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Submitted on
March 10, 2012
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633 KB
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1,071 (who?)


Creative Commons License
Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
Snape: Defense Against the Dark Arts by Cynthia-Blair Snape: Defense Against the Dark Arts by Cynthia-Blair
Professor Snape, Defense Against the Dark Arts from Harry Potter
(Alan Rickman as Severus Snape)
and yes, he can read your mind...

This amazing artwork was created for the 'Live Action TV & Movie Art Contest #LiveActionTVMovieArt

tech details:
10x15 traditional oil painting on board

wallpapers on my website: [link]
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Critique by SincerelyJavert Mar 17, 2012, 8:41:00 PM
I will start by saying I am stunned that nobody has critiqued this piece before as popular it is.

I will begin by vision. You have captured Alan Rickman as Severus Snape and grasped him in the many roles this man has had to play as both spy and teacher. You may say DADA professor, which is what I know you were striving for, but you have reached achieved much more than this.

It is the eyes.

Through your painting we can see the depth of his character, and all that Severus Snape encompasses; pain, love, hurt, anguish, confusion, anger, resentment, hate, and yet there is a subtleness that tells us he knows he will only have one chance at being DADA professor, and he wants to achieve all he can in the time allotted to him. He was born to instruct this course, and he genuinely wants the students to learn. The determination and resolve in his eyes tells us this. He has one year, and in that time, he will give all he can. Whatever the students consider him, bastard, Death Eater, strict, they will still learn.

Originality, I do not give as much becasue it is very hard to be original with a character that has been drawn numerous times and will continue to be interpreted many more times after we are long gone. I have given four stars becasue of the depth you placed in the stance you chose.

Technique is outstanding. If I had enough money, believe me when I say, I would commission you if I could. There are many drawings and paintings of Severus Snape out there, but yours is true to detail. I like Alan Rickman as Snape, and when I see art work done on this character, I prefer to see his visage as usage.

I love the way you combined the normal dark parts of Severus' aspects with his light skin and used an emblazonment of deep reds,burgundy, blues and grays as a contrast behind him to give the subject matter a more dramatic feel. The color combinations are perfect without feeling harsh or cartoonist.

The overall impact, at least for me, is very great. I feel the raw emotion in the Severus Snape you created and everything he wants to convey. I believe your usage of Alan Rickman's likeness will draw many to this, for that is what people encapsulate when they think of Severus Snape. I know I do.

If I had any substantial criticism it would be using PhotoShop for the wand blast becasue I think it detracts from the overall feel. I think you should have stayed with oil overall, but that is just my opinion. I know what you were trying to capture, but I think it could have been done just as well and with more subtlety in oils. Also, your name and stamp could be much lower and not so forthright as to take away from the piece. Again this is just my opinion, and I know many artists like to do this. I however, would prefer initials and names to be placed somewhere lower and smaller in detail so we can enjoy the full context of the art you have given us.

Overall, you are an amazing artist. I have enjoyed your work of the Harry Potter universe for a long time, and hope to see more in the future.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
9 out of 9 deviants thought this was fair.

Congratulations, it's always very difficult to paint a face with so much sensitivity and precision, using traditional painting. The color scheme fits perfectly with the character : pale, black, with warmer tones in the foreground to suggest a restrained anger. The precision in the drawing of his traits is rather incredible.
I'm not sure about composition and framing: did you have to truncate his head like this? It somewhat softens the dynamism of composition, in my opinion. I's rather see more flames on top of his head.
By the way, sorry about the low note on originality, but unfortunately, we've seen that pose on so many posters right now.
You're a very talented artist, keep going!
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
12 out of 12 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

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Lafay Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Absolutely gorgeous. Perfection!
Matsuemon Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014
This is AMAZING!! Oh my Lord haha
FoxBluereaver Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014
*Whistle*, so vivid it almost looks like a photo. Superb work :thumbsup:
mooksie01 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013
Soooooo Snape obsession much? xD I just went in looking for lord of the rings and I'm drowned by Snape xD
WerewolvesProtector Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer

Geat pic! :D It looks so… real :D

How did you make this? Can you please tell me? :) 
Asphodel27one Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013
This positively glows with life. I never tire of seeing it. While many artists take a photo of Snape and copy it, you take a familiar image of him and transform it into something greater.
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh, thank you for your wonderful words :hug:
I adore Snape and really wanted this to have alot of strength and courage. I only had a head shot to work with, so I "invented" all the rest :)
If I can't take a painting beyond the photo reference, I usually don't bother. A portrait really has to reflect the artist(the way I feel about him) as much as the subject, you know? I think this was my favourite of all the Snape ones I've done :D
Asphodel27one Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013
No wonder all your Snape work is extraordinary, then. The fact that you care about him definitely shows. I'm the proud owner of a LARGE print of this one, and was so stunned when I took it out of the cardboard box. Didn't think a print could do the artwork justice, but it does!
t1gertasha Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
This is an amazing piece and its a traditional oil painting? Just wow this is stuning and you got alan rickman spot on!
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much! Yes, it is traditonal, in oils. :D
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