May prompt progress, and Feedback Request

  • Hello helpful artists! I've missed participating in the forum quite as much lately, since my day job (and long commute) have started back up again. I'm trying to build illustration portfolio progress into my work life balance, and keep myself accountable by posting on the forum.

    So here's my in-progress rough for this month's prompt. I'm curious about what kinds of reactions it gets from you all. Do you get what's happening here? Is it funny? too dark? Getting too busy and not having enough focus is a recurring problem for me to solve, and as you can see, it's happening again. I'd welcome any constructive feedback on how to make it clearer or more impactful.
    Screen Shot 2021-05-19 at 10.03.02 PM.png

  • @Valerie-Light I see a troll (or some other creature) family hiding under a bridge from the animals that are crossing it. The animals are coming after the creatures under the bridge. I didn't see it as funny probably because of all the weapons. I think the composition is nice and I like the silhouettes in the background to indicate that there are more creatures in the background.

  • Thanks, @Kim-Rosenlof , that's helpful. I'm trying to make a joke about how the bad guys are all the cute bears and ponies and fairies, and the good guys are the scary monsters. Maybe i should switch the weapons to something funnier, like candy canes and flowers?

  • @Valerie-Light I was a little confused by the weapons too. I was getting that it was a roles reversed kind of situation where the monsters were hiding because the 'enemy' were bringing happiness (and they don't like being happy) but then the bear had big swords. Weapons that look like they spread joy is a good idea.

  • @Valerie-Light That makes sense. I see the role reversal thing now. I would definitely recommend changing the weapons. I like the concept!

  • @Kim-Rosenlof @lizardillo I really appreciate the extra sets of eyes on this. It really helps me right now to see what's clear and unclear to other viewers. Does this read more like a story with a punch line? Screen Shot 2021-05-20 at 9.38.49 PM.png

  • @Valerie-Light This is looking good! It does read funnier now. I would still keep the unicorn's expression angry like the first illustration and make sure that you can see the banner that has the no trolls sign on it. I would keep the feel that the animals are going to get the trolls, but with the "friendly" weapons. Maybe the mouse could be pointing with an angry face at the trolls, but take that idea worth a grain of salt. I am not sure it needs to go that far; just an idea to make it clear on the first read. Hopefully others will chime in.

  • @Valerie-Light This is such a great and fun concept. It is so well executed too with good drawing and composition. I love the joyful playful expressions. I think they work well with a kill em with kindness idea.
    Just one thing throws me off:
    While I like the idea of the mouse making eye contact with the troll, I am having a hard time suspending disbelief because the mouse is above the bridge and the troll is under it. The bridge should hide the trolls from view. Maybe make the road swing around the bridge ? Also the mouse’s eyes look creepy to me for some reason. Like it is a manic mouse with the Joker’s psycho personality creepy. But that is my opinion. Haha!

    Fantastic start. I look forward to seeing this in the sweet 16 cuz I think you have a contender.

  • I really like the concept and the drawing, especially after the changes. Not sure if I agree with keeping the angry expressions though. I can perfectly understand the point that Kim made though. Is just that I personally imagined it more like we will get you and our happiness weapons will transform you in cuties like us. And that being scary for the trolls.

    Well, I think in the end both concepts work to be honest, just giving a different point of view. 🙂

  • So after reading the previous comment, I realize that you were probably going for something different than I thought for your second illustration. I didn't think about the animals being happy and trying to make the trolls happy too (or something like that. I guess they are "killing them with kindness"). It is good to get different opinions because people may see things differently than you 😊.

  • @Kim-Rosenlof I really think both concepts may work, is just a matter of which @Valerie-Light is aiming for. 🙂 If she wants a more "killing them with kindness" thing, than definitely your comment was spot on and I 100% agree with it.

    I read it differently exactly because of the happy faces on the second one, which was the one I focused more in. It is interesting to note these kind of things and see how certain differences may affect how people interpret the drawing. 😊

  • @TaniaGomesArt @Kim-Rosenlof This conversation is really helping me to clarify which story I want to tell. Thank you!
    I think I want to a sort of manic, over-the-top cuteness to the army, and I want it to be clear that army is searching for trolls (so i'll clarify the anti-troll banner). The trolls under the bridge are afraid they'll be caught and maybe drafted into the cuteness army. (threat of peril, but not of violence.) I want people to feel really sympathetic toward the trolls- I think they would be the main characters in this story.

    @chrisaakins Thanks for the feedback! You are totally right that that angle of eye contact doesn't work. Darn. Gotta rethink that a bit.

  • As the mouse has spotted the trolls, could it be alerting the others? Perhaps pointing at them and looking up as if to shout “hey! They’re under here”

  • @lizardillo ooh! I like that. And compositionally it would break the line of the bridge that's separating one group from another.

  • I think this revision might be a solution to the mouse-to-troll sightline issue. Getting closer. Right now I think I'm overworking the rough, and I need to move on to a clean line drawing for the sake of time. (though I might change the mouse's lollipop to something that doesn't draw so much focus.)
    Screen Shot 2021-05-21 at 9.04.57 PM.png

  • @Valerie-Light You've nailed it now! And for the lollipop, I think if you just scale it down in the clean line drawing, it won't distract from your point of interest. This is so well designed, and I'm excited to see the finish!

  • Oh yeah, definitely nailed it!!!
    Amazing how much difference there is just because of the mouse's pose. It's like now everything got connected much clearly and the story comes out easily. Great work! ☺

  • Thank you all for the encouragement! I've moved some things around on the left, and made my clean line drawing. I think the addition of the gnome man helps there.
    I'm planning to work on this one in the same style as my Inn contest entry last month, so from here I'll move to watercolor and gouache, and then finalize details in Procreate again. Here goes!
    Screen Shot 2021-05-22 at 7.29.26 PM.png

  • Posting painting progress from this weekend. I'm so much happier when I choose colors from my watercolor palette rather than from a color picker. Now just hoping i don't mess it up.

  • Looking good @Valerie-Light, can’t wait to see this one finished! What a great concept.

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