Featured Student 2020 Review Edition

  • @marek-halko this is such a great piece! It really captured me as I was scrolling and I had to pull back for a second look. I love the colours and use of light and shadow. Fantastic work!

  • 1. How have you improved this year thanks to SVSLearn?

    The main way I've made use of SVS this year has been submitting artwork to the monthly contests. Getting critiques from professionals during the monthly critique arenas has probably been the most valuable thing for me. It is also interesting to see how others approach the prompt and how the judges react to those entries too.

    2. How did SVSLearn impact the creation of this piece?

    While I do know that things like composition and color choices were impacted by what I either picked up in SVS courses or in monthly contest critiques, the thing that stays with me the most is the idea that WHAT you draw is more important that HOW you draw it. I'm not exactly sure where I heard that – an SVS course, the podcast, or maybe during the critiques. In fact, the sentiment has probably come up in all three places. So when I'm brainstorming ideas for the monthly prompt I'm always trying to find a unique or interesting take on it. For me personally, the April 2020 prompt was a good example of this. I discarded a number of early ideas, but I eventually landed on this one that I was pretty happy with. (For reference, the April 2020 prompt was "Lisa's robot invention worked great, until it did this...")

    illustration_SVS April 2020_v1_SVS.jpg

  • TheChangelings-WMSmall.jpg
    How have you improved this year thanks to SVSLearn
    COVID has made this year difficult and discouraging. My first book project went out on submission at end end of 2019 and and by the time publishers started responding in 2020, COVID was already starting to have a negative impact on the book industry. Any interest that was shown seemed to fizzle out as meetings were being canceled and employees were being furloughed. This year, I had a hard time finding the motivation and focus to create. It felt like ... what's the point? But SVS was like the old friend I could count on to keep me grounded. When I didn't know what I was supposed to be doing, SVS was there with a new class or a skill or a challenge for me to work on. When felt isolated I could turn on the 3 Point Perspective Podcast and my friends Will, Jake and Lee were there to cheer me up. If not for SVS, I would have made a lot less work this year and if you don't make work, you can't improve.

    How did SVSLearn impact the creation of this piece
    This is a piece I made for Folktale Week based on a story from John Bauer's Swedish Folktales book. The style I'm working in now is something I've been developing for a long time, but Will Terry is the first person who introduced me to the idea of mixing traditional and digital in his mixed media class. I still use the texture downloads he provided for the class in almost all of my work, including this one. I keep thinking I should make my own, but I worry I won't like them as much. Don't tell anyone. 🙂

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    How have you improved this year thanks to SVSLearn?

    Thanks to SVSLearn I have been able to challenge myself in my illustrations. Taking these classes and courses has helped me learn to use the mind mapping method to help me come up with creative ideas. I have learned to take risks and make bold moves to help bring my characters to life, as well as being more mindful in my composition in using it to tell a story. When I look at my old drawings and compare them to my current drawings, I have seen great improvement in both my illustration and style.

    How did SVSLearn impact the creation of this piece?

    In this piece, I was inspired by taking Lee White’s course “Visual Storytelling Techniques”. Taking his course helped me be bold in my composition as well as lighting. My focus in this illustration was to portray the characters in a sense of curiosity and mystery.

  • How have you improved this year thanks to SVSLearn:

    There are a lot of things that I didn't recognize before I join with this SVS class, no wonder I look at my drawing and realize there was something missing from it. I try to fix starting from the basic things and fundamentals such as the background story of each piece. After trying some sketches and artworks, I look at it again and was amazed that I actually enjoy it and sure that this was the career path that I want to take. My artwork becomes more lively, meaningful, and beautiful in terms of color and drawings.

    How did SVSLearn impact the creation of this piece:

    In this piece, the story was about a family capturing their togetherness in the times such as now during the pandemic which might be unfavorable. After deciding the story, I decide which might be my focal point, how my colors would enhance the focal point, and importantly how the audience looks at it. Thank you SVSLearn can't describe how much I'm thankful to find SVSLearn!

    Gardening Together.JPG

    Portfolio link (behance.net/juventia_)

    1. How have you improved this year thanks to SVSLearn?
      I learned a lot about children's illustration through SVSLearn online course. I had felt so frustrated before because my style most are look like animation style. I know I am still have many things! to improved and I will keep learning through SVSLearn. Thank you SVSLearn!

    2. How did SVSLearn impact the creation of this piece?
      This piece I recreated from one of my old works. I learn a lot about basic character's design that I never knew before through Anna Daviscourt's course about character's design. There are so much fun in learning with SVSLearn! Thank you!

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  • How have you improved this year thanks to SVSLearn:
    I started with SVS learn at the end of last year and was amazed at all the resources offered. But as I was starting a new job and realised that I hardly had time to spend working on it beginning of February, I stopped my subscription. But one thing that stuck with me was making the characters pop. Before, they often did not stand out as much as they should have. I often did not have enough contrast. Now I joined again in November and took the class for character creation, and I love how much variety in characters I will be able to create for future projects. Additionally I learned a lot about tackling bigger projects. The importance about the planning phase and setting up deadlines

    How did SVSLearn impact the creation of this piece:
    On this one I really looked int having the characters pop and getting the contrasts right.


  • Pro SVS OG

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    I am submitting today because last night I saw an email from SVS that the deadline was the 7th, above it says the sixth, I hope to be included-thanks

    SVS has so helped me to improve this year, I have printed off a check list of Lee's and use it when I start an illustration, especially thumbnailing, it has propelled my work!. And I still use the idea of "puzzles for a dumb guy" from the ideation class.
    SVS was the reason for the creation of this piece. I submitted earlier to the monthly contest with Lee's prompt word "superstition." It is completely different now to what I submitted. I went back using @davidhohn perspective class to work on the clock. And re fleshing out the character was a combination of classes, Jake's character class, Will's lessons on color etc., And the birds were an inspiration from another artist, since Lee White said we can stand on the backs of giants. Cheers everyone!

  • man and grociery.jpg
    How Have you improved this year thanks to SVSlearn?
    I started with SVS only a month ago, but I really was amazed by all those courses and information, I was and still not satisfied with my style and feels that something is missing, so I found the course of Lee White how to find your style and yes it helped me a lot to figure out what I like my style to look like, and now I decided I will start all from the very beginning to improve my skills.
    How did SVSlearn impact the creation of this piece?
    This piece is the first one I did after Lee white`s course finding your style, and it is some how to close to the style I like.

    1. How have you improved this year thanks to SVSLearn?
      I’d really like to change careers and as someone who doesn’t even work in an artistic field, it’s hard to figure out where to start. I like that the curriculum gives me a (literal) road map, so I’m not confused about which classes and it’s affordable. This year I started with “How to Draw Everything” and I’ve worked my way up to the character design classes. I’m also watching the previous critiques, which is helping me spot the same mistakes in my work.

    2. How did SVSLearn impact the creation of this piece?
      It’s a mixture of everything I’ve revisited & learned so far, from the mark making and color choices to the shading & perspective.


  • 1)How have you improved this year thanks to SVSLearn? - Between the classes and the critiques the biggest thing I have learned this year is viewing art through many lenses. Specifically being able to differentiate between composition, color, light, perspective, interest, etc. They are all ingredients of a picture but a better knowledge of what makes those individual ingredients work has really elevated my thought process.

    2)How did SVSLearn impact the creation of this piece?- I tried to focus on an interesting composition, using a triangle of interest. I also tried to maximize contrast. Lastly I tried to tell a whole story in a single picture while (hopefully) getting additional interest into "what happens next".


  • @AustinShurtliff


    1. How have you improved this year thanks to SVSLearn?

    I found SVSLearn about a year ago when I was feeling really lost as an artist.  I had been working professionally for a while, but I didn't I feel like I enjoyed the work I was making and didn't know who I was as an artist, or what my style was.  The classes and community at SVSLearn helped me to rediscover my love of illustration and helped me find my personal voice as an illustrator.  As a double bonus, following the advice in the Social Media class and the 3 Point perspective podcast, I grew my Instagram from 100 to 14,000 followers! I am so grateful that I found SVS, it really saved me as an artist.

    1. How did SVSLearn impact the creation of this piece?

    At the beginning of 2020 I was lucky enough to grab one of the personal critique sessions with Will Terry.  He was extremely helpful in helping me figure out the path I wanted to walk on and how to focus my time and energy.  One of his suggestions was to explore a broader value range in my illustrations (which I had been avoiding).  To tackle his suggestion I took the light and shadow courses as well as the color courses and then used the monthly contest as the prompt to develop this piece.  I really felt this piece was a moment of "leveling up" which is all thanks to SVSLearn.

  • @Bricz-Art thank you very much😊!

  • @vmerryw56524CFF-D5B6-415D-89E4-AE6608A1111D.jpeg eather

  • @vmerryweather I had not uploaded my work before so last evening when I did so, my file was too large & did not show anything but the link! Please see my reply to the questions regarding svslearn on my original message. Thank you so much for everyone’s kind assistance!

  • Posting in case I'm not too late! Think I got an email that said the 7th... 🤔

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    How have you improved this year thanks to SVSLearn

    I never had the confidence to pursue art as a career--which lead me to jobs I couldn't put my heart into. A few months ago, I discovered SVS through the 3 Point Perspective podcast, which inspired me to seriously consider art as my career. SVS has given me a sense of direction for my art and a safe space to receive feedback in the forum. I've seen my skills grow so much over the past few months by watching the courses and applying what I've learned to my entries for the monthly contests. 2020 has been a rough year, but being a part of SVS has helped me look forward and keep my chin up!

    How did SVSLearn impact the creation of this piece.

    This one was a real challenge for me! I pushed myself to apply all the skills I'd been learning from the SVS courses including color contrast, shape design, and leading lines. The amazing feedback from the forum community also helped me out so much! This piece was an incredible milestone for me since it was selected as one of the winners of the June contest. For the first time, I felt truly confident that I could turn my art into a career if I keep working hard!

  • I used help aids from several of the SVS art courses pertaining to value, composition, line and texture. My first submittal for the Ink Fairy was quite flat so I added value instead of just having a silhouette.

  • ink fairy.jpg

  • @miranda-hoover great choice for submission. I remember seeing this one in the critique arena and thinking it was such a nice piece.