Image edit after Will's critique
Will was nice enough to give me a critique in his first Turning Pro video, and I've had the time to apply two of the three critiques he mentioned.
If you saw the video, you'll know the other critique he had was to do something with the tail in the foreground. I haven't quite decided what to do with that yet, and we're going out of town unexpectedly this weekend, so for now this is what I've got.
@Sarah-LuAnn I hope this is not annoying feedback - in the first one you nailed how a tortoise really walks - they walk in a very specific way with their toes pointed in toward their centers - they also seem to be surprised that they have legs at all and are just figuring out how to use them at every moment - when i saw the first one originally i noticed that you got the legs right (i'm not a tortoise expert though) the new one is very well done of course and looks very good also - first one is more "believable" to me - anyways... feel free to disregard - it really will be great how every you finish it :)
The child definitely looks more child-like now with the relationship between the larger head/smaller hands :)
I do see what you guys are saying. But I saw what Will was saying about how weird it looks too.
Here is some pretty good tortoise walking footage:
And yes, they are really pigeon-toed. I think they lead more with their toes than their heel, so thats another less tortoise-y aspect of the edited version, but it needed to look high enough off the ground to be clear he was taking a step. I tried to keep some of the pigeon-toed-ness in the edited image without losing the tortoise-ness...and maybe I took it too far. There is also the problem of trying to get it to look right to people who aren't looking at what I am looking at, if that makes sense.
I feel that, while it might be slightly less tortoise-y, I feel that story-wise the edited version works better (maybe?). Before it was just like, "Oh look, the little boy wants to touch the giant tortoise." Which wasn't really a bad story, but not super exciting. But now to me it's more like, "OH NO, the boy's toes are gonna get squashed by a giant tortoise!" which is a bit more interesting.
@Sarah-LuAnn I love this image and I loved it already before any change. Also the suggestion that there is another animal in front (a lizard?) - very nice touch.
I believe Will said something about the anatomy of the boy too? He looks a little stiff.
Story-wise, the little boy is well behind the tortoise on the picture plane (as we can clearly see from the shadows), so it still looks like he is just marveling at the tortoise. Personally, I think it works that way. Your style is very striking and very unique, and I really love your background!
Well as someone who personally does not know how a turtle walks (probably the average person) I think the new image makes a big difference and it was a good change! Just my itty bitty two cents
I love this piece so much. Your color has it's own personality too. I think you did an excellent job touching up the little boy and I think the feet make more "visual sence" this way even if it's incorrect. But that's what illustrators do right? :)
Thats one of the crazy balancing acts you have to do as an illustrator, I think. If something in reality doesn't look like the average person would expect it to, do you draw it as it really is, or how the Average Joe would expect it to be? Or somewhere in-between? My first version was a little more accurate to how tortoises really look, the edited version is kind of in-between but maybe a little closer to what the Average Joe would expect. It is what it is.
@Sarah-LuAnn I actually liked the first version better with the feet. But that is just me. As far as a critique, that is all it is. I don't think it is final word and as an artist you should have final say on a personal piece. Now if a client is paying for it and says to change the feet, then that is something different. Either way its a great piece!
I'm so glad you posted this here. I watched the recorded videos and REALLY loved this piece, and it bothered me that I couldn't join in and tell you that. Your palette is just out of this world, and I love everything about it.
@Rapteev Thanks for saying that! I had a lot of fun making this piece and experimented a lot with the palette, I'm glad you like it. I really love earth tones and keep coming back to them, but I've been trying out other palettes lately too.
Unfortunately, with a paid project with a looming due date and other things going on, I don't know when I'm going to find time to apply the last bit of Will's critique. However, this has actually been a really great exercise in diving back into my many-layered vector files and finding that, yes, I can edit this image and make it look "seamless" (for lack of a better term) not as if I cut and pasted a new part in, but like it was always that way. I've developed a way to organize and label my files so even after not looking at it for a few months, I was able to go back in and easily figure out what was going on and what layers to work on. And that reassurance/confidence was worth doing the edits for (even if some people think the original was better), so I'd like to thank @Will-Terry for that. :-)