Draw 25 Things WIP - Tinkersmith

  • SVS OG

    Hey all, I am trying the "Draw 50 things" challenge on easy mode and making an image with at least 25 unique objects. I chose a blacksmith's forge with some fantasy elements. (the characters are from a story I've been working on, the dwarf Rota works on enchanted objects for the Norse creatures and gods.) Here's a rough sketch for placement and values.

    • Does the image feel balanced?
    • The giant wolf is kind of in the center, does that bother anyone?
    • The right side is a little quiet as far as objects, should I add more things over there?


  • @carriecopa

    I like the quiet side, it is like a resting stop. I also didn't realise the wolf's head was in the middle until you made reference to it. I am not bothered by it because your wolf's eyes are mesmerised onto Rota your character to the left. There are a lot of nice elements that convey depth in this work which I really like.

    I had a second look at the back of the left side. I thought it was a hallway back further into the house and not a wall. It be interesting if it was a hallway back to another room.

    Looking forward to these ones, πŸ™‚ .

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    @heather-boyd The background on the left was something I wasn't totally satisfied with. Making it into a hallway might work well, I will try that! Then that area can be darker because the light from the forge won't hit it (which will help the main focus stand out more).

    Thank you for the suggestion!

  • With regard to the more stuff question: Remember that when you're doing a lot of detail in one area, less in the opposing area CAN make for some wonderful balance. To me, I think the WIP is great from a layout perspective (execution, as well lol). I'm looking forward to seeing the final piece for sure πŸ˜ƒ

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    @aaron-pierce You're right about balance! Maybe what's bugging me about the right side isn't the quantity of objects, but that they all seem about the same size (barrel, anvil, whetstone, giant helmet). I'm going to scribble some other layout ideas to see if there's a better solution. Will Terry's voice is telling me, "small, medium, huge!"

  • @carriecopa LOL! There ya go! Listen to Master Yoda -- I mean, Will! πŸ˜‰

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    Here's a revised sketch and values. Adding the hallway on the left gives the image much more depth, thanks @heather-boyd! Then I rearranged some things on the right and feel it's more balanced now. The anvil was in the bottom-center and now it points in from the bottom-right. Leaving the floor open along the bottom helps guide the eye around I think.


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    Here's a comparison of the value studies without lines. The revised one also reads a lot better I think. Though I'm not sure if I should have a lantern hanging on the left - I don't want another light source to compete with the forge.


  • This looks brilliant, i'm so looking forward to seeing it finished! The composition, characters and lighting it beautiful - maybe you're right about the lantern, a second light source might be too distracting?
    Your giant wolf character is just wonderful, I'd love to see more pieces of these two characters together πŸ˜ƒ

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    I love it! Just a suggestion, perhaps you can add a candle by your character’s side to illuminate his/her face. Your piece is lookinh great!

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    @nyrrylcadiz Yes, a candle might work better, thank you! That would be more subtle. The wolf can breathe fire (she keeps the forge hot) and I can just picture her comically trying to light a small thing like a candle.

    @hannahmccaffery My personal project is to make a graphic novel with these two characters! I've been writing tons of world-building and story ideas on notecards for the last year. This project is a sort of style/proof of concept for the idea. The story outline/script is next!

  • Moderator

    I really like this image. The only thing that’s tweaking my OCD is the idea that if this was a spread for a book then the awesome wolf would be right in the gutter. Just something to keep in mind in the future. πŸ™‚πŸ‘

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    @burvantill Yes, I am aware of that. If I was designing for a book I would have tried another layout. This is going to be a social media banner though.

  • The helmet is creating a tangent with the furnace and it makes that side a little confusing. At first, I thought the wolf's body was wrapped around the furnace. I was a little disappointed when I saw that it was not. You might consider that if you want to make the wolf's scale even larger. I love the drawing though. And the eyes make this a wonderfully interesting piece.

  • Moderator

    @carriecopa wonderful πŸ˜ƒ

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    @carriecopa I really love this image. As for the second lightsource. Your character is working on somthing on the table in front of here. Logically she would need some light to see what she's doing since her work will get no light from the furnace. A candle in front of her would do the trick of lighting her work, and will cast a nice glow on her face.
    Good luck, I'm looking forward to seeing your finished piece.

  • @carriecopa
    I remember several months ago Lee White critiqued one of my illustrations that contained two light sources. I don't remember all the reasons he gave to avoid it, but I do remember he suggested I not do that in the future because it does create issues that can weaken the illustration. I do like where you are going with this and, pardon me for reworking your layout, but what if you turned the tinkerer toward the wolf and used the fire as the only light source and let the left side become a lost edge into the darkness of the room?

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    @randy-smith this is brilliant! Having the tinkerer face into the illustration helps the eye flows around the image better too. And that gives me a little more table in the foreground to add more objects as well. I appreciate you taking time to show your idea visually, it helps a lot!

  • @carriecopa @Randy-Smith that works SO well with the tinkerer turned around, it's balanced the illustration out beautifully! Can't wait to see this in colour with that amazing wolf and lighting!

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    UPDATE: I have been struggling with this piece for months, never quite happy with the composition or what to do with the background. I recently finished the live class "Building Backgrounds" and decided to scrap the old drawing and redo it as a new composition. It might end up not having 25 things anymore, but I think that was the reason I had trouble - trying to cram in more unique stuff at the expense of the drawing. But I still learned a lot about adding more details/props into a drawing!

    Here's the last rendering of the old design, and the current sketch of the new composition. Does the new one work better?


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