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    Silently Defining: Shiny Stars and Crosses

    In art, many things cumulatively make up the whole. We try to use all the pieces in harmony to convey what we want to the audience. Even in comics, which utilize dialogue, the art itself speaks volumes, and any non-verbal gestures or details can significantly aid in defining the initial intent.

    Welcome to Silently Defining, a series that may end up with just this one post, where I discuss recurring features in my art that I find useful at silently conveying what I’m going for. This time, that one feature is sparkles OR single cross-hatches! They are useful for multiple situations, which I will break down by observing my own art!

    1. Something is Special

    If it’s not clear what Tangle is looking at, or perhaps it just appears that she’s cross-eyed, these sparkles help indicate that the milkshake is a special item, and very likely the object she’s viewing.

    2. She’s Glowing with Beauty

    In these instances, you can see that the sparkles add to show that these girls are glowing!

    3. That Starry-Eyed Feeling

    These same cross-hatch shapes can be used in the place of eye highlights to show that a character is in love. I used them in this manner when Tangle kissed Mighty on the cheek(she did that in fulfillment of a challenge he renewed), and also for Surge, who is looking very affectionately at Dave(but he looks at her in like…terror)

    4. Pure Excitement

    When used in the eyes, as a substitute of a characters’ entire pupil/iris, excitement can be conveyed. At left is page 3 of Sononical: Heroes N’ Hearts, as you can see, Tangle is REALLY excited. (of course, the gesture and dialogue help, BUT the starry eyes help the gesture and dialogue in return!)

    5. Innocently Happy

    In both of these examples, the characters already have a look of innocence, but the sparkles also help to show that’s the case. First, we see Cream saying that she’s eating her third milkshake, and now we know she’s eating it out of child-like innocence. Secondly, we see Slinger holding a present(for Whisper) and he is innocently joyous.

    6. Glistening Surface

    (yes, I just used the same comic page back-to-back, but I’m referencing a different panel–haha)

    In the panel where Cream is holding the spoon with ice cream, the stars show that the ice cream is shimmering; also, the stars may aid in conveying the source of Mighty’s shock(Cream eating a third milkshake) Finally, in the second photo, Maria is holding an ornament with Shadow on it, which we see is shiny(that picture never got fully finished, since Bean was voted the winner)

    This simple shape is only one of many that can be used to non-verbally define our artistic intention more clearly. So what are you waiting for? Now you’ve read about it, so put that knowledge to use, and make your art SHINE! (if you liked these kinds of posts, heart to let me know) Jesus loves you!!!