Love WIP

  • Moderator

    Hi Everyone, here is my wip for the "love" prompt. It's two seagulls on top of a trash heap with smoke stacks in the distance. I am toying with the idea of having the smoke from the smoke stacks form a a subtle heart, or with the idea of putting a heart shaped box under the girl seagull's foot - something to push the theme a little more. Also may add some clouds. Trying to choose which style of seagull to go with, 1 or 2. Any advice or critiques are appreciated!


  • @inkandspatter I like the expression of the male seagull in the second one. It is definitely a more intense gaze instead of a star struck gaze. πŸ™‚ Just ensure the female gull eye is looking at him instead of the sky (which it sort of looks like).

  • Moderator

    @Heather-Boyd Thanks for the tip on the eye, I missed that!

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @inkandspatter I also like the second. I think the heart in the sky would be great.

  • I "third" the second seagull expression.

    I also like the idea of having the smokestacks and heart shaped box.

    Overall, a really fun piece, thanks for sharing.

  • Moderator

    So here are my refined sketches. I removed the smokestacks and tried to really refine and simplify my composition. I am happy with where I am at with it now, but could use some fresh eyes and critiques!

    The one thing I am still struggling with is which seagull characters to use. So far everyone has said the second, and I do really like the second, but the problem is that I feel like the first suit the tone of the composition much better. The simple design and somewhat dumb look on the seagulls in comp 1, suits what I picture as the final composition - a green/blue tinged smoggy atmosphere. The seagulls in comp one seem like they should be in a park or on a beach. But - I do like the look. Now I am really torn. Thoughts?


  • SVS OG

    @inkandspatter I understand what you are saying but I think the second one reads better as one seagull giving another a token of love. In the first one, the goofiness makes the seagulls look as if they themselves are unclear about what is happening, or as if they are taken aback by the whole thing. That may be what you are going far but I like the second one because of the incongruity between human love and seagull love. In the second one, the seriousness with which both gulls are taking the interaction is for me a funny contrast to the fact that the gift is fish bones and the "romantic setting" is a dump.

  • I like the emotion conveyed by number 2. πŸ™‚ The first one doesn't strike me as conveying "I love you" as much, so it isn't quite as funny. Really amazing concept... thanks for sharing the process!

  • I agree, the second one conveys that seagull is intentionally giving a gift. The first one with the goofy eyes looks like he is just holding the fish. You can't tell what he is thinking.
    The drawings look great! I'm excited to see what it will look like in color!

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    I am also for the second one. The first one he does not seem to be as focused on her as the second. Looking forward to seeing this one colored.

  • Moderator

    @demotlj @KathrynAdebayo @cbrocke @Chip-Valecek Not what I was hoping to hear πŸ™, but thanks guys, I really appreciate the advice. I can definitely see why everyone chose the second, but for some reason I still have a strong preference for the first. My husband also prefers the first, he actually doesn’t like the second at all, so I am definitely confused. The second is clearly the most popular choice though, so I’m going to ink it and maybe I will feel differently.

  • Maybe you can take the best of both worlds! I'm really responding to the roundness in the shapes of the first composition. So maybe you can take those shapes but rework the expressions so that the male seems to be more focused. He can still have a playful and goofy "WOW WOW WOW" feeling, but I think it should be more focused on the female. Really creative idea! I like the concept a lot!

  • @inkandspatter I think that in the first picture the bird's faces are definitely cuter and the bodies shaped a little better than the second, but in the second version the birds are more focused on each other and captures their emotions better. I hope that's helpful. Your picture looks really fun!

  • Moderator

    @jennymwine @avfarrar That is very helpful! Maybe I don’t need to choose between them, but combine what I like from each!

  • Moderator

    Ok, so here are my updated seagulls. Thank you so much to all of you for you advice, you have been an amazing help! Critiques welcome as always!


  • Sorry i'm a little late but I also like the first one like you, it's definitely much better now that you've added the eyelids but i preferred it when the male seagulls' head was slightly to the side so you could see both eyes, you can give him eyebrows then to add to his smitten expression - like one up and one down eyebrow if you know what i mean? The female's face is brilliant πŸ™‚

  • Moderator

    @hannahmccaffery Thank you, I was focusing so much on the expression, I missed the second eye. Great idea with the eyebrows, I will give that a try!

  • Moderator

    Linework finished!

  • @inkandspatter Yay! Great job! It's looking so good! I love what you did with the male bird. I think you made some really strong changes πŸ™‚

  • @inkandspatter Looking good! The male bird's expression turned out great. The lower left and upper right bands on the life ring look a little off center to me. Might want to fix that if it wasn't intentional.

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