September contest WIP idea looking for feedback

  • I didn't do 50 thumbnails but maybe 30?! I had an idea of a little girl showing up all muddy with a muddy bike, then another idea with a pony, then had an idea of a shadow falling over the class so I thought something big like a dinosaur or dragon or something suggested in that way. This is what I came up with so far so was looking for feedback on the idea and the composition.......does the shadow work?! or not? The rough stuff in the background would be teacher and kids (some a bit nervous, others thrilled lol) (Still pretty rough but was wondering about composition and how it might be improved?)


  • I like it. I like the idea of the dragon's shadow being cast over the class. It could use some more dynamism. The girl and the shadow are right in the middle and there is a horizontal line that runs right through the center making it feel a bit static. I think shaking this comp up a little would really get people more connected with the story. Awesome idea though, and it looks so fun I wish I'd have thought of it!

  • @Zachary-Drenski thank you for the feedback! You're definitely right about the shadow and things in the middle, I will work on that, thanks!

  • @Coley This is pretty much one of the ideas I was thinking of exploring (dark shadow and creature in the foreground but unseen and everything!) But I was thinking of the only hint at what it was was a massive collar and dog-tag with the name 'brutus' engraved 🐕 😃

    I suppose what I'm saying is that I think it's a good idea, lol

    I would play around with the placement of the girl and the dragon (she's dead centre in the middle instead of on a third)

  • @Braden-Hallett thanks. I'm playing around with things so hopefully I'll figure out how to do it, I really appreciate the reminder on thirds!!!!
    The shadow idea falling over the scene may or may not on some level been inspired by a certain someone's entry for the BIG prompt earlier this year LoL. Didn't you have a big pterodactyl shadow falling on a scene? I remember it was pretty cool and obviously made an impact LoL. Hope you do your doggie or something similar.
    I may even toss the shadow if I can't figure it out 🤪🤪🤪it might work without it too. Much exploring to be done!

  • @Coley I’m wondering if making the composition wider would make it more dynamic/asymmetric. It would also give you more room to show the shadow which I think will help convey the scale and how much bigger he is than the children in the background.

  • @Coley Definitely try out that shadow! I think it looks really cool 😃

  • @j-sienkowski thanks, I'm toying with that, appreciate the input!

  • svsschoolcontestseptember2019thumb2.jpg

    In case anyone in still here hanging around........I did up more thumbnails and now looking at this one.......these two side by side are almost the same except for the perspective on the chalkboard and words on the chalkboard. It's now a tilted compostion so it's not so static and the girl is really small and in front of her dragon to show the size a bit. she is reading from her notes and oblivious to everyone freaking out around her lol. the shadow shows a bit of the dragon's head shape and a bit of smoke from his nose/mouth. any thoughts appreciated 🙂

  • @Coley I like the direction this is going. It definitely is less static which adds to the chaotic feel of her classmates freaking out. I would suggest making sure you don't lose too much of the silhouette of the dragon's shadow otherwise it makes it hard to determine what kind of animal/creature it is. As far as the chalkboard a prefer the one on the right. Good work.

  • @j-sienkowski thanks for the feedback 🙂

  • I have a teacher and a few kids rough sketched in. Was going to add maybe another kid, they will overlap a bit in places as well, right now I am just wondering if they are believable in terms of perspective and scale etc. they;re still quite rough! also threw in a shadow and did a sketch with an without a dragon, playing with figuring out if it's better with or without! Any thoughts much appreciated!!

    svsschoolcontestseptember2019 shadowexpiriment2 (2).jpg

    svsschoolcontestseptember2019 shadowexpiriment (2).jpg

  • SVS OG

    @Coley love your composition and idea. My first thought is the shadow looks like a giraffe, so more dinosaur if that is what you are going for.

  • @holleywilliamson This is looking very nice! I think the perspective mostly works. If you haven't already, throw down some perspective lines to really see, sometimes it becomes really obvious with just a few guidelines.

    I know you said this is still really rough, but I just wanted to say that the thing that pops for me most is that I want the teacher to have an even bigger reaction. Right now she seems a bit more disapproving than scared.

    I like the contrast of the one kid who's like yay!

  • svsschoolcontestseptember2019 sketch5a.jpg

    I did some more drawing and enlarged the kid characters, added a dragon mouth looking down, changed some of the gestures so they're less scared and more happy. hopefully they are happy shocked not just happy? i need to put some things in on the right side and the little girl will have combat boots to contrast with the dressy and ponytail etc. Chalkboard will say " Show and Tell" or something like that. I was going to try to ink it and then scan and then throw back in photoshop but it's evolving. I'm not sure it's the best concept actually and thinking about starting over with something else totally different, but I'm sure there's merit to staying the course as well...........a bit torn but keeping on!

  • @Coley this drawing is so adorable! I noticed a few things you might want to consider.

    The first is how most of the class and the teacher have lovely happy expressions. The prompt calls for shocked, but it depends on you’re ultimate goal for the illustration. Happy might fit better as a portfolio piece. Adjusting them to shocked might fit the prompt closer.

    The boy in front looks like he’s floating. At first I thought the girl behind him was holding him up, but her hands look more like holding him back. If that is what she’s doing his feet need to be more grounded. Maybe he fell back and she caught him? His position and her position relative to him needs a little clarification. Complicated little bodies to pose!

    The last thing I noticed is that in such a nicely in perspective classroom the large dragon scales seem not to fit in the same perspective. That might just be how they are constructed, but it looks off right now. Here’s a little sketch over of what I mean. The ellipses of the scales don’t follow the established perspective.


    Can’t wait to see how it progresses!

  • @Shara-Mills ah, wow, thanks 🙂

    for the expressions, I initally had them looking frightened but it seemed a bit too scary, so I made them happy, I'll work for something in between!

    I'm actually considering starting over another new one lol! Will see what happens, I had another idea. But maybe I'll end up doing both (submitting only one of course lol).

Log in to reply