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Thread: How Do I Put These On? (NOIBAT)

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    URPG Official URPG Staff Fierce Deity's Avatar
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    Default How Do I Put These On? (NOIBAT)

    hellur

    going for a NOIBAT (he stole the headphones)



    Closer look at the details:
    Spoiler:











    signature is at the bottom

    Title​: How Do I Put These On?
    Pokemon: Noibat
    Rank: Hard



    this is also thread open for commenting if needed from non-curators
    Last edited by Fierce Deity; 05-17-18 at 03:49 PM.

    Game: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
    Boss: Goht - Snowhead Temple

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    URPG Staff VeloJello's Avatar
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    It's been a while so I might be a little rusty, but let's curate this thing!

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    URPG Staff VeloJello's Avatar
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    First Impression.
    Art is, primarily, a means of expression; many artists use their art to express questions that they have about the world in which they live. What’s the deal with society? How can we improve the world? How does a Noibat wear earbuds?

    In seriousness, this is an attention-grabbing, brightly-colored, almost cheeky drawing that’s both visually interesting and funny. It also features one of my favorite Pokemon, which is a plus! You’ve set a very clear scene - clarity is paramount for any goofs, jokes, japes, and the like - Noibat being confused at headphones comes across very readily as a result. But this is a work of art, and there’s more to it than just a fun question, isn’t there?

    Form.
    Overall, I think you’ve done a pretty good job here. This is most definitely a Noibat, rendered mostly faithfully to the canon artwork. There are a few personal touches that I like. You’ve shown the leg fluff on our right coming up over the torso a bit, which reinforces that this is Noibat’s fluffy fur rather than weird pants. You’ve also drawn Noibat with a bit of a stockier torso than the canon art depicts, but I rather appreciate that - poor canon Noibat looks like it doesn’t have any space in its body for any manner of, y’know, vital organs. There is a slight snag - in Noibat’s canon artwork, the pale purple line of its arms and “wing fingers” are clearly visible above the dark purple membrane of Noibat’s wings. The arm on our right shows this arm a bit on the backside of the wing, but the arm above is missing. The reason that this is a snag is that it makes Noibat’s claws seem odd, as they appear to be directly connected to the wing membrane rather than its actual arm. That being said, I do like the bit of arm you’ve shown on that wing. Noibat’s wing seems to be coming toward the viewer because the top of Noibat’s wing is the same pale purple as the arm; the show of arm here reinforces the idea that this wing is coming toward the viewer and curling around just a bit. It’s a really nice perspective trick! It also makes the pose more logical, since Noibat would most likely be holding the earbuds at least somewhat in front of itself so that it can see them better. However, because Noibat’s right wing (the one on our left) is shorter than its left wing (on our right), it looks a little odd. I definitely recommend resizing the wings. I won’t go into too much detail on foreshortening here but suffice to say, if Noibat’s limb is coming toward the viewer, it will appear shorter in length; in your piece, it is the opposite, making it look like Noibat’s right wing is significantly shorter than its left. Its legs could also use a bit of work - Noibat’s left leg (again, on our right) is bent quite far forward and its foot is turned inward, which makes Noibat look like it is about to fall. Its foot should instead be turned forward or outward (relative to Noibat) and its leg should be straight, possibly angled slightly to our right, so that it looks like Noibat has a steady base of support and is balanced. For anatomy stuff like this, I recommend using a photo reference - Noibat’s leg anatomy is analogous enough to a human’s, and this pose is straightforward enough, that looking at a picture of a person just standing casually should give you a good idea of how the feet naturally fall in a standing position. Overall, this is a good Noibat and I like the way you’ve made effort to follow the canon art while still making small tweaks to make it work; there are merely a couple of anatomy issues that could stand to be fixed.

    I don’t have as much to remark on with the background elements’ forms. You have bushes, buildings, and pine trees, all with fairly realistic contour. I do appreciate the fact that you’ve put down grass between the path and the bushes - after all, with natural dirt paths like what this seems to be, there is a natural gradient between the path, the grass/undergrowth, and any given shrubbery. It’s a small, subtle touch, but it makes the background look a bit more realistic and natural, and I appreciate that.

    Colors and Values.
    You’ve got a really wide range of lights and darks, which is great; Noibat itself has a lot of contrast and different shades. I especially like the highlights on Noibat’s fur; they’re done in small brushstrokes, which is really cool because it gives Noibat’s fur some texture and once again reinforces that it’s a fluffy little bat. There’s a pretty consistent light source across Noibat, with a clear light source in the upper right. There are also several cast shadows - Noibat’s left wing (our right) casts shadows on itself where the wing blocks the light from the rest of the wing; Noibat’s outer ear, which curls outward, casts shadows on its inner ear; Noibat’s earbud cord casts shadows on its body; Noibat’s fur casts shadows over the rest of its body. Really good job here! Cast shadows are really important to creating a sense of depth and realism, making your figure look like a real thing that could exist in a three-dimensional space. You’ve used shading to pick out a lot of small details on Noibat, which is really neat. I feel like the far background (where the buildings are) should have a little less contrast in values than the middle ground and the foreground (where the bushes are and where Noibat is, respectively), but other than that, you’ve done a pretty good job with values here.

    So instead I’m gonna talk a lot about color! You’ve put a large variety of highly-saturated colors in this drawing. While highly-saturated colors can be a good way to draw the viewer’s eye, like all good things, they are best in moderation. A color scheme with lots of bright colors has a hard time staying united; the eye is naturally drawn to saturated, bright colors, so when all of the colors are very bright, it’s hard to tell where to look. Making background elements like the path that Noibat is standing on, the bushes surrounding it, and the sky behind it just a little bit less saturated can help sell Noibat as the focal point. I also feel that you can improve here is by reducing the amount of colors you have and unifying your palette. As an example, while I like the way the red berries on the bushes break up what could otherwise be pretty monotonous foliage, they pop out way more than necessary because they’re bright red against bright green, and because nothing else in the piece is red. As a largely unimportant background element, these berries should fade in more; perhaps they could be a purplish color to match Noibat, a blueish color to match the sky, or even a simply less-saturated red so that they don’t jump out at the viewer as hard. General unification of your color palette is something that I would suggest working into - cooling down your greens, warming up your blues, and desaturating your browns to match Noibat’s purple coloration are solid options, as is altering Noibat’s palette to a warmer, less-saturated purple to match its environment. You can also play up either effect by shading your work with colors that aren’t black and white - and luckily for you, this is a pretty easy to do thing in the digital medium! Multiply layers will shade the layers below them to a certain hue; screen layers will do highlights. This tutorial explains it better and should be broadly applicable for most photo-editing software. While this isn’t a do-or-die thing, I highly recommend not shading with straight black or straight white, as this tends to make your work look washed-out and is not typically pleasing to the eye.

    I do want to take a sec to point out a color effect that I really liked. The buildings in the background are a darker, more saturated blue where they’re closer to the viewer; the ones that are fading in the distance are colored a much more pale blue, closer to the sky’s hue, to show that they’re receding in the background. That’s atmospheric perspective at work, and it’s a really awesome technique for showing depth! Nice work there.

    Technique.
    While tightening up your color palette will definitely help the unity of your composition, I think that finding your digital techniques will help even moreso. It’s not abnormal for digital artists to draw figures with outlines and backgrounds with no outlines, but the style should still stay consistent throughout. The thick, somewhat jagged outlines on the bushes look different from the thinner, cleaner outlines on Noibat. The sharpness of your outlines on both the bushes and the Noibat contrasts hard with the soft shading on these figures. The bushes having outlines also makes them look rather strange next to the berries, grass, and trees - nothing else in your background has outlines, so why do the bushes? Providing some tone contrast - making the bushes lighter or darker than the sky and the path that they overlap - would help keep them distinct from the rest of the background while still maintaining the distinction of the bushes. Or, you could add outlines to the grass or to the berries on the bushes, so that these don’t jump out so sharply from the rest of the background. Either way, the various pieces of this work - Noibat, the bushes, the berries, the grass, and the buildings - were all put together with a variety of different techniques for each area, and that makes the background look like a collection of different pieces rather than one cohesive whole.

    That’s not to say that the techniques you’ve used are bad inherently, however; some of them are pretty dang good. The rocks on the path look like they’ve been done with some sort of filter, which is a really neat trick that gives texture to the path without killing your hand. I would try to blend the rocks in with the surface of the path a bit, where the path recedes from us, so that it looks farther away. I also like the use of grass brush that you’ve incorporated; the many different shades of grass make it look organic and “real” despite it using a premade texture. I do worry that this brush wasn’t supposed to be as big as you’ve made it, though; it’s blurry at the edges which is a sure sign of a brush getting oversized. There are some spots that already go together; Noibat and the bushes were both clearly shaded with the same technique. Overall, I think that you have good ideas here, but coming at your art with a few solid techniques rather than a multitude of different ones will really help make your work looks like it belongs together.

    Conclusion.
    I’m a little bit borderline on this one, not gonna lie. On the one hand, your idea is very good, your Noibat has an original pose with good anatomy, and I can clearly see the effort you’ve taken to putting your main figure and your background in perspective and grounding everything in a three-dimensional space with perspective and lighting tricks. On the other, there are still some perspective issues, and the high volume of different techniques you’ve used, combined with a color palette with several different highly-saturated hues makes it hard for this whole piece to mesh visually as one cohesive whole.

    In the end, I’m afraid I’m going to have to say Noibat not (yet) captured. My main issue is one of unity, and, to quote the Hard rank requirements, “Everything should look like it goes together both in content and style”. You have a background, shading, good anatomy (though if you wanted to expand Noibat’s “arms” a bit more so that its wings aren’t all membrane, I wouldn’t complain), and lighting already; however, your piece looks more like a collection of components than a cohesive work. Giving the bushes texture like the rest of the background, blending the berries on the bushes into your background - by altering their color to not stand out so sharply, by making them less uniform, and/or by partially covering them with aforementioned texture - and toning down the texture of the path where it recedes from the viewer can help these background elements mesh together. Tweaking your color palette by making Noibat have a warmer color scheme or by giving your background a cooler color scheme would help palette unity. Desaturating a few areas - particularly the far-away areas of the background - would also help with visual clarity, as this would draw the viewer’s eye to Noibat more directly so they can see your excellent visual gag and ponder the mysterious question of how Noibat puts the earbuds on. Overall, you’re right on the border of Hard rank, and a few harmonizing tweaks to your background will push your work right over that fence.

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