Last minute critique, please! January WIP


  • SVS OG

    This is the last day I have to work on my January contest submission. I have a couple more things I already know I want to do to it (mostly concerning the foreground couple and/or general color/value adjustments), but would like to get a fresh eye as well. I may not be able to make huge adjustments today, but I will take anything into consideration, and I want your honest opinions, so anything goes!

    After messing around with several variations on the number and position of foxes in the background, I finally settled on these two, with the running one taken down in saturation. I completely redrew his dance partner yesterday, because the perspective and gesture were bothering me. Do you think they work now? I think they make the scene more dynamic because they give the idea that the foxes aren't oblivious to danger and the other couple will do the same in the next instant. But someone else may disagree!

    Thank you!

    January contest two fox variation 3 copy.jpg



  • I think the dancing gesture on the foreground foxies is great! My only small issue is that I thought the rear coattail was a fox leg (though that's probably because that's where I would have drawn the leg so I may be biased, lol).

    The expression on the hound definitely reads as surprise/amazement 🙂

    This is probably a 'for next time' kinda thing. The hiding fox on the right feels like 'hiding to ambush' as opposed to 'hiding to remain hidden/flee' if you get what I mean.

    The running gesture on the rear most fox is great (I can never nail that particular gesture for fleeing canids).

    I might try a spot of light on the dancing foxes that catches the text as well. Maybe the low moon spills a shaft of light from the hound to the dancing foxes but the trees cast shadow over the rest? I'll try and do a quick draw over in the next hour and a half or so.

    I really like it as a piece! I always have a hard time doing colours in moonlight and dim light.



  • @LauraA said in Last minute critique, please! January WIP:

    This is the last day I have to work on my January contest submission. I have a couple more things I already know I want to do to it (mostly concerning the foreground couple and/or general color/value adjustments), but would like to get a fresh eye as well. I may not be able to make huge adjustments today, but I will take anything into consideration, and I want your honest opinions, so anything goes!

    After messing around with several variations on the number and position of foxes in the background, I finally settled on these two, with the running one taken down in saturation. I completely redrew his dance partner yesterday, because the perspective and gesture were bothering me. Do you think they work now? I think they make the scene more dynamic because they give the idea that the foxes aren't oblivious to danger and the other couple will do the same in the next instant. But someone else may disagree!

    Thank you!

    January contest two fox variation 3 copy.jpg
    I read the fox crouching as keeping an eye out on behalf of the fox-trotters. I see what @Braden-Hallett is saying about the coattail—maybe just erase that piece as it could be hidden by fox’s tail. It could be swirling up and out too for more action, but that might be distracting from the main focus. I love the concept!



  • @LauraA ![alt text]

    I think the thing that was bugging me about Mr. Fox's left foot is that it's orange, but his right foot is black 🙂

    alt text



  • @LauraA I love the dancing couple in the foreground and the dancing footprints on the snow. Your color and lighting are really setting the mood for this piece. It is really pretty and poetic.
    I like what @Braden-Hallett did with the lighting. It gives more focus to the dancing sweetheart.

    I am not sure about the two other foxes in the illustration. They have interesting gestures and beautifully drawn. But I am not sure if they contribute to the main story. Wound the image work better without the other 2 foxes in the background?


  • SVS OG

    @LauraA Agree about the coattail - this is such a strong piece!! Absolutely love the style


  • SVS OG

    @Braden-Hallett Oh my goodness, you're right! 😂 I must have erased the foot on the black layer at some point and forgot to put it back in! And I love what you did with the lighting--good work on my piece there!

    @xin-li I did take the other foxes out more than once, but kept putting them back in. I'm sticking in an older version without them below. Tell me what you think!

    And I did take the coattail out. Thanks, @Kevin-Longueil and @BichonBistro! Have to go out now and hope I have time to finish this properly before the deadline. Nothing like some fresh eyes!

    January contest foxtrot no animals.jpg


  • SVS OG

    So do the upvotes mean you like the answer or out with the foxes? 😂



  • @LauraA I can't decide on the foxes 🤪
    p.s. don't forget to remove the coattail!



  • @LauraA said in Last minute critique, please! January WIP:

    So do the upvotes mean you like the answer or out with the foxes? 😂

    I say out with the foxes 🙂



  • I agree @LauraA the other foxes were a distraction. I say out with them. Lovely work!



  • I also feel the story is clearer without the other foxes. If you want to have other foxes in, try to think a bit more on how they can enhance the story: depending on the story you want to tell, maybe their focus should be on the couple as well? - making everyone being charmed by the beautiful couple and fogot about everything else.


  • SVS OG

    Ok, tomorrow when I have time the foxes are out, and light is in! You know, it’s always hard to let go of something you worked hard on, but that’s a lesson in itself!

    Thank you all so much for your help!! Good night!



  • I also prefer this without the other foxes. The mood of your piece is so peaceful - It's one of my favorites this month!


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