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November 25, 2011
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Sneak Peek 27: My Fight by Mattierial Sneak Peek 27: My Fight by Mattierial

Working on the project picture for "Sokka's Master" and coming to the realization that I won't finish it today... again ^^;

I'm fooling around with my coloring style, using the dry media brush (that I usually use for my backgrounds) to soften the cell shading on characters. Seen in this Sneak Peek:

(I also describe a little of my coloring style there... but, it's constantly evolving.)

Why? Because one of my more recent critiques was that my characters seem removed from the backgrounds I put them in. Like they don't belong... a "Roger Rabbit"-like effect.

In the past, I've softened and lowered the opacity on the default hard brush to this effect. But, I'm lazy with it... and I don't always take my time to finish it the way I should... leaving the characters with a more cartoony cell-shade appearance in the midst of backgrounds that I spend much more time putting details into. Also, I might start coloring the lines to make the border from "characters" to "backgrounds" less defined.

Obviously, even this small portion of the picture is unfinished. I'll spend some more time detailing the cells and fixing the lines. (like, just now I noticed the pupil on the screen's left eye is a little left... etc). The lines in the background (as messy as they seem this close up) will not be present in the finished product... they are more like guidelines for my rendering.


If you guys notice anything in one of my pictures that seems off... or bugs you, please tell me. I won't be offended, I know I'm not the best artist... and probably never will be :D

As much as I enjoy the praise I receive (there's nothing more satisfying for an artist than hearing that someone genuinely enjoyed his or her work), I really need the "constructive" criticism so that I can grow and learn as an artist. And often, although an artist might recognize that there is an issue in the picture, it is hard to see what exactly the problem is because we work on the picture and are engrossed in it. It is you, the viewer, that can more easily point out an issue.


As it is the time of year that we express what we are thankful for, I'd like to take this time to thank you... the people who watch me.

I'm not an amazing artist. I fumble with simple things like perspective, anatomy and general structural design. The colors in my picture often clash... and I have the strangest ideas, like making an entire group focused on Mako's scarf, or putting a strawberry in each of my pictures.

So, it's a definite confidence boost that anyone favorites my stuff... even more that anyone decides it's good enough that they want to see more in the future (and watch me). For a minute, I can delude myself into thinking that I actually have something cool... a talent. Even though I know it'll be a long road cultivating that into something real.

That's why I always finish my artist's comments with a "Thanks for looking," and my journals with a "Thanks for reading." I'm genuinely thankful... and I never want to forget that.


Finished picture:

Avatar belongs to Mike, Bryan and Nick. Art belongs to me.

See More of my Avatar Fanart here: [link]

Thanks for looking
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frozen-fyre Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011
Lies. Your work always looks great. And hey, you're only getting better - so don't worry about the simple mistakes, everyone makes those. ^^ Also, I think I must favorite at least half your deviations because I really do enjoy them.
Mattierial Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Thank you :hug:
frozen-fyre Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011
Np ^^ :hug:
TheStoryNeverEnds Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I never noticed the detail inconsistency between your characters and your backgrounds. :shrug: Some of your backgrounds are so detailed and pretty, I guess they distract me from other things.

One thing I have noticed, though, is the way you draw eyes. It's very easily recognizable, I think. I can't really think of the right words to describe it... I don' know. Just a random little thing I noticed, I guess.

You do have talent! Don't think that you don't. Just because you haven't completely refined your talent and figured out how to use it doesn't mean that it's not there. Besides which, part of the enjoyment of being an artist is always bettering yourself. It's no fun if you know you can't get any better =D.

Happy Thanksgiving! :hug:
Mattierial Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Student Digital Artist
:shrug: I always felt they were a little disconnected. The critique was specifically about the Temari picture I just put up...

My eyes are pretty simple actually... kinda just a rounded version of the ATLA style. That's definitely what influenced how I draw them. Now, even when I do fanart of other properties, anything else just looks wrong to me ^^;

Yeah... thanks :hug:. I just don't feel like I'm progressing, that I'm stuck... wherever I am. I see all of those amazing artists on DA and wonder at them in awe. And, for whatever reason, I just can't do anything like it... my pictures always seem subpar. I'm finding it harder and harder to imagine myself as a "great artist" at any point in my future. And, in a world where even many great artists struggle financially... how can I justify having that sort of dream.

Sorry... I say too much ^^;. I'm not fishing for sympathy or anything... just voicing my personal concerns. I should start writing a journal again...

Happy Thanksgiving :)
TheStoryNeverEnds Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Now that you mention it, they do look like the ATLA style. Very sharp and noticeable. :)

Oh, you've definitely progressed since joining dA. Looking at some of your older art (Yes, I stopped typing and stalked your gallery to see the comparison ^^;), I'd say you've come a long way. And hey, every art has dry spells. You'll get out of it.

As far as having a difficult time imagining yourself as a great artist... I can totally relate. I'd always imagined that (brace yourself; here comes the cheese) I would someday write a story that would be a bestseller and change lives. Naive, I know. Lately, I'm wondering if I even have what it takes to write something on that level... but I've also come to realize that if I can even affect the life of one person around me, it will be immensely satisfying. And that, I have confidence I can do. And I know you can, too. I can't say about the people who know you personally, but your watchers on dA love you. Being great doesn't necessarily mean being famous.

Sorry if all that was uber sappy.

Ha, now I feel like I'm saying too much. ^^; I guess we both tend to get carries away.
Mattierial Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for the encouragement :hug:

Yeah, I'm just getting down on myself again ^^;. I am happy with the progress that I've made as an artist. Some of the stuff that I've posted is just embarrassingly bad... I'm glad I've hidden most of those away in my scraps :blushes:

"Being great doesn't necessarily mean being famous." Oh, I completely understand this (Kim Kardashian as one example of fame without greatness ^^;), I'm not confusing the two. I'm not worried about the number of favs, watchers and views that I have compared to the artists that I think are great... I'm worried about why their art is great to me. What angles and poses make this picture better? What colors make this pop and that settle into the background. Where are they succeeding in anatomy and perspective? But, most of the time it's a mystery to me...
TheStoryNeverEnds Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
My pleasure :hug:

I understand, I do the same thing.

Have you taken any art courses, maybe in college? Maybe you just need more training?
KajininNoKonoha Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2011
Heh....Sokka, looking all serious and stuff.

:iconsokkaplz: Sokka: "Hmmm.........................:iconsokkaraepfaceplz: Heh heh. I look pretty damn good."
Mattierial Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Student Digital Artist
lol :D
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