Well, for a fourth attempt, this is certainly extraordinary. Anatomically, it's very well done, and this is an extremely difficult angle from which to draw the face and head. The expression is powerful; I can really sense his anguish. It's a challenge to capture such emotion, and you've done that well.
I think another poster commented on the benefit of some darker lines and shading, and I agree. Especially around the mouth and eyes, a stronger emphasis on the creases in his face would be effective. Likewise, the tendons in his neck could be more strongly delineated, as this would give the impression of him being tensed up and straining to release his anxiety. Lastly, the ear looks a little off; that very dark crescent shape doesn't seem to tie into the rest of the contours.
The other comment I have is on the general vision of Raskolnikov as screaming in anguish. It seems sort of out-of-character for him. Sure he was tormented, but I think of him as more brooding and sullen. He was frustrated with himself, but throughout much of the book, he seems more confused and erratic than ready to let out a tormented scream. It's not until the end that he really sees the wrong in what he did, but that is actually a sort of peaceful realization.
That's just my interpretation. There's certainly lots of room for discussion. It is truly a wonderful picture.
First, thank you so much for your critique - it's always a pleasure to hear some nice words about your art. Now I shall assume an attitude to your suggestions.
As far as the shading and the ear are concerned, I need to say that I followed the example of a photo I've found one day. So all the highlights, proportions and shapes are the result of the model, not my imagination.
As for Raskolnikov himself... Well, my piece is a kind of fan art. I wanted to show emphatically what the inner situation of the murderer can look like and Rodion is just a symbol here. I decided to use this character because he's my favourite one. However, I think it could be quite possible to see Raskolnikov in such a situation in the novel. For me, Rodion Romanovich seems to be perfect to show such a strong emotion because he's an owner of pure "Russian soul" which means having ability to feel a wide array of extreme human emotions (from absolute joy to the darkest despair) etc. It's a very interesting theme used by great Russian writer as Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Leo Tolstoy and Nikolai Gogol. There's lots of things we can discuss. I hope I managed to explain you my opinion about some matters.
Thank you again and I look forward to the next critiques.
I figured you must have used a reference...if you hadn't, I would have been simply astonished at your talent! But it's interesting...I used a reference on this picture [link], yet several people commented that the proportions didn't look quite right, and that, in particular, the placement of the ear was off. I went back to my reference and checked, and it all looked OK to me. And yet several people had the same impression. So, who knows? It's art, not just a photograph, so it's going to catch people's eyes in different ways.
I think I understand what you're saying about your depiction of Raskolnikov. It's not so much like "this is what he looked like in the book", but rather you're illustrating one aspect of his inner self, or maybe one aspect of a murderer, and just using Raskolnikov as the vehicle for showing that particular type of anguish. That's an interesting and very valid approach; I was being too narrow-minded! In my Macbeth illustrations, I tried to envision what the character would look like in a particular scene from the play, so it's a much more literal approach.
By the way, I did a portrait of Raskolnikov years ago. It's at my mother's house. I'll be back there for Christmas, and I'll try do dig it up and photograph it so I can post it.
So as you see, the matter of ear is not as simple as it seems to be. Well, I think I did my best for this picture as far as I have never drawn people before and the works presented here are my first ones.
That's right. Of course, I'm also going to draw lots of pictures that show Raskolnikov as he really was in the novel. This piece was purely symbolic. Anyway, I'm glad you understood what I'd meant. That's great, it would be great to see it!