Feedback welcome on my druid and fairy scene

  • Hi all! I was working on this piece below. Experimenting with my style of work. After finishing i feel there is something missing in this artwork, but I'm not sure what it is. I was hoping you could provide me with some valuable feedback in which areas I could improve. Maybe the angle is not so dynamic or its missing a few more interesting elements on the page (props and stuff) or it is the colouring (too brown). I guess I'm looking for feedback on:

    • Composition
    • Colour
    • Overall scene

    Any other feedback is also welcome 🙂 I will use it for my next piece. Thanks a lot if you can help me out!

    alt text

  • @Wouter-Pasman First of all, I noticed things I liked. I like the gray hair, I like the colors in the snow and the little sparkling stars. I think maybe lighting the sky with a dark blue instead of black might help and maybe even use a slight graident. Also, I think maybe the fairy's body could be a little bit more colorful. The composition could probably be improved a little or maybe add some objects to improve the story. Others might provide a better critique. There are so many on this site who really provide great feedback, but that's my two-cents.

  • @deborah-Haagenson Thanks for the feedback 🙂 to give the sky more colour variation is a nice idea. I will do that. I might add a flying path of the fairy to give it more interest and add a few more elements.

  • @Wouter-Pasman could you explain a bit about the story for the painting. That will help me give a better critique.

  • @Gary-Wilkinson Hi Gary, I will be honest with you that the story started out as a wizard in a snow storm, but it ended up like this. So maybe the lack of story here is a point of critique. Half way I switched to a different story. The moving beard/hairs are still part of the original idea. Basically now it is a druid who encounters a fairy in the forest 🙂

  • @Wouter-Pasman hi, i like the cartoony style, but it looks like the scene is taking place in the dead of night, the blacks in the background are jet black, so im assuming that all the light in the scene is coming from the fairy. In which case it should not he so bright. If it was putting out this much light the druid would be blinded. I think a more realistic lighting scenerio would be to light the whole thing by moonlight, put some more colour in the background, as night is rarely completely black, theres often loads of colours at night, the moon can be pretty bright. Check out some nocturnes from old masters, still pretty bright. Then you could have the fairy casting a secondary coloured light on the druid.

  • Pro

    @Wouter-Pasman The SVS contest considers storytelling a very important part! After all, SVS stands for Society of Visual Storytelling 🙂 Images without clear and compelling storytelling are often dismissed right off the bat. It would infinitely help your chances in the contest if you thought more about storytelling and planned your piece more carefully. Not just for the contest, but to improve your art general in fact! Pretty images are nice, but for professional work it is so often not enough. Illustrations that people and companies pay for have a purpose. They need to tell a story, explain a concept, sell a product, etc. Practicing infusing meaning, story or purpose into your images (and practicing hitting the mark on communicating appropriately what you wanted to tell) will level-up your work significantly!

    For this fairy illustration, the image is cute and there is the beginning of a story, but it is not entirely enough. I think this is because a character "encountering" another character isn't really a story, it's a setting. There is no action, no sequence. "Encountering" is passive if it's not bolstered by other factors. There are so many ways to add more story: maybe the druid is scared and trips over himself, which makes the fairy giggle? Maybe the fairy was running away from something and plows right into the druid without noticing him, making him fly backwards? Maybe the fairy is spying on the druid from behind a tree, while he has set up camp in the woods with his dog and is roasting marshmallows? You can do whatever you like, but adding a story instead of just a setting will add meaning and charm to your work, make people remember it, and art directors be able to aptly judge your communication skills for a potential project. It is good practice to think about this more before you put pencil to paper!

  • @gavpartridge Thanks for the advice! I will do some research on nocturnes work. For sure I can add more blues, purples, pinks to the night sky. I like the idea of two sets of light as well. It creates a nice mixture of different colours. I will redo the whole thing, because (like @NessIllustration points out) the story is lacking or is very passive. I will add your and @deborah-Haagenson advice in my new piece.

    @NessIllustration Yes, totally agree. It felt indeed (like you say) too passive and lacking story. Thanks also on the ideas how to make it more interesting. Great tips. That helps a lot on how to create more dynamic storytelling and how I should approach this in future work. If I have the time I will dive into this piece again, redo it completely and do some proper writing and thumbnailing.

  • i think you should play more with the enviroment colors like the orange/yellow from the fairy and te blue which you established on the ice.

    on the bottom is your original and on top a reworked suggestion
    alt text

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