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Thread: "Do you wanna build a snowman?" [DEC]

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    URPG Staff Sou's Avatar
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    Default "Do you wanna build a snowman?" [DEC]

    "It doesnt have to be a snowman :<"



    Pokemon Im catching: Mimikyu
    Rank: Complex
    Last edited by Sou; 12-19-16 at 03:59 PM.
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    URPG Staff WinterVines's Avatar
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    Aight, I got dis.

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    URPG Staff WinterVines's Avatar
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    @Sou;

    It doesn't have to be a snowmaaaan~

    ...okay, bye.

    Curation up!

    .

    .

    Sorry this took a little bit! Overall, I think this is an adorable idea. It definitely brought a smile to my face. I love moments in winter that are like this. So many people associate it with bitter cold and nasty weather, but there are a bunch of good times too. I think your piece showcased that very well.

    Since this is a bit higher rank I'll have to be a little more picky about some things, so here goes!

    Form

    First off, the forms look pretty good at first glance. We can easily tell what they are from shape and color. I particularly like the hand shape of the shadow as it's carving out details on the snowman. It's not realistic per se, but I feel it fits, and that's cool, since that action guides the theme of what this piece is about.

    The only real minor complaint I can see is from the Mimikyu in front. Most of the official art shows that the shadow underneath the disguise has spiky edges, perhaps that's because it's what the real form underneath looks like. The Mimis in the back look spiky as far as I can tell, but the one in front has a circular base, which is a little odd. It makes it seem like the cloth part is floating a bit, like it doesn't have any feet. Just a little off-putting.

    I'd like to also comment about the main Mimi's positioning a little bit. It's head in particular. Generally, the notch at the neck is there because that's where the cloth is folding when the head is tilted in that direction. Here, the head is mostly held up (by some force, since if it's a disguise, shouldn't it be mostly stationary anyway?), which means that the notch probably shouldn't be as pronounced or maybe even there at all.

    On the other hand, I think the head positioning itself is what's weird. It looks like the disguise is looking up at the snowman the Pokemon is building—which is cool, but at the same time, the disguise doesn't have any bones to move it unless the Mimi designed it like that, and nothing much indicates that's the case (from the environment, since this is about building the snowmen and not making disguises—which would be a super cool idea though).

    Other than that, the forms look okay. I rather like the scribbled effect you did for the eyes. The lines on the stick tail are maybe slightly dark for the material/other outlines seem to be missing, but it's not super noticeable.

    The snowman itself is pretty cool too. It's not perfect to form, but snowmen generally aren't. The multiple sticks as its tail really amuse me for some reason XD I think the face is where it really shines. The stones for the mouth and the grass/pine needles for the cheek scribbles is really creative and builds into the environment in which you've placed the Pokemon.

    That makes me ask, though—how were the snowman's top eyes made? There doesn't seem to be a material in the environment that made them, yet at the same time, it doesn't look as if the Mimi could've reached up and carved them out like the bottom ones either as the lines are too dark and close together to account for the grooves. Did it have a pen or something? It sort of sticks out a little, since it's a mystery. It might've made sense to use a long grass curled up or something, since you did something similar with the rest of its face already, and there seem to be stray grasses around your picture too.

    Speaking of eyes, the one on the bottom of the snowman are also strange because they're colored differently. This may be due to light, but if anything, the farther one from the Mimi should be the darker one, not the one being drawn in.

    Technique

    I think the biggest part to work on for this piece is the contrast. Especially because everything is so snowy and bright, being able to distinguish between objects is so important. And it's totally possible to achieve, even in sunny conditions. Good contrast is one of the lacking things in some big areas of this picture.

    The snow is the culprit here. Sure, it's bright, and it's mostly white unless it's reflecting other things (which to be fair, it does quite a bit), but I think you could've taken a little more advantage of your color values. A lot of them are samey even across different hues, but the lack of some of the darker values is really apparent in all of the snow.

    The problem with that is that it makes some features of the piece really hard to see. The worst place this happens is with the snowman and the background: near the bottom where the sculpture meets the ground, the right side where it touches the background, and the top of the head where it blends against the side.

    Some of the values next to each other are nearly identical so it's hard to see where the object is. Even though it is bright and such, with curving objects, you can afford to go a little darker when it gets close to that farthest edge. That would really help the viewer pick the details out because right now, it's a little hard to look at. And that's bad for the snowman in particular because it's supposed to be the main focal point of the piece.

    I used to go very subtle with shadows and such as well, but really, you can go a lot darker than you did. Even if you think it's too much, it probably isn't. One of my old art teachers used to say that the darkest place is between two objects, and while you don't showcase a ton of those places, even a tiny more splash of dark would help visibility a lot.

    Increasing the contrast will make the snowman in particular look a lot more three-dimensional. This is particularly important as the snow sculpts around to the away side—most helpful in the ears because of the brightness of the sky—and where it meets the ground. Right now, it's hard to tell snow is bunched up/changed angle and height. It just looks a little flat where it's attached to the ground when there should be some sort of build up/deeper shadow on the off side.

    Another way to help the snowman to stand out from the background would be to deepen the shadow of the snow in the background straight behind. Since the hill sort of drops off, you could really darken a lot of the farther ground behind the main Mimi and snowman. That would also help show the distance the Pokemon are away from each other a little better too/clearly define that there is a hill there—otherwise the proportions of the Pokemon would be off for the current distance. It's sort of a mind trick looking at it right now to see if there's a drop off there or not. Messes with the eyes!

    The same things that go for the snowman also apply to the main Mimi as well. I really like the edge lighting from the sun, but the front part, if you wanted to give it more dimension, could have a little more vary to the shadow in front too. Especially because that part is facing away from the sun. The values are all approximately the same right now, which makes the Mimi look like the bottom part of the disguise is flatish, which we know it actually flares out at the bottom/has some curvature because of the creature's shape.

    Another way to get some of the darker values is to work on the shadows a little more. Judging from the picture, the light source is coming from the upper left area. In that case, a couple shadows are missing.

    This includes the one from the snowman. It should definitely be casting a shadow on the right side of some sort, and that would also give you a chance to darken some of the snow values in that area. The furthest Mimi is missing its tail, but in reality, that tree should be overshadowing it anyway. That may also change the highlights you added to it as well, since I see they're mostly the same on all three Pokemon. That tree, judging from the angle of the others, should extend pretty far and cover up that Mimi.

    I do like the snow effects, but like I said above, just would like to see a little more depth to them. The clouds are also very lovely!

    Background

    Like I mentioned above, I do like the concept behind this piece. There are a lot of nice elements here that give off a good feeling. The tree is also nice, though the lines under the leaves make it seem a little more cartoony than the rest of the piece and perhaps slightly out of place.

    The whole thing does feel a little bit empty though. Negative space isn't a bad thing, but you've got this weird thing going with how the piece directs the eye. All of your points of interest are in a diagonal line across the bottom of the piece. They all point to each other, which isn't a bad thing. The focal point, I would imagine, is intended to be the closest Mimi and the snowman.

    However, due to the little contrast, the general brightness of the piece, and the dark green of the tree, my eyes are drawn to the tree first, which isn't actually supposed to be the most interesting thing. Thanks to the diagonal, I do end up at the Mimi eventually, but it's almost like the Pokemon are an afterthought because of how the tree sticks out in this environment. In addition to the contrast, maybe snow or something on the tree would've helped? That would dull its presence a little bit and keep the most of the attention on the Pokemon.

    There could've maybe been a little more to the environment as well. The objects you have in the background are all sort of grouped on the left side, which makes the piece sort of lean that way, especially since the rest of it is very stark in color in comparison. Perhaps some mountains or something that could be darker in the distance on the right? That would help with balance and also provide some contrast.

    Is that a fence post near the tree? More of those might be neat if it is. That would give viewers some clue as to why these Pokemon are here, or just more about the story in general. Are they trespassing on someone's property? Is this really vandalism and not playful fun!? We must know!!!

    Also, the grasses are a bit strange. Mostly how they're all sort of the same height regardless of where they are and their differing values. The value I would expect to change based on how close or far to the camera they are, and presumably they're all the same material. But some dark ones are up close and behind, some faded ones do the same. Since they're so small it just looks weird, since we can't tell if they're actually like branches or anything. There's not enough detail to make the differing values clear.

    Other than those couple things, I'm satisfied with the background. It leans a little, but I think the contrast would've helped it out a lot, even if it remained pretty empty.

    Result
    Spoiler:

    This was a really tough decision. A lot of things are nice in this piece, including the theme and some of the details like the snowman. But it's also a high rank piece and parts of it, like the contrast, make it a little tough to decipher completely.

    I think that the contrast thing is what decided it for me. Some of the parts were just too hard to look at or it was hard to even get a good look at it to begin with. In the end I have to say a score of 55/65.

    If you add some deeper shadows and perhaps make the piece not so empty, it would definitely improve dramatically. Hit me up!

    And definitely contact me if something I said was unclear. I did this curation over the course of many days, some of which I wasn't feeling the best.

    It does qualify for the December theme though, so you can claim the 5k regardless.


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    URPG Staff Sou's Avatar
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    @WinterVines;

    I admit, Contrast IS extremely difficult for me. I always feel like something is too much and im afraid, even with these changes, i feel it might be too much, but i suppose actually leaning towards it and hearing input will help me to "see" whats good and what IS going to far. Also, i find it extremely difficult going back to a piece. Im not sure why it is, but it feels so odd. In any case, I've made some changes and would like to see what you say with these :>

    Its fine to be picky as my aim is try to get back to drawing alot and learning of course lol

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    URPG Staff Sou's Avatar
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    Updated number three~!
    "Like the sea? Want to sail across the ocean to the end of days? Want to bring prosperity to the world?"
    Then Join Team Aqua in its quest to do just that!
    Click the banner below to visit our thread.
    You know you want to ;>

    I mean... you get a cool banner after all! What's better then that? :)
    PokePet Box | URPG Stats

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    URPG Staff WinterVines's Avatar
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    @Sou;

    Aaahhh, yes, the heightened contrast makes a lot of difference.

    Even just adding a couple things like the snowman and the birds matters a lot too. Filled the space up a little more.

    The brightness may be still just a titch too shiny for this time in the day compared to the sky color, but it's passable.

    Scoring this 65/65 now so Mimikyu captured!

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