Sorry @Helen, I got sucked down the Thanksgiving rabbit hole! I do think this is better, but that cut out line for the beam of light is still a bit distracting. I'm not sure how you take care of that, though, because it is a cut out. Maybe someone else who does cut outs would have an idea?
@jae I like the characters, especially the pose of the main character which really expresses her wonder at the world. I also like the way that you set up her room to show her personality. The textures of the objects make them look very warm and inviting which is difficult to do in a dark room. I just had a suggestion regarding the light source. I was confused about it until I looked back at your previous version where it was more apparent that the light came from outside the window. I think what confuses me might be the area under the window sill which should be shaded by the sill itself if the light is coming in at an angle. Right now it looks like the light could be coming from somewhere inside the room, as if a lamp was on the bench in front of the girl. I do love the cast shadow on the floor and the girl's slipper half-off. The girl doesn't read as "adult" proportioned to me at all by the way - maybe you already changed that though.
@mag with the light, definitely. In fact, my personal opinion is that there should be more light.
Hope you don't mind, I did a quick draw over, knocking back the value of the stars surrounding the two main characters. I also lightened the elf's pants because her bottom half was disappearing into the background. Finally, I tried to darken the clouds -- for me, the scribbly detail on the clouds was distracting the eye and making the piece appear busier than it was. The scribbly detail is adorable, but you may want to try a version without (hopefully it's on a separate layer!) and see if that helps the composition.
See what you think ... of course, this is only one way to approach the values and composition. Looking forward to seeing this in Critique Arena!
P.S. -- one more nitpicky thing: is the star drinking the tea/coffee too distracting? Would it be more effective to take away the mug and have the star look at the two main figures? Or if you want to keep the mug, none of the other stars have arms -- what if its arms were its two side points? Just another thought to think about!
I think I'll stick with 1 for story reasons, then work on making the characters more dynamic, make it so the stars aren't falling directly into the window (if I can swing it), and add more star stuff. I like the calendar and telescope idea!
I'm still feeling a bit attached to 3, so maybe I can finish that up as a portfolio piece later 🤔
@theprairiefox I think I like 3,4,and 9. I think 3 would be my favorite if I could see just a smidge more of the stars face, it also has the tree which helps convey your Christmas pageant idea. Four and nine have a fun perspective, like he is singing his heart out and it's echoing in the rafters. This looks like a good way to do thumbs!
I would definitely agree with @Matthew-Oberdier that some thumbs would help you get the design figured out. Value will be an important component for this one as the moon typically has a very light value vs. the night sky.
@Neet-Mnt-Goatess Welcome!! The next Critique Arena is this Thu, Nov 4. We just updated the What's New button with the event info today, and will be posting/emailing about it over the next few days...We'll be voting on the entries from the October contest.
@Katherine I'm drawn more to B and on looking further into it, I can only say it's probably because the more dangerous feeling triangular shape language or the way that the second design leads me to feel as though the headrest is taller in B.
p.s. Wonderful job on making it look mothy! I love the incorporated circles!