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Thread: Mistral Draws (but not really)

  1. #21
    URPG Staff VeloJello's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mistral View Post
    #7 - Grand Opening!
    Pichu celebrates the grand opening of the Lilycove Shopping Mall! I was originally going to submit this for cash, but after I realized that I could attempt to catch a Pichu and evolve it into an Alolan Raichu, I decided to submit it for capture instead. (When I originally decided to draw images of Pokemon I already own, I didn't know about Alola forms because that's how long this has been sitting on my to do list. xD) Attempting to catch a Pichu here.

    Spoiler:
    K'say gave the other curators permission to claim this one, so consider it claimed!

  2. #22
    URPG Staff VeloJello's Avatar
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    Ahahahaha school is brutal and I should have finished this way sooner than I did. You have my apologies. I’m gonna try to not belabor the points I made on the Poliwag piece.

    Form.
    Well doesn’t Pichu just look pleased as punch! You did really well with the geometric aspects of Pichu’s body, such as the triangle markings on its throat and its big diamond-like ears. I also like Pichu’s energy; its raised hands, big smile, and the way it stands on tiptoe all convey how happy Pichu is about this grand opening. Your proportions could use some work, though. Your average Pichu will have a big, round head atop a short, squishy body. This Pichu’s body is pretty long, which doesn’t befit the baby mouse very well. The feet and hands are affected by this as well - while Pichu’s hands and feet aren’t depicted as huge, they’re usually bigger in comparison to its body than those of this Pichu. There’s good energy in Pichu’s posture, but it could use some work in terms of proportion.

    Now, onto the background! I spy inorganic shapes this time around. You didn’t go overboard with the detail; instead, you just provided the viewer with the basics that we need in order to know that we’re looking at some buildings. This is good - backgrounds tend to be their best when they have lower detail than the foreground. However, I feel like some things were missing. I feel like you could have incorporated more into the buildings’ design - the Pokemon Center doesn’t seem to have any windows, and the mall’s window is quite large in comparison with its doors. Furthermore, when you’re working with buildings, I would strongly recommend using a ruler. Your lines are a bit wobbly - not enough to be distracting, but enough to be noticeable. Using some sort of straight edge will help you keep up the deliberate, meticulously-constructed look of buildings. I do appreciate the work you put in, though, especially on the text. While it’s clearly hand-drawn, it’s still fairly uniform, which is great. Your letter styles, sizes, and up-down positions are consistent all-over. Like with Pichu, I would focus on tweaking proportions, as well as paying attention to the straightness of your lines when you’re working with more geometric objects.

    One quick thing that I’d like to mention is the scale of the buildings. We all know that Pichu is a very small Pokemon, and its size in comparison with the sidewalk supports this. However, as a result of Pichu being small and looking small in the foreground, the buildings look quite small in scale to Pichu. I appreciate the effort and thought in making the buildings look smaller due to the fact that they’re quite far back compared to Pichu; scale is a good, and sometimes underestimated, perspective tool. However, because there are no other indicators of distance, it’s easy to perceive these as just very small buildings. Next time, you may want to incorporate some sort of geometric perspective so that the viewer has more cues on where/how the background is receding.

    Colors and Value.
    Alright, colors! You have a good palette here; everything’s really unified and balanced. There’s a good measure of sky blue; the neutral colors of the buildings don’t distract the eye; Pichu’s bright, saturated yellow is the only instance of that color, which helps draw the eye in. I also like the colors that you treated what outlines you have with - instead of jumping straight to black outlines, you’ve mostly stuck to dark colored outlines, which prevents anything from being too jarring. However, the banners and windows are outlined in black, which makes them stand out a bit more than they should. While coloring in with the darkest blue and red that those pencils can muster probably wouldn’t have been dark enough for an outline, I think it might have been worthwhile to try for either a dark version of the buildings’ brown, or dark red/blue with a little bit of black blended in. I can understand if it’s not possible with this medium, but a jump to your darkest color isn’t something to be taken lightly (hehe).

    I think that you could have refined your values a bit. Pichu’s yellow, the gray of the sidewalk, and the sky blue are fairly similar in value - not so similar that the body and the background can’t be told apart, but similar enough that there’s a bit of visual confusion. Like I said with the Poliwag piece (which isn’t stuff I’m going to hold you to, considering that you made this piece before the Poliwag piece), shading would really help you out, here. Adding a bit of shadow under Pichu’s body and some darker yellows to Pichu’s body would give you some good contrast. It would also add some depth to Pichu, and to the piece on the whole. Without shading, things tend to look rather flat. There needs to be something to provide the illusion of depth, and shading is one of your most powerful tools for this. I can tell you have a good grasp on unity and focus, but in the future, it would be nice to see some experimentation in the lighting department.

    Technique.
    I mentioned that I liked your colored pencil techniques in your Poliwag piece, but I want to go into more detail here since I didn’t talk as much about that last time. I mentioned in the Poliwag curation that you did a good job with keeping your colored pencil strokes in the same direction within each object, and this piece is very much in the same way. Not only that, the strokes on the sky and buildings are vertical, while the strokes on the street and sidewalk are horizontal. This difference breaks up the piece a bit. It prevents monotony, and it also breaks up the two segments of your background so that the buildings and sky, the far-back elements, are distinct from the closer elements, the road and sidewalk. Pichu’s so colored-in that you can hardly see any pencil strokes on its body, which really helps it to pop out of the piece and assert itself as the focus. The fact that the windows and sky are the same color with the strokes pointing in the same direction is a little confusing. This gives the illusion that the windows are transparent, showing the sky on the other side of them. I would recommend lightening up the pencil here, to keep the background strokes’ direction consistent. While this isn’t a huge issue, the optical illusions you can create without meaning to are an important thing to keep in mind. Especially since, if you know and master them, you might be able to use them to your advantage later on.

    There’s one other area where I think you can improve on here - color distribution, which I mention here because it’s a result of your technique. It looks like when you drew the black lines holing up the right-hand banner, you put a lot of pressure on your pencil, which filled it in with full black and broke up the brush stroke pattern. You’ve created a high-contrast element in the background, which makes that area stand out more than it should, especially since this is a darker black than the street and Pichu, which are both closer to the viewer. Overall, this is a very strong use of colored pencils that could use just a bit of polish.

    Conclusion.
    So! You’re still pretty good with colored pencils; you have room for improvement, but you’ve put a lot of effort into understanding your medium, and you understand a lot of its nuances (those good, good strokes). You’ve also demonstrated a good understanding of color balance and mood, with just a few areas to improve on such as judgement with the use of black. I had a bit of a hard time coming to my verdict simply because it looked like you could have put more thought into Pichu's anatomy, and the Pokemon is A) the point of URPG art and B) the focal point of your particular piece. However, I can tell that there's a lot of effort here. Not only did you go with a good background, you’ve definitely put forth a strong enough show of both technique and effort that I can say Pichu captured. For the future, I mainly recommend working in some sort of shading; you’d be surprised how just a little bit of it can go a long way! Keep up the good pencil work, and try to get as interested in your perspective and depth as you do your color and style. But for now, enjoy your new mouse.

  3. #23
    Steel Soul Design TeamURPG StaffAdministratorSuper Moderator K'sariya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mistral View Post
    #9 - Azurill in Zentangles
    Lesson learned here: use Sharpies and not washable markers because the markers were too thick. A thin tipped Sharpie, like I originally planned for, would've been so much better. Oh well, it's worth a shot to try and catch this little guy. Worst case scenario, I just have to try again. I had to take a picture of this one since my scanner wasn't working tonight.

    Spoiler:
    Claimed!

  4. #24
    Steel Soul Design TeamURPG StaffAdministratorSuper Moderator K'sariya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mistral View Post
    #9 - Azurill in Zentangles
    Lesson learned here: use Sharpies and not washable markers because the markers were too thick. A thin tipped Sharpie, like I originally planned for, would've been so much better. Oh well, it's worth a shot to try and catch this little guy. Worst case scenario, I just have to try again. I had to take a picture of this one since my scanner wasn't working tonight.

    Spoiler:
    Heya, Felly! Markers are not a medium I've seen yet here, so I'm pretty excited to jump into this one. Since (washable) marker is a generally flat-color medium, I'll be curating this more like a design rather than a drawing, with a heavy focus on the background since the subject is pretty simple.

    So to start off, I'm actually going to look at form. In a design like this that's mostly pattern-based, you want to look at where your patterns are getting their shapes, and why you chose those things. For example, if we were to remove the Azurill entirely, how would we still be able to tell that the background is (theoretically) an abstract work of an Azurill? For the most part, I think you actually did really well here. The biggest features of the pattern are shapes that we find in Azurill's body: circles, dots, and zig-zags. This is great, because it means that the pattern is relevant to Azurill. Since it's (later on) a Fairy, we associate a playfulness with this Pokemon, and so these playful shapes tie us back to it in that respect, too. Even the clouds work, since they're essentially created out of a lot of circles, though those are a little more of a stretch since we sometimes associate clouds with the sun or gloominess, even though they're made from moisture.

    The part where you break from shapes that draw from Azurill's theme are the angular geometric shapes, like the rhombi and squares. There's a reason why, for example, a building that is made of too many non-right angles unnerves us. It's because we associate these straight-edged shapes with rigidity and stability. Your top right part is a perfect example of where I think you used these linear, geometric shapes nicely; at first, they seem a little stable, but then you see that the ends of them are actually just a thick zig-zag, which ties it back nicely!

    Your spirals are another thing that pushes it a little. The small ones that form a circle still work since they seem zany and still make that circular shape, but the ones on the cardinal directions seem more like plants than anything else. You tie them in with dots, but their elegant forms seem far too refined of shapes for the bouncy, eccentric Pokemon they're surrounding! I'd also consider where you think about putting your dots. It's nice to see the dots are consistent on the corner designs, but I was thrown off at first by the ones on the tail. Were they there because that's a zig-zag, like the ones on the corner patterns? If so, then why aren't they on the smaller zig-zags in the background? I know you can't change anything with markers, but keep this in mind for future works where you're relying on patterns for a background--the human brain is hard-wired to search for patterns, so when we can't answer questions like these, it makes us a bit uneasy! Overall, though, I like how you treated this pattern, and I think it works well with the Pokemon you chose to do it for.

    Anatomy-wise, Azurill is a super simple Pokemon. You did it pretty well! The only thing I'd watch is the roundness of the ears, but that's minor. The biggest thing I see is small--its cheek spots are a little low. Other than that, you got it, and your round shapes are nice and... well, round! Your eye spots are nice and I love its little happy expression. It contributes well to the mood of the work.

    Composition-ally, I like that you haven't made this completely symmetrical. You've made it somewhat so with the placement of the flowering swirls and the corner designs, but everything is shifted in a bit of a zany way that helps give personality to Azurill as a Pokemon. Azurill are the last thing I'd expect to be symmetrical at both axis (vertical and horizontal). It helps give a little more energy to have that asymmetry, and the symmetry you do have helps give it some sort of balance in the frame.

    Your darker color of Azurill is nice, since it helps it stick out even more in everything else. The blue color of the patterns is nice--you use their shapes to achieve variety in them pretty well. Technique-wise, I think you've done pretty well for washable markers. Those things are impossible to fix mistakes with! The attention into filling the circles evenly and without getting those super dark overlap marks is nice. I think you did this pretty well for the medium you were using. I think the suggestion I'd make when coloring with these is to use them to match whatever mood you're trying to give. On its tail ball, you filled it with more circular motions, which works really well. I'd try to achieve the same on the face. I see that you probably colored to that mouth level because that marks a significant break, where it starts to be more difficult to color around. I'd suggest, however, to do it in as few strokes as possible. Maybe bring the top of that stroke up to the bottom of the eyes where possible. That line at the top of the mouth is a little distracting.

    Overall, this is a nice little balanced design. I'm going to give it a pass. I say this because I like the detail you put into your patterns, and how attentive you seemed to be with most of them (especially with those tiny repeated dots! That gets irritating to make!). You've got a good mood going, and you got the Azurill's anatomy nicely with its simple shapes and carried that over into the patterned background. The detailed and creative corner patterns were also really nice, and very appealing to look at. For something like this, you'd definitely need a lot more attention and detail and purposeful placement for higher ranks, but I'm okay with passing this at Simple! Enjoy your Azurill--I just recently got mine too! They're cute as hell. Keep it up, Fells. <3

  5. #25
    pink ball Mistral's Avatar
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    #10 - Weedle
    Aka I don't have a good title for this piece, and that's okay. I've been wanting to do a black and white sketch of a Weedle for a while now, and now I've finally done it. Also features a Kakuna because why not. Maybe it's dreaming of being a Kakuna one day so it can become a big, bad Beedrill? I dunno. I'm attempting to catch the Weedle though, not the Kakuna. Gotta build my funds up somehow.

    Spoiler:

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  7. #26
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    Weedle! Imma claim and curate in the same post, since I can!

    What a cute little sketch! Theres a lot of ways for you to improve from here, so starting with a weedle was a good idea. Black and white sketches can be time consuming, and it looks as though you’ve taken the time and care to colour in everything very densely. However, your time and care is patchily done- because you seemed to just give up entirely when drawing the tree branches. The scribbly clumps at the end of the geometric branch stumps are not anything like branches and leaves, in shape, shading, texture, or overall form. Try going for a walk and doing a quick scribbly sketch based on what you actually see outside!
    You might think that simple pencil can’t do very much, but in fact you can see some of the beauty of black and white taking effect in your drawing! Can you see the pencilstrokes you used? Can you see how its basically all in patches a few inches long, slightly curved, and the overlapping strokes are darker? In the future, you can use the direction and overlapping nature of these pencil strokes to actually give texture to features! The ground could be downward strokes of the same length as a grassy texture, and the tree could be strokes of varying lengths, to simulate bark!
    Also, the cloud. It is nothing like an actual cloud. Its not even like an anime cloud. I’m not even sure why its there. Is it covering up something? Is it filling space in the awkward layout of the page? Is that why one of the other branches is growing downwards? I feel like you could have used the space much much better (Your azurill above was awesome by comparison!)
    Onto the pokemon! I would not mistake these two for any other pokemon- I can definitely tell it’s a kakuna and a weedle! You’ve shaded them slightly lighter than the rest of the background and this works well to give them a bit of contrast from the white sky, and depth. The kakuna has all its regular shapes and creases in its carapace like it should, but its head seems a little detatched! I think theres normally a couple more triangular shapes between the head and neck in the anime pokemon depiction of kakuna.
    Your weedle has a couple of anatomy problems too, despite being recognizable. Firstly, the tail is not shaped like the pointer of a mouse like you’ve done it in your picture- its usually rounded! Secondly, I can tell the little circles on the side of the body are supposed to be feet, but… they’re not even on the ground! Is the weedle lying on its belly? I know they’re annoying and repetitive to draw, but those chubby little weedle feet could be so much more than just dots on the side of circles! Also, It might be a little more subtle, but weedles body sections are actually varied in size! The sections closer to the head should be bigger, and the ones near the tail are a little smaller, but it doesn’t look as if you’ve done this at all. On the plus side though, I feel like you got the face pretty good, and that iconic head-horn is spot on!

    Overall, you’ve just scraped across the simple line. You can do better! I can see it from examples above! Welcome Weedle to your little pokemon family, and may you grow together!

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