#draw50things - Birthday Party - Would you please critique?



  • Hi, all!

    I came across Will Terry's #draw50things challenge, and decided to create this piece. The idea is that this little girl is sitting in her treehouse, with all of her fun birthday party supplies and decorations set up, but nobody has turned up.

    I would love some brutally honest feedback on this piece! It could be storytelling, composition, values, colours, etc.

    Truthfully speaking, I am totally stuck after placing my values - I actually have no idea how to colour this. I have been so comfortable with drawing over the years that I do not know how to finish this.

    Treehouse#draw50things.jpg

    Linework:

    Treehouse#draw50things_linework.jpg

    Thank you, and I look forward to getting to know everyone!



  • @animatosoor said in #draw50things - Birthday Party - Would you please critique?:

    composition

    Hey @ANIMATOSOOR,

    I love the sketch and the composition. The only thing I would say is that when I first look at the image it's not clear how the character is feeling. Maybe have her arm propped up on the table supporting her chin, looking more fed up.



  • I think I see her feeling, she is all alone there and it is her birthday...maybe You can change her expression to make the feeling deeper.



  • I love your composition and the depth you created in your illustration. All those little details are well thought out and arranged. Maybe your problems with colouring the peace comes with choosing the right light situation. In your picture, you show a candle, but candlelight isn't bright enough to enlighten a whole room. So I feel like you are using a second light source, that can't be seen by the viewer. In that case, you might find a place (of screen) where you place your light source and put light and shadow in according to its position. Using 2 light sources can be very difficult, are you a member of SVS? I can really recommend the courses about light and shadow, they tackle this topic really well :). Looking forward to seeing your process and the final version of your illustration 🙂 🌻 .



  • @bruces-art and @MichaelaH Thanks for your feedback on the character. I agree, and I'm revisiting the expression and body language of the character to see if I can tell the story better with it.

    @mellebluesworld Thank you! You're spot-on with the lighting issues. My initial idea for the lighting was to have the light come only from the candle, but I don't know if I can pull that off. A secondary source of light could be the windows sitting at the top of the picture.

    I just subscribed to SVS today! I feel like a kid in a candy shop looking through all the courses available, haha. What would your recommended classes be to tackle this issue? 😊



  • This is a really lovely idea, I love a good treehouse and all the objects work nicely with your composition 🙂
    Like it has already been said, maybe adding another light source would help, maybe that hanging light on the right could be dimly lit so it would light up the rest of the room, but the candle would be the main focus. Maybe also look at your character again, her face isn't really giving off any emotion at the moment - i feel so sad for her that no one came to her birthday 😞 but we need to see that in her face too 🙂 maybe she could also we wearing a party hat?
    Also, the top of that tree trunk looks a bit thick so maybe just break up those big branches a bit more so it's not just one big clump at the top - if you know what I mean?

    This is going to look so beautiful in colour and i can't wait to see it! If adding colour scares you (it scares me when i come to adding colour) then just do bits at a time. Just start off with the tree trunk or something or the table with the cake on it, you can always sort out the lighting at the end when you're happy with the colours you've got 🙂
    Good luck with it, i'd love to see your colouring process so we can help you along the way if you're having trouble!


  • SVS OG

    I love this idea, really sad... Maybe you can burn down the candle a bit further to indicate she has been waiting for her friends for a long time... maybe even some candle drippings on the cake..?
    I agree that a secondary light source would be a good idea, perhaps you can make it a soft "end of the day" and of light to extra emphasize she's been sitting there all day..


  • SVS OG

    Hiya! First off, I really like the story and think you've done a great job on it so far. I certainly couldn't draw it as well as you have!!

    I'm pretty new to illustration but my gut instincts on your piece are as follows:

    1. I feel like you could increase the sense of emptiness and loneliness in the scene. Maybe if she was more centred in the picture with empty chairs all around the table and places set for her friends?

    2. Like someone already mentioned, you could maybe make her appear a bit sadder?

    I can't wait to see how you progress this! Well done for taking on the challenge and do post your future iterations of it!!



  • @hannahmccaffery, @Annemieke, @ShannonBiondi - Wonderful suggestions that I want to explore! Thank you so much.

    I appreciate everyone's feedback - there are many things suggested here that I definitely hadn't thought of. I did change the girl's body language and expression so she looks like she's drooping slightly, and then I got started on a colour sketch since it's a weak spot I want to tackle.

    I've a lot to learn about colour and lighting a scene, and so right now I'm just cautiously placing my colours on a few key spots. I've gone ahead and watched a few SVS classes on the subject, and they've been helpful! Struggling to apply the newly-gained knowledge, though. XD

    TREEHOUSSEEEE2.jpg



  • This is my progress so far with the colours! It's night-time, and nobody has come to her party. 😞

    I agree with others saying this is sad, and I find myself asking if I should have gone with a happier premise. I will for my next piece. 😋

    While I wonder how I can better this piece, I also wonder how other illustrators paint gloomy scenes in their pieces (in books or otherwise), and if it is generally frowned upon or something! I've collected some references, and some have dealt with the idea so beautifully.

    TREEHOUSSEEEE3.jpg

    Rough tonal studies:

    Tonal studies.jpg



  • I like it a lot, great sad feeling



  • @animatosoor said in #draw50things - Birthday Party - Would you please critique?:
    @mellebluesworld Thank you! You're spot-on with the lighting issues. My initial idea for the lighting was to have the light come only from the candle, but I don't know if I can pull that off. A secondary source of light could be the windows sitting at the top of the picture.

    I just subscribed to SVS today! I feel like a kid in a candy shop looking through all the courses available, haha. What would your recommended classes be to tackle this issue? 😊

    Hey, @animatosoor sorry for coming up with an answer so late, my day got quite busy. First things first: Congratulation for joining SVS :).
    I read you watched some classes already, I still wanted to give you the names of the courses I would recommend concerning the lighting topic.
    I started with the basic class about light and shadow, to learn and repeat the basics for further classes. Right now I am taking the class about painting colour and light 2.0 and this class will definitely help you to improve the light situation in your illustration. And I guess "Lighting for Storytelling" would be a great help for you as well :).
    I watched your progress on your illustration and loved the idea of @Annemieke to burn down the candle to indicate that she has been waiting for people to come around for a loooong time. Still wondering if the candlelight is 2 bright and intense. Since you went for night time, there maybe could be an other light source at a wall outside of the scene that helps to lighten the room. Looking forward to seeing your progress on this illustration :).



  • @mellebluesworld said in #draw50things - Birthday Party - Would you please critique?:

    Hey, @animatosoor sorry for coming up with an answer so late, my day got quite busy. First things first: Congratulation for joining SVS :).
    I read you watched some classes already, I still wanted to give you the names of the courses I would recommend concerning the lighting topic.

    Hi Melle. Not at all! I appreciate your getting back to me with those recommendations. I actually just started watching Painting Light and Colour only after reading your message, and it's just what I need! So, thank you! I'm going to get started on taking notes and doing exercises for practice. I'll get around to the other courses as well. But man, there is so much in just this one.

    You're right - the idea of the candle being burnt down would be so great to work into this illustration. Right now I know my lack of knowledge on light and colour is limiting my exploration in that regard. I'm going to see if I can give it a shot while progressing through the class I'm currently taking.

    Thanks once again!



  • @animatosoor said in #draw50things - Birthday Party - Would you please critique?:

    @mellebluesworld said in #draw50things - Birthday Party - Would you please critique?:

    Hi Melle. Not at all! I appreciate your getting back to me with those recommendations. I actually just started watching Painting Light and Colour only after reading your message, and it's just what I need! So, thank you! I'm going to get started on taking notes and doing exercises for practice. I'll get around to the other courses as well. But man, there is so much in just this one.

    You're right - the idea of the candle being burnt down would be so great to work into this illustration. Right now I know my lack of knowledge on light and colour is limiting my exploration in that regard. I'm going to see if I can give it a shot while progressing through the class I'm currently taking.

    Thanks once again!

    YW, I am glad I could help. And I just knew this class would be perfect for you 🙂 . I bet real soon you will be able to solve the light and colour issue in a perfect way. Looking forward to it :).


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