hey little buddy im sorry im late with this, I've had a lot on - but IM HERE NOW! Got some bexcellent crit coming your way. Now in your form you said text is your weakest point (as you've mentioned in many a skype conversation.) - so we'll be talking about that, composition (mainly sizing) and colouring. First off - idk if you ever showed me this - but what is this banner++ - the colouring and composition is spot on!!! I love the red, and your text - to say you hate it...you did a pretty good job if you ask me!!! You also know I love your 100 blend - I think the comp is very impressive as is your colouring <3
So let's get started
A lot of the time when I've done crit, people ask me to help them with text - even I do when I ask for crit, because everyone has an issue with it. My sister once compared it to drawing, she can sketch in pencil amazingly, but she feels like when she adds colour - she ruins it. A lot of the time she's wrong, and I think that's the same with people on this site. It's just the fear because there's so much to consider with text. So I thought, I'd go over the principles of text with you, so that when you try it next time - you'll be a lot more prepared.
Sizing - usually text wants to be bigger than everything except your focal point. Your text doesn't work here++ and here++ because it's very long and is the biggest thing in the graphic, or the same size as your focal point. It's not massively bigger though - so it's like there's a lot of people and the text competing for the focal point, and you don't know where to look. Your secret and Lies banner is the perfect size, you've got the ratio right, so try and look to that as an example when you're doing your text. If you need another example take this banner++ I made. See how 'Skin' is bigger than the smaller Karen but the biggest Karen is the biggest person in the gallery? I'm not saying that every graphic should be like that, but it's a good formula I got taught from crit when I was a JA
Font - this was the only other real big issue I saw with your text. You need to choose a font that works with the theme of your graphic. I know you said you don't have a lot of fonts on your current computer, so I would suggest hitting dafont and going on a font download spree. With this++ banner, I'm not too sure about the font choice. With stock it's always best not to go with bulky fonts, I try and go with pre installed or scripty fonts. With textures I always say go for modern, edgier fonts. As well it all depend on the vibe of your graphic. If it's light-hearted I would for for a nice airy font. If it's angsty, I'd go for script, but nothing too curly and vibrant. Your 'Sleep Well' banner has perfect font choice, it matches the banner and the tone of the entire graphic - so well done on that front!
Repetition - My last tiny issue with text, is repetition. This could be because of colouring, I'm not sure - but in your banner section especially you have a lot of text that's the same colour. You seem to use warm golden tones a lot (I'm guilty of the same thing!) but, it doesn't show versatility, and can seem like you're playing safe. Try and break out of your comfort zones and work with different things. That's something I suggest when you approach text in general - try to go for new different things instead of playing safe - it can really help and teach you some new tricks!
Composition: This isn't actually a very big problem - but I thought it'd be best to bring this slight issue to your attention. Your composition with people is usually really good, you have a good sense of where to place people in your piece - a good example of that is this sig++, the sizing is really good and I know where to look. In some pieces though, your people can be similar size or height, and it's part of what makes it difficult when you place text - because you don't know where to put it. It happens in a lot of your banners but for example here++ all the Cintia's seem to be the same time, so it can make the graphic kind of flat because your comp makes it lack depth. You could try putting them behind certain stock pieces, instead of having them all in front? It's something I do in case my graphics are a little flat (there's more info on that in my stock tutorial if you need help with that.). To remedy the sizing issue, I would recommend either starting out with your biggest person or putting them in last. If you start with the smaller people first, then you'll know how much bigger your focal point needs to be, and vice versa - however right now they're all very similar in size, which is something you need to rectify
Colouring: Again - you haven't got anything worrying going on here, but these are just a few tips I thought I'd give you. First off, I want you to start looking at colouring tutorials. I'm also thinking of writing one for gimp, because I feel like a lot of gimp users don't try everything and as a result get stuck in a routine and it doesn't help their colouring. Check out gradient maps, colour balance, channel mixer, curves, hue/saturation and a lot more. Honestly there's so much you can play with, and just because we have to use new from visible, don't be put off!!! Colouring is my favourite part, we gimp users just need to lose this fear of not trying stuff out and go for it! What's the worst that could happen, right???
Lastly, I would suggest toning down your whites a little. They can be distracting, and are very difficult to pull off (i don't use them because they just don't work for me.) Strong whites can be very distracting on a graphic. You use a lot of white gradient layers, at the bottom of a graphic or use white splodges, I would definitely suggest lowering the opacity on them, because they break up the flow of the graphic. Especially with stock. The whole point of stock is that it flows well and the blending is amazing (which you have a very good grasp of btw!) but it doesn't work when colouring breaks it up, and in your case - it's the use of white
- watch your sizing, text shouldn't be bigger than focal point, there should be varied sizes
- try more with text, bexperiment ;D
- font choices are important, base it on the tone of your graphic
- vary sizing of people in graphics as well
- work people into the base rather than putting them on top at the end
- use less white with your colouring
one++ - the text is too big, the people are all the same size, and the graphic's a little flat
two++ - font/text is too big for the graphic, very similar to 'mother of dragons'
three++ - it's the weakest signature, very simplistic, and the font doesn't fit the graphic
four++ - the blacks are too strong, and the blending of the girl is a bit too sloppy
this challenge is completely optional, but this is when I ask you to make a graphic based on the crit I've given! If you do this challenge, then please send the graphic over and I'll happily crit it for you! I want a signature, using a new font, and using all the above filters I mentioned for colouring (im going to trust that you've used them, you don't need to send me proof!). I would also like the text to be 'weirdo with no name' (yh im currently listening to McFly - what of it ). If you complete this challenge like I said, send it over and I'll crit what you've done!
I hope this helped Amy, and that it wasn't too harsh! If you have any questions about the crit then don't hesitate to ask me!