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Thou has loved the Lion, mighty in strength by ealair Thou has loved the Lion, mighty in strength by ealair
"Thou has loved the lion, mighty in strength"

[The Epic of Gilgamesh]

Drawing representing the goddess Ishtar; coloured pencils.
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TOON-STER Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013   Filmographer
Another one dispatched on behalf of :iconselftaughtartist:, your majesty. News from afar say you requested, and seek for a critique.

Agreed with others on soft, monochromatic color scheme giving a dream-like quality to this illustration. As if it was fading in, and pulling together from the paper which it was based in. However, that's not to say that the shading, or strength of contrast shouldn't be soft either; to another viewer, jaded and more prone to pick more meanings, the light shading may reinforce the idea is timid, and weak like the shading used on it. To another, it may appear it's due to a lack of confidence in one's ability to express ideas on paper, or the subject matter.

The lion here is represented as a noble being; a figure of power, and strength. Like the lion, you; the artist; must express this strength through your abilities, and skills to illustrate, not just say this.

For example, the whiskers are undefined as they recede back into the fur; they're too light. The shading between the woman's face, and the lion appear to be forced, as they're more darker than the rest of the picture (do allow yourself to compensate for that, by making the rest of the image as dark, or equally darker).

The lion should have the authority over the picture, and be the main focus point, for the lighter woman seems to be taking up more of the share on the page.

As another fellow artist, although I don't specialize in this medium as often as you do, get a stronger shade of pencils to pull the lion out of the paper, and into this world:

For whiskers, fur, and other fine details, use a hard (H) pencil. 4H, and 2H would be fine.
For mid tones, use an HB pencil.
Darker tones should be done with a 2B, and 6B pencil (the darkest of dark pencils, which one should take for strongest confidence in their traditional arts).

For the woman, define the features of her face a little bit more clearer: especially the planes of the face. You may need to check that out, if you need better understanding, although your other illustrations seem to express this more confidently.

The planes of a dress shouldn't appear as marks, as I notice here... or hair-like marks, with varying degrees of intensity, either. Again, use a darker pencil to define the degrees, and a harder pen to define the edges, like a palette knife to a painting.

Brighter points in the picture, to make the lion shine in his aura, can be achieved through white pencil, our eraser. I notice you take the tone of the paper very well to achieve the monochromatic quality, but you can utilise that for stronger effect.

Kudos to you for using colors on the lion's eyes, and the woman's jewellery for emphasis, and effect, however this may mean you'd need to change the title of the picture, as this shows focus on a completely different subject matter here (jewellery, and eyes vs lion, and woman themselves).

Again, the lion should be main focus in picture because that's what you're aiming for, so should be the strongest, and dignify that position.

Oh, majesty, I understand your woes for incompletion in expressing thoughts, concepts, or subject matter on paper-- you, and me, like many others, have fallen into this pitfall once in an often. It's just a matter of being reassured, or needing a few things pointed out again to help us get ourselves back on our feet.

Alas, this concludes the end this enlightening encounter with each other. I must make do, like others who've come to meet you, and be able to discuss a few things; and to be honest, it's been a delight; though I wish you best luck, as these skills invested in you continue to reveal themselves to us, and more importantly, to you.

Adieu, your majesty.
ealair Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2013
I humbly apologize for my late reply, sir. Thank you for the time you spent writing your critique, I find every line of your speech extremely useful.

Yet I have to say, and forgive me for my boldness, that indeed the lion hasn’t got enough emphasis in the picture: I, the artist, am not a lion at all. Not yet, at least. That is why I wanted to underline the woman’s presence, as if the lion was nothing but a projection (I could have just said that it is because I had never tried to draw animals and I suck at shading, but this is such a noble conversation and I wouldn’t dare to utter such insolent words).

Gallant young man, I am honestly delighted at your considerate words and precious advices. They mirror what an artist should be: a proficient, wise individual with human experience to share. What else might we be, if not spiritual beings on a human journey?

But reassurance is a sweet poison and its effect doesn’t last long. And woes are yet to end, for those who keep searching and learning. If you and art intend thus to disdain, it does the more enthrall me; and I know I’ll remain in captivity. Well, I will pray to God on high that my constancy may be seen.

Now farewell, adieu, to God I pray to prosper thee.
Jellieviefish Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
I'm here on behalf of :iconselftaughtartist: because your piece was in the group's critique requested folder.
The picture is really beautiful, the lion looks really majestic!!
The soft shading makes it look dreamy..although you could color it, it seems fine the way it is
Good job!
ealair Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013
Thank you! ^^
Jellieviefish Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013
Welcome :) Keep up the great work!
sweetpie2 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
"I'm here on behalf of :iconselftaughtartist: because your piece was in the group's critique requested folder." I think that this drawing is very beautiful the lion and the goddess are done well. The colors make the picture very soft and "dreamy". Normally, I would suggest using more color so it looks less sketchy... but it looks right with this drawing the way it is.
ealair Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013
Thank you! I'll try to be more patient and realize less sketchy pieces in future anyways. I understand my drawings often seem incomplete... but thank you for your comment!
seirenwinter Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Both the lion and Ishtar look so regal and strong. Warm and lovely. :love:
ealair Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013
I'm happy you think so, thank you (:
MoonRise28 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013
ealair Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013
Thanks a lot (:
LaylaAmaris7 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013
wow, amazing
ealair Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013
Thank you very much!
ebbing-gale Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Really like this, so soft and warm.
ealair Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013
Thank you, I'm happy you like it! : )
SILENTJUSTICE Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Student General Artist
So nice job, my friend! :hug:
ealair Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
Thank you!! : )
melliMEL Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
E' semplicemente bellissimo :heart: I colori tenui e le linee sono meravigliose, il leone è venuto benissimo (:
ealair Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
Grazie!! Sono contenta ti piaccia : ) :heart:
tobs92 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
Ila è bellissimissimo! Stupendo! Adoro il gioco di ombre sul viso della ragazza e la luce sui suoi capelli! E il gioielli sono meravigliosi!
Il leone poi è magnifico!Ha uno sguardo d'oro che ti ipnotizza.
Mi piace un sacchissimo ma se proprio devo fare una critica forse la faccia del leone è un po' larga, ma considerando quanto sia difficile disegnare i felini hai fatto un lavoro da maestro! : )
ealair Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
Grazie mille!! Mi fa davvero piacere che apprezzi questi dettagli, anche se avrei potuto sforzarmi di più, soprattutto con i gioielli! Quanto al leone, hai ragione, a dirla tutta mi sembra anche un po' piatto rispetto al resto... ma riproverò sicuramente! : )
tobs92 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
Naah i gioielli secondo me sono perfetti!
E la bocca e il naso del leone sono stupendi solo che dove ci sono le "guance" e la criniera è meno ombreggiato della ragazza, ma è molto bello comunque, sembra quasi uno spirito guardiano che veglia su di lei : )
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Submitted on
January 7, 2013
Image Size
223 KB


61 (who?)

Camera Data

Canon EOS 1100D
Shutter Speed
1/64 second
Focal Length
55 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Jan 7, 2013, 8:19:34 PM
Adobe Photoshop CS2 Windows
Sensor Size