[FEB] Teddy Bear
[Image: dcz98d2-cf5e112e-1595-4fd0-9671-5543da58c1b0.png]
Going for Teddiursa (Medium) and February theme (Affection)! Concise or In-Depth Curation would be fine, though I'd most appreciate feedback on the positioning of the human character's arms, the human's face, and the room behind him.
This is actually pretty much an In-Depth broken into bullet-points like a Concise. So a little bit of both!

pokeballTeddiursa! pokeball 
Things you did well:
  • Beautiful color scheme! You've used lovely warm colors and tints to give the entire work a comfortably cozy feel. It gives you the same fuzzy, cute glow you'd expect from looking at a cuddly bear piece.
  • Great stylization/realistic rendition of a Teddiursa! Your anatomy on this rendition of a derpy bear is spot-on, including all of the telltale details of the Pokemon we know and the anatomical correctness of a fat little bear cub.
  • Exceptional light and shadow! You shade the figures to give them depth beautifully. Your shading technique for fur is always exquisite; you use the dark strokes to intentionally define specific parts of fluff, letting our eyes and our brain fill in the fluffiness of the rest. The lighter applications of yellowish orange highlights on the window and the very soft gradient in its fill is perfect for giving the hazy glow you were going for.
  • What a great human. I appreciate the way you render humans; you always do so with less-represented body types. Your humans are typically bulkier, less smooth, and all around a little more organic and believable than most of the other renditions I see. You accomplish that here with features we usually don't see on things like models or other idealized images: freckles, wider facial features and facial shapes, thicker eyebrows and overall a thicker neck and hand. It helps you create unique characters for each of your works!
  • You've created an informative and moody background that fits perfectly with the work. Our bedrooms are a place that we feel comfortable, so placing a cute scene like this in a bedroom helps add to the comforting quality this whole thing gives. Great tone/story overall.
  • This definitely counts for the theme of Affection! A fond smirk and lidded eyes staring down at a derpy bear-dog-thing in a warm bedroom? Yup, checks out.

Things you could improve on:
Going to start with the requested critique areas!
  • Human arm position critiques! So I know you own a cat, and notably, this arm position looks exactly like I'd hold a cat. Cats are light and (usually) somewhat thin and limber, and typically rest very fluidly on anything. They're like water--they fill whatever container they're in. However, you're depicting more of a fat bear-dog. Hold a dog sometime--they're the opposite of holding cats. Even the little ones hold like they're thick and chunky and weigh a million pounds, like lead, and their bodies as a whole are a lot more stiff. Since they're not as balanced as cats, they also like their upper body being held up--they panic and feel imbalanced when their haunches are higher than their head, because it's not a natural position for them like it is for agile, climbing cats. Here are some examples.

    In your work, I think that representation like this would feel more natural. As it stands, the Teddiursa's haunches/hips feel very light with the way they're resting. I'd suggest dipping the Teddiursa's haunches down a lot lower, and let the bottom arm hold its rump (and that way, you can still draw the fluffy tail down below). You did great with having that top arm curl around to support the chest with the hand--that's a very natural position that also helps the dog-bear-creatures feel comfortable and supported when being carried.
  • Human face critiques! As I mentioned before, I love your faces and your body types. The suggestions I'd make for the face here are in two areas: the forehead and the mouth. The amount of forehead you have here is very small. It's probably close to the amount you might see if someone has their hair down, but when you have your hair pulled back, nothing hides your forehead, and while we don't notice it every day, foreheads are, proportionally, freakishly huge. Here's an example of someone with this hair type. Notice how her forehead height is almost the same height from her brow to her mouth. Here's a messier guy example. Some more forehead on this figure would help with the realistic proportions!

    Secondly, I think that your mouth is really far from the nose. If you look at all of the above references I've linked, there's usually a little less space between the nose and the mouth. In fact, moving down the eyes, brows, and nose entirely would probably give you the forehead room you need without changing much else overall, except perhaps an adjustment to the ear position. Another thing that's exacerbating the perception of distance is the lack of lip detail. It's very flat around the single line for the mouth. While expressive, it's probably a reason why there seems to be so much space. Nude-colored lips are fine, but give a little bit of shading to suggest that they're there! While it doesn't need to be anything this detailed, here's a good sketch that's nice for looking at the values of lip shading. That little dip above the top lip is always a nice feature to give a little bit of depth to that area of the face, as well as the sloping planes of the lips themselves. It can totally be subtle--but even just something would help!
  • Background critiques! You've got a lovely background overall here, but there are a few things I'd suggest! The first is that we seem to have a very, very slight and minute perspective hiccup; on the left side of the bottom half of the window, we should be able to see the ledge on the right side like we do with the bottom side of the frame above it. While not as drastic of an angle, the shaded part in the top left of this example is what I'm referring to. We need one of those in that corner.

    On to the actually important, overall critiques. You have nice shading, but overall I think it feels a little "empty"/flat in spots because it's a bit too smooth. I think one thing that would help with the wall color is the slightest inclination of texture; even flat painted walls have the slightest bit of dappling texture; I think something on incredibly low opacity like that would help the flatness. This can be accomplished quite easily with a Grain filter (can't quite remember where it is on PS or other drawing programs, but a Google search should help) to give a little texture. I would

    Your headboard is really flat, and seems just a little rushed when compared to the care that was taken with the window. Take some time to straighten your lines and give it the same dimensionality. The dividing outlines in the middle of the headboard fade out at the top and bottom of the divider, which, for a geometric wood structure, gives the impression of an organic slope that I think is contrary to the form you're going for. Define its ridges like you did with the window and that'll give it more presence.

    The other part that stands out as too smooth is the pillow and the covers. You have some nice wrinkling around the edges where the sheets are tucked beneath the mattress, but carrying those kinds of cloth textures into the sheets themselves would help it from seeming like a flat box, which it's coming across as now. There's also no shading beneath the pillow or against the headboard it's resting on, so it gives the impression of it floating there rather than resting there.
  • Carry out your darker lines through the rest of the figure! I've mentioned before, but carrying the dark black outlines to other dark parts of the foreground figures would help your overall depth/contrast a lot. I definitely think these lines work to set it apart from the background, which is why I think they're great to keep, but you can also differentiate the background and foreground by the contrast in the shading of those objects. Bringing in deeper contrast outlines into those darker posts (like where the skin of the neck meets the collar on the shadowed side of the neck, or the creases of the eyelids, or where the arms and clothes press together) would help make those darker lines seem less out of place. [url=https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/332932318115135498/569277874675384330/unknown.png]Here's a quick demonstration example.[/b] Notice how the figure looks a lot less hazy and murky now--with the better contrast, the lines and the features seem sharper compared to the rest of the work.
  • Composition/overall posing critiques. One thing about this work compositionally is the way that my eye is prompted to move across it is a bit anticlimactic. As humans, when we see someone looking in a direction, we create a line from where they're looking and outward to try to see what they're looking at. We always try to figure out what things are looking at. This is called a "psychic line" or a "line of sight". When looking at this work, I follow the figure's gaze down to the Teddiursa, and then I follow the Teddiursa's gaze... right off the "page." For an ideal composition, I'd definitely recommend changing the Teddiursa's pose to put its gaze in a way that carries us around the image. For example, maybe instead the Teddiursa looks back up at the figure adoringly (but still with all the lovable derpiness). This would also deepen the "affection" theme through mutual adoration. Or perhaps it's looking toward the window, whose tall shape causes our eye to follow its form upward, then back around to let us explore the background and back to the figure's features. Consider where your eye moves across the page when deciding poses and placement!

pokeball Final Verdict pokeball
I went in on the critique in the areas you requested, but I hope it didn't come across as harsh, as always! Overall, this is a lovely, warm, and fuzzy scene that I adore. You have lovely narrative, lovely emotion, fantastic anatomy and two beautiful figures. I rate this at Complex, Teddiursa captured, + $20,000 + $5,000 for fulfilling the theme! I think the background is missing some detail, texture, and attention with shading that would need to be addressed to bring this up to Demanding, but this is a lovely work, no doubt. Enjoy the fuzzbear.
Already talked about it with you a bit in DMs, but thanks so much for this thoughtful curation! Claiming the bear and the bux!

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