Help with 3rd Thursday Charly

  • Any thoughts, please, on how I can improve my full-spread take on September's Charly sketch?
    What Charly saw.jpg

  • Hello - i think the first thing that comes to mind compositionally is that the witch will be in the gutter of the book if it is a full spread - i think it is important that critical elements of your composition do not end up in the center of a two page spread - you could move the group that is around the fire to the right a bit which would sit nicely on one page - You may want to increase the scale of Charly by bringing him closer to the viewer otherwise his half of the spread may look a bit too sparse -

  • Thank you! I always forget about the gutter. Will work on that.

  • I reworked it and I hope this solves that problem. I'm hoping the shadows and fire light are correct. Any other comments would be appreciated. What Charly Saw3Forum.jpg

  • I love the old monsters! The only thing i can think of at the moment is lighten up the fire. It seems awfully dark for being a light source. Does that make sense?

  • Hi, Lynn. Thanks for the good observation. I'm hoping this makes it brighter. What Charly Saw4Forum.jpg

  • Its very bright, but I like your premise, though the only think that lets your image down is that the characters aren't interacting or looking at each other.

  • Thanks, Steve. Wow, I hadn't even thought of that. Hmmmm, I wonder how I could include interaction? Maybe the witch looking at the vampire? I'll have to think some more about that. Also, do you now think it is too bright?

  • @Maureen-BF haha WOW I wouldn't want to run into THAT lot in a dark forest! 🙂

    You have a nice mood going on in this piece and I really like the texture in the trees.

    Your fire is a good level of brightness now but it shouldn't be one solid colour - if you take a look at reference (for example) you'll see the centre should be close to a pure white, then it transitions to a yellow then the edges an orange. I would make the outer edges of the flame softer too - not so crisp.

    I agree with the interaction comment - what would be great is if they were dancing in a circular manner around the fire. Dracula is pretty much doing that now, it's just the other two that are doing their own thing.

    One final thing: I would work on Charley's left hand which looks a bit odd. I think it's the thumb placement that makes it look more like a monkey hand than a human one.

    Is Charley wearing a jumpsuit? I don't know many kids who typically wear something like that. Or is that part of your back-story - like Charley was in a spacecraft or something before venturing deep into the forest?

  • You need some of the darkness to create some mystery in the forest.

  • @DanetteDraws I think the left hand's problem is that it's on backwards - the thumb would be on the top side of the hand, so it makes the arm look broken being that way?


  • Oh lord I love darkness haha. I adore this piece, yes i agree with everyone comments up there. I also look into define the ground before the big tree and charly, it's just a black space that i'm not sure what that is. I don't know but I really enjoy your trees in the background, I would refine the shape of those trees a bit or even make them tilted or leaning to the right like in one of those creepy forest. I think Charly needs look a bit more terrified like covering her mouth because she is about scream but should not. I love this, keep us posted.

  • Thanks to everyone. Yes, Charly's left hand is wrong. I was picturing the thumb down but with the inside of the hand showing. Ouch! Poor Charly. I do have her wearing a jumpsuit uniform - exploring wacky worlds. Great suggestions, everyone. I see I have a lot of work to do!

  • Great job brightening the fire 🙂 I am really enjoying this piece!

  • I like the creepy take on the prompt. I agree with all the critique so far and would suggest that you define the foreground, middle ground, and back ground a little more.

  • Thanks for everyone's suggestions. I've been busy reworking Charly and "think" I am closer to something better. I'm hoping the witch is not caught in the gutter but I can move her over if anyone thinks it's too close. Working on an old Bamboo with 21 layers gets quite interesting. I look forward to your feedback. Charly scene New-Forum.jpg

  • lol thats better. Though the characters that are closer to us should be larger to suggest depth.

  • I hope I've addressed most of the changes suggested: closer monsters larger, interaction among monsters, trees better defined, Charly in normal clothes not jumpsuit, fire brighter without a rigid edge and white heat interior ... I really appreciate the comments and it made me work harder. What are your thoughts now? Thanks!
    Charly Forum5W.jpg

  • so much fun!! i love the characters, so much more movement to them now! My only suggestion is to drop the contrast on your texture. It's very cool, but it seems to overpower everything else 🙂 Except the fire, that rocks!!

  • nice going, though I think some darkness in the trees could help improve its mood.