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Thread: Life Will Find a Way

  1. #1
    Axion's Avatar
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    Default Life Will Find a Way

    Finally drew this up

    Aiming for: Alolan Diglett



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    URPG Staff VeloJello's Avatar
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    I should have some time this week to grade this. Claiming!

  3. #3
    URPG Staff VeloJello's Avatar
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    First Impression.
    I am a sucker for the whole rebirth/new growth theme; I love images of dandelions and grasses growing up through cracks in the pavement. So this piece is really exciting to me! I’m also excited about the fact that you’ve taken the time away from your gorgeous 3D models to nourish us with some lovely traditional art. Now let’s talk about this new growth, and maybe help you grow as an artist. Eh? Eh?

    Form.
    Ah, Diglett, everyone’s favorite… weird nub in the ground. Whatever Diglett is, it’s a cute, round little monster, with a slightly fuzzy Alolan form. For the most part, you’ve represented it faithfully; this Diglett’s whiskers look a little stretched out compared to those in its canon artwork, but this creates a nice effect as the raised whiskers, combined with Diglett’s naturally wide eyes, help the Pokemon to seem alert and curious about this new flower growing in its environs. This Diglett’s nose is a bit small; in canon artwork, Diglett’s nose is a long oval stretching from eye to eye. I’m less sure about this deviation, as I can’t see a purpose for it, but it also doesn’t majorly detract from the artwork - proportions may just be something you want to watch in the future.

    One thing I think needs more attention here is Diglett’s roundness. Diglett is, effectively, a cylinder with a round top and heaven-only-knows-what at the bottom. Its whole body is one round plane. The shading that you’ve put on Diglett shows that you know this, since it gradually transitions to a lighter, more yellow brown to a darker, cooler brown. However, the rocks around Diglett suggest something much flatter. These rocks are organized in mostly a straight line that dips down on our right; to suggest a circle, the rocks should be higher on the left and right than they are in the middle. This ensures that everyone knows they’re looking at a round Pokemon. Furthermore, the eye placement needs just a little bit of work. Both eyes should be at the same level, since we’re looking at Diglett nearly straight on; however, the eye on our left is lower than the eye on our right. This suggests that Diglett’s body is tilted, but since there is no other evidence pointing to such, the eyes become a point of confusion. Drawing the other eye is one of the great nuisances in the life of many artists, but the appearance of symmetry of the eyes is critical to drawing a successful face - even a simple one like Diglett’s.

    Fortunately, Diglett is not just floating in a blank void; it’s grounded in an environment that supports it artistically, even if it may not be the best terrain for supporting life. I don’t have as much to pick at about the environment; you’ve done really well with it, creating lava flows, cracks in the earth, and rocks that look logically-placed and are well-drawn. Having a few more rocks strewn about near Diglett and the flower would be nice, so that the viewer’s eye is more drawn there, but it’s not completely necessary, and that rocky rubble is a great detail to begin with. The flower is nice; I’m not sure whether it’s based on any real species, but it looks good, and I like how its right-hand leaf and the slight lean on the petals point toward Diglett; since Diglett faces the flower, this gives a nice little bounce in between the figures that form the focal point. I would suggest making the base of its stem slightly thinner just so that it looks more flower-like; most flowers have stems that are the same thickness all the way down, with just a little bit more thickness toward the bottom. This is my only real critique on thereinforce the theme of a warm, desolate place. Other than that, solid work; the flower’s green and the Diglett’s highly saturated brown colors really help them to pop as the focal points. The red petals on the flower are also a nice touch, as it helps the petals stand out just as much as the leaves do, which tells the viewer that the whole flower is important as opposed to just one part of it.

    Colors and Values.
    I really enjoy the color scheme of this drawing. As befits an active magma field, most of the hues you’ve used are warmer, with the only exception being the green flower and blue sky. While the sky is not overwhelmingly blue, I feel that the coolness of it should be dialed down slightly, so that the eye can more properly focus on the flower. Usually, the skies above magma fields are a pale, cloudy gray; tinting the skies grayer, or even a yellowish color, would help unify your palette even further to e job with your shading and shadows; it’s clear that you’ve paid attention to detail, and this piece works better as a whole as a result.

    There’s not a ton of shading here, but there’s definitely enough for me to discuss. Your light source is incredibly consistent, which I really appreciate; the light is clearly coming from the upper left (relative to the viewer at least). There’s a slight hiccup in this - a flower like this, with petals that are either flat or curling inward, should cast shadows on itself; the greater the curl, the heavier the shadow. Other than that, really nice work with the shading; I especially love the highlights on Diglett that make it a lot more vibrant and lively-looking.

    Aside from the flower conundrum, you’ve paid a lot of attention to cast shadows, which is great! Cast shadows are a huge factor in making a figure look like it belongs in its environment. However, I do want to point out a slight problem - shadows are not the color of the thing casting them, unless the thing casting the shadow is somewhat translucent - very thin flower petals and leaves will let light through sometimes, but not enough to cast shadows that colorful unless the light is very intense. Other than that, nic technical aspects of your background; you’ve done a really nice job setting the scene here.

    Technique.
    For the most part, you have strong colored pencil work! There’s no sketch lines showing and the white of the paper isn’t visible through the pencil anywhere. You’ve made occasional use of outlines, and for the most part, this works really well. The outlines around the flower’s leaves help them to stand out, and these plus the lines on the flower itself help to distinguish the veins in the leaves and the petals themselves, which is a good show of detail. There are no outlines around Diglett, which seems a little strange since the flower itself is outlines; the only outline related to Diglett are the lines around the rocks surrounding it. Consistency is important - if important elements of your work such as the flower are going to have outlines, then the Pokemon that is the focus should definitely be outlined as well.

    I will make a quick recommendation - if you don’t have a scanner available to scan your work, an image editor would be extremely helpful. The sight of the work’s surroundings is distracting here, and getting rid of it so that the only thing in the image is the work itself would help. There are a few free image editors out there; I personally recommend GIMP, because it’s free, usable on most operating systems and computers, and fairly simple to use. Cropping isn’t critical, but it’s helpful. Presentation of your work is important, as it helps your work look as good as possible, as well as showing the importance of the effort you’ve put in.

    Conclusion.
    This is a really cool idea and, for the most part, very well-executed. I have a slight problem in that a plant would almost certainly not be able to grow on a magma field with active magma, but this is Pokemon and anything is possible. For your rad coloring and shading skillz, as well as your good concept, I’m happy to say that Diglett is captured. Remember to try and crop your work where you can to improve its presentation and keep the three-dimensionality of your subject in mind. Keep doing cool stuff with colors, grounding your subjects in physical space, and exploring a broad variety of concepts. Enjoy your Diglett!

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