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Submitted on
March 2, 2012
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Braydan by feverpaint Braydan by feverpaint
Oooh finally I've finished *Binary-star-stables comission! This is my most detailed painting ever, it took for ever and has a
billion layers haha.. :P The commission is of her beautiful character Braydan, she said she liked snow/mountain BGs so I
figured I'd try and make one for this picture! :D It was a LOT harder than I thought (that's why it's taken me so long to finish it)..

Oh and I might make a walkthrough/step-by-step for this (we'll see). Hope you enjoy it! :heart:

Character: :iconbinary-star-stables:
Tools: Photoshop CS5 & Wacom bamboo tablet
Reference: various horses from google, [link] & [link]
Time: No clue.. been working on it for weeks.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2012-11-09
Braydan by *feverpaint ( Suggested by Bruschnazzy and Featured by Thiefoworld )
First off - wonderful work! The amount of time you've put into the detailing is clearly visible even from this size.

In terms of improvement, there are three main points that I would like to see you work on: Colour, composition and lighting.

I would love to see a more varied colour pallet on the horse. The range of tones on the horse itself are very limited, and some reds/oranges would really brighten the horse up and make it pop out even more against the cool blue background. The snow in the foreground is also very flat and over-bright, I'm strugging to make out any shading apart from the black rocks - I would advise that there are more blue tones in this to add some shape and definition to the ground and to make it match the detail in the rest of the image. While I'm on the theme of white, the shading on the left foreleg is also very limited, and on my monitor I am struggling to see anything beyond white with some very vague blue shading, so I would advise adding more shading and detailing to this area as it stands out very much from the precise detail of the rest of the image.

The mane and tail could also do with some work - hair is definitely difficult to draw, but the highlights in the mane are also difficult to make out, and those in the tail are very rough looking and don't seem to follow the flow of the hair itself. For these sections I would advise taking a small, hard, round brush that changes size with pen pressure, and choosing various shades of warm browns from the coat to draw in midtones and add 'chunks' definition, then going back in with a very pale shade to pick out a small amount of detailed hairs - as you did with the body, you need to build up the colour away from the darkest shade (preferably subtly blue hinted), through rich, warm browns to pale greyish white. The main secret for this on black hair is subtlety, it's very easy to use too many of your mid tones and end up with a brown mane and tail :)

Also I'd advise using the background colours actually on the horse to help it appear more natural and realistic - in true lighting the white snow would be reflecting the light back up onto the horse, so areas such as the underbelly which are close to the ground would have some blue/white reflections on them. In addition, using the blue in the background sparingly in the shadowing of the horse will help to link the pieces together.

Compositionally, the image is very simplistic with the horse being dead-centre. On the plus side, the section of mountain you chose to draw is very open on the left side, so had the horse been smaller and positioned more to the right, the space would have been utilised as to draw the eye from the horse, and forwards into the rest of the image. At the moment the eye goes straight to the middle and all attention is detracted away from the time you've spent on that beautiful background.

Finally, the lighting between the components is somewhat questionable - from the background I would assume that the lighting is from the left side of the image, whilst the horse has various elements that suggest the lighting is coming from the position of the viewer. For example if the lighting were as the background suggests, I would have expected a semi-backlit effect with lighting around the edges of the horse, whilst the horse actually has shadows on the right shoulder which wouldn't be there had the lighting been consistent between the elements. Also there is a shadow on the right knee that doesn't seem to have any source, with the left-direction lighting that area has an even stronger reason to be fully lit and there is no visible reason why it is shadowed.

So overall, your time on the detailing is brilliant - but you need to spend more time planning how the elements would flow before you jump in with the shading. Do rough sketches of the background and horse as different elements and move them around, flip them over and generally just experiment to see where they would fit together best. Then before you go into shading, do a rough sketch of the colours - make sure to use complimentary colours in the horse itself, to sketch in the base colours and play around with different tones and hues, and to incorporate the background colours onto the horse's body to make them flow better.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
192 out of 219 deviants thought this was fair.

I don't contest the value of Rosalaun's critique, but I would like to point out that whenever I've seen horses of this shade and color during the winter, many of them seem to blend into the background as well-- if Braydan made this one "pop out" more, it would be a bit too much pop for it to look wholly real. It's like looking at deer in the woods-- many peoples' eyes become trained to see them against the forest camouflage, but to newcomers in the area, they often miss them entirely no matter how we point them out.

So to a newcomer, if we show them paintings or pictures of deer or horses (and sometimes both, the deer often keep them company), the artists among them will often recommend making them stand out more-- when the truth is that blending into the background is simply what they do. Especially during the winter, when horses get a thicker coat with less shine.

So as far as the horse's coloring goes, I think it's perfectly fine, though if you still wanted it to "pop" slightly, you would have to make lighting hit it brightly in certain spots-- in real life, it makes part of the horse (especially as well-groomed looking as this one) seem to "flash". So basically, this would be an issue of taking Rosalaun's advice on lighting, and expanding upon it to accentuate the horse's coloring.

All in all, superbly excellent. I'm very impressed.
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The Artist thought this was FAIR
105 out of 108 deviants thought this was fair.

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Snake-Stables Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh. My. God.
I'm so done with the world now. How is this even possible? :love:
GEN-12 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
LacrosseDogGirl Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
wait a minute…. this sin't a photo? i'm so confused lol
Pennybridge-Art Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Väldigt härlig!Gillar verkligen den korta svansen!Love 
JulieLyngholm Featured By Owner May 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
beautiful work ;)
Chefia-64 Featured By Owner May 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Vish, parece foto! Incrível!! O.O

Qual tablet da série Bamboo você usa?
Neranella Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013
Strong and gorgeous work. :aww:
suki42deathlake Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013   General Artist
wow that looks amazeing ! ^^ , at first thought it was a photo o.o XD ^^
ArttCat Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Student Artist
TheCooperHerd Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Student
Incredible!!! Just stunned at the beauty!
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