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The Dark Arts


Master Artist
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About bewitching.

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    we’ve found our destiny
  • Birthday 05/04/1995

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    Horse Riding
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  1. Yep. Looks like we may be the guilty parties until proven innocent
  2. Such an interesting digest this month. Good job you guys!!!! I'm torn between starbuck and myself....oh and maybe ailhsa 🤔
  3. I have three spots open in my senior to master artist critique if anyone still wants one.

  4. Both critiques completed. All three spaces are open again.
  5. Hi Jess. I'm here with your critique. Can I just say that I am awe of your gallery. It is so colourful and pretty, your style is amazing. Reptative Fonts I have noticed in six of your graphics you use the same font, +this is the font I mean - the one used for 'skinny dipping'. I think it is the same font but please do correct me if I am wrong. Through its repetative use it feels like it is your go to, comfort zone font. I mean don't get me wrong it works in every graphic you made using it but it can start making the graphics look samey even though they are completely different. I'd suggest experimenting with new fonts and that way it might spark your muse and you can make more different graphics. Browse dafont and see if you find any new ones you like. There is nothing wrong with downloading similar fonts to the one you currently use but make sure it looks different so a difference between the two can be seen. You also have fallen into the habit of using the same font for the subtext and again that can make it feel samey. Try and experiment with different fonts for your subtext. Repetative Comp I have noticed that you tend to group everything together in one place on the graphic, which looks great but leaves quite a bit of unused space on the graphic. In order to get out of this rut maybe try and use the whole of the canvas space rather than grouping everything onto one side. To break this repetativeness you need to experiment. Get out of your comfort zone, break free from your norm. To help with this I suggest maybe downloading new textures etc and this way it might spark your creativity. You can still keep your style obviously but it is just getting you to make new things with new textures or fonts etc. Also try adding more or less people into the graphic. In your signatures you use mainly two people and on your banners you use three people. Play around with it and see what you can come up with. Focal Point I have noticed that your focal points mostly tend to be your text more than the people on the graphic. So maybe try changing it up a bit and making a person on your graphic the focal point instead of the text. For example, on your banners my eye is drawn to the text (it may different for other people) rather than the larger people on them. I'm not saying that text should not be your focal point but I'm just staying add some variation to break away from your repetative comp. +here my eye is drawn to the text more than the larger person because they are similar sizes and competing for my focus. If the main text had been smaller then my focus would be drawn to the larger model. Moving forward All you have to do is experiment a little bit more, try new things. Don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. It is what every artist falls into every now and again, so you are not alone. Download new textures, new fonts and try to use the whole canvas, all of this may spark your muse and get you out of the rut you are stuck in. Look for inspiration in other galleries and see if that helps. Be creative and you may be surprised at the results. Mini challenge - Create a graphic (any size you chose) and it must include four people (this can be from the same photoshoot or different people). I'd like to see a new font that you have never used before but I want the graphic to still be kept in your colourful style whilst using the whole canvas. I hope this mini critique has helped you in some way. If you have any questions then please feel free to PM me. Gaby
  6. Hi Taylor. I'm here with your critique. Lets start by working on your acknowledged weak points. Image quality Your image quality for the people is actually quite good. If you want to boost the image quality of stock or people then you need to be looking for HQ images. There a few things that can affect the quality of images. One can be colouring layers and the other can be sharpening and topaz filtering. Make sure that your images are not being effected by any of these things and the quality of your images should improve. Repetative Comp The best way to avoid repetative comp is to experiment and get out of your confort zone. Remember the definition of composition is how well everything works together within your graphic. When you go through the graphic making process then ask yourself some questions. Does everything in the base work together? Am I using the same type of stock over and over? Will the people I have chosen work on the base? Does the text work well and does it fit the mood of the graphic? If you ask yourself these questions then it should help you break away from reptative composition. Slowly you will break away from your comfort zone and find new and creative ways to put things together. +here is a tutorial you may find useful. Chapter Images I can see with your CI's that you have a habit of only using two models and large text, which goes back to your repetative comp issue. It also goes hand in hand with the slight issue of a focal point. +here is a good tutorial on focal point which may help you out. As I always explain to people focal point is the one point where you eye is draw to when you first look at the graphic. For example, my eye when looking at +this is torn between the large model and the large text. Since they are almost the same size they are competing for the focal point. Think of chapter images like a blend but on a smaller scale. I'd suggest practising placement of text within your graphics especially your chapter images. There might be some useful tips within +this tutorial. Try making the text smaller so it gives your larger model more of a focal point. Another tip would be to use fonts to fit the mood of the graphic, same thing goes for the colour of the text too. If you have a bright happy CI like +this one then the font used should be blocky and bold such as sans serif fonts but instead serif fonts like times new roman were used and they are normally used for dark and sad graphics. If you look through +starbuck's gallery then for the majority of their graphics they use cursive fonts as their graphics always have a dark concept. Whereas if you look at +justonemorefic's gallery you can see all there bright colourful graphics have blod fonts. With your chapter images I'd suggest experimenting a little. Maybe instead of stock use only textures, try a new placement of text, try adding more people into the graphic. A tip to help this is look through other artists galleries (Grad artists upwards) and gain inspiration from them. If you see a placement or font you like then use it as inspiration when you make new graphics. Mini Challenge - Make a CI with three people on, be creative with text (using a new font etc) and it's placement, the mood must be dark and you can only use textures Skin Colour I've noticed that due to some of your colouring layers the skin of the models look unnatural and purple, for example +this, +this, +this, +this, +this and +this. The biggest rule in graphic making is to keep the skin tones as natural as possible. You can enchance the yellow tones or red tones but any other colour and the people can start to look alien like. Try to not let your colouring layers affect the skin tone too much. You might find +this tutorial within +this section helpful. Base backgrounds I feel like from the backgrounds of your banners are slightly chaotic, or well they seem that way because the textures used on top of them are washing out all of the stock used in your backgrounds. +here the texture and the filtering are masking the castle and train. +here the background looks super grainy. You need to find a balance between stock and textures as well as visibility. Text A little tip for text as some of it is not visible on some of your graphics. Dark background = light coloured text. Light background = dark coloured text. Sometimes visibility is down to the font used. So if you follow the light and dark rule then you should be okay as well as being careful over the font you selected. As I said earlier the font really does show off the mood of the graphic so choose wisely. Moving forward You have a good promising gallery and I'd love to see you experiement more whether that be with new fonts, using new stock, trying to be more creative, trying more colourings. Just try and break free from your comfort zone. Don't be afraid to be daring and try something new. I cannot wait to see new graphics from you. These are the weaker graphics I think you could remove from your gallery: +here, +here, +here, +here, +here. I apologise that this is a long critique. If you have any questions then feel free to PM me. Gaby
  7. Thank you so much for the squee!! Can we just be in awe of these icons from @concise They are just stunning and the comp is gorgeous! I love everything about them
  8. Completed all three crits so I have three spaces open again
  9. Hi Taylor. I'm here with your critique. If you have any questions about anything mentioned below then please feel free to PM me. Contrast This is something I have noticed whilst browsing your gallery. A lot of your graphics tend to have harsh whites and blacks in them. For example, +this graphic has really harsh contrasting on it, by that I mean the darks of the graphic are super dark. With the harsh contrast it make all the images look pixelated and it means that you cannot see some facial features of some of the people in the banner. The best way to add some sort of contrast but not over do it is to use either a black and white gradient map on soft light at 20% opacity or using curves and only slightly lower the line to create some contrast ans depth in your graphic. Brightness and contrast should be used lightly rather than greatly like it appears in the majority of your graphics. Another example, +this graphic, I know you were going for the horror feel but the model looks to white washed due to the over brightness. Just remember the more natural the better. Text I think the main problem is your text visibility and the fonts not working with the mood of the graphic. Let us start with text visibility. I'm using +this graphic again because the text is super hard to read. The dark text really blends into the background even though you have put a light coloured shadow behind it. I say this to a lot of people but I do think this tip is the biggest help for text visbility (and I'll say it many more times probably). Dark background = light text. Light background = dark text. Imagine if your banner was up on a billboard, wouldn't you want people to be able to read the text rather than strain their eyes to try and see what it says. Think about that every time you make a graphic. The best way to make your text work with your graphics is to select colours from the graphic itself. So if your text is on a dark background then try and select the lightest colour on the graphic. Play around with it until you get something that is cohesive. In terms of the fonts not working with the graphics, by that I mean the mood of the graphic is not being portrayed or the wrong mood is being given off. +this graphic is a good example of this. For me the blocky fonts saying 'Give me just one night' would suggest that the graphic should be bright and happy but in reality the graphic is portraying a dark mood. Any artist, who is not around any more, once told me that blocky fonts such as bebas or anything similar like a sans serif should be used for bright and happy graphics and any cursive and serif font should be used for dark, sad graphics. (+this should give you an idea of the difference between serif and sans serif). Another point to make is that on your blends you try to include way too much text. Sometimes less is more. Blends are large graphics which does mean more space but there should not be paragraphs of text. If you have a long section of song lyrics you like for example, try and narrow it down to a small sentence. Try not to over crowd the graphic. Think back to a billboard or a poster, they have little text on them because I don't think you or I would have time to stand there and read it all. If that makes sense. Composition The definition for composition that I stand by is: everything working together and being cohesive. This can take a while to master but I won't lie that even for me as a master artist it takes forever to make one graphic because I am constantly changing things around to get everything right. For example, I do not think the composition of +this graphic works well. I do like the background it is very pretty but everything in the foreground sticks out like a sore thumb. Both models are too bright for the dark background and I do not think the larger model looks right on the banner in the pose that she is in. From the feel of the background and the theme of Artemis- goddess of the hunt it was supposed to be quite a sinister, dark banner but that is not the feel I am getting because everything on it does not work well together. In terms of composition you want everything to be seamless and blend together really well. If you have an idea of the theme for your graphics then the images you use should portray that, that way your composition should improve as everything will work well together. Another way to achieve good composition is to have everything within your graphic match a specific set of colours. For example, +this and +this, both of them have tiny little details throwing them off. With the vertical banner the one thing throwing me off is that the background suggests soft pinks and whites and yet the main image my eyes is drawn too is luna in a blue cardigan which does not fit the colour scheme of the banner at all. Similar thing for the blend. Obviously the theme is blue yet the larger girls top with the red and green flowers does not work well with the blue. Always try and select images with the theme you had in mind or make the rest of the graphic work with the main images used through colouring or selection of those images. A quick tip with composition is to also layer things up to help create depth within your graphics as at the moment they are looking relatively flat. To do this break the graphic up into the base (background), the next set of layers are the middle ground and then the people/object/text can be your forground. By adding depth it can help with the composition and how things work well together. So for this try to not select images of people just facing forwards. +this tutorial should help to explain things better. Focal Point The whole point of a focal point is the place where you eye is first drawn too, what is the first part of the graphic you look at. I'm sorry for over using this image as an example, with +this graphic my eye has no idea where to look. I praise you for fitting that many people onto a graphic but I feel the placement of everyone could ahve been better thought out. The two main models either side of the text are the same size which is causing me to be conflicted with who I should be looking at. Same goes for some of the other models on the banner they might be smaller but they are still at the same level of the two people either side of the text. Getting the focal point right on a graphic with lots of people is tricky. I'd highly reccommend +this tutorial to help with focal point. With +this banner I can kind of see the focal point you were going for but the larger rose picture is conflicting with the larger girl as they are both at the same level. A good tip to think about when trying to create a focal point is working out what would be in the background and what is in the foreground. Think of it like perspective. The thing in the foreground is larger because it is closer to you and the object in the background will be smaller because it is further away. Style will come with time. As I said to another artist it can be many different things for different people. For some people it is making dark graphics like starbuck. or it can be bright and colourful like bear&fox or it could even be down to the type of images used in the graphics such as cypher-s on deviantart. Most people for me have said my style is making shiny looking graphics. Style may take a while to develop so keep at it and eventually something will just click in place. Sorry for the long critique but I hope it has helped you in some way. Just remember that if you have any questions you can always PM me and I'd be happy to help out. Gaby
  10. Hey Ronnie, I'm here with your critique. Can I say that I love your gallery so much! Everything is so bright and colourful! Lets start with your acknowledged weak points. Repetative comp I can see what you mean by repetative composition especially in your sigs. You tend to group everything specifically into one place which does look great but as you say it is repetative. Try and use the graphic as a whole and use every space possible unless you are going for a minimalist look. That is how I think of composition. Try not to have too much wasted space. I love +this sig as your have used all the available space and even though everything is grouped together (it does create a good focal point) it has a great composition. A way to over come repetative comp is try to experiment more. Text I actually bow down to you with your text skills. I love the text on +this as my eye is drawn to the large girl to the left then down the cascading text. It works super well and looks amazing on this banner. The main reason text can sometimes looks pixelated is down to having colouring layers above it. if you have no colouring layers above the text then it could be down to the setting you have it on. In photoshop when you are working with text next to the font and size drop down there is another drop down with the options of 'none, strong, crisp, smooth'. I'd definitely select smooth if you have not already. Unfortunately there are times where pixelated text cannot be helped as it down to the font itself. Your placement of text works well with the focal point so thumbs up to you for that. I don't necessarily think it is an issue. The text placement/sizing on +this does not work really well in my opinion. For it swamps the right of the banner and takes away from the focal point of the graphic which for me would have been the boy rather than the text. It would be one I'd suggest getting rid of. Focal Point Now this is something I have noticed with your banners as I was scrolling down. Almost all of your banners have the focal point in the +centre. I'd suggest on your next banner have the focal point to the right or the left of the banner rather than too close to the centre. Similar thing on your signatures. Try to mix it up every now and again. Clear out I'll now list the graphics I think you should remove from your gallery: +here, +here, +here, +here, +here, +here, +here. The main reason I'm saying to remove these is because they are not as good as all your newer stuff so bring the overall quality of your gallery down. I hope my crtitique helps you. If you have any questions then please feel free to PM me. Gaby
  11. Hey Zoe. I'm here for your requested gallery critique. If you have any questions about anything said in this post then feel free to PM me and I'll get back to you when I can. Let us start by focusing on your acknowledged weak points. Text Visibility After a quick browse I can see that some graphics you have quite strong text visibility: +here, +here and +here. I think the main problem with your text visibility is the colours you are choosing as well as the fonts. I say this quite a lot but it is a trick I stick too. Dark background = light text. Light background = dark text. For example, +here the dark red makes it really hard to see on the darker areas. I would suggest maybe changing the text to a light colour from the CI then putting a drop shadow or outine around it. Another area to increase text visibility is the font. Some fonts can be quite hard to read, +here even though you know what the second font should say it is not readable. If fonts are unreadable then we are artists try every trick in the book to make them readable such as drop shadows, outlines etc, when in reality we need to look for new fonts. Whilst we are on the subject of fonts, always remember that a font is there to help you with the mood of the graphic. Cursive fonts normally work best for dark, sad graphics and bolder block fonts work best for happy, bright graphics. Style If I am honest, style comes with time but it can be very hard to define as everyone's style is different. In terms of finding your style you have to look at what appears every time in your graphics. If you make lots of dark graphics then that is your +style, if you make bright graphics then that is your +style. Some would say my style is super shiny graphics. If you make your graphics in the same way each time then that is your style. You will eventually find it if you continue to experiment with all your graphics. Variation in composition Composition is the way you put things together and what works and what does not. It is essentially everything within the graphic being cohesive and complementing each other. When making a graphic you always have to think is what you are making working together or not. Is there something throwing the graphic off? You just have to mess around with everything on the graphic until something clicks. There are plenty of composition tutorials +here you can check out if you need help. In terms of composition for me I always try and break the graphic down. Does the base of the graphic work? Does the base work once you had people on to it? Does it look to cluttered if I put this texture on? Does the colouring work for the images used or not? Does the text work in this placement? For example, the composition of +this graphic is nearly perfect but there are a few things that throw it off a little. The colouring is really nice and works well except on the girl on the left. She looks really white compared to the green of the larger pic behind her. The use of a different font for the main title would have really pulled the banner together. The composition on +this does not work at all as there are too many colours on the banner that jump out at you. Having a limited amount of colours on a banner works much better and creates a better composition. Two extra points I think you need to work on: Focal Points Looking through your gallery I can see this is another area for improvement. In the majority of your graphics it is hard to find where to look. A focal point is a place in a graphic where you eye is immediately drawn. In +this banner I do not know if I should be looking at the text or the main person. With the text as the same size as the girl it makes it hard to focus on her. I can see that maybe she is supposed to be the focal point as she is in colour whilst the rest of the banner is dark but the text throws my eye off. The text should be smaller and grouped together rather than spanning across the whole banner. The text should be grouped by the larger girl and then have the subtext near to the smaller girl. That would create a smooth focal point. +this tutorial might help you with looking at focal points. +this graphic has a much better focal point as my focus was brought to the larger man then the text. Depth Depth really does add to graphics but yours are lacking slightly. By depth I mean a background, middle ground and the forground. To do this you have to layer things up to help give the graphic depth, whether it be through textures or stock. A good way to do this is to vary which ways models are facing rather than face on and to create perspective with stock or textures. The vary the size of things and layer them up. +this tutorial should help. Overall your graphics are good but I think you could be experimenting much more with this such as text, colouring, placement of people etc. Try and get out of your comfort zone and what you believe to be safe. Do not be afraid to push the boundries. Mini Challenge I would like you to challenge yourself and make a CI containing 3 or 4 people, must contain both stock and textures, a cursive font for the main text and it must be dark and sad for a mood. That is all from me. Sorry it is a long one. I hope this critique helps you. Again if you have any questions then feel free to PM me.
  12. Are you a senior, grad or master who needs a gallery critique? Then look no further:

    my critique thread

  13. "I cast a spell on you" Welcome to my critique thread! This critique will be open to senior artists through to master My critiques (Disclaimer: Everything said in the critique is my own opinion so please do not think I am being harsh in any way especially if you may not agree with my comments). Usually I start out with saying which graphics in your gallery I love before moving on to each section of your gallery. Here I will list both your strong and weak areas, often giving tips on how you can improve in those selected areas. At the end of the critique I may give you a mini challenge to get you out of your comfort zone and to test you. If you have specific weaknesses that you are aware of then I will try my best to help you and guide you in the right direction. Rules 1) Fill out the form below 2) Please give me a couple of days to get round to your critique (trouble of being a uni student) 3) I can only take 3 people at a time so if you see (3/3) in the description or three people have posted and I have not commented that they are completed then you know it is full, so please do not comment [b]Artist Name[/b]: [b]Acknowledged Weak Points[/b]: (i.e., 'blending') [b]Type of Critique Requested[/b]: (i.e., 'my banners always come out cluttered - how can i prevent that from happening?') [b]Software[/b]: (Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, etc...) [b]Most Recent Gallery Update[/b]: (i.e., date) [b]Gallery Link[/b]: [url=LINKHERE]Gallery[/url] [b]Requested Time Frame[/b]:
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