Nightfall - WIP - Feedback needed :) (new update)

  • Hi everyone!

    I have been preparing myself for the February contest and would like to share the stages of my work with you, and ask for feedback.

    I am currently still in the thumbnail stage. I did some research beforehand, created a mood board (and thought long and hard ;).

    I have chosen 3 concepts that I wanted to explore in the thumbnail stage. You can see them on the image below. I hope you can read it well enough (and don't mind my handwritten scribbles :p).

    My eye is drawn mostly to the thumbnail on the most right hand, for concept 3. What I like to achieve with this new illustration, is to have enough narrative in the illustration. It must tell a story well enough. Also I'd like to add more interaction between the characters. These were points of feedback given to me and I would like to get better at this. Which concept do you think is best for achieving these goals?

    Nightfall Thumbnails.jpg

    I think I will choose 2 of the 3 concepts to create 2 more detailed sketches with values and colors to choose my final concept that I will take forward in creating the image.

  • Hello. It's a little difficult to see the sketches but from a distance my eye is drawn to the 2nd one. Hope this helps!

  • I'm in love with concept 2, and concept 3 would be my second choice. The potential problem I can see with concept 2 is the balance. With the two characters off on the right, we'd need something on the left to kinda balance things out (nightlight? fishtank with glowing top?)

    REALLY cool idea. Can't wait to see this fleshed out!

  • @nadyart I especially love concept 2, but i think it might help if you narrowed in on the bedroom parts of the bedroom. Perhaps the bed can be against the wall with the picture frames (so opposite what it is now), and maybe she can be kneeling on the foot of her bed, touching her window, with the book open next to her. I know it's just a thumbnail and your text shows me you have created a bedroom for her, but I still think it would help if the bed were part of the focal point.

    I think all your concepts are wonderful and would work, so I can't be much help in narrowing them down. πŸ™‚ can't wait to see more.

  • Thank you @Rachel-Horne and @Braden-Hallett !
    @carolinedrawing when I'm working on the second concept, I will try to place the bed otherwise, thank you for the tip! I think that will look better and it will emphasise it is her bedroom.

    I have started working on the first concept and made a sketch and a value study.
    I think I put way too much time into it and I'm not yet pleased with the result, as far as the values go. I think this will be a very tricky illustration to make for me due to the complex composition and values at nighttime (I normally think I make pretty easy compositions within my comfort zone, so this will be pushing me).
    I chose for the thumbnail with the brother, since it will emphasise the fact that there is something secret going on. I placed the brother in the upper bed, to create more of a cosy nook in the bottom, and also it will show that it is the little brother that is reading past bedtime.

    I may want to take the same steps with the 3d concept as well (the little girl with the fish), it will definitely be a good practice. But I don't know if it has enough story to it, and it's also the middle of February already, so there are some time constraints :).

    Anyways, this is what I worked on today. I would appreciate feedback; can I proceed into the painting stage or are there big things to address beforehand?

    Nightfall Concept 2 Sketches.jpg

  • So I have sketched and thought some more, and yesterday I finished this bigger sketch.
    I was looking a lot at the composition in general and the narrative, since these are the points that I'm working on currently. Do you think the story is clear? And how do you think the composition looks? The values and color is something I haven't figured out yet. I am really out of my comfort zone with this piece. This may not be the last sketch, I realise it looks too busy, especially in the foreground.

    Nightfall Sketch New2 copy.jpg

  • Is there maybe anyone that can help me get unstuck on this (see my last post)? I’ve been stuck on the illustration for some days now, running into my limitations. It’s taking the joy out of it a bit. If anyone has some input, that would be greatly appreciated πŸ™‚

  • Personally I think the left side of the image is detracting. The story is clearly on the right side (or at least it's clear when I look at it). What I might look to do is really zero in on that bottom right side and maybe shift everything over if possible. So if the 2nd character that's sleeping you might only see a bit of him/her. You'd want to push that character way back anyway since they will likely be in the shadow of the image. And if you push it back as it is right now you're going to have a huge void of space over there with a really small focal point.

    It's like you've got 2 focal points right now and one is important and one isn't. The 2nd character is reinforcing what the main character is doing.

  • I think that the composition generally works, but it will really need you to control your values and contrast well to keep your focal point. I would suggest perhaps lowering the shelves a little so you keep the clutter together and keep the breathing-room feeling around your main character. I'd also suggest making sure you sprinkle in a couple more non-woodland creature toys into the mix so it's clear they are toys.

    Anyway, I'm not the best at compositions, but those are just my thoughts.


    Great job overall, I think you should go ahead with the illustration.

  • @nadyart I think @jdubz has some great suggestions. I would also suggest just start playing with the value. I always find myself coming up with solutions while playing around with the value. If you start with 2-4 values to play with and try to keep each attempt within 30-40mins and see how you feel about the image after a couple of attempts.

  • Thank you for your comments! It's greatly appreciated :)!

    @jdubz I understand your concerns. I've been focused on how the image reads and had consciously chosen to create those two focal points, while the left one would have less value and will therefor not attract that much attention. But since this does not help the piece, I may get back to the thumbnail stage and start over.

    @TessaW Thank you for your suggestions, I'll take them into account while redrawing!

    @xin-li I'm very unexperienced with this. I definitely will look into this at an earlier stage next time and make it a new learning point going forward. For this piece my goals were to create a more complex composition than the usual ones that I create, plus to have the narrative read better in the image, since my work often lacks good narrative. So I've been focused on working with those two main issues. It's getting a bit too much to focus on everything at once I notice. I think the piece doesn't work well, as I did not factor in the values early on.

  • @nadyart I think the difficulty of this piece is that part of the narrative is having a crowd of little stories happening all over one image. So to concept this out early on, some artists don't use much value, but they would need to use groupings. Your other concepts were simpler than this one, so i do kind of think you chose the most challenging one.
    There's an SVS class by Will Terry called 50 things, and I think it's a class all its own because it's a challenge to keep a focal point with so many things in the image. It's one of the classes i'll be taking next month or so.
    I think this image has too many sharp edges and i don't think those would disappear with adding more storybook characters.

  • @nadyart Oh, please don't start over. The idea is awesome. Really minor tweaks I think would make it really shine. What you have going on under the window is fantastic.

  • @nadyart sorry to provide feedback so late in the game. I was out of town. I think you don't need to start over. I think once you add values it will come together. A little vignette light on the main character will probably solve most of your issues.

  • @nadyart I agree with @jdubz it's such a great idea - and I think you can also try cropping it different ways.

  • SVS OG

    Sorry I'm also late to the discussion but I agree with those who say you shouldn't start over because the overall feel of the scene is very sweet. I also agree with those who said that adding value might be all it needs to pull it together.

  • @carolinedrawing I did indeed choose the most challenging one. But I wanted to and I made it difficult for myself :p. But I needed to get out of my comfort zone. I really like to do the 50 things course as well, after I've finished the composition one!

    @jdubz Thank you! I just could not move forward with the sketch because I was too stuck. So I did a remake for that purpose.

    @chrisaakins Thank you!

    @demotlj Thank you as well πŸ™‚

    So I did create new thumbnails for the same concept. I chose a new sketch and created a value study. I think it is somewhat better now, but I do find the children's bedroom extremely difficult. There are so many things out of my comfort zone with this piece that I just keep running into my now limitations. Which is good in a way because I need to tackle those. But also very frustrating :P. I think I will move forward to start the final piece, using this sketch. Unless anyone thinks there are very important things to address still.

    Nightfall Sketch New6 copy.jpg

  • @nadyart I really like this, cosy and a bit tense at the same time. I like the balance of light and dark and the position of the focus, it leads my eye around nicely. Maybe make the background quite minimal if you're not sure how you want to handle it - just suggestions of a room

  • @nadyart it’s really great to watch your thought process with this image, and I love the most recent value study. For me, having the brother asleep in the background helps the story, and I think it will be possible to add enough detail as you develop the image to keep the character in the background readable , without distracting from the main focal point. I wonder if you could use a secondary light source that is cooler and dimmer in the background to illuminate sleeping character, say moonlight coming in from the window? That might be tricky but it might be fun to try it out

  • @nadyart this is great. You hit all the keywords you mentioned for the story. Can not wait to see this being finished πŸ™‚

Log in to reply