Critique on a portfolio piece!



  • Hi everyone, thank you for taking a look at my piece, this is a completed illustration for my portfolio and looking for feedback. First post on the forum so thank you for taking a look!

    0_1530555390144_Tea Time.JPG



  • Nice work, I would consider adding some saturation in the shadows around the nose a bit more purplish and maybe soften the edge of the cloud at the bottom.



  • @rcartwright Thank you very much, I appreciate the feedback!



  • I guess it would be good to know who your influences are. What style you are going for. Your portfolio is a bit all over the place as far as style. To me the color is a little boring but I love color, so I’m not sure that is helpful. Great drawing and building of your forms and shadows.



  • I think it feels very soft to me--This could be tuned to more of my aesthetic so bare with me....

    I think a stronger black line around his figure would feel better.

    Whats his mouth doing? Blowing the heat from the drink?

    The steam from the drink and the clouds are competing.



  • Hi Brad, this is a very fun image. I think that overall, you've done a wonderful job and you should be very proud. Here are my critiques:

    1. Composition: I feel you aren't giving enough breathing room for his gaze. He's looking out and up, but then it's cropped very close to his head. I feel if you extend it a little, it will give more space for his contemplation to have adequate impact.

    2. Colors- The yellow of his face and the stars are straying towards green. If you warm it up a little, it would make it more inviting. I also question the fleshtone color of his long johns and why you have chosen to make his hands part of them. When I was first viewing it in a smaller format on my phone, the combo made it look like he was nude at first glance. I would recommend changing the color and perhaps value of his long johns and make his hands the same color as his face.

    3. Odd and Ends- Consider making the pages of the book appear to be more affected by the placement of his foot. Also consider shading the inside of the cup a bit to give it more dimension and distinguish the steam coming out of it.

    Again, great job and thanks for sharing!



  • @holleywilliamson I am working to build my portfolio, on my website are some examples of old illustrations but I'm starting over with this being the first piece. Thank you for taking a look at my work, I have always been a soft painter, I need to experiment with color more. Thank you!



  • @anthonywheeler thank you for commenting, yes he is blowing the steam off, I agree the steam and clouds are competing, thank you for pointing that out!



  • Hi Brad, Overall I think this is nicely done. I agree with TessaW on all her points. To add to this, I feel the stars add to the crowding at the top. A bit more breathing room overall would help sell the relaxed contemplative feel you are perhaps going for. Keywords on what you are trying to achieve here would help, but let's go with relaxed and contemplative, possibly a bit sad and/or melancholy. That's the feeling I get anyway.

    The steam and clouds is a hard read as AnthonyWheeler mentioned. I didn't see it at first. I would like to see more difference in shape or contrast or texture to really differentiate them. Otherwise, it might be nice to have the steam as the basis for forming the clouds. Just a thought, might not work. Would have to thumbnail it...

    The big issue I would like to mention is the position of the cup. When blowing steam from a hot drink the lips are pursed and above and behind the cup. Here it feels to me like he's just about to drink it. If you removed the steam altogether, then great, but the blowing and the mouth position does not feel real to me in an otherwise very well rendered piece.



  • Thank you all for taking the time to give me some really good feedback, I see a few themes and things I can improve on. I will definitely be revisiting this painting and making adjustments.
    Thank you all again and I look forward to getting more involved in the forum.



  • It's such a cool piece! Very interesting and almost creepy style, everything is rendered very nicely. The one thing I notice is the stars are taking away from the focal point (which i'm assuming is the face), they are bright and hard-edged against a dark background so theyre very high contrast and pull your eye away from the face. I suggest darkening them and blurring them a bit so they fall into the background!