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Submitted on
September 7, 2012
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Maple elemental study by nelchee Maple elemental study by nelchee
Graphite pencil and watercolor in a Canson sketchbook.

Finished painting:


I plan to turn this into a digital painting, so please critique! :aww:
I'm trying to figure out how to color the elemental so it still blends in with the natural colors, but that it isn't invisible.. because right now you can't even see it on the thumb. Stronger shadows? I don't know, I'm open to suggestions.

WIP steps are on my sketchblog.


Copyright 2012 Nela Dunato, do not use without my permission.
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:iconkyteglory:
KyteGlory Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013
I actually like the way that the elemental blends in. You'll notice easily if you look, but if you're not paying attention, you wouldn't see it. I feel like it's how it should be, with a mythical creature that belongs so heavily to its environment.
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:iconnelchee:
nelchee Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks for your input! :)
I agree, I too feel the elemental should look as if it was a part of the tree, but I was worried that it was not visible enough, as a few people mentioned they haven't noticed it at first. But you're right... maybe that's not too bad after all.
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:iconladiespet:
ladiespet Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2012
I like it as it is now. I must admit I didn't notice the elemental - but its not often a static drawing can take you by surprise! My eyes were first drawn to the text and then suddenly went "gasp... that's clever".
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:iconnelchee:
nelchee Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thanks! :) I probably won't change much, except work more on the contrast thing. But as the text won't be present in the final image, I'd like people to notice the elemental right away... and preferrably in the thumbnail image as well, otherwise they might not look at it.
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:iconladiespet:
ladiespet Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012
I see. One thing that I really like about this, and makes it eye-catching is that it looks as though it has texture - it looks embossed.
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:icontherockmonster:
TheRockMonster Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2012  Student General Artist
Wow! This is very stunning! I love the texture within the leaves and the tree trunk. However, the girl there (is this is the elemental you referred to in your comments?) does blend in a lot with the background. What I suggest is adding more shadow and highlights (being surrounded by so many leaves, shadows should be very prominent) to really bring her out from the clam lighting of the trees and leaves. What I also suggest is that you should take some of the beautiful orange/yellow colour in the leaves in the foreground and add that colour in with the girl. This will cause more diversity among the sea of green and bring her out without being too forward about it. Overall, I really enjoy this piece and I can't wait to see what you do with the finished product later! Keep up the awesome work! :)
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:iconnelchee:
nelchee Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thanks for your input! :aww: I'm glad you like it!
Yeah the "fairy" is the elemental. I did add a tinge of orange to the leaves on the head, but it wasn't enough to really stand out from the background... I will experiment with the color of the figure, I like the green, bur perhaps this can be improved :)
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:icontherockmonster:
TheRockMonster Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Student General Artist
Not a problem :) I hope your experiments work out! :)
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:iconsaviroosje:
Saviroosje Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2012  Student Digital Artist
This is really nice work! Love the details of the leaves. The tree looks pretty good, but needs more shading. The parts further away should be darker, because the sun only shines on 80% on a tree, because of all the leaves. Also the leaves need more shading, ( brighter in the middle, and darker in the background etc ) So for, it looks pretty good! The Elemental isn't really standing out, because she almost has the same colour. But that is a choice, I mean, maybe you meant it to not stand out. But yeah my suggenstion is indeed stronger shading, and more colour variation. ^^ Hope this helps!
Reply
:iconnelchee:
nelchee Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thanks :) Yeah I did try to make the part toward the left darker since light comes from the top right, but it was difficult with watercolors. I'll do it better when I paint it digitally :) Thanks :aww:
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:iconnifty-ness:
nifty-ness Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Lovely!
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:iconnelchee:
nelchee Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thank you! :aww:
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:iconcrimsonmagpie:
CrimsonMagpie Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I agree with what ~Vineris said; you need to have more contrast, but selectively! The elemental is roughly the same colour as the leaves in the image, but is closer to the viewer than all but a handful of them. Take advantage of this by turning up the contrast on the elemental, but leaving the leaves lighter.

With good handling of tones, you can make the figure pop even if everything in the image is the same colour. :meow:
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:iconnelchee:
nelchee Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thanks! :aww: Yes, you're right, atmospheric perspective :) I'll do that.
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:iconcrimsonmagpie:
CrimsonMagpie Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
That's the term! Yes, like you've done here you can play with the effect of sunlight through the leaves. :meow:
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:iconnelchee:
nelchee Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2012  Professional General Artist
Yep I'll try to do that the best I can. Thanks :aww:
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:iconvineris:
Vineris Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes, this whole pic needs stronger shadows. If you turn the digital version gray, you'll see that it's really uniform.
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:iconnelchee:
nelchee Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thanks, yeah definitely intending to increase the contrast, watercolor always turns bleh like that for me :)
Reply
:iconvineris:
Vineris Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I have that problem too. I think it's the colours I have. I don't know what kind of watercolours you are using, but I think I'm going to be replacing my student paints with Holbein artist paints as I use them up.
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:iconnelchee:
nelchee Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012  Professional General Artist
Yeah I'm using student grade stuff too, and using mostly a waterbrush instead of a regular brush doesn't help either.. I mean it's possible to get more intensive colors because I did manage it on some occasions, but I have to really focus on it.
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