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The Dark Arts
  1. Welcome

    1. Enter The Dark Arts   (42483 visits to this link)

      In order to view TDA in its entirety, please login or register.


      Once your account has been validated (first via e-mail, then by admin validation), you will have full-access to:

      - graphic requests for story banners, forum sets, and more

      - up for grabs graphics

      - tutorials for all programs and levels

      - resources: stock photos, image packs, textures, and more

      - graphic challenges, big and small

      - an extensive community of graphic artists

    2. Rules & FAQs

      Everything you could possibly need to know as a member of TDA! Includes Rules for specific areas of the forums, guides and FAQs.

    3. Welcome

      If you're new to The Dark Arts, pop on in to learn more.

    4. Notices from the Admins

      Here you'll find information about site activities and updates.

    5. 35
  2. The Dark Arts Hub

    1. Dark Arts Digest

      The Digest is a monthly newsletter chronicling monthly events, opinions and accomplishments in the TDA community.

    2. Promotions

      Everything you need to know about the Promotion process on TDA. Also includes Promotion Critique.

    3. Questions and Suggestions

      Post here if you have any questions or suggestions regarding TDA and your activity on the forum.

    4. The Vault

      Come here to collect your points & prizes!
      [Guide to the Vault] [The Shop]

  3. Artist Galleries

    1. Veteran Artists

      The galleries of artists who may have gone on to better things, but whose graphics we still greatly admire. You can browse here for some inspiration. Veteran artists that would like their galleries moved back to the Master Artist section, please post here!


      Due to TinyPic shutting down, a lot of galleries were moved! Please visit this forum to see how you can have your gallery moved back!

    2. Designer Artists

      Designers make any type of art which is not the usual for TDA - photomanipulations, digital paintings, vector art, typography, 3D art, paintings and drawings, photography, design (posters, brochures, magazines, business cards, T shirts etc), web design (also skins) ....and so on.

    3. Master Artists

      These artists are the best and brightest TDA has to offer. Beyond the rank of Master, there are more ranks as we want our members to continue to improve: Master Epsilon, Master Delta, Master Gamma, Master Beta and Master Alpha.

    4. Graduate Artists

      With fantastic style and technique, these artists are on the edge of greatness.

    5. Senior Artists

      These artists have shown a lot talent and potential.

    6. Rising Artists

      These artists are half way through the ranks with great potential!

    7. Junior Artists

      These artists have managed the basics and a lot more.

    8. Developing Artists

      These members have started their journey and are improving fast!

    9. Member Artists

      All new artists must start here as a Member Artist to await monthly promotions.

    10. New Artists!

      If you wish to become a TDA artist, please read the rules carefully before posting your new gallery in this forum.

  4. The Floo Network

    1. Pottersworld   (40056 visits to this link)

      An extensive role-playing (RPG) site taking place in the post-Potter era.

  • Upcoming Events

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • @winter soldier Enya!!! It's so good to see you! Thank you so much for stopping by with such a sweet comment. It means the world to me! I am unworthy! I'm glad you like my comp and coloring :-)) Can't wait to see more from you as well xoxo    
    • I love these new opportunities for Master Artists!!! So awesome!!!   But...   Master Beta???? Really? I'm just saying... 🤭🤔😶
    • thank you so much Gaby!! this was all so helpful and i really appreciate you taking the time to come critique this for me, i've had a feeling i was getting stuck in a comfort zone and i really am thankful for your tips in overcoming that. can't wait to give the challenge a try 
    • Hi Sarah, I’m here with your critique. Congrats on your promotion this month. So well deserved. Your graphics are so soft and I love that!   Centre Based Focal Point One thing I have noticed whilst browsing your gallery is that you tend to keep everything on a central focal point. Whilst that is not a bad thing as it is a good starting point, it does tend to make your graphics look the same. The viewers eye is always drawn to the same point, especially in your signatures as a straight line can be drawn through then all. Ideally you would want a jagged zigzag line going through them (from this ----- to this /\/\/\).   The best way to approach this is to try out different placements for focal points. I always try to divide the graphic into three sections (similar to the rule of three grid in photography), this can be horizontal or vertical sections. Which ever you choose. Focal points are generally what the viewers eye is draw to first, naturally everyone is drawn to a different place depending on where they look first, but as we are the artist, we want to tell them where to look in our graphics. Another point to add is that focal points can be people or text or an area of the graphic in general. You already have a good grasp of different size models (perfect for focal points) and placement of text; you just need to work on where you place everything.   Trying creating a focal point more towards the right or left of the graphic. Think of that zigzag line I mentioned before. If you create one on the left, try and create your next one on the right. I know that placing in the centre is easier as it gives you more space but doing it in every graphic does get very repetitive. Honestly trying something new can be a great spark to your imagination and creativity for graphics.   Text Text will mostly start to look the same if you use fonts which are similar in style. They may be called something different and look slightly different but in reality, they are very similar. To over come this, I would suggest browsing +dafont or downloading my own font pack +here. There are millions of different fonts out there it is just about finding different and new ones.   The text in your graphics also looks the same because you are doing similar styles on them. By that I mean the outlines and shadows. There are times when we rely too heavily on those effects. Again, they are not a bad thing but they become a bit repetitive. I to have found it hard to break my reliance on them. My tip to solve this reliance would be to use textures or brushes under the text to make it more readable. If you need to rely heavily on an outline to make your text more readable then you need to think of a way to make it readable without it.   You might find +this tutorial helpful when it comes to text.   Composition The main definition of composition is ‘the act of combining parts or elements to form a whole’ but it can also mean ‘anything from how you place a model on the graphic or how each graphic is laid out or even how creative you have been’.   I think +this tutorial on composition may be a big help. There are many aspects of creating a good composition and if I am honest, you have the basics down. You can create depth within your graphics and know how to place models etc. I think you just need that extra push to get out of your comfort zone and be more creative with your compositions.   How about in your next graphic you place a model upside down or creatively hide half of their face? The possibilities are endless and once you get out of your comfort zone you can be really creative. Look at how other artists do their compositions and get inspiration from them. Another way to create a better composition is to have models in different poses, rather than ones which are directly looking at the camera. It stops your graphic looking flat at the same time too. Think of your graphic being 3D rather than two dimensional.   Also try having more than three people on the graphic. This can really help with your compositions as you have more to work with.   Colouring I love the colouring on +this graphic. The light and warm tones work so well together. As for your other pieces I think the colouring is too dark and the model images cannot be seen very well such as +this. So just watch out for your darks being too dark and black. There needs to be a fine balance between brightness and contrast. On +this piece the colouring is perfect and you can see the definition of everything clearly.   If you need more help with colouring then +this tutorial should help.   The best way to learn how to colour is to download some PSD’s and look how others use the tools to colour their graphics. I know PSD’s are taboo to some people but honestly they are a great help to understand how a certain colouring tool settings work. So I’d highly recommend looking into it. Do not be afraid to try some bright vibrant colourings too.   Mini Challenge Create a banner with the focal point being set to the left of the graphic. Must contain four models, have a completely new never before used font. A bright colouring.   I hope that this has helped you in some way. You certainly have the scope to improve and create a fuller gallery. You got this!   If you have any questions then do not hesitate to PM me.   Gaby
    • this was such a great read!! well done guys, thanks for all the hard work you put in
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