2010 Contest entry: Normal category
Received: October 1st, 2010
From: MegaJoy-Coon

MegaJoy writes: So... here we have Cinder the Charizard that Charmander-napped Nina, essentially. I dunno what I was thinking... inspiration hit me literally a week before the contest was over. There's a mountain in this background, yay! :D But Deviantart won't let me submit any bigger... darn. D:

I expect the exchange to go something like this:
Cinder: "Hey, Kyris! I found us a kid!"
Kyris: "Did you STEAL that Charmander?!"
Cinder: "....She's cute, right?"
Kyris: "Fine, but you've only brought this upon yourself."
Cinder: "Brought what upon myself?"
Grave: "...."
Nina: "HEY, you big oaf! This ISN'T how you hold a Charmander! I thought you would know that!"

Judging: Well, first things first: wow, the orginal file for this thing was HUGE! Over 39 MB for just the jpeg? I shudder at the thought of what the Photoshop file must have been like, and frankly... I wonder if it was really necessary to torture your RAM like that. I think that next time you could make drawing something like this a lot less frustrating for yourself and your poor pc, if you go a bit smaller. 150 DPI for instance, will do just fine in most cases. You don't need 600, as even in the printing industry they usually just use 300. ;)

Now on to the actual image: I think the exchange you portrayed here is quite funny. I could actually see this happening. Poor cinder is going to have a lot to answer for, though. And I doubt Kyris will help. Now, because I'm trying to offer some helpful critiques to everyone who entered, I'm going to tell you what another artist once told me: at some point it's better to stop using Linear Burn and Linear Dodge to shade your pictures. I was quite late to make the switch myself, but I'm glad that I did it. A different way to shade is to use the layer setting "Multiply" in Photoshop. Make a new layer on top of your base color layer, set it to Multiply and fill it with an unsaturated color purple (or blue, or green, or whatever color suits the mood you're going for). Then gently start erasing the bits where you want the light to fall. Remember that you can change the opacity of your eraser for more control. This will create a more natural shading effect. Only use the Burn and Dodge settings for extreme effects, like the tail flame.
Thanks for entering my contest!

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