Critiques welcome - WIP

  • Hi everyone. I created some thumbnails for this month's prompt, which led me to this idea. I can't submit it because there's no snow - LOL. But I wanted to finish the idea anyway. That's the purpose behind prompts, right? Anyway, if anyone has any comments on how to improve the piece, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!


  • @Laurel-Aylesworth love this! it reminds me of Kelly Murphy's illustrations for the Wollstonecraft Detective Agency:

    Couple of things: a staircase usually leads to a hallway ( this looks like a room to me because of the arch), and the size difference between two similarly aged characters seems to suggest that the boy is back a bit, yet the perspective seems to disagree? That and it seems like an unnatural thing for her to step on the wall. What's particularly charming about this is that she is like a regular kid, tracking mud everywhere, even into her own painting, so I would expect her to have typical kid movements.

    It might help to put the painting on a side wall in a room off a hallway, so that the frame envelops the left edge - that way you can enlarge her and keep him a bit smaller - and to put her footprint on the frame. (this is hard to explain without drawing over it, but it has to do with the way the walls meet right now that doesn't quite work for me.

  • @carolinedrawing You're so spot on. For the life of me, I couldn't find a good reference for an interior space, which shows in the perspective wonkiness. Kelly Murphy is one of my illustration heroes so I definitely had her style in mind while working on this. Thanks so much for your comments!

  • SVS OG

    I really like this idea and would love to see you submit it somehow. You could have the portrait of the woman be a scene of her standing outside in the snow, which would make it eligible for the contest and give a reason for the tracks in the hall.

  • Moderator

    Yes, I completely echo, @demotlj's thoughts--having her in a coat in the snow would be brilliant. And a relatively easy fix with a bit of research.

    I can't address the interior space, but you're off to a wonderful start!

  • @demotlj This is a brilliant idea. I'm going to give it a try!

  • I really where this is going! Is it attached to a specific story or just suggestive of one? One note on the composition: there are a lot of lines parallel to the edges of the canvas, ie perfectly horizontal or vertical, which can flatten things out. It might be worth trying to nudge the perspective to get lines that are slightly diagonal and see how it feels.

  • @Braxton Yes, I totally agree. Going to play around with getting more depth in the next iteration.

  • I love the mood of this image, very intriguing.
    I notice the image seems to be equally divided with a line in the middle, which made the image look less dynamic. I am not entirely sure if that is intentional.

  • I love the idea. It's really sweet! I agree with @xin-li about the centre line created by the light and dark. I would also suggest having a chair or small table in front of the painting so she has something to climb onto to get back into the painting rather than having foot prints on the wall. I know this is a prompt but if you wanted to make the footprints paint footprints (As she's a painting) I think that would cool. This is a great piece!

  • I'm exploring another layout for this idea (also including snow tracks instead of mud), but I'm not sure if I should pursue this option or just work on the first one. Thoughts?


  • SVS OG

    @Laurel-Aylesworth I like this and the original too but his one gave me a thought of how to possibly tie it a bit closer to the prompt - from this perspective it would be easy'ish to make it an outside/inside shot - having the fellow with candle be on the porch outside where there could clearly be snow and through the open door we could see the painting and the footsteps going in. just an idea and feel free to ignore 🙂 I'm looking forward to seeing where this ends up

  • Both versions look lovely, but I really like where you were going with your first version. It feels more mysterious and puts me more into the scene. There's more anticipation for the boy turning the corner and I love the looming quality of the portrait. I really like @carolinedrawing's suggestion of having the footprint on the frame, like she's climbing into it. If you want to keep more to the snow theme, I think @Kevin-Longueil's idea would definitley work and you could probably even keep the composition of the 1st idea if you wanted.

    Just my two cents. I love the mood and idea behind this. So cool!

  • Hi, same here; love the idea, spirit and atmosphere, thumbs up! 🙂 Story-wise I'd prefer the first composition to the second one, because of the "sneaking up" vs "sneaking down", i.e. he's sneaking up on her, but it isn't threatening, more curious, wondering, maybe a little afraid, but mostly curious, while sneaking down gives me a more prohibitive, "threat looming" feel and I prefer the first :p

    One thing about the first that caught my eye in the first glance was the stark contrast of the chandelier over the boy. Value-wise it's just as strong as the contrast of the boy's head-to-face-to-candle-light, so the eye jumps between the two and detracts from the main actor. Perhaps you don't need the chandelier lit up, seeing that he has a candle anyhow, or you could put those old glass blobby glass-thingies around them that dim them and maybe darken the whole area towards the ceiling in the staircase. But really like the story, character design and feeling in that image!!

  • You guys are awesome.

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