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Thread: Mi$tral Draw$ 4 Ca$h

  1. #41
    VeloJello's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mistral View Post
    #13 - A Stroll Through the Caverns
    A friendly old man just taking a stroll through the caverns when he runs into a spooky Zubat. Scanner works again (apparently it's just being slow af for some reason with my new computer), but hey, it works. Probably gonna be the last piece I submit for a little while till my other stuff gets curated.

    Spoiler:
    First Impression.
    Most of the time, running into a Zubat is pretty unfortunate. However, this gentleman seems excited to see the little bat! This piece is on the simpler side, so I wonít waste time with formalities; letís talk shop.

    Form.
    For the most part, youíve done pretty well with your figures. The man and the Zubat are clearly recognizable, with the Zubat being just plain fun to look at because of its exaggerated pose. Your Zubatís body is a little longer than it is in most official depictions, but that works in your favor here. Itís just exaggerated enough that between Zubatís wide-spread wings, perked-up ears, and gaping jaws, it helps get across the idea of Zubat being startled by this stranger in its cave. Overall, youíve created a really expressive Zubat here, and good expression like what your Zubat has helps create mood and get the audience interested in what youíve made.

    I do have a few quick critiques on Zubat, though. Its wings are noticeably asymmetrical, with the wing on our right being significantly thinner and more rounded than the wing on our left. While some poses can cause wings to look asymmetrical (the winged creature turning, tilting, seen from an extreme angle, etc), the wings should look roughly the same in a nearly straight-on and very straightforward pose like this. Furthermore, itís a little hard to tell Zubatís head from its body. Giving it a little bit more of a neck would be as simple as making its head or body just a bit fatter, thus differentiating the head and torso.

    Now, onto the hooman! Humans are a pain in the butt to draw. Weíre really used to seeing humans in real life, so our brains are less forgiving of anatomical mistakes in human beings. However, I can tell you put forth a good effort here. This man in the red shirt certainly looks quite friendly, giving a nice little wave. My biggest concern for him is, unfortunately, something that human artists consider the hardest to draw - the hand. Even with the hand splayed like that of the man in your picture, the pinky finger will always appear longer than the thumb because the base of the thumb is much further back on the hand than the bases of the other fingers. Because the two outer digits on your manís hand are the same length, it becomes hard to tell which way the hand is facing - is the palm toward Zubat, or toward the man? The palm facing toward the man would have very different connotations (like heís trying to beckon the Zubat, or shield his eyes, or inspect his palms) than the palm facing toward the Zubat (like heís greeting the Pokemon). I would also alter the neck-head structure a bit; his neck and head are a bit long and thin, which doesnít match up with his thicker shoulders and body. Like I said, humans are difficult to draw, but I encourage you to keep trying - youíve got a pretty good start with this guy, and working with image references similar to the pose youíre trying to draw can be really helpful in figuring out anatomical proportions.

    Youíve made a good effort to distinguish the path that the man is walking on from the rocky floor of the main cave, which I appreciate. The chunky forms on our left give the impression of a rough floor or wall, which is a cool detail. The only issue I have with the background is that it could stand to be a little more organic. Even a man-made path through a cave is likely to meander a little, with the path itself curving a bit as it goes and the edges of the path creeping in and out in the form of stray pebbles and such. Straight lines are pretty rare in nature (and even roads donít stay perfectly straight for long), so for an organic background like this, I would suggest some more curves and irregular features. As-is, your background is pretty good, but little details like that will make your work much stronger and make it much easier for the viewer to recognize that theyíre looking at a cave path instead of a road or something similar.

    The perspective here raises some questions for me. The man and the Zubat seem to be on the same plane, with the Zubat slightly turned toward the man, who is himself slightly turned away from the camera. However, given this angle on the two figures, they seem to be on a different plane than the background. This background view is more suitable for a top-down view; the man and Zubat have perspectives that are not quite front views. Showing that Zubat is flying above the cave floor by making the cave path come down lower down in the piece would help a great deal, ensuring that everything is shown from the same view.

    Color and Value.
    Iíve brought up shading a bunch in your curations - and I donít see a reason to stop now! Shading isnít going to be front-and-center in every single piece, but I really think that you could benefit from using just a bit of it. Right now, due to the combination of perspectives as well as a lack of shading, your human and Zubat characters seem to be flat against the background. While shading wonít instantly fix the perspective troubles, it will help your characters to stand out from the background. This is most important when it comes to the man. The manís skin tone is very close to the color of the path, so itís hard to tell where his form ends and where the road begins. Adding highlights to make the manís skin brighter in the light, and some shading to make his hand and head darker in the shadow, would allow the viewer to more easily distinguish between him and the cave heís in. While Zubat doesnít share this issue due to being a very different hue than that of the cave, some highlights and shadow would help to clarify its form and make it look more three-dimensional.

    Shading issues aside, youíve done a pretty good job with colors. Both the Zubat and the manís shirt pop out brightly against the background, so that the viewerís eyes are drawn to the living beings rather than the cave. Zubat pops out especially well, given that itís got strong contrast between the hues and values within it (purple against blue; blue against black). Some shading would really help your figures stand out more, but youíre doing a pretty good job already.

    Technique.
    Iím not a colored pencil expert, but Iíve read a fair bit about the principles, so Iím going to recommend one to you that Iíve nicknamed ďlolĒ - lots of layering. With lighter colors, like your path or Zubatís wings, white gaps between pencil strokes are more forgiving. With darker colors, however, you lose that slack. This artist shows a simple but helpful example of this layering, using less pressure on the pencil for the gradient at the top and using more pressure for the gradient at the bottom. Both show the strong red being filled in at the end, with a nice happy medium of strong but not overpowering red in the middle. Rather than simply going through with a dark color with just a few strokes, I recommend building up a strong base color with many strokes. This will help your work to look much more polished, as well as opening up new color possibilities beyond what you have the exact pencils for if you blend layers of different colors together.

    Other than that, youíve done a pretty good job, here. I really appreciate the consistency of your lineart - you never delve into harsh black except on Zubat's mouth, something that would look out-of-place in such a light-valued work. While I still think the outlines around the manís skin should be a bit darker than they are, youíve employed your lines very consistently on the man, the Zubat, and the background, helping the viewer to quite easily distinguish the various areas of this piece.

    Conclusion.
    I went back-and-forth on the exact rank on this for a little while. On the one hand, putting two figures and a working background in this piece shows a good effort, and it gets across a fun and interesting mood; on the other hand, the anatomy and perspective issues drag this piece down. I'm going to score this at Easiest (3k). While I can tell you put some good work into this piece and I appreciate the man, the mon, and the mood, the clash between the background and figures, and overall flat appearance of this piece, knocked it down from the Simple rank I was considering. As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns, and ping me if you want to redo this/touch it up for another curation. Otherwise, enjoy your moneys!

  2. #42
    the shell out pokemon Staff Alumni Mistral's Avatar
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    Claiming the 3k from the Zubat curation!

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