Four mech designs I improvised and have been slowly poking at over lunches and weekends. It was a lot of fun working on these! I'll have to start up a second set sometime soon. Let me know what you think, criticism welcome. Cheers!
Thanks! I find the little guys really helpful while I'm working too because I'll often zoom out and realize this or that new detail looks too chunky compared to the guy. I've been fighting a tendency to use cartoonish proportions for a while and having a scale reference in place while I work is making a big difference.
Good question! For me the geometry matters more than the textures. Texture is like the icing on the cake: in the end it's a nice extra, but not the necessary core. There's a balance to it. Too much icing distracts from the cake, and too little makes the cake blander.
Interestingly, there are ways to approach it that make the question more complex. I although I tend to focus on one or the other at a time as conceptually separate layers, some artists like ~leventep seem to paint in a method that develops texture, geometry, and lighting all at the same time.
More stylistic I guess. I think the shapes and silhouette of the legs don't match the torso, so it doesn't fit together as a whole. If you get what I mean.
I tried to do a paint over but that failed, lol. I think what I'm trying to say is the size ratios of the legs aren't working. Those bottom two mechs have small 'thighs' and large 'calves' which I think makes them looks like they're encumbered by their own legs. You could try the opposite with large 'thighs' and small 'calves', but I'm probably being bias 'coz that's what I usually do, lol.
Ahh, gotcha. I agree about the style mismatch, the kinds of shapes in the legs for those two are a little too different from the torsos. For the thigh to calf ratio though, I disagree mostly as a matter of preference; personally I dislike that aspect of Asian style mecha design when the mechas have a humanlike slimming of the legs from the hips to the ankles.
In my mind's eye it seems like that slimming would only work with a design that can easily shift weight around almost organically (via highly articulated and flexible hips, spine, shoulders, etc) to maintain its balance. The machinelike and chunky visual cues in these designs really work against that, so I prefer designs where there is a bulking and reinforcement toward the foot as a means to maintain stability.
Thanks again for the detailed feedback! Even when I disagree it is good to stop and take a moment to really consider why I do.