Hi Hannah! I'm here with your critique prize from A Place to Critique!Banners
Good general composition! You seem to have got the basic techniques well in hand for banners, as focal point/sizing of people and text all flow really nicely. What I'd really recommend working on is colouring and image quality (and this will flow on for your graphics in general). Sometimes, I think overly bright whitened colours, or overly darkened darks (that was great English) are damaging your image quality. For example, here
- it's generally hard to pull off greeny colours, but that part I think is managed well; rather, the small girl's face looks very LQ, which could either be the image, or the colouring you have over it. I'd also watch the gradient of colours you have on that banner, as it flows from greeny to yellow, but her face is red. It's not quite consistent in is colouring, which may be contributing to the fact that she just doesn't look like she fits
quite right, with both the colouring and quality.CIs
Here, I see some examples of really good image quality, so I think it may either be: (i) clean out older graphics with weaker image quality or (ii) remember to always use HQ images. This
is a lot better in its image quality, which is great. In general, though, I'd watch for overcontrasting (here
, her face -- it looks almost 'muddy', which in my experience comes from too much contrast or some sort of layer set to multiply/soft light/hard light/some other blend mode that messes with contrast and things). Other than that, there's not really one set thing that's wrong with these graphics - which is good, as it means you have handle on all your techniques. Rather, it's just fine-tuning everything to get to the next level, which, personally, was one of the hardest things ever
, the blending is a little messy on the edges and the top of her head looks strange in terms of colouring - those are things you can only really pick up with a really critical eye.
Personally, I used to come back to every graphic I made, a few days or weeks later, and try and 'critique' it myself - be really critical, try and go through all the main techniques (composition, colouring, image quality, text, filtering, etc.) and see how I'd done. Of course, that's not a fix-all solution, but it did help me in the senior-grad jump to start to pick out all the little minor things that, once fixed, can usually really lift an entire gallery's quality.Sigs
I absolutely adore this
! Colouring, comp, text -- all of it. Easily my favourite graphic in your gallery
I'd recommend a clean out here, as the sigs at the top of the section just aren't as strong as the ones further down. Watch for overly yellow colouring, as people can come out looking a little flat (as often pictures of people are already quite yellow anyway, I've found, and colouring it on top of that it can easily overdo it and look unnatural). I like the blues in the last sig, so maybe try playing around and going for some colouring like that, or another colour -- basically, branch out from yellows.Blends
Really strong composition once again! I'd be careful of the yellows once again in the first blend (it may just be my screen, but they always look a little dull to me). Make sure to check your contrast and lighting, and don't be afraid to try burn and dodge on the faces (I'm not sure if they're called that in GIMP, but I'm sure they exist) of your people if you want them to pop more. There's a tutorial on that someeewhere (which, if you PM me, I'll find haha). Also, don't be afraid to use the blur tool/smudge/GIMP equivalent to smooth out someone's skin -- see here
, the black and white girl. Around the strap on her shoulder you can see pixels, as well as at the top of her leg. My general rule is to zoom in, and if I can see a lot of pixels sticking out in colours that ARENT skintone, blend them in. Just be careful not to go overboard, so perhaps, if GIMP can do it, turn down the strength of the blend tool to 20% or so.Icons
Left these last as there's only the one set - make more!
I like the variety of cuts there, though I'd try to brighten up your colouring a bit.
A few general things:Lighting
Don't be afraid to play around with this, and toss it under colouring layers! I find it can really make a graphic pop and makes a huge difference. It can also help with contrast issues and lighten up any overly dark colouring. It's also a great way to create a focal point. You can do this in SO many ways; lighting textures, gradient maps, just a big soft brush with black or white (depending on if you want dark or light), duplicating your layers, blurring them, setting them to blend modes. It's fun to play around with, just try to find the tricky balance between 'popping' and over the top Colouring
Again, this could be my screen, but the yellows look a little dull to me. Make sure to always check your contrast, and try playing around more with what you can do in colouring. Skin tones should always look quite natural, so don't be afraid of bringing out reds in them a little more, rather than just yellows. I'm not 100% sure on how to do that in GIMP anymore, tbh, but just experimenting around is often the best way to discover it. Try and create a graphic and force yourself to come up with 3 different colourings -- none
can be monochrome.
Other than that you seem to have a good handle on text which is AWESOME! I love it when someone's got good text, it's quite rare imo, and was certainly something I did, and still do, struggle with. Don't be afraid to do regular clean outs, any graphic that has been in your gallery more than a couple of months without a promo should probably go - that's the general rule of thumb, as you probably know.
Feel free to PM me if you have any questions or anything like that, or if something makes zero sense, which is likely - this is quite a rambly critique, and I'm sorry it took a while to get to it! I've had a crazy week, haha. I hope that helps, anyway, as youv'e got a great start here and all the foundations are there -- just keep experimenting around!