First Mockup Book

  • Hello everyone and happy Halloween!

    I started working on my own rendition of "Snow White" as a practice.
    I thought this will be a fun way to discover new styles and practice everything I learned with SVS.
    This way I'll end up with some coherent pieces for my portfolio.
    I will be sharing my progress here, and I will appreciate any critique. 🙂

    Page 2:

    0_1478011669905_snow white page1.png

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    The look on the face nails that she is in deep thought. Great job on that. I would go a little lighter on the window where the text is. The is a dark color and the text is dark which makes it a little hard to see. A little more contrast on those would be great. Also easier for a kid to make out the words.

  • @Chip-Valecek thank you, Chip. You are definitely right. I did not think about that. 🙂

  • SVS OG

    There is someting about the text being perfectly framed in the window that bothers me. I don't really know why but I think it divides the picture from the text a bit and I wonder if the text were actually lighter (and the background a bit darker or faded?) with the text spread out over the frame a bit so that it flowed together more? I don't do digital so I can't really show it . I guess so that the text seems part of the composition more... Well, it's a beautiful picture nonetheless. Look forward to seeing more!

  • I love your illustration. The expression of the queen is dreamy and thoughtful and the colours in your artwork work well together. The text is not however well placed in my opinion. You see strictly design wise if you have too short or too long line of text it becomes a problem and does not read easily. The placement inside the window pane traps the text further and it becomes sort of a trap for the eye. I would try to redesign the window so it would give you the whole bottom part free to use for the text. Also making the view outside the window (trees, sky, snow) with less contrast should help the legibility of the text.

  • @Marsha-Kay-Ottum-Owen @Hana-Hladikova
    Thank you, Marsha and Hana! I really appreciate your feedback.
    To tell you the truth, I did not put much thought into the text. I forgot to consider it while designing the page.
    I like your Idea Hana of redesigning the window and giving it more space.
    I'll try that. 🙂

  • I changed the window and the text color. Does this improve the feel of the text or is it still too framed?

    0_1478140139410_page 1 edited.png

  • I don´t think that it is too framed now. I like what you did, both with the window and the outside. The text colour is good, it contrasts better with the background however if you would do this as an assignment you would probably have to check if it would be OK. But since you don´t... I think that was a good decision.
    One more thing you could try is changing the alignment of the text. Designers usually avoid using center alignment if the design don´t call for it outright. Apart of that little thing, I truly like this illustration. Work well done, I would say.

  • @Hana-Hladikova
    Thanks, Hana, I will do that. 🙂

  • I am not Will Terrey

    To begin though, I really like this painting. It's surreal, it's dreamy, it has great contrast of warm v. cool and I love the environment. I would want it on a Christmas card but as someone on the outside looking in, these are the things I saw.

    alt text

  • The evil stepmother.
    upon finishing this I started to doubt the light effect I made.
    When I compare it to the first illustration, it feels different, like they don't belong to the same book.
    Maybe I should tune down the reflections.
    What do you think?

    0_1478278073114_page 5.png

  • @MuttsGraphix Thank you for your notes! They definitely help. 🙂

  • SVS OG

    @Doha I think it looks much better now!

  • SVS OG

    @Hana-Hladikova That was a really great explanation, Hana.

  • I think that the style of the evil queen is OK. It is perhaps a bit more edgy then the first illustration, but considering the characters that would be a good thing. You still have plenty of elements connecting the illustrations, the style, the line, twirls, design of the dresses...
    What is more disrupting for me is an overall composition of the illustration. Firstly, the image looks a bit unbalanced. I think it is somewhat caused by the text placement partly on white and partly on the illustration and the big piece of unoccupied white space underneath it, but by the illustration composition also. The mirror shape´s cuts through the image are unfortunate, for it leads the eye out of the image. The image is rather top heavy. You have a lot of bright colour in there that attract the eye - the orange and even the pattern in the mirror itself. I don´t think you need so much of the mirror anyway. Everyone will know she is looking into the mirror, so you can show smaller piece of it. I would suggest cropping the image differently. I will include my take on the crop for you, but take it as a suggestion.
    The last advise is about the text itself. Format your text so you will not end up with an orphan - the single word on the line. It is best to be avoided. I do not know your process, but do you create your image first and then put the text on? Or do you consider the placement and size of the text during the development stages of the image?
    Ok, here is the crop:

  • @Hana-Hladikova
    Thank you, Hana, all your notes are on point. The crop you made makes it look so much better.
    This is my first try in children's illustration, so I don't really have a process. In the first one I added the text, in the end, hence the window frame. In this one, I considered the placement at the beginning but I did give much thought to the size and volume. I should work on that. Do you know if it's acceptable to change the text size on each page?

  • @Doha No problem!

  • You are welcome. I am always happy to help.
    The text size should be constant for the whole book, I am afraid. Sometimes some small issues can be dealt with by for example adjusting the kerning or tracking of the type (these affects how close are the letters and words spaced). But that will be difficult to do if you don´t use InDesign for the completion of your illustrations and text.
    Maybe in this case you could actually use smaller size of the font, depending of the size of your picture book. Sometimes what looks OK on screen is just way too big when you print in out in size - it is one thing to watch out.

  • @Doha What a lovely illustration! I agree with the others about lightening up the area outside the window, but really the one thing that immediately struck and stuck with me was her left hand. It took me looking at it for about 30 seconds before I realized her left hand is under her right hand. I'd change the pose of her arms so that both of her hands are somehow showing. Also, her right arm looks like it's melted into her body - I'd either make the area directly under that arm a very dark color so that you can tell the difference between her arm and her dress, or I'd create just a little triangle of space where the chair shows through, like you on the left arm. Other than that, you've got a lovely piece!

  • I think the step mother looks great, especially with the updates that Hana made. I really like the devious expression on her face. You're really capturing the feeling of the characters well so far!

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