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This Dance by cypherx This Dance by cypherx
unfinished commission.

Cliché girl in the forest with butterflies bit (I called it that to the commissioner too, so it's not as an insult). I did try to paint it in the same way I might do traditional paints. I think it's lost at this size though.

"Unfinished" in that I just can't seem to figure out how to do the butterflies. I'm toying with some ideas, but either I use a reference and go too photo real or I just slap on some paint like one might throwup on the canvas... I'm not sure which I prefer yet. Hard to find that happy middleground.

• tree brushes & photos were used in the painting
• referenced redheads for the features & hair
• Photoshop's lovely "leaf scatter" brush was used for a lot of the texture
• my typical paint texture brushes were also used on the dress/foreground/background
• softlight and screen for the light effects
• I'm ashamed of the hours that went into this "cliché" painting

I think that about covers it. I'll just update this when it's finished. All in all it's been a good commission in that everything wanted was clearly communicated to me, and in the end if I fail to deliver it's a personal failing, not one born from their being unclear.

any ideas for how to go about the butterflies are not only welcome but appreciated greatly... especially if you've had to encounter a similar problem before.
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NamelessSaint Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Professional Writer
Your art is just amazing.
debbyakamom Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2011
I JUST LOVE IT!! :love:
LIGHTLOOKER Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2011
youre are is mind-blowing!!!!!!!!!!love your texture,your style!!!!!!i love it~!!!!:)
oz-haver Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2011  Professional General Artist
That butterfly should help me with my grocery shopping! LOL (I love the surreal aspect!)

I think you should go with the same style used for that atomic-butterfly :) It's painterly and 'figurative' enough.

(Yes, I've been off DA for a long time)
Marianne-Blacklands Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
aww :)
bunnykissd Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
The lighting in this is magical! I wish I could learn those effects! And I like it in this *unfinished* state... Makes it seem even more fairy tale-like... ^-^
leloops Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2009
i'm lost for words, the piece is masterful :)
Chiamata-alle-Arti Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2009
Our compliments!
We would like to publish this work on the next issue of our italian art-zine named CAA -Chiamata alle Arti, themed Dance.
The team

You can see all past editions here:
The deadline for this issue is 15 november 2009.
send to:
Your personal data:
- Name and/or nickname - Email and/or URL of your site
- your permission to use the images both for the use on the CAA and to advertize the CAA projects themselves.
File types (no animation) at least 1800 pixels on longer side:
JPG, GIF and PNG or TIF, TGA, EPS, BMP, WMF, EMF compressed with ZIP or RAR (max 6 Mb).

more info: [link]
Pania666 Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2009
I love the way she is staring at that one, more detailed than the others, butterfly! And I LOVE your style! :D
khallesh Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2009
i like her that way but cant wait to see your finished work
KuRiOus183 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like how you angled the blurry butterflies, kind of moved my eyes first the lifted dress/butterfly, then the girls under white dress.. at first i thought the girl was angry, but then i closed up on it, and WOW i almost missed out on your skills, the shadowing was Nice, good detail, especially where you hit the eye lash etc :)KiCK Ass
Selenada Featured By Owner May 22, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
It is so gorgeous!!
miskis Featured By Owner May 21, 2009
I like how she doesnt look all to happy to have those (cliche) butterfly's yanking on her dress.
VampiraDaee Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2009  Hobbyist Artist
Until I read your description of the scene, I could have sworn this was "Once Upon a December" from Anastasia. This is such a beautiful piece none the less.
xxMidnight-Dancerxx Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
lol i thought so too. i was like that looks like that scene when shes dreaming in the movie of anastasia. i love this picture. It's so beautiful.
mayarasuellen Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2009  Student General Artist
I love your work! *_*
rainydaydarling Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
I love her petticoat.
It's so dressy.
Spirit-Watcher14 Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2009   Writer
oh my. this is the far most beautiful thing ive ever saw! it reminds me of the song dance by leanne wockman lol. but its beautiful. no doubt about it.
gayparade Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2009
lovely. this reminds me of anastasia.
xblackabyssx Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2009
This is really pretty, it reminds me of a younger/sadder Snow White.
Revereor Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like the butterfly that looks more realistic.
Your work just amazes me. Especially Damien's Kiss. I fell in love with that painting. How do you come up with your ideas? They're so...original.
dollaberry Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
:wow: s i m p l y m a g i c a l :wow:
Strawberrimilkshake Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2008
Look at those butterflies!
turmrytmics Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2008
I like this one very much. Your style is great, this is far out. You are very talented.

Hope you understand my poor english, but let me say: I give all my love to your works. :heart:
acidkoolaid Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2008  Professional Digital Artist got a great talent!! im so impressed!!

cheers from Mexico! :headbang:
Brunella Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2008
omg ur so talented,,makes me wanna cry lol

i must buy some of ur work when i move into my new place lol

twilightstarrphoenix Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2008   Writer
Fatius Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2008
Do you particuarly like red hair?
cypherx Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think I might... I didn't used to have a fondness for it at all.
Fatius Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2008
Any particular reason for the change of heart? I like red hair, its not something you see every day, unlike bleach blonde. Hmm, there is a girl at uni with green hair, that is different.
cypherx Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm not really sure... suddenly I started to find more and more appeal. The pale skin, the freckles, the fiery hair...
Cloud-Spat-Blue Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2008
Despite the cliché that you have already pointed out, I think some of the predictability of the painting is diminished by her expression. Usually in these "girl in the forest with butterflies" paintings, the subject would have a dreamy look or happy look or something to that effect, but she looks pissed, so at least there's that.

I agree with a previous poster about how her legs seem a bit long? I know one should not assume that just because her dress is so long, her legs are that way too, but if she were shorter, would her dress not gather on the ground where her legs stop? Or maybe I'm just not looking at it the right way...

Random thought: I like how the frame at the top just sort of fades into the painting. It's unconventional. :]

Regarding the butterflies: Frankly, I couldn't really say how to do the butterflies because it really depends on how you see it. I've noticed with most of your painting style that you have one or two things within with extrodinary detail, then everything else with a sort of painted sketchy style, which also applies here. The focal butterfly and the girls face pop, simply because they are drawn so well... So I think it's fine the way it is.
Threshie Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The way that the butterflies seem to glow blue is what really grabs me about this painting. Even looking at the thumbnail in my inbox I was wowed. :blush: The glow makes them seem magical or ethereal, so since they're already unreal, the fact that one can lift a heavy part of the dress doesn't seem strange to me. =)
inks-n-needles Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2008
what if the butterfly's where kind of flaking apart starting out photoesq and leaving a trail of painterie puke imprinted on the background or just hanging in the air

as it looks now vary nice work i love how you captured the texture of the fabric i can see what you might have intended for the butterfly's the fabric looks real yet "muddy" just trying to help the flow of ideas and congrats
HIGHAGAIN Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2008
your paintings are really amazing,everytime I hope to see something...
mmiu Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2008
awesome brushes! amazing colors :)
RiONX Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2008
I really like the butterflies.
JulitaKaliostro Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2008
:blowkiss: Very pretty!
patricktoifl Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Looks great so far!!!
MStout Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2008  Professional General Artist
Quite nice.
cggp Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2008   Digital Artist
This is amazing. You have some great colors here, and this is one of your best paintings comp-wise. I like the fact that it's unfinished to, I think this piece works stronger that way as opposed to over detailing it.
chulachu Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2008  Professional Photographer
I like the butterfly holding her dress up in the front. But I wouldn't make the others as detailed. Some of them look further away, and you would want them to be a bit blurry.

Needs more detail in the foreground. Like plants, etc. She seems to be floating a bit.

Her eyes are a little too bright for the lights. Unless you were going for some freaky little bright eyed girl, I would at least make the one on the left a little less bright, since it's in shadow a bit.

Her ear looks a little big for her head.

Other than that, I love the front of the dress, and her expression.

Cant wait to see it finished.
cypherx Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
it was freaky eyed girl that was the intent.. so score one for me!

thanks for the feedback.
chulachu Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2008  Professional Photographer
well hell. there yah go.

yer welcome.
FeyPhilosophy Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Is there any way you could use both styles?
Kinda do the bugs bodies more realisitic, and the wings more impressionistic?(I do realize that's completely spelled wrong, sorry) It woudl kinda fit with the them you have going with her, and it works well.
I love her expression! She looks liek she's not sure if she's happy or afraid of the butterflies!
blondindbrain Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2008
I absolutely love your art, I want some for myself...When I can afford it I MUST buy something.. I LOVE mort and mindy I believe the piece is called... but this THIS is BEAUTIFUL
Electrical-Shock Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
I really like this :+fav: and in my opinion I kind of like the "slap the paint on" butterflies :3 I like the hazy look, lol, really pretty BG too! It really exentuates the rest of the picture :D
mcafee2000 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
the colors and material are stunning
akaCella Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2008
She creeps the hell out of me ^_^y
One thing I'm noticing is the butterfly that's holding the larger section of the dress up looks really good (personally). Though if I picture the other butterflies, also with the same amount of detail, my attention would be drawn to the butterflies surrounding her, and not just the girl. At the moment, my focus and attention is on the girl, so I guess to help with that finding the middle-ground bit, do you want the attention to be the butterflies and the girl, the butterflies or just the girl? Just a thought, don't know if it'll actually help ...
Regardless your painting is very inspiring. I never get tired of them, and this isn't an exception. You along with another favourite artist Marta Dahlig do skin SO well its looks effortless.
Can't wait to see the update ^^
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Submitted on
November 3, 2008
Image Size
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