September 3rd Thursday so far...

  • This is my illustration so far for the 3rd Thursday topic for September. I'm not eligible to enter but I want to keep completing the challenges for myself so I can improve my work. I have a couple of issues that I have that I wondered if anyone had any suggestions how to solve. First off, I tried to keep the colour pallet fairly unified but I think the overall mood could be a lot stronger. I wanted something that look fairly mystical, but all I'm getting at the moment is 'muddy'. The creatures' little glowy antenna don't have anywhere near the effect that I was intending, they are getting lost in the sky background. The instrument one of the creatures is playing is also getting lost, so I'm not sure how to make this pop. I also think my levels are way off, knocking the saturation down shows this but I can't think what I can do to correct it. For example the trees at the edge are perhaps way too dark, bordering on black which I think needs to change. Any suggestions people have for these issues will be greatly received. Thanks in advance!

  • SVS OG

    If you made the background darker, the glow would show more. Right now, it just looks like a row of trees instead of a forest. Adding some shine to the instrument may help too. Your critters are awesome 😃

    Edit - maybe make the light source coming from the antenna vs behind the trees?

  • @Lynn-Larson Thanks Lynn, I'll adjust the background and see how I get on 🙂

  • @ChrisRichDraws An awesome piece. I love the characters and your colour palette works for me. If the glow from the antennas affected the space around them, then they would look brighter. Also, taking the tones down on some of the light source would help too maybe. Going by the shadows, the light from behind the trees seemed stronger than what it was.

    I have made a couple of quick suggestions. I hope you're not offended. I am not even saying this is right, but these are just my thoughts.


    I love what you have done. Have a great day.

  • @Peter-Jarvis Thanks Peter for both your kind comments and your suggestions. I see what you mean about the lighting from the trees, I need to beef it up quite substantially in order to help enhance the mood I'm going for. Thanks again mate!

  • I really love your character design, it's very interesting. There is just one thing that "bothers" me a little, I feel like the contrast between Charlie and the little creatures is not big enough. In your previous drawing from August (Congrats by the way!), it looked clearer. I'm not sure if you'll understand what I mean ! Maybe a clearer separation between the foreground and the background? It might be just me who feels this way ! Anyway, really nice illustration !

  • Haha, well done!

  • I've quite radically overhauled the colour palette for the illustration to get something that I felt is more in-keeping with the 'mystical' mood I was trying to establish. It has also provided more contrast between Charly and the creatures, as the instrument that one of the creatures is holding. The main issue I have been unable to resolve relates to the 'empty' feeling in the background. As Lynn described, it just looks like a row of trees, as opposed to a full forest. I'm not sure how I can achieve this without removing the light source by covering the stars with trees. I tried to add a bit of depth by lightening the values of the trees further back, should I push this more? Any other ideas or suggestions?

    Charly SVS ColourEDITSmallest.jpg

  • SVS OG

    Oooh! Looks so much richer to me now! I would change the shadows on the heads a bit, if the antenna are glowing, it is going to change the shadows across the face, and a bit reflected into the instrument

  • Wow, I'm impressed! Really nice work. As for the trees, add some faint implied trees, to give the impression of a forest.

    Kind of like this:

    The trees that are further away are washed out and even blurry.

    Try looking at paintings of forests, and you'll see how each "layer" back, the trees fade, but our eye still reads a whole forest.

    I hope this helps! (Otherwise, just ignore it, haha)

  • @ChrisRichDraws That looks so so much more vibrant and interesting. I love waht you've done with the sky. It's given the whole piece a time and a place. Just great. Nice work Chris.

  • Congrats on winning the previous 3rd Thursday! 🙂

    Your recent edit is great! Nice work! I think you should add atmosphere to the bg by adding faint trees just like Carey mentioned. You could also tone down the upper part of the bg gradient behind the trees.

    Another thing, maybe increase the contrast on the creatures themselves? (by lightening their shadows and perhaps increasing a bit the light hitting the ground ). Right now it's a bit hard to distinguish where the eye should mainly focus.

  • SVS OG

    I really like the edits you've made so far, nicely done! You have a really recognizable style, which is great. I agree with the idea of trees fading into the background, it will give you more of a feeling of depth, like they're in a real forest rather than just a small clump of trees.

  • @mikeamante I totally agree, I'll try playing with those values to try and make the creatures pop, thanks for the advice 🙂

  • @Sarah-LuAnn Thanks very much, that's very kind 🙂 once I've been able to get those trees to work properly I'll post an update.

  • @ChrisRichDraws I love the color change you've done to the second image. So much richer and more dramatic. I agree with others about the trees fading into the background, and I also see what you're saying about wanting to keep the stars and that light source.

    Maybe if you took almost a worm's-eye-view with the perspective on the trees, you could create the feeling of depth in the forest without losing the great thing you've got going with the sky. I think you could do this and still leave the characters how they are, although I'm not sure if/how that might impact the shadows.

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