December 30, 2012

Stardust - SoraNamae

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.

The critique post intrigued me because Sora specifically mentioned anatomy as something he felt should be avoided in a critique. I generally avoid artists who don't have basic anatomy down because I figure they won't get the best use out of my reviews, and it was anatomy that first came to my mind in this picture: from the way she is standing, we shouldn't be able to see her far breast unless it is noticeably bigger and different-shaped than the close one. Whether that's on purpose or not I'll leave up to Sora to answer.

Instead, I'll critique his lighting and composition. The lighting is the thing I love here, the way it catches just certain strands of hair and gives definition to her whole body. In the description Sora notes that it's his first attempt at drawing without leaving the outline and he struggled with defining edges. I think he did an excellent job with the use of light and shadow to shape her body and her outfit. I'd suggest being careful with the hair near her neck: it's so faint that it looks like shadow where shadows shouldn't be thrown.

The composition is what has me on the fence about this painting. The character's pose and parted lips speak volumes about her and to focus the picture on her I would've left the background dark. The quantity and luminosity of the stars takes away from the focus. In particular around her nose the stars seem to avoid her as if she were gigantic and truly in space. If that were the case I would like to see her interacting with them in some way, perhaps blowing on them with those beautiful parted lips.

Overall I give this piece a 3 but I give the artist a 5 for his insight. The piece has some anatomy issues that, regardless of style choice, bother me. It has great lighting, and anyone who can draw without outlines has talent in my books.

Sora is a Portugese artist with many beautiful drawings. I was going to review his Cold Winter Night but Christmas passed before I got to it (and it's a little NSFW for a front page image).

P.S. This one deviated a little from my normal paragraph order, but I liked Sora's journal entries so much I just had to mention them!

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