Portfolio Creation Thanks To SVS!

  • Hi all,

    I challenged myself in 2020 to participate in every challenge created by our SVS teachers in hopes to create a head-turning children’s picture book Portfolio.

    I’ve deliberately avoided creating social media and my own website while finding my style and trying to improve with each piece for a portfolio I could be proud of.

    With 2020 year-end, I thought it would be a good opportunity to share last year’s pieces with the greater SVS community in a single thread.

    Admittedly, I never won a monthly contest; however, I placed in the top 16 once, made honorable mentions twice (almost top 16), and was selected as a feature student for Mer-May. I feel like a winner because I gave it my best shot and will continue doing so this year.

    At 41, I just started taking art seriously in 2019/2020, and thanks to SVS, I feel like I have a path. My day job in construction pays the bills, but art is where my heart is.

    Although I have much more work to do, I think I’m about ready to create an online portfolio.

    Thoughts? Favorite pieces? Do I have a unique Style?

    Thank you SVS team!


  • As a follow-up to my monthly pieces above, I managed to do Inktober for the first time too. What was I thinking? My theme was a little Mexican boy named Beto. I’m half Mexican so...

    I learned to plan and stay loose with ink, which is very unforgiving.


  • And finally, to further spam my post - I’m sharing my master studies of specific children art pieces (except Star Wars). It’s a great way to learn and I plan to continue doing so in the future.

    This summarizes all my 2020 pieces. Phew!


  • Really cool to see all the work you've produced as a result of svs and putting your mind to it. Overall I like the sense of humour and playfulness your illustrations display although some of the them e.g the dog one and the cereal/milk one, seem a little dark not in-keeping with what is suggested by the content

  • Thank you @mollylgm!

  • @Jeremy-Ross It has been fun watching your work evolve all throughout 2020. You have a distinct style and I hope you keep going full steam. 🙂

    My favorite pieces, in order, are the lower left image from inktober, the inktober image right above it, the Halloween feast, the Bongo image, and the ladybugs. I think, looking at all your work together like this, that when your line gets too heavy it can become an additional element that isn't quite accounted for. Like in the mermaid image - it's a nice composition and fun idea, but much prefer the way you used the heavier black lines as trees in the Halloween feast piece. So it seems possible that you might want to limit your range of linework within a particular piece to a specific purpose. My very favorite, the rain cloud on the wall with the shadow on the board, uses a very light line. This works well because the shadows become the near equivalent of the object that makes them. But you're definitely not limited to a light line, because that bird in the forest image right above it has a thick line that is used all throughout and it really works (and not just because it's a big bird in a forest which I love as a subject so much)!

    Were you able to enter Uma into the yeti contest?

  • @Jeremy-Ross That's amazing you were able to create an entry for each month -that's a great feat.

    The "together" piece is rendered differently than the others that generally have more line work whether sketchy or clean. I really like it and I am curious if you made lets say the monkey or whale piece in this similar style how it might look/feel. Though I also like how the monkey one has been done. Those two are my favorite for rendering styles. I like the story in your pirate work best.

    On a side note it be good to line them up like a timeline, to see progression and to note what style elements keep reoccurring.

    🙂 I am interested in your plans for this year.

  • @Jeremy-Ross Some of these are really well put together esp. for me:
    first row: #2, #3, #5;
    third row: the boy and the fish

  • @Jeremy-Ross star wars one is epic lols.
    The green and the pig -fits with your line work -well done.
    And nice to see the last one (can't recall him but recognize it).

  • Good job!:-) I like 'together', lost elephant and the avocado.

  • Thank you for the thoughtful feedback @carolinebautista! I’ve been exploring line weight and appreciate your noticing the difference of line in my pieces. It’s funny, your favorite pieces took me the least amount of time, which I felt a sense of messiness. I’m not sure why, but I like the messy line work, though it may be a weakness.

    I submitted my Yeti piece on the 31st, just in time!

    Thanks again for your invaluable thoughts!

  • Thank you so much for the thoughtful feedback @Heather-Boyd!

    The Together piece was exploratory and literally took me like 30 hours. I really love the way it came out though.

    I had a blast with the Bongo piece and tried to stick with a simple color palette while keeping Bongo high in the sky with dangerous croc waiting in the river.

    For this year, I plan to continue taking SVS courses after work and on weekends, and making a piece for each monthly contest. I also have several book dummies I’m exploring and a 3rd book in the Mustard series titled, Mustard Thinks Twice, to be released late Feb.

    Also enjoying watching your work and progress here in SVS. Any plans for 2021?

  • Thank you for the feedback @aska! The avocado piece is one of my favs too because it has a valentine feel to it.

    Thank you!

  • @Jeremy-Ross Great work, Jeremy! Lovely to see all your work together. This really shows dedication!

    You've definitely developed a distinct style. My faves are Bongo, avocado and lost elephant. I also love how dynamic your inktober #2 piece is!

    My suggestion going forward would be to balance your use of heavy linework with a brighter palette or vary the color of the lines through the piece.

    Looking forward to seeing more of your work this year!

  • Thank you for the thoughtful feedback and recommendations @Neha-Rawat!

    That’s a great idea! Many thanks!

  • @Jeremy-Ross I'm so happy for and proud of you!

  • Thank you so much @carlianne! You’ve also been a huge help and inspiration!

    My favorite piece of yours is the nighttime robot umbrella piece. It’s so dynamic and alive!

  • @Jeremy-Ross

    Thanks these are plans (similar to yours):

    Illustration Goals for 2021: Complete the drawing portion of SVSLearn.com curriculum and by the end of the year start a children's picture book dummy from one of my own stories.

  • Awesome plan @Heather-Boyd!

  • @Jeremy-Ross

    Aw, thanks!!

    I think your "ink fairy" piece and the skeleton piece really stand out to me style wise. They feel really fun and unique. I especially like the trees in the skeleton piece and the fairy in your ink piece.

    For improvement, I think my main concern with your work is that it looks kinda blurry? Almost like the brush you're using is not meant to be used at the scale you're using it at so it's getting pixelated. Lee talks about it in the "How to create custom brushes" class. (I can try to show you if you don't know what I mean) If you're doing that intentionally for style I think you need some areas that are crisp, like in the focal points, to balance the pieces out.

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