Santa sketch 3rd Thurs-Update

  • Hi all. This is my first time participating in the 3rd Thursday challenge. Here is my sketch, though it's still pretty rough. Feedback welcome, thanks.santas_ride_sketch.jpg

  • lovely concept, great sketch! The elephants are so adorable, I can see why Santa Picked them! XD

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    The elephants are a good idea. I struggled on trying to figure something out that no one else would have thought of and you nailed it with them. Looking forward to seeing it.

  • SVS OG

    The elephants are so cute! I'm sure this is going to turn out really well, great start 🙂

  • SVS OG

    @joanie-stone Really like the movement and expressions you have on the elephants - they are really going to make this piece come alive. Great work so far!

  • Great elephant drawing! Can't wait to see it painted!

  • Phenomenal draftsmanship. On the point of composition, I'd just be careful that the trunk of the one closer to the camera doesn't get a bit lost against the other one's back and it possibly could create a tangent looking like a part of the ears/spine/whatever on the other one.

    Great work though. Really appealing


  • @Ace-Connell Good point. I plan on making the values of the two elephants different enough that it will be clear which elephant is which but I will keep your suggestion in mind while painting. Thanks everyone for your feedback.

  • @joanie-stone Could one of them be holding a feather (as a nod to Disney's Dumbo)?

  • Here is a cleaned-up sketch. Feedback welcome before I start painting. Thanks.


  • SVS OG

    It looks fantastic and I'm sure this is going to be a beautiful finished piece. The one thing that I wonder about, is maybe you could push Santa's expression a little bit - at the moment it looks quite neutral and I'm not sure what he is thinking...(happy? excited? having trouble with the elephants? or all pretty good?) Whereas I'm pretty sure those elephants are having a great time!

  • These elephants look great Joanie

  • @joanie-stone I like it. The elephants really have a drawn through shape.

  • I like your light/organic feel in your drawing! Very sweet!

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    very nice Joanie! I love your concept and your expressions on the elephants make them look so sweet! Really nice.

    A few suggestions:

    1. When posting a sketch or image with white as the background, always add a border (this goes for all of you!). The white space defines the compostion and it's hard to really see how the image is working when we can't see where the background ends (especially since the background of the forum is also white).

    2. Once I added a border, you can see that your compostion is neatly divided into 4 quarters which may not be the best option. It's important at this stage to really think about rhythm and flow and all the other little compositional details without getting lost in the subject matter (which isn't easy to do).

    3. After seeing the image divided into quarters, I chose to mess around with a more dynamic design. Feel free to discard it if you like, it's just a sample of what you can do to add interest to the image. I chose a tall vertical format which I really like. It seemed like it needed some other imagery to balance it, so I thought it might be cool to see the top of some houses. I also added two more elephants which adds more flow and allows for some cool cropping (which I'm a big fan of).

    I banked his sleigh a bit more to make it seem like it's "leaning" into the corner and then changed the presents to be falling out the back in that direction as well.

    Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns with it. It's a great image and I can't wait to see where you take it! : )


    1448042861058-santas_ride_sketch 2.jpg

  • @Lee-White Great composition tips and techniques!! I'll use this feedback in my own work. Thank you

  • the elephant idea is very adorable XD

  • Ahh, I wish I had seen Lee's critique before I submitted this one. He had some awesome ideas. Ayways, here's the finished piece but I may go back and incorporate Lee's ideas just for my own sake. Thanks everyone.


  • @joanie-stone I love the color scheme you used in this. the whole thing has a wonderful vintage feel to it! I agree with what Lee was saying, but this works for a stand alone piece! Great job!

  • Those colors are beautiful

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