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About Deviant B. WyrmUnknown Group :iconchapterbychapter: ChapterByChapter
 
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Deviant for 6 Years
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Herene the magnificent :iconbluewyrm:Bluewyrm 1 0 The Awakening :iconbluewyrm:Bluewyrm 4 2 The dream eater :iconbluewyrm:Bluewyrm 2 0 Nasturtium Backgrounds :iconbluewyrm:Bluewyrm 4 0 Example for a thing :iconbluewyrm:Bluewyrm 2 0 It's a bat :iconbluewyrm:Bluewyrm 2 1 I bet you thought you were done with me :iconbluewyrm:Bluewyrm 2 1 Handy dandy photoshop brushes :iconbluewyrm:Bluewyrm 5 0 Scent :iconbluewyrm:Bluewyrm 1 0 As I want to be - but as I am :iconbluewyrm:Bluewyrm 2 2 Playing with sculptris :iconbluewyrm:Bluewyrm 1 1 Dark Elf :iconbluewyrm:Bluewyrm 3 0 Maximus fishing :iconbluewyrm:Bluewyrm 5 5 Ornament :iconbluewyrm:Bluewyrm 3 1 Snow (!) :iconbluewyrm:Bluewyrm 6 0 Ornery Little Critter :iconbluewyrm:Bluewyrm 11 3
From dragons to demons to aliens and more.

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Critiques


Some of the advice I give here makes the assumption you are using Photoshop, GIMP, or another photo-editing program. If you can get you...


(Note: I refer to arms/legs/feet etc. to make this easier to read) Composition: good! No comment there. Color selection and highlight/s...


Although I think there are probably a few more FAQ pages that need to be added to the list (the one about copyright violations, for one...

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Activity


If you see an account on CS, Tumblr, or most other websites named "benevolentwanderer", or an account named "Bennie" on Furvilla, Flight Rising, or another site with a low cap on the number of characters you can put in a username, it is probably me.

I pretty much don't look at DA anymore, although I do miss those of you I don't follow on other sites! Unfortunately, being a math+biology major comes with a really stiff workload, so I can only keep up with so many places in one day. (If anyone would like to meet some certified Mad Science Axolotl, though, I have pictures to share.)
  • Playing: Underwatch and Overtale... Or something like that?
Some of the advice I give here makes the assumption you are using Photoshop, GIMP, or another photo-editing program. If you can get your hands on Paint Tool SAI, its autoblending brushes make life a lot easier.

Basic color composition: Looks good! The yellow, green, and green-brown you chose go well together.

Anatomy: I suspect you used a photo reference? Be wary of relying too much on a photo; it tends to result in images that look right when close/far and wrong when far/close (Which combo varies.) Think more about the structure of limbs; even though pandas tend to look like a sack of potatoes, their limbs still have the same basic structure as ours, and you can see muscles and joints through the fur. Also, when shading, be sure that you're clear on what direction the fur faces. Detail shading should always match the direction hair lies, since it's the surface of the thin cone that reflects light.

Shading colors: Yellow highlights are good, but especially on low-saturation surfaces you need to use tonal shading or the subject will look unnatural. Shadow colors should be roughly complementary to the color of the light, in this case coming out to something purple. (The non-panda shading is the right colors.) The yellow specular highlights should be *lighter* than the base color of the surrounding fur. As is, they are darker - put a layer of pure no-saturation color set to the "saturation" layer mode to check for goofs like that.

Composition:
Don't put the focal point of an asymmetric composition on a center line. Rule of thirds would serve this well. For example, consider moving the angle to a lower POV so that the forest and foreground flowers play a bigger role on the composition and putting the panda's face in the upper right third. Why might this make for a more interesting image? (There's a lot more than one way you could make the composition more interesting; some of the ways can be done by a little judicious layer movement and a brief touch-up anywhere it looks weird.)

Brush technique/general technique:
0. Practice color sampling based blending. Better people before me have written excellent guides on this. I take most of my cues here from this tutorial: androidarts.com/art_tut.htm
1. Gaussian blur is not your friend. Use a soft-edged brush and blend using color sampling. As-is, the finely rendered blades of grass look totally out of place. Think of grass like fur, not a monotone plane. Add out-of-focus flowers individually using a very soft brush to draw a little blob or cluster of blobs, it will look much more convincing.
2. On grass, I like to work by laying down shadow, then adding midtones and highlights by stroking in the direction the blades point. The final step would be to add individual clumps/blades as you've done over the top. The grass under the trees in the background shows that you are already capable of this, just (probably) nervous about applying in bright areas.
3. Shading fur: First, lay down shadows and highlights using a low-opacity brush. Highlight+shadow fur parallel to the hair direction.
4. The androidarts guide really is excellent, do look at it. I feel way too pretentious to keep writing bc you'll probably get more out of just reading that than listening to me kvetch ;)

Focal plane:
Cameras and human eyes work the same in this respect: there is a distance at which an object is in focus, and all the objects ahead and behind that will be out of focus. The further they are from the 'focal plane,' the more they're out of focus. This is one reason the gaussian background falls flat - it occurs in *front* of the background trees which, like the panda itself, are in sharp focus. Likewise, the bamboo which passes from near-foreground to all the way behind the panda would not have edges that crisp.
Now, it isn't an issue to disregard focal plane entirely and just make everything in focus (although that can be visually distracting) but not following the natural pattern is jarring and immersion-breaking.

Use of burn/dodge brushes: I can't actually tell for sure that you've used them here, but if you did, keep in mind that they are veeeeeeeery strong tools, and you should avoid using them unless it's on an image with already-completed shading. They tend to zap the life out of paintings because of all the things they change in addition to how bright something is.
Smear brushes: Cont. the above disclaimer - smear brushes are a terrible substitute for sampling-blended shading. The face on fav.me/d4mwp4s demonstrates this.

Overall, you show a lot of promise; just keep truckin' and you'll get there eventually. This is a nice start.
(Note: I refer to arms/legs/feet etc. to make this easier to read)

Composition: good! No comment there. Color selection and highlight/shadow colors are all fine.

Anatomy-related: given that the bands on the tail have fur-textured edges, the bands on the arms should too, although to a lesser degree. (The little moon marking is fine though.) The extended arm looks a little clunky - it's too thick at the base compared to the other, and doesn't interact with perspective properly. Bending the paw inwards just a little would also give a minor compositional boost.
The toes on the visible foot seem too short - I think the division usually goes back further.
Lineart - your lineart is overall engaging and attractive. However, like the arm vs. tail bands, the lack of cheek fluff in front of the turned-away ear but there on the other is really strange looking. Also, the little line near the armpit of the folded arm doesn't make sense - fur should cover any muscle movement there. Adding a little floof to where the back of the arm joins the body instead would look better.

Consistency of technique: Some people might ding you for using super-shiny eyes, textured background, and fur stylized such that it has no surface texture in the same image. I think it looks pretty great. Might want to make the moon a little lighter, and make sure all the stars come out about round (some are little streaks?)

However... the grass is no good. Treat it just like you treat the fur - give it textural lineart, and don't bring out individual tufts/blades unless it adds visual interest. It's basically like stiff fur.
When drawing grass, pressure sensitivity is NOT your friend - grass blades have pointy tips and taper evenly down the entire length of the blade, not just at the end. Trying to get your brush settings to mimic this is a huge waste of your time. If you feel really strongly about showing individual blades in some spots, using a brush with constant diameter that fades out as you reach the tip is (bizarrely) more convincing looking.

Shading:
This may sting a little. As consolation, I suggest looking at some of my older pieces...
androidarts.com/art_tut.htm is very relevant, even though it's not geared towards cell-type shading methods.
1. Where is the light coming from
The moon? The moon and some other thing? We just don't know. The extended leg and the specular highlights in the eyes imply a bright light source forward-left side-above the center of the image, but this isn't shown elsewhere on the fur. This brings us to...
2. What shape is this cat
Shadows and highlights, *especially* in stylized but anatomically lifelike techniques like this one, give us our impression of dimensionality.
As is, most of the cat looks like a slightly folded cardboard cutout.
This is very difficult to explain by text. I learned how to do this by doing studies of sculptures and stuffed animals lit from the appropriate directions. This is basically the only way to learn it, unfortunately. The above link will probably be helpful.
The softness of the highlights is fine, but their placement is not.
3. Specular highlights on fur
...should always follow the direction of the hair shafts, not the contour of the body!!! There is nothing to make a sharp reflection there! Especially if (like the visible foot) there's something between the light source and the surface! This goes along with part 2, but it's what made me notice the shading issues in the first place. Leave the speculars off entirely; it'll mask other shading vagaries while you work the underlying kinks out.
4. Grass
Wow, am I pedantic. Grass. Anyway, leaves are translucent. The color you see when a leaf is between you and the direction of the light source will be a more saturated yellow-green. The more blueish highlights are usually reflections of the blue sky. The more you know.

Anyway, my overall feeling is that you're already most of the way to making REALLY awesome art. Your lineart speaks to an understanding of the shapes you're trying to show, and your overall visual idea is good, you just need to work on showing forms.
Due to changes in DA policy, I no longer post non-derivative content on this account, and thus don't check it very often. If you're curious what my original work looks like now, or want to come say hi, my tumblr is the place to go! I always have anon messages enabled, and I love hearing from you guys I am a dummy!

(...note: I don't actually have my recent original work posted yet. But soon!)

I think I've posted this message like six times already, but anyway. Here it is again.
  • Playing: Underwatch and Overtale... Or something like that?
Herene the magnificent
My art looks really different now??? Enjoy!

Portrait of one of my Flight Rising dragons, Herene

Due to changes in DA policy, I no longer post non-derivative content on this account. If you're curious what my original work looks like now, or want to come say hi, my tumblr is the place to go! I always have anon messages enabled, and I love hearing from you guys I am a dummy! 
Loading...
If you see an account on CS, Tumblr, or most other websites named "benevolentwanderer", or an account named "Bennie" on Furvilla, Flight Rising, or another site with a low cap on the number of characters you can put in a username, it is probably me.

I pretty much don't look at DA anymore, although I do miss those of you I don't follow on other sites! Unfortunately, being a math+biology major comes with a really stiff workload, so I can only keep up with so many places in one day. (If anyone would like to meet some certified Mad Science Axolotl, though, I have pictures to share.)
  • Playing: Underwatch and Overtale... Or something like that?

deviantID

Bluewyrm
B. Wyrm
Artist, writer, and math whiz.
Loves all things dragon.
Otherwise unremarkable.
------------------------------------------------
Hi there! I'm pleased to meet you.
I like to Oekaki, draw random dragons, and write.
Oh, and use lots of ...
I've been known to frequent the NDA Oekaki, which is where a lot of my art was originally created.
ummm... I don't really have much else to say here (My art's much more interesting than I am...)

-------
I really like advice on my art. No one's perfect the first time!
I'd love to do art trades - just ask!
-------

Note - RL friends, please don't use my RL name . Thank you ;)

Favourite genre of music: Classical (yeah, I know it doesn't match the above...)
Operating System: Windows
Personal Quote: "It's all good"
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Comments


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:iconhalfassprince:
HalfAssPrince Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hi!
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:iconaemiliuslives:
AEmiliusLives Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for faving my Jafar :thumbsup:
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:iconbrainmatters:
Brainmatters Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013
Thanks so much for the watch! :dummy: :heart:
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:iconarlunwyr:
Arlunwyr Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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:icondaisytex:
daisytex Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2013
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:iconbluewyrm:
Bluewyrm Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2013
You're welcome!
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:iconbaconmagic:
BaconMagic Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2013
Hi, it's been a while since we talked.
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:iconbluewyrm:
Bluewyrm Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2013
Hi!
I've been basically off DA for a few months now, which is why :( How're you doing?
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:iconbaconmagic:
BaconMagic Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2013
Well, I've been a little stressed lately, but otherwise everything's alright. And as you can see I finally started making art xD It does take me ages though.
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:iconbluewyrm:
Bluewyrm Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013
Don't worry too much about the time it takes; until about a year ago it took me well over a week to finish every piece. Now it usually takes me more like 2 or 3 working sessions rather than 6 or 7... but I have less time to work, so it comes out to the same :XD:
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