February 3rd Thursday

  • SVS OG

    Well I’m trying something different this 3rd Thursday…not sure it will be that competitive as an image (might still do an offshoot of this idea instead), but I’ve been experimenting, and trying to practise things I need to do to get better. (which include clearer value & colour studies before final piece)

    Normally I’d explain my thought process first, but I want to test whether the concept comes across….So, I’m not going to explain it, but I’d instead like to ask, what do you think is the story going on here? Thoughts appreciated!



  • Really good concept! i would suggest having different kinds of dogs in the wedding crowd.

  • I really like the concept! I think every vignette reads really well. The only part I'm not sure is flowing very well is the transition from the fight to the wedding... It's a little "drastic"! Or maybe there is something I don't understand ?

    Can't wait to see more!

    I would also put many different dog breed in the crowd!

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    I like the concept here, but I'm not sure it's working as an overall image. Since you are basically dealing with a comic panel inside a traditional illustration, I'd suggest watching Jake's demo from the last 3rd Thursday. He talks about designing interesting relationships between the panels and how each relates to the other. Right now it appears too blocky (in my opinion). I'd explore some other compositions that explore this multi-panel idea.

  • very sweet concept!

  • SVS OG

    @Naters-Calderone Thanks! Great idea, I will do that with the wedding dogs.

    @NoWayMe Glad the vignettes make sense…it’s really hard to tell whether a thumbnail is obvious only to you, or to everyone else too! Yeah I see what you mean about the sudden change..no you didn’t miss anything…I just don’t know what I would put in a panel going between the making up after the argument, and the wedding…will see if I can think of anything though. Thanks for your thoughts.

    @Lee-White Thanks so much for your feedback! I agree with you about the blockiness. I will explore new compositions to see if I can find something more flowing. Thanks also for the suggestion to re-watch Jake Parker’s comic crit, I will do that too.

    @Naroth-Kean Thanks!

  • SVS OG

    Okay, so I’m going to set out my background thoughts for this idea…so I asked myself what love means to me and I thought of my husband, my family, our life, and our little journey through life. I also thought that love, or a relationship, wasn’t a single moment but a million different moments patchworked together across time…and I’d like to create something that gets that idea across (tricky, I think!). So that’s why I ended up with the multi-panel idea.

    I also thought of the beautiful and inspiring UP colour scripts by Pixar..they’re in the Art of Pixar book if you haven’t got it:


    I’d like to do something inspired by this, where the colour is an important part and you have a big contrast between bright happy moments and subdued desaturated parts.

    I was also inspired by Jake Parker, while mulling over this concept I came across this lovely story of his: http://mrjakeparker.tumblr.com/post/67530453276/just-felt-like-someone-needed-to-read-this-today

    One of the pages has a composition like this:


    So overall I’m aiming for a sort of Jake Parker-Pixar-concept-art mash up, with a love story about dogs (!)

    But I agree with @Lee-White that the composition on my piece looks a bit blocky, so I’m going to try and re-jig it to be a bit more organic/flowing somehow (might go landscape this time)…watch this space! 🙂

  • You have great ideas and what looks like the start of a solid plan. When I think about your concept, that of these moments in life that you share with your loved one, I thought of a wall of family photographs, or a photo album. This is a visual way to represent moments in time that you value. I can't remember...doesn't the man in UP have a scrapbook or album that he looks through when thinking about his wife that passed away? Maybe your puppies could be looking up at their wall of family photos? Just a thought.

    Can't wait to see what you create 🙂

  • SVS OG

    Thank you @Carrie, both for your thoughts and for the suggestion of doing it like a photo album - that is a really good idea in terms of communicating the concept and I'll have a think about that.

  • Up is my absolute all time favorite animation movie. Just had to say it!

    Another thought for your pannels, maybe you should try varying your camera angle even more, like really push your close-ups, and some scenes from far away... Your dogs are almost the same size on each pannel, even on the close up one with the fight.

    I hope this helps! I really love your idea!

  • SVS OG

    @NoWayMe Thank you, all great suggestions and I will try to do that 🙂

  • SVS OG

    I’ve been working on this a bit more…I watched Jake’s 3rd Thurs comic crit as suggested, then I watched the Flow section from his SVS comic course to get an idea of how the panels could interact…so much of what he said was surprisingly relevant for children’s books too, because it was about clarity of storytelling, with specific suggestions for comic books. These are some of the points I took away from it:

    • horizontal panels are great for establishing a scene and ending one.
    • use sharp diagonals for action/drama, straights for quieter scenes.
    • if you have more panels, it will slow the reader down. Use them to pace your story e.g. slow down where needed.
    • big panels for the most important scenes.
    • horizontal panels for horizontal movement, vertical ones for vertical movement.

    So I tried to get as many of these in as possible. But the first time I tried a new layout, I didn’t like it, too messy and didn’t really capture those principles:


    So I watched the video again. Next I figured, if I’m doing what is essentially a comic perhaps I need to follow a proper two-page format (especially so Jake doesn’t pick on that point!), so I tried again like this:


    I like this one a lot better. But if anyone has any suggestions/thoughts, I’d be glad to hear them! (I will sort the wedding dogs out, not forgotten that..)

  • I really love it!! What is the glowing thing on the ground after the fight scene ?

  • SVS OG

    @NoWayMe Glad you like it! It's meant to be a mobile phone that's ringing... thanks for letting me know, I'll draw it more clearly next time...

  • SVS OG

    I like how you put the second one together! You're really doing great work, Dulcie. You work hard and it shows.

  • SVS OG

    Thank you @Marsha-Kay-Ottum-Owen! That's very nice of you to say.

  • Hi Dulci, I think you're new format is working much better. You utilized the spaces in and around the panels which is great (the image right above wasn't working for that reason, so good call). I like your graphic take on shapes as well. The things that I'm not sure about is since the dogs are so DOG-like, not anthropomorphic, it seems weird to me that they would be using cellphones and wedding rings. The image altogether is reading fairly dark, so watch out for what mood your values are suggesting.

  • SVS OG

    @Shannon-Perkins Thanks for your thoughts, that's very considered feedback and I appreciate it. I think you make a really good point that these are doggy-dogs and not anthropomorphic dogs, so the phone and ring maybe are difficult to equate with that. I will have a think to see how I could alter it to take that into account...what could real dogs do? Maybe I could make it look like a touch-screen tablet with a paw-print on it... I don't know what to do with the ring...perhaps the doggy ritual is to bury it instead of wear it? 😉 (I know that won't come across in the piece though..) Will have a think, thank you!

  • @Dulcie just my two cents. I'm personally really interested in working in comics, so these are things that I am constantly thinking about. In comics, you really have to think about what "shots", or panels, actually need to be on the page to understand the story. It's the same way with picture books, movies, etc. where you have a limited amount of time or pages and have to pick and choose your shots and words. Keep it concise.

    I think your story would actually read just the same without the cellphone or ring. The cellphone does nothing for me story-wise. Since you have a panel of them getting married, you really don't need the ring since they're virtually saying the same thing. You could actually make the marriage page larger (larger panels can convey importance) and play up that moment.

  • SVS OG

    Here is my finished piece..would have wanted to post more updates but just had so much work to do elsewhere. It was a last-minute finish but I did enjoy creating the graphic element to this…might keep exploring that in other pieces.

    @Shannon-Perkins Thanks again for your thoughts - yeah I took out the mobile phone panel, since that wasn’t reading very well. But I kept the ring one, because I couldn’t think of a clearer way to convey the story and it would have been more tricky to change that bit. But while re-working that section I also made the wedding panel taller as per your suggestion, thanks 🙂

    Then with the colours…I chose them to try and help convey the emotions/story…
    blue/yellow/green - fresh new, morning
    pink - romantic love
    red - anger
    orange - warmth of family life

    Well at least I had fun doing this one 🙂


Log in to reply