Astrid - August 3rd Thursday

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    The line in the prompt of the surface being spongy got me to thinking - what if it was in fact a sponge.

    I had this idea that Astrid is a germ who is emerging out of her craft (a cup floating in a sink full of dishes) and as she steps out onto the sponge (known to be a breeding ground for germs) she has yet to discover that in fact she is not alone. There is a growing army of germ fighting soap suds looming behind her.

    I loved turning this around so that it was in fact cute nervous Astrid who was in fact the enemy here.

    This is just a sketch and possible color comp of the concept. In the final version Astrid will have a glow about her. I also wanted an actual germ object floating in her hand - that could be her weapon and doubles as a light source.

    Curious what folks think of this concept and the overall composition.


  • @Rich-Green very ingenious! I too have used a sponge in my illustration, but am not ready to reveal yet. I guess great minds think alike😁 Very nice composition by the way, I really like it!

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    @Thrace-Shirley-Mears Thanks you so much Thrace! I can't wait to see what you have come up with and how you use your sponge! Very cool!

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    hehe, this is great! The angry bubbles are wonderful!

  • @Rich-Green Its really fun! the idea is very original!

  • Really great idea, thinking out the box.

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    @Leontine-Gaasenbeek @Lynn-Larson and @Steve-Young thank you all so much for your supportive comments! I am now even more exciting to work on finished version of this piece. And it will be my first time submitting something to 3rd Thursdays as well!

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    Good luck Rich! It's going to be a great 3rd Thursday!

  • @Rich-Green @Thrace-Shirley-Mears haha I as well had a concept that included a sponge! However, I had a couple different concepts in mind and decided to go with another one, which I'm glad I did now (even though I'm still loving the sponge concept!).

    Rich, loving your germ idea - the eyes in the bubbles are great!

    Compositionally I think you're looking pretty good. Although - where would the text go? You may have to move the fork to make room in the bottom right corner perhaps. I'd actually put the copy in to show it as part of the piece.

    I would like to see a better overall colour harmony (you've got two very different greens in there for example) and you could work on the lighting too - some light could be pouring in through the window for example, and you could make her 'germ ball' even more glowing and casting a warm light on the character.

    I took a different children's book class a couple of years ago and and my instructor told me to never put handwritten english text in a piece because publishers like to envision your work being translated into other languages (making the most of a single book, selling in more countries in multiple languages). So if that were the case you could remove 'tough on germs' from the bottle (just have some generic brand labelling, like some swoosh across it or something). I think the concept comes across without having the 'tough on germs' in there anyhow. Anyway - this advice could be subjective though. I've never heard @Will-Terry, @Jake-Parker or @Lee-White mention this in any of their advice, so it would be interesting to hear what they think about it.

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    @DanetteDraws thank you so much for the detailed and very thoughtful reply. This type of feedback is extremely helpful. You know from years of doing software user interface design I actually know better than to put words into a design (like the tough on germs on the bottles label) but I guess I was not sure my concept would be clear so I added that to reinforce it. But I am more than happy to take that out for the final rendering.

    Also agree that light pouring in from the window is good. It is part of why I included the window but was not quite sure how to get the effect of that light in this loose mock up. As a matter of fact I am still thinking through how I will capture it in the final painting but definitely want that in there so hopefully I can figure out how to get what i see in my mind onto the page!

    I need to work on the color story, to see what else I can come up with. I wanted Astrid to be an out of place green color to create tension but I can see what you mean about the use of the different greens in the same illustration. I will go back and play around with colors and the light some more first before I move onto the actual painting.

    Good stuff and thanks again Danette!

  • This is totally out of the box and I'm loving it. I'm wondering about her craft tho, wonder what is she flying or driving. Some object that human brought back home that she has infested with? Anyway, totally dig the image here.

  • Really cool concept so far! Loving that you made her a germ 🙂 - I never would have thought of something like that! I agree there could be a little more color harmony to make this read in a more unified way. I think to make the green of her more out of place, giving the rest of the image a more consistent color scheme could really help, like if the sponge she was stepping on was blue and the pot in the water silver, the wall a cool neutral color - everything to look very clean and cool colored then the green is going to look much more out of place. It also could be fun to play with how vibrant and colorful she looks against a much more simple, clean and cool color scheme for the rest of the image. These are just some thoughts I had looking at it, so hopefully it is helpful somehow. I know everyone has a different vision and a lot of what I said was subjective - so feel free to disregard! lol and good luck!

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    @Jeszika-Lee I liked a whole bunch of your feedback on color.

    So on this new color study update, I took that along with input from others on light coming through the window, a different label on the dish soap bottle, removing the fork and putting the text in its place as well as really limiting the main color palette to shades of blue/gray and a hint of brown/gray on the walls to add a bit of warmth and darkness behind the army of suds heading Astrids way.

    I also worked on giving her more glow and adding her glow onto the now blue colored sponge and even some reflection of it in the water.

    What does everyone think? I feel like it is a much moodier and stronger piece this way for sure and I like that about it!
    astrid v2.jpg

  • I really like your image, it has a good composition and color choice. I was wondering where you going to remove the line work?

  • I love it! It has a great feel and tells the story well. I really like your font choice it really goes well with the piece. Nice job!!

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    @Steve-Young Hi Steve - this is still just using my original sketched lines so that I could do this color study step (something that is new to me and I am finding to be a very powerful step in the process!). Next I plan to cleanup all of the line work and begin the painting. I tend to leave some line work in my art but not necessary on all background objects etc. I will share another update once I have that done.

  • @Rich-Green still love it greatly! Can you try to tone down the blue a bit? maybe the green germ pops out more if you try? or make it darker overall, except for the Germ? What is it in the right hand? its difficult to read. Love the sponge structure!

  • I look forward to your next image.

  • @Rich-Green Nice use of warm and cold Rich. I like it.

  • I think this piece has more of a nightime feeling and maybe it should be moonlight coming in the window and you can leave the darker water because I like it. Just a thought.

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