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Ismail Hashim by Florian-K Ismail Hashim :iconflorian-k:Florian-K 83 6 Snow Ballad by Florian-K Snow Ballad :iconflorian-k:Florian-K 64 23 The Dishonoured Wolf: Logo by Florian-K The Dishonoured Wolf: Logo :iconflorian-k:Florian-K 4 2 The Dishonoured Wolf: Sprite Sheet by Florian-K The Dishonoured Wolf: Sprite Sheet :iconflorian-k:Florian-K 49 2 The Dishonoured Wolf: Channel Branding by Florian-K The Dishonoured Wolf: Channel Branding :iconflorian-k:Florian-K 21 2 Coona Lisa by Florian-K Coona Lisa :iconflorian-k:Florian-K 17 5 Commissions by Lupus-Lup by Florian-K Commissions by Lupus-Lup :iconflorian-k:Florian-K 8 0 Born ready by Florian-K Born ready :iconflorian-k:Florian-K 106 4 FKfuthark - new font specimen by Florian-K FKfuthark - new font specimen :iconflorian-k:Florian-K 10 2 FKfuthark by Florian-K FKfuthark :iconflorian-k:Florian-K 11 2 Fans by Florian-K Fans :iconflorian-k:Florian-K 60 2

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Florian-K

Artist | Professional | Varied
Germany
Florian-K's Profile Picture




► ABOUT
I'm FK from Germany. I create a lot of stuff, like characters, creatures, logos, fonts, designs and insanity.

_____


► NOTE
I usually don't thank for faves or watches and I don't watch back only because someone watches me. Please don't thank me for whatever I may or may not do.





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Art Reviews - 3



TODAY'S REVIEW:

:iconsheorun:




For the first digital drawing you ever did I think it turned out really well. There're already many well defined areas (like the structures of the feathers on the wings and head) that show that you have some experienced in painting. There's also enough structural contrast between the creature and the cloudy background to let the creature stand out (it often happens that these things uneccessarily bleed into each other if the artist doesn't know where he should put the focus).

The first thing that could be improved is actually not of the kind of "doing things differently" but instead of continuing and building upon them: Most details of the creature are already halfway defined, but they still look a bit blurry as if there was a layer of fog between the viewer and the image. This blurriness can work well if you want to create the impression that the creatures is shrouded by the atmosphere around it. For example, the tail seems to fade into the background and it having fewer and blurred details makes sense, because it's farther away from the viewer. But the same shouldn't apply to elements that are far closer to the viewer (like the wings in the center of the image), except if there're actual clouds between the viewer and these areas, making them blurry. These elements should show crisper structures and details. Fixing this isn't difficult: Things can be defined more clearly by adding another layer of delicate shading and lighting that's slightly sharper than the already existing layers and that adds more contrast to the elements in focus. This however shouldn't be applied to all elements uniformly or you'll end up with an image that's focussed everywhere. And paradoxically, if everything is in focus usually nothing seems to be focussed, because everything would be the same mess of structures and details.
Another thing that could be improved is the composition of the creature's body at the intersection of its head and the upper wing behind it. I believe the wing is meant to bend over towards the viewer, but it overlaps awkwardly with the creature's head and creates an area that's difficult to read visually. The wing having almost the same amount of detail and focus adds to this problem. If you close your eyes slightly in a way that you get a blurred image when looking at it, you'll notice how the head and the wing blend into each other, making it difficult to discern what's what. To avoid this the wing should either have a lower level of detail and lower contrast or it should be placed in such a way that it doesn't overlap with the head.
If you look at the silhouette version of the image (an extreme simplification) you'll notice that the head-wing-area looks undefined.


Silhouette

The lower part of the creature's body works well, but the head with the wing behind it is hard to read.
Plus, the silhouette of the background is a bit too wild and distracts from the creature.


Another thing I can mention is the way the background frames the whole image. It's not easy to add a fitting background that complements the character in it without obstructing anything. Extremely detailed backgrounds can take away too much attention from the character. Your background is simple enough and shows a different structure. That helps the viewer to differentiate between it and the creature. However, the edges of the cloudy background are a bit too "wild" and create a distraction where none should be. Instead of being the framing of the whole image, the background almost becomes a second entity, visually fighting for dominance with the main character. If you slightly close your eyes again and look at the image, you'll see how dominant the edges of the background look. You also see its dominant outline in the silhouette above.
There're three ways of improving this: you either could let the background fade out much more softly (instead of rather harsh edges around the clouds), thus preventing it from having an own silhouette or you can make the silhouette of the creature and the background overlap instead of the creature being completely surrounded by it (although this is usually slightly more difficult, because you need to experiment with which parts should be overlapping and which not to avoid awkward areas) or you could harmonize the edges of the background (the most extreme harmonization would the a regular square most images are framed by, but there're other simple shapes that work as well).

I think these are the main element I noticed. They might sound like a lot of things to improve, but they're actually nothing major and can be fixed by keeping them in mind next time :)





MORE ART REVIEWS

If you like to get a short review of one of your pieces too, post a thumb of it in the comments.
But there're some rules to it:

► RULES:
1 — Only the first 3 people who post a thumb in this journal will be reviewed.
2 — Write a short description of what your piece is about and why you created it.
3 — Only one piece of art of each person is reviewed.
4 — If you only want a comment about something specific in your piece, mention it.


Also please consult the first journal for more details.



  • Listening to: OSTs
  • Watching: Let's Plays
  • Eating: Pasta witch chanterelle and cream
  • Drinking: Arizona ice tea
A Mascot for the Past

Or a promise for the future?



During the Easter holidays I went back to the small town I was born in. It's located almost exactly in the middle of Germany, surrounded by the woods of the Harz Mountains. The densely forested mountains aren't only extremely old (about 300 million years), they also are home to a lush population of plants and animals and they could also be considered the mythological epicenter of Germany (some sources say even of Europe).

Almost every tiny town, river, cave, grove, pond or just some random rock formation (of which there're a lot) has its own myths and fairytales. Most of them even have dozens of them. There're old stories of dwarfs living under houses, giants sleeping in caves, ghosts haunting old mills, witches gathering on hills, nix inhabiting lakes — and these are only the "normal" ones. There's also a peculiar kind of werewolf that supposedly likes to jump on people's backs where it clings and bites onto them in order to be carried around (it has some traits of a small werewolf but is called an "Aufhocker" [Sit-On] or to make things even more confusing it can also be called a "Bachkalb" [River-Calf]).

The real nature of the Harz is just as diverse as its folklore. Various kinds of deer, badgers and raccoons can be found, just as rare olms or endangered peregrine falcons and capercaillies.

So, when you're reading this you might get an idea of why I personally like mythology and animals so much — especially the stranger aspects of both. You might also notice the diverse possibilities there are if someone wants to use and interpret the nature and history of the Harz.



Harztorlauf
image: harztorlauf.de


The day I got home I noticed a poster like this. It's part of the visual concept of the half-marathon "Harztor-Lauf" running through parts of the Harz Mountains and surrounding villages. The idea of it was conceived in 2013, while the first fun run was held in 2014. The organizers said it was received highly positively and the whole event was a huge success.

What appears to be the mascot of the marathon is a running lynx character (simply called "Laufluchs" since it doesn't have a name yet), representing an abstract contestant. Making a lynx the mascot of the event isn't strange at first glance since lynxes used to inhabit the forests, just like wolves. What's the lion of the Tarangire National Park (Tanzania, Africa) or the panther of the Rocky Mountain National Park would be the lynx of the Harz National Park — just to get a point of comparison.
But there's a minor problem: 200 years ago the lynx was extensively hunted and rendered extinct in central Europe, just like the wolf. There's an old folktale referring to a now gone town once called "Netzkater" where the last German lynx was supposedly captured with a net and put on display in an restaurant of the same name ("Netzkater" literally means "net cat" or "cat in net"). The restaurant is now gone too and some sources say the Netzkater tale was just an invention of the former owner while the name actually refers to the "Katen" which isn't some dialect for "Katzen" (cats) but for "Kate" (or "Kotte"), a simple cottage.

Now one could pose the question if the lynx mascot is trying to refer to the past by alluding to an animal that's no longer part of the fauna the marathon is held in. At least at first glance.
Since 1970 there're some initiatives that try bring back lynxes (e.g. Luchsprojekt Harz) and there actually are some small lynx populations, mainly inhabiting the Alps region and areas near the Czech-German border. According to the Luchsprojekt Harz, between 2000 and 2006 24 lynxes were released into the wild of the Harz forests. Lynx sightings are claimed to now have become numerous enough to consider the lynx to be back ("A former denizen of the Harz has returned" — Luchsprojekt Harz).
There're similar initiatives concerning themselves with the reintroduction of the wolf that once had to face the very same fate. According to NABU, after some repopulation attempts starting in 2000, there're now 40 pairs of wolves living in Germany, most of them in the Eastern region. While actually meeting a wolf in the wild is extremely rare, there're many claims of wolf sightings that in most cases turn out to be confusions with regular dogs. The wolf, once one of the most important animals and mythological creatures of central Europe, might actually have become a real spook people fear and start imagining everywhere. The wolf is bad and preys on cattle. Wolves might even attack children. These are just some of the fearful concerns that paint the wolf as some kind of beast that should not be part of the forests it once inhabited.

The lynx, despite of being the big wildcat of Germany, isn't nearly pressed down as much with such negative connotations. There's still an aura of mystery and curiosity surrounding this "exotic" animal — and maybe its perceived positive traits outweigh its wildness: fast and agile like a cat, strong and fearless like a lion, mysterious and noble like a puma. As a mascot a lynx seems to be very fitting, especially for a marathon down curly roads, over rivers and stones, surrounded by deep forests.
There can be mixed feelings though. In a way, picking an animal that was driven to extinction in a way that it now might be perceived as "foreign" to the uninformed viewer could almost be seen as some form of mockery, especially since the nature of the Harz is so rich and full of potential animal mascots to choose from: stag, hare, falcon, just to name a few. But on the other hand, taverns, hotels and town squares are virtually saturated with animal imagery consisting of the before mentioned examples. The lynx in this context might therefore be the more unique, one might even say fresh and modern choice.
And there's another aspect of modernity: The attempts of bringing back lynxes to the Harz seem to be successful and one day the big wildcat might be a regular part of the local fauna again (I word it this way, because I personally haven't seen any lynxes here in over 20 years). This would make the mascot a herald, an anticipant of new things to come. The organizers state that the return of the lynx and its qualities as a symbol for the Harz were important reasons for choosing this animal as a mascot (nnz-online).



Harztorlauf Mascot
image: harztorlauf.de



Since this site is about art, I also want to touch on the visual representation of the lynx as a mascot.
First, one should know that the Harz region might be known for its whimsical arts and crafts work (cuckoo clocks [the world's biggest clock of this kind is 14.50 m tall and located in a small town in the Harz], wood carving, glass blowing etc.), but it's not really know for being the Mecca of art and design. Just as all the wood carvings, design is usually more hand-crafted than professionally engineered. The same also goes for most kinds of illustrations and character design, which are most of the time painterly, old-fashioned and lovingly whimsical.

Keeping this in mind, the design of the lynx mascot comes across quite modern, smooth and dynamic looking. One can easily see that it was done by someone who knows one thing or two about design, especially about silhouette and linework. Also the color palette is refreshingly simple and toned-down. Technically the design isn't perfect (especially in regards to the contrast of some lines), but it's much better than most of what one would expect. It wouldn't even be surprising if the design was created by a comic artist or hobbyist.
The general style actually gives an impression of something dynamic, even if the pose appears to be rather static despite of its moved silhouette (the reason for this is that the silhouette virtually creates a square with the hands/elbows and the feet almost having the same optical width), but I consider this a minor thing since the silhouette is still done very nicely. One can also recognize the basic idea of the organizers: having a marathon everyone can participate in — athletes, sports hobbyists, children, even people with their dogs. The general design is modern without being too edgy or too exaggerated, it's recognizable and easily usable in various contexts and it leaves enough room for later adaptations and evolutions.

I'd actually like to see the mascot being implemented and used in more versatile ways (like additional poses) or even be combined with its own corporate art style that fits on brochures, post cards and ads. At the moment, the mascot, the forgettable logo and the unobtrusive typographic design don't seem to have anything to do with each other. They appear as fragments, added one after the other dependent on necessity rather than on concept. And that's the part where one can easily see the hand-crafted nature of everything again: things are thrown together, work on their own (although in many cases barely) but not in combination and don't leave the viewer with some kind of impression.

So, overall I can say that the general idea and design of the lynx mascot is likeable and has a moved background that offers the potential to think and talk about it instead of just looking at a nice picture. The marathon creates a modern tradition, not by simply rehashing stale sports rituals from the past, but by taking traditional ideas, reinventing them and putting the spotlight on an animal that hasn't gotten all that much attention in the last 150 years or so.



Harztorlauf
Laufluchs on Pictaram
nnz-online
Luchsprojekt Harz
NABU


  • Listening to: OSTs
  • Watching: Let's Plays
  • Eating: Pasta witch asparagus and cream
  • Drinking: Water
Art Reviews - 2



Today there's only one piece to review. This means I'll have more time drinking my dragon fruit smoothie :)




TODAY'S REVIEW:

:iconboenunknown:




First of all, I think the choice of colors is good and also the contrast is set reasonably well. In many cases, if people draw strange characters they tend to add so many colors and details that end up creating such a low contrast between elements that it's difficult to tell what an image is even showing. I may not be able to tell what the creature in your image is supposed to be, but all its features are easy to read. And that's a good thing.

There're two main things that could be improved:
The first is anatomy. Even if you draw a fantasy creature you still should take a look at references to get a better understanding of how bodies work. You can draw the most creative and extravagant creature that defies all rules of logic, but its features should still show some anatomic accuracy. Hands, for example, are one of the most difficult body parts to draw. It gets especially tricky if you draw fingers that aren't stretched out but bent in one way or the other. Looking up references becomes crucial to avoid mistakes. You can also take your own hand and look at how the fingers look like in different angles. The most important part is to understand where the joints are placed. They define how the fingers will look like. Also always draw in the parts that aren't visible — for example the lower parts of the fingers that are hidden behind the bent tips. You can erase them later. They will help you to know where the fingers should be attached to the base of the hand.
The second thing that could be improved is shading. For some reason — and I don't really know why this happens frequently — people tend to put shadows around some lines they draw on a body instead of shading the body itself. Lines are often used to represent folds and uneven places on the body, but most of the time they look like cuts due to the very sharp shadows surrounding them. The shadows of folds are much softer and most uneven body parts (like muscles) don't even show harsh shadows or lines. Instead of trying to put shadows around lines it would be much better if you tried to envision the surface they're on as something three-dimensional. The outline of the body and the lines representing folds and uneven places should be viewed as edges between which the actual shadow appears. Try to figure out what these lines you draw in actually stand for: Are they representing an area that's lower or higher than the surrounding body? Are they representing an area that's overlapped by another body part? Are they structures on the skin? If you know what they stand for it'll be much easier to figure out what kind of shadow they'd cast.

So, I hope my advice is helpful.
And now back to my smoothie :)





MORE ART REVIEWS

If you like to get a short review of one of your pieces too, post a thumb of it in the comments.
But there're some rules to it:

► RULES:
1 — Only the first 3 people who post a thumb in this journal will be reviewed.
2 — Write a short description of what your piece is about and why you created it.
3 — Only one piece of art of each person is reviewed.
4 — If you only want a comment about something specific in your piece, mention it.


Also please consult the first journal for more details.



  • Listening to: OSTs
  • Watching: Let's Plays
  • Eating: Pizza with chicken and feta cheese
  • Drinking: dragon fruit smoothies

Comments


Add a Comment:
 
:iconemar4art:
Emar4art Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2017  Student Artist
Your artwork is Dope do you take requests?
Reply
:iconflorian-k:
Florian-K Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2017  Professional General Artist
Thanks.
Sorry, I don't have the time nor the option to draw something specific for free.
Reply
:iconnidochan:
nidochan Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2017
aaa do you take commissions?
Reply
:iconflorian-k:
Florian-K Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2017  Professional General Artist
It highly depends on the type of commission. Time isn't my friend at the moment.
Reply
:iconnidochan:
nidochan Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2017
how much would you charge for a headshot?
Reply
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