Lonely old man painting WIP critiques welcome



  • @gary-wilkinson I meant does, as in it could be a bit closer. I definitely agree it should not get too close as you state.



  • I'm revisiting this image I was working on last year, but end up dropping. I think it would be a good one for the portfolio so giving it another go. I adjusted the position of the cat and gave the man a beard to give him a slightly unkempt look. What do you think of the color scheme? I want to push the cool colors a bit more and I might dim the lamp on the left side as though the lightbulb is almost out of life. It's been a challenge so far, but I think I can get something good out of it at some point.....

    0_1523332945660_om wipsm.jpg


  • SVS OG

    @gary-wilkinson I like it! I would like to see a bit more blue in the shadows, just bit. He does look lonely. If you took the lamp on the left down just a notch but not too dark, the puppy needs enough light to reflect on him 🙂 I'm not the best critiquer but you seem to know what to do already anyway. I would like to hear what others say.


  • SVS OG

    0_1523373346861_test crit.jpg
    Hey love the picture. I see you have been wavering over what happens to the light on left. How about turning it off altogether and putting in some window light to add some coolness to the missing his wife thoughts of the man.

    Hope you don't mind the paintover... I added more light to the whole painting which gives you a chance to colour the pictures on the wall, also I added a ceiling to enclose the emotion and maybe send the eye back down to the man?

    Just an idea it might help... 🙂


  • SVS OG

    I agree with @Jason-Bowen about the window light. It adds a new dimension without overpowering the lamp. I'm ok with the ceiling going off camera but it works to have a slanted or slightly jagged one. The ceiling in my opinion could draw too much undesired attention if done wrong so it's understandable to let it work as is. Another suggestion if you keep it that way might be to really exaggerate the height of the room and have the bottom of a few more dusty pictures barely visible. I'm glad you revisited this one.


  • SVS OG

    @jason-bowen I'm looking forward to what happens on the left side.


  • SVS OG

    @gary-wilkinson Just found this thread. I like the added light and how the cat is more legible and lit. Overall, the illo is painted very professionally, so my comments will focus more on the story. Is the cat looking at a photo of the man's wife? The image is very sad and lonely, and I feel that it can still evoke those emotions but include a glimmer of hope by having the cat maybe cuddling up next to the man to comfort him, or trying to get him to play with her. Otherwise, it feels just too bleak. Also, the photos/paintings on the wall--they seem to be an opportunity to tell a story about his life with his wife, the day they got married, prom night if they met at school, and perhaps even the day they adopted the cat. One of the images seems to be of a hospital room? If that's the case, I'd show him offering her a big bouquet of flowers or something more cheerful to contrast with the current scene.



  • @jason-bowen Thanks Jason. Having a cool light from that left side is a really nice idea. I will explore that and see if I can make it work! I cooling the pictures would be cool, but with the lack of white light most of them will be very desaturated. As for the ceiling the reason I didn't want to include one was to fit in as many photo frames as I could to push the feeling of him and his wife having many memories, kinda like an endless wall of memories. I like @Jon-Anderson idea about adding a few dusty ones at the top and will try and get that included in the painting.

    @Johanna-Kim Thanks for your comment. I still have a lot of work left to do on the photos and do want to push the narrative of their lives through them. You may be able to see some light sketches in some of them, but I will have to refrain from making them too detailed as they will be dimly lit. As for the bleakness, I completely agree that it's insanely bleak, I will look at adding another cat in the scene that is comforting the man in some way to balance it out a little.

    Thanks for the advice everyone!



  • I think I will call this one done. I don't have the time to keep working on it and it's at a level I am quite happy with 🙂 onto the next piece!! Thank you all for your critiques and advice and I'm sorry it's so still so bleak Johanna 😕

    0_1523433269808_Goodbye Grandma small 2.jpg



  • This looks awesome! I love the area above him with all the frames, and great job with the lighting!


  • SVS OG

    @gary-wilkinson haha, I really like this final illustration, even with its bleakness. It draws me in to wonder about the story behind this sad old man and his equally sad kitty, and it's beautifully rendered.



  • @gary-wilkinson This looks amazing. I really like the changes and it is sad and bleak but it's touching and has good storytelling, IMO. I like the other light being turned off now...cool symbolism.



  • Looks great! the lighting is working perfectly.


  • SVS OG

    @gary-wilkinson Love how it turned out, Gary!


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