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~Flying too Close to the Sun~4/9/17


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#1 lucida.

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 02:29 PM

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Hello, I'm Alli or Allison! I am a 16 year old from the South

who is stuck using Pixlr due to only having a Chromebook to 

work on.  I am obsessed with music, my ten pets, 

and Degrassi at the moment. 

 

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TDA: ~minion.~kate.~accursed.~Engima~a.perfect.lie~cherrypie3601~arriety~

Deviantart: ~smol-riddle~longlongwaydown~ainhel~denysroque~slaysx~dbszabo

~ghislaine~shedyourskin~theedgeofdemi~mydeadlove~tanja92~sixxtear~so-ghislaine~sweettasteofbitter

~kamino~misssnoopy~oumbojae~kamino~cinderellasymptom~crazychuchu~lockstock~easterlies~ferlybadinage

~accio-glow~frostbo~krypteriahg~maeappleseed~evey-v~


Edited by lucida., 09 April 2017 - 08:49 PM.






#2 starbuck.

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 07:48 AM

hello and congrats on making a gallery on TDA! :)

 

before your gallery can be approved could you please link to the images you used from the photographers you credit so we can make sure they follow our copyright rules? when i do a google search it seems their images might be copyrighted :I

 

if you have any questions, feel free to PM me ;)


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#3 TreacleTart

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 10:24 PM

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Hi Alli!

Thought I’d swing by really quick and leave a bit of love on your gallery for the holidays!

You’re off to a good start so far with so many different sizes of graphics. That’s great because so many people stick to only making one or two types of graphics and you’ve already done most of the main sizes. Keep experimenting with that for sure because it will really help you grow as an artist.

My favorite piece of yours at the moment is your second signature. It doesn’t have any text, which is not something you see often, but it still feels really complete. I also love how you stacked the one model behind the other so only half of her is showing. That’s some really clever comp!

Anyway, welcome to TDA (since you’re still relatively new) and if you ever have any questions or need help, please feel free to shoot me a PM. ☺

Wishing you happy holidays and a lovely New Year! :hug:

~Kaitlin


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Posted Image

Gorgeous signature set by the incomparable Enigma

 


#4 TreacleTart

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 04:11 AM

*sorry for the double post*

 

Hi Alli,

 

I’m here with your requested gallery critique, so let’s get started!

 

I was here just a few weeks ago to leave a Christmas comment and I can already see that you’ve added several new things. That’s great! I’m particularly impressed to see a vertical banner in here because they are notoriously difficult to work with. As you continue to work on graphics, keep experimenting with the different sizes because that really is the best way to grow as an artist.

 

Now, let’s talk about some of the things you’ve listed in terms of concerns in your request…

 

Image Quality:

I can see some improvement in terms of image quality. Your vertical banner, playlist header, and your purple banner show definite improvement in that area. You can see how the images are a bit more clear and almost shiny instead of fuzzy or matte looking.  Continue working with HQ images and your graphics will continue to improve.

 

One other thing I want to discuss in terms of image quality is the program you’re working with. I wasn’t particularly familiar with Pixlr, so I looked it up and found the online editing program. I opened a couple of different images and messed around with editing them a little bit so I could give you some proper feedback. I did immediately notice that every image I uploaded into Pixlr seemed to decrease in quality, particularly lighter/brighter images.

 

Here’s an example of the same image opened in Pixlr and then opened in GIMP.

This is the image in GIMP:

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This is the same image in Pixlr:

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You can see how drastic the difference is. It looks pretty HQ in GIMP, but very LQ in Pixlr. So…I’m honestly wondering if a lot of your image quality issues are coming from your program. I don’t usually make recommendations on programs, but if you’re looking for a free graphics program GIMP is completely free and might work a bit better for you. If it’s something you do decide to try out, feel free to shoot me a PM and I can try to help you get acquainted with the program. J

 

Blending:

In terms of blending, it doesn’t appear to me that you’ve really started exploring that area much yet. One thing I did in the very beginning to help me get acquainted with blending in the beginning was to take two stock photos like a mountain and a lake...and then erase different parts of the two images until they looked like it was just one whole image.  Once you get that down, start working on blending multiple images together or blending different textures together.

 

Another thing you can try is blending with layer modes. I see that Pixlr has layer mode settings, however I’m not sure if they’re the same as other programs. My suggestion would be to take two separate images and try putting the top layer on different layer modes just to see what they do. You can use things like Lighten Only, Screen, or Soft light to blend things together subtly.

 

Coloring:

I actually thing coloring is one of your strongest areas so far. You’ve done quite a good job at keeping skin tones very natural looking and enhancing shadows and light. You’re doing a good job of making your colors bright, but not overly staturated or verging into neon.

 

The only real issue that I can pinpoint in your coloring is the occasional whitish, sort of haziness over the entire graphic, but I again think this is more related to the program you’re using than your actual ability. I think with crisper image quality, you’ll also get cleaner, crisper coloring.

 

Depth Of Graphics:

One of the things you mentioned in your request is that you feel like your graphics are coming out flat. I think that that’s a big struggle for almost everyone in the beginning. Learning how to create depth with stock pieces, model placement, coloring, lighting, and textures takes time and lots of practice. It’s something I still struggle with.

 

Here are a few suggestions to work on that might help.

 

-        Using Stock to create depth: A simple way to create some depth is to layer pieces of stock between your models. Let’s say you have two models layered one over the other. To add a bit of depth, you could place flowers or leaves in between them so that one model appears farther back than the other.

 

-        Model Placement: I see you experimenting with the size of your models. You’re doing good with making sure that you have one larger person and one smaller person, but something else that helps is making sure that their eyes are on different levels. Your Give Me Therapy signature is a great example of that. The eyes of the characters are at two different heights and it gives the impression that one person is behind the other.

 

-        Adding shadows and lighting: Something else that can help give depth to an image is creating the illusion of shadows and light on your images. There are multiple ways to do this, but some of the simplest are a black to white gradient (I usually set it on overlay or soft light and put it somewhere between 50%-80% opacity). You can also create your own layer and use your paint brush to paint white or black spots onto the layer and then set it to soft light, lighten only, or overlay. If it’s too dark or bright, lower the opacity until it looks the way you want it.

 

-        Textures: Texture can also help to create depth. You’re doing a good job of experimenting with geometric textures so far. Keep messing with that. That being said, there are lots of premade lighting textures. In fact, there are some great lighting packs by Enigma and by Arrietty. in the resource area. Anyway, once you’ve found the texture you like, you make it the very top layer of your graphic and then set it to screen, soft light, or lighten only and then play with the opacity until it looks the way you want it to.

 

One other area I wanted to mention in this critique is your text. Text is one of the most difficult areas of graphics. You’ll find that even Staff artists will struggle with it occasionally. My suggestions for that is to download as many fonts as you can. Dafont.com is a great resource for free fonts. Play with different fonts and colors, but also really play with text placement. Your title text should be next to your main focal point. Think of your largest model as your focal point and then generally you want your title text to be close by.  That makes it easy for the eye to figure out where to focus on your graphic.  You can also do things like rotate the angle, add gradients, or dropshadows to your text to give it a bit more dimension.

 

I know that this is a huge block of text and sometimes getting all of this information at once can be overwhelming or hard to take in, so if you have any questions about any of it, please feel free to PM me and I can explain more or send you examples of what I mean. J

 

Other than that, keep experimenting! You’ve been making so many graphics lately and I see so much improvement already!

 

~Kaitlin


  Kaitlin - My Gallery / Available

 

Posted Image

Gorgeous signature set by the incomparable Enigma

 


#5 azimuth

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 08:15 AM

Hi Alli! I'm Vanya :D I recently saw your entry in this month's UC, so I thought I'd drop by your gallery :sean: I LOVE the purple banner; it's so interesting, with such a unique composition! Your vertical banner, too, is one of my favourites around here; love the textures you used! :wub: You've already improved so much, as far as I can see! I'd love to see more of your work, please keep posting :'D DOn't hesitate to PM me if you have any questions or just want to talk! :hug:


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#6 lucida.

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 08:58 AM

Kaitlin - Thank you for the speedy critique! I took in everything that you said and I made another blend/other graphic with that info in mind and I think it turned out really well! I've already added it to my gallery  :) I actually think the problem with my graphics looking white and hazy has to do with my attempts at using lighting textures. Thank you for bringing that to my attention! I will try and turn down the opacity a little bit more now :happy: 
 
Vanya - Hello! I'm trying to do as many of the UCs this year as I can this year (actually made it my New Years Resolution whoops) so I'm glad that they seem to be turning out okay so far! Thank you for dropping by!  :hug:


Alli

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#7 red herring

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 11:21 AM

Hi Alli, my name's Ronnie.  :hiwave:  I've seen you posting a lot really great things recently so I figured it was about time that I came and popped over.

 

I love your composition. You're already really strong at developing a focal point, and you've gotten pretty creative in the comp of some of your other graphics. Your vertical banner is to die for. The comp is great, I love the textures, and blending is on point (if I could make a vertical banner that strong I'd be the happiest person ever :loves:)

 

Glad to see you're experimenting with different fonts, textures, compositions, and graphic types. Keep it up, and definitely looking forward to seeing more from you soon! :loves:

--Ronnie.


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#8 miss atomic bomb

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 09:49 PM

Hey Alli! Cat here with your requested crit ^_^


 - composition - 

 
Love the comp on +this veritical banner, +this banner and +this sig. Two things to focus on - work on having a stronger focal point, as well as more variety and complexity.
 
On +this sig, for example, you’ve got three Caras spread out along the top, all the same size with the same coloring, so none of them particularly stand out, while at the bottom, one half is bright and colorful (not still not particularly interesting since it’s just half of her body) and the other half is very dark. It’s a cool concept and interesting idea, but there’s no clear focal point. If you moved the full body Cara to the middle, left her all in color, and had one monochrome Cara on either side, you’d have a great, strong focal point.
 
Comp on +this sig works much better- you have two different sized people, and one is clearly the focal point- he’s placed in the center, he’s full color while the other is monochrome, and his eyes are facing out. And then on a lot of your graphics the comp is very simple- one person (sometimes two) against a simple background. Try to avoid placing models directly in the center- it's effective on +this sig because it's so simple, but it's almost always more interesting and dynamic to have things closer to one side or the other. 
 
Play around with stock especially- there are definitely more textures here- and combining multiple textures, and keep playing with model placement, especially with size. Really the most important thing is to just experiment a lot. I can definitely see improvement from when I first looked in here to your new graphics you added today. 

 
 - coloring - 
 

I like the coloring on +this vertical banner, +this banner and +this sig the best- it’s cohesive across the whole graphic and has good contrast levels. Watch out for overly bright/high contrast coloring, as well as flat/undercontrasted/washed out coloring. Contrast is the hardest thing to figure out early on. Ideally, you want a wide variety of tones, from quite bright to very dark, and a very wide range of grays in between.
 
On some of your graphics, you only have medium and light tones (+this banner though it isn't too washed out, +this sig- compare the dark shadows in his hair to the black text and textures, and especially these icons, and also +this blend and +this blend if you compare her dress to the text) and on others, you only have medium and dark tones (emma's rather dark on +this ci, +this sig, and +this banner though it's not so bad here). I like the contrast on +this CI, +these icons, and +this vertical banner.
 
Also on +this sig, I really like the cyan/red effect, but it's a little too much on her face- if you erased that off (and brightened it up a little) it would be better.  
 

 - text - 


I love the variety of fonts you’ve been using, and how much you’re experimenting with text placement. Make sure the text isn’t too far away from the focal point (like on +this banner, the text is too far away from the models so it’s hard to tell where I’m supposed to look- it would be more effective I think closer to the bottom + middle, probably under her eye). Also keep playing around with text color- avoid black text when you can, since it usually stands out too much from the other coloring. The eyedropper tool is very helpful here. Just make sure it’s always readable- on +this banner, ‘be my’ is very hard to see- a black stroke/shadow would be better than white here, since the text is such a light gray. 
 

 - blending / image quality / et cetera -

 

Watch out for halos and blurry/fuzzy and pixellated edges. On +this banner the smaller girl's a bit fuzzy around the edges, same +here, and then on +this vertical banner, the edges are a bit too hard especially around her legs. Also some of your people are blurry/low quality- smaller girl on +here, on +this icons (though I think that's mostly because of the coloring), and on +this. Try to always start with high quality images, and play around with sharpening filters too. 

 

I hope this is helpful ^_^ Feel free to pm me if you have any questions/something I said doesn't make sense/any reason at all! 

 

<3 Cat


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prev. cat! gallery | q&a unavailable | icon by starbuck. | read the rules


#9 and peggy

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 01:32 PM

hey alli! wow you've been working so hard lately and your practice is really showing through. i can't believe you have three vertical banners in your gallery! i made one vertical banner once and it was awful so i'm so impressed by anyone who can make them :| i love the composition and dark coloring of your "queen" banner. your first icon set is so good! the textures use & cuts are really great. keep up the hard work, it really shows! :)


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#10 lucida.

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 06:22 PM

Cat- Thank you for the crit! It was super helpful <3

 

Alison- Thank you!! And thank you for stopping by  :wub:


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#11 and peggy

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 10:24 PM

hiiiii alli! another alison here with some crit for you :') sorry it's taken so long D: i like to leave myself sufficient time to respond and then i always wind up taking forever ;-;

 

since you mentioned that you just want general crit, i'll go through section by section and give you my thoughts as well as suggest some things to clean out! :)

 

vertical banners

 

first off, awesome job trying these! i've made a total of one vertical banner ever and it turned out so horribly i'm scared to try again. i'm really impressed by this+. the composition is very well done and balanced, and i love the mix of mono and color. you did black and white really well! it can be hard to find enough contrast/avoiding contrasting too much when working in b&w, but i think you did a great job here. the model directly under the text is a bit dark but that's it, and that's something you'll get to noticing as you keep working on your graphics :happy:

 

banners

 

i think this+ is your strongest in terms of composition. the first banner could be cleaned out, as it's a bit overexposed on the model's hand and face. a technique that i like to use is to look for the blackest black and the whitest white on the canvas and kind of see how they work overall, after you've finished your coloring. often, i will either have a true white or a true black, but not both. for example here+ you can see that there's almost a true black on the middle guy's suit and the big zayn's hair/shirt, but the whites are all tinted slightly blue. that helps me make sure i'm not contrasting too much; that i have a broad array of colors, but i'm not over-contrasting, if that makes sense? 

 

so your "queen" banner, for instance, is great. it's super muted (which is a style i happen to really like :P) but you still have strong colors.

 

signatures

 

i love this+ and this+! your texture use in both is really awesome! the first one i think is one of my favorite graphics of yours.

 

overall, your signatures are strong. you are experimenting with composition a lot, and you're mixing both textures and stock. i think you can clean this+ out.

 

icons

 

your icons are great, too! your cuts are very diverse and you've done an awesome job of coloring them all cohesively. i think your screencap icons are a bit stronger than for instance your cara delevigne set, but using textures in that way with icons is really tough. you could try hard-cutting her and putting her against a textured background. also, she's cut off on the right side in all four icons. next time try experimenting with flipping the canvas on a couple of them to make sure everyone's not cropped too similarly and the focus isn't weighted too far to one side :')

 

my challenge to you is to try more text on your icons! :sean: 

 

chapter images

 

okay imo CI's are super hard. it's something about how square they are lol. i need asymmetrical shapes :') your hard cuts are really impressive :) i would encourage you to just add more to all of your CI's. as it is, they're all a little bare atm, especially compared to your banners and signatures. try throwing in more stock and textures. hard-cutting stock can be really helpful too, especially things like leaves and flowers. you can find some great png packs on deviantart that are good for that :') for example here+ you have smaller model right on top of the bigger one. adding some stock or a texture between them could help add depth. similarly with the one beneath them, both models are underneath the texture. try layering things like textures between models to get more depth!

 

blends

 

your blends are great too! these, like your signatures, show a lot of risk-taking which is great and the best way to improve your graphics. i'm so impressed that you've stuck four people on this+. when i have lots of models on one graphic, i always like to make sure that no one is the same size (more or less). so take this+ for example; i tried to make sure that none of the Shays were the same size, which added depth and made the graphic more dynamic. also, i have all of the shays on different vertical and horizontal planes -- meaning if you drew lines up and down the graphic and side to side, no line would intersect two shays in the same place...omg that made no sense?? did it make sense? like imagine it being cut up into little tiny squares and basically each shay has her own space and isn't on the same level as any other shay. basically, my point is you want everyone to be staggered around your graphic in order to make it as dynamic as possible! if you need me to explain better lmk lol i feel like i'm making zero sense.

 

i think you can clean this+ out because it's not super balanced due to the coloring as well as the placement of the model on the far right.

 

overall

 

i think a big area of growth for you (and literally everyone on tda!) is text :) my main suggestion: download lots and lots of fonts! if you feel overwhelmed on dafont.com or any other font site, there are some great font packs in the resource area. kristina posted some great ones last year (they're called hotshot's font packs or something). also, you have a tendency to put text on the bottom of your graphics and sometimes also off to the side, where it's almost hidden :( don't hide your text! we want to see it! i like the way you did the text here+ tracing the top of the black texture. that's a great way to make sure the text really blends with the whole graphic. here+ however, you have dark text over a dark part of the graphic, so it's hard to see. try adding things like a drop shadow and/or a black/white gradient to your text to help it pop. you can also always use a black or white feathery brush under text to help it stand out. a good rule of thumb is light colored text over dark graphics and dark text on light graphics. also make sure to always pick a color from somewhere else on the graphic as the text color!

 

okay i hope that all made sense and wasn't too overwhelming and/or harsh. please please lmk if you have any questions or want me to clarify/expand upon anything. you're practicing so hard and you've already improved so much! keep up the hard work!! i hope this was helpful :')


a l i s o n

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unavailable . gallery


#12 Stille Nacht

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 06:59 PM

Hi! 

 

I just wanted to stop by and check out your gallery after seeing some of your amazing work as I looked through the PYLC thread!

 

I really like how simple your graphics are. Their soft, delicate and well composed. 

 

I especially like this one here... Signature

 

I also think you have a great variety of images too! I especially like the Icons and how well it shows your range of creativity!  :happy:

 

-Jenn


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#13 RéaltaCleite

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 06:16 AM

Hi, Alli! It's about time to stop by your gallery. :D
Thanks to your offer, I enjoy the graphics battle so far.
My favorite in your gallery, is the one with a blonde girl and red flowers. I also like the purple one.Wow, you have made so many icons...I'm very amazed.

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cherry blossom taken by StarFeather


#14 abhainn

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 09:18 PM

Hiya! I just wanted to pop by and say how much I love your icons! I especially like the animal ones, they're really cute! I'm also seriously impressed with your vertical banners, you're doing great! Seriously, those things terrify me, so kudos to you for doing two.

 

Seriously, awesome work!


thanks to caomoyl for the set!

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