WIP Illustration - Crit welcome :)

  • I started a new illustration and wanted to pay a lot of attention to every step along the way so I can work on my shortcomings. I thought it'd be useful to post every step here, since I am hoping for some critiques.

    Some things I want to work on:
    I want to create a portfolio piece with a little story in a single image. So the idea and story are important since I want my illustrations to become more interesting for the viewer

    I want to improve my composition in general and make better use of value, light and shadow in my digital paintings since they have been kind of flat.

    General ramblings:
    I am currently taking the Painting Secrets class and wanted to start the illustration from the ground up, following what I've learned in the class so far, so I started with a notan thumbnail to have a roadmap for myself to see which components will be in the light and important to the story. After this I will also create a value thumnail and I will start sketching to study the characters.

    Any feedback along the way will be greatly appreciated, thank you so much for helping me with this piece! For this thumbnail I am mainly interested to hear your opinions about my idea for the composition and the story in general (does it read yet?).

    A little bit about the story: the little boy/girl (I'm not sure yet) is awakened deep in the night by forest animals that desperately need his help. I have had this image in my mind for a while, but it took me a little bit to figure out what they exactly need help with... :smiling_face_with_open_mouth_cold_sweat:
    I eventually came up with the idea of the seasons not being able to change because the bees are having a tough time pollinating the flowers. This may be overly cliche and far fetched. And it also kind of reminds me of Narnia for some reason.


    A boy and his bird NotanMerge.jpg

  • @nadyart Diging the thumbnail !

    Looking forward to the finished piece.

  • Ooooh I really like the idea of the animals waking the boy up (my vote goes for a little boy character). Are you planning on doing this in the soft pencil style that you have? Which I LOVE by the way šŸ˜ƒ Or are you trying out a new style?
    I think the only thing for me is that maybe there should be a bit of a hint of a floor under the boy and are the animals in a window or standing in an open doorway? From your thumbnail it's quite hard to tell. The lighting is going to look beautiful on those stairs and i love your little characters already!
    Look forward to seeing where you take it šŸ™‚

  • Thank you so much @hannahmccaffery!! I appreciate it a lot.
    I actually think I will paint this piece digitally, since I'm trying to improve my digital painting look.

    The floor and other details in the room will soon be visible in my value thumbnail! There I will use more values than only black & white, so I can show how the room will be made up.

    I'm a bit scared to paint it haha! The lighting (and then especially what to do with the rest of the room that is visible but not really lit) is something I struggle with a lot.

  • @Stumpysteve Thanks Steve!

  • Before I move forward with the piece, I like to work on the character(s) a bit more. Iā€™m used to drawing animals, and I kind of have a hard time developing the little boy. The kids I draw usually come out too old and old fashioned or too cutesie toddlerie. Like these two below that I sketched. Which one would you think fits the image better? Maybe a mix of them...? :smiling_face_with_open_mouth_cold_sweat:


  • I really like the boy with the magpie on his head, he looks cuter and younger with shorter legs and a larger head, maybe give him some freckles like the other drawing?

  • @hannahmccaffery Thank you Hannah! Good idea, the freckles :)!
    I think the little boy speaks to me more too šŸ™‚

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