Composition Feedback?

  • Hey Guys!

    I'm working on a concept image for a picture book that I am hoping to write and illustrate. In this scene, a young girl sees her mysterious grandmother's (somewhat intimidating) house for the first time. I just watched the Creative Environment Design class and was hoping to incorporate some of those principles here. Any feedback or advice you have about the composition and/or the environment design would be awesome.



  • I think it is great. Good balance

  • @Eric-Castleman Thanks!

  • Awesome concept! Just a small tweak, I'd just adjust the mountain in the background so it passes behind the girls torso rather than behind her face. It should show a better silhouette of her face and pose. Love the perspective on the house!

  • @Spencer-Hale Great comment! I was wondering about that exact thing this morning when I was looking at it.

  • Thanks for the advice! For anyone wondering, here are the final line drawing and the value exploration.



  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @mcucchi The only thing I might add is a hint of her mouth. I think at that view you would see a little of the side of her mouth. I may be wrong on that.

  • Good call! I'll take a look. I want her to be feeling wonder/awe which would elicit a smaller, open mouth position. I tried to achieve it with a slight elongation of the jawline but I think I could probably give a hint of lips or push that elongation further to make it more clear.

  • SVS OG

    @mcucchi I think it is looking great, love the composition. Can you crop it differently so that we can see her whole hand? I think it is a no-no to crop at the wrist. Also I miss the flowiness of the girl's skirt.

  • Thanks for all the great feedback! I was able to add the suggestion of a mouth and re-crop a little (thanks @holleywilliamson). Here we are today with tone and some more developed shadows. Onto the color!!


  • @mcucchi really loving where this is going!

  • @kimchizerbe Thank you!

  • @mcucchi this looks great!

  • Color time! Color is my weakness. I have more experience drawing in black and white so my color pieces tend to move slowly and give me trouble. I never know how far I should take them. I've definitely overworked pieces in the past to the point where they're stiff and muddy. Here is the stopping point I reached last night. I'll spend some time away from it today and evaluate how I should proceed later.


  • Really enjoyed watching your process here ,lovely illustration!!

  • @mcucchi your discription is like a mirror. I'm also black&white guy learning about color and wrestling with it and burning allot of needed time. With this piece I would paint the house a cooler color to avoid making it creep to the foreground with the girl. The color and tone of the house and top part of mountain make it look flat competing with and not complimenting the girl in the foreground. I would change the color and tone towards the top of the mountain to not contrast as extremely with the house because the high contrast has a tendency to bring that section to the foreground . In general I would mess with the mountain and house area to push it farther back into the distance by using less contrast, cooler colors and possibly lighter tone. Maybe gradient tool on mountain? Awesome work

  • @Tyson-Ranes Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. I had grand plans in my mind of giving the house some atmospheric value and pushing it back farther... and then it didn't happen haha. Will definitely reevaluate to see if I can improve.

  • SVS OG

    @mcucchi This is looking good Monique! I did a quick cut and paste of your drawing to show the idea i had - i was thinking you possibly need a middle ground to help push the cliff/tower into the background a bit - i collaged and stretched pieces until i felt it was pushed back a bit - i feel like even the tiny middle ground in front of the girl helps to give a bit of depth - looks like you could do lots of interesting things with lighting here - i'm not much of a painter yet but it would be cool to have the top of the house and trees catching a bit of fading sunlight to show that the sun is setting - easily said right 🙂

    0_1490985850671_Cut and paste.jpeg

    i think desaturating the house and having the receding trees helped to push it back too

  • @Kevin-Longueil Great ideas! Thanks a lot for the suggestion.

Log in to reply