My Slowvember (WIP)

  • This is the longest I have worked on any image since joining SVS. It is somewhat a weird mental challenge for me to not stay on a weekly schedule, because I feel like I might fall out of my comfort zone. I usually have a scheduled process, which divides different phases throughout the week, and I create due dates for myself. I’ve noticed that this process for me since joining SVS has produced good results, kinda like a workout routine. However, with Slowvember being the goal I have broken my schedule, and now where i would be on my third day, I am two weeks in. Here has been my process

    Here is the thumbnail I made. I only care about placement and very basic values. I just want to see if the shapes are interesting and the lighting creates a good mood that I can glare at and see somewhat of some potential.

    From here I moved onto a more strict value drawing.

    Once I decided that it was working, I moved into the drawing phase. This is where I lean more towards Lee White in his preperation even though my style is much different. I really just want to know how the shapes will be, and make sure that there are no tangents.

    Then to the final drawing. I moved away from having the characters in this image, and have gone a different way. I sometimes don’t even think about what is going on in my images until late in the process for some reason.

    Then I checked my values again to make sure they still work on this scale

    I didn’t go to finish in that last value drawing, because I felt like I had what I wanted.

    So my next step is to start a value drawing in a color scale. I think of this like the main key a song is in, then when I color it I am going to just lightly drape the colors I want over the main color to create some color relationship. I learned this from watching Will Terry’s painting with acrylics.




    And this is where I am at atm. I am still in the value stage, and have yet to really apply focus, color, characters etc. I will keep updating as I go.

    Critiques welcomed

  • Your piece looks great! And thank you for posting your step-by-step process--I learned a lot from seeing that! (some of us are still working on having discipline and a process instead of just an explosion of enthusiasm and art supplies! Ha! Ha!)

  • Glad you liked the post. For me when I joined SVS I was very lost, but slowly over time started to pick up on the steps. Once I figured that out it became easier and easier. The steps as I see them and where I learned them are:

    1-Thumbnails - Creative Composition class
    2- value thumbnails - lighting for picture books (I think that is what it is called)
    3- Drawing - how to draw everything/creative envirements/ postering characters (as well as watching Lee White’s process of going from the drawing stage to final)
    4- color value - painting in acrylics with Will Terry
    5- coloring the image - color classes/ lighting.

    Between each of these I have just watched the teachers do their thing in different videos and have pretty much stolen their process to some extent.

  • Going darker


  • I’ve been super sick, so I am just now getting back to this. Here is somewhat of a color and texture test run. I love using watercolor scans to relay distance, and sometimes it gives a nice relationship to different shapes, but much of it is me just trying things in a chaotic way until something pops out at me. This still isn’t fully working imho, but I do like the lighting from some sort of object in the foreground. It somewhat sets the scene, so I most likely will go with that.


  • @eric-castleman Coming along nicely and interesting to see your process. Glad you're feeling better 🙂

  • SVS OG

    @eric-castleman It looks really nice, Eric! Love the light and reflections.

  • SVS OG

    @eric-castleman Really nice Eric!

  • So I gave up on my slowvember tonight. After weeks of work on it, and reworking in numerous times, even going as far as trashing about 30 hours of work and starting over, I just can’t get it to work. The design is bad, and I can’t rescue it. This is one of the big problems I have with my art. I worry that if I ever get a gig, I won’t be able to see the problems with an image until it is too late. Anywho. Tired of being frustrated and coming back to an image I just can’t work out. I need to start on something new to get my mojo back.

  • SVS OG

    @eric-castleman Or maybe you are just getting so much better that you notice every flaw imagineable. I don't think you should give up on it but turn it in. It's really nice, Eric! It's so discouraging sometimes when you can't get things perfect after hours of work! It's better than you think! Don't stop! Finish and then move on. Turn it in.

  • @eric-castleman but its almost done! All u need is one small something to focus on. Something hiding behind tree? Or just leave for another time, cause maybe in few weeks you will have a simple idea how to use it. Its a nice scene

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    I think you should stick with it. I really like it you really hit that cool feel with a touch of warmth, not many pull that off. Will Terry is great at it and I feel you also get that with your piece.

  • Keep going! It's lovely. I'm learning that feeling is part and parcel to being an artist. Sometimes we have to walk away from a piece, but come back with fresh eyes.

  • @eric-castleman I know the feeling Eric. I'm considering trashing mine as well. As for your piece, I think the design is good. Love the bunnies! I'm wondering if you just crop the image. Try cropping out the dark tree on the right hand side, making the bunnies more prominent and what they are looking at. Hope this helps 🙂

  • @Marsha-Kay-Ottum-Owen @aska @Chip-Valecek @Elaine-B @Laurel-Aylesworth

    Thank you all for the encouragement. I’ll finish it for you all 😉 I might change it up a bit though

  • @eric-castleman Please do finish it - some of us are watching and love what you have so far, even if we haven't had anything useful to contribute. What Marsha and Laurel said - maybe you just need some time away from it. Don't worry about Slowvember, but please do finish it!

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    Eric, you are doing great! Let's get something you are happy with. I will work with you on this. I'll get back to you tomorrow with some suggestions...

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    Some of you guys who are talking about trashing your images are running into the problem with REALLY finishing an image. That is where the difficulty of this project lies! What I tell my students is that it "gives you enough rope to hang yourself with!".

    When doing a quick sketch, it's easy because it doesn't have to be good. But slowing down takes effort. You have to really know your tendencies and what you are going for in a piece. It will show you how good are at the moment. Some problems people run into: That hand that you always indicate in a quick sketch now needs to actually be figured out! Those values really need to work! What is the real level of finish you want to go to.

    Fear not! Your feelings are normal. My big suggestion is to have a couple of pieces going at the same time. That way you don't hyper focus. Make sure you understand what you really want out of the piece and that will continue to drive the image.

    In Eric's case, It seems there wasn't actually a concept which might be the culprit of not knowing where to go with it. Since there isn't an overall goal for the image, it's not telling you what it wants. We can fix that though!

    As Mel Milton says, keep on keeping' on! : )

  • Thanks for all the encouragement everyone!! I really do appreciate it. A year and a half ago when I signed up for SVS I had no clue about that I was such a emotional weirdo when it comes to my art. Not until I started taking it seriously did I start to go through so many ups and downs.

    With that said here is the basic concept for the piece now. It may seem like it is on a similar track as before, but what I had done to it since showing everyone last was add in some elf luke characters that just didn’t look right, and the mountains and clouds just weren’t working. No matter how many times I reworked them, it just seemed off. So after starting back up a couple nights ago, and with the idea in my head to dedicate this to the SVS forums, I thought the rabbit theme was a good idea which somewhat represent the mascot of SVS, and I wanted it to reflect some sort of colloboration from a team, and those looking on to see if what I was working on could be finished. So, this is just the monochrome value, and the color is what I am starting on right now.


  • Here is a very rough idea of where I am going with this. Any changes anyone can throw out there Would be appreciated.


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