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Submitted on
March 20, 2012
Image Size
491 KB


128 (who?)

Camera Data

Shutter Speed
1/25 second
Focal Length
33 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Mar 20, 2012, 1:36:59 PM
Adobe Photoshop 7.0
Sensor Size
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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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:
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
Aw, thank you very much indeed. I'm glad you like it! :)
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!
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! :)
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...
MagicBirdie Featured By Owner May 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Apparently, you shouldn't put the main object of a painting in the center :)
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!
MagicBirdie Featured By Owner May 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think it's fine!
AmandaDrage Featured By Owner May 10, 2012
Oh good :hug:
Arwen-l-elfe Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
i like this one. Something in his eye...
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