Need some help with a composition, please.

  • Hi all
    I am illustrating a children's book and have done some rough thumbnails for one of the illustrations, which I have included for your reference. Also, I have included below the publisher's specifications for the illustration for your reference as well. I am trying to follow the publisher's wishes, but also want to make the illustration as interesting as possible to the viewer. Any advice, feedback, comments would be very much appreciated. Thanks!thumbnails for inner title page.jpg

    *** A depiction of a little boy, kneeling on his bed which is located close to/beside a large window, he facing about 2:00 and looking out at the night sky. Include several stars and perhaps also the moon, perhaps even a shooting star. The overall idea is the child marvelling at the heavens.
    I suggest having a Bay Window, even though it is his bedroom. If it is given large panes, not only will this give the greatest opportunity for depicting the most attractive sky at night, but perhaps even a shooting star at which the little boy is “goggling.” Also, a Bay Window will result in a good sized windowsill, and thus the opportunity for you to place some of his toys, etc. on display. As stated in the Introduction to the book, one of its purposes is to permit a Parent to ask their child, What is this? and What is that? and thus an addition to a book the child finds full of attractive art work.***

  • @mwinkelmans hmmmm.....maybe the top right one?

    I'd actually love to see a view where we are outside the window and looking slightly down on the boy who is peering up in wonder (wide eyes, mouth open in the beginning of a smile. The top part of the window will show a strong reflection so we will be able to see stars (even a shooting star) and the reflection would fade going down the window--the top of the child's head would probably be somewhat obscured from the reflection but the main features will be clear. On the sides of the child (bottom of the window sill) could be all manner of toys.

    To me that would be much more interesting. I understand the prompt doesn't say that but maybe you could sketch that idea up and see if they like it--maybe it didn't occur to them?

  • Thanks, Matt. I agree, that would be an awesome perspective. I'll give it a shot and see what they say.

  • I love bay windows. I know it is harder to draw, but it would be more interesting. More interesting curtains too. I would have him kneeling up in the bay window and looking out. His face of wonder reflected in the window. The corner of the bed behind him. He is in his pjs and the toys on the bay window cushion top of the built-in window seat/chest, maybe even an open book and rumpled blanket or lap quilt.

  • SVS OG

    Of the thumbs you posted, I like the top right best. But it looks like you have some suggestions for other things to try too, and I think its never a bad idea to throw together a few extra thumbnails.... thats kind of the point of them after all 🙂

  • Have you not tried using a bay window?

    Also, the ball is getting all David Blaine and is half way through the window 🙂


  • I like the top right for what the direction is. You could try to angle the camera a little lower to get a shot of his face and a bigger and more expansive view outside the window. I don't know if you'll work on this later, but the boy's body seems too large for what you're trying to convey with a big window and marveling at the majesty of the heavens.

  • @mwinkelmans

    Top right.

    A bay window: It's not a capricious suggestion. A bay window is the perfect solution for what is proposed in the specifications.

    In short: I agree, in every point, with @bharris.