new Charly and the Fiddler...tiny protagonist question



  • Here is Charly again...can you see him...I am at the very scribbly phase here but i wanted to ask a question about my composition...i like something about this so far... the story is that the boy and the fiddler are on the other bank of a river they need to cross - there are a couple of fellows on the other side who look a bit intimidating but one of them seems very calm - the fiddler has started playing his music and you can see that the tree above the man is waking up.... can a composition like this work where the main character is so small...i want to show the tree having just awakened and the two fellows unaware.... any thoughts will be much appreciated!! Charly and the Fiddler copy.jpg



  • This looks really dramatic and I'm sure it will make a great finished piece :-) My first thoughts that it can work with the main characters so small but if so their gestures/posture needs to be very clear that they are not looking at/aware of the tree. At the moment it looks to me like Charly and the fiddler are looking over the riverbank at both the tree and the man.

    I know you say in the story they need to cross the river, and it looks like that from their pose, but if Charly was turned away or if they were sitting down (eg around a campfire?) - it would be so much easier to clearly show at a distance that they are blissfully unaware of a massive tree coming to life. Does that make sense? Maybe that won't work for your story, if so maybe would have to change it in another way. Also I'm not sure what to actually change about the tree but when drawing the details I'd think about how to show that it's in the process of waking up (unfurling? yawning?) rather than being already awake..... But it does look fab xx



  • @Dulcie Thank you for your feedback Dulcie - all great things to keep in mind - your mention of a fire gave me an idea to have dappled light where the boy and the fiddler are or that they are in a small area where the sun can hit them so i can warm them up when i go to paint - thank you again for taking the time i really appreciate it!



  • I really like this composition. I also like the scribbly lines--especially on the tree. They create so much movement! While Charly may be your protagonist in the story, the tree awakening is the main action of this scene and the man on the near bank is the main character of the scene. If Charly were larger he would compete with the drama of the awakening tree and the man closest to us. The only question is if you want the calm man or the intimidating men to stand out more. If the intimidating men, switch their locations. As long as it doesn't conflict with your story, I like how it is now. The contrast between the straight calm lines of the man vs the movement of the tree is great. It really is a lovely sketch.



  • I think the small size is fine. Are you trying to work on a book or are these portfolio pieces? My thought was that if it were in a portfolio together with the other charlie image you have and maybe one more, it might be a good sequence that you could show that you can maintain a style across pages.



  • @Ben-J-Hutchison Thank you for the feedback Ben - it is for my story idea and possibly a portfolio - mostly it is in response to @Lee-White's advice about making three pieces from the same story for your portfolio - a bit early maybe - some kinks to work out before I start a portfolio - especially use of color (my lack there of) - but not too early to work on my story I think - Thanks for taking the time - it is really helpful to hear someone else's thoughts.



  • @Dulcie hello again :)...I just re-read your post ...I think I did not understand what you were saying at first - it is the fiddler on the other side of the bank that has awoken the tree with his music...I did not make that very clear with my original post - does that make the composition work better - or do you still think the poses should change? Thanks again for the feedback!



  • @Joy-Heyer Thank you for your feedback Joy! I like the scribbly lines too - I have this feeling when I refine a drawing that I am taking the life out of it somehow - I hope I can avoid that - I wanted there to be some menace in the poses but ultimately these fellows are not dangerous to the boy - so I think if the other man was more prominent it might be too much danger - I tried to make the silhouette of the man on the right look almost monkish with the robes and his calm posture - ...I agree about the tree not sure about the pose ..the idea was that his eye just snapped open and he sees the swordsman bellow him...need to work on that - Thank you again for your critique :)



  • @Kevin-Longueil Yes I saw it as the fiddler being on the far side of the riverbank along with Charly. Charly looks like maybe he is waving across the river to the man (knight?) on the near side next to the tree. I like the idea of dappled light on Charly and the fiddler - that should really help pick them out at a distance :-)


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