Critique request for book spreads.



  • @xin-li Xin, this is a beautiful spread! I think you have a really nice balance in contrast and your color palette is really intelligently designed. This is the sort of piece you can get lost in, really great work.



  • Thank yo guys. I will just keep painting 😃


  • SVS OG

    Hi @xin-li! I took your piece into Photoshop to look at it in black and white, and if it were mine I'd take down the value of the snow just a little so that the focus is more on the sky. I know it's counterintuitive because snow is so brilliant, but it keeps the overall composition (clouds vs. scene) cleaner. The trees in front are almost as light as the surrounding clouds. Or anyway, you could try a quick value adjustment mask and see what you think. (Now I've remembered that it's traditional watercolor! But you could still do it afterwards in Photoshop, right?) I like the house and the deer! And I have always like the constellations.

    And I love the little mouse playing the bass in the previous spread! Don't know whether you feel like changing it now because truthfully not many people would even notice, but the violin mom in me notes that he's playing a little high up on the fingerboard. The bow should be closer to the bridge (to produce sound) and his hand should be near the far end of the bow (see below). Of course, it's just to give you an idea. Your mouse is much more festive than the photo below and fits the spirit of the book much better!

    images-9.jpeg

    Overall, great work that fits the spirit of the subject matter well, and it's so lovely to see you doing a whole published book! Yay!!!



  • @LauraA thank you so much.
    I only painted underpainting with watercolor for this piece, to get some nice texture for the piece. Most part of the painting is done in Photoshop, so adjustment on value should not be a problem. I do agree that I need to keep the focus on the constellations, especially for the theme of this poem.

    I did not know how one plays bass at all. So thank you for pointed out the unrealistic posture :-). Yes. No one has noticed it so far(the mouse playing bass is also on the cover, which has been passed for everyone involved to see). I will see what I can do if I still get a bit of time when I am done with all 14 spreads. I reserved the last couple of days to go through all images one more time.



  • lovely pieces! Just one small thing, constellations don't have to be all in same orientation, they can have all different orientation like upside down or 45 degree northeast, etc.



  • @idid thank you for your input. I will fiddle around a bit more with the stars :-).



  • Two more finished spreads. Any thoughts?
    [Edit: I removed the images because I do not know if I am allowed to share full spreads before the book is out]

    • A child in the bathtub, imagining himself on a Viking boat across the Kattegat sea.

    • Kattegat sea (was mentioned in the poem) is known to be difficult to cross. Using this fact to turn the image into a more active scene, rather than a quite bathing scene.

    • Keywords: Ready for battle/child-play.

    • kids with a group of companions traveling to the mill house.

    • Keywords: Autumn vibe, companionship



  • Thank you so much for feedback so far. Just a notes: I have deleted some images I shared in the earlier posts. I do not know how much work-in-progress I can share (Nothing was in the contract). SO I took @peteolczyk's advise: remove the images after getting feedback.



  • I just want to check in to say that I am getting down to my final 2 spreads today. All the other 12 finished spreads have been approved. The final art will be turned in on Wednesday. So now I am confident I will make the deadline just on time.



  • @xin-li that’s great news Xin Li, I can’t wait to see it on the shelves.



  • [Edit: I removed the images because I do not know if I am allowed to share full spreads before the book is out :-)]
    I am going to send in my Cover wrap around tomorrow :-). I still need some minor adjustments, but it is very very close to calling it done.

    Any final comments on the illustration?
    Does the hand lettering typeface work? (It is more or less my first try doing hand lettering, would be very happy if anyone can critique on this)

    Laure told me that the posture for playing bass was not quite accurate. But I decide to not work on it due to time pressure to redesign a character. Noted for the next time drawing bass, or cello player 🙂



  • @xin-li This is lovely, congratulations on nearing the completion of so much beautiful work! I really like your lettering, so none of my suggestions are needed but just thought i would share some things: I like that it's purposely irregular, so perhaps if the front foot of the first A were lowered, the two top serifs of the Y were made to be uneven, and if the S had serifs that were more like the serifs on the top of the A and G.



  • @carolinedrawing Thank you so much for the feedback. You are spot on. I think I will work on your suggestions before handing in the artwork today.



  • Thank you so much for the support along the way. I delivered all the final work today. Everything is confirmed by the editor. So I have done my first book.



  • @xin-li please let us all know when this is in the shops or available online.
    It’s been really interesting seeing your progress with this, thanks for sharing so much of it.



  • @peteolczyk thank you. you are always so supportive 😄


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