Critique: thumbnail & composition

  • Hi guys!

    I'm still very much new here and this is my first time asking for critique. I'm currently following the Composition class by Will Terry. Just before I joined SVS I started a new idea for a painting in my sketchbook and I made a thumbnail beforehand (I already learned to make some more moving forward, haha).

    I then went on to create the larger sketch, which in the end I will transfer/digitize to create a finished piece.

    The composition is not sitting very well with me. When I look at the examples in Will's course I can understand the critiques on some of the example compositions. When it's pointed out to me, I can see the flaws. I have a hard time detecting composition flaws in my own work, I just have a feeling that something is off. So maybe you like to have a look with me? I'm planning to create new thumbnails and start over.

    The concept for the drawing: The little animals are lending a hand changing the seasons from Autumn to Winter. It's a "practice" piece for which I intend to sell the final result as an art print in my Etsy shop. The thumbnail is pictured on the left. Sorry for the low quality image, it was dark and taken with my iPhone :smiling_face_with_open_mouth_cold_sweat: Note: more animals will be added, hanging little lights on the tree.

    Thank you!



  • I love your art! That is the cutest raccoon ever.

    I think from the smaller thumbnail and the design the tiny raccoon is the main focus of the image but the characters on the right, mainly the squirrel guy are competing to be the center of attention. I think if squirrel guy was looking at raccoon and maybe the string of lights connected them so they were interacting that they would feel more united visually. Or you could subordinate little squirrel guy using value arrangements.

    The bunnies and leaf burrowing character definitely seem more subordinate in the image. I just think there may be a bit of confusion in the subject between the characters in the tree.

    Depends what you are going for though. 🙂 Can't wait to see what it looks like finished. Super cute.

  • SVS OG

    I like how your thumbnail for it's eye movement. I see the racoon first, followed by the falling leaves, on to the bunny & the heap of leaves, leading to the ladder and then to the tree itself.

    Is the focus of the design the decorated tree, or the animals helping with the decoration? If it's the animals, I suggest having one animal in greater contrast & focus & let the other animals be secondary & tertiary.

    I think it's a good call to include more of the tree as seen in the bigger sketch. It will look great with all the tiny Christmas lights 🙂
    Maybe you could keep the ladder in the same angle and direction as in the thumbnail & compose animals on it helping with the decor.

    It is a very enjoyable piece visually. I look forward to it!

  • @thiskatecreates Thanks so much! That is very clarifying and exactly what I'm not able to pinpoint yet myself!

  • @darian Thank you! The focus will be on the animals indeed so thank you for the pointers!
    The eye movement is something I haven't mastered yet, at least not deliberately so I'm glad this is incorporated in the piece. I wish I could plan that with a vision beforehand, and I hope to learn that in the course.

    I will try to change the focus like you suggested with secondary and tertiary animals. I hope I'm able to, but I will practice! 😃

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