Octopus Bath WIP

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    Hi everyone! I've lurked on the forum for last several months but this is my first time posting a sketch and looking for help. This is my idea for the February octopus contest theme. The girl is trying to hide the octopus in the bath without the rest of the family knowing. I know that if the basic drawing has flaws the final picture will be flawed and I need help to iron out the kinks early.

    I'm afraid of it being too busy and noisy but maybe some that fear can be tackled with the values. I'm also not sure if the perspective of the background looks right with the girl and octopus. I also tried to avoid tangents but l may have let some slip. Also, the line work won't be as thick for the final. I appreciate your thoughts!

    0_1518627650558_Octopus Sketch.jpg

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    i think its a great start, it doesn't feel to busy to me.

  • looking really good to me!

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    Thanks @Chip-Valecek and @bnewman for the feedback! I started doing a few color studies with it and noticed a few tangents I need to clean up with the Octopus arms that are not so obvious in the sketch.

  • Looking good! The interaction between the girl and the octopus is great and I feel that the boy at the door pulls the attention away slightly. If it was me I would probably add another shower curtain on the left to create more of a SURPRISE moment when the girl opens the curtain. Also i'm not so sure as to whether the octopus is attacking her or in shock. It seems as though he is pulling her closer towards him, but the look on his face seems to be more of a "this is a private moment and I didn't expect someone to walk in on me".

    EDIT: I completely missed the part in your description where you mentioned that she is trying to hide the octopus so ignore most of my comments! In that case maybe a shower curtain on the left wouldnt work, but if the story allows it, not having the brother at the door would create more tension and maybe even add in an approaching shadow. I will slap myself on the wrist for not reading carefully!

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    @jon-anderson Such a good idea and start, Jon. I like the action of this composition. I think the idea of the girl trying to hide the octopus could be made more clear. Right now, she seems to be struggling more than concealing. And her little brother's expression pulls my eye a bit too much from the main action.

    Some ideas:
    I like Gary's idea of adding another shower curtain on the left side.
    The girl could be trying to keep the door from opening all the way by shoving her foot out against it as it's starting to open.
    Her little brother could still be behind the door, or just pausing outside the bathroom as he hears some commotion but has not seen the octopus yet.
    She could be turning slightly towards the door as it's opening and trying to pull the curtain closed.

    Hope this helps. Looking forward to see your final illo.

    Johanna Kim

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    Thank you @Gary-Wilkinson and @Johanna-Kim for taking the time to offer your input. I'm going to work on that left side to try and ease the distraction a bit and narrow down on the focal point more.

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    Thank you guys for the great suggestions. I refined the line work, corrected the tangents I noticed and added the curtain on the left side. I agree that it helps to frame the piece. I also reworked the little brother and tried to make him smaller so that he isn't pulling too much attention. I intend to keep him mostly in shadow but if it still doesn't work by that point I'll pull him out. I'm going to toy around with splash effects or an overflowing tub next but I wanted to get some feedback on the progress so far. Critiques welcome!

    0_1519148316890_Octopus Line.jpg

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    Really fun picture! I think it was a good idea to make the brother smaller and in the background. I like the original octopus head better, though. This new one looks more like an alien to me, kind of bony with a large skull. The first octopus was nice and squishy 🙂

    You'll have fun with the splashing water. An unruly octopus this large would make a mess! (Should the girl be dripping water?) Great story with this one!

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    @kat Thanks for the feedback! I am going to have water dripping from the girl and other areas throughout the room. I wasn't sure about the new direction of the octopus head but your description and contrast between the two has me set on reverting it back.

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    My laptop randomly restarted while working on the picture and though I had saved but a few moments before photoshop claims the file is corrupt and gave me the dreaded "unexpected end-of-file" and will not open the file in any way. The thumbnail still shows up and this is the low resolution picture from my phone.

    This is the first time I've hit this problem so I'm taking my lumps and while I'm torn up about it I'm thankful it wasn't directly for a client due today. Though this has me considering an iPad Pro and procreate even more I'm curious if this is an HP, Windows, or Photoshop problem and does the iPad have similar issues of it's own?


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    @jon-anderson I feel your pain! It used to happen to me when I used Corel Painter on a PC. Fortunately, I can say I've never had this problem with Procreate. Just to make sure, I airdrop my Procreate files regularly to my Mac as backup but I've been using Procreate for several years now (on an iPad and now on an iPad Pro) and haven't had any losses. I hope you can recreate the painting because I really liked it.

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    @demotlj Thank you for the encouragement. I'm debating whether to fork over for an iPad Pro or try to teach myself a traditional medium. As an artist which size iPad do you prefer?

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    @jon-anderson With the caveat that I don't know if I can legitimately claim the descriptor "artist" 🙂 I bought the 12.9 iPad Pro six months ago and love it. I worked on the normal size iPad for two years before that and it was OK but I definitely like the extra area to work in. It would be hard to go back.

  • @jon-anderson THat completely sucks. Sorry! I also really liked the piece

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    @jon-anderson Oh no!!! I'm so sorry this happened to you. Even with the lo-res screenshot, I can tell that it was a terrific illo. This, too, has happened to me at least once so I feel your pain, which is why I'm constantly working both digitally and traditionally, just so I have options. Plus, I've got at least 2 back up systems in place, and am constantly making versions of my work. These situations make you extra careful and paranoid, in a good way.

  • Oh dear! This has happened to me once before. I was never able to resolve the issue, and now I make sure to save onto a back up file periodically for important pieces.

  • Such a shame to hear that @Jon-Anderson it was looking awesome. I always end with about 10-20 save files by the end of my painting, it has saved me a few times when I had issues such as yours.

    Are your files set to be restored from a previous state? The newer windows backs up files so that they can be recovered sometimes. It might be worth check that out to see if it can be saved

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    @gary-wilkinson I haven't tried but read a forum post somewhere saying that pertains to windows files and not personal files. I'll try to look into more. It's worth a shot.

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    Thanks everyone for the kind words. I usually have to learn things the hard way and saving to multiple places is my lesson for today.

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