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Old 11-22-2016, 12:38 AM   #5
Roel_Torres
Trying to be helpful
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Somerville, MA
Posts: 232
Roel_Torres will become famous soon enough

So, here's the thing with your cross-hatching. You've started a couple of threads, this one with the Spy art and the Iron Man one. And if you include my thoughts, you've had at least four different people comment on the fact that the cross-hatching is excessive and distracting. And the thing is, you don't need it. Your fundamentals are strong enough that you don't need to resort to smoke and mirrors to cover up technical weaknesses.

My guess is that you are trying to come up with something visually distinctive, to help you develop a signature style. Which is an admirable goal. You are trying to carve out your own unique identity in a world full of talented artists. And I think you have a shot. The cross-hatching is interesting, but you are leaning on it too much. It can be a useful tool, but at the rate you're using it, it's all anybody notices. And that's not the sign of successful sequential art. You are preventing the reader from an immersive experience, and forcing them to work past your stylistic decisions. It should be much more seamless than that.

Otis Redding and Michael Bolton both recorded successful versions of Sitting On the Dock of the Bay. But Redding is a much better artist than Michael Bolton because he shows restraint and touch, while Bolton just belts out notes at maximum power throughout an entire song. Less is more. Save your cool tricks for the perfect moment, so that they have more meaning. When you plaster every panel with stylized cross-hatching, it means less and less. When everything is a big moment, then nothing is a big moment.

If I had to give you a number, I would suggest cutting down on the stylized cross-hatching by about 80%. Most specifically, in the instances where you use it as a design element, as opposed to an indicator of form or lighting.

I wish you good luck as your evolve in your artistic journey. You have a lot of talent and I like your work. But at the moment, your application of cross-hatching is actually detracting from the quality of your art, not augmenting it.

Cheers,
Roel
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