More Vent art! My Vent art always ends up betting than my non-vent art man.
So this is Cyra, my main Sonic fan character/recolor/whathaveyou. Cyra is supposed to be a member of the Black Arms, the alien race from Shadow the Hedgehog. I always hate sci-fi that paints whole races as being evil or Satanic, though that does make slightly more sense with a telepathic hivemind race like the Black Arms. Cyra and her many siblings are our answer to that in an RP I'm in.
Sonic the Hedgehog, Shadow the Hedgehog, and the Black Arms belong to Sega, but Cyra's my idea. Not that anyone else would want such a freaky looking FC anyway.
This may kinda qualify as a speedpaint. I did it all in about two hours. I'm not really happy with the blush on her cheeks, but that's what happens when you try and paint a species with green blood.
Now, it says that I'm asking for a critique. While all comments are welcome, there are two main things I'm really looking for:
Shadow the Hedgehog fans: Please talk to me about my Black Arms anatomy. Obviously Cyra's a child and should show some neoteny compared to Black DOom, and I'm trying to cute her up a little bit.
Everyone: So I'm new at this shading/lighting thing. How did I do? What recommendations so you have for me regarding that? I'm especially wondering about the dark shadow I use on her waist, the light colors I use on the other side of the dress, and and the sheen of her eyes. Shiny things are my weak area, so input on those is welcome.
I'm also curious about whether I'm doing the subtle wrinkling of her clothing "right."
Anyway, Black Doom and the Black Arms belong to Sega.
You're looking for Shadow fans. Look in the mirror So I look at this and go awww. 'Cause she looks so sad. And adorable at the same time. Well you got that for vision because this is your own character done in your own way. Which I guess also counts for originality. The thing you need to work on here is the clothes. I'm looking at the shoulders of her dress here. You're got it at a bit of an angle on her arm, which is fine, but I think due to gravity it should be angled the other way. I don't remember how long her dress is but you seem to have it trailing off at the back but dipping upwards at the front. That should be consistent. And with the bow I think it might be shaded in the wrong spot based on the fact that you have it extending behind her arm. Also for the sash it would look a little more realistic if you made it extend a little bit around her waist. What I mean is think of a belt. They aren't flush with the waist, which is what you tend to do. But you did a good job.
Okaaaaaay.........so, I really have never critiqued a deviation, so don't go by my words with 100% faith. But I'll try!
First off, anatomically, you've done really well. The "horns" and 3 eyes are signature of Black Doom. And, of course, the changes due to being a fan character is totally acceptable. In terms of other things, first off is her torso. Her body seems to be positioned so that it's backwards(that her spine is on the front). This is supported by her lower dress looking like she's going backwards. Based on the shade of everything, her shadow could be a BIT darker. The green blush is actually just fine. I don't trust myself with anything more other than her sleeves; they seem a bit too fluffy.
Thanks for the really specific feedback! I'm glad I managed to compromise between Black Arms physiology and not looking like a hot topic reject!
I see what you mean about her underlying anatomy. The way I painted her definitely gives that impression, I guess. What I was going for was the sort of distinct rib/waist divide that Sonic has, a flat/androgynous build, and a wind at her back. I probably should have avoided the wind, but people always talk about clothes having no motion, and I just love the mental image of a skirt flapping in the breeze.
The ribcage thing.. I don't know. Something I've noticed about Sonic fanart is that he's either portrayed as having a convex torso, like one continuous curve, or he has this very dramatic dip from his ribcage down to his groin. That resonated with me because it's a physical feature I have, or at least that I had before I was fat. I wanted to kinda use that as both a shortcut to femininity, and a way of suggesting that whatever Cyra is, she's not a woman. I also wanted to use that, plus a sort of lack of a butt, to suggest androgynous physiology, because my personal head canon of the black arms is that their physiological sex and gender identity do not mesh with ours.
So I absolutely see what you mean, and I see why you think that way. I guess I just want to let you know that they weren't careless mistakes, but really an improper combination of three very specific choices.
The sleeves... OK, I'll be honest here. I have a thing for Juliet sleeves. I have a huge thing for Juliet and Gigot sleeves. I am to puffy sleeves as most women are to designer shoes. I don't dear wear dramatic ones myself and I really just love throwing huge ones on drawings of female characters, especially characters who are feminine-but-not. Cyra is feminine because she sees it as a way to make herself less threating. She picks elegant, refined, feminine looking things with just a hint of cutesiness so people won't see her as a threat. And since she's actually a princess, by adoption anyway... I figured I could go to town on her.
The sleeves she's wearing are more dramatic than MOST real people would wear now... but then look down at Gigot sleeve on this article: [link] Still, I'll think about her sleeve sizing more in the future.
Sure. It was my first critique ever! Yay! However, what I'm happiest about is that you feel comfortable correcting me/explaining things to me. It lets me know that I wasn't to harsh/intimidating in my critique. So thank YOU! Also, thanks for the link.
And here I was worried I was being too proud or arrogant! No, I think it's cool we could talk about that. I see exactly what you mean, and I see exactly what I meant, and I see what I should have done to find that happy place in between.
Thanks! There are actually a bunch of other, similar characters in the game she's from, but they're all sisters, but I set the parameters for the player character race and designed the anatomy based on the aliens who appeared in one particular Sonic game.
[link] This is the character on whom she's based visually, in the rough sense that foxes are based on Tails and Hedgehogs are based on Sonic or Amy. I didn't actually make a lot of changes, but the ones I made were purposeful, carefully plotted out, and discussed with the RP's other player to help him design two of her little sisters.
I'm glad you think she's good! I know a lack of originality is kind of the most common complaint in Sonic fandom, with "too special snowflake" right after. I tried to find a balance with Cyra and I feel like I succeeded! I really like all the attention I'm getting from people who aren't Sonic fans, or who are casual Sonic fans.
Thank you so much! I never thought I would hear praise for OCs like this!
And in that other comment, I promised you a link, so here you go...
[link] This piece, "Look Lavender, No Hands," was a birthday present for my brother, and features Cyra with her pet chao. It's actually older than the piece I linked, but I also worked a lot harder on it, and it shows her in a more cheerful moment. She's on an extreme gear, basically a hoverboard. Of all the pieces I've done, I've put more work into this one than any other.
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More