Critique request for a new portfolio piece.



  • Happy new years pals! I have been reading posts from this forum for a couple months, and have been benefiting so much from your discussions.

    In 2020 I'll be updating a few pieces in my PB portfolio. Below is my value study for a piece to work on in the next few weeks. hope I can get some critiques from you guys. The story is about a little girl having fun with traditional Chinese calligraphy with a giant brush in the attic. My style is often a little bit flat with distorted objects sometimes, and the final piece will be done with watercolor and ink.

    I am very much interested in your feedback on composition, which I don't have much confidence in. I am also looking for advice on how express emotions better (more dramatic) in an illustration. Of course your opinion on anything else would also be appreciated!
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  • Hi, this is super cute. The first thing that strikes me is that the line of action goes off the bottom right hand side of the page. Maybe try changing the sweep on the page to keep the eye inside the pictures to see all the detail that you've put in. Maybe some more space down the bottom right corner. I'd bring down the contrast on the chair and bookshelf too, because it is currently competing for attention with the girl. Nice job



  • I love this drawing it has so much heart and joy in it. I notice its raining out the window and the blind is blowing but the window looks closed. Could you have something blown off the table perhaps to increase the drama? The cat cleaning its paws in front of the neat stacks of paper is a nice contrast of action. I think you could get away with a disjointed composition however the image does look cropped. Well done nice work. 🙂



  • I second @NelsonYiap's suggestion with the line of action/flow and toning done the contrast of the chair and bookshelf.

    In regards to the flow if this was a full book spread this page might be more interesting and have it feed into the next page. I feel like the dark fat calligraphy stroke she made in the corner leads me off the page, but could potentially lead to the next plot point/illustration.

    Another thought that might help in making it more interesting is putting hierarchy into practice. Think about what you want to stand out the most. For me, for this piece the order of hierarchy/focal points would be: 1-the girl, and 2-the calligraphy mark or trail of paper. Everything else can be made more subtle. You could make the chair appear smaller by pushing back the desk, chair and wall in the space you've created.



  • Thank you @NelsonYiap and @akterrey ! I'll definitely bringing down the contrast of chair and bookshelf and revising the action line.

    And thank you @NicholeMarie , your way of thinking in hierarchy definitely helps! This is what I really need to work on. I often rely on intuition too much or focus too much on tiny things and thus not being able to get the big picture right.


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