Thanks for everyone's advice and comments. I could spend hours more on this piece, but i've decided I'm happy enough to call it done, so here it is, "Sugar Ants"
@smceccarelli I really like the 2nd version as the boy feels like he is interacting with his surrounds a lot more and I think going more realistic with the design fits well. I find the flag in the middle of the boat to be a slight distraction though as it feels as though I focus more on that when looking at the picture than at the boy.
Have you thought about the text on the paper being more relatable to the story as though he has become part of what he has written?
I'll go against the flow a little and say that I like the first one as it draws my attention to Dorothy. However, if it was something between 1 and 2, like a 1.5 then it would stop Toto from merging as demotlj mentioned, but still allow the focus to be her face.
Sorry to be late to the comments for this and disregard them if you have already made a lot of progress on it. As Lee White usually says, have you fully explored the ideas for your scene and could there be a better way to convey it? Without looking at your initial comments the concept doesn't feel like it is explained well enough. Without the "nope" text I would guess that the cat is listening to travel books and even with the text I might think that it is practicing it's language skills.
I think @EmilyM made a good point of having the cat swiping at the objects, which could be a way to go as it will create more of a connection between the cat and the objects and rather than having it listening to music, maybe it just looks frustrated or disinterested in the things around it. Giving it headphones helps give it more human qualities, but i'm not sure why it's listening to them.
Gradually getting there. I decided I didn't like the cloth they were standing on, so I decided to change it to a doughnut (or within the doughnut family) and will add some sprinkles on later . I also made the canvas slightly longer to help better frame the insect in the hat. Still lots to do, but it's coming along slowly. Any critiques at all are helpful though :P
@Kevin-Longueil Thanks, Kevin. Glad it's taking shape and it's already appealing to some.
@Eli Thank you, I appreciate it. I was originally going to do a cowboy in sunset lighting to give it a lot of warmth, but with so many different objects I felt it might be hard for people to understand what is what.
@lenwen How are the sugar cubes looking now? I might change the back one to be a brown sugar cube to add variety, and I'm not overly keen on the sweets behind it, so I'm considering what to do about those. Thanks for the critique!
A lot of work left to do on this piece, but I'm wondering whether it's reading well and if the colors are working well so far. The concept is of a convoy of little creatures (I guess we can call them ants for now) riding ladybugs after they have collected their sugary goods from the picnic. I want to have a nice variation of colorful sweets, but I want to retain a nice color harmony whilst having a nice orange sunlight lighting the scene. I'm wondering if I should go for for a more neutral light and maybe having a mostly green/red theme to put the focus on the central character. Any thoughts would be really useful, thanks.
Hi Amelia, what kind of advice are you looking for to finish the painting? Some small things you might want to look at doing is to blend the background of the water a bit more as the detail is a little distracting.
A few things I feel work well in this piece are:
There seems to be a nice color harmony.
It is nicely rendered.
It feels quite magical.
Some things that I don't feel work as well are:
I'm not a big fan of the 50/50 diagonal composition and the focal point feels too close to the top of the canvas. The weight of the composition is very heavy on that upper right diagonal space, which makes the bottom left feel almost wasted space.
The creature design feels a bit too cut and paste, as in you have taken a goose's body and a cougar's head (?) and stuck them together without much thought. I would like to see more reasoning in the design or originality. Your other creature work seems to work so much better imo, such as the peacock design you made.
The reeds/grass on the left is very busy and their tops are almost at a tangent to the body of the creatures which damages the harmony and flow of the painting.
The glow and rim light seems a bit overdone and harsh, if you brought it down a little bit it might help keep emphasis on the main creature rather than making the viewer's eye jump around a lot.
Most of these thoughts are looking at a redo of the whole painting, when you may be looking for a few final touches, but when I compare it to your other work it seems to lack something your other pieces have.
I seond what @lenwen said. As a tip, turn your image to greyscale to see how well the image reads in black and white. I would also recommend looking at how other artists have tackled painting whales. Have you thought about changing the whale so that would stand out more, either by it's color/tone or by having a darker/lighter surrounding?
Here are some examples of whale images that may be of help
@rhirsch well the front wheel makes the bike look like its leaning to the left a lot, but the handlebars are stable. The major axis of an ellipse should conform to the perspective of the scene. The back wheels can be seen as bending, but that could just be the style of the bike. You can make it seem like it's moving by adding blur later
I think the new Dorothy is much better in my opinion and looks beautifully kept within your stlye. 1 slight concern is that she doesn't feel so innocent as I would expect from a dorothy due to her almost smug expression (more like a Veruca salt than a Judy Garland)
Sorry I'm a bit late to the comments, and you may have already made your decisions and pushed on with your piece, but here are my thoughts if they are of use.
I like the bottom left one, but one thing that troubles me is that there are no people about (has there been a zombie apocalypse?). If you were to add a lot of hustle and bustle around your character with a lot of busy looking tall buildings, you could still put have the character as the focal point using color and/or lighting. It's just an idea, but it may help with the story. If you want to avoid additional people then how about a more worm pov which would emphasise the height of the buildings.
@margarita-levina I usually make a quick grayscale painting to decide on the lighting, then do a multiply layer to add some colors and then paint in a normal layer over that. I usually stick to one layer when painting but make temporary layers just in case I mess up, but also to compare the changes.
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