Yes, this could be.a topic for one or even more Third Thursdays. I totally agree with @Lee-White´s point about artists not talking nearly enough about "markets". In particular about what constitutes a saleable style in a particular market at a particular moment. I understand this is a shifty topic, but it is done in photography (anyone familiar with Getty´s "Visual Trends" yearly webinar?) so why not do something like that for illustration? My impression, though, is that the market itself is very confusing. I tried going to a bookshop or a library and looking at all children books, but I am not any wiser about what "sells" in terms of art. I have seen anything represented, from very basic, to super-graphic, to naive-painterly, to cartoony, to realistic, in every possible variation. Yes, you can usually pick out very old-fashioned styles, but the separation is more in decades or even longer periods. In design, you can easily spot what is "modern" and what is "old-fashioned" even after only a couple of years of exposure to design work. In Children Illustration I would not be able to do that, even after reading children books for over 10 years.If you layer on top of that the differences between the US market and the rest of the world (which are considerable), i admit defeat. In the end, I learned more about "what sells" from two conversations with my agent than from 4 years of art school and countless hours in bookshops (though her categorical statements sometimes feel more like her personal opinion than anything else).
Before you add it to your portfolio, you might want to heap some gold onto the arm of the dragon that is on the same level as the boy. I think he would have seen that arm... I should have said this sooner, this is a great piece. great job.
Yeah, that would be funny if the bear was reaching around him for the marshmallows with a big smile on his face. Thomas could be just reacting to seeing the bears paw and the other character could really be freaked out because she can see what's going on behind him.
@Dulcie I had that same idea and had it in there. Then took it out :( I already submitted this version. I was also messing around with timeline in photoshop and animating the mist which looks pretty cool. Maybe i will post that on my website, need to adjust the speed a little on it.
I actually liked your first idea of the mom catching the kid with the cookies a little better. This is a nice illustration I just think the first idea you had was stronger. Maybe you could do a few thumb nails of both ideas to help hammer out some stronger compositions.
@Rian-Trost I love this! Your colour choice is great and your characters are very endearing.
I have a suggestion for the type - it would be so great if you drew/rendered the letters as buried bones! I think it would really tie the concept together nicely. Also the 'buried' stuff in that area now look like they're floating a bit, I suggest working on that a bit more to make them look like they're 'stuck' in the dirt.
One final thought: the white balloons on the right draw my eye a bit too much (since they're so high contrast). I don't think they're as important as an element as the clown creatures faces so I'd take that contrast down a bunch.
I love the perspective and the drama in this one. I agree with the others, I think it needs one more story element. Since the prompt says "Thomas could almost reach it" - I think I would like to know what he is trying to get to on that vine.