December 31, 2012

Braids - KatrinUnge

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Braids, by Katrin Unge (DA's KatrinUnge) is a set of 3 (actually 4 but one is the same style) pictures about hair. She is a photographer and an insane makeup artist (check out her Silver bodypainting or her zombie makeup!) as well as a hairstylist. Her makeup and post-production often outshine her hair work which is unfortunate because it is so unique and detailed. She obviously didn't like it being outshined either and thus produced these pictures showing the intricate braids on a purposefully bland model.

December 30, 2012

Stardust - SoraNamae

Stardust
Stardust is a digital painting by Sora Namae (DA's the same, SoraNamae). I wasn't sure at first if I would critique this piece or not; I kept flip-flopping on whether I liked it or not. I usually only review pieces I like because the resulting review is better if I'm invested in the art. While I'm still deciding on this piece, I read a great post by Sora specifically about critiques. It's worth a read, as are some of his other journal entries including the one on racial bias.

December 29, 2012

Fairy 2 - Weirdmee

Fairy 2
Between inventions like the smartphone and program creations like Instagram, anyone can be a photographer now. While 'veterans of the industry' lament about the old days when the quality was higher, I prefer how things are now where anyone who has a creative ripple run through their body can go out and take pictures and let that feeling out. That's not to say that a lot of not-yet-talented people are taking pictures right now - and I won't even blink between saying that and mentioning that I recently bought a new camera without having hardly practiced with one before. Thankfully, there are still amazing artists like Daria Pitak (DA's Weirdmee) taking photoraphs.

December 28, 2012

Azteresis - Hallsth-eien

Azteresis
I'm a really big fan of character sheets. They give you a really unique insight into the creation of a character: how they evolved from their original design or what they looked like before color was added. They're also great for understanding the character (there's a good reason they use the same term for a bio of a written character). Seeing a character from different points of view and expressing different emotions is a great experience so I'm glad Haku (DA's Hallsth-eien) drew this one of her character Azteresis, a female warrior who reminds me a little of Brienne from Game of Thrones.

December 27, 2012

Tea - Evanira

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Green tea, English tea, and Chai tea, represented as beautiful ladies by Evanira (Evanira on DA too!) are a great way to start your morning. Whatever flavour you prefer - I happen to like tall and slender with a great fashion sense, otherwise known as green tea - it will probably soon be available to you in lady-form. These three were all submitted relatively close together, and not long ago, so we can all hope that Evanira produces more of them and makes the full set (how about Oolong, or Irish breakfast even: a redhead for breakfast is always amazing).

December 26, 2012

On the Beach - Ellixus

On the Beach
The title of this piece is On the Beach, by Gabriel B. (DA's Ellixus) but what I find more visually attractive is what's just off the beach and into the bay. The precarious path to the house on the cliff, which is powered by wind to illuminate the lights. The little sailboat in the corner catching the last winds of the evening, and of course the massive red planet in the background. It all combines for a very fantastic landscape that you can be sure has a great story behind it.

December 25, 2012

Christmas Dog - Umedama

Christmas Dog
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope Santa brought you some awesome art supplies or art itself for gifts! And maybe, just maybe, if you've been extra nice, there will be a Christmas dog underneath the tree; something cute like the one drawn by Umedama Riko (DA's Umedama). He's very cute with his little Santa hat, and so well behaved too. I don't know many dogs who would wear a collar like that or even a hat, let alone sit patiently for you to come down the stairs and open your gifts.

December 24, 2012

Day 346 - Secrets-of-the-pen

Day 346
The full title for this image is "Day 346 of my 366 Drawing Project" and it's done by Alaina (DA's Secrets-of-the-pen). The drawing project that the title is speaking of is the artist's charity project. Over this past year she has made one new charcoal and chalk drawing every single day, selling them on her Etsy site, and donating all the proceeds to Alternative to Violence to build a shelter for domestic abuse victims.

December 23, 2012

New Characters - Slyvanie

New Characters.
Now this is something that's got me excited! New Characters, by Slyvanie (DA's Slyvanie) is the sort of image that creates its own story in your head. Three characters, all of which are roughly the same height, shape, and basic black color, yet they each have so much depth. I think it's so interesting how we associate colors and fonts and build stories in our heads without even trying. If these characters are engaging to you too, the artist has put an open request out for anyone to write stories based on any or all of these characters; I think I'll be tossing my hand in for that!

December 22, 2012

Not-So-Little Mermaid - Emjustem

Not-So-Litttle Mermaid
That is one big mermaid! Or 'not-so-little' if you prefer the negative, which is what I think Heidi Mäenpää (DA's Emjustem) prefers. There's an inherent connection in that choice to The Little Mermaid we know and love: they both share a curiosity for the world above them. Ariel had whoseits and whatsits galore and this mermaid of greater proportions is considering taking that anchor for her collection. She could capsize that boat with a flick of her wrist so let's hope she stays entertained just looking at it for now.


December 21, 2012

Autumn Fire - Harlequinromantique

Autumn Fire
It's moments like this that I find myself wishing it were easier for men to wear jewellery. The outside ring (plated brass) is amazingly ornate and unique. The pendant itself is big enough to see easily but small enough so that it wouldn't weigh you down (as some current necklaces tend to). The real beauty part though is that centerpiece. I don't think Julee Drain (DA's Harlequinromantique) did it on purpose, but this one reminded me right away of the poster for The Hunger Games. The two angled reflections of orange light even mimic the Mockingjay in the poster. If you read no further, click here. It's not this exact piece (the link is blood red), but another one very similar is for sale!

December 20, 2012

Fortunames - Zsoltkosa

 

Short bonus post for you because I couldn't get enough info; I just wanted to show off how awesome and unique these are. They're made by Zsolt Kosa (DA's Zsoltkosa) and if a sweet name like that isn't interesting enough in it's own right I don't know what would be. He makes each of these Fortunames from people who have submitted their names (they were free before but are now $25 USD. No mention of where to pay or how to message him, Facebook may be just as good as DA. Both of these sites haven't been updated in a couple of months so buyer beware). I couldn't find any more information on what a Fortuname is. I imagine Zsolt just made up that title, and his English isn't perfect, but it seems like there's good fortune or good luck to be had from getting one of these done, I'm not sure on the specifics.

Realism Practice - Jacia

Realism Practice
This is a drawing. No, really, it is! I couldn't tell if it was a photograph or a drawing since you can come at this sort of picture from either direction. If it were a photograph you'd just have to "photoshop" the skin and eyes and such; it's actually more common in current media to see a picture like this than a true, out-of-camera photo. If you need proof that it's a drawing, Jacia Kros (DA's Jacia) has included a companion piece that details the making of. There's one thing that gave it away to me that this was a drawing, even without the other evidence, and I'll get to that in the dislike section.

December 19, 2012

Winter Begins III - FaiblesseDesSens

Winter Begins III
It was harder than you might think to find good Christmas photography. Despite the cold weather, it seems Christmas is a good time of year to take off all your clothes... as I haven't decided if I should keep this site PG-13 or not, I'm erring on the side of caution and finding a clothed photo. I'm glad I made that decision (for now) though because it led me to Silvia Hagemann (DA's FaiblesseDesSens). It's thanks to her that I have this lovely photo of Isabelle to share with you while I go Christmas shopping for my last few gifts!

December 18, 2012

Last Resort - Valkiria-art

Last Resort
I'll start off with the double-entendre in the title. Coming from a beach house lifestyle, it was the beach theme that caught me first; with the anchors, ship's wheel, and the beach itself. This could very well be the last beach house (resort) on earth, as the tornadoes and lightning signify an end of days kind of world. What Valkiria-art likely meant as the other meaning is the more common use of the phrase: a last resort is a final option. In this same end of days world, this ship (and yes it's a ship, notice the anchors and especially the engines flaring for takeoff) is the last one to leave this husk once known as Earth.

December 17, 2012

The Duel - Bpsola

The Duel
This is a speed drawing so you should forgive some of the roughness but personally I feel it adds to the picture. The Duel, by Bryan Sola (DA's Bpsola) is the kind of evocative image most artists dream about. Excuse me if this is fan art (as some commenters hint that it may be), but I'm going to assume the idea is all Bryan's and applaud him for the drama, intensity, and storytelling in this piece. It looks like a final confrontation out of a video game or even a movie, and it makes me want to know more.

December 16, 2012

Yeah - Badgiiiirl


Yeah
It's always a challenge to write about photography. There's some basic rules to follow and some composition standards to help weed out the bad from the good. But DA brings its own set of challenges, in particular, is the artist the photographer or the model? In this case, I chose to review the model, Anne (DA's Badgiiiirl). It's even messier because she's also a photographer, but it's the modelling that caught my eye. In this picture alone there is a sense of attitude and playfulness that's hard to ignore.

December 15, 2012

Fathomless Abyss - Minnhagen


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The pictures above are the cover art for books 1, 3, and 4 - respectively - of the Tales from the Fathomless Abyss series, (and the books themselves are between $0.99 and $2.99, so check them out too!) all drawn by the fabulous Mats Minnhagen (DA's Minnhagen). I believe Minnhagen drew the 2nd cover as well but sadly it's not in his gallery. The first one, titled the same as the series, is my personal favorite. It was super close to what I imagined when I read the synopsis (here in Minnhagen's words):
"This is the coolest shared world book series ever: A bottomless pit that opens up randomly throughout history and in different worlds. People and creatures fall in and get trapped. They cling to the walls, build colonies, trade, make war, etc. It's quite a playground for authors!"

December 14, 2012

Drako - Blazan

Drako
One thing that has always intrigued me is outlines. They don't exist in real life per se, but in a drawing you just about have to have them. Some people only use black and draw them as thin as possible to pretend like they're not even there. Another choice is to use a significantly lighter or darker shade of the color being outlined so that it blends really well. One moooore thing: One of my recent favorite trends is to use a thick white outline so that it looks like a sticker, which is pretty cool, but not exactly what Alex (DA's Blazan) has done here. At first glance you see the white around the dragon and you might be tempted to think it's the sticker-effect. But take a closer look at the steam rising off the coffee, or the other clouds. The outline of choice is always a solid color (different from option a), a different color and not just a different shade (different from option b), and it's not just white (different from option c).

December 13, 2012

Atlantis - Cold-Tommy-Gin

Atlantis
Atlantis. Depending on what you've done with your life, you think of a technologically advanced super-island reachable by a Stargate, or one of those lesser-known (but in my opinion way better than the 'princess-genre') Disney movies, or perhaps you imagine an episode of Futurama where mermaids aren't all they're cracked up to be. However, if you're Tommy Chandra Sasmita (DA's Cold-Tommy-Gin), none of those really apply. Perhaps the closest thought would be the mythic turtle who carries the world on his back, for certainly that's the case here for the people of Atlantis. 

December 12, 2012

Robo Find - Augustok

Robo Find
Robo Find is the work of digital artist Augusto Kapronczai (Da's Augustok). Like the Sakura tree in the drawing itself, this image was something small (a sketch) that grew into something bigger (a large tree; though you have to gauge its size not by the robot holding it but by the flock of birds escaping it). The part that ought to really catch your eye is that robot. What first manifests as fear to us because of it's size and basic improbability, changes into curiosity. A curiosity shared by the robot itself; it's in those glowing eyes (you're kidding yourself if you really think they're lifeless) and the gentile touch of both hands.

December 11, 2012

Just Yesterday - Ommin202


Just Yesterday
Just Yesterday is a picture taken by Colton Hornstein (DA's Ommin202). It's a recent photo, edited with filters to look like a faded photograph from your grandparent's album; you know the one, with the yellowing pages, sticky film and square sepia pictures. Well, this picture ain't exactly sepia. With vibrant blue tones popping against the dull blue of sky and browns of the rest of the picture, the artist has used contrasting color as a mode of composition. Instead of aligning the interesting parts with a rule of third, the vibrancy of the lower half brings your eye that way, and the stark white of the buoy is where your eye comes to rest.