Finally! The first Picture Deconstruction, featuring Hinanai Tenshi of Touhou.
Image: 絶対にぶたないでよ！！by アキヤス
Pixiv link (artist): http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=74052
Massive text wall after the jump. Post in the comments if you think a different method should be adopted to facilitate understanding.
Some background information: This picture is one of my favourites. It’s not a very complicated picture in terms of composition, and the background elements are mostly quite simple, so this is a relatively simple piece to evaluate.
Firstly, in terms of style: The artist’s style is a pretty interesting one. Instead of following traditional Japanese manga-drawing conventions, the artist has chosen to adopt a more expressive style – a kind of amalgamation of the standard Japanese style and the Western-manga style (a shortened method of describing Western styles that have been influenced by Japanese comics; many artists, especially when trained in animation, within the Southeast-Asian region employ this kind of style). This results in a construction where the dynamism of the artwork easily flows through the lineart of the character – simple, long strokes, with significant variations in line width.
The Western style, while being less anatomically accurate as compared to the standard Japanese style, is able to portray a greater dynamism due to the greater freedom for expression in lineart by the style. This can be easily evidenced by the type of lineart equipment professionals in the two industries use: Western comic artists use brush pens, while Japanese artists use the G-pen (essentially a glorified nib pen).
Secondly, in terms of colour: The artist makes use of both warm and cool tones within the same picture, with the juxtaposition between the two lending the picture an even greater sense of action and dynamism. Take a look at the left-hand side of her outfit – the orange glow painted sharply onto her sleeves and skirt stand out against the cool blue base of the clothing, the two battling for attention and resulting in an image bursting with dynamism and energy.
Excessive use of the warm-cool effect sends a picture into chaos; however, when used sparingly, it can serve to greatly enhance the abilities of an image to capture attention.
Thirdly, composition: Here is where the image comes into its own. Granted it is a very simple composition, and possibly even the artist himself is unaware of it, but the strength of the composition is pretty darn amazing. Tenshi is positioned along the thirds line (by the rule of thirds, which dictates that focal matter is most pleasing when placed along the one-third vertical or horizontal line of the image), standing facing the border of the image she is closest to. This enhances the scale of the background, making it seem larger than it actually is, and thus plays up the grandeur of the picture.
Another factor that strongly enhances the picture is the liberal use of triangles within the image to lock it together. The sword in the foreground itself serves as a lead-in to the picture, a diagonal line stretching from the outside of the painting that guides the viewer’s eye to the centre. The sword serves as the centre point of three triangles: The first is the one between Tenshi’s hair, skirt and sword, the triangle that serves as a focal point for the bottom of the picture; the second is the one between Tenshi’s hair, torso and sword, which forms a small triangle that forms the focal point in the middle of the picture; and the triangle between the sword, the Aurora Borealis above Tenshi’s hat, and Tenshi herself, which serves as a triangle to lock the background in with the foreground subject matter. Two other triangles exist between her hand, her torso and the sword hilt and the form of the skirt itself. All these triangles build a greater triangle which lead the viewer in to the main subject matter of the image – Tenshi’s face and sword-holding arm.
The strongest factor in this image would be its composition – the aesthetic ability of the artist is decent, not incredible like some of the other artists out there. However, with the powerful compositional factor (with extra mention to the triangle-based drawing factor) this image is able to draw and hold attention, with enough going on in the picture from the dynamic methods employed to keep the viewer interested.
Overall a strong piece, one that would be further strengthened by better technical control. A recommended artist to watch.