The Moment before WIP

  • Happy Easter, everyone. Here are some of my ideas for the April contest. I am aiming for a piece that leaves room for interpretation of what happens next - a bit ambiguous on whether the coming event will be good or bad for the character. What do you guys think?

    moment before.jpg
    Thumbnail #1: a night adventure in the forest.
    keywords: conspiring, sneaky, lost

    Thumbnail #2: bedtime reading
    Keywords: sneaky, curious, quiet moment before the storm

    Thumbnail #3: a nap during a journey far far away from home
    keywords: calm, the quiet moment before the storm.

  • Oh wow I absolutely love the look of #2, I can't tell what those creatures are yet but I'm dying to know! Are they good or bad?
    Look forward to seeing more šŸ˜ƒ

  • Love the second one! Quite moment before the storm hit it for me !

  • I'm really enjoying all three of them. Each sketch really encapsulates the keywords. They all have great potential.

    However, that being said to me 1 has the most potential. It feels like something is about to happen. Literally, the moment before something happens. Is the shadow helping? or scheming? What are the creatures lurking in the woods? What's about to happen?

  • SVS OG

    I like #1 because it feels like it has the most tension. (Love the shadow.)

  • hmmm, not much love for #3. I think will pick either #1 or #2 to continue exploring. Thanks for the feedbacks, guys.

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @xin-li I like number 2, however the camera angle in 1 is pretty awesome.

  • @xin-li i love 1 and 2! Especially 2 because im thinking are they something malicious or are they reading over her shoulder but they both have amazing tension

  • I like both 1 and 2, but #1 would be my first choice. Great keywords. I enjoy the ambiguity as well. What I like most about #1 is that her shadow is a separate entity. Is it helping? Is it conspiring against her? Good stuff.

  • @xin-li , they're all looking great but my preference goes to nĀ°1. Tense moment and all those eyes hidden behind the trees!!

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  • Thanks for all the comments so far. I decided on working with the first idea. Made progress on this piece slowly during the holiday time.

    Not entirely happy with the posture of the girl, mainly because I have a bit of a hard time deciding how the girl is feeling at this moment. In the current sketch, she is a bit lost. I feel like the character could take on a number of directions. She could be scared, or overly confident. It would be a very different story depending on the emotion I assign to the character.

    I am curious what is your interpretation of the story in the current sketch?


  • SVS OG

    @xin-li I liked this one best and as is I'm getting the lost and afraid vibe. I think this works though the girl may need to have her head turned slightly towards the left to get our eye away from the edge and create a bit of suspense as if the shadow creature is about to get busted. After reading your comments I'm curious about how the story would turn out if she was overconfident but that might not read as well for one single image. It may come across as if all those hiding eyeballs and the shadow creature were on her team as they all are sneaking up on someone/thing else... which would be cool too but, again, challenging to make work in one single image.

  • @Jon-Anderson Thank you so much for the suggestions. Getting the viewer's eye away from the edge is spot on. I will definitely need to work on that. Your comment on some stories might be hard to convey in a single image is also very interesting. I will crew a bit on that, and see where I take this piece. Thank you.

  • @xin-li This is fantastic! I get a real ominous feeling from the whole thing. Like the shadow's saying 'not yet, guys. Not yet"

    I see keywords and a pitch šŸ˜ƒ

  • Thanks for all the feedback on this piece so far. I really enjoyed the process of doing this one. Finally back to the drawing board after a long Easter break.


    I struggled a bit of getting the posture right for the girl. I want her to feel a bit lost, a bit scared, but has gathered herself together enough courage to move forward in a dark forest. She is taking every step carefully. The camera angle is really high up, making the viewer feel that the girl is being watched by something from the dark forest.

    I made changes on my previous sketch (no. 1) based on @Jon-Anderson feedback. Do the posture and facial expression on no.2 sketch convey what I want?

  • SVS OG

    @xin-li I personally think you nailed it! It's amazing how subtle changes can make a better impact on an image. I get the keywords you were going for and am wanting to turn the page to find out what happens next.

  • @xin-li , your last sketch is really great! And working with keywords sounds a pretty good idea, never thought about it before.
    I have to say that I liked the emotion on the face of the little girl on your first thumbnail, she is lost and can feel the 'danger' but she's not impressed šŸ˜‰
    But the last one reads really well, I can feel her heart beating! (maybe because I used to be sacred of the dark šŸ˜¬ )

  • @marine Definitely try working with keywords. It works best if the keywords you are chosen is adjectives, something viewers are suppose to feel when seeing the image. I learned to work with keywords from @Lee-White and @davidhohn 's class on SVSlearn. I found it very helpful for decision making while working with an image, and it is also very helpful when asking for feedback. I got more useful/relevant crits this way :-).

  • @Jon-Anderson thank you. I am moving on to color study tomorrow šŸ˜€

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