Jump to content
The Dark Arts

unfold your love

Recommended Posts



incredible header by saturn.



i c o n s





b a n n e r s


















c h a p t e r i m a g e s








s i g n a t u r e s











b l e n d s











c o l o r i z a t i o n s




a w a r d s


TXIF1Zr.png  d4D2tbI.png



best at critique                                                                                         best moderator

                                                                                                           best style






best at filtering                                                      best master artist

best at blends                                                         best moderator

(tied with the lovely & talented saturn.)                   best resource




page thirteen.


best at filtering                                                     best staff artist

best challenge                                                 best at text



featured artist (starbuck.) | member of the month (minion) | ultimate sound of 2015 (page thirteen.)

dark mark awards 2016 (starbuck.) | tba's next big artist & best junior artist



y b w

most improved (beyond the rain) | junior (dust & decay) | graduate (page thirteen.)



& p r o m o t i o n s

master (staff) (tea cup) | graduate (golden.) | junior & senior (winter soldier)




c r e d i t s


@tda : saturn. / Photoshopfreak / miss atomic bomb

@DA : RavenOrlov / Royalites / Rosesylla / marioantonio23 / Vanessax17 / tuschen / Starved-Soul / alternxtive / so-ghislaine / Evey-v / footlongisland / seunghor / lilith-trash / qyuri / elliesomerhalder

Edited by choobacca
Link to post
Share on other sites

Heya! Saw there was a new gallery floating around so I figured I'd come and check you out ^_^


I think you've got a great start to your gallery here! You've got a nice mix of different kinds of graphics which I think is always important to do. You obviously have a good grasp on blending and comp as I can't really see any issues there. You seem to have a really good eye for graphics and it shows in your work :) My favourite piece of yours so far would have to be your Sherlock blend. I think everything in that graphic just comes together beautifully -- the comp, the text, and the colouring.


The one thing I think you may have to work on is text (although I'm not really one to talk -- text will be the death of me!). In some of your graphics, especially your Draco CIs, it looks a little out of place. Your CIs are lovely and the text looks like it doesn't quite fit in with the mood or the caliber of your work, or something like that. I'm not really sure how to explain it, but something about the text just feels off to me. Of course, that could just be personal preference.


Honestly, your graphics are lovely and I can't wait to see what else you can come up with!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi! :loves: I'm Kayla! Just wanted to stop by your gallery cause I saw it was new!


You've got such a great start here! My favourite pieces are your icons, your second banner, and your Sherlock blend. The colouring on those things is so good. I think the icons are especially creative - they've got loads of different shapes and colours incorporated into them and are super eye-catching!


I agree with Kennedy about your text (although text is a problem for me too :P). I don't take issues with fonts or colours or anything, it's more about the placement on a few of these? On the Golddigger banner, I find the way that the Gs are cut off at the bottom quite distracting, and I think the text on the first banner fades into the background a bit too much.


Overall though these are absolutely stunning! :kiss: Great work!

Link to post
Share on other sites

@ moonbaby11 : thanks so much for stopping by and for the advice :) Text is so hard!!! :glaring: I hate it. I'll keep working on it, and thanks for your comments. I think putting it in CI's is the hardest... It's just an awkward box, it's like how do I compose in this thing ??? I'm glad you enjoyed some of my stuff though! Oh, and don't discredit your opinion. Just because you're a member doesn't mean you don't have advice to give! :)


@ krazyboutharryginny : Hi Kayla! Thanks so much for coming by. I'm so glad you like my icons because I feel totally unsure about them :\ Thanks for your text advice. It's so hard!! But hopefully I'll get more comfortable with it eventually!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I genuinely thought that I had already left a post on your gallery, but clearly I haven't, so I am going to do so now :)


First of all, I mimic your comment to me slightly; surely you're not new to all this? Your work is amazing! I have genuinely seen your work around and I didn't realise you were a member artist until you commented on my gallery! Your work is on par with at least Junior Artists, if not higher!


I really love your banners. There are such a variety, yet you do have a distinctive style. In particular, I adore the "Here and Now" banner, and the "Golddigger" one and- heck! I just love them all, okay?


I love the colouring on your CIs, the mood is really clear through it. I mostly disagree with the previous comments about your text, but the second CI text maybe doesn't match the mood as well? It would look better even with a light gradient added to it, perhaps. Even so, it's just fine as it is :)


I literally can't find any fault in your work. I love your Sherlock blend (I have to admit, I saw it in the challenges section and was really envious of your skill!) the composition is perfection, and the colouring makes my heart smile ❤


Basically, I literally love you and hope that I can one day achieve greatness like this. I imagine you will move through the artist ranks very quickly here. You're definitely one to watch!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Alison,

I saw your posts around the forum so I decided to stop by :happy:

I absolutely love you icons and your 'Tonight' sig! my favorites are your Draco CIs. so pretty <3

you are improving constantly, and that's evident in your gallery.

you're doing a great job! keep it up! :)


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ ferlybadinage - say whaaaa?? That's the nicest comment I've ever received :cry: tysm. I'm so glad you enjoy what you see here. I have a lot of free time on my hands right now so...I'm trying to spend it getting better! Thank you for your lovely words :)


@ VampireWeekend - thank you so much, Maya! What a nice comment :wub: Thank you for stopping by and saying such nice things. I'm glad you like some of my stuff!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi alison!! been seeing you around the forums lately, so I thought I'd drop by your gallery :wub:

you've been making such pretty things lately! I honestly do not think I was half as good as you when I was a member artist, so...you're definitely going to go places :P

I love your colouring; you have some amazingly vibrant pieces, yet also really nice dark, soft colouring :loves: my favourites are your mulan and draco CI's - sooooo gorgeous :O


keep up the awesome work!




Link to post
Share on other sites

:drop: *spazzes that a staff commented on her gallery*


thank you, Vee! that is so nice of you to say, and it is especially exciting coming from an artist whom I admire!! thank you for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. :hug:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Alison! I'm here for your critique. :D Based on your post, I'm going to focus on coloring and text. I'll work my way down through your gallery and highlight those two techniques. Before I begin though, here's some text tips that I like to use:


- Right click the text layer. Go to blending options. Click drop shadow. Change the distance to 2 px. If you still can't see the text, change the spread to 10%.

- Place the text on the very top layer, above all the coloring, if it's not visible enough.

- To figure out text color, I usually create my text on white, then click the color box. Rather than select a color, I drag the mouse over the graphic and the eye dropper tool should be into effect. I click around the graphic, taking colors from the graphic itself, until I see the color that works.

- Add a new layer directly under the text layer. Take a soft brush, and color a blob under the text like this. Then take a soft eraser (set on like 30%), and blend it like you might see with a gradient map. (You could do this technique with a gradient map, but I like the control I have with the other way.) So now it looks like this.




I love, love, love this banner!! Composition is spot on and I think the coloring is gorgeous. My one critique (and I almost mentioned this in your ybw! lol) is the text on the right. I honestly think you don't need "run in the shadows." I also wonder how it would look without the far right girl as well. I'm not sure if I'd like it or not, but maybe play around and see how that looks too. The main text could be a little more visible. I think adding that drop shadow like I mentioned above or painting a small blob may help with that, actually.


I like the effect you have in the "movement" banner but I'm not crazy about the font. I think the small text on the left could be one size smaller, and I think I'd like it centered instead of aligned left. The color of "movement" is nice but I wonder how it would look if you pulled one of the warm gold colors from the banner? I think Tonks's face is a bit white as well, especially when you compare it to Lupin's. My suggestion (another trick I do a lot lol) would be to add a new layer on top of her face, then take what I call a "shadow" color. Basically when you see natural shadows on someone's face? Use the eye dropper on a shadow on her face to give you a natural color. (It's typically a shadow of brown) Then you paint over her face - though avoid the eyes. If you do, no big deal, just go back and erase over the eyes. Then I usually set the layer to soft light and lower the opacity. You may have to put that layer above all the coloring, but sometimes it's fine under. Just play around with it. Another tip with white faces is to duplicate the image of the person, then set that new layer to exclusion and lower it to 10-15%. ;)


I love the text on this! Very creative, good font selection and coloring. I think the girl on the right's face looks perfect. The one on the left is a tad darker and more yellow. Maybe try playing with her to match her to the one on the right? The brightness and coloring on the right girl is perfect.


Stunning composition on this one! I love the text color, but "two" is a bit hard to read because the similar color flower behind it. What about putting the title to the left of Keira and the names on the right?


"Eyes on" is verrrry hard to read on that banner. White on white can work, but you'll need to make it a thicker font, and add that drop shadow. I also think that far left text may work better if you have it taller. As in, have "And I'm" on the first line, hit enter, add "scared of" then enter, and "your stolen" then enter and "power" at the bottom. Maybe. :P


I think "Leavin" and "Jack" are very unique banners and I love the coloring, but for me they're not as strong as your others. (See, you set a very high bar with your first banner and your Jane/Gaston banner, haha.)


Chapter Images


Ahh your "Mulan" chapter image is stunning! I like you "Malfoy" chapter image, but the edges of Malfoy are a bit sharp? And I think the background may be a touch too overly blurry. But I love the coloring and composition. Text is good. What about making the "D" a color from the graphic - a gray - and then placing it under the other text? Your first chappie isn't as strong to me as those two. The girl is a little too sharp so you can almost see a halo around her.




Love em. Perfect. Let's move on. :D




My favorites are "unbreakable" and the Romione one, though the text is a bit hard to read on it. Because of that texture, I think you'll need to paint a white blob under the text layer. Actually, you see how in that Cinderella example I provided the black blob is at an angle? I actually think you should do that here, but with white, so it almost looks like a gradient from the angle. I like how you did "tonight tonight" but I think the names on the right could be moved a little to the right. Maybe make it smaller and go all caps?




Both are gorgeous! I think the December header could use a slight drop shadow to make it really pop. :)


Whew! Wow I rambled a lot haha. Truly though, you have some awesome pieces here. I think what you might benefit from actually is a gallery clean before promo's because I feel like some of your pieces are SO STRONG that it makes some older pieces look well, older. :P Which isn't a bad thing! But you're clearly improving. So in my humble opinion, set your bar. Anything below, either clear it out or update it so it's on par with your best. I will most definitely not be surprised if you're in a new shade soon. :D


Anyway, very good work my dear! I hope I didn't ramble too much, haha. Keep up the good work! :glomp:

Edited by Fireheart
Link to post
Share on other sites

Head's up! This is Sally with her critique full of sugar (and love, of course!) :loves:

So let's get on with it!



1. Cookies

3 words: use of stock, composition and coloring (nvm that it's 6 words :hide:).

In my opinion these are the three things you are already mastering very well. Since

I think that the stock in your graphics is awesome (especially in +this & +this) I'd

recommend you to keep on experimenting around with it. Your textures are lovely

as well but I think a mixture of a nice dose of stock and an ickle amound of textures

would work well for you (at least for you banners). For your signatures I love the

textures - no stock needed. Just keep doing what you're doing hun.
When I was an MA my composition was pretty ugly :humph: but what you're doing is anything

but ugly! I was scared to put more than 2 people on a canvas and I think fear is what

keeps an artist from developing. Don't be afraid - show what you can do. In +this,

+this and +this you're clearly stepping out of the traditional 2 people graphics and I

love it. Keep doing that!

Your coloring: I like that you're playing around with different colors. It's good to see that

you've got a great vatiety from radiant to dark and mysterious. I really like the coloring in

+this, +this and +this.


2. Spices

Text: you said you have problems with the usage of text and I can see what you mean.

But as fireheart gave you a lot of great tips just one post before me, I'll keep it short here.

What helped me with text was basically just downloading hundreds and thousands of new

fonts to find new inspiration. Try to play around with different fonts in one word: you could

have a curly wurly first letter but keep the rest simple! When looking for the right font just

put on a basic one and then scroll through all your fonts and change it here and there.

Sometimes trying lots of fonts is the easiest way to go. I already like that for the quotes

and text next to the title you are using small very classic fonts. You could even go smaller

sometimes or decrease the capacity so the smaller text doesn't keep the viewers attention

from the focal point.

Coloring: yes I know, I said coloring was one of your strong points, but in my opinion you

have some few pieces in your gallery that do not live up to your full potential. In +this I think

a higher white balance would work better. The contrast is too low for my taste and it would

give the banner some overall spice. And while I really love +this one, it's a great example to

show the difference of the people's skin tones - try to adjust them so they look similar. It

looks more professional ;)
Blending: As fireheart also mentioned I think sometimes the blending of your characters is

too sharp, for example the lady in +here or in +here. Try maybe to soften the edges with the

smudge tool or maybe take an eraser with soft edges, lower the opacity and then go around

the sharp edges. For me the sharp cut of Draco works in your Draco CI - since the colors

are striking this just has a special effect for me.


3. Cinnamon

For a clean out before promo's I'd suggest you take +this, +this and +this out of your

gallery because I think these don't show your full potential. You have many great pieces

as I mentioned above and I think your galery would profit from a little clean out :dumbles:

You're on a really good path and as they say: practice makes perfect. Make as many

graphics as possible and don't hesitate to write me a pm if you have a question about


Lots of love (and cookies!),
Sally :loves:

Link to post
Share on other sites

@ fireheart : T H A N K Y O U ! ! ! ! everything you mentioned was (is) SO helpful. your suggestions really helped me look at my graphics in a new way, and working through them to make the adjustments you suggested, i found to be really beneficial. i think you hit everything right on the head with what you noticed and what you suggested i change. THANK YOU for taking the time to write such a thorough critique and to really pay attention to what you saw! :) i so appreciate your help. :hug::hug::hug:


@ fayeswonderland : thank you so much for your help!!! i really appreciate the compliments :happy: and also all the suggestions and constructive criticism. it's so hard for me to know what i need to work on, because i made everything (duh) and i'm staring at it all day long it all looks good (or bad) to me. especially with skin tones. i spend so much time prepping them but after coloring they begin to look different again, so thank you for pointing out where i need to work on that! i really appreciate such a thorough crit. thank you!!! :wub::glomp:

Link to post
Share on other sites

@ VampireWeekend : M A Y A. Thank you, you're a doll :loves: and my secret is I have too much time on my hands right now so I just make graphics all. day. long. lol ><


@ scintillated : thank you! I feel so weird about my ci's so that's really nice of you :wub: thanks so much for commenting and your kind words.


@ ferlybadinage : tysm Vashti :) it was SUCH a close call, and I'm really glad I was up against such a deserving nominee :kiss:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...