@carlianne i am not really in the position to do so since my own short experience is just based on one brand which i picked because its a local one. so i can tell you what i use and why but maybe there are other options for you in your region which might be a better pick
here a video where a bunch of brands gets looked at
one thing you can do to start small, which is mentioned in the video too. in the case you already have watercolors, you can just buy a gouache white and mix them together to make em opaque and get a feel of how it is to work with that medium.
i for myself use schmincke horadam gouache in combination with the horadam watercolors which i purchased earlyer.
i picked the 3 primary colors +black&white and additionaly use my watercolors+white gouache.
by using the primarys you start mixing the other colors you need which in itself is always good to know and when you notice that you want more specific colors which are not that easy mixable or you cant reach the vibrancy, you can always buy more tubes.
I decided to go with D, and I just launched into it. I'm hoping folks can tell me if things are pulling focus and interest. I"m worried there's too much texture in the tree, perhaps, and I need to do something a bit more substantial to the path he's standing on...
@aprilshin I decided to change the boy's facial expression a bit, and have him looking upward with a "sorta" grin... I think that was stronger than the "I'm lonely" vibe I think I was going for... Does that make things a bit clearer? Or at least less complicated?
@Only-The-Real-Survive hello - your drawing is looking good! the horizon line is a constant and does not change or a better way to put it is it represents our eye level so if our eye level changes the position of the horizon line changes. Vanishing points can be anywhere ... they do not have to hit the horizon but are relative to it when constructing drawings using perspective - if the guitar were laying down on its back and we made a box around it the 2 vanishing points of the box would hit the horizon line - if you draw a line straight up from where the construction lines meet the horizon line you will have a line that represents where the new vanishing points would be if you change the axis of the box.... if we lift up one end of the box you would still have the bottom edge that is on the ground having the same vanishing point it did before when it was laying flat(as long as that is the axis and the box is not lilted left or right also) the other vanishing point has risen above the horizon line though .. but it will be on that straight line we drew earlier ... so basically a vanishing point can end up anywhere but the horizon line stays the same....this is probably very confusing to read... I’ll try to upload a drawing
EDIT: o.k. here is a quick sketch of what i was trying to explain...maybe David Hohn will jump in on this he is awesome with perspective and could probably explain it much better
From all three as is without context, A is the more interesting one since it picks curiosity and investigating the unknown while the others are more about hanging out.
I think they are overall good composition roughs but each has a very different purpose or target so in my opinion it would highly depend on the story.
•A feels more like its about a close encounter mystery/intrigue to the unknown.
•B feels more like slow paced friendly story for younger kids (far from exciting). It could work better if both kids had a sort of perspective that matches the alien creature and a more secure pose, maybe one of them even pointing forward or something. Or if you turn the kids to face the creature in horror/fear could also work as first encounter mystery but it depends on the story.
•C feels more like a wild outgoing exploring adventure (it gives out the good nature of the creature though... what I mean is if the story is mostly about the kids avoiding/fearing the creature for a while and then revealing it as being good then you wouldn't want to reveal that in the cover, something like the orange "eye" in cover A, there seems like it's going to be conflict around it but you can't tell if the entity is good or bad).
Well I had a good time with these new paint tools but it will take more practice until get totally comfortable with them thanks to everybody who took the time to give me some insight into the digital world. Here’s the first sketchy painting with my new watercolor toys.
@Katherine Thank you for the compliment on my work!! I'm so glad my post did not seem negative to you.. i almost deleted it after i wrote it because it seemed unhelpful and possibly damaging. I love Tom Waits - I listened to that NPR interview with Tom Waits 18 'ish years ago!
Great job! I love how your characters turned out. This was fun for me to see as I'm in the middle of this class right now! The class really is helpful and I feel more confident having a process to follow for character design. Thanks for sharing!
Aside from style issues, I just listened to the SCBWI conference and many of the editors/ADs said they weren't getting their postcards at the moment anyway because of the pandemic, so to send emails. Just a thought to add to the mix...
The wolf is really cute though! I don't think there's anything unprofessional about it at all! In fact, the animal pieces are my favorites in your portfolio. I think these could sell somewhere! Have you thought about a shop?
@Valerie-Light Thank you, Valerie. I also learn tremendously from this forum and all the works in progress people post. It’s such a helpful community and learning space!
Well, I think this is it for now. Thanks again for all the help everyone!
I don't mind the light colors, it makes it feel lighthearted or more appropriate for a younger audience. If you wanted it to feel more serious or dangerous then yeah you could make it darker, but I don't think you have to just because of their poses/expressions.
Their poses and expressions are so great! It makes me wonder what they are protecting themselves against. If you wanted to push the storytelling you could try to add some indication of what they are afraid of or some text to go with this. Or maybe the danger is on the ground since they are looking at the sky. Like there is a snake and they are wondering what the rattling sound is. As a viewer that would really up the emotional impact!
I think it looks really nice though there are three elements that are about the same size and all are craving for attention making the eyes jump all over the place and not knowing where to focus on.
I'm guessing the blue mushroom on the front is your focal point so the character next to it could be a bit smaller (since it's about the same size) and/or less bright so it doesn't compete with the mushroom's light (something like the smaller blue character on the far right would work better on him). Or you could make the yellow character be the main focus so removing some of the brightness on the blue mushroom would make him stand out much more.
I would also try making the mushroom house much smaller so it looks farther away and also making it less bright as well, also could be positioned a bit more to the right so it kind of balances the scene a bit more.
The water looks really nice but I would also add some darker shading the farther it is from the main mushroom.
One trick you can use is to add a new layer in multiply mode on top and paint with a 15% dark blue on most parts as to add some ambience and reducing the lighting on most of the objects (minus the main focus one).
Hope something of this is helpfull to you .
@HeatherBouteneff @Richard-Matthews @K-Flagg thank you all so much for your kind words! I appreciate them very much! this piece really was a test to my commitment and every step was a new challenge for me. im super happy it turned out this way and I finished it.
@HeatherBouteneff if I can make that happen I will post it for sure! that would be awesome! Lets see, maybe I will make it available as a puzzle on Redbubble, if I can't find a real puzzle maker to license it. : )
@HeatherBouteneff this looks great! It's awesome to see the changes and the progress as well. One thing I have noticed is that the lines in the foreground and the background look very similar, I think if you made the foreground lines just a bit sharper it would add to the depth of the image. Great work!
I should have mentioned that these drawings are inspired by two children's books. 'Daddy's Roommate' and 'Heather has Two Mommies'.
The one with the two moms is actually a redraw of a scene in the actual book, but the one with the two dads is an original scene I thought up using licensed(?) characters.