3rd Thursday Topic: Love - Advice Please

  • Hey all, I'm really seeing some nice work on here. Kinda feeling embarrassed about not having my piece further along. I've been staring at this draft too long and can't see the forest from the trees. Any advice would kindly be accepted.


  • Solid construction and really appealing characters!


  • i really like the characters and their interaction with each other. There is one thing that jump out to me, it's the little one on the table because he looks a bit like a dog to me. Anyway it's looking good.

  • Hi John,

    I think you have some solid foundations here. The gestures and characters are great! I wonder if you could push the value range a bit more (mainly making the background wall a bit darker to make the foreground read better), but at the same time, I think I see where you're going with the lighting and if that is a warm light you're going to have pouring in, it might not be necessary. Hope this gives you something to think about!

  • I love the tenderness that is in the gesture and expression of the two bigger mice. So sweet. I agree that the one little mouse looks like a dog because of the angle if the ears. I'm also not sure what the other mouse is doing, getting a piece of cheese? But overall it gives me a very love-y feeling and I love the setting.

  • Thanks guys for all the input. And I appreciate the compliments. I'll take a look at the dog looking mouse. I'm trying depict two different ages of baby mice. The youngest at the bottom, is just being able to reach to the edge of the table. The other young one (on the opposing side) is supposed to be a bit older. I'm trying for a more adoring expression while they look on at the head of the table.

  • A lot of great things going on in this piece! the emotion read very clearly. Love the "parent" mice!

    I agree with the small mouse looking a little like a puppy.

    I also agree with @Renduin that the value structure could be improved. In his creative composition class, @Will-Terry talks about the 3-30 rule, which is basically that an image should look good and "read" clearly both at 3 feet and 30 feet. Your image look good at 3 feet, however at 30 feet the characters are a little lost in the background. Maybe you should try creating a clear contrast between the value of the foreground characters and the values of the background

    However, I still have a lot to learn myself, so I might be wrong!

    Nice work!

  • Solid Drawing. I agree with Tom, there needs to be more contrast. If you zoom out to thumbnail size, it's mostly a mid-grey at the moment. Hope that helps. 🙂

  • @John-Wanczyk I always really like the scenes you create.

    I agree with the contrast/value comments.

    The main thing that stuck out to me when I first viewed it was all the negative space on the left side of the image (and extending into the lower left corner). It might need a crop.

    The other thing is, given the really great pose of the seated adult mouse, the standing mouse doesn't quite match. It almost looks like s/he's in the middle of walking to stand behind the seated mouse. It's a very angled pose. what would a more static (I know that's a bad word--maybe "solid" is better) pose look like?

  • @John-Wanczyk Hi John - I love the emotion in this piece! Great work! I took the liberty to give you a few visual suggestions:

    I think your piece will be more successful if you push your tones darker and lighter for more contrast.

    You could make your mice light on dark or dark on light for better legibility.


  • I was just going to play with the position of the standing mouse but then I started doing other things.
    I made the seated mouse a female, added whiskers, pushed the idea of the little mouse by increasing it's head size and reducing the overall size, and I did some tweaks to the "dog-like" mouse. I didn't do any value changes because @will-terry covered that nicely.
    Just some suggestions!

  • Wow, what great advice! Thanks everyone for your compliments. I can now see that I definitely need more contrast. I appreciate @nowayme, @NickA, and especially @Will-Terry for taking the time to write.

    Thanks @mattramsey Nice cropping, I might have to use a bit of that. I see how cropping definitely takes away the awkward standing pose. Your adjustments to the proportions of the little standing ''baby" mouse really helped.

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