3rd Thursday Drawing/Value Study (Charlie)

  • Hi everyone!

    I've been enjoying the SVS courses and forums so much that I thought I would throw my hat into the ring for this month's First Thursday challenge. Here's my preliminary pass at a drawing/comp/value study (color study will come next). Please let me know if you have any suggestions for improvement.

    Thanks in advance!


  • @baskin Value and composition look excellent to me. I love the happy feeling I get from the dinosaurs.

    My only thought is that Charly doesn't quite seem to be looking at the dinosaurs. It seems to me like he's looking just to the left of them.

    Also-- I just took a look at your site. You've got such a fun portfolio! Looking forward to learning with (and from!) you.

  • SVS OG

    Looks very good! - I agree with Maile ...if you cover his left ear with your thumb he seems to be looking at the dinosaurs - if you cover his right ear he is looking a bit off camera....move his left ear forward and down a bit so we see less of it and that should do it....only other thing would be making the middle dinosaurs shadow much longer because of how low the light source is....you could use it to point us back to Charly. I really like this piece.

  • Wow Really well done. Love it!

  • i love this dino idea, they look so happy!

  • Thanks so much for the quick feedback and kind words, everyone - it's nice to meet you all! Maile and Kevin, I really appreciate your suggestions. Here's an updated comp that should improve the angle of the boy's head (I'll address this more carefully in the final drawing). I've also adjusted the shadow length and direction a bit, which also required some shifting of the text. Please let me know if you have any additional suggestions.

    Thanks again!

  • SVS OG

    Looks great!

  • Oh my gosh. Yours is my favorite! I hope you win! It's so simple yet really strong. Excellent!

  • @baskin Hi Baskin, Love your illustration here. Its fun and lively. Love your style and brushstrokes. Maybe you can push the shades some more? I think you can try and see what happens when you give it more contrast, especially behind the dinosaurs.

  • @baskin Hi Jason, btw nice website.

  • Thanks again for the kind words, everyone. Leontine, I agree with your suggestion to push the value range in this piece. I work in watercolor a lot, and often have a hard time pushing my dark values, so your comment is a great reminder. Here's one final value study which seems to have better value range (on my monitor at least).

    I'm starting in one my final drawing and color studies now, but feedback is always welcome!

    Thanks again,


  • SVS OG

    Something about that smiling pterodactyl puts a big smile on my face each time I look at your works in progress here. Such a great piece and I am really looking forward to seeing how it all turns out!

  • Thanks very much for the encouraging words, Rich! Here is my final drawing. I always worry about tightening up at this stage, which is probably why I tend to avoid all of these studies and digital tools, and just rush into my pen and ink final too early. But I've been trying to remind myself of Quentin Blake's advice this time around - "draw, don't trace." Feedback is always welcome. Thanks again!



  • I'm probably oversharing here, but figured it would be fun to post my progress as I develop this piece. I'm still very new to digital illustration (though I've used 3D tools for many years), so I'm following Will Terry's fantastic step by step process (thanks Will!!). Here's the drawing with occlusion shading added, along with a minor adjustment to the shape of Charlie's foot.

    Please let me know if you notice anything else that I should be adjusting along the way.


  • Hi again, all-

    Here's another update with shadows and tone added. I'd love to hear any additional suggestions you have for improvement. Color studies are up next!

    Thanks in advance,


  • Those are some beautiful action lines...

  • Hey, thanks Jason! 🙂

    Here's my original thumbnail, btw. I ended up deviating quite a bit once I settled on the dinosaur idea and started playing around with character poses. I also felt that pulling the camera back to show the boy's body would help make the dinosaurs seem larger, and better convey Charlie's surprised reaction.


  • I really like the mood and line work there.

  • Thanks very much, Naroth!

    Here are a few color studies. I'm thinking I should slide the text over to the left a bit on the final composition.

    As always, I welcome suggestions/critiques.


  • i like 2

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