Need some help with how to paint a character that is a memory (idk how else to word it)

  • @johnmk I actually think that is a very good idea.

  • @Eric-Castleman another small tweak... if the leaves overlap the photo it looks like it's been blown away by the wind, sort of a lost and discarded photo which adds another layer of meaning to the image

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  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @eric-castleman that is amazing, I am so excited for you! I can't wait to see what you do for them!

  • SVS Instructor Pro

    Debated writing this as you described the Highlights project as your first professional job (Congratulations!) and this topic is a pretty big deviation from your original post, but I know that SVS is not a place to train amateurs but rather professionals.

    With that in mind I'd like to offer a suggestion regarding the contract for this project. If you've already signed and sent back the contract, no worries, just keep the following in mind for the next project. If you haven't yet signed the contract I'd suggest that you check carefully the section that covers "Rights Licensed" or "Copyright licensed".

    My experience with Highlights is that Highlights "buys all rights" as part of their "boilerplate" contract. This means that you are signing an "All Rights" contract. That means that Highlights pays you once for all rights associated with your copyright and then they can reuse the image over and over again, even sub-licensing it to a different company (and Highlights gets paid for the sub-license) without ever paying you again. Highlights has ability to do that for as long as copyright protection lasts on that piece.

    I would suggest that you always try to negotiate a copyright license that leaves the control of your copyrights with you rather than the client. The idea is that you will build up a bank of images over your career that can generate passive revenue streams. Basically if a client (in this case Highlights) decides they would like to reuse your work in another issue, or in one of their other magazines or book publishing venues, it is quite easy for them to contact you to do so. And I imagine you'd be more than happy to make the same image available again for an additional licensing fee. ( I always enjoy getting contacted to relicense an image I've already created!)

    Now, I have no illusions that you are going to try and aggressively negotiate with Highlights on this first project. I know I didn't try and change a thing on my first professional illustration assignment. I simply wanted to let you know what was possible, and in fact standard for most professional illustrators. As soon as you are comfortable don't be shy about asking for better contract terms. If you never ask they will never be offered.

    I wish you good luck with the project!

  • SVS OG

    @eric-castleman congrats on the Highlights job! That is so exciting!

    I think the photograph idea makes the idea of the piece much more clear.

  • @davidhohn wow, thanks for the great information. Since I am not with an agent, and the work came to me directly, I thought back to your talk on the agent Third Thursday, and somewhat wondered if that might be a better path. I know that agents do get a cut of your work even if you get it outside of them giving it to you, which is a bit strange.

    Anywho, at the moment, I have a deadline, and am still waiting on them to send me the contract. I was a bit worried about this, and reached out to another illustrator on if this is normal, and they said it is par for the course. So, in this situation, it seems harder to be in the middle of the work, and the deadline getting closer, for me to try to ask for certain changes. However, I will read over it, and get back to you on the details. I am really fascinated as to how you are able to contract work without an agent so easily. I am sure it has to do with reputation that you have built over the years.

  • SVS Instructor Pro

    @Eric-Castleman You bring up some interesting discussion points that I'd be happy to go into more detail on. I got thoughts on this business stuff! But this is so off topic from your original posting that it might be better to start a new discussion.

  • been working on this in my little bit of free time. Is this working?


  • Excellent, Eric. Although I'd increase the contrast between the photo and the background, maybe make the photo more monochrome or sepia or faded.

    Also I've noticed how high up the swing is from the ground, perhaps lower the swing and add a branch to the tree then attach the ropes (although that may screw up your composition).

    Oh and slightly overlap the leaves to give it more depth.

    Second Oh, the boy on the swing and the women are on the same angle, remember KILL all tangents without prejudice

  • This is kind of ironic since I only have a vague memory of it, but the best depiction of memories I've seen in illustration is Violent Cases by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean. Very inspiring how everything was kind of blurry and distorted and kept changing as the narrator tried to recall different details.

  • Wow, beautiful. Maybe give the photo a bit of a twist or a corner curling to make it feel more naturally like it's blowing in the wind? I think if it doesn't line up with the house perfectly it might be ok, and perhaps even more believable. I know you've done a lot of iterations of this work based on suggestions, so there has to be some point when you feel finished with it, even though other brains have more ideas. If you're still going though, there's my idea to throw into the pot.

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