How does this read?


  • SVS OG

    Hi! This is a rough value sketch for one of a series of illustrations from prompts. I don't want to reveal the prompt because I want to see how someone might read it coming from outside. This is the one in the series I'm having the most trouble with, partly because it has turned into a Draw 25 Things exercise, whereas my goal was to work very quickly!

    So, can you tell what's going on here? Suggestions for improvement? Suggestions or grouping things so that it looks more organized? (I know, for example, that the girl on the floor and the shark are at the same angle, so I may change one of them.)

    Thanks in advance for your fresh reads and advice!

    Childhood Week Mission 3 copy.jpg



  • @LauraA I like the chaos. It looks like our kids going crazy just 10 minutes before bedtime 😂



  • 74AEBAF4-D8C3-41A6-B01B-C4E99FB9BA18.png
    I did a quick abstract draw over of shapes and lines of action.
    I don’t know if it helps in anyway at all, but it gives you another abstract viewpoint.


  • SVS OG

    @peteolczyk Thank you! Your diagram confirms that it's a mess! I was thinking more of the logic of the game and a kid's messy room, but I think I need to impose at least a little more order--like in one of those Baroque battle scenes! 😆

    Also, I keep thinking, How can I apply the rule of...what does Will say? Big, little, huge? Sure, there is some variation in the size of stuffed animals, but not that much!



  • @LauraA I’m guessing Will’s big, little, huge rule that you mentioned, might work really well here, depending what you’re trying to show.

    (Also I didn’t draw over any of your perspective lines and this might have given it more order.)

    It is a really fresh looking sketch and I think the way you’ve drawn it quickly really captures the action and chaos.
    I’m just wondering did you try any thumbnail versions for another way of looking at it?



  • @LauraA Hi Laura - I wonder if I'm very good at giving feedback because the whole thing looks fine to me - a couple of things that stand out perhaps the dark values could be a little more balanced, I mean having some more dark value higher in the image? Also I'm wondering how old the kids are as the beds look quite small? But really, I think overall the image works really well.


  • SVS OG

    Thank you!

    @peteolczyk I didn't exactly do thumbnails, because this exercise for me is all about drawing more quickly--ideally 1 or 2 days instead of two weeks. But I did move things around and change poses. I think I may skip this day and come back to it when I have time to start again from scratch!

    @Rachel-Horne You're right about the beds! I noticed that too. I was trying to limit the dark values to the central characters so as to draw attention to them.

    Back to the drawing board, so to speak!



  • @LauraA ah yes, ok, I see about the values 🙂


  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @LauraA is the prompt kids pretending to be in the ocean?



  • It looks like a group of kids being naughty - making a big mess, jumping on the beds, & fighting with each other.

    I'd say they are taking advantage of the babysitter, but I think the person peeking in should be bigger / look older than the kids, if that's the case, and the blankets should be at least a little messed up or disheveled.

    I like the posing of the 3 kids. The person peeking in is at the same angle as the person next to them in the image, so you might want to think about switching something up.

    Another thing to consider about the shark toy is that it's huge!

    Overall, it's really good! I agree with @peteolczyk , it definitely has a chaotic feeling.



  • I've heard said a few times from things about illutsration that the corners shouldn't matter. You don't want peoples eyes to get trapped in the corner.

    In this image you have a stuffy in almost every corner. I'd just delete them.

    I think what peteoclycyk did was pretty helpful to see this in the abstract!! I gotta try that sometime


  • SVS OG

    @Chip-Valecek This was today's Childhood Week prompt--Mission. I'm going to skip it and come back to it, because I am killing myself trying to do a finished illustration from a rough sketch every day, and in this case, the rough sketch simply isn't working yet.

    Anyway, the scene is based on a game my sister and I made up in which we pretended there was a flash flood and we had to rescue all the dolls and animals from the rising waters as quickly as possible. Because it's not easy to show pretend water 😆, I added some props. Now it looks more like the ocean--oh well! In the drawing, I am over-dramatically trying to "swim" and hand off a stuffed horse to my younger sister, and my best friend is turning around to see what all the fuss is about as she tends to her rescuees.

    @Miriam Good point! I'll muss up the beds at least a little! Also I did notice that the angles were similar, but I might take out my mom/grandmother (could be either). The huge shark toy was an attempt to follow Will's big, little huge rule, but it's hard to follow the logic of stuffed animal games and composition rules at the same time! My sister really did have a stuffed frog that was as big as she was, though, and it really did hang from the bed.

    @Frost-Drive You may be right about the corners. It will make any scene look flatter. I was just trying to distribute lots of animals!

    Anyone have suggestions as to how to make it realistically chaotic (because it is an adrenalin game, after all), and still preserve enough order to be a pleasing illustration? Generally we don't think of kids' rooms as oases of harmony, especially in situations like this! 😂 Maybe I'll have time by next week to review Draw 50 Things and find some examples.

    Thank you all for your feedback! 🤗



  • @LauraA I had to look at it for about 20 seconds or so but my guess was what you just described in Your last post with saving the stuffies! Yes it is a bit chaotic and I’m not at the point where I know how to solve that problem, haven’t done draw 50 things lol! One thing I did wonder was about the handoff of the stuffie, it almost looks like they could be fighting over it, both pulling it, so I wonder if there is a way to make it look more like motion going in one direction.... maybe if the swimming girl tosses it?/ just a thought, anyhow a Fun memory! I think you’re headed in the right direction!



  • @LauraA I got that the floor was supposed to be water (I assumed ocean), but like @Coley it looked to me like they were fighting over the stuffed horse, so I didn't get that they were saving the animals from a flood.


  • SVS OG

    Thank you all so much! I will rework this at the beginning of next week and post the results!


  • SVS OG

    Back as promised, but with a completely new sketch! (It took a lot longer than I thought. It's really hard to get a clean drawing of a messy room 🤣)

    My questions are:

    Is the story clear? (I'll clarify the flippers and goggles in the refined drawing.)
    I elongated the canvas horizontally so that the figures could be stretched enough have a hard time handing off a stuffed animal. Is it too long? Would you crop it anywhere?
    Are the values working in order to draw your attention to the right focal points?
    Anything else amiss? (I may keep working with the toys, especially those on the floor, but have at it.)

    Thank you!! I really hope to move on to the finish with this soon!

    Childhood Week Mission sketches values 3.jpg


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