cryslara's avatar


By cryslara
1K Favourites
A loose painting commission for the lovely petaldragon, ~Zyleeth and her boy, Akhor.

I'm a bit crazy busy lately with all sorts of exciting painting and so I'm limited in how many comments I can reply to - but thank you so much if you do take the time. :heart: I read everything and I try to get back to people with questions or if I have interesting thoughts!

I love dorky, mushy couple pictures, I'm such a girl.

Tools: Adobe Photoshop CS4, Wacom Intuos 4 tablet
Time: 7 hours
Music: My best bud would be terribly disappointed in me for admitting that Kings of Leon's 'Sex on Fire' provided some of the soundtrack for this. So instead I'll recommend you go listen to Arcade Fire. =D

Image size
900x636px 195.52 KB
© 2009 - 2020 cryslara
anonymous's avatar
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krazykrista's avatar
krazykrista Interface Designer
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Overall
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Vision
:star::star::star::star-empty::star-empty: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Impact

I really love the palette of this...and hey, who doesn't love a little dragon love from time to time?! <img src="…" width="15" height="15" alt=":D" title=":D (Big Grin)" />

Definitely lots of good stuff going on here...good forms, masses, textures, etc.

There are two main things that I think the piece would benefit from:
First, right now everything's kinda..."clumped" in the center, creating a relatively circular (at least, oval) shape. As I said, there are good forms in here, but it feels like you're really avoiding the edges, and the piece feels "trapped" by them. I think you'd end up with something very, very dynamic if you let at least the red guy's front wing stray off the image to the left, and maybe the girl's left wing also. Doing likewise with the red guy's tail on the right edge would really activate that edge too. The "mass" of wing and tail and foot at the bottom creates almost a horizontal line at the bottom of the would be nice to offset those somewhat and let the forms break out into something more dynamic. (The forms are there...their placement could just use some tweakage!) I'd hesitate to let things stray off the bottom of the image seems like that would anchor the piece too much for the light feel I think you're going for. If anything, let them leave off the top and sides, and I think you'll be golden!

So that's the hard thing. The second thing's a bit easier...

The blues you've got in the sky in the upper left and right are really nice and provide a lovely contrast to all the warm tones in the piece. It would be good to see those incorporated onto the red guy's back scales, and maybe his wing also where the sun isn't shining through directly. That would probably really make that light through the wing membrane pop and bring more focus to the guy's face where it crosses the wing.

All that said, I really do like the piece...the contrast of darks and lights, warm and cool colors is very nice, and I really love the painterly style. Good stuff! Hope this is helpful!

cryslara's avatar
cryslaraProfessional Digital Artist
Aaah, going off the edge of the page, it's something that artistically terrifies me I think. I tend to be afraid of dragging the eye off the screen and not having it come back. I see what you mean about this feeling 'clumped' together though and I think I'll take your advice to heart on the painting I'm about to start now. Often I feel like my attempts to take parts off the page end up looking like I didn't take the size of the canvas into account. :P
Composition is bewildering. I'll definitely experiment with what I'm working on at the moment though because I think your suggestions could really help it too (I agree with you on in relation to this one as well but I try not to fiddle too much with commissions).

With reflected colour, I'm never sure how much is too much. I did paint in blue over the wings but a lot of it got lost in the process of uncertainty. I'll be posting another painting soon that I kept this crit in mind for though and I tried to be bolder with the bounced colours in it.

Thank you for taking the time to write this out, it's been really helpful for me in the things I've been working on behind the scenes. =)
krazykrista's avatar
krazykrista Interface Designer
You've got some very lovely work, and I think you already have a great sense for what will work and what won't. For example, cropping-wise, this one works REALLY well: [link] (You can do it, totally...I've got every confidence. :D )

I don't know if it's helpful, but if you're having trouble with a composition, sometimes taking the piece down to just flat black and white (no textures, no grays) to clearly see the forms of what's going on can bring a lot of clarity. (Not that I always do this or anything, but when I'm at a loss, it usually helps. :) )

Reflected color is considerably more touchy-feely, depending on the light, the mood, and what you want compositionally to happen, what you want to draw attention to, what materials things are made of, etc. And....a lot of it is personal taste too of course.

In any case, I think you probably know all this stuff. As I said, you've got beautiful work and I have a lot of respect for it! I'm happy to have been helpful though!

I look forward to your new stuff!!
cryslara's avatar
cryslaraProfessional Digital Artist
That's a really cool idea to reduce it to black and white, I hadn't thought of doing that before, thank you. =D It was cool to see the method in action on the progress walk-through you just uploaded too, that was always one of my favourites of your paintings.

Colour tends to be both my playground and my frustration, I adore it but we fight all the time too. It is all very subjective but it's always helpful to have other's opinions too. :)
krazykrista's avatar
krazykrista Interface Designer
Ooh, I'm right there with you on the color thing. :) Keep fighting the good fight...I'll do the same!
Evoli-niceli's avatar
Evoli-niceliHobbyist Digital Artist
Wonderful colors !
LongBeautifulDay's avatar
LongBeautifulDayHobbyist Photographer
Very romantic :huggle:
daiadragons's avatar
daiadragonsHobbyist Traditional Artist
:D :hug: coool! great!
M4WiE's avatar
M4WiEProfessional Digital Artist
Definitely my fave of all your artwork X3 so pretty

the color are so warmhearted :3
Gryphon24's avatar
Now that's beautiful.
Sunima's avatar
SunimaProfessional General Artist
awesomeness! :woohoo:
fowerfox210's avatar
beautiful beautiful work
WhiteandBlackDragon's avatar
White: Oooh this looks so romantic I absolutely love it. ^-^

Black: White don't make me gag.
I like the dragons they look cool.
AlexisAthene's avatar
Beautiful work! :O
RiverStreak's avatar
Lovey-dovey mushy-gushy fictional-love. One of my favorite kinds ;D Love it! :+favlove:
Binamrad's avatar
I like how you've managed to give the image the impression that it's quite detailed and how you manage to draw the opening in the clouds between them.

Just wondering though, the dark part under the reddish ones wing looks like it'd be the white ones tail, though the white one is actually brighter than the background around it. Shouldn't this area be highlighted rather than darkened?
cryslara's avatar
cryslaraProfessional Digital Artist
Thank you.

In my view the white tail is only reflecting the light of it's surroundings, not producing any, and in moving between the wing and the lightsource it's blocking more light than it's reflecting. Hence it casts a shadow on the red wing. If the wing was more transparent I agree that it would be highlighted. This is based on my own observations, however. :)
Binamrad's avatar
You might be right, although it looks to me as if the shadow should be more to the left of where the tail being obscured is highlighted due to the wing obscuring it having a (seemingly) higher elevation and also is closer to the observer.
That and that the light source seems to be somewhere in the distance behind or slightly above the red ones neck, and also judging from the shadows on the tail itself.

I'm probably confusing myself by over analysing it though :P
cryslara's avatar
cryslaraProfessional Digital Artist
You're probably right there. :)
skyefeather's avatar
skyefeatherHobbyist General Artist
truly amazing, love the emotion. ^^

an don't worry, i love these kinda pics too. what's better, so does my bf. ;P
Drageline's avatar
My absolute favorite of your works! :D :wow:
AVA4Zinkovsky's avatar
Very good work.
Xylobones's avatar
Wow, this is amazing! I love the contrast of the colours and the white dragon's tail :clap:
LovesMexLovesMeNot's avatar
:DD this is sooo good :D rlly like it ^^
anonymous's avatar
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