The semi-finalist judges checked out all of the epic and beautiful Scouts, Warriors, and Sorcerers you designed for the Fantasy Earth Zero "Create A Character" contest and were completely blown away. The skills and creativity that were busted out for this contest were truly impressive. Though it was tough, they had to pick just 25 semi-finalists from all of the great entries submitted. From the 25 semi-finalists below, the final three winners will be selected by a panel of three judges drawn from the Creative and Production staff at Gamepot!
Check out below which amazing submissions cast a level 5 charm spell on us.
I know this contest has been going on 2010, but I just looked at the semi-finalists and what set me off the moment I looked at this, is that these are all digital artworks. There is NO traditional. And I find it unfair that there isn't any traditional semi-finalists. I saw that there was some in the entries but none here. And it makes me a little ticked off and unfair. And I understand that this contest is for a MMO but still. There are artists out there that can make traditional look digital. I've seen it. I'm not bashing on the semi-finalists at all or anything. I'm just ranting off at the fact that there isn't any traditional arts. (and in recent contests too.)
This seems like more of a complaint about the artists. The ease of access and sharing of the digital medium is what makes its presence so overwhelming. And of course, with very few traditional entries, there is a lower chance of seeing them in the final rounds. It's not a matter of which medium is better or worse, they're really just tools. There are plenty of great digital works that were also overlooked as well. It's not a discrimination of medium, but a combination of the judge's tastes and the fact that they had to choose such few submissions out of thousands.
What makes these comments a bit discerning to me is that there's some kind of stigma against any medium at all. When it comes to things that judge the final product, it rarely matters how the journey was made. Good traditional art is good art, good digital art is good art. I still see getting comments asking about "brush settings," when he works entirely in oil paints and mostly with a palette knife. I've seen people on Magic forums bashing recent works for being digital (that purist mindset), and picking out certain ones to really bag on, that often turn out to be traditional after all!
So it's not that these contests look for the medium and bar certain entries for that. Not at all. I can't say by what criteria they really use to choose their top entries, but "medium used" certainly isn't one of them. Overall, if you want to really see traditional works have a presence in these contests, you're going to have to be part of that movement. You'll have to be much more objective about artwork in general and really step up the game, like everyone else serious about this stuff does. This is really speaking out in general (so don't take offense to this, but I've seen it a lot), but an amateurishly-rendered colored pencil drawing isn't going to be able to stand up against a well-done digital painting. There are no brownie points for "you drew this by hand"(another misconception, digital art is also drawn "by hand," it's simply not tangible before printing). Same goes for digital work, though, a shoddy digital work is going to lose out to a competent acrylic piece.
I'm not bashing on the artists at all. I like their entries but it just irked me the wrong way. And I understand that a colored pencil drawing is no match to a digital piece or over-the-top painting of sorts, it just (like I said), irked me the wrong way.
I know that digital art is drawn by hand too but it just seems (to me) that it's the "new" way of drawing. I've been wanting to do digital art too but I just don't have to patience, materials/updated programs, or a steady hand at it so I don't take part in it unless it's Photoshop with photography. So I've been with hands-on-paper kind of drawer.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, is that this is from jealousy mixed with anger. I didn't mean to make anyone uncomfortable or uneasy with my comment a few weeks ago. I think it was just from jealousy and anger. I apologize for being rude and for offending anyone of anything I said.
No need to apologize. I just always see comments like this regarding mediums. I really think there's a certain amount of ignorance in the art world when it comes to medium, both within and those looking in. For example, it's not that a colored pencil drawing wouldn't be able to stand up to digital work, but rather that there aren't people putting in that effort like they should. Are you familiar with Terese Nielsen? She's an amazing artist, one of my favorites in Magic by a huge gap. She works with markers, pens, colored pencils and the occasional acrylic paint to accent details. Her work blows so many out of the water. If traditional art like her's and Dave's were a more common sight on deviantART, the notion and fright of digital work taking over would be a lot lower.
Another point to bring in is the cost of materials. When entering a contest like this, there's absolutely no guarantee of getting anything in return. In the art industry, you're generally paid for your work. Especially when it's good work. I'd save the oils for personal pieces or larger commissions myself. Of course contests like this are meant to be for fun, and the prospect of selling the original painting is probably enough reward, even if it goes unnoticed in the end. I can't really imagine people who are really that good with traditional artwork to use their time on a contest like this, especially when it could be used with guaranteed paid work that yields an original piece that can be sold at IlluxCon, for example.
Because of the ease of access of digital art, traditional artists (especially online) seem like a minority. Of course, I'd say there's an even ratio of good digital and traditional artists, perhaps more on the traditional side; especially because a good understanding of how to work with digital work stems from traditional fundamentals and experience. Jesper Ejsing tried out the digital medium recently for the first time and yielded successful results that blow so many out of the water because of his extensive experience with traditional painting. Todd Lockwood made the transition into digital painting years ago, but can only stand as a pillar because of all the work he put into his oils. And of course Todd still returns to the physical canvas once in a while. There's also a huge amount of people who work in mixed mediums, combining traditional and digital. Darren Yeow often starts his renders in pencil. I know I do as well, though I'm far from the levels of these great artists.
What boils down in my my mind is the notion that digital work seems "unfair" to so many people on this site. Of course, one of the biggest goals of digital painting is to emulate the feel of digital painting, and there is just no way to compare to the beauty of an oil painting in person. If there was no digital medium at all, I wonder if the colored pencil deviants would complain that the oil painting deviants were unfair in their use of medium? Overall, they're all just different arrows in the same quiver. Any of them can hit a bull's eye, it just takes a good archer.
I see what you mean when it comes to ignorance with any type of medium, because of jealousy and possible narcissism for their own work (at least I think so.) And I agree that people drawing with colored pencils or any of the sort put enough effort into their drawings they should. I'm still learning different ways of pushing my borderline with detail and contrast with my drawings, and it's hard. I think a lot of artists are afraid to push past that borderline. Then maybe there would be more of traditional passing around.
That's true too when it comes to contests. I personally don't really enter because I feel as though I don't have the ability to compete against all of the entries and other artists competing and that my luck with contests are very low. It's every once in a great while do I get selected into a contest and win something. And I agree with the costs of materials. Its sucks lol but I've leaned my artworks towards commission..or at least try to (with no luck). Sometimes I enter contests because of boredom and I think it will be fun to do in my free time.
Every once in awhile when I get the chance I mix my mediums but I usually do one medium majority of the time. There have been a couple of pieces I've done that are Prisma colored pencils/markers and watercolors. That's about all I can really do and the only reason really I go on Photoshop with my drawings is to edit them I've done that to a couple of my pieces and turned out really cool.
I think there will still be some quarreling between artists if digital art didn't exist honestly. Me, I would be more of jealousy than unfair. But that's why I try to learn off of some of these artists on here as references and see how they made the painting or drawing. But there will always be that jealousy that will be at the back of my mind. And like I said earlier, these artists just need to push through that borderline for contrast and detail. Not be afraid of going over that line. And if they made a mistake, then they know how to approach that again in a different way.
It's funny, and I don't mean to sound demeaning in any way because by far you're the most understanding person I've seen in one of these types of conversations (I usually get barked at when I respond, haha), but the whole medium quarreling never happens in the professional world. Sure, here or there someone will scoff at the medium itself, but not the artists. Mostly because traditional art really is cathartic-- I tried and true traditional artist like Terese will have no reason to dip into the digital medium, sans post-editing (which I don't think she even does actually). I question the dedication of a digital artist who doesn't have experience in or doesn't want to try out the traditional mediums. I mean, how could one spend all day with a pixel brush and never wonder how a natural sable would feel?
That said, I've learned most of what I know from traditional artists. I mean, my style of work is far from their teachings, but I've learned so much for the digital medium by watching Donato Giancola go at it with his oils. Oh man, I really hope one day I can afford to have a nice oil studio setup.
Oy. Yeah. Overall I feel that contests create some warped sense of self-entitlement as well, which you don't really get from being an artist who constantly takes commissions. With commissions it seems like just caring that other people enjoy the work you do for them, but competitions are more involved with beating someone with your work. I mean both can go either way on the healthiness spectrum, but I really feel like that's the biggest difference between the general deviantARTist who involves themselves with competitions more than anything, and a professional who simply lives off of what they create. And in that is where I see the stigma come from-- the more hobby-centered members of this community. I know I've seen digital hobbyists bark the same tune of superiority for equally estranged reasons. Even worse are the self-entitled digital artists who harp superiority over their lack of a graphics tablet or their program of choice... oh, but I digress.
I think so long as the people involved have the true desire to learn, improve, and are on an honest path of art where they do it because they love it, whether or not they make it their living, all is well. There really shouldn't be any judgment for medium of choice or anything. Competitions in that sense are really healthy, especially ones like this where you were not limited on the amount of entries you could submit. You could learn from what you entered, how you could've done better, and then see what other people submit as the contest went on. I haven't seen many other contests like this one in recent deviantART history. I'd really like to, it's been two years since I tried to compete with art, haha.
lol that's alright, but that's very true. Not once have I seen any quarreling over art in the professional world. Sometimes I question the effort or dedication too when it comes to digital art too, only because sometimes I wonder if they've actually done any type of hands-on-paper traditional media. In today's age with technology, any amateur can be "good" at it. For example, Instagram makes any amateur photographer amazing. Only because it has the editing on the app to change the color and lighting and focus of the picture but so much of that app is now just about popularity. I have an Instagram myself and I post pictures of my art on there to keep trying to show my art somewhere. And there are a couple of people that I'm following that are artists or photographers and they're amazing. I'm basically saying that today's technology makes no effort for amateurs. It doesn't have them learn the old fashion way of things.
And that's another reason why I stay away from entering contests a lot of the time is because of the self-entitlement that everyone wants and the need to beat everyone. I enter just to see if my work will be recognized. But since there are so many people with an account here at DeviantART, it's almost impossible for the lower leveled artists to be recognized in such a large place. I join groups to try and help get my work seen a little quicker, but that seems to not work out as well as I thought it would. So I haven't submitted much of my art to any group lately because of the mindset that it'll be denied since it's been denied the last few times I've submitted. So I lean my art to being on the hobbyist side of things now and just wait and see if anyone wants anything from me.
There shouldn't really be any judgement, but there will always be jealousy and self-entitlement. But there are people out there who don't have that true desire to learn and improve, and that upsets me. I'm part of the crowd that wants to learn and improve. I've been improving since the beginning of high school up to now. I entered the "Draw This Again" contest and I was truly shocked on how much I have improved. So much. And I'm still improving. It's just gotta take time and patience and pushing passed the borderline and have faith in yourself. Because if you don't, your art might not go anywhere outside of DeviantART or their own home.
Oh, the Instagram bit makes me think there's a bit of misunderstanding-- Instagram is literally point and click without a drop of technique or skill involved. Someone with composition knowledge will probably post above-average stuff there, but they're not going to be using the techniques a professional photographer would. I'm not a photographer but I know the amount of work that goes into true photography. Comparing digital artwork to Instagram is... insulting. An amateur using Photoshop will still yield amateur results. Perhaps not amateur to the crowd that is inexperienced with the medium, but it's not going to be something of exception quality, not at all. While I said that knowledge of traditional mediums is something to be desired, you must understand that the bulk of techniques globally translate. There is no "click to make a painting" button in Photoshop. You have to work at it. I don't want to seem like I'm mudslinging so I won't post any examples of what I'm saying, but I'm sure if you browse through the digital art section of deviantART, you'll see that simply using the digital medium doesn't easily result in good work. A lot of it is bad. Of course, that's the bulk of art, creating bad art. One of my professors told the class that "you have to create a hundred shitty drawings to make one okay one. And a hundred okay drawings to make a good one." That is verbatim, by the way, haha.
As far as improvement goes, it's all about working out of your comfort zone, I'd say. Doing stuff that's new. Maybe even changing up the medium, alongside stylistic and thematical changes. Realizing your own shortcomings is also a huge step. An unhealthy thing to do is to value yourself compared to the work of higher-leveled artists, but it's a great way to find out what you're doing well and what needs work. If you look over at a great artist's work and compare them, you can really see what you're doing and what they're doing, and what you can do better. As you become more adept at art in general, you can really learn everything you need to by simply observing a final piece. You'll subconsciously incorporate things you like into your own work, and hopefully for the better.
Today in Awesome Horse, there was a call for everyone to post a progression of their own work from a year apart, revisiting a piece, to really keep track of their progress. Much like the "Draw This Again" meme (which I really need to do myself, come to think of it). Doing something like that every so often would definitely yield a great improvement.
Also... I would never judge my own work by whether or not a group accepted it into their gallery. I judge my own, for example, based on my expectations and aspirations. I really couldn't care less if I got accepted or denied by a group, because what matters is my own growth and my own ability to live off of the work I create. Whatever you want to do with art in this world, do it. Don't let someone's "no" be the end of you trying to submit to some group. Just keep doing it and with every denial, think, "How could I make this better?"
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A two-time Community Volunteer for the deviantART Related category, Anne is well-known as a positive, helpful force. She is the community's resident expert when it comes to CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), and her personal gallery offers a wide variety of tutorials for new and experienced coders alike. In addition, each winter she hosts a calendar project encouraging members to create Journal designs for all to use, bringing more creativity to the community.
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