The moment before - April WIP

  • Hi everyone,
    I’ve been wanting to try new inking techniques and ideas with this months piece. It’s a fox hunting a family of wood mice. I bought some sepia ink that I want to incorporate into the piece. I’m going to do the gap in the tree where the mice are hiding in all black, the mice themselves will be all white, so there’s a nice contrast between them. The fox in the back will be a dark gray color but outlined and inked in black. The background elements will all be done in sepia tone. The tree and elements in the foreground though I might do in black ink so it pulls forward more.

    Here’s my composition so far, please share your thoughts with me as I often struggle with all the things and benefit from your feedback.
    Also ty @Braden-Hallett for the template.
    I didn’t wanna do a gun but I might do bow and arrow, Spears are just easier to draw and give me the same vibe.


  • @Aleksey Nice work so far 🙂

    So this is the 'moment before' the fox finds them?

    Composition-wise it feels to me like the picture's divided in half (the line of the left side of the tree is close to straight up the middle).

    I like the sniffy nose of the fox! Definitely closing in 🙂

  • @Braden-Hallett thanks yeah it is too centrally divided, I was trying to see if having that middle line would A greater feeling of tension between the characters because of how “close” they are in the drawing. What do you think? It’s not working is it.


  • I like it, ythe middle line was great idea, it makes the picture and tension better.

  • @Aleksey I would heighten the fox, bend the tree slightly to be in line with the wood mice. For me, the Fox needs a bit more of an intimidating pose. A lot more threatening, just to add to the sense of anticipation. I'd maybe even have him a little closer to the wood mice, so you could ramp up the emotion and that sense of anticipation a lot more. This might be a narrative issue for me, but I would remove the tree house and have them hiding in a random tree in a distressed bit of the forrest. Could add more to the tension? The house might be a 'give away' e.g. the fox would spot the letter box or see that this tree was lived in...I know Im getting super technical (!!!) I love how the bigger mouse is pushing the younger mouse back to protect him. Great piece so far.

  • @lovetherobot great feedback ty

  • Moderator

    I really like the wood cut look of your line work.
    I am in awe of the length of that Fox tail😜.
    The white space to the right of the tree is bugging me.
    What if you cropped it out and brought that foxes head closer to the front as if he is hovering just outside the mice’s sight. Bring all the suspense right in close.

  • SVS OG

    I really like the concept of the illustration. I know you might be pretty well invested at this point but what if you moved the camera to the left and even down more after that. Have the fox a little closer like he's midway coming around the tree. Shifting the camera puts them all it 3/4 view and having the fox rounding the tree breaks up that dividing line a bit. If you drop the camera angle too the worms eye view makes the fox very imposing. Hope that gives you some ideas to help.

  • @burvantill

    Yes actually you’re making me think about this more creatively rather than 2 dimentionally. I’m going to play around with it a bit to see if i can make it look more dynamic and interesting.

  • Moderator

    @Aleksey Great build up of tension!

  • @Aleksey I suppose when in doubt, you can always use reference 🙂 Whenever I do a 'hiding from the bad guy' pic I can't help but think of Lord of the rings.

    Both Mr. Jackson and Mr. Bakshi know their stuff!

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    This one by John Howe's pretty cool, too

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  • I'm really enjoying this image! What if you have the fox a little closer or have the spear just right about to touch the mice?

  • @Braden-Hallett i was actually just thinking about these scenes! Ty for the images

  • I was trying to do a low angle shot from the point of view of the mousies. I might lose the clouds. I’m trying to use the trees as a way to make the view more dynamic.

  • @Aleksey I really like the last version, there is more tension, great composition. Maybe I would make the mice bigger.

  • I prefer the most recent version as well. You are getting a more dynamic composition by changing it to this angle.

    I do agree with @MichaelaH about the size of the mice. Or it seems to me that the hole has some unused space that you could either show maybe the foreground of the cave or add a bit more interest so that it isn't completely black.

  • Good point I should make the mousies bigger. The black space in the tree hollow I’m using to contrast with the white mice. I wanna make all this in ink. I might leave it in black and white with tones of sepia in the back.

  • Moderator

    Ooo. I like where this is going. 👍

  • Chipping away at it. The orange is a place holder


  • Ok so this was what I was thinking. I’m gonna attempt this on paper next. Any feedback?


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