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unfold your lovejuly 4

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#37 ferlybadinage


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Posted 27 December 2015 - 06:43 AM

I've come to squee you (any excuse to be in your gallery, really)

First off, you have made new things *attempts to steal* and they are ALL amazing!

So I have only just gotten into Star Wars, and I can still appreciate the beauty of your new set, as well as the other new sig and the DA Digest header you made. Gorgeous blending and colouring! Perfect filtering. Composition is love ♥.

Your new banners are beautiful, I especially love +this - everything about it is gorgeous. I particularly love the comp (seriously, your composition is so on point right now!) and the text.

And your header for your UC entry? Wow. Just, wow. Seriously, girl, you're really going places. Teach me your ways??? Haha!

So basically, I love you a lot, and never stop doing what you're doing. ♥

Edit: Yayyy new page! :D

Edited by ferlybadinage, 27 December 2015 - 06:43 AM.

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#38 miss atomic bomb

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 07:07 PM

so well deserved, alison <3 i love your coloring, so dark and bright and colorful :wub:


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#39 ferlybadinage


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Posted 03 January 2016 - 07:21 PM

Can you SEE how awkward it would have been if you didn't get promoted?
I made a thingy and everything (Luckily I think everyone likes Star Wars, sooo.. All good ;))




Told you so

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#40 beyond the rain

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 07:43 PM



here have an OH, mickey & judy promo gift (this picture was of an award night of sorts....so i felt it was appropriate to use ;)



have fun rocking that new shade of blue! 

// hey i'm bex // MY TUMBLR (M) // semi available - PM first //  that's all (M)


#41 dope.amine

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 07:44 PM

Hey there! Congrats on making senior, everything in here is to die for!!

I come bearing (extremely lazy) gifts! :sean:


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ami. 22. ninja cat.

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#42 choobacca


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Posted 03 January 2016 - 09:39 PM

oh my gosh i am awful and have waited WAY too long to answer these. i suck. bleh.


thank you everyone for the squees and kind words and general love  :loves:  the support is astounding and i feel grateful for it every day!


and thank you for the gifts Cat, Vashti, Bex, and Ami :"D the joy is overwhelming  :glomp:

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#43 accursed.


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Posted 04 January 2016 - 01:00 AM




!!senior senior senior!!


congrats on the promotion!! <3 

teach me how you do banners! :wub:

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#44 atė!


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Posted 04 January 2016 - 07:07 AM

Alison... what can I say to you?

Your improving by the day and your whole gallery is

so stunning I want to cry D: Your colouring is ace. I

can't even believe some of your works! Your playlist

header for example, I mean what is that?!?! And your

composition? Gimme that talent please :hug:


so very very very well deserved my love <3

That's why I got this little something for you ;)


Enjoy your new shade of blue.. well once you come back

from being pink that is ;)

All the love from Sally :loves:

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#45 miss atomic bomb

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 12:24 AM

also, the coloring on +this banner is stunning and the set you made for vashti is super adorable. 

Edited by angelica., 12 January 2016 - 12:25 AM.


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#46 miss atomic bomb

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 06:02 PM

hey alison, finally here with your requested crit (:
comp - is great but also where I can see room for improvement. on some of the banners, you're missing a clear focal point so my eyes don't know what to land on. like on +the rose weasley banner, the girl on the left is closer to the text and she's also larger with a more dynamic expression on her face, but the girl on the right is brighter and looking directly at me, so my eyes go to her first even though she's less important, since she's smaller and so far on the side. if you switched the two images, and had the smiling one smaller and on the side (probably closer to the text), and the other one a bit larger and more in the middle, it would be more effective. I absolutely love the background on that one, very nicely done. 
or on +team banner, the text is super bright compared to everything else, and then the woman is comparatively dark and looking away from the text, actually right off the right side of the banner. 
other thing to think about with comp is balance. like on the +necrophobia banner,  the image placement is really great- clear focal point and creative image placement, with enough going on 
every else so that it's interesting, but half the banner has very warm red/orange coloring, and the other half is very gray/blue. coloring doesn't need to be the same across the whole graphic, of course, but  try to have colors appear on more than one part of the graphic. on the 'team' banner, there are pops of blue on both sides of the banner and warm orangish coloring on the whole thing as well, so the coloring looks more balanced. and I recall talking about the other CI in another thread so I'll skip that.
love the comp on the first satisfied CI (I think that's my favorite thing in your gallery, tbh, the coloring and text and comp are just awesome). the comp is nicely balanced, there's a clear focal point, really great contrast. the only thing I would change, which is super nitpicky, would be to adjust the line 'i just might' so that the I is on the other side of the g in night, since might is a bit hard to read and goes much further to the right than the rest of the text. the second satisfied CI isn't working as well for me- feels rather unbalanced, with one side so dark and the other super light, which makes the text hard to read. the coloring's nice, image quality not so great. 
for most of the sigs, comp is fine but kind of repetive between them. pretty much everything is centered. and they all have two images of the same person, one larger, one smaller :P coloring is really great on all of them- you do contrasting coloring really well. 
well that went on way longer than I planned on oops. anyway, tl;dr for comp - eyes go first to text, faces, bright things, and warm colored things in the middle of graphics, so make sure the things that are bright or warm or in the middle are the things you want people to be seeing most easily,
ok, text. main thing is making sure fonts match the rest of the image. +on the rey sig, the main font is great - the italics work really well, it's simple but still interesting- but the smaller font doesn't work as well- it's hard to pull of fancy/script fonts in smaller sizes. feels a bit too fancy for the rest of the graphic, especially with how grungy rey looks. main text on the +snape blend is almost too whimsical for how sad it is, with the curls on the Os in look, if that makes any sense. I really like the text on the +jessica jones sig too, the fonts all go together nicely. 'Jones' could be bigger, but I really like the red, and I'd also fiddle with the placement of 'born a hero'- disappears a bit at the end, into the background, and gets a little too close to her chin. on the last two banners, the graphics are very old fashioned looking, but the text is more modern looking.
also keep an eye on text color. usually you pick good colors (black sheep banner, survivors banner, first satisfied CI, pretty much all of the sigs). and then on the necrophobia banner, orange text might work really well, and help with the balance thing, and on the rose weasley banner, the text is a bit hard to read since 'rose weasley' is green text on a green background, and 'guide to life' is brorange on cream. very light (not white, but eyedroppered from the highlights on her face maybe) text with a drop shadow/dark blue or brown brushed on behind it would probably work pretty well. 
clean out - I would say the last three banners, second satisfied CI, and snape blend should probably go. 
make more - of everything :P things with hamilton lyrics :P  icons! why don't you have any icons?? totally understand they're evil. but make some anyway. 
I hope this is at all helpful or at least makes some sense/isn't too rambling and incoherent. feel free to pm me or whatever if you want clarification or anything :)


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#47 atė!


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Posted 04 February 2016 - 07:57 AM

Hi Alison! I'm sorry this is so super close to promos :( I really wanted to get

my critiques done earlier but somehow didn't get around to doing that earlier..

so since you've already got so many great things going on in your gallery I'll

just hop from technique to technique.

1. Cookies
WOWZAH that improvement. Can anyone scream talent because this is what

oozes from your gallery! It can't even be compared to your gallery in December/

November, because you've risen into a whole other league! Go Alison!
I really love your colouring. It's so soft and shiny and spot on. A lot of artists

suffer from chronic too high/low white balance but I think it's really good in your

graphics <3
I also adore your composition. you're experimenting a lot and I think this is what

really brings you further. And your use of stock: GORGEOUS!!!

2. Spices
So while your graphics all look really soft I think you should pay attention to over

filtering a bit. Some of your graphics look too smooth and more like a painting

than a anything else - all the details of skin and hairs get lost in the filtering process

and I think toning it down a bit could make your graphics stand out more. For

example your first banner (the leaves, flowers and the girls' skin doesn't look real

anymore), your survivors banner (a bit over filtered also), your third CI and your

Snape blend. It's definitely not a big issue, but I think the graphics would profit

from being a bit more sharpened and 'real'.
Text: this is the second issue in my opinion. A lot of your fonts look really playful

and sometimes even a bit childish - and I think your graphics in comparison are

too elegant for those kind of fonts. I really like the ones you used on your first, third

and fourth banner, your first and third CI and your second and third sig. I really like

your second banner in terms of colouring, but the text unfortunately is super hard

to read. Also the proportions of the initial N and the rest of the text seems not right -

the N is great I think but the rest is too tiny. I'd also suggest you to change the font.

Here especially it looks super girly, curly and I don't think that goes well with the

overall feel of the banner. maybe something gothic could work? I think you could go

with something curly as long as its elegant, since that would still fit to the atmosphere (:

For your second CI in contrast I don't think it's the font that is a slight problem here,

but the fact that it's really hard to read because of the colour. Maybe you could try a

drop shadow (like you did on your first CI where the text is perfect) and/or change

the colour to the orange that's present in the CI? I think that could work well.
Lastly, blending: I think you're already really good at that. Your hard cutting is gorgeous

and your blending of stock is amazing. Just sometimes be careful not to make the

hard cuts too hard. Especially when you have a character with dark hair and a super

light background - when you hard cut there it can seem like it's not really part of the

graphic but just stuck to the top. If you take your third and fifth Ci for example you

have a nice contrast - in the third one the blending is super smooth - you can see

the tiny hairs and details, while in the fifth it's a pretty strong hard cut (I can imagine

that this type of curly hair is a huge pain, but maybe a darker background could take

the attention off that fact?) - your blending on your second signature is super smooth

and perfect for example! The girls really look like they belong smack into the graphic!
White lights: In some of your graphics you used white lights as highlights, and while

that looks super amazing on some (first sig, first &fourth & fifth CI) it can be a bit

overbearing on others (too strong on second and especially third CI - there you can

see different rings on the white blob's edges - that's always a sign that it's a bit much).

So be careful with that ;)

So as you can see I only nitpicked - your improvement is super big and you're

rising through the ranks. I'm super impressed with your work. You don't have too

much in your gallery so far so I won't suggest a clean out for you ;)
I think if you pay attention to your filtering (don't overuse it ;)) and your text, your

graphics are already going to improve so much! :loves:
I'm really proud of you and can't wait to see more! And I'll definitely be a better

friend and try answering your messages without a month long wait after my exams

are done <3
Muchos lovos from Sally :hug:

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#48 snicket!


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Posted 01 March 2016 - 07:43 AM

hi alison, i'm here with your crit~ im gonna just get into it :sean: you listed your weak points as composition/focal point & text, so i'm gonna start there and see what comes up ^_^
(also because i write this over the course of a few days, some of your graphics in this crit are gone D: but the points still remain so.)

tbh this feels like such a minor thing looking through your gallery; i can see where you're getting issues with focal points just as much as i can see you doing them perfectly :P i think the biggest issue you have a tiny bit of text placement when it comes to focal points. strictly speaking, graphics tend to look more cohesive when the text uhh flows with the graphic, as you know, and you can really achieve this easily by having your person look in the same direction, i.e., you do that brilliantly +here; it pulls the graphic together pretty easily. however, looking at your two last banners, you sort of miss the chance to use easy text placement ;D for example, +here, if you put the text in that space between MBJ2 and MBJ3 (rather than in the gap on the left of MBJ2 - oh god i hope this makes sense) you'd have every person in the graphic looking towards that space, you know? i can explain in more detail if you need me to :mellow: you have a similar issue +here wher you have the text down on the left when there's a big empty space above Tiny Clarice where the text might have fit nicely (especially if you'd put it under the square-border-thing, to add a little depth) equally, we tend to look at the lightest parts of a graphic - +here, therefore, it might have been easier to have the text on the left rather than tucking it up on the right in a dark spot. basically, focal points, when it comes to text, is a lot of work lmao, but a good rule of thumb is that light spots + eyeline is a good way to make things easier. it's not a hard and fast rule, but it does help a lot :') equally, it helps with picture choice (sometimes i flip people horizontally to make them look in the right direction and it helps, you know?) you have this down a lot more on your cis (i.e +here and +here, so i think maybe something about the horizontal-ness of banners is just throwing you off slightly :P overall, look for light spots and try putting the text in the direction that your models are looking in to have a more cohesive focal point ^_^

also wow that was a text block i'm sorry i'm so sorry

text :sean:
i'm not gonna cover text placement because i just did that \o/ i am, however, gonna talk about text colour D: although for the most part i think you have it down, i think sometimes you pick a colour that's slightly too similar to the background and that makes it blend it too much D: for example, +here, the blue-green text blends it in very much with the background, aand i think it's great that you have it picked up from something on the graphic, but it also means it blends in heavily WITH the black-blue-white girl, so it might have been easier to pick something a little brighter from somewhere else on the graphic (maybe the red of those flowers?). basically, it's not a big thing but it's still prevalent. also, i see you seem to favour blue text an awful lot- maybe because your colouring leans towards blue?- and that's fine, but it might be nice to experiment a little? text like +this is great because it stands out and it's readable without being overwhelming; maybe when you compose and colouring your graphic you can start thinking about where the colours are and what colour your text could be- sometimes i cheat with this and i'll brush, like, purple somewhere underneath all my colouring layers, so that i can have purple text without it seeming weird :mellow: but basically you have this down in a lot of your other graphics - like +this one so it's just a case of working on your banners maybe :^)

this isn't so much a giant crit section like the above as it is a minor warning lmao. basically i see you filter (i assume you use topaz? or sometimes surface blur?)) and i think sometimes you use your filtering brilliantly i.e. +here but sometimes you lose your detail on your smaller people like +here and the third MBJ +here- you see how her eyes/mouth are blurry in the first, and how he has no highlights in the second? as i filter really badly lmao, i can't really give as much advice related to this except to watch out for it and definitely maybe erase from the details on smaller people- eyes, mouth, etc. i know you can make it work because +this girl looks great, so whatever you did there is great. :') similarly, i can see you favour blue-orange colouring a lot and while it's great you've found something that works, you should definitely try changing it up D: don't make me ban you from using it :| i know it's tough to try new colouring and when it comes down to it, the best thing to do is to work out what you're using to get that effect (gradient map?) and change one of the colours :') try purple/orange or orange/green or green/red for your complimentary colours instead for a while and see what happens ^_^ you've done great colouring +here so i know you can do it :P basically, watch out for filtering on tiny people and work on other colouring options

first of all, after that, you still have a rad gallery so good job on that \o/ honestly, i think a lot of your issues are, on some level, really kind of minor and just the sot of thing that gets polished up with practise like fitting in text properly & experimenting with colour, so the best thing you can always do is make more graphics :P if you wanna send me things to crit or whatever, i am always down for that ofc, but otherwise shoot me any questions you might have if you want bc i'm always down to help c:

Edited by page thirteen., 01 March 2016 - 07:44 AM.

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#49 blob.

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Posted 01 March 2016 - 11:49 AM

Hello Alison! Marie here from the quick crit thread! :queen:
I really like your colouring. Like seriously it's gorgeous :loves: your cis are also really pretty and I think your comp is generally really creative and cute! :dumbles: however sometimes, I'm not quite sure whether it's colouring or filtering but you get these like white patches on the people (here+ and here+ for examples) which kinda bring down the overall standard/quality of the graphic :humph: . That might just be me though. On the whole I am literally in love with your stock use however in this banner it looks really cluttered. Very unlike the banner beneath it which is really smooth and flowy and the focal point is pretty clear. The main guy also looks kinda flat :humph: . I'm gonna be a bit blunt here but in this+ I think what's throwing me off is the fact that the smaller girl is miles away from the bigger girl and the title. I think that if you moved the smaller girl in closer to the title, then that would fix that :dumbles:. Now for the squees because it's more important to know what you're doing amazingly well with :edward:
this majestic beauty because I love the colouring and simplicity :loves:
this cute little siggie because I love the comp and text :yes:
another colourful work of art because the text and colours are really strong :queen:
this beautifully creative ci because I love the tiny scorp :loves:
this striking thing just because

Bye! :dumbles:

~y'all can call me Marie~


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#50 endlessly.


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Posted 06 March 2016 - 10:08 AM

Hey Alison! BEXESS here with some esstastically bextacular crit! Before we begin let’s take a look at some of your stronger pieces in your gallery (before we begin with the critique).  First off, this chapter image is lovely! The colours, and composition work very well, and the text is placed brilliantly, it’s very creative. Another piece that stands out is this signature. The colouring is really pretty and the lighting is great. Lastly, this signature is a very strong piece of yours. The colour of the text fits, the composition is strong and the stock flows very well. 
You asked for us to do some good cop/bad cop crit, so this is what we’re going to try (please bear with us, this is our first attempt at this kind of crit!). You won’t know who’s what cop, that’s just the mystery of bexess crit! Just for clarification though GC = good cop & BC = bad cop. 
BC – An issue that needs to be addressed with text is your font choice. In several pieces your text looks very last minute because the font doesn't suit the graphic. For example here the text is completely inconsistent with the rest of the piece. Text is just as important, if not one of the most important aspects of a graphic. It’s showing people what your graphic is about; it’s telling the story of your graphic. The words and font choice has to relate to the mood, colouring and composition. I think stock pieces should usually have scriptier more, traditional fonts rather than edgy modern fonts which are better suited to textures. This is something you need to work on as your text makes your graphics lack the cohesiveness that they need. 
BC – Another thing I've noticed with text that seems to be an issue, is the colours you choose.  Sometimes you choose well, i.e here, however in graphics like this and here the text is unreadable, mainly due to the colour. The general rule of thumb is, if where you’re placing the text is light, make the text dark – and vice versa. Additionally, when choosing a colour for a drop shadow, choose a dark colour from the graphic. If it doesn't work, or stands out – then you remove it or move the text somewhere else so that it’s readable. Remember like I said, text isn't a separate thing – it has to work with the rest of the graphic. 
GC - While it's brilliant that you tend to choose a colour for your text from the graphic itself I do think that perhaps it's not always on key with the rest of the graphic. Like in this banner, I do love the soft romantic vibe you went with for the text I just think that that it doesn't go well with Lily and James. Even picking a colouring from her hair or the leaf she's holding would have really pulled the composition of the piece together which is honestly what the end goal of any graphic is. I know how hard and time consuming text is and it's something we all would rather not deal with but text is a very important aspect of the sort of graphics we do here on tda and we must ensure everything works well with everything else. Another issue you might need to address is text placement, again I know how time consuming it is to have to sit there trying to figure out where to put it, you still need to make sure that it's in the perfect place. The same rule applies to HOW much text your putting onto a canvas, try not to overdo it like you've done in pieces like this. There is so much going on in that banner that I don't really know where I'm supposed to be looking and the text is literally everywhere. I know when we have to fit in a lot of text it makes us want to cry (don't worry I cry when it happens too) If that's the case, it's best not to make the background composition too busy or ensure when you're building your canvas that you leave room for text later on. One last piece of advice from Miss GC is about effects! While I loveeee that you're already experimenting with drop shadows and gradients with your text sometimes it simply doesn't fit in with the rest of the graphic like this and this . Both banners don't even really need a drop shadow going. What I would have done is using a small white stroke, or even an outer glow. Whenever you get the chance go play around with all of those delightful text options that PS has to offer. You'll realize there are some you haven't even thought of using yet (and experimentation is best) Always make sure that you text choice suits the graphic itself, if you're still having some problems walk away for a little while and you'll see the graphic from an entirely new perspective when you come back (: 
BC – I think, first of all, what needs to be focused on is how a lot of your bases are quite busy. For example in this there is far too much going on. There’s some things that don’t even get noticed in that banner – take the candles for instance. Speaking of, the candles don’t really fit with the banner. When using stock, make sure the images and their placement match. For example those candles are put over greenery – they’d really be seen in an indoor stock banner, or they’d be lower down and out of the way of the leaves. The clock is way too high and conflicts with Idris Elba and the text, so I don’t know what the focal point is or where to look at. Similarly with your ‘burn’ banner, the two people are next to each other and then the text is right slap bang in the middle, so your composition gives us no focal point. You’ve got to consider sizing and distance with composition. The eye has to be drawn to one place, but don’t put everything in one place. 
GC - Back in my earlier days of graphic making, boy, did I abuse the hell out of filtering. I was a topaz monster and thought everything looked amazing and I wouldn't hear anything negative about it. Filtering is so cool and it gives our graphics such a neat effect BUT as much as we adore it and wish we could use it for always we can go way overboard and ruin a perfect canvas. In truth, filtering with topaz isn't the friend we think it is. It's that bad boy in that back of the class that we think is incredibly good looking but everyone tells us not to hang around him too much because he's such a bad influence. Try as we might to keep away (he's so pretty though) we end up meeting up with him because who cares what people have to say about him right? You get to make your decisions about who you hang out with. BUT eventually you need to realize that you should only spend time with him in small doses. It sucks because he's so much fun and if you had a choice you'd be with him all the time but if you do that things like this and this happen. Over filtering can be a serious problem if you let it and what could easily be a lovely graphic can be ruined by something that doesn't necessarily need to be there at all. Filtering is addictive and in the past I abused it and didn't care what anyone else thought. But you need to learn that you can't always use it, or at least shouldn't overuse it. Also something I do when the filtering is a little too much but I still like it in parts is to use a light eraser at least on the faces of the people on my graphic. Filtering on faces is a rotten effect but I can understand that it's something that can make stock look great. Also don't be afraid to add a little sharpening to the canvas if the filtering has made it too soft, it can seriously save your life if you let it (:
To recap: 
• Try to make the text match the mood of the graphic 
• Remember text is just as important as the rest of the graphic 
• Don’t make your pieces too busy 
• Play around with text effects, drop shadow isn't your only option
• Use images that are relevant to each other (like don’t have fields and then random candles – with stock use it doesn't look realistic) 
• Consider focal point
• Overusing filtering is your enemy
We have noticed that whilst your colouring is very strong, it’s also very repetitive. So, for your challenge we would like you to make a banner that uses negative space, and has no blues or oranges. We’d love to see what you make, so let us know if you choose to take on this challenge! 
I hope this crit was helpful and if you have any questions, please send us a PM and either one of us will be happy to answer your questions.

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#51 Guest_apsara._*

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 12:45 PM

Hullo Allison my lovely! I'm here with your quick critique :)


First of all, I just want to say that your gallery is utterly gorgeous and there is so much here that makes me OMFG HOW DOES ALLISON EVEN ACHIEVE THIS AMAZINGNESS. But aanyway, let me get into crit mode now :P 


Your strength is definitely textures, and I like how you mostly play around with light textures or soft-ish textures, and compliment them with a soft topaz-y saturation-y colouring! HOWEVER, I must warn you to be cautious of oversaturating, overtopaz-ing, or using too much yellow, because it skews the image quality at certain points, like in this+ and this+. I love your use of monochrome in the Rowena Ravenclaw banner, and I really hope you make more monochrome graphics (despite how tough they are!). I really adore your banners in general, the comp on them is really dynamic and I really think banners are your strength. Another thing I like is how seamlessly you integrate your text into the comp, like in the Oscar Isaac and the 'You;re Dating Who' CIs! However, you should cautious about the readability of the text. Sometimes, overfiltering text can lead to this+, where the smaller text is nearly unnoticeable. otherwise, I really like how you experiment with text! Finally, your icons: I love the nicki minaj ones! they are great! But the colouring on the Buffy icons seems kinda dull, and infact, is lowering the image quality. Perhaps some contrast or vinbrance would help make them pop?


This was more a squee fest than a crit because you're perfect, so stay perfect :P

#52 saturn.



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Posted 23 March 2016 - 02:02 PM

Hi Alison! First of all, I'm sorry this is so late! *hides* I've been super busy over the last few weeks with cat-related things. :) But I'm here with your requested crit! I'm a huge fan of just about everything you make, so I'm going to try and calm my fangirl down a bit and be unbiased. <3



First Impressions

I'm such a fan of you and your graphics. I love your consistent coloring and filtering; it really does make your gallery look crazy cohesive. I love that everything is really smooth and I think you do an excellent job of mixing stock and textures a lot. I love love love +this. I think it's one of the best pieces in your gallery, definitely!



So, in looking through the pieces in your gallery right now, I think you struggle a bit with text but not as much as I think you think you do, if that makes sense? Right now, the placement for the text in all four of your banners is almost exactly the same, which kind of leads me to believe that you're struggling with placement. I'm also bad at being creative with my font placement, especially on banners, so I know how hard it is to find something creative that works for you. With +this, for example, I think you could have rotated the word "Nunnery" and moved it up so that it was in the blank space and orient it so that it began behind your model's head.


In both of your signatures, the text seems more like an afterthought than anything. With +this piece, the small text placement is great! But the quote is left-aligned, while there's a natural edge to guide your text in  the girl's cheekbone to the right of your text. You could leave that text placement, font and coloring alone and just change the alignment to fall to the right and it would help with the flow of the text a lot on that side of the graphic. I think the font you chose for the word "leave" is a great choice. It matches the mood of the graphic and I think the color was a good choice too. The thing that throws me off is that way it's positioned. For me, it's a little too close to the edge of the vine and the edge of that white circle. It looks a little too packed in there. You could make it just a smidge smaller and it would flow a little better, but I think that's jut nitpicky for me. This sig is one of my favorite pieces in your gallery! It's colored beautifully, the filtering is amazing and it just looks awesome!


The second signature is wonderfully composed again. You're definitely really good with signatures and I'm super jealous. Again though, I would align the left quote to the right. The right quote is aligned to the left, toward the focal point, which naturally helps guide the eye to the center of the graphic. In leaving the left quote aligned toward the outside of the graphic instead of having the hard edge on the right, the eye naturally flows from the left quote, up to the black and white image, over the color image and up to the right quote. The first time I looked at it, I totally missed the text at the bottom. Switching the alignment of that left quote can help, again, pull the eye toward the center of the graphic and would solve a bit of the text issue there. I think the color choice was good in the script font, but it does get a bit lost in everything else. Try varying up the size of each of those words. Sometimes when I'm struggling a lot with text, I separate each word out as individual text layers. Then, I start resizing and rotating each one until I find something interesting and weird that fits together, like a puzzle. That usually helps me a lot because I'm really bad at looking at the graphic itself and seeing where to put the text. Or, you could always change the color and sample from the skin color of the colored Oscar. 


I actually think your text is is the best on your chapter images and your icons. Especially with your chapter images, each text placement is different and unique, the fonts work well wit the images and everything flows so well!


Focal Point

So, in considering your other graphics that aren't in your gallery anymore, I think you've really improved in your focal point. I think the reason you maybe feel you have a focal point comes a bit from your problems with text, quite honestly. I don't think you have a problem composing a graphic; it's when you add the text that the focal point gets thrown off. +Here, for example, I would have thought the larger model that's facing forward would have been the main focal point, but when you added the text, it pushed the focal point to the smaller model, which is fine! It's just a tad bit awkward, but really isn't that big of a deal, I don't think.


+Here, I think the models are actually a bit too far over, but just a tad. The male model kind of ends really abruptly behind the girl and the two of them make up a really thin focal point, if that makes sense? Like, I feel like his body should have continued a little further. He looks really cut off behind that girl, so scoot her over a bit and give the male some more mass. That'll redistribute the weight a bit and fill the focal point out a bit more. With that graphic, it looks a bit unbalanced because of the text, I think. The text is huge, takes up a lot of mass and is centered.  So, it was definitely a good choice to offset the models to the right in thinking about the rule-of-thirds and such, but I think they're too offset from the center of the text so it pulls a little too much to the right, but only a tad!


I think your composition is really good in your icons! The Nicki Minaj icons have a pretty varied focal point from icon to icon, which is excellent! I like the Demi icons a bit more texture and text wise. but I like the composition of the Nicki icons more, if that makes sense? The cuts and the focal points are more creative than the Demi icons. With the first set, the first two Demi icons (the first two in the first column) are basically sitting at the same point, while the last two in the last column are also sitting at the same point. When in doubt, flip the entire canvas! 



I always really like your filtering! But, the thing with Topaz is that it can get really strong really fast. With +this piece, I think this is a good example of where topaz was probably not the best decision. I'm not sure if you started with lower quality images, but the topaz combined with the darker coloring makes the girl look a little bit lq, especially in her face.  Her forehead looks a little splotchy, as does her cheek and the area above her lip. You can take a lower opacity brush and erase a bit of those parts away so that the topaz isn't so strong. 


Another thing I think is causing an issue is the topaz on the text. When I use topaz, I almost always mask out all of the filtering over the text. It varies from graphic to graphic, but I don't think topaz and fonts go well together at all. I'm not sure if you used topaz on the script font +here, but the edges look a little pixelated, while the rest of the text is hyper smooth, so it looks kind of weird there? The same thing happened +here with the word "Ravenclaw". Again, I'm not sure if that particular font layer was placed under your coloring layers, or if it was a filtering issue but that word has the pixelated edges and the smooth surface, which looks extra weird with how ultra thin the font is. As a general rule, I would either lower the filtering over all the text in the future, or mask away the topaz layer completely, especially with script fonts and thin, smaller fonts. :)



I love your style and your coloring SO MUCH. You're so good with reds, oranges, blues and teals. I feel like a lot of my coloring looks very much the same and comes out super dark and muddy a lot, but I don't see that with you at all. Every one of your pieces is always very clear and well-colored. I'd love to see you experiment with different colorings though! +This piece is colored very different from everything else and it's a nice break in your gallery. Try coloring with more purples, yellows, bright greens, etc. I'd love to see you try indigo/purple, since you mentioned once before I think that you weren't sure you were good at it! Keep experimenting with your text too, both in coloring as well as placement. I think you've ironed out font choice and now need to tackle those two aforementioned things. But you're clearly talented and you're always experimenting with different styles, images, techniques and graphic types and that's great! Please make another blend because that Nyx blend gives me life. Seriously. Do more. <3


I hope this didn't come out too rambly and awkward, and I hope it wasn't too harsh. I think you're a perfect human being and I love literally everything you do, so I tried so hard to do the opposite and analyze everything without squealing about how great you are. Hopefully everything makes sense, too! If you have any questions about anything, need anything at all, or want to throw things at me, let me know! :)

K   A   T   L   Y   N   N

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#53 Fireheart

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 02:21 AM

Hi Alison! I'm here for your critique! :D You wanted to focus on composition and text, so I'll just go through each section and talk about those two things.




First of all, I feel like you have a really good grasp on composition. What to watch I think is focal point and busyness. For example, this has a lot of text going on and because of the main text placement, it's hard to find a focal point. My eye naturally wants to go to the right Demi (that is Demi, right? lol) because she's the largest, but the text is spread all through the middle and smaller Demi isn't too much smaller, so my eye wanders there too. I'd suggest making left Demi smaller and actually angling "Rowena Ravenclaw." Whenever I see lines (like how her shoulder creates a line) I like to line the text along it. :P Just a trick I sometimes do.


You know actually I think part of why text is sometimes not working here is actually just font choice. I feel like there's no real good way to explain it, or even give tips on font selection because it either works or it doesn't, you know? And the only way to really know is trial and error. But this to me really works well for text and matches the graphic. The focal point is also kind battling in this, but I think it would work without the quote and just the title. But the "n" is dark in color, over a dark suit, making it hard to read. So maybe just make "nunnery" a little smaller?


This text is also a little hard to read. For comp, I think there's a little too much distance between the Rami's and background. It doesn't really look blended into the background. The Rami's in this look blended into the graphic, like they are PART of the graphic. Whereas the Rami's in the other look placed on top of the background. I think that might be due to the coloring. The background is a little one dimensional and lacks a bit of contrast, I think, that would give it a more in depth look.


Chapter Images


Really nice comp on these! I have mixed feelings on the symbol on this one because I get the reference and meaning, but it kind of looks just stamped on there. Also not crazy about the font selection for Bulgaria. (The downfall of long, one worded text is always finding the right font selection.  :dry: ) Maybe it's the size. What about making it smaller, then placing it slightly above 22 July? So maybe it's not the font on this one, but the size that wasn't working for me. See, I'm rambling again, haha. MOVING ON.




Oh these are pretty! Love the composition on both. But watch filtering too much over text. "Guns & ships" looks a bit low quality due to the filtering or blending options you have over it. I also actually think the quotes on other side take away from the focal point a bit. The main text in this almost feels like it doesn't need to be there, actually. I really like having that small text to the left as the only text. Sometimes less is more. :D Also, be careful of using drop shadows when your text color is dark. I've found that drop shadows work really well with lighter colored text, but making dark colored text harder to read.  :dry:




LOVE this. Though maybe a touch smaller on the top text? Your "nyx" blend is also very nice. Though I think all the girl's are a little close to size, so maybe play around to add more dynamics to the blend by making the sizes a little more vast. Actually I'd probably make three a little smaller, but keep that main one (the largest one) where it is, to give the eye that main focal point.




Honestly, great stuff here.  :wub:  I do think some of the font choices could be different, but again that's simply just continuing to play around until finding what works. And remember less is sometimes more. Especially with text. This may sound weird, but with your style, I think I prefer the thicker fonts instead of the thinner ones. I noticed my favorite text selections were the thicker ones for some reason. :P As I said, you've got a really good eye for composition. It's simply just making sure that focal point is established. 


I hope this wasn't TOO rambling and I helped! I always enjoy coming to your gallery and looking at your pretties.  :wub:  Best of luck with promo's coming up!!  :hug:

Edited by Fireheart, 25 March 2016 - 02:22 AM.

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#54 ClearPlastic



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Posted 26 March 2016 - 05:30 AM

Hey Alison! Here with your requested critique :)


So first off I'd like to say that... even though I'm not a mod and have no say over the promo process... I think you're very close to getting to graduate artist level. Technically speaking you've got everything down - comp/blending/coloring is great and you've got some great variation in your gallery. Right now, I think it's just the minor fine-tuning of your graphics that will really make them WOW-worthy. You've got some amazing pieces in your gallery already, but there are definitely some weaker ones that maybe you should clean out - like Get Thee To A Nunnery banner and the Guns & Ships signature. The first graphic looks a bit flat and washed out. The texture/stock use is super interesting, but I think the coloring and text is letting it down a bit. In the sig, I think it's definitely over-filtered - the edges of the mans face are a bit lost and his skin looks unnaturally waxy. The coloring is a bit too harsh as well, as the whites on the planes of his face almost look a bit like paint. 


At a glance, I think the main thing you need to work on is text. In the Lho banner, the smaller text looks a bit randomly placed, and the closed-spacedness makes it hard to read. It's only on some graphics though. In your Drake CI the text works beautifully - very creative and it fits so well with the mood of the graphic, I love it (just love that graphic in general tbh, maybe because it's got Drake in it). The text on that Crown CI is also perfect, another case of it fitting very well with the mood of the graphic. In most cases the text works alright, but it looks like it wasn't given as much thought as the rest of the graphic, or was put in as an afterthought. I'd say this is in about 50% of your stuff. Another thing is I think the color you pick for some text? Like the text color in your Bulgaria CI is gorgeous, it looks luminous almost and the slight outer glow on it makes it look stunning. But with the Leave Me Alone sig, because all of the text is green is doesn't stand out as much and kind of washes into the background. Maybe try using two different types of color? Or experiment more with text styles? The inner shadow on the Out CI text is super creative and I love the way it looks, would love if there was more text like that in the rest of your graphic. Of course that text style wouldn't work with every graphic, but I think experimenting with text is something you should def work on, and making sure that it really flows with the mood and comp of your graphic.


All your graphics have beautiful, lovely composition on them so I'd say that's a strong point of yours! That and coloring, love the many different types of colors that you have in your gallery. The greens of the Lho banner really pop, and the Marjeen banner is so shiny :wub: You also mentioned filtering as a weakness in your application, and I do agree that in some graphics your filtering seems a bit strong. Like in the signature I mentioned above, and in the Blood Is Treason bookcover. I don't use filtering at all, but I think in a lot of cases it works beautifully to enhance graphics. The filtering in your Drake CI is absolutely on-point - not overdone at all and it makes it look super cool. So if you keep your filtering to that level, and make sure it doesn't go to plastic Ken doll level you should be fine :) The filtering on your Zendaya blend is GORGEOUS as well. The comp/blending on that is insane, one of the stronger pieces in your gallery. In that, I feel the text does drag it down a bit though. It doesn't seem to add anything and it's a bit hard to make out. 


I think your CIs are your strongest section, I love all of them and I think they're all beautiful :wub: All in all, I'd say work on text more, and maybe take out some of your weaker graphics. Text-wise I'd say work on placement, colors, and maybe varying up the font choices? You said that having a focal point in your graphics was a weakness but I'm not sure if I agree... so far to me your graphics look like they all have a clear focal point, so no issues there :) 


Anyway, sorry if this is too rambly and hard to understand! Please feel free to PM me if you have anything else to ask :)

hi, i'm eggie and i'm semi-available, please pm for requests!

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