My thread of despair

MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin techRegistered User regular
edited July 2013 in Artist's Corner
About a year ago I had to put off my attempts to learn some design and illustration, but now that I can get back to it (and having made a resolution to devote 1/3 of the time I have to myself for practice/study) I thought I could try and finally make a thread in which I do some actual work.
I've spent some time looking into the sources Nightdragon recommended me (a thousand thanks for those, ND!) and while I will definitely spend a few months browsing and studying examples, I also wanted to do something simple for practice. Here's a rough mock-up for my miniature painting gallery (2 versions, click for bigger if you wish):



A simple logo to go along with it:

And since I'm at it, I dug up an old picture (made from this photo of Prospicience from the Sketchaforumer thread) and tried to improve it (focusing more on light and form than likeness...)


All comments and help welcome. I promise I'll make a bigger effort to incorporate and learn from them than before! oops.gif

Mayday on


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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    That purple bar on the website doesn't feel like a coherent part of the design. It feels like a tooltip or something hovering on top of everything else. I bet you could give less real estate to the top and focus on the gallery, anyway.

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    ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    "My thread of dispair"? You mean... DisMAYDAY?

    :P I agree with iruka, the purple bar feels out of place with the rest of the design.

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    ToasticusToasticus yeah YEAHRegistered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    That purple bar on the website doesn't feel like a coherent part of the design. It feels like a tooltip or something hovering on top of everything else. I bet you could give less real estate to the top and focus on the gallery, anyway.

    100% agreed. You can't really go wrong with pushing the minimalism of the site itself. A big banner at the top of your site is kind of like having a big banner across the top of the wall at an art gallery -- probably a bit distracting and odd.

    Also, the less reading or clicking people have to do to navigate, the better an experience it is to browse the gallery. It's more appealing to group the full-size images of everything from a given category all on one page to scroll through rather than needing to click to enlarge each piece one at a time. Grouping things into category pages also frees up screen space on your gallery hub to use decent-sized images to link to each category rather than smallish heavily cropped deals. That small-icon-per-piece style of presentation is mostly a vestigial thing from the days before broadband internet.

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    MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
    edited July 2013
    Alright, thanks for the input!

    I am a bit confused, since 9 out of 10 portfolios/galleries I've seen had a huge banner/photo with slogans, no regard whatsoever for real estate and miniatures leading into larger images showing specific portfolio items. Just check out these examples from the top of Creatica:

    I tried incorporating your tips anyhow, just to see the difference.
    http://mayday.w.staszic.waw.pl/upload/learning/goblinart56 min.jpg

    For a no-miniatures gallery, categories don't really work (everyone likes to browse these in different ways- I'm talking about miniature painting specifically) so I thought I'd try some filters instead- the top menu lets the user choose what minis are displayed, and the left menu lets him quickly jump to a desired level of painting (and the arrows invert the sorting order).

    Still, while I appreciate minimalism, I never can seem to get it done right. Everytime I look at the layout elements, I feel the urge to... spruce them up somehow, like add some photo, texture, shading, whatever. I know it's probably stupid, but I don't quite like the way it looks now.

    I also quickly redid another old piece (just a doodle).

    Mayday on
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    MagellMagell Detroit Machine Guns Fort MyersRegistered User regular
    The problem is the banner color doesn't really match the rest of the site, and also it's right over top of a drawing and doesn't seem like it's in the right place. The banner on top is fine, it's that weird purple bar that looks like a popup that's the problem.

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    kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    May, you're going to have to unify that colour scheme. Graphic design isn't my bag, but this isn't cohesive - the purple bar being the main suspect. I would change up the illustration banner as well, it's a bit loud. Try using some muted analogous colours and see if something fits. Remember, keep this shit simple. Nobody who has the cash to pay you has the time to waste browsing anything that isn't just clean, and straightforwardly organized.

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