Sketches for September



  • Here are the sketches I have for September's prompt: "As Charly walked deeper into the forest he heard singing and dancing. He peeked out from behind a huge tree and saw..."

    I usually mess around with the what for way too long. This time, I want to focus on the execution of the piece.

    This is the first thing that came to my mind. (Ok, aliens was first. But I didn't want to do aliens. But I wasn't too sold on bears, so I asked my husband what I should have Charly see and he said, "Bears. Dancing bears." And who says husbands can't read minds?)

    Anyway, I think "things around a fire" came to a lot of people's minds, which makes sense with this prompt. (Just like there were a lot of "things under water" for May, and a lot of "space things" for Astrid) I'm just focused on making an illustration that works, and that I can put in my portfolio. A part of me wants to do "something different" but I just don't have time to wrack my brain for this one. Plus, if someone is looking at my portfolio, they're not going to know I did one of 12 "things around a fire" images. :-)

    I had a really hard time with the angle. Even though I marched through the woods acting this scene out (really) I could not think of more than two angles that would clearly show both Charly and whatever it is he sees behind the huge tree.

    The top small one is the angle from above/behind. I like Charly being closer, but his face will be partially turned away, looking around the tree.

    Bears sketch003.jpg

    I like the larger one because Charly's face can show completely, but he's further away. The line is where I'm toying with cropping it, like this:

    bear sketch cropped.jpg

    I don't want the fire to be too bright, distracting from Charly.

    Any comments/critiques are welcome! This stage is focused on the composition, layout, idea... basic stuff. There are details I will add in the next stage (for instance, the bears will have actual paws, not stumps...)

    But who knows, maybe tomorrow I'll wake up and decide it must be aliens. (Dancing aliens)

    Thank you!



  • I do love these two compositions, but I can't help to look at the those shadows the first one has, I think it's a beautiful scene yet exciting. Maybe crop Charly a bit closer where you see only his shoulder and his face in the first one? Second one is also nice because you can see all the detail and facial expressions in close up etc.



  • This is so great! Very close to the idea I had, so I'll try to think up something new. 'Great composition! Bravo!



  • @Naroth-Cow Thank you! I'll try that crop and see how it looks. I suppose I am a bit nervous about making the shadows "work" in that one. I gave him a backpack to add to his story, since he's the focal character - an option I also like.

    @Christina-Taylor-Brown Thanks so much! But I think you should go for your original idea! We're not going to end up with the same thing, even if the prompt were more specific. I've seen a lot of similarities in other 3rd Thursdays, but even similar pieces are totally different works of art. :-)



  • I like the middle one with the campfire, you did such a great job with the fire you shouldn't cut it out. The Bears are adorable and so is Charly. Don't forget to have one of your bears singing or they won't choose yours!



  • i wish i could give you some helpful or insightful critque but all i can think is "lovely". I think this is going to be fantastic and i can't wait to see it develop!



  • Hi there Carey, Love the fist composition. its fun, and because of the distance to the fire, I don't think that its a problem, making a nice bright fire. Cropping and making Charlie bigger will help, and because you're showing him from the side, you can give him a nice facial glow.



  • I love the bears in the second one! You can definitely tell they are dancing, would be hard to crop it effectively



  • Aw, I wanted to do dancing bears too! I may still do so, but my concept will still be slightly different, so we're safe ;-). I also like the middle one best, I feel like it tells the story clearest.



  • @Carey-Bowden Hi Carey, Firstly, what brilliant sketches. I love your idea. I much prefer the first illustration. There's so much more drama and a better sense of scale. I love the shadows. Maybe if you cut into Charly a little so you could see his head and shoulders peeking over the ledge that would also intensify the drama. Loving your process. Have a great day.



  • I think having the fire be really bright would actually help. If you show the fire's light highlighting charly's face in the dark, that would make him pop more than any other part of the picture. You would just need to make the bg the darkest part behind his head. Contrast attracts attention.



  • Your composition is awesome. I also love your designs, especially the bear playing some guitar. Good drawing skills as well. ☺
    I prefer the second one, where we can see Charly's face.



  • (I think I managed to reply to everyone... Thanks so much for the feedback!)

    @Naroth-Cow and @Leontine-Gaasenbeek - Thank you for your feedback! Here's the cropped and enlarged one. Charly's pretty blurry, but you get the idea. ;)

    Bears small sketch 2.jpg
    (Oo, kinda scary. I'll re-draw this one, haha)

    @Thrace-Shirley-Mears Thanks for the reminder, haha!

    @quickdrawkevin Yes, I have to keep that in mind. :) I think either composition, his face needs to be well-lit.

    @Peter-Jarvis Thank you. I'm leaning toward that one, too. I think it matches the words better, though I'm fond of the second. I'll develop it a bit and see how it works.

    @Sarah-LuAnn Yes! I would love to see yours! Like I said, this prompt really offers some strong themes. (Like "things around a campfire") Go for it!

    @Lynn-Larson Thank you! My struggle with that second one is that the bears are more interesting than Charly...

    @AndrewCothill Thank you very much! The color stage is hard for me, but I'll do my best!

    @Melopi Thank you so much! I do like the second one, but with this prompt, I think I'm going to develop the first one a bit more, and just see what happens. I'm worried the bears in the second one are more interesting than Charly. But either way, I'm going to make sure his face is visible!



  • @Carey-Bowden Well that's just bally lovely, that is! Proper skill!



  • @Carey-Bowden They are allowed to be more interesting. The prompt is about what he's seeing, not so much about him...at least that is how i'm reading it. You still see him and his reaction :)



  • I love it!



  • @Lynn-Larson yes cause the said he could even be a shadow or way back in the background.



  • Thank you, everyone for your comments!

    @Lynn-Larson and @Thrace-Shirley-Mears - Really? You bring up good points. It would be pretty freeing to have Charly more subtle... hmm....

    Well, here's what I did this evening: Bears sketch more details smaller.jpg

    I don't think Charly looks quite right, but I'll keep messing with it. (And his value needs to be changed. Now that I see it on the screen, I think I need to punch up his contrast...)

    Thanks again!



  • This one is my favorite now! Very nice work!!



  • It looks great! Really interesting to see how you've progressed with this one. I can't wait to see the finished result :)


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