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