Dec. 3rd | Restart - Thumbs

  • I'm trying to squeeze this months in between contracts so forgive my absence.

    Here are some crude thumbs of alternate ideas I had. Are either of these concepts worth pursuing?

    Top: Top view of a factory. Elves using magic gingerbread recipe to make reindeer cookies for replacement.

    Bottom: Dog sled. Santa and dog in foreground. Background containing other team members playing. One peeing on the north pole far in the distance. I'll add some other environment elements.

    photo copy 3.JPG



    Please note that this is my first time seriously digitally painting. This is all a bit rough as I'm finding drawing digitally extremely tough. I've sort of been jumping between tweeking my drawing and toning. Neither is complete and much of the toning has just been thrown in for this update for feedback.

    I've flipped the composition. I think it reads better this way. I also have extra room on the top and bottom but I plan to crop a bit. Any tips are encouraged. I'm feeling excited but like a total noob.


    I thought I'd drop the sketch I'm working on for December's 3rd Thursday. Let's hear it folks!

    " The Reindeer got the flu so Santa used...Yuckley's in an attempt save Christmas."

    I might reword that a bit but hopefully you get the picture. It's kind of a prelude to having to trade out the reindeer later in the story as suggested by the prompt illustration.

    I haven't worked on the reindeer much so keep that in mind.


  • Hey @AWall I like your concept! Your image isn't showing 😞

  • Yeah, fixed that now. I seem to be all over the place this morning.

  • Also, I still don't know how to post under 3rd Thursday. It only gives me General or Questions as options.

  • @AWall What is "yuckleys"?

  • @mattramsey A nickname for the brand name 'Buckley's' cough syrup

    @AWall I see your image now - it's great! Love the reindeer behind santa almost licking his ear haha You've also got nice diagonals going on - you have a strong composition here thus far 🙂

  • I like this idea because it's original. I didn't get what you were going for immediately however. Santa's hands pouring the syrup are small and at the bottom edge of the page. The grossed-out reindeer (who I can identify with!) is capturing all my attention. I think a tighter view of him with Santa would help.

  • @AWall really clever!!

  • I plan to have the two reindeer making faces as having already received the medicine. The closest one will just be blah and sick.

    I'm hoping that the warm lighting I have planned from the lantern and the cool/dark lighting from the moonlight will help direct the eye.

    Does everyone feel I should just focus on one reindeer and santa and steer away from the stable idea? So far I'm not ready to give up on it at this stage but will change if its not working come toning stage....

  • @AWall If you are on the fence you can certainly paint the entire scene and then check it afterward.

    It's easier to crop down than expand out if that makes sense.

  • @AWall I like the idea. I thought having the deers with thermometer in their mouth, warm towel over their head, and Santa with stethoscope can add more about them being sick. I hope this helps.

  • Great tongue! I love the reindeer making faces at him, animals really do that behind our backs! :p

  • SVS OG

    @AWall I am looking forward to seeing how this turns out and what sort of painting style you go with. As there is something about this that also feels like it could be from a classic holiday themed advertisement with the illustration and tag line for the cough medicine!

  • Thanks for everyone's feedback! I disappeared on holidays for a little while but I'll be putting everything mentioned to use.

  • Update:


  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    Hi Amanda,

    Your sketch work and process is very nice. I can see you have good control of your lines and a good feel for building up your work in a sketch. Lovely!

    Now, time for my maybe not-so-easy-to-take crit. I think that this image is perfectly serviceable and if a client asked you to do this, they'd probably be happy with it. But as a "blue sky" type image where you can create something on your own, I feel like it's WAY too safe. Once I look at it and get the concept, I can't help but think it's sort of just there. I would never come back to it as an illustration. These projects are meant for pushing your portfolio work. So, with this sketch in your back pocket already, I would go for some more eye catching concepts.

    The easy way to do this at the beginning of a project is to really try an pitch 3-5 solid ideas. There is nothing more dangerous than having just one. So this may take quite a few sketches and maybe 20-30 initial ideas (or more).

    I'm very excited to see more from you and see how you take your images to paint.

    Let me know if you have questions at all. : )

  • @Lee-White

    Thanks for the feedback. The kind words are appreciated and the tough words even more so.

    Still working on some solid ideas. I find Christmas related illustrations so tough. There is a lot of regurgitation of concepts and imagery in general.

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