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Submitted on
November 22, 2012
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Thank You for the Venom by Zucreelo Thank You for the Venom by Zucreelo
[EDIT: added Yuuka's plaid stripes! Rather rushed - Tres had to remind me, ack, how could I forget? Hopefully it's not too noticeable ... ]

Oh dear. Oh dear, dearie dear ... how long we've dragged out this contest for! >,>

This is the product of a challenge I threw down to :icontres-iques: around three weeks back, having found out that our shared secret crush / weakness in the Touhouverse is none other than Kazami Yuuka.

In order to prove our devotion I declared a battle of wits in the form of an artistic duel. We enlisted the help of :iconeva-st-clare: as head judge and theme-devisor; she graciously provided us with ... BETRAYAL. :iconmaarika: and :iconyukionna42: also agreed to join the judging panel and help oversee this bout. Thus, our herculean theatre of war was drawn!

Tres, you are freaking incredible, okay? I was SO GLAD to have someone spurring me on towards finishing, and someone to stay up and scribble with. Thank you for saving me in too many ways. *draws sword and prepares to charge*

Okay. Yuuka was defined as the challenge subject ... I added Medicine because betrayal needs an agent or recipient, ne? The thought of the mighty Flower Youkai being upended by a relative nobody, and a trusted loved one at that ... it seemed like a topic worth tackling.

Story goes that Yuuka loves her sunflowers, her garden and fawns over them every day. Meanwhile, little Medi struggles to make her affections felt, but to no avail. One day, Yuuka leaves on a trip, and entrusts her abode to the care of Medicine. Medi obediently cares for everything, waiting on her masters' return.

Yuuka arrives back, she flocks to her beloved children, her plants, dotes on them with souvenirs from abroad, and pays Medicine nothing but a passing thanks, returning to her own neglect of her. The next time Yuuka leaves, Medicine hones her venom, calls HER friends over and decides not to play so nice ...

All the animals and fungi included are poisonous or venomous types. MONARCH BUTTERFLIES ARE SO PRETTY YET TOXIC! Please excuse the randomness of Medi's "friends" ... they're just there symbolically and to fill up space ... although, the thought of all these critters marching onto Yuuka's turf with a defiant grin across each of their toxic mugs is bizarrely enticing in itself.

Title taken from an MCR song: [link]

On a final aside, some of you may notice the art drift? I'm experimenting, returning to my older roots. It's nice to be able wander into a sequel of the "Violet Ash" style once more.

See Tres' answer to the challenge, HERE: [link]

Hope you like it. ~


- D.

Touhou Project belongs to ZUN.
Art and poem by me, ard done in PS Elements 8 on a Wacom Bamboo.
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Maarika Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013
Whoa, so much detail. I really love how you coloured it, nice choice of desaturated colours. There are some issues with anatomy but looks like someone already gave feedback about that. Overall it's still awesome. O u O
Zucreelo Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah, it's nice to be complimented about my colour use. <3 Especially since I really used to have a problem with not knowing how to saturate colours at all! I'm using the Saturation blend mode under brush settings in any emergencies these days. My pieces are starting to look brighter on the whole now ... not sure if they look as appealing to you though, or just different. ~
Maarika Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013
I noticed that in the newer pictures but to me this one is pretty low on saturation. I've never tried using blend mode settings for brushes (and I don't use PS in the first place)but imo you could use more saturation to highlight important parts of the image. Btw, one of the reasons I use super saturated and bright colours is because my monitor dims everything, and I can't see the colours properly otherwise. Likewise, you have a Mac, don't you? Those things have super bright screens so if you draw something on there it will look much less saturated on a different monitor. :P (it shouldn't happen if you have calibrated your monitor though)
Hexidextrous Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013
Very nicely done. Reminds me of this comic I saw, except more surrealistically styled. Here's a link to the said comic --> [link]
Zucreelo Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The comic's much more light-hearted, ne? But the comic-Yuuka at least seems a little bit flustered by Medi's affections. ^^ Not so here ... her obliviousness to the little doll's what's caused her to go rather mad. I'm glad you like my rather twisted version all the same though. <=]
Hexidextrous Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2013
Yeah, similar, just a lot more twisted-looking.
traghetto Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
The larger brush definitely helps it look smoother, keep working on it, it can be better.

A lot of what I said before about colour choice still stands, as it is it looks really desaturated and low contrast resulting in a piece that has a very flat and drab feel. If you've tried everything maybe your screen is what's poopy. Notebooks and laptops tend to have very poopy screens. If that isn't the case then I'm not sure. Try making a monochromatic painting, it helps a lot because it lets you focus on values instead of colours and hues which gets confusing and overwhelming very quickly. Here's a three step process I kinda did [link] . throw everything down in monochrome. Apply colours, apply rendering.

For objects like shelves etc. Use a rectangle selection tool or the polygonal lasso tool. Free-handing such objects looks sloppy.

As for characters, if you do not know how to draw something a certain way, try not to draw it from imagination. Find a reference photograph. The hands and feet in particular can use work. Because hands are such an important thing in a painting it's important to put time into doing it well if it's shown visibly and unobstructed. I'd say hands are almost on par with faces regarding how important they are because people perform interesting mood-setting actions with their hands. You cannot get away with not being able to draw them well.

I'll typ emore later. I'm really tired, and I have work tomorrow..
Zucreelo Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Please take your time. I'm really grateful for whenever you can help or however much you can advise.

I've been on a 27" iMac screen for a few months now. I've been negligent to try the monochrome-colour stepwise approach, maybe because I'm not sure how values and saturation stand independent of hue. I'll do some homework reading. If I can get them right in the monochrome, transferring to colours is done through ... the Multiply layer setting, or something else? You'd then colour right through it, because painting over it means you might lose the balance?

I did photo-reference, actually, since I pose-check using myself if I have time on bigger pieces. It might be a systematic error in how I draw hands and feet. Either I need to use clearer pictures, am not drawing their shape accurately enough, or have failed with proportions ... I wonder which you think it is.
traghetto Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Never had the screen you're using before. I was mostly referring to those crappy reflective laptop screens. Those suck hard.

You don't use multiply. You use the Color blend mode. You use multiply layers later to apply localized shadows and color dodge to apply specular lighting from strong light sources, localized light sources or bounce lights.

As for anatomy. I don't like advising on anatomy. It's like pointing out the dead obvious. (unless the pose/angle is very difficult)I feel that anyone who draws anything is probably fully aware of the anatomical flaws. Just ask yourself. "Have I ever seen a foot that looks like that?" If the answer is "no" then you know what you should be working on. I drew porn for the longest time just because I wanted to hammer down basic anatomy. You can give that a go if you want.

One thing I wanted to mention last time and this probably ties in with anatomy and that comment about the importance of hands and faces. You should do some photo studies on faces or artist studies on how other artists paint faces. I get the impression you want to do realistic faces but as it is they’re very stylized. Not in a way I find attractive either. I think leaving your comfort zone will do you some good in that regard. Realism isn’t easy.

You do not need to paint beams of light to indicate light source, consistent shadows will do just fine. Beams of light are just something fancy dancy that I would use as a kind of space filler. If I do do that then I would definitely capitalize on the opportunity to do some extra stuff like light shining through dust and smoke. Which I can sort of see in your painting but it’s mostly unoticable because the texture map on the back is too strong. That and as I said previously, the contrast in the piece is too low so it’s hard to tell what is strongly lit and what is not.
LordColts Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
Excellent as always! =D
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