temiel's avatar


Twirling Towards Freedom!
413 Deviations
Artist // Professional // Varied
  • May 31, 1986
  • United States
  • Deviant for 20 years
  • She / Her
Ninja Llama: Llamas are awesome! (549)
Tugboat Cake: Someday, it will tug a larger Cake Boat (8)
Emerald: It's a great honor to be awarded an Emerald badge! (1)
Snowball: Someone likes you, and it’s snow joke! (2)
My Bio
Call me Temiel or Tem - whatever you like best. :meow:

:: Liek thanks you :: by Liek .: Read the comments :. Stamp by Beti-Kot I :heart: my watchers Stamp. by jugga-lizzle

Favourite Visual Artist
Kinuko Craft, James Jean, Iain McCaig, Junji Ito, Jody Lee, Susan Jeffers, Herbert Draper
Favourite Movies
Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, The Fall, Amadeus, Secretary, Princess Bride, Disney animation
Favourite TV Shows
Carnivàle, Breaking Bad, Parks & Recreation, Hannibal
Favourite Bands / Musical Artists
Corvus Corax, Loreena McKennitt, Nightwish, Capercaillie, Mediaeval Baebes, Déanta, Lúnasa
Favourite Writers
Hugo, Nabokov, Jacqueline Carey, Margaret Atwood
Favourite Games
Any of the Civs, Sims 2, KOTOR 1/2
Favourite Gaming Platform
Tools of the Trade
.3MM mech pencil, Photoshop, Micron pens, Copic markers
Other Interests
Tabletop RPGs, illustration, comics, world music, horror novels, weird religious paraphernalia


Comments Made21.3K
Comments Received1.6K


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:star::star::star::star-empty::star-empty: Overall
:star::star::star::star-empty::star-empty: Vision
:star::star::star-half::star-empty::star-empty: Originality
:star::star::star::star-empty::star-empty: Technique
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Impact

As always, I love how much gradation you get in the colored pencil shading. It's very subtle and smooth in a way that's tough to accomplish with this medium. I also love how her hair looks wind-tousled and kind of blown about, it gives the picture a good deal of liveliness and visual interest in what would otherwise be a very still composition. (Nothing against the composition, of course; I have a major soft spot for single-character bust portraits.) You've also included some good definition of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, which is probably my favorite muscle, so props for that.

The first thing you want to keep in mind when drawing someone with a really noticeable or emotive facial expression is how the underlying muscles move along with the soft-tissue features. You can see the movement of the zygomatic major muscles (the ones that tug the edge of the mouth) in this, but the smile isn't extending up as far as her eyes. In a genuine smile (which is called a Duchenne smile after the neurologist who first made the discovery that smiles involve the muscles of the eyes as well as the mouth), the orbicularis oculi muscles beneath her eyes would lift upward to form the crow's feet crease. Now, she's obviously a young character, so you don't need to emphasize those crow's feet a huge amount, but they do appear nonetheless, and including them will really help sell the expression and make it look real. What I usually do when I draw smiles like this is just a single line under the eye to indicate the engaged muscle without it turning into a huge wrinklefest. <img src="e.deviantart.net/emoticons/b/b…" width="15" height="15" alt=":D" title=":D (Big Grin)"/>

Something else you might want to consider: very few artists draw clear separations between the teeth this way. Even though we all know there are separations between one tooth and another, because nothing in real life has a contour line around it, actually drawing each tooth outlined like this gives the illusion of them being more spaced apart than they are. Maybe think about having the contour lines of the teeth extend only partway toward the gums? That makes them look the way they should appear, like an unbroken line. There's nothing technically wrong with what you're doing now, but it might be something to consider if you want your lines of teeth to read gaplessly.

Finally (and I realize this might be the product of the scan), I'd suggest you up the contrast between your mid-tones and shadows and highlights. The highlights aren't too lost, but when you look at this in a smaller resolution you can barely see the subtle shading that's there. This was a HUGE problem for me when I was in school (and continues to be, actually), and I've been finding that the best solution is just to say "screw it" and get increasingly dark and deep with your shadows on purpose, even if it's not successful. This kind of subtle shading, while appealing on a certain level, is often a way to cover up discomfort with light sources (it certainly was/is for me). When you start laying down your shadow values, think about where the light's really coming from, and how it would be falling on her facial features. Looking at photos and other artists who use strong light sources (Caravaggio leaps to mind immediately) to get some feel for what this looks like on differently-shaped faces.

PHEW. I hope that gave you some idea of what to think about next time. Overall, though, I think this is quite successful; it really gets character across, and that sort of quirky lopsided smile is quite charming. I think if there's one single thing I could condense this whole critique into, I'd say to try and push everything a little more: make those shadows deeper, see how much further you can engage the muscles around her mouth and eyes to make it look like she's really feeling that smile. I think you'll find that even small details like those little under-eye smile lines, when judiciously executed, will make her convincing and real.
MM - Crooked Smile
HRF, I'm SO sorry it took me so long to respond to this-- I was away this weekend and didn't have a chance to write as much as I wanted to.

Weirdly enough, when I started this one I didn't really see it as "stepping out of my comfort zone", but in retrospect, I really did. OPAQUE PAINT ON TOP OF A SKETCH INSTEAD OF UNDER?! MULTIPLE GLAZING LAYERS?! WTF IS THAT??!! :XD: I'm glad you like it-- I'm just very pleased that it ended up looking REMOTELY like I imagined it looking in my head. :phew:

What you're saying about the half-tints sounds like what =Cacodaemonia said when she mentioned there's not a lot of gradation (particularly on the skin) between the green shadows and the more rosy areas. I mentioned to her that I kind of rushed this one toward the end, just because I didn't want to have to leave it for a whole day and then come back and hate it the next evening and want to restart it all over (DAY JOOOOB... :shakefist:). You're definitely right about there being a lot more color variation on the shadows in the original. As I've mentioned, I'm still slowly getting the hang of lighting and how it works. The response I've gotten from this one indicates that I should probably incorporate a lot more reflected lighting from the environments, which I have to admit is something I've never really considered a lot (in fact, I think I was looking at one of *shideh's walkthroughs recently and she mentioned reflected light, and I read that and realized I'd forgotten it even existed as a concept! :noes: BIG failure. :XD:).

Thanks so much for the really in-depth crit. I always appreciate them, even though I don't usually put the full Crit Request up just because I don't want my watchers to feel obligated to do them if they'd rather not (I usually figure if people see something worth mentioning, they can call me out on it in a plain old comment). :hug:
The Mockingbird's Bower
Yes, you're totally right. A couple other people mentioned just those things-- the green in the shadows, and the sharper edges-- and they're certainly things I know I need to work on since I'm so brand-new at this whole... opaque painting thing. :XD: Thanks for the tips!
The Mockingbird's Bower
I approve of your two stars for originality. I ARE UNCREATIVE. :slow: :XD:

Seriously, though, you're totally right about my horrible ears. In the original painting the figure's head was at a different angle, so I didn't really have a proper reference for the ear (well, I could've found one, but I'm lazy :roll:).

Thanks about the hand positions-- the reason I picked this painting to refer to was totally because of that really delicate hand position, I'm totally in love with it. :heart: I'm glad I replicated it okay!

Also, thanks for the tip on the darker folds picking up the green-- I'm only JUST getting the hang of proper environmental lighting and how it effects the lights and darks on a figure (I keep telling people, how did I make it through art school with such obvious deficiency in stuff like lighting?! :noes:). It's definitely something I need to keep an eye on in the future.

P.S. re Satine-- I'm actually really glad she reminds you of her, because even though when I came up with Rian I wasn't really thinking of Satine, Rian reminds me a lot of her! When I was making her soundtrack, I put "Sparkling Diamonds" on there, because it's so unabashedly a Rian song to me. :3

Thanks a lot for the helpful crit! :hug:
The Mockingbird's Bower