Brighter colors or muted colors ? Need your opinion 🎨


  • SVS OG

    Hi Awesome Fellow Illustrators,

    Its been a while, so a warm hello to you!

    I have been a having a ball of a time designing & painting illustrations and I find I am spending a lot of time deciding the final color vibrance of my images..especially with the light backgrounds of social media that can darken or lighten your illustration visually.

    So, here's a final image of an illustration I recently completed.Frightened-creature-color-light @darian.pereira.jpg

    I honestly loved the final look of it, also keeping in mind how it would look in a square as seen here.Frightened-creature-color-light sq @darian.pereira.jpg

    I have a previous version of the same in its development stage, that is more vibrant:
    Frightened-creature-vibrant @darian.pereira.jpg

    and it's square version:
    Frightened-creature-vibrant sq @darian.pereira.jpg

    I seem to like it more for its appeal, but i find it edging towards being a bit garish.

    So I need to know what you think, as I find myself switching between these two (one being vibrant but maybe garish & the other, less vibrant but a bit duller in comparison) time & again wondering which is the best option for an interesting illustration as a whole.

    Here's another illustration I was trying to figure out the final look of. Which one would you prefer in terms of colors?

    Option A
    food-fight-color-light-@darian.pereira.jpg

    Option B
    food fight - @darian.pereira.jpg

    Option C
    food-fight-colorfull-@darian.pereira.jpg

    What methods do you adopt in the final stages? I have tried seeing their values instead of the colors & have liked the muted color versions in grayscale. It's just that the vibrant ones look juicier..even in their thumbnails 😕



  • These are great, I think I saw the first one on the Jimbob drawing show. Very cool illustration.

    I feel your pain. I sometimes go through the same thing and I think the same thing can happen with brush strokes or texture.

    My advice would be to vary the use of both muted and vibrance in your paintings. For instance make part of the image pop with vibrance and keep the rest muted.

    Like for instance the last illustration if you had the muted version and just let the ketchup bottle and maybe parts of the skin have that vibrance I think that would be cool.

    Hope that helps a bit


  • SVS OG

    @Phil-Cullen Thank you for your input!

    I did do that in the very first image of the post where the character is more vibrant while the background is duller..would you say I went overboard with the background desaturation ?



  • @Darian I don't actually think you went overboard with the background desaturation at all. To me it's still quite vibrant. I'd desaturate the background a lot more, almost too much and then bring it back a bit and see if it changes the image for you.

    But again I think what you have is really cool


  • SVS OG

    thank you @Phil-Cullen . i think i'll need to figure out the right balance between the vibrance & the desaturation..hmmm..maybe more experimentation is required.

    The timeline of posting within a week doesn't help either..haha !


  • SVS Team SVS OG

    I prefer when they are more vibrant. I tend to pump up the saturation a little in my final stages of a painting. It seems to give it a little more life.


  • SVS OG

    @Chip-Valecek thanks! so would you go for the more vibrant one of the two in the post?



  • I have the feeling that the answers you are going to get are going to be heavily based on personal taste. I prefer the muted colors personally.

    But... I would say you should use the vibrancy to your benefit. The question you have to ask yourself is what feeling are you going for and which vibrancy accomplishes that?

    For example: if your concept for the monk drawing is that it has a feeling of "old times" or a "dusty chaos" feeling then I would go for a more muted palette. If your keywords are more along the lines of "fire in the calm" or something like that I would go for the higher vibrancy.

    It is difficult to give better advice without knowing your intent for the piece. Good luck, I love the energy and fun of these pieces, they are really great.


  • SVS OG

    thanks @theprairiefox ! for the frightened creature, the mood i was going for fearful but with a touch of humorous vibe. I liked the dull one completely at first only to wonder later if the vibrant one was a better choice.

    So, I guess what I would like to know is whether the dull version is too dull on an average or is it just right 🙂


  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @Darian yes I would go for the vibrant ones.



  • Definitely more vibrant colours!



  • This is something I struggle with also, as I love doing detail work and tend to overwork a painting because i can't seem to stop myself...... 🙂 I just took Will Terry's Light class and one thing that I took away from that class(probably because I never do this) is that he said throughout the class, emphasize the main subject/theme by clear details, color usage etc. and downplay everything else, by desaturation and fuzzier lines, etc..... that being said, I love how your pieces are turning out, brightly colored and detailed throughout, soooooo not sure what to tell you, other than, Good Luck! I agree with @theprairiefox where your answers may be based on personal taste!

    www.instagram.com/lmuggliart/
    www.lmuggliart.etsy.com



  • ohhh what!? crazy good work! : I would go for a bit duller color range less vibrant! it's too much information to take, i would rather direct with a strong cast shadow on an actual character where would you like your viewer to look . : )


  • SVS OG

    Thank you @Laurie for some really good pointers. I do try and implement it but I guess I get carried away sometimes 😕

    Thank you for your feedback. It helps!


  • SVS OG

    @VitoPetra Yes! I think 'too much information' is the right way to put it! Thank you for that point of view! Strong cast shadow is certainly another good idea to highlight the focal point.


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