August 3rd Thursday
I have been hiding in the shadows this month and not posting much of my progress on this months topic. Anyway here is where I am with it. Thoughts and or critiques are welcome. I will make a final pass over this weekend before I submit it.
@Chip-Valecek Hey Chip this is looking great! My favorite is the Guild member.... very cranky little fellow. For critique i think for me the lettering is well done and i see the theme of it but it is such a powerful attention grabber - especially "The Wizard of Oz" above Dorothy - when i cover it up i am much more able to look at the rest of the image without distraction - one other thing is possibly the occlusion shadows could go a bit darker... super subtle - right where the feet hit the ground and where hands touch things is mostly what i'm thinking - this is probably planned in your final pass though - anyways ...look forward to seeing your final!
Here is my next pass. @Kevin-Longueil I didn't remove the title completely. I moved it to the center and ghosted it. I also re-positioned the characters for better balance. Added a tail to the monkey and some magic to the witch. Deepened the shadows as well. Thoughts?
@Chip-Valecek I think all of the changes that you have made look good Chip! Occlusion shadows are really grounding your characters now and the lettering does not grab my attention like it did - also like the addition of the monkey tail and the magic flames that echo Dorothy's color scheme - very good!
I really like the theme and character concepts you have come up with here.
This might be too late for your entry but I thought I would share some thoughts and a paint over I did in case it helps you in the future.
First of all I noticed that you have your characters placed over a rougher textured paper type background. Doing this and then not applying any similar grit or texture to the characters makes them not blend into the setting as much. They then look a bit too smooth and it makes them feel very digitally painted because of the contrast with the background. It does look like you put a texture on the monkey's wings and that work great here. It is the rest of the characters surfaces that need that extra something.
A very simple way to overcome that would be to add a paper texture layer over your page and set it to Multiply (in this case). Sometimes Overlay works better just depends on the overall color scheme and the colors in your paper texture you use. Here I dropped down the opacity of the paper texture I applied but you can see it helps to tie in the characters with the paper surface they appear to on now. Another way would be to use a texturing brush or one that can add some noise to help create that sense of the texture where needed.
Next I would enhance the values of the witches magic - I used a few different overlay layers with yellows and pinks to give them the glow and make them feel more fiery and magical. This can continue to be pushed much further with some more intense color saturation worked in, but again I just did some quick things to give you some ideas.
Then I took some of that pink and yellow and used it to enhance her highlights and shadows and also to show that the magic is glowing and would be bouncing off of her. Again this was just quick and rough but I always find it easier to see something than just read it!
Looking at all of your characters it seems like you are using a white to lighten your highlights and a blue/gray for all of your shadows.
I would suggest taking a look at the January 2016 3rd Thursday video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48smPrY0TF8
Go to around the 38min mark it will be a setup for @Lee-White who then gives a little lecture about color picking for shadows and lighting that was a real eye opener for me which I now think about whenever I am doing that part of the work. Actually I even look for and pay attention to it in the real world now too. It was one of those "mind-blown" things that just makes so much sense now. I think if you review what he says and start practicing it with your pieces it will take them to yet another level!
I also added a bit of a red glow to the witches eyes, darkened the centers and added a bit of a white highlight to draw more attention to them as they were getting lost a bit before (in my opinion).
@Rich-Green Thanks for the great feedback! Those changes really do make a world of difference. Unfortunately i already submitted. But i will sure keep these changes in mind for next time. The lighting from the witch is amazing now.