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Where else in human experience, except in the throes of ardor . . . do we find ourselves transported to a mythical condition and the gods most real?19-Aug-2016

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#1 Artemesia


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Posted 26 October 2015 - 05:36 AM




























yUDF8rJ.png CpeccnA.png


















U3F4Hec.png u4mB8nt.png  

tea cup.                                                                                    ate



foggy.                                                              Lola








YBW: January 2016 (entry+)

YBW: February 2016 Most Improved (entry+)

Battle #114: Winner (Battle+)

Edited by Artemesia, 19 August 2016 - 05:04 AM.

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#2 kitcath

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 01:55 PM

First! :)


So, I like that you started with big formats, because in my opinion it's way more difficult than banners and signatures. I'm still a Member Artist myself, but here are a few points I noticed were easy to ameliorate:


1. Image quality; especially important when working with larger formats (that's why I like banners) ^^ like in the Deception blend, it's good, but careful of image distorsion in your last header. 

2. Blending; I noticed that your characters often had a dark halo around them, certainly because you used a layer mask or an eraser. You should try a large paintbrush first, to roughly erase the backgound, and then a smaller one with a lot of zooming in. Or you could try hardcutting with the pen tool, but at first the result is often a bit choppy (personally mine are terrible). There are lots of tuts on hardcutting, and once you get the hang of it, it's (quite) easy. +Here you'll find everything :)

3. Also, be careful of the smudge tool - it's a great tool to blend hair but I think it was too much on the dress in the last blend


But there are also very good points! (I always keep the best for the end ^^)

I think your composition is good, particularly in this picture, as the movement of the black figures highlights the central soldier. I know people differ on composition and focal point, but I personally like graphics that reveal themselves slowly, although you should be careful that everything is recognisable. 

Good creativity, too, I like that you try several style and moods with pink and bright stuff and dark graphics (and these are definitely my favs!) 

Seriously, though +this one and +this other one are my favorites. The colouring is just good and they flow and I love texture-based graphics. 


All in all, I love your boldness. Keep on trying everything that you think could work, and go and set your tent in the tutorial section! Everything is useful there (especially since you have photoshop), but here are some of the most useful tuts I read: 

+here for colouring

+here for colouring too

+here for a lot of things

+here for faces


and finally +this is a gift from the gods and I'm so happy I found it again I was looking for it 2 days ago argh


Good luck with making graphics, and my best advice would be: one step at a time! Everything seems overwhelming (probably?)but it won't be before long (....probably). 

  Catherine | Gallery | semi-available, pm first please



Rohini (apsara) made me this beautiful set! :loves:

#3 Artemesia


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Posted 26 October 2015 - 09:40 PM

Oh wow... you've given me so much CC that I think cleared everything I didn't know...

I actually started with the large ones because the smaller ones were harder for me. I had a lot of issues with edges but I thought I'd post what I've done and get some advice.

I'm so glad you like some of these. And I do admit that I've overused smudge and brush to cover up my cutting faults. But as you've pointed me I think I can make it work now.

Thank you so much for taking your time and telling me everything I needed to know. You've been a bit help :hug:

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#4 nyx


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Posted 29 October 2015 - 09:12 AM

Hi Jen! Thought I'd stop by since you left such a kind note on my gallery :) You've got a lot of stuff here which is great. I notice that you use Photoshop. Do you use layer masks when you blend? They can really help blend stuff smoothly, because what a layer mask does is allow you to erase things with the paintbrush, and then bring things back again...it's pretty snazzy. If you Google layer masks you can find tons of simple and easy tutorials that explain how to use the tool. For example, on this+ you could use a layer mask to help bring back some of the side of the girl's face, as she's gone a little transparent.


Keep working hard, and try out the tutorials here on TDA too! They're extremely helpful and I learned a ton from them. Can't wait to see what else you come up with :)


xx Alison

a l i s o n

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available (pm first) . gallery . cat! made me these beauties :')

#5 ethereal*

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 01:53 AM

Hello Jen, and welcome to TDA!

I can't believe you started making graphics only little over a month ago! you are off to a great start <3

I see you feel more comfortable with larger sizes, but I love that you are experimenting with banners as well!

my favorite piece is probably the 'betrayal' blend! The coloring is really good.  :happy:

I would recommend trying different fonts - you won't believe what a change a font can make!

keep it up!


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​previously VampireWeekend 

#6 Artemesia


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Posted 11 November 2015 - 04:39 AM

Hi Maya and Alison :D


Actually, I didn't know anything about Layer Masks until Alison pointed me there or about hardcutting until Bex opened up that challenge. I learned a lot after Kicath pointed me towards the tutorials on colouring as well! After that I learned s much! I didn't know where to look for fonts or images but thankfully now I know a tad little bit :D My gallery is still under construction and I'm doing more and more smaller graphics now :D 




Thank you so much for letting me know what you think and for pointing me in the right direction! I owe you guys a lot :hug:

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#7 Fireheart

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 11:14 PM

Hi Hestia! I'm here for your Specific Technique critique - ha that rhymed. :P Since you mentioned your weakest points where text and composition, I'll be focusing on that. I'm going to work my way down your gallery and type as I go, so I apologize if I ramble. I tend to do that, lol.




Composition and Text: The first thing I notice is there's a lot going on. It makes it hard for the eye to find a focal point. Which is something you want when composing a graphic. I was going to talk about composition and text separately, but I actually think both need a little dose of "less is more." For example in your "Stray" banner, I can't really read the text on the right or left. I think you could just take it out, keep "Stray" and move "Matt Bomer" closer to the title. 


Composition is a hard thing to try to critique because everyone has different styles, but some general rules that I think is important for everyone to follow is answering these questions. 1) Are my images clear? 2) Do I have focal point? 3) Are the proportions correct? (Meaning when you resize, make sure you do it so the image doesn't go all wonky) 4) Are my images blended and does the whole thing work cohesively?


Overall I think you have a nice start here! I just think there's quite a bit going on. What I like to do is use just a few stock images that blend well together. Makes the job for coloring easier. :P Sometimes I also take one image, duplicate it a few times, and use it entirely for the background. I did that with this banner right here. Literally it's just this poster, flipped and duplicated and blended :P I'd definitely suggest trying this technique with some stock images to help with blending.


Chapter Images


I love this one! I think "Red" should be lowered to her skirt, so it's not going on her face. Because the big image of Amanda is the focal point and what drew my eye, the main text should be closer to her as well. :) I'd probably then make "To be a Weasley" smaller, maybe just all caps and small.




I think these are like the banners in that there's a lot going on. In the "Nefarious" sig, what about taking out the image of the little girl that's in the middle, bringing the larger woman on the right more to the center, then bringing the next over too? As it is, I think it's just a little too busy. Same with the text in the "Dumbledore" sig. I really like the idea, but I think all those names just makes it too busy. Maybe take out the names, and have the "D" be the same text as "umbledore?" I really like that font and think it works well! Though I'd probably take it down just a size.




I love your "Enslaved" blend! My favorite in your gallery so far. :D Really cool composition! I love the effect of the text, but with the focal point being the girl on the left, it divides the graphic. For example, close one eye and cover the large girl with your hand so you only see the text and the girl walking on the right. It works like that perfectly. So I think if you keep it whole like this, it would benefit from having a normal straight across text, maybe just under her elbow?


I also really love your "Bold" blend! One girl is a little too purple, but I like the use of textures. 




All in all, you have some nice blending going on and a good start! I know I've mentioned it, but just remembering "less is more" when it comes to text and composition I think will make your graphics even stronger. Text can be such a pain, but I always try to keep my main text near my focal point so the eye focuses there first.


Example. Here's two versions of a chapter image I made.


This first one, the text is really high. Notice how it draws your attention, but so does the guy? So they battle for focal point.




Now how about this one? 



Now your eye doesn't travel all over the place. There's a single focus. Another trick I like to do with text I did here. See the curve of his neck and shoulder? I like to often use those curves to place my text. I did the same in my Jack Frost banner in my gallery. I like to use the lines of the shoulder/arms/neck and line text along it. :P


I hope I didn't ramble TOO much, haha. And I hope I helped in some way! Thanks for stopping by my thread. I look forward to seeing how you continue to grow as an artist. :) Best of luck during promos coming up soon!

Edited by Fireheart, 12 November 2015 - 11:21 PM.

Gallery l Unavailable due to computer issues. Hopefully fixed soon!


Stunning set by arrietty.

#8 Artemesia


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Posted 01 December 2015 - 10:55 PM

Hello Fireheart. I'm so sorry for taking almost a month to reply to this, but I was actually working really hard on everything you said... I hope this is a bit better than my previous gallery. I know I'm still weak in image quality and that I need to not to such large graphics. My icons are also very weak. I'm working on those :blush:


I didn't know that about texts. I never knew where to exactly put them but you helped me a lot there! thank you :hug: 


I didn't know about the two-thirds rule and I always thought a graphic needs to be absolutely filled and that it has to make sense... As if a story was written there. I learned the hard way that that's not artistry... Or at least that's not a rule. I hope I've gotten less messy... 


Please do let me know if I've done better or not. Be absolutely honest :)

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#9 songbird


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Posted 02 December 2015 - 12:25 AM

Hey there! Saw the link and thought I should leave a proper comment. :)

Your graphics are very unique, and I can tell that you're definitely off to a good start! I thought this in particular was really cool, with the lines ensnaring her. And the comp on this is very interesting, as is the comp on the bottom right chapter image in this.

I think you should watch for over-complicating your graphics, as they're a bit busy and it's a little hard to know where to focus.Coloring as well, knowing which colors work well with what, and image quality, as a HQ image can help a graphic a ton.

But I love that you're experimenting, and you've produced such unique pieces. :D I'd love to see what you come up with in the future. <3

Edited by songbird, 02 December 2015 - 12:25 AM.


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#10 Artemesia


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Posted 02 December 2015 - 12:31 AM

Hi Miri :D Thank you so much for stopping by :D


Yesssss.... I tend to over complicate things a LOT! I'm working on it little by little. I tend to try and cover every single bit of the canvas which is really really bad... I'm working on it now, though. My problem is that I'm not exactly sure what my style is and I'm still trying to find out... Hopefully I'd stumble upon it sooner than later  :unsure:


Again, thank you so much for your advice :D :hug:

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#11 ferlybadinage


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Posted 02 December 2015 - 06:39 AM

Okay, number 1, I've been in your gallery before because I recognise your blends. So I'm not sure why I didn't comment before.

Number 2, it only just clicked that you're a member artist?! I just saw your name in the shout box and I realised that it's the same colour as mine. I genuinely thought you were higher up the ranks?!?!

Your stuff is amazing. I especially love your use of colour and texture. You already seem to have a defined style, which is incredible. I would say be careful with textures on faces, as it can make the images look a little lq, but in saying that, you've made it work, and the only one that it may bother me *slightly* is the girl on the left of the Amy Pond banner. However, that's also literally my favourite banner, it's amazing. You have quite a grungy style, which is awesome. Grunge + colour = beauty!

My other favourite is your first chapter image. Its gorgeous.

Anyways, just keep being awesome! XD

emma gallery ♥ unavailable

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#12 Artemesia


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Posted 03 December 2015 - 07:24 AM

Awww you thought I was higher up? That's so sweet... I only wish...

I really have no control over overcrowding images... but I'm working on it now. I really hope I'd be able to tap that technique fast. I need to do smaller graphics too :blush:

Thank you so much for all your compliments. They mean a lot to me. And thank you for stopping by and posting :hug:

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#13 Photoshopfreak


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Posted 03 December 2015 - 11:47 AM

Hello Jen!

I'm here with your critique!!!


First I will talk about your weaknesses that you mentioned in my crit thread.

Composition is really all about where you want your focus on your graphic. It is also best to constantly change your focus point. Being repetitive is boring and not fun at all!

With text it's all about practice and experimenting. Also go on a downloading spree and get lots of fonts. My fave place ( that I've found so far ) is dafont.com

Coloring is ALWAYS an experiment and you can come up with literally millions of different ways of doing coloring. My one suggestion would be to watch your contrast, on some of your work it seems over powering.

No need to be concerned about the 2/3rd rule! All it is is when you are doing a banner is to make the focal point either a little left or right of center. You can also be daring and make it completely to the left or right side. 


The Icons :

The cuts are pretty good!!! I especially love that you tried to put two people in an icon! That's pretty good for a member artist ( I sure wasn't doing that when I was a member artist ). I really really really like your black and white one as well!!!


The Chapter Images :

The composition and ideas of all your chapter images are so amazing! The contrast on them seems to be a little overpowering. HOWEVER. THIS has amazing blending and is gorgeous!!!


The Banners : 

​With your banners I would work on the composition and make sure that the focal point isn't always the same. It's hard I know... Even I sometimes STILL do it. I don't know if it's just muscle memory or what, but sometimes my banners seem to be repetitive at times. >.<


The Signatures : 

Your signatures are pretty unique. I would do a clean out of the "Break Out" signature. I love love love and think it's so cool that you used shapes on two of your sigs. It actually looks pretty freaking cool!!!


​The Blends :

I would continue to work on these as well. Make some that are 800x600. I know that size can be a little scary at first, but once you play around with it it really isn't too bad. WAY BACK WHEN I use to HATE doing anything bigger than icons.... and now I hate icons... LOL.


ALSO. That first JLaw blend is so pretty!!! PLUS IT'S JLAW. <3


All in all. Just keep practicing! That's all it really takes to become a great graphic artist. 

If you have any questions or just want to chat feel free to PM me!

Amanda || Photoshopfreak -Available (PM first)-




#14 Fireheart

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 12:54 AM

Hi dear! Wow, I can tell you've been working hard since I was last here! For your critique this time I'll do the "YBW" option critique, where I'll go through your gallery and point out which pieces I think are the strongest. :)




I really like the far b/w one. It's soft and simple, and it works!


Chapter Images:


Ohh this is really nice! The composition in particular is really solid. The big text is a bit hard to read though since it's sort of going through Harry and Ron. The Weasley's faces (minus Ginny) are also a touch dark when you compare how Harry's has that lighting to his face. A trick you can do is copy the image of the Weasley's, then set that layer to screen. You'll may need to lower the opacity, and you can even take a brush (on like 25%) and go over certain faces. Like Ginny is brighter than her brothers, so most likely with that screen layer you'll need to erase more from her face than her brothers. Hope that makes sense lol.




What I noticed when I saw the banners was that I wanted to see more of the pretty faces! I think this banner has the best background, but I think you should move Snape and the girl to the top of the background so they don't have all those textures running through their faces. :P 




This is my favorite signature! The coloring is really nice, and you have a good focal point with the center Amanda. One thing with image quality--something we all have to deal with--is that you can improve the quality by not have textures going over their faces. (As well as trying to use HD images obviously :P) I think the image quality looks great here!




I like the way you kept Jon's face clear here, and incorporated the other images in his body. I think that's really cool and my favorite piece here! 


Edit: Lol I just realized I referred to Kit as Jon. If I ever see him in real life I'll probably say "Hey Jon!" too.  :lol:


Overall I can see so much improvement here! In my last visit I talked about focal point a few times, and I can definitely see you improving there as well! Keep working hard and experimenting. I would say be careful of not letting the textures dominate the graphic, as placing them over faces can be distracting. But I think you're doing really well and I look forward to popping by again.  :hug:

Gallery l Unavailable due to computer issues. Hopefully fixed soon!


Stunning set by arrietty.

#15 Artemesia


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Posted 07 December 2015 - 03:13 AM

I'm once again making graphics over and over again, working on all of your crits! Photoshopfreak and Fireheart, thank you so much :hug: Your advice is really really helpful! I'm right now trying to overcome the whole texture-on-face and too-much-blending thing :blush: 


Very soon I'll be back asking for more crits, once I develop on what you've pointed out :blush:

layout inspired by a c c u r s e d.
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#16 atė!


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Posted 12 December 2015 - 06:29 PM

Hiya Jen! This is Sally with her (belated) critique!
I love how vibrant your gallery is and I'm psyched to give you some tips a

tricks to make it even more inviting ;) So let's get this show on the road!

1. Cookies
I really love how you're not afraid to experiment! Lot's of beginners just stick

to one colour scheme, or texture pack and that get's boring really quick. So

keep that up - it's great to see so many different compositions and colour

schemes! I also like that your gallery is neat and well structured, that's always

a plus!

2. Spices
In this section I will concentrate on three major points: image quality, overcolourisation

and general do's and dont's.
Image Quality: This is always a very important criterium for promotions (*wink*), so

definitely don't take image quality too easy! It is fairly easy to lower the image quality

without noticing. For example it's detrimental to the quality of the image (especially

with skin/faces and people in general) to put textures above it. It usually gives them

a grainy look and make it seem as if the quality is lower than it actually is! THIS and

THIS  are examples where the graphic would profit from you taking away the textures

above the people's faces - of course you can keep the texture, just take a soft eraser

and erase the parts that lower the quality, or if that would ensue in a change in colour,

make use of the smudge tool and just go over the parts. Of course, there are exceptions,

where textures or text (etc) over faces work, but as a general rule, you should keep in

mind not to do it.
I'm sure you already know that but just to remind you: image quality can of course

result from images that are too small in size or generally lacking in quality; so only use

high quality pictures or pictures that are of a reasonable size.
Overcolourisation: I already said that I love the variation in your coloring! And while

that is true, it is always important to be careful with overcolouring your graphics. You're

not alone with that problem - lot's of artists have problems with that (myself included),

so don't worry ;) As a beginner I would recommend you to go for natural skin tones. On

your second signature the colours are lovely, the skin tone is natural, the filtering is great,

it is creative and just all around lovely! If you take the signature below it and compare

those two, you can easily see the difference - the colours on the bottom one are not

natural, there is a texture (or even more than one) and text all over her face, the contrast

seems too high and the read is just too overpowering. I'm guessing you made the top

one after the bottom one, and I would definitely recommend you to steer in the direction

of the top one! It's lovely!!
General: I already touched the subject of filtering and THIS is an example where the

filtering is just too strong. It goes in the direction of painting-like look but at the moment

it just looks unnatural. If you lowered the filtering on there it would improve the graphic

so much! :loves: (I would also turn down the contrast again, since the red in the midtones

and the black in the shadows is too strong in my opinion.)
Sometimes, especially if you are still at the beginning of your graphic career, it is better

not to reserve to filtering at all. Or if you do, be very careful with it. I think it's more

important to get the basics like colouring/contrasts and blending straight first, since

that is a base you need!
And this is where I come to my last point: blending. While the blending is flawless on

your second sig (great hardcutting!), you seem to have minor problems with blending

in some of your other graphics. HERE for example the blending is not really strong.

Blending can easily get messy when you place images on top of each other and then

lower the opacity, or use the multiply/overlay setting. The branches would look much

better if they weren't across the girls face and the smaller girl would look much more

professional if she didn't have the line across her forehead (from the jacket of the

bigger one) and the bigger one would look much better without the trees shining

through her (her chin is cut off as well, that's one thing I'd recommend you to avoid -

faced should be clearly visible and not cut off ;))

3. Cinnamon
So that was almost it from me! I do think you already have a great start and especially

your newer pieces show great improvement! But TDA offers a lot of ways to always

improve yourself even more. That's why I would advise you to take a trip to Tutorial

central - there you can find all the techniques and tips you need to become an awesome

If you have any additional questions, feel free to send me a pm or contact me otherwise,

I'm always glad if I can help! Also ask if anything is unclear (I've written so much and I'm

sure some sentences probably don't make sense haha)!
I hope I could help you a bit and the critique wasn't too harsh!
Here's to seeing you and new pretties around at TDA in the future!
Love, Sally

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» || Sally is semi-available. PM first. previously fayeswonderland.|| «
c a t c h & r e l e a s e «

#17 Artemesia


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Posted 21 December 2015 - 11:10 PM

Hey Sally :D So sorry for the delay but what I do when I get critiqued is work on what I've been told and come back with a new set :D So... I redid my gallery :D Hope things are way better now! 


I especially worked on image quality, over colouring, filtering as well as blending. I really hope I've grasped the techniques a bit more now...


Thank you so much love. You really helped me :D

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#18 Itsugo

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 11:30 PM

Hi Jen :D Love your work. One of a kind stuff  :joker:  :joker:  :hyper:  :D

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