest is a little too deep on the closer ram and the back legs look a little off on the further ram. I love watching sheep. I have taken 100's of pics of them this year if not more. Not sure if you are on Instagram or not but there are some great sheep photographers on there to reference. If you are shoot me a PM and I'll send you some to check out. Definitely keep drawing them, you have a ton of talent for it! Thanks for sharing them with us!
Like others have stated, you DEFINITELY have a gift HD! If I drew that scene, I’d be happy if people could tell that they were actually sheep! IMO, the head of the near sheep seems a bit too small and the front hooves on the same sheep don’t seem quite right to me.
appreciate that fellas. i'm just enjoying/hating/obsessing/loving the process of learning to draw them.
this drawing is on 18x24 and looking at the scaling of the closer ram compared to the picture reference....i screwed up his head. which is funny because the further ram's head is driving me crazy. the nuances in the the shading feel impossible to get right.
doing the work of learning though has been eye opening. I have so much respect for real artists who can do this kind of stuff well.
Keep it up HD!
While some say the first sheep is too angular or robo-ram, not all art needs to look identical to a photograph. Take that idea to its extreme: a crude pictograph sketch on a cave wall may be little more than a stick figure, but is still cool art.
Your style may not be to create a "perfect" rendition of a real animal, but as long as it captures the essence and the viewer's imagination that's all that is needed.
Honestly I don't mind the angular look of the body, or contrasting shadows. The horns appear a "little" off, but IMO are better than those in the first art posted by Paul (color bighorn with winter mountains in background), and that's obviously from an "artist" so you're on the right track.
Tall Tines elk looks amazing, but it may have been easier for you to create from a photograph with the exact pose.
Just keep it up, you'll continue to get better and develop your personal style.
I didn't read all the posts but here's my feedback. The neck looks very sticky, straight lines that is. The horns are excellent. But the neck looks unnatural to me. And some of the facial features could use some tweaking. Other than that looks great!
Honest opinion from a lifelong artist . If you really want to get good You should stop drawing subjects in movement until you understand the basics of light and perspective. If you just want to have fun and relax keep doing what you are doing. As an example In your foreground Ram you have 4 different angles of perspective. 1. One for the head 1. Mid body 1. On the rear and 1. one the spine. Same thing with your use of light you have multiple shadow angles and it makes it appear as though your rams are suspended in space. Light typically only comes from one angle in nature . Because of this it looks like you have many separate drawings going at the same time that you have merged into one. Switch to single still life objects like squares, spheres , pyramids with different lighting until you master the use of perspective and light. Once you have mastered these things start to draw animals. Study using shapes to lay out your animals. Lots of stuff on line just search. Use search terms like how to draw : cast shadow, reflected light, proximity shadow, highlight , contrast technique, value, perspective. If you have access to Bob Ross videos watch them. While he was a cheese ball artist he was a master of the basics ,light and perspective. Good luck.
Well I am not a life long artist, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn once... I think they look great, I really like them! I would frame one and put it in my house, if that says anything, which it probably doesn't!
Just keep drawing and trying and you will improve! I love working with wood, and I have a small woodworking business... I am constantly learning and getting better with every project I do... I think!
It's all about practice and repetition, just like most things in life. You are very talented to say the least! Keep up the great work, and keep sharing your pictures!
I have thought about posting some of my stuff that I build, but it's not hunting related, so I am sure it would get Poofed! So I don't...
Best of luck!!!!
whitey -- THANK YOU! I've been working on the object shading in my sketch book, but keep trying to tackle these grandiose idea drawings. this one in particular was interesting because my photo reference of the two rams is in almost pure white snow and guessing by absense of shadows the sun was at top dead center. the perspectives you mentioned are a result from being a neophyte at getting fur to look natural in graphite. REALLY appreciate the criticism. And...I watch bob ross all the time. Love him! :-)
Scar Finga -- flatterred to say the least. You should absolutely post your art up here. I have yet to meet a bowhunter who doesn't enjoy wildlife art.
smarba and russell -- really appreciate you taking a minute to give the feedback.
No problem HD. What I was getting at is "art" doesn't have to look exactly like a photograph - often far from it. I did a quick google search and scavenged some examples that include colors that aren't even close to natural. These images are probably copywrited but I included the artist's name in the shot and the images were simply found online so probably OK to use them as a demonstration here.
It is not my intent to debate whether these examples are good or bad, but simply to demonstrate sometimes shadows/colors/exact dimensions aren't mandatory depending on an artist's style.
I think Whitey's advice is great: practicing on simple things may be valuable rather than diving into something very complicated. But it's all about practicing your craft and developing your own personal style. Art rarely appeals to everyone. Heck we can't even agree on a broadhead LOL.
While someone could take a photograph, use computer graphics to convert it to black & white, then some other software to "charcoalify" it to become a "perfect" charcoal, that wouldn't reflect an artist's touch.
On this thread various critics see your work in different ways and prefer or don't prefer certain things, but to me it's apparent you have talent and it's worth pursuing. After you've created 100 (or more!) pieces your style will evolve into something far superior to your first few...which are darn good in their own right.
HD, I respect your ability to ask and receive criticism. It’s paramount to growth. Seeing the photo your drawing makes sense now. I looked up sheep photos and you have picked a real tough subject. The light falls flat on their coats and they don’t show a lot of contrast. Even skylined or against snow their coats just absorb light. I would suggest using some brown/ tan shades into your drawings. Look up photo realism and an artist Oskar Ukonu if you want to blow your mind. He works with just a ball point pen.
Well done HD...You have a talent that will reach its potential, as you strive to do so...Keep it up!...Here is a Desert Bighorn that I took some shots of to add to your reference book if you'd like...I'm not an artist...But...I do believe your on the right track :)...4finger
4Finger -- Love these pics! Especially the 2nd and 3rd ones. Wow!
I couldn't come close drawing that well, that said, I wouldn't buy it. lol