Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Art Review: Rebecca Main

Today I’m doing something different- an art review! I was asked for my art consulting assistance in doing a critique for an artist by the name of Rebecca Main. She submitted to me three sequential art (comic book) pages for review that she completed for class called Apocalypse Creed. Now usually when I do a review of this nature I’d consider the flow of the story as it continues through each page. Since this is an “incomplete” story that was done for a class, I’ll only judge the merit of each individual page. Each page should then have its own self-contained story clarity and ability to understand what is going on even without a script.

Right off the top, I can see that her art style is reminiscent of Japanese manga with a unique mix of angular, thick to thin line work that is a bit more Americanized. In addition, I’m kind of tickled by seeing the old school work flow that she used by doing her pencils in blue line, inking on top and then gluing the bits of cut out dialog over it all. I’m not sure if this is her usual method or if it was part of the assignment but I suggest that she light-box her inks on separate paper over her pencils instead. I explain this method a bit more in my post here>>> That way she can keep her lines separate from her inks and she has twice the art to sell in the future!  

Now, onward to the pages- I’m not sure if they are supposed to be in a particular order so I’ll just have them from weakest to strongest, in my opinion.

WAR- Really nice layout here, however I find this page to be the weakest of the bunch, so it goes first. The scenes are clear in terms of the subject matter, which is good. In the first panel, there is great use of dynamic lighting but the figures’ anatomy needs work so practice up on figure drawing. In the splash panel below, the action is full of movement and is very well done. The biggest point of confusion is the large sword that hovers right down the middle of the panel. Fix those small issues and it will be a very strong page!

DEATH- This is a very powerful two-page spread. The layout is clear and the subject is front and center, leaving no guessing as to what these pages are about. The silhouetting of the evergreen trees in the distance is the perfect contrast to the negative space that Rebecca uses for the smoke effects. The details on the decaying horse are very well drawn. The only drawbacks here are that the arbitrary word balloons leave it a bit unclear as to who is talking and I would choose a more “comic style” font for the dialog. 

CONQUEST- This page blew me away. Rebecca pulled out all of the stops and took it to the next level. Tons of experimenting here and it was done REALLY well. The panels are flowing into the other but still maintain clarity. The top panel uses grey toning to establish distance in a very effective way and it appears as though she used a masking technique and possibly sponges to create the texture for the icy waves throughout the page. I would love to see more of this from her in the future. Again, a better comic style font is really the only issue.

One of the largest assets to her art style is the consistency. Her balance of whites, darks and grey toning is, for the most part, clean and easy to read. I noticed her ability to draw stylized horse anatomy, which she is very strong at and I hope she continues to develop stories in that niche. I love her animation style but also want her to continue human anatomy studies as well, particularly life drawing and gesture drawing and not just learn from comics or anime. I also love her ability to fill the pages with art without cluttering them and keeping a sense of total composition. 

You do great work Rebecca, you are on the right path and I hope to see more of it in the future! Keep practicing and keep growing! Thank you for choosing me to review your work!

Art Mantra for Today...

It's okay to break the rules but only after you learn them. Style is no substitute for skill.