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The Dark Arts

100th Chances Balancing on Broken Branches


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Guest dehlles

Hey Taylor! :D

 

Long time no see - though I know the absence on my part. :couch:

 

Anyways, I just wanted to come by and really praise you for how far you've come in your graphics. :thumbup: Even looking in the pylc thread, I can see you've made progress. I love your new graphics, especially your top banner, and the signature you just posted. :loves: I know you've been a Junior for a while, but it's still good to see you in JA blue. :halo:

 

 

Keep working hard and keep up the good work my friend. :fangirl:

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Heyyy, LB! <3 I’m here to give your gallery some love!

I love your stock use so much - as someone who lives and dies on stock, it’s so awesome to see it here. :wub:+this is probably my favorite graphic of yours - it’s absolutely lovely! I can’t wait to keep working with you! <3

 

I think my biggest comment in terms of constructive crit is really working to establish some consistency. You've got all the pieces (your text +here and +here is good, for example, but it's really hard to read +here and +here), you just need to apply them more reliably. Overall, though, you've got a lovely gallery. :D

Edited by abhorsen.
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Hi Taylor!! Wow! Great gallery! Im just snooping around trying to see everyones work and I must say I am loving your colors! I especially love your use of reds in your vertical banner. I just love it! Also I was wondering what font you used for the word sands in sands of fate? I hope its not too much to ask! Have a lovely day!

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omg your vertical banners are so bomb! i have such a hard time with comp on those but yours all look really cool :)

 

i also love +this banner, there's just something so magical about it!!! (no pun intended lol)

 

-Sankavi :caren:

Edited by &thereshegoes
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um, hello, i did not know vertical banners could be so awesome?

and yours are. i am supremely impressed. especially this+ one!

and this+ blend is just breathtaking. i love the composition and coloring.

keep up the amazing work!

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Hi there Taylor! I've seen a good few of your graphics around the site so it's just as well I'm dropping by!

 

You have some stunning pieces in here :wub: You have such a knack for vertical banners ohmy. And the colouring on this is wonderful! <3

 

Keep up the brilliant work!

 

Shona

Edited by Kirjava
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Hi Taylor!
First of all, I'm so jealous of your vertical banners and icons! The composition of both are incredible, especially considering how difficult they are to do! I love the way you incorporate the text into your icons. It works so well! I also love the simplicity of the comp of +this CI, as well as the b/w with a pop of colour!

I'm looking forward to seeing more of your stuff!

-Amy

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Hey Taylor, here with a quick pre-promo cleanout! Honestly, there's not really enough in here to do a real cleanout - you need to bulk up a few sections rather than clear out the less great graphics. We'd ideally like to see 3-6 banners/sigs/CIs and 1-2 icon sets and blends, especially making the jump from senior to grad (try to hit at least 4 of those 5 categories with 2+ graphics, and 1-2 with 4+). (Obviously this is just a guideline and not a firm rule, but I'd like to see a dozen or more solid graphics.)

That said, I would take out the icons and the signature, they're pretty basic compared to everything else, and try to replace them with stronger graphics (not necessarily an icon set and signature). Hope this helps, and feel free to pm if you have any questions!

-Cat

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Hi!!

I love how you use so many different fonts, it's so great to see! My favorite is +this banner because I can never get that font to work, and it looks so cool! Both the main text, and the lilypad. You also do vertical banners which is just jaw droppingly cool.

 

Can't wait to see more of your stuff, and to download alllllll of the fonts you use because they're so good!

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hellooooooo

 

I've been meaning to comment in your gallery for a while because of the title - it's an Amy MacDonald lyric and are you a massive fan like me???? or is it coincidence and now I look silly?

 

but on a real note your banners are so good, especially your vertical ones. your tut is so helpful and if I can achieve even 30% of your comp skills then I will be so happy!!

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hello name twin!!

 

your gallery is gorgeous - especially your vertical banners!! i've been meaning to try them but the size is weird and it makes me nervous, but you do them so well! i love your use of text and animation as well :loves: i definitely think my favorite graphics are your distance & heartache banner (the comppppppp <3 ) and the expecto patronum sig

 

i can't wait to see what else you come up with!!

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Hi Taylor!! It’s Dayna from the critique corner

First area to work on- when it comes to vertical banners, you have the text in almost the exact same place on the three of them. The way they’re placed makes it super obvious because they’re all right next to each other. So maybe play with composition a bit more on those, perhaps moving some people to the bottom of the top third, and then shifting your main text from almost dead center to a lower point just for some variety when it comes to looking at your galley.

In chapter images, I don’t know if this is intentional or not but the frame in your Winnie the Pooh CI disappears briefly. It’s an adorable CI, and I love the coloring on it. On ++this chapter image I feel like the blue of the text is very vibrant but the blue of Fleur is not so it just jolts out.

When it comes to coloring you’re not failing, so maybe just try to experiment more! Use gradient maps on exclusion or linear burn on lower opacities to really add something different. Your graphics tend to have yellow tones to them, perhaps go into selective color and change the neutrals or go to mixer and mess with some of the blue layers to tone that down if you want a different coloring. Most of your models are not completely off, but there is difference in the skin tone in a few graphics that could easily be fixed with a little more image prep.

I would also recommend working on spacing. On a few it’s like you have too many things on similar eye levels or too close to each other or the same size that it just feel heavy and crowded in that one area. Some people find using the grid when they’re composing a graphic helps a lot! It lets you see the different space and how you’re moving your eyes (especially with text) around. On your Teddy signature, the little model is really far off to the side and up in a corner it kind of throws the balance off.

 

Weakest graphics in my opinion: ++1 ++2 ++3

 

Let me know if you need any clarity, I hope this was helpful!

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Hi Taylor!

I decided to leave a quick reply on your gallery because you tricked me into it for Halloween! ;)

 

I love how much variety you have in your gallery! It is so impressive to me because I am a poster child for getting stuck in my ways. This is in reference to stock, texture, text, and people use, as well as graphic size. I love the experimentation you have with vertical banners. This is probably my favorite one. I love the coloring and soft filtering. It is also pretty well-balanced, and doesn't suffer from over-saturation. Of your other graphics, this is my favorite! But everyone knows I am a sucker for negative space. You handled the large graphic so well, and I would love to see more of these from you.

 

I'm glad I got to see more of your work and really take a look at it! :loves:

Catherine

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Hey Taylor!

 

It's been such a long time since I was here last!

 

And I love that you have so many new things since I was here last time anyway :D Loving your new graphics and I can absolutely see a style developing here which is so promising of a Senior Artist :D

 

Keep it coming, you're doing so well!

 

Shona

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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

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@bewitching. Gaby, Thank you so much for the critique. You gave me a lot to think about and some constructive areas for me to pay extra attention to. I will have to work more on contrast for sure, I already use b+w gradients on soft light and curves in all my coloring, so I may check out and see if there are some tutorials to improve it a bit more. Your comments were really helpful and appreciated.

 

@finxter365 Thank you so much for popping in and for your sweet comments. I love that bowtruckle sig too.

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