• SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    Hey everyone,

    I hope you are enjoying the holidays and getting ready for the new year. I always love this time of year because we get to wrap up the year and start thinking about what we might want to accomplish next year. This is why we don't run a new contest in December. I like to advise students to take a step back and look at the year and see what successes you had and where things could have improved.

    I know my situation was insane in 2018 with selling a house and moving across the country. I'm still not up to full speed and things are still in boxes. I am glad that is behind me and I can focus a bit more on art and writing again. So this month I'm going through the pains to get my studio totally set up and how I like it. Throw away or sell stuff I don't need and start planning for January. Planning time is well worth it and we probably need to do more of it! : )

    Ok, on to the contest this month. Slow was an interesting topic and I wanted to see how you guys handled it. I got a LOT of turtles and snails which I like because they are such interesting little creatures. . I also got some great scenes where things are just chillin' and time is going by. All in all some really cool stuff!

    Here's the ones that stood out to me:

    1st place: @NelliA
    I want to acknowledge this artist, but no name on the image! I'll update once I have that info. This image was my favorite of the turtle/snail images because of the creative flourishes. The presents on the back of the turtle and the ornaments on the deer are so nice and the palette is soft and inviting. very well done image in a modern style. Great work!


    2nd Place: Sarah LuAnne Perkins

    Sarah nailed this illustration with a cool woodcut style. I really loved this interpretation of the theme because it reminds of the old classic folktales where someone is forced to do something like make hats all day. Typically by a mean troll or gremlin or something. I sat with this one a while and asked myself why does it remind me of that versus looking like a serene scene where a young lady is making hats and wants to be there. So I looked at the darker tones, the muted palette, the way she is hunched over like this task is heavy on her shoulders and that is why it seems like a curse instead of a joyful practice. Am I right? I have no idea! But these are the things that lead your viewer to make a judgement on what is happening in a scene. So you need to think carefully about the choices you make.


    3rd Place: @Squirrelsize
    I really dig this color palette and the graphic treatment of the subject matter. Not a ton of story going on there, but those trucks are so classic and I liked the homage to the old advertisements that used this particular style. I could see this image on the side of a crate of oranges or something from the 50's. Really cool!

    Honorable Mentions (in no particular order)!

    - A. Newman: Beautiful painting and lovely composition. Love the texture too!

    - Ashley Moore (@artwithashley ): Not sure what is slow about this piece, but I am loving the photo/paint/sculpt style going on here. I want to highly encourage Ashley to keep it up. This is a great look and a full portfolio of work like this could get you some work I bet.

    • Kristin Wauson: This image is so touching and I love the contrast of expressions on the characters. Maybe pull a little of that black line out of the background trees to reduce contrast and interest back there. Your characters are so strong I don't want anything pulling attention away from them. 0_1543954373183_05.jpg

      @rotub: This image makes me really want to know more about the story. I love that we have an older guy dealing with a bunch of clocks which makes me think he's trying to manipulate time or something (back to the future?!). Great looking style that I would LOVE to see in a graphic novel

      @Johanna Kim: Gorgeous work here! The blue palette is an interesting choice that is working quite well here.


    @JDRpictures : I'm not totally sure what this ol' bear is doing, but with painting like this, I don't need to know exactly what is happening.This one has a classic sensibility and is painted quite well. Great work!

    OK guys, that is going to do it for this year. I really appreciate all your hard work entering these contests and hope it has paid off for you in building your portfolio. Even if you didn't win or make the top of the list, using the prompts is a way to get good and work on a something with a focused theme. Do not judge yourself too much here because I am not the be-all-end-all critic. If someone else judged these contests it would be a totally different set of winners. The point is to make work we are proud of and challenge ourselves each month. So keep it up!!!

    One of my favorite things about this contest is how you guys root for each other and try to help each piece get better. Even when those illustrations you are helping in the forum will be pitted against an image you are entering! That is more telling than anything to me. That we are all in this together and we have to keep encouraging each other despite our individual wins and losses. I'm very proud of the community we have built here and you guys are a shining example of how a community is supposed to act. We make each member stronger than they could ever be on their own.

    I wish you all a happy holiday and will see you again with a new contest in January! : )


  • SVS OG

    Wow, thanks! I think I may just have to accept that I’ll always come in second for SVS competitions... but since I would have made the same choice for the first place position I am happy to be behind such a beautiful piece. We need to get a name to go with that gorgeous image!

    And thank you, @Lee-White for running this contest. It has been a very fun way to get involved and be creative.

    By the way, your impressions about my piece with the hats are actually pretty spot on when you think about the story I was illustrating—Howls Moving Castle, which deliberately plays around with fairy tale tropes. So I am very glad you got that vibe!

  • Such great stuff from everyone! Congrats to the winners and thank you so much for your feedback @Lee-White. I have been looking at those trees and trying to figure out what is bothering me about them and I think you nailed it. It felt great to finish something this month! It has been too long.

  • Congrats everyone!

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    Congrats everyone! And @Lee-White you nailed how well this community works together and supports each other.

  • SVS OG

    Congratulations everyone! It was all beautiful work, and I learned a lot from your pieces. I also agree with @Lee-White about the community. I strayed to another online art forum recently and was saddened to see the blunt opinions and disregard for other contributors in the postings. This forum is an amazing bright spot in the too often brutal cyberspace.

  • SVS OG

    Congratulations @Sarah-LuAnn @Squirrelsize and to all the honorable mentions! Your pieces are really beautiful. Happy Holidays!

  • SVS OG

    Congrats guys! Magical work! As for the first place... there are so many happy little treasures in the entire piece. So beautiful. @Sarah-LuAnn , but she still seems pleased with her work, as grueling as it is. Which is still nice. @Squirrelsize - we all know I liked it so much I bought the shirt! Ha!

  • Oh Wow, This has totally made my day! Congrats to everyone who entered this month and happy holidays!

  • Awesome work everyone!

    It's always cool when the prompt is very open to interpretation.

  • Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry! @Jon-Anderson tried to help me out but being such a newbie and english-challenged (third language) I totally missed the bus on the name thing 😃 I've learned a lot on this forum and by listening to the podcast, so really very very happy about this, thank you @Lee-White for these competitions.

    @Sarah-LuAnn Loved your piece and I agree with all the comments praising this community. Such good vibes all around.

  • SVS OG

    Congrats to all the winners (@nellia , @Sarah-LuAnn, @Squirrelsize), honorable mentions, and all the artists that contributed last month even though we're all likely extra busy with family stuff and the holidays. Re: the SVSLearn forum community, I am grateful to be a part of this supportive, generous and knowledge-sharing online community.

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    @nellia I will fix the post now and add your name. Great work!

  • congratulations everyone! I love all the entries!

  • Congratulations to the winners and all the others who submitted! I'm always amazed how good and versatile the entries are. Keep up the good work!

  • Pro SVS OG

    Congratulations to all, beautiful work

  • Thank you for the honourable mention and congrats to everyone else 🙂

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