Accountability help and serious critique requested--which color?


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    I need help getting back into the habit of producing work, please! After going to the US and then taking an extremely intensive English-teaching course for a day job, I am feeling a bit like a deer in the headlights.

    This isn't a full-on illustration, but it was what came to mind as a good way to start again because I love to draw kids' quirks. My friend's small son likes to dress up as Rapunzel, in his sister's dress, because he likes the swishy "hair." He ties blanket onto blanket until it trails all over the apartment. Before I go onto a full drawing with this, do you have a favorite color scheme? I kind of like the blue, but it suggests outside and this is definitely something that he does at home after preschool. The white in one version came from the tile floor.

    I am also aware that there are things I still need to work out with the drawing, so this would be a good time for input there. The idea is to refine the line work, perhaps in color, and tighten up the color, but still leave it rather loose. I may add some textures as well.

    And lastly, does it work as a concept? Does it have enough impact? Thank you for your input!

    Francesco sketch 1a smaller.jpg Francesco sketch 5 smaller.jpg Francesco sketch 6 smaller.jpg



  • @LauraA fun idea. I love that it came from real life.

    But I think you could lean into it more. I think you can make even more 'hair' and have it trailing all over. Your description led me to imagine the hair trailing down the hallway, stairs and over furniture. You could even have it going out a door, then the viewer's imagination can take it anywhere.

    Part of the fun of illustration is being able to 'go over the top'. Lee keeps telling us to go over the top and then dial it back later if you need to.

    I like the idea of cool colors for the dress and red for the hair. It will make it a stronger focal point! Not sure about the particular blue you picked... I wonder if a more subtle one would achieve what you are going for a little better.

    Good luck, hope my feedback helped at least a little.



  • It's a very sweet image. ā˜ŗ I like the versions that indicate a background. As for the color scheme- they both look pleasing. My personal preference is for the yellow, though that could be chalked up to it being fall here.



  • @LauraA I really like the second one but all of them are nice. Maybe the indication of different patterns and more blankets tied together. Iā€™m thinking receiving blankets that are thin and smaller. I know my young children found so many uses for them because they were in abundant supply when they were babies. Overall, I love the piece. He has a sweet expression. I always love the way you draw children. You seem to capture an innocent soul in your style.


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    @theprairiefox @TessaW @JennyJones Thank you so much for the input! I was falling in love with that S curve in the blanket, but you're right, I should experiment more with the trailing "hair" shape and elongate it. Good to know that the tendency is to the second color scheme, which I can still experiment with. I already had two or three variations of blue in my trials but was getting overwhelmed. I like the yellow scheme too because it evokes the interior of the apartment.

    Oh, and the first bit of "hair" is a pair of tights! šŸ˜‚ I love kids' imagination and enthusiasm--it keeps me drawing.



  • @LauraA The illustration is very tender and soft. You have captured something very beautiful here.
    What I find it hard to give input is that I do not know what the illustration is for, and how it will be used. For example, if the illustration is meant as a gift for the little boy portrayed, I would think of his favorite color, and try to incorprate that into the painting.

    Personally I lean a bit more toward color option #2 as well, mainly because of the treatment of the background. But right now the red blanket, and the blue dress compete with each other, beacuse both color are very saturated. I would choose one thing to focus on.

    Hope this make sense šŸ™‚


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    Hi guys! Just thought I'd post this redraw with a longer blanket and some of the details worked out. Just realized I need to fill out the blanket hand, maybe bring it closer to the body, and I may angle that side of the blanket out a bit more. Anyway, without making it a fantasy piece, I did elongate the blanket. No pattern yet, because if I do that, I think I'll do it with scanned textures once I get into the color and shading. Right now he looks as if he has a case of the just-woke-up stares. Suggestions welcome!

    Francesco as Rapunzel 3 smaller.jpg


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    Here is the more or less finished version, because I want to start knocking out some pieces more quickly. I did take down the blue a bit, add some pattern, and exaggerate the length a bit more. I'm still open to suggestions, though!

    P.S. The decision not to wrap the pattern was purposeful. I'm playing with the balance between flat design (composition, color and pattern) and volume (shading, perspective, rounded forms). I'm open to critiques about how well it works, though.

    Francesco as Rapunzel version 2 color 3.jpg



  • @LauraA I love how you elongated the blanket


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    This is beautiful. The child's face and stance are so endearing and the blanket is lovely.


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    So I sent the drawing above to my friend. She loved it! And she wanted it signed. But apparently little Francesco's reaction was that he wanted his hair yellow, like his sister's tights. So here we go--a yellow version!

    I had to make some parts darker to balance the lighter yellow. Still have to figure that part out.

    Francesco as Rapunzel smaller 5 (yellow).jpg


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    @BichonBistro @demotlj Thank you! I thought the face looked a little too tired in the color version so I made some slight changes that you can see in the yellow version.


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    @LauraA I can see the difference but can't figure out what you did to the face to bring out that subtly. How did you get the expression to look less tired?


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    @demotlj There were some slight changes around the eyes, for example in the red version I had made the upper eyelid fold pinker and put a pink line under each eye. As you know, with an illustrated face sometimes a couple of lines can make a big difference!



  • @LauraA The pattern is lovely. It would be fun to see a texture overlay on top of the pattern, so it intergrates to the rest of the image even more.


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