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Theodora mosaic by NerinaSam Theodora mosaic by NerinaSam
Ican't believe I was able to finish this. It took me a lot of effort. Every detail is made digitally by my tiny hands XDThe the gold is made by a mix of textures I found on Google.Obv this is inspired by the famous byzanthine mosaic…

Theodora was the empress, wife of Jiustinian. This mosaic is the twin of his husband's, both in San Vitale church in Ravenna.…

It was very hard to me, to do this piece, because I usually prefer the lineart more than the coloring. Here, colors needed a very special care. I challanged my skills and it was tiring! I am non happy about the colouring of the curtains, nor the floor.

I do am happy about the shadings on women's clothes.Theodora's crown was indeed the most fun to do: I love drawing shiny things, and there were a LOT!
Her dress is the most simple, even if she has to be the most important figure in here. Maybe it is on purpose: she is the only one who wears a simple tunic, but has a very big and shiny crown; that is in contrast with the others who wear very peculiar dresses, but have ordinary face and hairstyle.
I really enjoyed doing all the patterns on the women clothes. I often blame myself because I lack of fantsy in inventing patterns; now I have experimented a few, which I am going to resuse in need XD

I kept the hierarchical prespective (more high is the political role of the subject, more big his portrait will be).

I hope you will enjoy this, because to me was a great fatigue. As I finished, I felt like having defeat a big evil monster XDI'd also love to hear your opinion, in a critique or a comment. thank you!!
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I love this mosaic because it is so beautiful because you interpreted this mosaic from the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna and Empress Theodora came from a poor family and she rose to become the empress of the Byzantine Empire and she helped Justinian give women rights and outlaw prostitution. During the Nika Riots, she stood up to him and told him that he must stay and fight the rebels rather than dying.

You need to stay historical accurate because it is a famous mosaic portrait in the history of art.

I really love this because it is inspirational.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
3 out of 3 deviants thought this was fair.

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TwelveStoryMountain Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I think you've used the original mosaic very effectively as the base for this piece- it's the things that you've changed and left out from the original that make this a really effective illustration actually. For instance, in the mosaic Theodora has an archway type of decoration around her head as well as the circle/halo, and in yours there is just the circle/halo; I think this gives a better focus to Theodora, and it lets the piece breathe a bit. I think the way you've divided up/ spaced out the characters is also much more effective in terms of telling the story.

As you said yourself, you made an effort to contrast Theodora by focusing on the crown rather than the dress, and that was a terrific decision, it's the block of plain colour on the dress that initially draws the viewer's eye to Theodora, and from there they climb up to her face and then look at the glimmering jewels around it, which are very well done- I'm sure it could have been easy for the jewels to blend in with the gold of the back wall had you not taken so much care over it.

As always with your work, the characters are all very unique in terms of appearance and manner. I love Theodora's facial features, her thick eyebrows and big eyes are a big help in making her stand out from the many other women in the picture, and I think it was a bold decision, many other artists would have made her conventionally beautiful rather than the genuine cultural beauty that she is here.
All of the other characters have unique faces, and expressions that show their intentions; this is a probably the best proof of your skill in terms of character design as it shows that even background characters are still individuals, and it shows how much you care about the piece as a whole.

I think that perhaps the curtains needed a different texture here, since the wall behind is a similar texture. We are to understand that the curtains are soft and the gold wall is hard, but the similar textures confuse this a bit. I hope that makes sense.

The painting itself is very detailed, I think you've got a great mix of hard and soft when describing the folds in the cloth, and I love the patterns you've created for each outfit! The high contrast on the main figures also helps to pick them out from the rest. I think you've made a lot of smart decisions as you painted this, whether you realised them or not.
When the line work starts to disappear under the paint, as on the bottom half of Theodora's tunic, I can see that you're getting to a point where you can confidently describe the form with the paint and without the lines. I know that you enjoy doing line work, but I think that, with some more practise, you could also do some good digital paintings if you wanted to.

Overall, this is an excellent piece of work, and I can see the amount of effort that has gone into it. You gave yourself a big challenge with this picture, and you grew from it. You should be really proud of yourself! :D
NerinaSam Featured By Owner May 7, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for the very long and detailed feedback. 
It is always a pleasure to read this kind of comments. 
I agree with you when you say that I needed a different texture for the patterns; they were a real enemy, to me, while colouring this. I need to improve my backgrounds-style. 

And awww  thank you for your words.
I hope ypu can forgive my late answers, but I am a very discontinous person. When I have time to do things, I feel I am not in the mood; besides, when I am in the mood, I have no time.

Have a nice day, Meg :heart:
TwelveStoryMountain Featured By Owner May 22, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
My pleasure, as always! :) You're doing great! 

Have a nice day too, Sam ;) :heart:
RyokoToraDo Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2017  Hobbyist
quel mosaico è bellissimo çAAAç (ma devo dire che anche il tuo disegno non scherza affatto!! Mille mila cuori per i colori e i vestiti, sono super belli *AAA*)
NerinaSam Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Non me lo commentava nesshuno ToT che amica che sei!! Solo tu, gatta :heart: 
mille mila cuori anche a te!!! :hug:
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Submitted on
February 10
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