One thing I don't like about fan-made sprites are the large, toothy grins some have. It just doesn't feel natural to see a character smiling so wide all the time. It makes them look psychotic. Which, on the other hand, could be a good thing if that's exactly what you're going for. Terezi has a crazy, goofy look to her, which is a pretty fair assessment of an initial introduction to her character. But maybe it's just her shades that displaces that feeling of discomfort? I dunno
Another thing people tend to do is pitch the eyes upwards a bit, making their sprites look like they're constantly looking up at something.
I might add on some more things to this topic later
Also I'm moving this thread from Forum Questions and Answers to Artbound
Post by quixoticTokki on Sept 10, 2016 16:37:57 GMT
I forget where I saw this, but I found it to be a useful piece of advice when creating sprites from scratch (scratch meaning you just have a base for the body.)
Take one of the canon Homestuck sprites, set it to about 50% transparency and put it on your bottom layer. You now have a guide for placing your eyes, mouth, hair, waist line, and horns if necessary!
I've even taken this a step further when making sprites like these, and taken various parts from canon sprites (like eyes, clothes, and horns) and used those as a basis for drawing specific parts of my sprite.
I've seen somewhere that putting the face a little lower makes the character "cute". It's mostly a matter of personal taste. There's no 'true' way to do it, and it's all about the general feel of a character. But using a base can definitely help if you're not sure.
For horns, start by drawing one horn on a new layer in bright pink or something, then color it in horn colors. Duplicate, flip horizontally, place and put the layer under the hair layer. Drawing things in bright colors helps with getting the shape right, and allows easier layering. You'll just need to paint them over afterwards.
If you're drawing/coloring clothes, never put all outlines in solid black. If you want, say, a red shirt with a black outline, make the outline in a dark color like 2,2,2 but never black. It'll be easier to select and modify it later on. Or you can play with shades and do it in a darker red.