One more element to point out - is think about your negative shapes!
The areas around your character that equally inform what your character looks/feels like.
Character design is all about balancing shapes against each other, straight lines, curved lines, big and little, square and round, open and closed.
@Jon-Anderson A filter that helps me is dont be subtle with your message. Exaggurate the body language and expressions. Which is why i love your messy kitchen and even the lobster. The execution of the concept is so fun, it’s the message/feeling/story that needs to be honed in on. Cause you only have 1 image to tell the story.
I think the tree in the foreground is distracting for me. What if you just left to two trees on the side and removed the branch in front. With your lighting scheme you have, I think the values on your characters are good since they wouldn't be lite up from the front unless you have another source of light.
First of all I want to thank you all for reading my story <3! It is so nice to feel supported here and to read all of your comments. I definitely helps me a lot!
@ShannonBiondi Thank you for the valuable tip! I definitely need to devote more time to personal drawings. I usually try to set aside some time, but in the end I end up prioritizing the other tasks (like shipping orders, painting commissions, doing bookkeeping). But you're right: I should make it a priority too. And kudo's for you, keeping up that regimen next to your day job! I saw your skull practice on instagram, that is just great!
@NessIllustration I just agree 100% with everything you said, it is spot on! Thank you so much for your lovely compliment as well (and you know I adore your art too)!! That is just too kind :)! Now that I read what you said, about it being the dream, I kind of feel silly about moaning about this in the first place! I am very grateful I get to do this, for sure! And you're so totally right about seeking validation. The fact that I haven't been published in a traditional way (and I'm kind of scared to even send in work), makes me feel like I'm not a "real" illustrator. Because I do not know if my work will be rejected, and if it gets rejected, my fear may come true. "Doubt and inaction are your worst obstacles.": this is so true! Thank you for the motivation and inspiration. I like the fact that I can have freedom in creating my own projects. I think I would learn a lot from art direction from a publisher, since I would do my own projects (like my book) all on my own and I miss the feedback. But in the long run I think everyone want to create their own art mainly. So maybe I need to rethink my doubts and situation. Thank you for your input!
@shinjifujioka Thank you so much for your kind words! And the fundamentals are so important, I notice just how much a certain new insight can change the way you draw and paint! Good luck to you on SVS as well :)!
@AndyIllo thank you for your encouragement! The first sentence made me laugh. I may have been worrying about this too much and need to take (more) action :)! So I'm glad I posted here.
@hannahmccaffery I love working traditionally! I will definitely keep doing it (and digital work as well). Thank you a lot for your kind words and suggestions! I will definitely try to work on a childrens book portfolio. I'm positive I will find all of the resources I need right here on SVS. I feel so motivated after reading all of your comments :)!
I am glad you found your spark again with illustration! Such a meltdown feels very frustrating. I have listened to the latest podcast, it was brilliant again! I do have a portfolio: www.nadyart.me/gallery but it needs much work when I would contact the childrens literature publishers. I believe there is not one kid in there...yet! I would love to see your portfolio! "If you like your analogue work better then maybe try incorporating the two by scanning in your sketches and playing around with them digitally? There's lots of possibilities!" --> I do not do this often yet, but it's definitely a good idea to play around with - thank you! Good luck to you too!!
@Sophie-Lawson Hi dear Sophie! Thank you so much, I adore seeing your work and following your journey on instagram as well! It's a good idea to start with the dedicated time for study and personal work every day - as I replied to @ShannonBiondi as well: I easily get taken in by the other tasks. So it would be lovely to prioritize this; and I do have the time for it when I plan wisely. Thank you for the great advice!
About the two points you quoted: I currently sell my work to a certain target group. They are mostly owners of pet rodents and decorate their homes with my art. They for example have pet rats or a hamster and like to purchase a cute print with that animal. This makes me keep drawing those certain animals.
With the publisher comment I meant taking my work to a publisher now, so not the costumers I currently sell my work to. I hope it is clear what I mean, otherwise just let me know :).
@sketchbook I did! I followed the Painting Secrets class by @Lee-White and I created a dream portfolio on Pinterest. It is still up in the air: https://nl.pinterest.com/nadyart/inspiration-painting-secrets-course-nadya/
It was a very insightful exercise and I should look at the board more often and adjust my course. Thank you for your input!!
@SarahF Thank you for your kind words and the article by Shaun Tan is very inspiring and motivating! Thank you for sharing it with me, I have bookmarked it for any future doubts :)!
Thanks again everyone!
I decided to go ahead and paint it to get practice and so I can have some closure with this thread here is the final painting, all done traditionally except for a little darkening of the corners in Procreate at the end.
This is great! The only thing that makes me really see that he’s added is his body under the table. I don’t know how to fix it but it just feels off where his leg goes behind the leg of the table. It took me a minute to notice, though, so it may be minor. I, too, thought he was a stuffed animal but I think it’s because I have no reference outside of this image to tell my mind that he would be a living character interacting with the other characters. It’s good to see Flanagan again!
I really like this piece. I dig the atmosphere that gives it depth and I like the way you’ve pushed the mermaid design making her finny and fishey. I'm getting caught on her hair though. The first thing I noticed was the edge being very sharp next to her face. When I zoomed in for a closer look I saw the teeth ( which I like as an idea). I guess my feeling is that it’s in clear from first glance whether the hair is ‘hair’ or a ‘creature’. This lovely image could work either way, but right now it seems to be somewhere in the middle.
Worked on it a little bit last night and I'm feeling quite happy with the progress, although I might go and give the teddy bear a happier expression and add some more details to the underwater world.
Can't wait to color this with markers and pastels!!
I'd have another look at the sky maybe, it's very saturated and one block of colour, so it stands out to me quite a lot and draws away from the main subject matter a bit. I'm not sure it's even necessary to include, perhaps if the water reached the top, there'd be more space for the rubbish and turtle and for the bubbles to draw the eye up without being cut by the horizontal line of the sea. Hope that helps!
Thank you very much @chrisaakins , I appreciate your thoughts on this piece. One of the reasons I avoided digital until about a year ago now was because all I saw was so obviously digital, that there was literally no appeal in it for me. I love the look of traditional media, and trying to enjoy the benefits of digital while retaining a traditional look has been one of my main goals/struggles. All in all, my approach to working has been one of simplicity or a traditional mind set. There are a lot of cool tricks that can be used for digital, but for me, I have to limit those features. When I deviate from that I run into issues like you mentioned with the original border being too clean - (fake).
I may come back to this later to add the secondary character to break the border, but for now it needs to breathe.
Ha, that makes me feel better then, anything we like goes I guess! I browsed Artstation for mine.
I also just noticed just how formulaic a lot of the images I picked out appear, in terms of placing a vertical object on the line to the right third, against a bright background, framed by a dark foreground. It applies to all of them, apart from the first, which is just the same formula flipped! I feel like @Heather-Boyd 's second set of choices also have a lot of similarities, with bright midgrounds being framed by quite dark foregrounds on both sides, like a cave.
This is a really nice idea, I especially like the pots of watercolours in the water and the character itself is so lovely!
Are you going to be putting a background colour for the sky? At the moment it's looking a bit too bright with the white background and it's making it hard for me to see your characters top half and that she's holding paper and a brush!
Maybe a sunset sky of pinks and blues so her colours will pop out more?