Astrid - WIP

  • So, I wanted to try another one of these third Thursday challenges. I have never done any sort of children's illustration before, and focused mostly on more traditional fine art - but this and last months challenge have been an interesting stretch outside my comfort zone. Also, the prompt was so fun I couldn't resist. Another thing I have found is how fun these type of illustrations can be to paint - rather than spending hours focused on a small area to look realistic, I get to step back and just look at colors and design and play with whatever I imagine. I think I will do more of these in the future!

    So this is what I have so far - I really wanted to play with the 'classic' scifi kind of scene and just use color and placement to tell the story. With the part of the prompt about the ground being spongy, I had thought to make the whole ground a giant octopus alien - but I really liked the image of this little guy hiding behind the rock, so I have gone with this instead and the spongy ground will just be a little more mundane.

    Another thing I am having trouble with is the color calibration of my monitors. I was using a basic uncalibrated laptop monitor before and it turns out everything I was seeing was way more bright and cool then it was supposed to be - so now I have an uncalibrated tablet monitor (UG-2150) and everything looks way darker and warmer and muddier. And I have no idea what is right. On my laptop where I painted this so far - the helmet and octopus are in blue shades which contrasts with the maroon colors and on my new monitor they are purple as everything is shifted to be more red and there is no real color contrast. So, I don't know which is the true color 😞 but I ordered a calibrator from amazon and hopefully that should help when it gets here.

    Any advice or feedback is always super appreciated!


  • Trying to get my image to appear rather than a link... hmm


  • I like the composition and theme you have your your image.. If your having problems with your monitor calibration, why don't you just paint your image in black and white. that way you can complete the image with the correct contrast and values on everything then deal with the color at the end. My own image for this subject is on the same theme, so its interesting to see how your image goes.

  • SVS OG

    Jeszika what an excellent piece - what i like most about it is the relationship between Astrid's hair and the octopus - it is subtle and a very nice find for the viewer - what comes to mind for me is it maybe to lower the camera angle so it is slightly behind and to the left of the octopus so that you see the relationship between the hair and the octopus more clearly - but it would be hard to show Astrid's foot sinking into the turf then...the only other thing that comes to mind is possibly to reduce the scale of here lower right leg by a very small amount - it could just be that the sole of her shoe has sunk into the ground making here left foot look smaller than the right though - anyways... good composition and good luck to you!

  • The main thing I noticed is reading direction and values. The reading direction should read left to right, in the original we get stuck on the left page because of Astrid's direction.

    And you mentioned your monitor has calibration issues. Like Steve said try B/w first then add color. As long as your values are right then color doesn't really matter. Right now there is an even value on all the colors and I think making certain areas brighter like the flower will help direct the read to what Atsrid is looking at,


  • @Steve-Young Yeah - the calibration thing is driving me nuts! I am primarily an oil painter trying to teach myself digital painting and this technical stuff is really frustrating! The values were also very messed up as well because I was using my laptop monitor, completely unaware that the brightness on them is way higher and cooler then they should be. But I am using a painting monitor now and bought a calibrator and hopefully it looks better! But, yeah, I have also been learning to paint in black and white to begin designing the comp. I should have definitely started that way, calibration issues aside. And I am looking forward to seeing your painting as well! 🙂

    @Kevin Longueil Thanks! 🙂 I have been working a bunch on it - so I hope I haven't lost that connection between the hair and the octopus... actually, now I am going to go back and make sure to bring that back in a little clearer because that was the initial idea and I kind of stopped thinking about it as I painted each part. And thanks for the feedback on the foot - it was way too big! I kept cutting it down and it wasn't enough lol. It's strange what you don't notice at first. Hopefully it is better now! And thanks again for the encouraging words!

    @Samuel Nunez - Thank you so much! Your response was invaluable to me! I never thought of the direction of the picture being that important before - that it should read the same either way but I can completely see what you mean now that you point it out! I think part of that has to do with the western reading left to right, so we expect the eye to move a certain way in the narrative. Might also be why it is sometimes more expensive to advertise on the right page vs the left. hmmm. Just some thoughts I had on the subject.

    But also, the glowing flower was a such a flash of inspiration for me! Thank you so much! I loved the idea instantly and it really helped give me more of a direction to play with light and color. I hope I did it justice! 🙂 Thanks again!

    So, I have tried to take all the advice and put it to good use and keep working on the painting. I think I might be done now... I can't see anything more to do, but that could change after a few days - not sure.

    link text

  • oh and I wanted to include a version with the text (though I don't know much about graphic design and typography, it is still interesting to me to visualize what it might look like. I am not sure which to submit to the contest - with or without the text - I think I am leaning to without.
    Astrid 3 with Text smaller.jpg

  • Much better, well done it looks more polished.

  • SVS OG

    @Jeszika-Lee I am having that same problem with the colors showing up dramatically different on my wacom vs my laptop for example it drives me crazy too!

    You updated piece came out great. I really love the use of the purples and reds and the soft glow of the flower the the alien octopus is holding to try and lure Astrid over.

    I also really enjoy the body position (arms especially) you put Astrid in. It really gives that sense of her being unsure and trying to sneak past.

    Really nice job!

  • You have really improved the image. I really like the glow coming from the red flower.

  • @Steve-Young Thank you!

    @Rich-Green Yeah - I had no idea how important calibrating my monitor was. I just bought a 'spyderpro' calibrator and it really helped. The laptop picture actually looks really nice now - though the ugee is still off a little I think. Apparently (I just learned this a few days ago) laptops' graphic card don't support being able to calibrate 2 monitors properly. So, that might be part of the trouble. But yeah, apparently laptop monitors, uncalibrated, tend to be overly bright and very cool temp to the colors. So I would highly recommend calibrating it. And thanks for the feedback on my painting as well! 🙂

    @Rob-Smith Thanks! 🙂 That is great to hear! And I have to thank Samuel for giving me the idea to make the flower glow. That was really helpful!

  • SVS OG

    Love it! - the lighting is great - i like how i am searching the subtle features of the octopus to find if it is trying to make a new friend or is looking for a bit of a snack - makes you want to turn the page and see what happens next! - looks finished and looks great!

  • @Kevin-Longueil Thanks! lol I was thinking friend not snack 🙂 but you never know! lol

  • @Jeszika-Lee Looks great, how did it go? I've missed the critique hour.

  • Congrats!

  • @Leontine-Gaasenbeek Thank you! They picked some really nice pieces! Mine wasn't one of them - but it was really interesting to see how they critiqued each one and I thought it was really insightful. I got a lot of good ideas out of it.

    @Steve-Young lol - I'm not sure what I am being congratulated for - but I will accept it 🙂 Thanks!

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