Jan WIP - Let's draw a dragon on the snow (Critiques welcome :-)



  • I want to lead the viewers to focus on the dragon. But it is kind of hard to design the image that pattern on the snow would have the most contrast in value. So I try to put the most contract in value on the little people who are making the dragon. Any suggestions to make the dragon pop a bit more?

    Here are 4 versions, which one do you think works best. (Keywords: adventurous, fun.)
    process01.jpg


  • Moderator

    snow dragon.jpg 9e2de058-3d7b-4de9-a4c3-f298160345ce-image.png

    This is just an idea, doesn't mean I'm going in the right direction, and I hope you don't mind that I did a paint over..

    I tried to drag attention to the dragon by upping the contrast a bit. Deep snow with harsh lighting can make the tracks pretty dark. Then I added some blue shadows to the balloon and characters in it. Then some clouds passing by, with a gap near the kids face, and where the dragon and center children are.

    Great piece, I really love this. ❤



  • @xin-li What about playing around with the time of day so you can play around with color on the snow? Late afternoon light with purples and golds, the way Will Terry works in color to winter scenes. I think I agree about the eye, although the angel in the snow idea is clever.



  • @CLCanadyArts thank you so much for the reference and the draw-over. I like the direction and I will see how I can incorporate the idea into my piece.



  • @Laurel-Aylesworth I will check Will's lighting tutorial again. I remember there is one with the fox driving through the snowy forest.

    I guess I need to take out the snow angle. It was a very fun idea, but it seems it does not work the way I did it.



  • @xin-li color-wise, 1. for composition, the last one. You may want to try a more discrete distribution of kids. Right now all four picture seems a little even-distributed.



  • @Lobalyss thank you for the feedback. I will try the snow angel without the kid in it :-).



  • @idid Good point with how the kids are distributed. I will try to find some rhythm to them 🙂



  • I keep adjusting the composition here and there, and color as well.
    process02.jpg

    I am close to finish the study and start painting soon. Let me know if there is anything that sticks out. 🙂



  • I love the concept and composition!
    I would be mindful not to up the contrast of the dragon too much, I think it dissipates the relationship between the fore- and background, causing it to look like the dragon is very close to the balloon. I definitely think the 1st one does not have this effect, so I would personally go with that one. Plus it gives the viewer a chance to investigate the image more, and see the dragon after the children. I hope this makes any sense 🙂
    *Plus the shadows of the children in the first image show very well that they are standing on their creation and the dragon is a relatively flat surface they stand on.



  • I agree with what @nadyart has said, but I do like the yellow sky in the second one and the sunshine hitting the ground! I think it suits the atmosphere of the piece better. I can't wait to see the finished illustration 🙂



  • @nadyart thank you so much for the feedback. I will fiddle a bit more with the value for the dragon :-).
    @eriberart I went back and forth with the color of the sky. I will paint a bit more on other parts of the image, and get back to it tomorrow.



  • @xin-li my suggestion for contrast is to make the snow a warmer color and make the dragon a cooler color. Because all the warms of the balloon and character in the balloon are drawing our eye away from the blues, and also that round balloon/mountain range is keeping my eye up there. So another suggestion might be to have pine trees on the “foreground” of the ground “pointing” at the dragon rather than leafless trees and align them in a similar curve as you did the mountain range. Does that make sense?
    Warm and cool suggestion: Something like this?
    66C45278-20C9-4E36-8257-424EEAAF18B3.jpeg



  • @xin-li said in Jan WIP - Let's draw a dragon on the snow (Critiques welcome 🙂:

    @nadyart thank you so much for the feedback. I will fiddle a bit more with the value for the dragon :-).
    @eriberart I went back and forth with the color of the sky. I will paint a bit more on other parts of the image, and get back to it tomorrow.

    I keep waffling between the two!

    Take the following as very light suggestions since I think the options you have already are awesome and work great 🙂

    A way to make the warmer (sunset?) option more interesting could be to throw it into half light. That way you get to play with warm snow AND cool snow much like @Aleksey said

    000d8360-65bd-429e-8b32-7bc623ed1620-image.png

    Also, snow can REALLY take on the colour of the sky.

    9b885bf2-2252-41ae-9f7e-d3d2a942cf64-image.png

    I had, like, 10 more reference photos of my backyard that were better than these but my phone is stuck in some wierd backup loop. Blurgh.

    Anyhoo, this is awesome. Great work 😃



  • process02.jpg
    @Aleksey @Braden-Hallett Thank you so much for the feedback. I played a bit with the warm snow and cool dragon idea (see no.3). I think I really likes it. I struggled to find one overall color and one contrast color for the main subject. I think now it is finally going in the right direction.

    @Aleksey I am also going to redesign the tree in the foreground. I just feel the shapes I use are too complicated. I try to simplify them.

    I try to keek the value of Will and balloon close to each other, so they are more or less grouped as one shape. But I do not know if Will and the hot balloon is still to prominent compared to the dragon.

    My lighting is not realistic at all, but I hope it is kind of work in its own logic. I will add a bit more shadow for the kids on the ground to really sell the idea that they are 3d dimensional, and the dragon is flat.

    Thank you for all the feedback so far, everyone. This is a lot of fun.



  • @xin-li best of luck this is a tough problem but in sure you will solve it

    @Braden-Hallett this is your backyard??



  • @Aleksey said in Jan WIP - Let's draw a dragon on the snow (Critiques welcome 🙂:

    this is your backyard??

    lol, no, though the same area. In the second one you can probably see my house way up on the hill in the background.



  • @Braden-Hallett my “backyard” is full of trash because my neighbors never use it.



  • @Aleksey said in Jan WIP - Let's draw a dragon on the snow (Critiques welcome 🙂:

    @Braden-Hallett my “backyard” is full of trash because my neighbors never use it.

    That... sounds... delightful.



  • @Braden-Hallett need references?


Log in to reply