WIP Disco Scene - Thoughts?

  • The current book i'm working on has a spread where the main character breaks into singing nursery rhymes (3 blind mice and them bones) along with some 80's rock ballads. I want to create a disco themed illustration along with a disco ball and characters from the songs to show this (more small characters will be added later) Throughout the book the viewpoint will always be the same as the character builds an imaginative world around them so I can't do much about that.

    I have tried to replicate a disco ball as well as I can, but it feels off to me. I want to punch the purples more, but I'll run into printing issues if I go too far. I could try push the levels a bit more, but I'd like some input as to whether the scene is working well or not.

    singing 1.jpg

  • Hi Gary! Love this image! I googled "disco ball" and luckily found one with your color scheme! I think you can push the dark parts of the disco ball more. Hope this helps!


  • Hello @Gary-Wilkinson I think another thing that would help mightily with selling that this is a disco ball is creating some dappled/glinted light on the back wall/character. Watch some videos of what happens with a disco ball comes out.

    When I think of disco ball, I almost think less about the ball itself and more about the lights spinning around the room.

    Now I don't think you need to go overboard, but having some of the lights bouncing around would be really helpful to sell the illusion.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KqkRCF3TTo

    Skip forward in this video - and see how the lights stretch into soft ovals? I think that could be a really nice effect.

  • Good point about the dappled light @EliaMurrayArt

    Without knowing your plans on further rendering edges- something else to try would be to add in just a few pure white, sharper squares here and there on the disco ball. Not to many, like- 3-5. It might help keep focus on the boy area since he's rendered generally softer and it would help group in to the sharper edges of the notes and stars- and it might help with the glimmering effect. Maybe make the perspective on the squares recede a bit as the go toward the top and bottom poles and narrow out a bit as they go laterally. Possibly make it hang by a "string" like you are doing with your stars already.

    That being said, it could probably be left as-is. It does read as a disco ball and the image as a whole is very attractive and I think the comp flows well.

  • @EliaMurrayArt makes a great point with the dappled light, but I also find myself a little disappointed in those stars - maybe they can be bigger and catch a few spots of that dappled light if you don't have plans to add a full environment/room.

    All those flip-sequin shirts mean that when a kid walks into a room wearing one and the light hits them in a certain way they get the fun of the dappled light and the feeling of BEING a disco ball 😁 so if the stars are overlapping and big, they could show that effect pretty well!

  • @carolinebautista omg, my daughters have flip sequin pillows and I know just what you're talking about. 😛

  • @TessaW Whenever it happens, we have a 30-second miniparty. 😃

    @Gary-Wilkinson You can also throw the dappled light on the main character, the bench, and the broom, that would be fun too. I kind of like the way you've created the room with just color so I hope you keep that. 🙂

    edited to fix the name that came up when I tried to add a response to Gary, so sorry about that.

  • Thank you for the comments everyone they have given me some great ideas and i'm sure they will help the final spread. I really wish printers were more magical, as the limitations of CMYK really hold back those lovely purples 😕

    @aprilshin Thank you for searching for reference! I tried my best to replicate the ball, but I think you're right about pushing the darks more. I have to be careful not to make things too strong though as it may not work so well with the other spreads.

    @EliaMurrayArt Great point about the dappled light and thank you for the reference video, ill give that a shot and see how it looks.

    @TessaW You're right about the edges and the softness of the boy, he still needs a bit of work so hopefully he can fit in well by the end.

    @carolinebautista The star definitely need to have more of a boost and using the dappled sounds sounds like a good plan.

  • It's been a while since I have had chance to get back to this piece, but I decided to take another shot at it to fit with the rest of the book and from a lot of great advice that was given in this post that I really think has helped improve it.

    Also I did like the original pose, but I felt it didnt fit the character of the story as he isn't as wild as I showed here.

    I'd be happy to hear if anyone has anymore suggestions or things I could tweak that might help give it a finishing touch.


  • SVS OG

    @Gary-Wilkinson cool! It's so nice to see the finish piece after so long.

  • @Gary-Wilkinson what! I love it!! He's so cute. And I'm so very curious as to what the story is now?? What are the mice doing? what's the little... round buddy? What's happening? haha it's so good! The disco ball is working out a lot better. The whole comp works really nicely now.

  • Wowowow, I love this so much!! And the disco ball is very much improved! Well done! I also love that the clouds are more defined and the stars really pop! I wonder if adding the reflected light from the disco ball would add to the drama of this piece or if it would make it too busy? Just my two cents! 🙂 Beautiful illustration! Thanks for sharing with us! ❤


  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz It's good to have it done after so long 😛

    @EliaMurrayArt Glad you like it! So the character was bored of doing nothing so he decided to sing 3 blind mice and dem bones which will pop up later in the character as he builds his imaginary world.

    @aprilshin Thank you for the comments. I did want to add more speckled lighting around the scene, but i've had to be quite careful with the color balance once its put into cmyk and any more intensity to the purples will mess with that. Also I think it would also take away some focal point from the main character being lit up.

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