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    I'm going to explode... Help! Help!

    The first picure is what I drew this for a magazine on the subject of horror novels. The art editor said mine nowhere reached their required standard... I'm very disappointed... I've never succeeded of this kinda illustrations for magazines...

    The rest are samples she showed me. The last one was said that the man needed a few more details. I decide I must modify it to be satisfying! Please help me if you can.

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    You're missing the point of the samples you had been given. They are nothing spectacular, but all three are much better compositions than your one.

    So study the basics of composition. Your sample is really full of examples of what NOT to do; from not planning the composition beforehand and then sticking random stuff into the holes, and to unnecessary crowding of the figures into the edge they are facing.

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    Hey there,

    Well first off, don't be discouraged because your painting isn't bad. In fact, if this magazine editor said "nowhere reached their required standard", then she is exaggerating, based on the other samples.

    You are lacking some anatomy understanding it looks like, and a more interesting sense of light and mood. But the other samples really are not any better.

    Tell us the exact narrative of your image? I can assume its supposed to be dark and scary for this horror magazine. I would play with the lighting and make it darker, with a more eye-catching lighting. You can also choose a focal point by using the light.

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    Artfix, you're missing the point almost as much as the OP. It's not matter of anatomy or lighting. It's that the original image is BOOOOOOOORRRRRRRIIIIIING, and no amount of playing around with the lighting etc is going to fix that. The sample images may be cliched and/or not particularly well rendered, but they tell a story.
    Untier, did you do thumbnails? A LOT of thumbnails? Can you explain exactly what the point of your picture is? Because if you don't know what you're trying to say, how can you expect anybody else to? Did you submit a rough sketch (or preferably, several rough sketches) to the AD for comments before going to the final?


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    Well I don't agree with the bold and elongated "boring", but ok. It would be cool if the ominous figure had his hands on her shoulders and was looking over her shoulder at the letter like a creep.

    Add a dutch tilt--maybe that will satisfy the editor lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artfix View Post
    Well I don't agree with the bold and elongated "boring", but ok. It would be cool if the ominous figure had his hands on her shoulders and was looking over her shoulder at the letter like a creep.

    Add a dutch tilt--maybe that will satisfy the editor lol.
    That's an awful suggestion. Neither of which address the underlying problem with the composition. OP needs to do more thumbnails exploring different ideas. (And not just different ideas about what the characters are doing, but the location of the characters, the camera placement, etc.)

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    I agree with the above posters about thumbnailing - doing work for a horror magazine is a great excuse to crack out the crazy angles and dramatic lighting! Take a look at some genre-related movies, comics and art - you'll get some good ideas from them.

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    arenhaus: Where is the signal of my planning the composition beforehand and then sticking random stuff into the holes? I'm sure sometimes I tended to do so.

    Artfix: The narrative is very short and vague... It's not a whole novel, but a simple description for a test. The description is:

    A girl is looking at a photo with tender affection. A male ghost is behind her and stares at her with a thrilling mood.

    And she never mentioned specially that it should be darker or made a special note of the environment. I think the samples are even brighter.

    Elwell: She didn't ask for a thumnail from me... She told me that I have two days to finish the test and then submit it to her email box. I think she just wanna know my skill level and style matching. It's not a real commission, but merely a test. If I had sent her sketches wouldn't she view it as bothering? And as a result she said I was not suitable... so there's already no chance for any composition to be exhibited to her... I just wanna better my work.

    Alice Herring: But the price for this project is only piteous $16 per piece... Do you really think it worths so much efforts?

    Kveldvaahiim: I agree with you on studying ideas from genre-related movies, comics and arts. And I noticed that my power of cracking out the crazy things isn't enough too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by untier View Post
    Alice Herring: But the price for this project is only piteous $16 per piece... Do you really think it worths so much efforts?
    If it's not worth doing right then it's not worth doing at all. Doing something badly only results in rejection and a bad reputation, and all of the effort is wasted. So if you feel the price is too low to put in the effort to do it correctly then don't take that job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by untier View Post
    A girl is looking at a photo with tender affection. A male ghost is behind her and stares at her with a thrilling mood.
    Wait, that's a ghost? Okay. I thought it was some sort of Mike Myers/The Crow type of fellow with satanic powers or vampire or something, nowhere does he come off as a ghost to me (and sure there's all sorts of ghosts that you can make but sometimes it really is good to fall back to the stereotypes [like slightly see-through, floating, showing the death wound/decay, not affected by same stuff, like light, as the real humans and so on] for the sake clarity when it's likely the viewer might not have any context to the image). And with a description that vague, I'd say you had all the chances to make sure everything in the image supports that description (like have the photo feature the ghost guy while he was alive with the girl and then have the creepy guy ghost hover behind the girl, which would make a connection with the characters and also make sure that we get more of the emotion because we know that when the girl turns around she'll see the ghost and know the ghost thus make it more traumatic to her), but a lot of the image just gives lot of visibility to things that I don't see important, like the room details, actually to the point that the image has more space dedicated to the room than the characters.

    Not to mention we don't actually see that she's looking at a photo. That could just as easily be a note or something, especially in this age of digital cameras and overall that doesn't look like a natural way of looking at something, standing stick straight and holding it with both hands like a child. I could see that pose to work if she had just randomly come across the photo while cleaning or searching something, picking it up but planning to keep moving along, but like this when that's not the case and especially since there's a bed in which she could be sitting/or laying, it just feels off and stiff.

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    Thumbnails yes, iteration yes. All that aside, I like the idea of having the shot facing them from a low angle looking up towards the giant round window, which would be casting a light on her. Then perhaps behind her, slightly off to one side, would be your demonic figured shrouded in shadow, but key points of the light hitting him (either from the window or the lamp). I'm just thinking of this from a horrific perspective, and haven't read 100% of what's already been posted, so I apologize if I missed a key point of the illustration.

    That said, keep at it

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    Vineris: You awoke me. I was sometimes only money grubbing freak.

    TinyBird: This is for a Chinese magazine. Many ghosts in Chinese media is opaque. Most Chinese people believe that after a person dies, his/her soul might have the freedom to still wander around in this world. They believe that the ghosts are independent to stay in this world, so they don’t need demons or any higher authority to drive them. The ghosts are more like prison breakers or missed ones. One day, the hounds of law in the nether world will capture them and put them on the right track. Some of them can appear or disappear in public or to a certain person at will, but they usually aren’t transparent. This kind of ghosts are very like the vampires or demons. Sometimes they’re called corpse. They have supernatural powers. They bring terror to harm humans. They suck the energy of human life…And they are afraid of sunshine.

    Certainly some of the photos that have ghosts appearing show that they were transparent. I think that’s because they didn’t mean to expose themselves but the space problems or some effect of the equipments helped to capture a part of their light, so that the light we see is not strong enough… And some people may sight transparent ghosts, too. This kind of ghosts are also reluctant to be seen, but the people’s eyes possess some special structures to sense a part of the ghosts’ light, which is not entire.

    Some stories portrayed them as Melcolm crow in The Sixth Sense. They weren’t aware that they were dead, most people couldn’t sense them, but certain people were able to see them entirely and communicated with them .

    And there are other versions…For instance, some guys are sure that their dead relatives or friends come to help them, etc. You know many people worship miscellaneous idols and rough-and-tumble religions. This kind of people could believe in any faith others compiled. But they reject that there is an ultimate God. The main stream of the ghost versions in China came from Buddhism and Taoism. The consensus is that ghosts are dead people

    Back to business, the scary figures I’ve seen in their magazine are opaque.

    Kraemology: Thanks for your advice. Your idea is good, in the next step I’ll try it..


    Please have a look at my draft. Dutch tilt, huh? Is it enough as a thumbnail? Or is it just a thumbnail to show camera angle and layout? Once it’s approved, is next step to draw a thumbnail to show general light and color? Must an illustrator be full-time passive? I’ve met an editor who stick that the shadow on one of my comic pages was wrong based on the light she assumed. I argued it about she misunderstood my lighting idea, but she said my lighting was wrong. And she persisted on asking me to modify it. I implored her to ask the Chief Editor. She refused at first, but after a while she agreed. Thank God the chief editor said mine was correct… Then for some vague refusals how should we reason it? The only way is to obey any order and judgment? Many editors I knew online were young naughty girls, someone might be bitchy… I mean they might unleash their anger at you for their unharmonious sex life last night or something they thought unfair… What’s your skills to persuade the headstrong girls that interferes your business online?

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    Holy crap that's a completely needless wall of text that has nothing to do with your image.
    Seriously you could have condensed all that ghost talk to "this is a Chinese type of ghost that's not see through" and that would have been enough.
    EDIT: Though I still say he looks like the satanic bastard child of Michael Myers and Alex Corvis what with the vague prison jumpsuit looks.
    And I'd still maintain that pretty much everything else in my comment is still something you should think about like again, why do you waste so much space to the background?
    Seriously now the figures are even smaller! If this were actually printed, the figures would risk becoming pretty small, especially if this isn't a full page sized illustration and I still maintain that showing so much empty walls gives little to the image. Even if this won't be actually published, if you're planning to practice doing specific type of images then you should take the medium where they will be seen into consideration.

    Again like several people have suggested, do some thumbnails! http://muddycolors.blogspot.fi/2010/11/thumbnail.html Quick, small sketches where you explore the composition.

    Thank God the chief editor said mine was correct…
    But did it actually look good, that'd be my question here. (And if I'm honest, looking at the lighting in your original image doesn't make me wonder if someone else has been confused by your other images because the lighting looks to be pretty inconsistent.)

    Quote Originally Posted by untier View Post
    Many editors I knew online were young naughty girls, someone might be bitchy… I mean they might unleash their anger at you for their unharmonious sex life last night or something they thought unfair… What’s your skills to persuade the headstrong girls that interferes your business online?
    ...what?

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    That's not a thumbnail - that's rough linework. You're skipping a step.

    Read tinybird's link and show us thumbnails. Many of them. 5 or more (more is better). Plan out the composition with your major values. They should be small, and we shouldn't see any detail. We should however, still be able to read all the important bits easily.

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    the room adds nothing to the story... so get rid of it... get rid of everything that adds nothing to the story. youre complicating it unneccessarily.

    zoom in on the figures and tell the story by their relation to each other and their expressions.

    and as for the ghost... it either reads as one or it doesnt. there are several target groups which interpret things differently, but as far as i can tell in most asian movies i saw ghosts been semi-transparent aswell... its just the most effective way to show its a ghost... otherwise it may just be some dude with a bad hair day. if you find a better way... great, but always be aware it has to shout ghost... you shouldnt have to rely on explanations.

    [edit] another possible way could be to give him another value-scale than the living human... more highkey e.g., solid but glowing, or fumes, or a shadow, or whatever...

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    heres a quick thumbnail to show what i mean above and how id possibly approach it...

    Name:  untier-ghost-01.jpg
Views: 365
Size:  23.3 KB

    i think the condesed values on the ghost might actually be enough differentiation between the two to tell us as the audience they are not of the same matter... just one possible approach.

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    Quote Originally Posted by untier View Post
    Many editors I knew online were young naughty girls, someone might be bitchy… I mean they might unleash their anger at you for their unharmonious sex life last night or something they thought unfair… What’s your skills to persuade the headstrong girls that interferes your business online?
    Good luck with your professional career .


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    Good luck with your professional career .
    enough said on that really I suppose! However.......

    Untier I was rather sad to read your comment about naughty young girls as editors/ directors is that really your experience!?
    My professional career is only in its early stages I admit and despite it being in the area of children's picture books and the occasional historical romance cover I have to say that all the editors and directors I have come across so far have been totally professional. They usually give me reasonably detailed instructions on what they want and expect me to come up with the goods on time or before (I always try to come in before the deadline!). Yes they can slap you down hard sometimes but remember they are trying to make money and are paying you for a service, that service you are contractually obligated to fulfill too by the way when you agree to do it and sign on the line..
    Not really sure where you are coming from with that mate, not sure at all! and I wouldn't want an aspiring youngster put off or mislead by it so do please elaborate.

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    wait, is this supposed to be a jiang shi? Or a Hungry Ghost? (eurgh on both counts.)

    Your new composition still doesn't work, and the 'dutch tilt' doesn't do anything for it. Do more thumbnails as TB has mentioned. Remember that how you frame the shot is just as important as how you layout the shot. (So much unnecessary space! whyyy.)

    Also, your assumptions regarding other women's lives sexual or otherwise is completely inappropriate and unprofessional. And what is with the interfering with your business online bullshit? If it's THEIR magazine/site, it's not your business - it's theirs. If someone else is paying and calling the shots, you either accept their direction or don't do the job. You might be able to offer alternative solutions, but it depends on the personality of the director. Based on the drawing you provided earlier, I certainly wouldn't be surprised if your lighting was off. I'd actually be surprised if it was correct.

    Overall, I wouldn't think 16 dollars was a decent wage for a job. However I wouldn't consider your work professional level. If you'd like to do these kinds of illustrations for fun that's fine, but you need to add some serious study including drawing actual things and places. (and people in them! go out and do some sketching of people in coffee shops!) Start going to museums and looking at existing paintings - what are the compositions? How are the objects/framing arranged to help sell the story? Go! Draw! Learn! (Don't accuse people of trying to interfere with your online business unless you have proof they are launching DDoS attacks or libel.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by untier View Post
    arenhaus:Elwell: She didn't ask for a thumnail from me...
    The thumbnails are for you to come to a good design, not for her. An extra ten minutes doing thumbnails is definitely worth it as it almost always results in a better painting (in my experience anyhow).

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    Quote Originally Posted by untier View Post
    I argued it about she misunderstood my lighting idea, but she said my lighting was wrong. And she persisted on asking me to modify it. I implored her to ask the Chief Editor. She refused at first, but after a while she agreed. Thank God the chief editor said mine was correct… Then for some vague refusals how should we reason it? The only way is to obey any order and judgment? Many editors I knew online were young naughty girls, someone might be bitchy… I mean they might unleash their anger at you for their unharmonious sex life last night or something they thought unfair… What’s your skills to persuade the headstrong girls that interferes your business online?
    You sound like a nightmare.

    Keep this in mind; there are a lot of people out there with shit hot work who dont mind doing exactly what the client wants. Theyre called professionals.

    This is training. Id take the money, its better than $0. If you keep working, youll make it and look back and say "WTF was I thinking?"

    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; July 25th, 2012 at 10:03 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by untier View Post
    What’s your skills to persuade the headstrong girls that interferes your business online?
    I don't know. What's your skills to persuade artists with mediocre art who blame their troubles on the sex life of other people to improve their art and stop being rude to clients? Perhaps when you solve this mystery your luck with jobs will magically improve.

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    TinyBird: I know when I talked with so many words on ghosts, my composition of literature was done for, too... So I'm a composition-blind guy. I've never said I've done anything professional in the category of realistic illustration and concept art. I said only that I did some illustrations for children’s book and cartoony comics. And not many, nothing like an entire series. Though I planned to do so, I didn’t have enough time. The lighting thing was based on one of my comics, which wasn’t so crucial to judge whether or not the page could be published. Anyways thank you for your careful advices to me!


    Alice Herring: Have I offended a women’s league? I’m sure I was kidding much on that sex life thing. But there are really unfair dark corners everywhere on earth. If you didn’t meet any, I’d better keep it unsaid too, for I don’t wanna scare heavenly girls. Sometimes girls are really like children. So are some men, of course. They dare to do whatever they feel enjoyed in, very very selfish, no matter whether it’s harmful to others. Did you ever heard the word “dictator”? Your restricting attitude is fairly advisable. After all, thank you for your time!

    Hexokinase: I get it. Very helpful.

    sone one: Mate, your words are very helpful. It’s no doubt ghosts can be sighted as transparent. That’s based on human’s visual system under some condition. As long as you’re a human being…
    Your thumbnail catches the chilling atmosphere! It summoned my goose bumps… even though it’s so vague.

    Elwell: Thank you very much, man…

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightship69 View Post
    I wouldn't want an aspiring youngster put off or mislead by it so do please elaborate
    Hey, buddy.I’d say you’re lucky that you’ve never met a troublesome editor. I know that the publishers and studios value the profit first, and I also know good ones will lead their editors or art directors to treat the artists they selected and viewed as having the potential kindly and patiently. I’m not batman, so I can't survive after I involve my self too deep into devil’s nest… And I’m afraid that I may be accidentally injured by some neutral creatures… Anyways, most of what I said were just exaggerating the exaggerations. You could not take it too seriously.

    LJFHutch: Sure thing, sure thing.

    Vellocity kendall: I’m awake. I 100% agree with your penetrating speech!

    Vineris: Very inspiring, quite philosophical.

    Hi, thank you everyone for your advices or lessons. I’m going to save my time to the sketchy here. Straying away is the worst composition. Come on!

    Below are some examples, simple, bad anatomy and mainly no lighting. But they still have souls and a market, and have been paid.

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    Back to the subject. Thumbnails! And nail clippers...

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    Last edited by untier; July 26th, 2012 at 01:05 PM.
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    Hmm I think some of these are pretty cool ideas... But I cant let that get in the way of my judgment. So.. With the exception of the first one all the other images are pretty much the same, girl in foreground, ghost behind her, mostly frontal view.

    Imagine being in this scene as the characters are frozen in place, moving around the room holding a camera, moving it around at all different angles and heights to try to get an interesting photo. Now the photos you take in your mind of this scene should be what your thumbnails are.

    I will say tho the first creature gives off the most ghostly vibe, imo. I really like the upside down guy too... dunno why, upside down people are usually pretty cool though..

    "The whole point of practice is to do it until you can do it right." - dpaint

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    "Hey, buddy.I’d say you’re lucky that you’ve never met a troublesome editor. I know that the publishers and studios value the profit first"

    "Alice Herring: Have I offended a women’s league?..Your restricting attitude is fairly advisable..."

    ha ha ha ha uh oh

    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; July 26th, 2012 at 09:16 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by untier View Post
    TinyBird:
    Alice Herring: Have I offended a women’s league? I’m sure I was kidding much on that sex life thing. But there are really unfair dark corners everywhere on earth. If you didn’t meet any, I’d better keep it unsaid too, for I don’t wanna scare heavenly girls. Sometimes girls are really like children. So are some men, of course. They dare to do whatever they feel enjoyed in, very very selfish, no matter whether it’s harmful to others. Did you ever heard the word “dictator”? Your restricting attitude is fairly advisable. After all, thank you for your time!
    *twitch*

    That being said... I'm glad you got rid of all that unnecessary space, but like element1988 said you're compositions are all very similar. I would also like to throw in that a lot of the creepiest images, movies and literature come from subtly, where you might not notice the horrible thing lurking in the background at first, or you may be unaware you're staring at some kind of eldrich horror until you notice his mouth is a touch too wide, or maybe he has gills behind his ears... and by then it's too late.

    Last edited by Ysvyri; July 26th, 2012 at 04:07 PM.
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    You mentioned that the male ghost is displaying a "thrilling mood" which, aside from being extremely vague, doesn't necessarily mean anger/threatening which seems to be the focus of your thumbnails. Playing around with some different versions of "thrilling" may give you some ideas to work from.

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    Quote Originally Posted by untier View Post
    Alice Herring: Have I offended a women’s league? I’m sure I was kidding much on that sex life thing. But there are really unfair dark corners everywhere on earth. If you didn’t meet any, I’d better keep it unsaid too, for I don’t wanna scare heavenly girls. Sometimes girls are really like children. So are some men, of course. They dare to do whatever they feel enjoyed in, very very selfish, no matter whether it’s harmful to others. Did you ever heard the word “dictator”? Your restricting attitude is fairly advisable. After all, thank you for your time!
    Yeah..the whole women's league joke isn't funny, it's dismissive. Instead of addressing why what you said was inappropriate, that comment makes it sound like I'm offended because of my gender.

    This is less about gender and more about the fact you were being inappropriate by badmouthing your editors. Nor does saying "I was kidding" change that fact. I don't care if there are individuals of either gender who are bad people - DON'T BADMOUTH YOUR BOSSES OR COWORKERS.

    I'm not even sure what you're trying to say with the dictator bit or my attitude - your english is a little unclear there, and I'd rather not make assumptions.

    Now regarding your thumbnails: Keep going; don't lose track of the characters' relationship to the groundplane. (In at least one of them the girl appears to be sinking through the floor.) As you gain experience you'll be able to do less thumbnails, but you're not there yet so do more. Even if you're fairly certain something won't work try and draw it anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alice Herring View Post
    don't lose track of the characters' relationship to the groundplane. (In at least one of them the girl appears to be sinking through the floor.) As you gain experience you'll be able to do less thumbnails, but you're not there yet so do more. Even if you're fairly certain something won't work try and draw it anyway.
    Yeah, relationship between experience and upgradation. That shows the genuine path.

    Sunk girls? In the 3rd, 4th,5th pictures on #24, I meant to let the girls sitting on the bed. You can see the roughly bed in the 3rd and 4th pictures, but in the last piece the bed is out of the camera view. So she is not inserted into be floor.

    And don’t think there should be any gap between the two conventional genders too. In the aspect of gender solely, between males and females it is the genuine intimacy that is the truth~ I might want to express that some girls who thought being a full time housewife was one of their spare goals more likely release too much selfishness or emotional judgment in the public affairs. And as for the editor, I don’t think that’s badmouthing too much… I didn’t call a roll~

    When I said dictator, I pointed to all the arrogant, selfish, and unjust people who have power and favor to make unfair decisions.

    Element1988: Ok, make time stop, but camera dances… That’s a good practice.

    Tim Murphy: Well, expression study and experiments are needed too.

    Velocity kendall: Too worldly? I heard the world is round… If I were able to free myself from gravity and survive, I would show you more viewpoints.


    Upside down people? They conjure up my association of refreshing, renewal, and reverse association of ruin. These actions require great courage, So that upside down figures rocks?

    Kveldvaahiim: En. Make a hint for an upcoming sudden scare. That’s dynamic.

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