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February Dawn - Blackbird by AmandaDrage February Dawn - Blackbird by AmandaDrage
Can my titles get much worse :XD:

This is the one that's been giving me trouble. If anyone has any advice, crits etc fire away, although bear in mind that can't really do much more to the bird as the area is overworked and I can't add a lot more pencil marks to the paper...

I know that the balance is off (though it looks better in a frame) - I have thought about adding something to the right but don't know what?

A4 pencil and pastel
Ref thanks to !theshinyrockstock who has for some reason deactivated... sigh
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:iconanimaliarockpainting:
AnimaliaRockpainting Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh.. Amazing work!  Clap 
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:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I just love this! It looks perfect like this. :heart: It's amazing how realistic you painted this without overworking it. I love it when you can still see the structure of the paper. Great job! :clap:
:+favlove:
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:iconamandadrage:
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
Aw, thank you very much indeed. I'm glad you like it! :)
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:iconwildartguy:
wildartguy Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012  Professional General Artist
I don't think there is anything wrong with the composition here, I love it! The worn concrete looks good and the drafting of the bird is excellent. Yes, its true that having the subject in the centre seldom works, but you haven't done that, it's off centre which creates drama and you have the empty space in the direction the bird is looking. This and the bird looking over its shoulder creates a reflective mood as well as dynamic tension. It is also true that there needs to be something on the right, and there is! The wire trailing off to nothing and the slightly lighter tone above it is exactly what was needed. You're instincts are spot on, trust them young skywalker! Simple comps are often the best, and don't forget that a signature (which you've put in just the right place - although the absolute perfect spot would be halfway between the bottom of picture and the wire vertically) is part of the picture too.The paleness behind the bird really creates a misty feel which suits the idea beautifully. The eye and bill are critical in a piece like this and you've nailed them. What's the problem?

If I were forced to add something I would slightly add to or enhance that blue sheen on its back, and maybe try to get a little more from the water drops (difficult in pastel, I know), but does it need it? You must decide. For me, your drafting isn't consistent, more practice is needed (by everyone!), but when you get it right, as you have here, it's excellent! I love it!
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:iconwildartguy:
wildartguy Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2012  Professional General Artist
Oh god no! Definitely not just you! I always find the ones I like are never the popular ones. But when you say you later realise they aren't so good, is that because you are perhaps being influenced by the reaction of others? I tend to think the same way when a piece doesn't get the response I'd hoped for, but you have to put the initial reaction of others out of your mind and stick to your guns, often you'll find that later on, or in another forum, you were totally right!
The signature thing is also a slight lack of self confidence, one I know only too well! I was getting to the point where my sigs were miniscule, almost unreadable! But you gotta remember it IS part of the composition! One thing I found useful was to paint my sig (one dark and one light) on small pieces of acetate (or any clear plastic), and try it out in different places on a piece until you find the perfect spot. You could also try to keep it roughly the same size regardless of the size of the painting, it gives the viewer a sense of the scale of the piece, I found these things helped me a lot. I spent way too long thinking I was a fraud and one day people would realise I was crap. Save yourself some time, you are extremely good, you just need to believe it!

hope this doesn’t sound patronising or condescending, just trying to help! :)
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:iconamandadrage:
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2012
Oh well, in that case, I can rest easy about the composition worries... hehe. I do have a habit of putting my signatures too close to the edges. I somehow feel they intrude :lol: I don't want my name butting in on the picture haha!

Thanks for the encouragement!! I was feeling a little blah about this one. Strangely the ones I am most excited about upon finishing are the ones that I later realise are not so good. I wonder if that's just me...
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:iconmagicbirdie:
MagicBirdie Featured By Owner May 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Apparently, you shouldn't put the main object of a painting in the center :)
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:iconamandadrage:
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner May 6, 2012
This is true - although for a straightforward portrait it's fine. I thought he was a little TOO far off to one side!
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:iconmagicbirdie:
MagicBirdie Featured By Owner May 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I think it's fine!
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:iconamandadrage:
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner May 10, 2012
Oh good :hug:
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:iconarwen-l-elfe:
Arwen-l-elfe Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
i like this one. Something in his eye...
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:iconamandadrage:
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner May 1, 2012
Aw thank you :hug: It's a sparkly eye!
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:iconarwen-l-elfe:
Arwen-l-elfe Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I love blackbirds. They sing when it's rainnig here :aww:
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:iconamandadrage:
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner May 1, 2012
Yes, here too. Noisy things. And it rains a lot :XD:
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:iconarwen-l-elfe:
Arwen-l-elfe Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:XD: There is only a Channel between England and Northem France

But it can't stop bad weather

:giggle:
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:iconala-rai:
Ala-Rai Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
Oh how I've missed your art during my dA absence! There are a lot of really subtle details here even for it's simplicity like the rust on the fence wire. I also like the bird's expression.
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:iconamandadrage:
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2012
Oh thank you :) glad you liked! Thanks for the faves, too :heart:
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:iconcomacold:
Comacold Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
nothing wrong with the balance imho, looks really great to me and I love the choice of colours :) The title isn't bad either, I can honestly say I have worse: "Horse", "Nightmare-oil painting", "Cheetah" are just to name a few :P
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:iconamandadrage:
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012
Thank you v much :) Haha having to title art is one of the hardest parts. Sometimes a name just fits instantly, but most of the time I have to resort to thesaurus.com!
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:iconbee-kay:
Bee-Kay Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Love those feathers! The eye is so lifelike.
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:iconamandadrage:
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012
Thank you very much!
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:iconlluvia-estival:
lluvia-estival Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2012   Traditional Artist
:iconmesmerizing-animals: Your artwork has been featured in our March feature: [link]
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:iconamandadrage:
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012
Wow, thank you :)
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:iconanimalartkingdom:
AnimalArtKingdom Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Absolutely amazing work! I am really enjoying your bird works
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:iconamandadrage:
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2012
Aw thank you very much :) That's good, because there are a LOT more of them to come :XD:
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:iconanimalartkingdom:
AnimalArtKingdom Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Woo! I'm excited to see

You're welcome
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:iconpearlypony:
PearlyPony Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2012   General Artist
I reckon it's brilliant actually! :love::love: Well done! :winner:
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:iconamandadrage:
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2012
Aw thanks Mel. :hug: I really am surprised by how many people like this lol!!
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:iconpearlypony:
PearlyPony Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012   General Artist
:woohoo::iconwoohooplz:
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:iconsunwolf29:
sunwolf29 Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2012
For some reason I think this is one of my favorites. I really really love it. I see what you are saying about the balance issue and I am a bit torn too(though I doubt I would have noticed it if you hadn't mentioned it lol) What Coi-kins said about the highlights might do the trick, another thing I was wondering is if you had a bit of tangled barb wire with the existing wire on the right might balance it out but then again it might take away from the drips of water. Though I am not sure you have to do anything.

I am just really drawn to this one. It is something that I would buy and hang on my walls if I saw it close by.
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:iconamandadrage:
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2012
Really... I am surprised by what people think of this one, lol but thank you, I'm glad you like it! I almost binned it haha!
The tangled wire idea sounds good, I'm bearing all this advice in mind ;) I'd add a drip or two to that as well maybe.
Well I plan to take it to autumn shows so I hope someone thinks the same way that you do :XD: would be nice if my art took off locally and I could sell some around here!
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:iconjennymoedkorpela:
JennyMoedKorpela Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
He is absolutely gorgeous! I had to look for awhile before spotting anything off with the balance, but now that I look at it again, I think that the reason you feel it is off balance is the angle of the barb wire to the left of the bird. I think that if the wire there would go slightly up instead of down, that would stop the feeling of the painting falling a little to the left?
I love how you painted the head, and the look in his eyes is captivating!
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:iconamandadrage:
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2012
Yes. I completely agree, now that you point it out! The wire on the left does slope down a little, and I think if it was more upward-sloping it would help. I'm not sure if I can erase it now though. I can try, haha.
Many thanks!! :)
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:iconjennymoedkorpela:
JennyMoedKorpela Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
You are welcome!:heart: It was just something I thought about when you were complaining about unbalance...=D
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:iconlindacolijn:
LindaColijn Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It looks lovely, cant find anything wrong with it. It looks so calm and peaceful. I dont think it needs a background (but I dont do backgrounds in my drawings either, simply because I suck at it!). The details in the feathers are great. Stop worrying about it! I love it. :)
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:iconamandadrage:
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2012
Aw thank you Linda :) Glad you like it. Haha I will try and stop worrying! It's just one of those ones that bugs me, you know? I need to put it away and forget about it :lol:
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:iconjuliebales:
JulieBales Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2012  Student General Artist
What a lovely bird ! It's very realistic. Good job one again :heart:
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:iconamandadrage:
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2012
Thank you very much :hug:!
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:iconkelpie77:
Kelpie77 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like the space and wouldn't put anything in to detract from the detail of the bird and wire. Agree with theOvercoat to add a bit more of the rust colour to the left of the post, but other than that, leave it. Make some matting corners to try different crops, as you say, the frame will give more definition.
I would be tempted to crop it a bit harder down the left to see what it looks like. (alternatively just play with the scan on crops as it's both easy and undoable!!! :D

Only other thing to say - walk away and come back to it in a couple weeks. You'll have better perspective :)
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:iconamandadrage:
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2012
Thanks v much :D Yeah I'm going to open it in Photoshop and try some things! Could even mock up some matting too. And yes I'll also try walking away, although usually it goes the other way - I'll like something and then put it away, come across it after a month or two and then realise I don't like it as much as I thought!!
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:iconnachiii:
Nachiii Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, when I saw the thumbnail, I thought it was a photo for a while :). I love the structure of the feathers and the fence as well. The wire looks so realistic and there's even the raindrops :love: Amazing :)
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:iconamandadrage:
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2012
Thank you :) I loved the feather structure in the reference, that's the main reason I wanted to draw this one! Also glad you think the wire looks good... I wasn't so sure about it myself :lol:
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:iconcoi-kins:
Coi-kins Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I agree with what the others have said about the balance. I think it is fine. I think perhaps the bird needs more highlights - although I know you said you can't do much with him. I think it just lacks a more definitive light source. Great expression though. :D
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:iconamandadrage:
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2012
Oh thank you :) I suppose I can add a little thin white-ish acrylic for highlights. Going to have a play in Photoshop and try out these suggestions!
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:iconmisted-dream:
Misted-Dream Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Ah very nice! I would never have guessed this piece gave you trouble, honestly! I like everything about this--from colors to details. As others have said, I think the balance isn't too troubling, but if you really do want to add something there, I think a nice little bunch of dead grass or some other long and dead/brownish plant would work wonderfully there. ;)
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:iconamandadrage:
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2012
HAha glad you like it, thank you! I'm bearing all these suggestions in mind, think I might open it in Photoshop and have a play around. :) I like the dead grasses idea.
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:iconmisted-dream:
Misted-Dream Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
You're welcome! Photoshop is always a good way to go. ;)
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:iconmeihua:
meihua Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2012
Beautiful work :)
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:iconamandadrage:
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2012
Thank you!! :D
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:iconmerrilee:
merrilee Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2012
I wouldn't bother with the balance issue. As it is it creates a good tension with the negative space and that's not always a bad thing, often it helps to draw the observer in. I really like this, it doesn't look too overworked to me!
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Details

Submitted on
March 20, 2012
Image Size
491 KB
Resolution
800×552
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Views
1,684
Favourites
129 (who?)
Comments
69

Camera Data

Make
Canon
Model
Canon EOS 400D DIGITAL
Shutter Speed
1/25 second
Aperture
F/4.5
Focal Length
33 mm
ISO Speed
400
Date Taken
Mar 20, 2012, 1:36:59 PM
Software
Adobe Photoshop 7.0
Sensor Size
4mm
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