View Full Version : Help out a new avatar artist?

2011-04-20, 03:44 AM
Hey, everybody!

So a while back I tried to make a dwarven runesmith avatar in Photoshop and the results were... well, less than good.

I picked up Inkscape tonight, though, and after a couple of hours of playing around, I came up with something I actually kind of like.


It's definitely a little rough around the edges, but compared to my last attempt, miles better.

I'm having some trouble trying to add hair, though. I've read through the Inkscape tutorial suggested on the boards, and the pencil tool just isn't getting me the results I'm hoping for. I was hoping that some of you more experienced artists might have some tips as to how to handle this?

I'd also really appreciate any general tips on what I can do to improve on this guy. Details that could be added, techniques for shading, whatever, its all good.

Thanks, guys! :smallbiggrin:

2011-04-20, 08:15 AM
For hair the best advice I can give is to use lots of reference images. Also, you should make all the lines a bit thicker. Other than that, it looks awesome :smallsmile:

2011-04-20, 08:21 AM
Well, for a first attempt this isn't bad, but there certainly are a couple of things you could make better. Firstly, the trousers and jacket, I find that in general you should stick to the more OOTsy style of not putting in the sleeves of the jacket or legs of the trousers. Secondly, your lines need to be thicker, try 2 pixels. Also the arms need to be a bit shorter, although that's just a minor nit pic. A couple of other minor nit pics: Smooth over the curve on the shoes; make the head a bit smaller; link up the eye brows into one for a frown; and make the eyes all black, although that last one is just my personal opinion, and I'm sure many others will not agree with me.

When it comes to the hair, if you're really struggling, don't be afraid to use a refrance picture.

2011-04-20, 08:22 AM
Your left arm looks a little long but apart from that it is very very good.
Over to someone who has made more than two avatars :smallsmile:

Mauve Shirt
2011-04-21, 11:18 AM
Head looks a little big, but that could be a stylistic thing.
The best strip for hair references, I find, is the one with the ghost martyrs of the sapphire guard. If you can't think of a main character with hair that you like, you might find a style there.

Elder Tsofu
2011-04-21, 11:25 AM
On hair: Nothing much to add, its difficult.

Use the comic, save avatars with hairs you like and look for what "parts" of the hair that makes you like it. Compare with avatars whose hair you don't like and see how/where they failed in your opinion - then don't repeat those mistakes.
Look at the whole and the details, when you've figured the basics out it will be easier from there on.

2011-04-21, 01:18 PM
Thank you all very much for the tips!

I'll be doing some revisions later tonight when I get home, and will be sure to let you all know how it turns out!

2011-04-21, 03:17 PM
I also find that using the pencil in Inkscape is pretty hard, so I use the pen. The result is always unsatisfactorily at first, but then I edit it loads with the path tool and end up with good hair.
Try that, I hope it works.

I also agree entirely with licoot's advice.

2011-05-01, 01:55 PM
Hair is probably one of, if not the hardest part of avataring. I still have plenty of trouble with it myself. I spent more time on the hair of my current avatar than the rest of it and I still think it could have turned out better.

Anyways, I find using the auto smooth node tool can help make the curves of the hair much more fluid and natural looking, which can help make it look better. It also helps making the hair in two sections along a "part", which can also help with the fluidity and natural look. Hope I helped and good luck with avataring! Its a very very good first avatar.

Oh, and about shading, should you want to add that. It helps to draw a light in some part of your image, and then imagining where the light would fall and what would be shaded. As for the actual shading, I create a shape that matches what I envision for the shadow, remove the stroke, fill it black, and then decrease the opacity until I get the desired shade.