I have always been, and i think always will be in AWE of your work. Your style is something great to be desired, you capture the essense of characters very well, and especially in this piece. I cant quite pinpoint what is it about the way you draw but to me it just seems to scream Harry Potter. Whether that is because of the similarities between your style and the book cover artists (in the UK anyway) I think it is fantastic.
In this piece inparticular, I think James posture on the chair is brilliant, laid back and yet reaching for Lily. Lily's head on his with them both smiling makes you wonder what they are whispering to eachother..
The one negative thing for me that I have to agree with the other critic is that if James' elbow was in front of that lantern the light would not be shining through his arm, there would be much more shadow. Use a reference if you can, I know that sometimes you might just be drawing because you want to not for the accuracy, even if you get a family member doing that pose infront of a lamp just to see how the shadow falls.
Hello there viria13! This is your friendly GamerDeeJay here doing a critique on your piece of...fan art right? (It's Harry Potter right? Yeesh I dunno...) Anyways, this is combo breaker critique as I usually do Anthro critiques so bear with me here. Now I will say this, I will go quite in-depth with this critique and I *may* be blunt at times. But keep a stiff upper lip, grab a notepad for some note-taking and let us begin...
Vision: 4.5 Stars, but why? +1 Star: HOLY CRAP THIS IS A NICE PIECE. *Ahem* Sorry, had to get that out of the way. I does look quite good though...at first glance, but we'll get to that. Don't worry. +2 Stars: You set up this picture so you can practically feel the emotion. The colors are warm, not overbearing. The poses of James and Lily are *nearly* perfect for a scene like this. And to top it off it's in a library. Aw, how romantic. *shot* +1 Star: Effectively showing two characters in love is always worth a star in my book. (No pun intended.) However, whether they *are* in love in the actual Harry Potter series is a good question. (Seeing as though I'm not much of a fan of the series or any fan-fiction about it.) +0.5 Star: Just the fact that you went through an extra bit of trouble to line out...every. Single. Book. Nice work! However... -0.5 Star: I notice some flaws in the picture some small, and one BIG one. But we'll get to that in the 'Technique' section, that's what's holding the vision back though. Sorry.
Advice: Y'know I really don't have much to say here. Maybe take your time to look over the picture for mistakes. Art isn't a race, well not for me anyway. I dunno if you reach a certain point in popularity you have to dish out deviations every week. Man I hope not. So just take things slow and maybe you'll be able to see some of the mistakes and fix them before posting it here. Just a thought.
Originality: 3.5 Stars, but why? +1 Star: Two teens in love. Seen it. Two teens in love in a library. Not something I come across everyday. +1 Star: You picked a good pose choice for both of them, and if they were say, standing or sitting at a table next to each other I don't think you'd get the same effect. In short, nice execution. +1.5 Stars: Your style. I like it, and yet I don't at the same time. What I like is emphasizes on warm colors and you know how to set the mood. But... -0.5 Star: ...your style also revolves around look at this, but not too closely. And I have a preference for things being well-aligned and straight in pictures. So your lines are a bit...wobbly in places especially with the books. As I said before, it looks good...at first glance. -1 Star: I am a big promoter of original art. That said, anything that has to do with fan art, I look down upon. And lurking around dA I notice that it can be the only sure fire way to get pageviews and noticed. And that's very...unfortunate. This isn't about you in any way, somebody could paint the Mona Lisa version of some mainstream thing and I would still dock a star from 'Originality'. Nothing's purely original unless the idea comes from you, in my honest opinion.
Advice: Again, I got nothing to say. And after my little mini-rant about fan art; all I can say is do whatever you think is original. Even if that means making more fan art.
Technique: 3 Stars, but why? +1 Star: Everything mentioned so far; nice colors, good poses, effort was involved in a lot of this, and so on and so on. +1 Star: Your grasp of folds in clothing and proper posing is better than mine. Good job on that. +1 Star: I see some small details were added here and there. Scribbles on paper, some stains on the books, etc. -1 Star: Minor flaws, which I'll explain in the quick version. Lily Right arm is...not right. Seems a bit too thin, and the forearm is down farther than it should be. I believe the elbow should be parallel with the folds with her shirt, to correct it. Right hand...I have no idea what she's doing with it, but it looks a bit uncomfortable from this angle. It might have been a good idea to have Lily's hand rest on Jame's shoulder. Not only to convey an extra feel of emotion, but also so that it could have been easier to draw. But that's just me.
Left knee could've used a line of detail like you did with the left. Minor detail, but it adds a bit of depth.
Dramatic hair color change near her torso area. If it's like that in the books/movie then okay. If not, well, now you know.
James Right arm, his forearm is bigger than the upper arm.
Collar, the right side is smaller in comparison to the left.
Whatever folds is happening by the shoulder it's not...wait is that Lily's hand??? Ehhhhhhh...okay. Well it's doesn't look like how a hand would bend and contort when placed at the shoulder area. Use references to help you with these complex areas.
Overall Wobbly lines, whether it's your style or whatever everything looks better when it's straight and orderly, and by 'everything' I mean inanimate objects (books, tables, etc.). It also helps to be symmetrical with them as well (looking at the lamp for this one).
Folds, I'm just learning the concepts from these but judging from my recent studies (and a few resources), they bend and contort to the body. That said most your lines for the folds are fairly straight, and sort of throw off the depth of the characters. Especially on James's right arm and the coat on the chair (or whatever it is). Proper shading can also help define a character more when lines cannot. Just something to keep in mind.
Books, looked rushed at some spots and have some alignment problems. Some books on the top shelf and bottom shelf are wrong perspective-wise. I can see the colors go past the lines in some of the books, and the lines are, well, wobbly. Texture on them are kind of blech-looking, and I think a simple smudging with a darker color might have been better. All this is completely understandable, as doing the same thing over and over can be tiresome; but that doesn't mean you can't skimp out on quality, right?
-1 Star: The light source. WHERE IS IT COMING FROM? The lamp? Funny, then James's front shouldn't be as illuminated as it is. From above? Okay, then more of the scene should be illuminated at the bottom. Also the light source varies from bright to not as bright RIGHT NEXT TO IT. Whaaaat? This can clearly be seen on the ladder. There are splotches of shading on James's forearm that cut off suddenly. Lastly, the light doesn't conform to the characters or the books, it looks like you just painted over them instead of painting with them. Light gets blocked, bounced, reflected, and absorbed; which produces the effects of shading and shadows; which are things this picture seems to be lacking in.
Advice: Use references, always determine where your light source is and shade the picture accordingly. And just because the picture is set in the Harry Potter universe, doesn't mean light is 'magical' and be wherever it wants to be. So practice up on that. Also watch your anatomy, and use references.
Impact: 3.5 Stars, but why? +1 Star: I'll say it again it looks nice, and shows good amounts of emotion. +1 Star: Looking at the actual deviation page, I see it impacted lots of other people...so majority rules. Add a star. +1 Star: I wrote a nearly 1600 word critique for this deviation. There's a lot of impact happening on me because of it. You're welcome by the way. -0.5 Star: It's fan art. And fan art just doesn't resonate with me. Harsh? Maybe. But that's how I am, and I'm not a fan of fan art. -1 Star: The fact that the piece looks nice at first and then when you stare at it you see flaws here and there. Fix the mistakes I mentioned, work on the linework and try to be consistent throughout the drawing and you'll just fine in the future.
Advice Work on the mistakes I've mentioned and use references for everything. Trust me it helps. I may not be a fan of fan art but it leaves bigger impressions on other people. Don't let me discourage you.
So I leave off saying it's been fun dissecting your deviation like a frog in a science lab. Sorry again for seeming a bit harsh at some points, but it is to help you improve, right? Just remember to strive for improving your art first, and then impressing people second. Take things slow and triple-check everything so that it looks right. Take my advice into consideration, practice more, use references, and look forward to a future of better artwork!
And to that I say good luck to your future artistic endeavors!
p.s. This critique was requested by one of my friends, because apparently I'm good at critiquing. So you can thank her for bringing your deviation to my attention. By the way thanks for the opportunity!
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