Hello, I'm new here!

  • I just discovered this forum today and I browsed for a bit before registering and I have to say, I feel very intimidated. Everyone's art is so good and polished!

    So I am a very new children's book illustrator, 24 years old. I have dreamed about it for some years now but didn't have the time and didn't know how to start. I have no formal training in art or graphic design or anything. However I have done a number of paintings in the past as a hobby and in high school.

    So even though I have no technical skills in my past to propel me forward, I am determined to learn more about illustration and become at least a decent illustrator. I now have the time, as I have chosen to focus on this full time.

    Okay so somehow, by God's will, I am currently under contract (for not much money) illustrating a children's book. The author found me on instagram and contacted me and we have been working on the book for almost 2 months now.

    I am grateful for this learning experience, but I am unhappy with my art. On almost every page, when I submit the art to him, he comes back with the comment that the character does not look consistent. I am having so much trouble with this. I don't know how to make the faces look like the same person, age, etc. It's really disheartening me.

    The other thing I am having trouble with is, and I have had trouble with this for a long time and have read and watched a lot of resources about this but I can't seem to improve--is making the art have a harmonious and appealing color scheme. When I finish my pages, I don't love them and they don't draw me in like I want.

    Anyway, I am so glad that I think I have found a community that can maybe help me.

  • Pro SVS OG

    Welcome, don't feel intimidated this is a very safe, supportive place to grow as an artist. Congratulations on your book contract! You are going to love it here!

  • @tazzyartist Welcome, this is a great community! I am sure you will find help and support. Congratulations on the picture book!

    There are a lot of tutorials that come up on YouTube when you put in "character consistency" I haven't watched them (yet!) but maybe something there would help. This is something so many of us struggle with!

  • Okay so here is the character sketch I made at the beginning that he liked, so I have been trying to work off of this for the other drawings. She is a 6-7 year old girl who is having a conflict with her ponytail.


    And here are a couple of pages that I have had trouble with.


    The last one I am still playing with which is why it has that flaw by her face.

  • @eli Thank you! I have put "character consistency" into google and didn't come up with very many helpful results. I will definitely have to look through the videos and get some tips that way

  • @tazzyartist Good luck! Let me know if you find some good ones--I need them! Ha! For what it's worth, I think your character looks quite consistent.

  • @tazzyartist also you have to just filter out all the ones on youtube that are "consistency builds character" ha ha, (though I am sure it wouldn't hurt me to watch those as well)

  • SVS OG

    @tazzyartist These are great!! They also look consistent to me - The first painting with the swatches looks a bit younger then the other three but the other three do look very consistent to me - welcome to the forum πŸ™‚

  • SVS OG

    For what it’s worth, I also think your character looks consistent. When I’m doing a new character, I not only do the recommended model sheets, I also draw them in lots of strange scenea that have nothing to do with the story - going to a ball game, canoeing, eating pizza β€” as many silly sketches as I can think of so that I’ve drawn them tons of times from different angles in scenes I don’t ultimately care about. In doing that, it’s like I get to know them so well I can see when they look like themselves.

  • SVS OG

    Hey your characters great. You might like this warmer skin tone for your character. It's just a thought though. πŸ™‚0_1521835029760_1521829402533-ponytailsketchv8small-resized.jpg

  • Thank you all @Jason-Bowen @demotlj @Kevin-Longueil , your feedback helps a lot! I like the warm skin tone too and I suggested something similar but the author liked the more yellow skin tone for this character.

  • SVS OG

    I also think your pictures look consistent. It looks great. Some people are just more particular, it seems. Congratulations on illustrating a book! I think that all illustrators get their work tweaked through the process from what I understand so, you are getting a taste of it (maybe more than you need though....I did a couple of illustrations for a man once that picked at everything and I only got paid $20 in the end. Mine wasn't as good as yours but it was much better than the illustration he was trying to have redone. You'll find so many helpful and talented people on this forum to help you! The videos are really good too.

  • SVS OG

    @tazzyartist The right arm and hand look awkward somehow. I can't figure it out though. Maybe it's just me.

  • SVS OG

    @demotlj I'm curious what you mean by the suggested model sheets. I'd like to knwo a bit more about that.

  • wow..your character looks very consistent to my eye.. I think she's adorable. I'm also working on the second only ever but the art director is very easy to work with. Maybe getting 'broke in' with someone who is a task master is better! πŸ™‚ My little tweak might be as @Marsha-Kay-Ottum-Owen pointed out and now that I see it, I think..are they hair strands? look like hand creases which makes the hand look twisted. Maybe just making the strands a bit thicker would help..not sure. Good luck!

  • SVS OG

    @marsha-kay-ottum-owen Model sheets are poses of a character from all angles, that you do before you start illustrating in order to figure out what your character will look like from the front, side, and back and then you use those as references in future drawings. Sometimes they also include side by side comparisons with other characters so that you keep the size relationship consistent. Animators use them and often will show draw through lines to break down the form and shapes used to build the characters so you can construct them the same each time.

  • SVS OG

    @demotlj Oh, okay. That's a good plan. I need to work a lot harder πŸ™‚

  • SVS OG

    @tazzyartist The customer is always right πŸ˜‰

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