Feedback Request WIP Haunted Library



  • Hey guys! Can you help me decide on which comp to go with? I'm leaning slightly toward 3A at the moment. It's a little funky compositionally, but I like the back to back quality of the characters and the "coming up behind you" feeling. What do you guys think?

    1 Comp options.png



  • @TessaW hey Tessa, I’m not sure I’m qualified to give you advice, you always have such great advice for everyone else, I’m absolutely sure you’re a teacher.
    I can share my thought process though.
    Initially I’m drawn to one, I think because the figures are sharper and more obvious and the way the curtains are draped adds something really interesting to the scene.
    I also like the idea of two but being a thumbnail doesn’t read quite so obviously. It took a bit longer for it to sink in.
    On two, Maybe if the shadow was sharper and more of a focal point this would increase the suspense. Also the silhouette of the shadow could really be played with. This could be a really key part of the image.
    I like the way the girl and the boy are posed in two.
    Love it already from your thumbnails, can’t wait to see what you do with it.



  • Is there a brief with this one?



  • I like 2. The composition doesn't (In my opinion) need the figure in the background. The shadow of the figure unseen is more creepy and suspenseful. Great work!


  • SVS OG

    I think it depends on which ones are doing the haunting. The second one is the most suspenseful but it doesn't necessarily read as a haunting. It seems as if the little girls are in danger from a man looking for them. Are the little girls supposed to be the ghosts or is the other figure the ghost? I really like the feel of the room and the way you've compositionally lit the center of it.



  • @demotlj ooo nice twist, I hadn’t thought of it like that.



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  • @TessaW These are all very cool but my eye was drawn to 3A first


  • SVS OG

    @peteolczyk Thanks, I'll check them out.



  • I likw # 2 because of the uncertaintly of seeing shadow creeping in but not knowing what or who is creeping in.......3A I agree is good too!



  • I vote #2 as well. Great concept!



  • I like 2! I think it works better compositionally. In 3 there are too many lines of direction that are leading my eyes to different places and I’m not sure what to focus on.


  • Moderator

    I like two also.



  • Sweet guys. Thanks for your feedback. I've been spinning my wheels for a while and it's nice to have some help getting back on track.

    @peteolczyk You constantly give great feedback. Thank you. The brief for this:

    It's art for a middle grade book. The book follows the same boy on many different adventures. Rather than a long storyline, it's made up of different "episodes" and each chapter is it's own self contained story. We see things mainly through his point of view, but periodically the view will shift to a different character.

    This piece is one of 3-5 illustrations for a chapter in this book. I'll be making a couple of full bleed images and perhaps some spots, or layouts more integrated with the text. By now the reader knows the boy (the one casting the shadow) and have been on many adventures with him, but this setting and the 2 ghosts are new to the reader. The chapter opens from the older ghost's point of view. She's confused and scared about who this boy is and why he's in her home. The view points in this chapter will switch between 3 characters and it will be pretty clear to the reader that 2 of the characters are indeed ghosts. The chapter will gradually reveal some of the relationship between the boy and the ghosts and by the end, the ghosts will "move on".

    This is just a made up brief, so I will probably be putting in a little more information into the illustrations than might actually be done if it was accompanying text, but I still want to strike a good balance between making the story clear through the illustrations and leaving things open as if there where actual text accompanying them. I hope this makes sense. My goal with this piece is to introduce the ghost characters, the setting, and relay the uncertainty and fear of the ghost.

    2 Comp options.png

    I've made up some options based on all your feedback. I'll be playing with the boys cast shadow more, but if anyone has a preference between options, I'd appreciate a vote. Thanks. ☺



  • @TessaW , I like #2 the best.



  • @TessaW I really like this composition with no figure and only shadow. In this way, you can design the shape of the shadow to reflect the emotion of the ghost characters. It can be scary, it can be aggressive, and it can be curious, etc. Great concept.



  • @Jeremy-Ross @TessaW samsies for me on number 2


  • Moderator

    I love how each rough image has a little more of the room's architecture in it--I wonder if communicating to the reader the atmosphere of the house is less/more important, and if that might point you toward which rough to use...

    The direction of the face on 2C could be more effective depending on the scale of the image being large enough to see the direction of her eyes... The turn of the face in both 2A and 2B indicate where she's got her attention focused, but I think that 2C would be more effective it the reader can see either her eye direction or tension in her face and body, and that might require a closer perspective...

    Is it important that the reader have more information about the house itself that it might require more of a view of the doorway? I think it's clear the boy hasn't been here, right? Maybe showing some of the stripped wallpaper and haphazardly hanging drapes is important to communicate an emotional state, maybe?

    All of these three options are lovely, and could be used equally effectively. I guess it all depends on what specifics you might want to get across to the reader...

    Lovely lovely lovely work!!!



  • @TessaW thanks Tessa you’re too kind. You’ve got a really good backstory to this.
    Just my thought process again, I like 2a the best. I think the differences that are drawing me to it are the pose of the characters and the composition element added by the curtain. I think the way it drapes and softens that frame looks really interesting. It also swoops down drawing your eye towards the tension, where the characters are stood.
    The way the girl is looking at the shadow also creates more tension than 2c where she’s looking away.



  • I like 2A the best. The direction of the girls face and eyes are on point and relatable. Definitely keep the drapes, they're really enhancing the mood of the environment.
    As for the cast shadow, since you're going for a long shadow, structurally, it should be more proportionate at the base (near the legs) and should elongate in parts further away from the boy (near the head). So the shadow of the head is basically a long ellipse.
    Beautiful sketch! 🙂


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