Personal Project - Looking for opinions



  • Decided to challenge myself and make a children's book for a project (instead of a portfolio as Will Terry would say). I can't go through the whole story, but in this scene the main character is searching for the right animal to help her with something. The animals focused on in this scene are a fox and deer (the little yellow things around her head are her little bird pals). What do you think of the style and execution? Is there anything not too major that you would alter or adjust.

    0_1521430389136_5-1 mother and Deersm.jpg



  • @gary-wilkinson Gary, that's a smart challenge. The style and execution is very appealing. Love the rich colors, light and dark contrast, composition. The little old lady looks quite sweet, and I like the deer's silhouette. My main concern is how small some details are: the lady's spectacles, her eyes, the birds, the fox's eyes--even when I zoom in, I find it challenging to see. You're off to great start. Can't wait to see more of your work.



  • I really do like the bright colors and the style. Please don't be offended by my opinion on the illustration, my intention is to be helpful with every word I am saying.

    1. The old lady is very cute, however I only realized she's an old lady after reading your description about the character. Maybe her freckles make her look younger. Also, it took me a few seconds to realize that she has glasses on her nose. I would maybe change the color of her dress as it is very similar to the color of the grass (maybe I am wrong). The red apron gets your attention instantly, I love it.
    2. The focal point of the image is the old lady, so I would think that she is the main character in this scene, not the animals. Both of them are cute, however I think that the deer is too big and dark to be occupying the biggest part of the illustration. Since it is in the shadows and doesn't face the audience I would have said that he is a secondary character. I may also be wrong, as I didn't see the text.
      Overall, I love it and would buy a book with that style ๐Ÿ™‚


  • @gary-wilkinson Love the texture you are getting here. Feels so soft and welcoming. I agree with the comments from @Orsi about the glasses on the old lady. I did not read them right away as glasses. I am excited to see more if you are willing to post them.



  • Thank you so much for everyone providing their critiques, it's really helpful. I hope I can explain a few of the choice I made but there are a few of the comments I agree need changing or adjust, so thank you for your help ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

    @Johanna-Kim Completely agree about the size of some of the details. I think the little birds need increasing a bit, however the fox's eyes would be hidden by shadow anyhow (do you think the fox's eyes should have more visibility?) As for the eyes and glass, I agree they should be punched up a bit more, but the character has little glasses that hang on her nose, so i'm a little worried about changing the design by making them bigger. Actually I should have mentioned, but in this scene and a couple of others that have her more in the background I wanted to simplify her form a little more than her usual appearance, this is because this illustration wont be a full page one, it will be part of a page that has 2 images to show her traveling around the forest.

    @Orsi No offense taken at all. I always appreciate the advice and views of others. In terms of the old lady looking not very old, the preceding pages will hopefully show her in more detail to cement her character as an old lady. As I mentioned to Johanna, the character will have more detail in other images, but as this one will be a smaller image I chose to simplify some of the forms.

    The reason for the green dress was to help emphasize the red apron, but I see what you mean and i'll have a look at adjusting it a bit, thanks!

    In this scene, the text talks about her looking for an animal to help her and says something like, "she saw foxes and deer, moose and chipmunks, cows and pigs." The moose and chipmunk image will be slightly similar to this and the cow and pig one will be a full page image that will have the pig highlighted with light so show him as a main character. The other animals are not so important to the story, which is why I wanted them to have minimal detail and put the emphasis on the lady who is looking for the right one. The deer is pretty big, but that was done more for the composition of the painting.

    @Chip-Valecek It seems the glasses are proving to be a bit of an issue ๐Ÿ˜› I'll play around with them to see if I can make them more spectacle like, but do you think if you saw her with glasses in a previous scene you would just presume they are glasses in this one without thought?



  • @gary-wilkinson Yes I would assume that without second thought if I saw a close up before this one. It just took a little to tell in this photo that they were glasses.



  • @gary-wilkinson To your question about the fox's eyes, I would like to see them more, or have some other indication, perhaps with body language, as to what emotion it's having when it stares at the woman. When I see 3 characters like this, I want to understand how they're relating to each other. The woman seems hopeful, surprised, expectant or perhaps scared. The fox, with its hooded eyes, seems suspicious of the woman, and it's body language seems relaxed or expectant. The deer with it's back to us and in this pose could be anything, but having experienced deer firsthand, I assume it's startled or scared. I almost forgot the birds--they seem so at ease with the woman that my sense is that she's an animal lover and probably cares for those birds.



  • Good point about the fox, it does look a bit too suspicious, I will try and work on it's relation in the scene a bit more. Everything should be quite friendly in this story and I want the animals to have more of a "ooo what's that!" feeling as she passes by. The deer is suppose to be a little startled, but should shouldn't be afraid.

    The birds will be in most scenes that the old lady is in, they aren't important, but I feel they help support her character as a nature lover. They are kind of like the small animal creatures in Disney movies, who don't speak, but do cute little things slightly off view.



  • @gary-wilkinson I also had trouble with the spectacles, but I don't think it is a size or shape issue. They look opaque and I think that is what makes them hard to grasp. I love the colors of this piece, and the flow of curved lines. Maybe a hint of the fox's eyes, or you can make his eyes look a bit more inquisitive - he looks a bit like he's thinking of eating the lady. And I love the translucency of the deer's ears, nice touch. Your lighting is beautiful.