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The Dark Arts

cherry lips, crystal skies

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Hi Alli~ 

I just wanted to say that I really like what you have in your gallery right now! 

I think my favorite thing in your gallery right now is +this blend I really love how you used the space and the way you did the text! I also think +these icons are just wonderfully cut. 

Your gallery is so pretty and I can't wait to see what you do next~

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hi alli (and fellow pwer!!) i'm mafee, it's nice to meet you! i really, really love your graphics - your use of colour is incredible and i love it. i especially adore ariana's signature and the banner! i really look forward to seeing more of your graphics around! ❤️ 

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Hi Alli, I’m here with your spring critique.


Since I am unfamiliar with the software you use, I’ll try my best to help. Let’s start with your acknowledged weak points.



My eyesight is bad at the worst of time but I have noticed with your text in several of your graphics is actually blurred +here and +here. The blurriness of your text could be down to a number of things such as an overlying texture or a layer within your colouring affecting it. Once you identify the problem then you can easily resolve it. I’d also suggest downloading some new fonts from +dafont just to change your graphics up a bit.


Another thing with text is that it had to fit the theme and mood of your graphics. I’ve always remembered it as this: for dark and angsty graphics use only cursive or serif fonts, and for bright, happy, romantic graphics you want to use bold, sans serif fonts. +here is an example of a dark, angsty graphic and +here is an example of a bright, happy graphic.


The colour of your text plays a large part in the whole feel of your graphic too. Yes, you want it to be cohesive and work with your composition but it needs to be readable. Think of it like this: if your text is on a dark area of your graphic then a lighter colour will make it more readable, and if your text is on a lighter area then a darker colour will help. For example +this graphic by azimuth shows clearly how darker text on a lighter area is more readable but also ties in with the colours within the graphic.


Composition Variation

Ellie (cypher-s) has come up with a great tutorial on composition +here. Composition is how everything within your graphic works together, something which should always be at the fore front of your mind when making a graphic. In all of your signatures they have the same composition where the models and text are always to the right. I’d try experimenting a bit more with where you place your models and text by placing them in the centre or to the left. Be creative. Also look at what other artists on TDA have done to vary their composition. I’ll link some galleries for you to view: +here, +here, +here, +here, +here.


Making things too dark

This can be a combination of two things: 1) you are generally using dark textures and 2) your colouring methods are affecting the darkness. The first point can be fixed by using brighter, more colourful textures such as +here or +here. Using textures on different screen modes can help get rid of the darkness. For instance, you might use ‘screen’ or ‘lighten’ on a light-coloured graphic to take away the darks within it. Play around and see what happens. The second point can be fixed by carefully going through each of your colouring layers to see which one is making it dark. It could be down to how you use brightness/contrast, curves or levels. Try and work out which step might be causing it.


Things I have noticed:


Pixelated/Low Quality Pictures

I have also noticed that a few pictures of the models used within your graphics are slightly pixelated or of low quality +here and +here. The pixilation might be down to over sharpening of the image. The best ways to resolve this is to use HQ images from either +here or from various HQ image packs from +deviantart, and to pick apart how you colour a graphic. If the images are already pixelated then you know it is the image quality and if you notice the pixilation happens when you colour your graphic then you know what is affecting it. When creating any graphic you always want the highest quality of images, this is down to them have more pixels which means that when they get resized they should stay relatively clear and have no pixilation or jagged edges.


Spring Cleanout

I think you need to revamp your whole gallery. That way your new and improved graphics can take pride of place and shine.


I hope this critique has helped you in some way. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions about anything said.



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Thank you so much for this critique ❤️ Sadly I can't really do anything about the blurry text, its caused by me having to free transform the text to get it to tilt :/ I will definitely be looking into the resources you linked! Once again thank you so much! 

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I am amazed you can create all these wonderful thing with pixlr! I started there, too :hyper:

I absolutely adore the colors and composition of *this signature, it's definitely my favorite.

Your gallery looks so nice and you are clearly so talented! 

Edited by love.story
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