December prompt WIP: pigeons

  • " she listened closely, she overheard them talking about her..."

    This month I actually have time to take it slow & get feedback along the way. The idea I’m playing with is an old lady who’s paranoid the pigeons are talking about her. These are my initial ideas. I love #6 but the pigeons are v obviously talking about her here. I can’t decide if it would be better to go with #7 or #9 or maybe #11 so it’s ambiguous as to whether it’s just in her head. Then again, I think those would need the accompanying text but #6 could stand on its own.

    I’m going to mull it over but any thoughts v welcome


  • I like 6 as well!

  • @neschof I like #6 too! If you really want the story to be that she is imagining that they are talking about her, then #9, but the story for #6 works 😊

  • I really like 11! I think there is something really simple yet strong about the composition. Her expression made me laugh 😄 Maybe the birds on her head could be in a similar pose as the birds in 6 to convey they are whispering about her

  • I think six is pretty fun! But if you want it to be she is paranoid, you could do 9 with the pigeons in that same whispering pose?

  • @KaraDaniel @BichonBistro @eriberart @carlianne
    Thanks for the feedback! I think maybe I'm leaning towards combining a couple. I'll do another set of sketches with a bit more detail.

  • I like 4, 9 and 11. It would be kind of a sad situation really, but in my opinion 11 adds some humor. I like it! My vote is 11. I think if you want to invoke saddness, without the humor, 9 would be good. I like the interesting perspective of 4.

  • @neschof

    I like #4 and #11. I think you can experiment with the emotion on the old woman more and then the added birds too. #6 would mean you would have to push gesture to pick up emotion of the old woman because she’s further back.

  • @deborah-Haagenson @Heather-Boyd thank you. I decided I would lean into the humour and away from the sad/paranoid - the pigeons are definitely up to something 🙂

    Final sketch after much experimentation with expression, etc.

    • Middle pigeon is whispering about her.
    • Left pigeon is your friend who immediately looks directly at the person you’re talking about when you say "don’t look, but..."
    • woman is hunched protectively around her lunch. She knows they’re up to something & suspects it may be sandwich related.

    Does all that come across? I might make the pigeons bigger so you see their expressions better. The idea of the composition was to have her quite claustrophobic at the edge of the frame to give a slight trapped feeling. She’s perched on the edge of the bench, legs dangling, huddled as far as possible from the pigeons.

    Any other thoughts before I make the final image are v welcome. There’ll be some sort of subtle park background.

  • @neschof

    I love her little legs. Perspective wise the feet of the bench are larger further away and where the lady is sitting it looks like her weight is squishing that side down because it’s smaller. Just something to think about.

  • @Heather-Boyd said in December prompt WIP: pigeons:


    I love her little legs. Perspective wise the feet of the bench are larger further away and where the lady is sitting it looks like her weight is squishing that side down because it’s smaller. Just something to think about.

    Thanks, yeah I see the bench squashing effect now you pointed it out. I'll fix that.

  • I found myself putting off working on this several times over the past week & finally had to admit that I just wasn’t feeling this scene at all. I went back and sketched something simpler that focuses more on her expression. Going to try and paint some nice light and texture and see where it goes.

  • @neschof I like #11. There is something so perfect about your thumbnails. I like how simple and understated they are, but they still convey your message. I'd keep going back to those.

  • @Laurel-Aylesworth thank you. I think you’re right, I’m just not really feeling this!

  • Ok, I think I’m calling this pretty much done now. Time to move on to other things.

  • @neschof

    Oh I like this one. I agree I think in this you were able to work things out in your favour. 🙂

  • @neschof I really like how this turned out! I might try one small adjustment before submitting 🙂 Our friends the pigeons are kinda fading into the background (the ones on her head, I assume the one's in the bushes are meant to fade into the background) A little bit more of a highlight might help to pop them out into the foreground.

    Really, though, this is adorable 🙂

  • This makes me smile when I look at it. It's cute!!

  • @Braden-Hallett thank you, yes I vaguely thought that but was being too lazy to change it 😁

    I’ve now added more of a dark area to the background around her head, added a bit of rim light (hey hey, painting colour and light 2.0 in action!) to the pigeons, and also darkened her mouth as I think it was getting a bit a lost.

    Going to sleep on it and hopefully submit tomorrow.


  • @neschof That reads MUCH better now 🙂 Bravo!

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