Indoor scenes, critiques welcome.

  • dressup_xin_li.jpg
    Call this one done for now. As a tradition, I am sure I will go back and fiddle with it later :-). Thank you so much for the help along the way.

  • Hi Xin Li,

    I wanted to comment that I absolutely LOVE the sketch you did of "Tim liked the red cape very, very much!" It has such a great energy and flow across the page. That is the illustration that I am longing to read the story about. If you had the inclination to finish that one I think you'd have a fantastic piece for your portfolio.

    While I like your pirate illo, the cape illo sings to me and touches my heart. 🥰


  • Love where you took it! Turned out great! Well done!

  • @xin-li This turned out really good! And the box with the bear and doll looks much more interesting now. I also like your other sketch with the cape, it really feels like Tim is dancing 🙂

  • @xin-li it turned out great!

  • @Su Thank you for the encouragement. I am moving on the the Tim superkid piece next 🙂

    @karolifo Thank you. Your previous coment was super helpful to push this piece further.

    @Amanda-Jean and @BichonBistro Thank you so much for the kind words.

  • @Lee-White Ahh yeah that makes sense! I knew it didn't look quite right how I had done it.

    This turned out lovely @xin-li ! I love the colors you chose and all the playful linework.

  • SVS OG

    Hi @xin-li! I just read through this thread, a little late. I really like the second piece better overall, the one with the cape. Looking quickly, I did tend to read it as a living room, but the overall sense of space and movement work really well and fits with what you're trying to convey. And it's not entirely unheard of to have a plant in a bedroom! I had a potato plant experiment as a child, and it grew all the way down to the floor without me doing much to care for it. So if that could fit into your story-scape, maybe it could work!

    As for the pirate piece, I like the idea and the details of the room, and Lee's perspective comments helped, but I still think the space in the other piece is more dynamic. In this one it feels like all the furniture is in a line in a shoebox diorama. Sometimes that works, but since I saw the second drawing immediately and liked it so much, I can't help but compare them. It might be something as easy as changing the angle or position of the big chair or the box/boat. Of course, then you have to re-evaluate the site lines, but if you decide this is something you want to do, it doesn't require redrawing the whole piece.

    Overall, I think it's psychologically realistic and specific enough to be interesting! What @Su said!

  • @LauraA Thank you so much for your feedback. I might fiddle a bit more with the pirate piece later this week.

    I think I try to give viewers very different feelings of the space with these 2 images:

    • With the pirate image, I want to make the viewers feel they are also in the middle of the game, they are close with the characters.
    • with Tim and the cape image, I want to viewers feel that they are standing by the door wathcing a kid dancing accross the room.

    The second image is part of the dummy picture book I am working on. It is so encouraging to get positive feedback on it, making me very motivated to continue the dummy book.

  • Overall, I think it's psychologically realistic and specific enough to be interesting! What @Su said!

    Cannot say better neither! Lovely work!

  • An quick update on Tim, the super-kid. Many of you commented the scene does not look like a boy's bedroom. This made me realize this scene actually works better in the living room. Because in the next page, readers will meet Tim's mother, who has been watching him dancing.
    Do I have interesting enough shapes in the background? is the scene to crowed now? Any thoughts?
    sketch_super kid_01.jpg

  • I like the flow of the original better. The boy moves from one page to the other more diagonally in the first one and more horizontally on the second. The second one doesn't read as smoothly. I don't think lowering his position to make room for showing more of the background couch, shelves, or foreground tables adds anything to the narrative. I like the smaller doll too — he looks like he's going to trip over the bigger one.

    Try to keep the gestural quality of the linework. It's oozing motion in the first one and is much stiffer in the 2nd. I know, that's easier said than done (my perpetual struggle) but that's part of what's so beautiful about your sketch.

    Everything about the first sketch to me is nearly perfect! I don't care what room he's in, just that he's got that feeling of joy! Which is exactly what I feel when I look at that picture.


  • @Su Thank you so much. I see what you mean. Now I know what to do tomorrow :-). I always struggle with how to avoid getting stiff the more I work on a piece. I think this one is especially difficult, because of the movement. I might need to study how other artists slove this: keeping a sense of movement with in an image. I am looking up some comic books on my shelf.

  • another round of rough sketch, and some color studies. Any thoughts?
    color study.jpg

  • SVS OG

    @xin-li I've loved watching you work on this. I like the color in #5 because the red tones on the boy and the rug immediately beneath him keep him as the focal point, but I also like #3. I have to admit color is something I'm bad at so take my opinion with a grain of salt. It's a great picture whatever you do.

  • @xin-li This is like a squinting test I think. I took my glasses off (legally blind without them) and the color studies where the little boy is most visible are #4 and #6.

    P.S. I love your characters!

  • Pro SVS OG

    These are fabulous I love your style!

  • I love how you cleaned up the clutter to give him room to dance! And the motion lines around the feet and cape are perfect — you successfully captured the emotion AND motion! Currently I like the direction of #2. I love the red and pink together and understand that you do need to add more colors. I love the blue pjs and red cape with all the pink. Very retro!

    Did you see Lee White's new post in the forum? Take a look if you can — it's got fantastic information in it. . He recommends working out color palettes before painting and studying palettes from artwork that you like.

    I often have trouble deciding what colors go best with each other and end up using too many colors. (I'm not saying that you are doing this.) I've been trying to use more neutral colors and use strong colors for when there's something that I want to pop. That helps tie together all the colors I tend to use. I'll be trying Lee's process and hopefully it'll help!

  • @demotlj @lmrush thank you so much.
    @BichonBistro interesting approach. I will try this next time.
    @su thank you for your feedback. Yes, I have seen Lee's video. I am a huge fan of Lee both as an artist and as a teacher. My current process is very much coming from Lee's teaching, although I have to admit I do not reach 50 thumbnails (something I am working on).

  • I like 3 and 5 the most

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