While I am unsure of what you want critiqued, there are a few pointers I can give you:
1. Proportions. For the most part, measurements can be done using the hands and the head. Think about the overall body balance rather than specific parts. For example, where do the wrists end? How does that compare to the rest of the body? How many hands or heads is this section of the body (width and height wise)?
2. Flow and balance of the body. How is the weight being distributed? How do the muscles create bulges in the body? What muscles are being compressed during a bending position? What bone structures can be shown during this bend?
3. Seeing light. All your digital paintings have a flat color. To me, it seems like just a base color that you can do a lot more with. I think you should look up techniques that block in form. What I suggest is to pick a hard chalk brush and begin blocking in areas to create a more realistic shapes of the body rather than just having a base color. Dab bits of it in the knee, biceps, forearms, etc.
4. Creating a light source. Let's take your last example. Based on your shadow, the light is in front and to my left. Yet, there are bits of shadowing which are inconsistent. For instance, there should be a shadow underneath the pants at the bottom of the shoes, shadows near the under arm where the light doesn't hit, shadows underneath the tail, etc.
I recommend looking up three primary light sources used in film: key light, fill light, and rim light. I have written a tutorial based on that located at http://www.2d-digital-art-guide.com/...-lighting.html to get you started. Please feel free to search more about this topic throughout the Internet.
5. Creating depth. When you are working with backgrounds, you have to be careful of how your characters interact with the elements around them. For instance, there will be blades of grass covering her shoes. Also, try not to depend on specific filters. If you need clouds in the background, then you should block them in instead of using the cloud filter.
6. Perspective. Even when it's a simple composition, do think about perspective. This will have a profound impact on the length of some of the limbs.
I think this is all for now. Keep in mind this is a very general sense. If you need more specific pointers, I am more than happy to assist.
I've seen that website you linked me in your intro post, I've only read over some of the tutorials so for but they are pretty nice.
If I had to get specifics critiqued, how about my last picture. I think it's a vast improvement over the other ones, even the one before that. I'm not the best with creating arms or faces though. Another thing I couldn't figure out was shading. I use a blur shading technique that while it looks okay, it isn't as nice looking as cel shading in my opinion. Will the lighting tutorial help me out there?
I think the best approach for you at this point is to take a step back and review the basics. Creating arms and faces are based on proportions. Try measuring each part of the face. For example, your forehead is shorter than the lower portion of the face. This is derived from the position of your eyes.
Your arms don't show the flow of the muscles very well. Are all these correctable? Absolutely! But it requires effort on your part to correct it. Actually take the time to divide the face and learn about the process rather than focus on the finished product.
As for shading, think the opposite of what you are doing. Instead of painting in shadows, try painting in light. That is, use negative space to your advantage.
For blur shading techniques, this is useful if you want to blend shades of color together. In real shadows, there are hard edges near protruded objected. That means you can't use soft brushes. Like I mention, switch to a hard chalk brush and start glazing where the shadows are.
Cell shading itself is a simplified version of regular shading as means to cut down production costs. As it is derived from observing the real world and how light works, you need to carefully observe how anime changes an entire gradient range of shading and converts it to simple dual tone shading.
The way I see it, manga and anime are styles. Artists that are trapped in trying to learn from a type of style is not maximizing what they can achieve. Think of it as building a skyscraper with straws. It can only take you so far up until it collapses.
Gunzet has a nice tutorial on shading if you require more assistance:
Once you are familiar with it, then try deriving cell shading from it. You will be surprised just how well it will help you.
For my light tutorial, this will help you a lot. Please do read it carefully as it contains a lot of hits on how to bring your characters to stand out of your backgrounds without making it look artificial.
You can see how the entire process works in this particular tutorial http://www.2d-digital-art-guide.com/...portraits.html:
1. Gesture drawing to get proportions.
2. Blocking in form.
3. Smudging and repainting details.
4. Adding shadows.
Just four simple steps that can help you out as you are looking at the process rather than the finished product.
Last edited by Sonny; 03-06-2011 at 11:40 AM.