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November 1, 2012
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Dragon by the Water - Commission by Dizzie-Dog Dragon by the Water - Commission by Dizzie-Dog
Woah, new submission page o_o;. I really aughta do more stuff so I can submit things without being faced with massive surprises all the time XP...

ANYWAY, this is a long overdue commission I did for ~SilverMelee, it took me way longer to complete this than it should've due to various reasons, and I have apologized to him for that, but despite that I am really really happy with the end result of this. I did actually complete this and show it to him earlier in the month, but due to university and stuff I... well, ok, i'll be honest, I forgot to upload it here, derp XP;.

Anyways (x2), this is a 10 commission (which was donated to WSPA as he requested, I kept none of the money) and he asked me for a drawing of his character, Sharon, in a flowery forest setting, and he left me to decide how to arrange it, just so long as it was clear she was having fun.

This has definitely been a huge challenge for me, as you should all well know that me and environment design don't exactly see eye to eye XD;. But I certainly learned a whole lot from this, my favourite part being the trees in the background and the fog giving the perception of depth, I really like that effect, and I also like how the texture on the tree in the foreground came out too, that was probably the most enjoyable part to paint XD.

My least favourite part however, is the river, especially where is bends as it looks a little flat where the perspective has gone wrong, and the highlights don't look particularly convincing. The grass on the edge surrounding it looks a big blech too, I should've spent a bit more time tidying that up XP. I like how the roots of the tree in the background under the water look though.

In all though, I'm very pleased with this, it was certainly a lot of hard work, and required a lot of trial and error trying to get things to look right, and even still there are a lot of things that could be done to be improved on this, but given how long I'd made Melee wait for this, I figured it wouldn't be fair to make him wait any longer than he already had after how patient he had been with me. I did promise to make up to him for how long I made him wait by doing something additional for him, but I'll have to wait until I have some time from uni in order to work on that.

Aside from that, this has pretty much taught me that I really need to work on my backgrounds more, I always say that I need to push myself to improve on them, but I end up avoiding them anyway, which is bad XP;. It's something I'll need to be doing for my final uni projects though, so that'll probably be the push I need to actually get on and work on them so I might actually have some good work to show by the end of it XD;.

Oh yeah, and I know some of Sharon's anatomy is a bit off, that pose was a lot harder than it looks because of the perspective of it XD;. I remember being tackled with a pose like that in a life drawing session the once and got really frustrated by it XD;. Like with the backgrounds though, can't just keep avoiding it otherwise I'll never improve, ahah.

Well, I think I've prattled on enough already, I know you've already given you're opinion on it already, ~SilverMelee, and I'm glad you like it =3, but feel free to hit me with any other comments you have about it, I'll welcome them. Also, I know you're currently struggling with the hurricane issue, and I hope you're doing alright, but whenever you get the chance note me your email address and I'll send you the full sized, full quality version =3.

Oh, and in case anyone was wondering, I'm currently not taking any more commissions (which reminds me, I'll have to update my journal about that...) as I have university now, and I'm not sure when I'll be re-opening them, but if anyone's interested I'll keep you in mind =).

Sharon :iconsilvermelee:
:iconsilvermelee:
I really love how you shaded Sharon - the brush strokes are very nice looking and I like how detailed it is in places (especially the face and left arm). I especially love how the texture makes it look like an actual paintbrush was used so the shading has a rough look to it, but not too rough. The way you did the trees is really nice, too - it definitely shows off the uneven surfaces and gives off a lot of detail.

Another thing I love here is your distribution of colors and making sure one color doesn't overpower the others, and not just in the foreground, but I even noticed the specks representing flowers in the background, too. It's all brightly colored and really helps the forest stand out. Speaking of colors and the forest, I also especially love how you did the grass - it obviously took a lot of work to do all of those blades and it shows. Not only that, but the trees in the back are done wonderfully and I love the fog effect you used for the ones that are really far back - that and the colors you chose for the back actually make me think of a nice, warm, welcoming morning vibe. I don't know if that's what you intended, but it goes wonderfully with the general theme of the pic. Also, while I personally think you could've stood to add a few sections of leaves along the very top of the picture (mostly to give those trees in the back a little something extra to work with), it would've only been a minor improvement and the forest stands fine on its own without them.

Given that you've never drawn a pose like this before, I'll cut you some slack on most of the anatomy issues (really, I doubt I could do any better with my abilities), but there are some key areas that I feel you should focus on for future reference: The area that sticks out the most would be her feet in that they're far smaller than they really should be, even with this kind of pose. In fact, I'd say it's not so much an anatomy issue as it is a perspective/distance issue; I know you have problems with perspective and I know I gave you some advice regarding that a few months ago, though I feel you may have taken it too much to heart here. Getting it right is difficult, I know, but I have faith that you'll get it right in due time. On the topic of body parts that are smaller than they really should be, Sharon's left hand looks awfully small compared to her right. I feel the hand altogether should be a bit larger and the fingers a little longer. Only a little, though. Those are the only character flaws that I feel could've been done better.

Another thing I would like mention is that while I very much enjoy your shading and your brush strokes, I really think you should look into textures more. While it's obvious you put a lot of detail into this (such as the bark on the trees), I also feel as if everything looks rather smooth here even when it isn't supposed to be (again, the bark on the trees come to mind, though Sharon's clothes and the rope around her waist are also worth mentioning). Obviously, tree bark is pretty hard to emulate, though cloth, hair, and...er, whatever rope is made of... don't take too much effort to mimic. I usually try to use things like smudging, filters, or both - it depends on what I'm trying to apply texture and detail to - but you might find an easier/more comfortable method. Start with small stuff like that and work your way up.

The last criticism I have lies in the background shading. Compared to Sharon, there doesn't really seem to much of it, and most of what I can see doesn't quite seem consistent with the shading on Sharon - the trees, for example, should be significantly darker on one side and/or lighter on the other, if the shading on Sharon is any indication. The effect is particularly jarring with the flowers on the vines. Yes, the colorful effects are nice, but the lack of shading on the flowers (and on the vine itself where the flowers are meant to be blooming from) makes it feel as if they were tacked-on; a last minute addition, if you will. That's a real shame, considering the vine itself actually does have really nice shading otherwise. Just remember that for future reference, everything has a shadow of some sort, and don't forget about your light source(s).

I know all of this criticism might come off as a little harsh and make me sound like an ingrate, but I really do like the picture overall and I still believe I was right to give you my money. I like your work and I feel you've come a long way since the days when I was still on Yoshi Lore - I want see you improve even further. I have faith in your abilities, and that's why I'm writing this critique - after all, if I didn't have faith in you, I never would've commissioned you in the first place, and by extension I wouldn't even be writing this critique (after all, there's no point in telling all of this to a lost cause who cannot, or will not, improve). I only hope you would do the same for me if the situation arose.
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:iconsilvermelee:
SilverMelee Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, that new submission page threw me off, too. I really should consider reading those updates the dA staff post in my inbox...

Anyway, since you're requesting critique, I'm going to spare much of my commentary on the pic here so the critique I'm writing will have a bit more oomph to it (expect that to be posted soon enough). I will say, though, that it definitely shows that you put a lot of time and effort into this pic, and that I stand by my position that I was right to not give up on you. I'm glad I got to commission you again, and hey; I didn't make you draw a crossdressing reptile this time.

Thanks again.
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:iconblueyosh:
Blueyosh Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2012  Student General Artist
0_0 Wow--You amaze me! True I haven't commented on your work before but Im not sure what to say--I guess your work leaves me speechless XD
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:icongamefreak38:
GameFreak38 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2012  Professional Writer
It is quite a beautiful picture and your effort really shows in the work. Well done!
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