Today’s submission comes from a fellow youtube artist Sheldene Visagie. You may remember her from our recent TMI tag as she is the one who tagged me. You can view more of her work on youtube, or on her facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pencilportraitsbysheldene. She has completed this horse using colored pencils. WOW! This is awesome. The really crazy thing is being that I’m familiar with your work, I know that you’re even more amazing than this now (this critique was submitted about two years ago). The drawing is stunning, the shading and highlights, it’s all beautiful!
The funny thing about giving this critique is I know you’ve already made these adjustments in your own work, but I will go ahead and share them so the tips may help another artist. First I love how you’ve got so much detail on the horses face and blurred out his body. The one thing I would change here would be to soften the contrast on the body just a bit more. The highlight down the middle of the back draws attention off of his face, so by softening it, you can better control where the viewer’s eyes move.
Next, on the back of his neck you’ve got this quite fluffy. Looking at your reference photo I can see what you’re looking at, but you’ve overdone it a bit which makes this area a bit confusing. I would smooth that out a lot.
Moving onto the colors, I would pull some of those deeper reds into his face a bit more. Right now you’ve only got it on his cheek. The shading all the way down his nose is quite light for this horse. Now it’s possible you did this to create more contrast between his head and his body, that I could totally understand, but if you’re doing this as a pet portrait, some owners will freak out if an area like this is too light. Instead, I would pull more of the blues like you have over his eye to create the look of shine without going too grey. When doing highlights on dark animals you have to be careful to keep everything looking shiney without looking grey as the grey will age them. This is where the blue can make a huge difference!
My last tip on this one is on the crop of the photo. The tip of his nose is SOOOO close to the edge of the paper. I would give yourself a bit more room there.
This really is an amazing piece and it’s so cool to see your progression over the past couple of years!