Critique a rough PB illustration b/4 SCBWI portfolio Workshop...also a question

  • Hello to the SVS Forums,
    I'm throwing an illustration out into the ether for the first time on the forums for feedback.
    Will, Jake, and Lee have said in their podcast, the picture should tell the story without commentary from the illustrator, so I will try to say as little as possible. There is a theme from a familiar story, but a twist is added.
    The question the twist too far....(i.e.. asks more questions than it answers.)


  • Hi Robin!

    Like the drawing so far!

    My guess from what you have shown here: This is a little red riding hood story, but instead of a wolf hunting her down, there's a critter or gang of critters trying to get their hands on the basket? She's also got a giant cat helping her

  • There are 2 things I thought when i saw this.

    Either It looks like that little creature is trapped. It would tell a stronger story if the characters interacted in some way like The girl and cat looking at the captured creature.
    If the creature needs to be hiding waiting to jump on the characters then I would make the creature hidden more.

  • @RobinCampbellArt This is a really fun take on a classic story. My interpretation is that the little girl (Little Red) has set up a trap for the wolf with the help of her cat (which she rides). They're successful - the wolf has fallen for the trap.

    I don't know if this is accurate, but I like the twist in the story. I'm quite curious to know your intent with the story now, haha.

  • @animatosoor ....I like your twist. It’s not what was originally planned. I saw the wolf as trying to get the basket from the girl....and they don’t see the wolf as he’s about to make a grab for the basket. Maybe the wolf should be trying to camouflage himself to make that more apparent, yes, him holding a leafy branch in front of him?
    I wanted the viewer to know more than Red Riding Hood, as we’re seeing the moment before the wolf takes the basket, and they’re unaware of what’s about to happen.

    I wondered if the catfish would make the viewer ask more questions, and take them out of the picture.
    Does the catfish need more of a tethering connection in order to have a more satisfying purpose in the story?
    I thought of adding a flying mom turtle in the lower right foreground, but not sure if that really adds anything substantial to the would just be an additional fantasy element

    Thanks for your feed back.... I could steer the illustration towards Red Riding Hood trapping the wolf. It’s more unexpected, for sure. I’ll think about that. Is that a stronger story, potentially? Maybe.
    Thanks....more tweaking required here for sure...:-)

  • @AndyIllo , That’s an interesting take, and @animatosoor proposed that angle on the picture story too....I saw the wolf as trying to grab the basket and his victims don’t see him about to bungee in.
    Your story idea adjusting the reality could be different direction to take the story....I need to think about will affect two other images in the sequence for my portfolio project.
    I’ll be posting a revision that factors in feedback.
    Thanks for your thoughts.....:-)

  • @Aleksey , Hi- your idea of the wolf camouflaging himself would help explain why the girl and catfish don’t see the wolf is about to bungee in and take the basket....that moment before the unexpected basket nabbing is what I was going for, but you’re right about that not coming across in the picture yet.
    Thanks...and now more revising.
    Will post another version soon.

  • @RobinCampbellArt It makes a lot of sense !! A couple of things I did not realise though was that the animal was a wolf, it looks tiny and quite cute
    also, I didn't quite realise it was a cat FISH, but looking back now you've said that, it does seem more obvious. Maybe you could add a few more fishy features like pectoral fins

    otherwise I think it does a good job and definitely saw the scene of the wolf trying to snatch the basket! 🙂

  • @RobinCampbellArt i glad I was helpful. Cant wait to see what happens next.

  • @RobinCampbellArt-
    Hello SVS forum friends...I’ve worked out hopefully most of the problems in this draft illustration and wanted to share it to see what the impressions are.
    For a back story reference, this is an adaption of Red Riding Hood, but she’s got a cat-fish friend named, Tish.
    Does the image read better than before? I welcome your commentsRedRidingHood-Forest-5-SVS-Forums.jpeg

  • @RobinCampbellArt The wolf holding onto tree branches in order to hide himself himself is a fun addition, and it helps put across the story of him being sneaky. It is also more obvious now that the girl isn't looking at the wolf. It definitely reads more clearly now.

    In order for the wolf to be more convincingly hidden, I wonder if it might help to have the woods be more dense with leaves - that way the wolf might be better camouflaged. Just a thought! I really love your idea behind this.

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