@gdbee if you haven't seen the 3rd thursday video about agents, check it out.
I've noted your questions and we will see which ones we can work in there...
So this month we wanted to wrap up the year by addressing any questions you may have. We are going to add some info to some of the various topics we have covered over the year. Feel free to ask new questions too! Agents, how to do art school, social media, portfolio, Style, drawing painting questions, etc are all fair game.
Ask here to get it started. We will try to get to as many as we can!
@smceccarelli very nice as usual. The only slight change is the background. He looks like he is on a frozen tundra. I'd have some subtle nature back there. Perhaps some trees in the distance, etc. Just enough to hint at where he is. Probably a neighborhood or local park?
If you are struggling to get darker values in watercolor, it just means you are using too much water.
Think of watercolor as having three consistencies.
water consistency: this is for light very light tones and glazes. you are mixing a lot more water than pigment for this type of wash
milk consistency: This is a much thicker mixture with a lot more pigment than the first one I listed. This one has about 40% water and 60% pigment. This is good for mid values and opaque washes. NOT GLAZES
Yogurt consistency: This is where you are adding very little water to the mix. Just enough for it to flow smoothly. With this mix, you can get very dark and saturated colors.
It seems like you are probably using mostly the first kind of mixture I mentioned if you are struggling to get true darks. Try going for more pigment and see how it works out. : )
Overall I think the pose and gesture is what you need to work on most. Just having a smooth line of action in your pose would help greatly. (NOTE: I will be teaching this exact class coming up in March. it's a 10 week class on moving characters through scenes in a convincing way).
In the first image you posted, the head doesn't really seem to go with the action of the pose and it is confusing as to what she is looking at. So I wold definitely change the eyes. The feet are straight and stiff in your drawing. When anyone is walking, there is a combination of bends that happen at the ankle and toes. The feet would never be in the position you have them here. And then the trailing arm doesn't have any rhythm or overlap to it, so it feels like a mannequin. Lastly, there are some huge anatomy problems with the legs in terms of which foot should be in front. Right now, it looks like the right foot is in front, but that doesn't make sense based on the pose or natural walking gesture.
Here's a quick sample of what you could do to fix it up. There are a lot of possiblities here, depending on how you want us to react to the characters personality.
I think your work is coming along, but I would hold off on the postcards. I think you have about another year or so of training to do to see a proper return on your advertising.
Some things are really working. Your palette is very nice and your shape language is really looking good.
Things to work on: Your character design seems like it needs the most work and the posing seems stiff and unnatural. Your brushstrokes are a bit spotty and look hesitant. And overall the composition could be greatly improved. Lighting is another thing you may want to use to your advantage when the situation calls for it.
I'd keep doing what you are doing. I think if you put a solid year in, you will be ready to send some stuff out early next year. Things to think about: have your website totally dialed in. Watch the business video if you haven't done that yet. There are some other basic business things to figure out before sending out that first postcard.
Good luck and stick with it! The work is looking good.
Your values are not working. Notice when I take your color out that you actually can't tell which tree is lit. The "lit" one is actually darker than the other ones.
In mine, I am using a warm light (which will look "lit") vs. a very cool surrounding area. In yours. In you're, The yellow is hardly warmer or brighter than the surrounding area. That snow pack over the tree tops is much too bright as well.
I'd go back to the cooler color balance you had before which is the one I used as a base. Will is really good at using the violet snow palette, but he is so experienced at it that he can pull it off.
Hi Eric, I did a quick paint over on your image. I hope you don't mind. Here are the things I would address:
Make sure light, color, and value emphasize your focal point. You have a tendency to spread light and shadow a little too much. Let some things fade back and bring important things out. Try to only add complex lighting where needed.
Color: You had a great cool/warm balance going before and I feel the re-work may have lost some of that magic. Note: for any snow scene, defter to Will Terry because he has that stuff figured out!
The character design didn't need to be pushed so far in a piece like this and may have been hurting the overall scene design wise. If your trees are tall and pointy, then the other shapes should contrast that.
So, with those things in mind I painted this up. Feel free to take it in any other direction you see fit, those are just the bigger points I wanted to cover.
And most importantly, Keep going! : )
Some of you guys who are talking about trashing your images are running into the problem with REALLY finishing an image. That is where the difficulty of this project lies! What I tell my students is that it "gives you enough rope to hang yourself with!".
When doing a quick sketch, it's easy because it doesn't have to be good. But slowing down takes effort. You have to really know your tendencies and what you are going for in a piece. It will show you how good are at the moment. Some problems people run into: That hand that you always indicate in a quick sketch now needs to actually be figured out! Those values really need to work! What is the real level of finish you want to go to.
Fear not! Your feelings are normal. My big suggestion is to have a couple of pieces going at the same time. That way you don't hyper focus. Make sure you understand what you really want out of the piece and that will continue to drive the image.
In Eric's case, It seems there wasn't actually a concept which might be the culprit of not knowing where to go with it. Since there isn't an overall goal for the image, it's not telling you what it wants. We can fix that though!
As Mel Milton says, keep on keeping' on! : )
For my work, I wanted to complete a dummy I had already roughed out. It's not a single image per se, but it's a project I worked on slowly and enjoyed it very much. So while I can't show you the finished thing just yet (as per my agent), I can mention it. Just working on something important in a steady and consistent way was my goal. Now I have a full dummy done and am starting another. I could literally write around 6 books a year this way. Which is a lot different than having a "daily drawing" criteria where you just draw any old thing. Approaching work this way can really move your career forward!
Here's a few sample spreads:
Having an agent can be an essential component to breaking into the business. That said, it can be expensive. 33% is definitely on the high side, but it's within the scope of what I'm seeing these days.
If you don't have much published work, I would say go for it. 33% of something is better than 100% of nothing. Think of it as a limited time thing until you are established enough to let them go. Or, in a best case scenario, you stay because they are getting you lots of work. When you leave them in a few years, consider writing your own content and getting a literary rep at 15%.
Look closely at the terms for ending the relationship. Make sure you are comfortable with all of it.
Congrats! What a special event for you and your new book!
The first step is the most difficult and that is to try and relax. You will do great!
The next step is planning. Since you did the text and illustrations, there is a whole host of things you can do. You can talk about how you came up with your idea. Blow up some sketches and early stages of the project to show. (Or projectors work great for presentations, the library may already have one).
Then you can read the book. While you are reading you can point out things in the book. Narrative elements, drawing elements, Color choices, etc.
Then, the fun part. Come up with an activity around your book. It can be a "how to draw" type activity of one of your characters or animals in the book. Or, you can print out a couple of blank spreads with the words on them and have the kids illustrate a page or two. You walk around and help them with that.
So, there is a lot of stuff you can do. I wouldn't worry if it doesn't fill the whole hour. Just have fun and enjoy the experience.
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