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

  • I had this idea for a while. It has been developed a bit further in my brain. Now I finally got a chance to put down on paper. Here is a very rough thumbnail - A result of doodling about 20 thumbnails to get something I think is presentable 🙂 The perspective on this one was quite difficult for me to draw.

    Pitch: a group of kids is collaborating to draw a dragon on the snow using their footprints. Will is flying over with his friends in a hot air balloon. Will is amazed by the pattern on the snow.

    I am thinking the scene is like kids drawing with chalk on the sidewalk, except in this case, they are drawing with their footsteps on the snow.

    What do you guys think? does the concept make sense (I know it is not realistic, hehe...)? Any suggestions on composition?


  • @xin-li yes it makes sense, great idea, can’t wait to see you develop it.

  • I think it looks good. My eye goes between Will and the dragon, and then down the dragon tail and back up so it seems to work
    At least for me!

  • @peteolczyk thank you. I will be working on this next week :-). I am excited.
    @Coley Interesting. This gives me some new ideas. I might work more on the comp to make Will's binocular pointing to a more purposeful focal point.

  • @xin-li another thing you could use the angle of the trees at the bottom. They could definitely point up at Will or the dragon as from this angle you point the tops any way you want.

  • @theprairiefox thank you. Very interesting. I will work on that.

  • I think the concept makes sense and I like the composition. You could also have Will pointing excitedly toward the snow dragon. Either way I'm looking forward to seeing this develop!

  • Working out the Jan piece. I am still struggling with the character design: both for the dragon and the boy. Let me know if you have any thoughts on the composition, and shape design.

    I am watching Marco Bucci's youtube channel. There are a couple of videos about shape design. I try to apply the learning into this piece.

    If anyone have tips on how to practice drawing tiny people in a scene, let me know. I have no clue how I am going to draw the kids who are walking in the snow to make the shapes. They are tiny.
    dragon in snow copy.jpg

  • @xin-li This is great! I think it's fine that the kids are tiny since they aren't the focus. Even at the thumbnail size I can tell what's going on (that they're kids making tracks), so that's a good sign. The only suggestion is that the kid in the balloon doesn't seem to be looking directly at the dragon (but more at the left bottom tree), so consider turning his face a little away from the camera. As always, you have some great movement going on.

  • @xin-li it's really fun! I agree with turning Will's head. For the small kids I think you just need a good sillhouette and you can keep the detail really minimal.

    I was wondering if it could look more like they are making the dragon shape. Could it have one part that you're about to finish? Like there is a boy by the nose and there is a little bit of the snout erased? And were you planning to add regular foot prints too?

  • @Laurel-Aylesworth Thank you for the critique. I see now that Will is not pointing the dragon :-).
    @carlianne thank you for your suggestions. I was going for the "making the dragon", but I was afraid of not given enough info for the viewer if the dragon shape is not clear. I guess I have to work on the balance of that. I want to make the dragon look like "almost done, but not quite yet." I have not thought about adding regular footprints. It would add realism. But I will see how I can find a way to hint it without it being a distraction.

  • @xin-li I think it is a fun concept, and I really like the perspective! ❤️

  • Brilliant concept, nice composition too. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

  • @Jenna-Jenks @ChloeB-artistry thank you so much.

  • process.jpg
    Progress so far. I am not very happy with the color yet. I need to fiddle a bit more before moving forward. Any thoughts?

  • @xin-li looking really great, I like the colour palette so far.

    I love the idea you added of the kid doing a snow angel for the dragon eye but I'm not sure it works as well visually. In your rough sketch the dragon is almost another character, with expression and personality. In the most recent image I think that is lost somewhat. Perhaps that is what you want though - he feels more like just a pattern in the snow than a character in the story ( if this was a book then he could 'come alive' on the next page when the kids are finished 😃)

  • I love the composition so far ♥
    I agree with @neschof for the dragon eye, I'm not sure if it works visually with the child into. We lost a part of his personnality. Maybe you can let the track of a snow angel without having the child ?
    For colours palette, I like the background with dragon, children etc, the bear plush. I think the palette of clother + balloon is okay, but yeah maybe you can find the best issue playing with them more. Maybe with balancing saturation in the foreground ? I'm sure you'll find
    I love the idea, I'm hurry to see the result !

  • @neschof thank you so much for the feedback. Very interesting about the eye. I will try both approaches and see what I like the best.

  • 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.)

  • 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. ❤

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