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Hey there, viewers!  I have a question for all of you.
This evening, I received some interesting critique from :icontornquist: , regarding my artistic technique and this image:  

Mature Content

What Are You Smiling At? by Djake

He was under the impression that this image was a paint-over of a digital render (the sort of thing one might create in Blender, Poser, DAZStudio and so on), due to the fact that the character was far more detailed than the environment in which I placed her.  Even upon realizing the mistake, Tornquist stated that he found the difference jarring - or, at least, incongruous.
Believe it or not, I'm very happy to hear this sort of thing.  I appreciate every positive comment and bit of praise my work receives, but a bit of helpful and well-thought criticism is a rare treasure for us artists!  Often, we are too close to our work to see where the flaws lie - especially a flaw as tied to one's technique as this is to mine.  It has given me food for thought regarding my approach/presentation, and made me curious what you, my viewers, think.
As the technically curious among you know, it's not unusual for my images to take 18-20 hours to draw.  This has been a bit of a thorn in my side, as I rarely have more than an hour or two to commit to a picture - apart from occasional weekends.  I decided that a solution would be to simplify the background - something between expressionism and a photo with a shallow depth of field.  With little to hold interest in the background, the character is then allowed to "pop," and becomes the focal point of the piece almost by default.  In a way, this has been a success - the simplistic backgrounds (or my other "cheat":  the impenetrable blackness of shadow as a backdrop) have indeed pared down my drawing time (this pic took "only" six hours), but does it leave the image looking too unfinished?  Does the sketchy background simply come off as lazy, instead of simplistic?
I would love to hear your opinions!  I will also be researching some techniques this weekend, so you'll probably be seeing some experimentation in my upcoming images.  If you have the time and an opinion, please feel free to weigh in!
  • Listening to: Paul Shapera's "Fairy Tales for the Lost and Wande
  • Reading: http://www.anthropark.wz.cz/middle.htm
  • Watching: "Animals of Madagascar" Documentary
  • Playing: Dungeons & Dragons, 5th Edition
  • Eating: Chicken Burgers
  • Drinking: Iced Tea

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Djake's Profile Picture
Djake
Mellow-Ass Virgo
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
Canada
Current Residence: Pluto, protesting its non-planet status.
deviantWEAR sizing preference: My clothes are mediums... Your ancestors say hello.
Favourite genre of music: I'm like Baskin Robin's: 39 varieties...
Favourite photographer: Eolake Stobblehouse
Favourite style of art: Many media
Operating System: Mac OSX (Leopard)
MP3 player of choice: My laptop
Shell of choice: Nautillus. Those univalves are wacky.
Wallpaper of choice: Sherwin-Williams
Skin of choice: AcidBathSadie's -_^
Favourite cartoon character: Sawa from Kite or Vampire Hunter D
Personal Quote: "Groovy."
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:iconndzoodzoo:
Ndzoodzoo Featured By Owner 6 days ago
Yo. Do you know much about amphibians? Cause i have this thing where i assign each of my oc's a spirit animal, and i want this one character's animal to be either a frog or a salamander. I can describe her a little bit for you: she lives in her mind a lot, loves the beauty and solitude of the forest, likes the quiet, likes to collect things like pine cones and discarded snake skins and rocks, has an odd way of talking to people (not good at following social cues), sweet once yu get to know her, knows that she's weird and likes it and sometimes even flaunts it. She's also asexual and non-gender conforming though she's fine with being referred to with feminine pronouns.
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:icondjake:
Djake Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Hmmm...  if I may offer a bit of shamanic insight, this character doesn't really strike me as the amphibious sort.  Of course, I'm not going to tell you how to portray your character - but, in my experience, amphibian-types tend to be sedentary folks who are mostly concerned with their basic needs, and don't tend to look much beyond shelter and a passable living.  Amphibian people tend to be the sort who go to work, come home, watch TV for a bit and head to bed each day, and are alright with that arrangement.  From the description, your character seems rather more energetic and outgoing.
Instead, the animal that immediately comes to my mind is a nutcracker ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clark%27… ).  These birds, like all members of the crow family, are intelligent, curious, and occasionally collect things like feathers, shiny rocks and so on - for no apparent reason apart from the fact that they seem to like them.  Being brainy birds, they sometimes get bored and look for new things to do - exploring things, playing pranks and generally making their own fun - sometimes to the chagrin of other wildlife or people.  They're less social than other corvids (crows, ravens, etc.) in that they don't gather in permanent flocks, but they are not territorial, and can get along well enough as long as resources are sufficient.  Male and female nutcrakers aren't visibly distinct from one another, apart from males being slightly larger, and behaviour is likewise similar - so a female nutcracker is unlikely to fuss overmuch about her identity as a "lady."  Nutcrackers are more low-key than some corvidae (like noisy crows or vain blue jays) and, although they're striking enough in their grey plumage, they don't go out of their way to be noticed.
Anywho, that's my two cents.  If I've missed the mark, please feel free to tell me more about the character (I love to hear people's ideas!), and I'll see what else I can come up with.  :)
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:iconndzoodzoo:
Ndzoodzoo Featured By Owner 3 days ago
That sounds like her exactly!! Your a (do yu mind swear words?) f***ing genius! How do yu even know this stuff? Yur brilliant. I dont even know what to say... Thank yu. Thank yu so much. Yur awesome! :) :) :) :)  Thank yu Kaori Bowing Icon !
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:icondjake:
Djake Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Aww, thank you for the compliments!  Daryun  (and not to worry, I swear more than is probably required ^^;  )  Honestly, I just spent my early childhood in the woods - and my later youth watching and reading nature stuff, where other kids played sports and watched MTV.  On the flip side, I know practically noting about athletic stuff, current politics or other trendy things; it's just a question of where one allocate's one's studies.  :)  For the shamanic/totemic stuff:  that's equal parts role-playing games and interest in real-world metaphysics.
Anyway, I'm glad the info proved helpful!  Be sure to drop me a line if you make use of it; I'd love to see what comes of the brainstorming.  :)
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(1 Reply)
:iconkaoru-kamiya:
kaoru-kamiya Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2016  Hobbyist Photographer
thank you for the :+fav: Hexentanz 
Reply
:icondjake:
Djake Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
You earned it - and likewise!
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:icontuan-hollaback:
tuan-hollaback Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you so much for the fave !!! Or watch ! I never remember lol.

Hey do you have Twitter or Facebook ? If yes, holla at me there too :)
Twitter : www.twitter.com/airforcetuan
FB : www.facebook.com/tuan.hollabac…

All the best, take care ^^

Angel Dust by tuan-hollaback  

Mature Content

Summer is Coming - One Piece by tuan-hollaback
 Tilia by tuan-hollaback  Touka of Tokyo Ghoul by tuan-hollaback  
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:icondjake:
Djake Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the imagery!  I really like how you use rough techniques to create really in-depth pieces; it makes for an interesting contrast!
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:icontuan-hollaback:
tuan-hollaback Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for taking your time for such analysis ! And I'm very happy you get where I wanna take my art to. I'm kinda tired of this same old cold digital art. I love traditional art feeling, its warmth. It's more "artistic" to me and that's what I'm aiming at now. I recently found my way and style, finally !
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:icondjake:
Djake Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I can definitely dig that.  For many years, I worked in coloured pencil, and I've never been a huge fan of the more sterile digital art styles drifting around.  Like you, I try to mimic traditional media where I can; I find it gives it a lot more texture and feeling of visual interest.  It's a bit more work (and a lot more study); but, in my humble opinion, it's worth it.  :)
Congratulations on finding your own personal groove, by the way!  That's something I'm still working on, and I wish you all the best in pursuing it.
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