Even Sloooowervember!--WIP feedback please?

  • SVS OG

    Hi everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US!

    I could really use your help. What I was hoping would be a tidy 4-week project illustrating the Beavers house in Narnia has gotten a bit out of hand and I would love to get it back on track. Here's the thread on the planning stages.

    I just spent two weeks (I had only scheduled one) conquering the perspective and then doing the final drawing. I had every item nicely laid out on a separate layer with its own mask, so I could move them around easily and uncover what was behind each. And then yesterday I unknowingly flattened the whole thing in a irrevocable way and lost all the layers! 😱 Furthermore, I did it just after dropping in a value sketch underneath, so that was stuck in the mix as well. After a moment of utter disbelief, I decided to look on the bright side, treat it was a Marie Kondo moment and retrace the drawing over the now flattened file to improve the line quality.

    So here's where I am now:

    1. The drawing as it is at the moment. I still need to add some items such as tea cups, half of a pair of snowshoes, a sewing machine in the corner, and a bread crock, but those are relatively minor items. I also still need to refine the characters.

    Narnia beaver room drawing.jpg

    1. Value study composition 1. The reason I was adding value yesterday is that the drawing looked bottom-heavy to me, and I was trying to see if refining the values would help:

    Narnia beaver room values.jpg

    1. Value study composition 2. This one might be the better choice, but if I use it I'm going to have to reconstruct some of my lost drawing. Oh well!:

    Narnia beaver room values 2.jpg

    My questions are:

    1. Do you see any major drawing problems as I try to finish? I still have to refine and add things, especially for the characters (and especially Susan). But is anything standing out as really weird so far?

    2. How about the values? Keeping the values simple enough has been a real challenge in this piece! For example, I had to simplify them in the bottom left corner near the rocker because they were attracting too much attention. Does the piece read clearly? Where does your eye go 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.?

    3. Do you like composition 1 or 2 better? Would you change anything else? It's the same drawing in both cases, with a mask shifted, but I'm trying to stick with a given format to practice working within requirements, so that dictates the proportions.

    If you've read this far, thank you!!! I hope to move on to the refining and painting stage by the end of the week. It will seep into December, but I will be pleased to have a full-fledged interior scene done for my portfolio!

  • @LauraA Hello Laura. You've done quite a bit of work so I am a bit squeamish to bring this up because it may just be me: having Mrs. Beaver coming right behind Peter's (behind) is a bit comfortable for me. Mrs. Beaver's legs are also at the extact tangent to Peter's top of his stool. I did not comment on earlier stages and I am not necessarily sure how I'd fix it unless you move her (Mrs. Beaver) further up or Peter further down because there's a cooking oven above in the corner of the floor that might make things squishy also.

    🙂 I really like how you have Edmund eyeing the door out without even having to show a door.

  • SVS OG

    @Heather-Boyd Well, I certainly need to fix that! 😂 This is exactly why I ask for feedback--at this point I am just so deep into the details that I don't see the obvious. Thanks!

  • Hi Laura,
    the scene is looking great, all the preliminary work was worth!

    1. I think the drawing is really nice. No comments here (as i cant draw that good🙂).
    2. The scene design is great, telling the story well, but it is also very hard on you to keep the value structure readable and still have some convincing light to support the storytelling.
      I think you are on a good track there though. Just some ideas to experiment with:
      more separation foreground-background, expose more on the light side, group more the darker values, use (possibly cheat with) dark/light, translucent/reflective/matt surfaces to help to keep values where you want for the storytelling.

    Something in this direction maybe?


  • SVS OG

    @marek-halko Well, I really like what you've done there, especially with the overexposure! By translucent/matte/reflective surfaces, do you mean that the reflective surfaces have more contrast and so I should use them where I want some sharp highlights (say, the teacups), whereas matte surfaces could fade into the background? Thank you!

  • Hi, I really like your value study. The only thing that I am not sure about is the kettle behind the beavers head. I think it takes too much attention and somehow is a weird placement. Over all, super nice though.

  • SVS OG

    Here's another take using your critiques. After moving Mrs. Beaver to the far right, middle (winds up in the gutter) and having her do dishes (didn't solve the problem), I finally just moved her back a little bit and hid her in the shadows. I may do another lighter value take (it may feel too dark in mood right now to me), but I will "bleach out" the kettle. It's just there right now because the drawing is on top.

    P.S. What I really liked about your take @marek-halko is the gradient bleed from behind the fireplace, but I'll have to go back and figure that out later. So much going on today!

    Narnia beaver room drawing revised 1.jpg

  • @LauraA Hi Laura, sorry for delayed answer. Yes exactly, local color/value and surface quality gives different result after interacting with light (for example black , matt object may stay quite dark even when hit by a stronger light).
    The scene is guite challenging (two main light sources, bounce light, lots of props...), but it will be rewarding if you manage to pull it through.
    Keeping the hierarchy of values might help (lightest-light source, second lightest-highly reflective objets, third lightes-white objects...)

    The bloom effect of chimney light can be done with overpainting with color of the light in overlay mode and then apply gausian blur (can look cheese though if it is too much or too little or doesnt fit rest of the rendering🙂)
    As i see the light in the chimney now, it may be too much. Maybe a gradient would tell more about the fire at the bottom.
    The advantage of darker scene is,that values
    can be grouped better together. The disadvantage is, that it might not fit the story.

  • SVS OG

    @marek-halko What a lovely and detailed answer! Thank you for taking the time.

  • @LauraA i could write longer, but didnt want you to fall asleep from boredom when reading🙂. I like doing value studies (not that i am good in it🙂). Hope you have fun with the picture. It is a very nice scene.

  • SVS OG

    @marek-halko What, get bored talking about art? But thank you. You are very kind.

  • Hi Laura! I love the tone of this (both feeling and value). I'm going to throw a wrench in: I think I would like to see more of Edmund's facial expression, so maybe turn him more toward the camera. I like the foreshadowing you're providing with his body language, I'm wondering if we need to see his face to bring that home?

  • SVS OG

    @Laurel-Aylesworth Is this enough face showing? I'm still playing around with the exact expression, but going for something a bit pouty.

    I'm also still not quite satisfied with Susan's gesture and Mrs. Beaver's feet.

    Narnia beaver room drawing expressions.jpg

    Oh, and also I tried two compositional options for getting the fireplace out of the gutter. In the first I moved the whole composition to the right, and in the second I moved only the fireplace. Preferences, anyone, as to the better the solution to the gutter problem? I think I prefer moving the whole composition, which surprises me somewhat.

    Narnia beaver room drawing option 1.jpg

    Narnia beaver drawing alternate.jpg

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