Little traveler - personal piece, need feedback :-)

  • I hit a low point with my creative enegy during the last couple weeks with the surreal situation we are in. I try to keep making art in between child care and housework. My brain is a mess.

    So I was looking at some old pieces to see how my work as progressed during the last couple years to give myself some perspective. The b&W below is an old inktober piece I did in 2018. I liked the little traveler and want to make a serie of 3 - 5 images.

    I made 2 rough sketches so far. The serie is about the little traveler's journey to a great mashroom castel. The images are focus on her slow journey, enjoying her moments and her experience of being small in a big world. Are these images interesting? or should I scrap and start over? I am a bit blind. Any thoughts?


  • @xin-li These are already fun images but the concepts of slowness and miniature are wonderfully challenging ones, so I really think you could take them a lot further as a demonstration of what you can do. How can you convey the snail is slow? Maybe it has closed eyes because it's so relaxed it is nearly sleeping. Maybe there are faster insects nearby. The scale can be conveyed by something tiny and familiar, but with a striking amount of detail. Mushrooms can be any size, so something as a reference point might be added. A blade of grass seems a bit sharp, but it would be interesting to see it as big as a tree.

    If you don't want an extra challenge, seeing your work helps me realize that you can make it about expression and exploration and that's ok. I'm having trouble thinking through things these days...

    I hear you about being on a low. This has been a difficult two weeks with the constant interruptions and big life changes. I feel certain that it is going to change so many things about my life that my original goals and plans (i did a business plan assignment and would need to completely redo it. what was already a shaky premise now feels impossible) are completely altered. But I want to continue to learn to illustrate as much as I can regardless of what the future holds. So to see a piece you did in October of 2018 is very encouraging for me. I am determined to stick with learning this for many years. It's a pleasure to be able to draw so i'm going to focus on how much I enjoy it.

  • Moderator

    These are adorable. You said that the little traveler is interacting with the world but right now it seems like little still shots of a pleasant scene. I think the interacting needs to be more apparent. Please don’t scrap! πŸ™‚

  • I think they're sweet. my brain isn't working too well either. BIG hugs ❀️

  • I love the concept and imagery! I would love to see a snippet of their story. Right now these are more like just a characters in a cool environment ❀️ so if they could be doing something, or something just happened or was about to happen. That would make it now engaging.

  • SVS OG

    @xin-li very cute πŸ™‚

  • @carolinedrawing thank you so much for your thoughtful questions. It gives me something to chew on.

    @burvantill hehe, I will treat my sketches as character studies, and making new comps for the story :-). Maybe it is about small changes: for example in the last image, maybe leting the girl reaching for the wild straw berry, instead of just looking at it.

    @Coley big hug back πŸ™‚ it made me feel so much better to share a bit of my art process here. It really helps.

    @carlianne I really like the idea of doing "the moment before..." with the girl and the snail. I have to think a bit harder to get something interesting going.

    @Marsha-Kay-Ottum-Owen thank you :-).

  • I am back to thumbnails and rough sketches
    A little descritpion:
    Sketch 1: the little traveler is reaching out to touch a drop of dew.
    Sketch 2: the little traveler stands on top of the snail to smell the spring flower
    Sketch 3: the little traveler and the snail dresses up.

    With these sketches, I try to focus more on the interaction, and making the characters do stuff. What do you guys think? Are there any of these interesting enough for me to take it to finish yet, or should I keep going with thumbnailing?

  • @xin-li Beautiful active drawings!

  • Moderator

    @xin-li I like all 3. #2 is my favorite if you can capture the fact that the snail is moving while she smells the flower. πŸ™‚
    I could see this as a little board book.

  • @Mara-Price thank you
    @burvantill wow. a board book? That really got me to think. I will give a try. It is always good to have a product in mind I guess.
    My goal so far was to make a serie of images with the same characters :-). It is for my portfolio - I kind of need some serie images.

  • @xin-li said in Little traveler - personal piece, need feedback πŸ™‚:

    Sketch 2: the little traveler stands on top of the snail to smell the spring flower

    I like the 2nd one most, the first one is a bit "normal". While I don't quite get what's going on in sketch #3. Could you make it in more details?

  • @idid thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    I guess I need to keep simplifying the #1. The comp is too complicated, which made it hard to read the main story.
    #3 is very rough. I will do another pass as soon as I got some time to sit down to draw.

  • Such a fun pair these two! This is going to be a great series! @xin-li
    I actually like the first one. I can imagine a story were they might be a little too adventurous, almost at the point of falling down as the snail tries to reach out to a lower flower and the child looking at his/her own thing of interest. Then maybe the comp can be less static with the mushroom bending a lot?

  • Pro SVS OG

    I love number three, number two is great I would love to see it zoomed in

  • @marine interesting. I will keep in mind to make no.1 comp more dynamic when I do the next iteration.
    @lmrush thank you. Do you think no.2 needs to be cropped in? hmmm. that made me think. But... I really want to show the snail character as well somehow. I will play around. I like no.3 as well, but I was not sure if the concept is working glad to hear that you like it. I will work out more details in the next iteration.

  • SVS OG

    At first I liked 2 the best because of the flower and stem curving down. But now that I look at it, I really like 3, because something about that snail's antennae and the dress up theme is really fanciful. Maybe it just needs a bit of refinement in the values? Or maybe it could be "zoomed in" just a tad?

    I actually like all 3 of these, but agree that 1 is more "expected," while 2 and 3 are very dynamic.

    Look forward to seeing how this goes! Hang in there! Your little one is important and these are rough times for everyone. If we could ignore that is going on, we wouldn't be human. And illustrators need to be very human! πŸ˜‰

  • Pro SVS OG

    @xin-li Oh I meant from the first sketch, I now see you had zoomed in already in a later post πŸ™‚

  • @xin-li I love where you are going with these.

    I think that the 3 thumbnails are much more powerful and energetic than the one in your original post. I think that is because you focusing on the characters doing something (other than just walking across the scene.)

    Comments on each sketch

    1: I think it might be more interesting if the snail was eating a strawberry too? Something to make it more active as a second read.

    2: This one provides the best silhouettes by far. If you are going for a spot image I love this one for that.

    1. This one is the hardest to read as a thumb because it is the most complicated, in a book I think it would work later after the reader is familiar with the characters but as a stand-alone, I think you might struggle to convey what is going on. I really like the overall design and using the grasses to focus the viewer back into the center.

    Just some thoughts, keep it up. I know it is hard right now. I am struggling to make any meaningful progress as well.

  • It would deepen the bond and show us another side of the traveler if we saw her caring for her snail, perhaps the way one would care for a horse she loved. Grooming, feeding, scratching that itchy spot behind the tentacle. FYI - when you scratch that "itchy spot" on a a horse, it extends its neck, tilts its head and its upper lip will twist and elongate. That's horse heaven.

Log in to reply