WIP spreads for a story, critique requested :-)

  • I love the magic in number 2. Also I like that connection because they’re facing each other. But the fact that they’ve turned to face each other in number one is also interesting. To me it feels more apart though but it seems others here interpret it differently. I love the boat in the second one too. There’s something a little awkward about the stars that are below the boat and above the buildings though. I can’t quite figure out why though. It might be that the chimney smoke is sort of running into them and I can’t quite figure out where they are in space. Loving everything else about this image though! Number 1 is nice but less magical I think, more of a typical scene. Just my thoughts 😊

  • @xin-li
    Xin Li you have the ability to make magical illustrations. That is such a wonderful gift.

    For me number 1. I think it has the feel you are looking for. It is a beautiful spread and the tone is lovely. Maybe the boy could be in a ¾ pose like the father so his head doesn’t look like he is turning so much.

    Number 2 is also beautiful. Your questions make me think. How come this illustration - as much as I like it - doesn’t give me the same feeling as the first one? Maybe it has too many pointy things and maybe round clouds between the boat and the top of the homes would help. Or maybe the homes could be farther away and lighter in color.


  • @xin-li My favorite is number 2. It definitely gives me the magical vibes and has warmth to it as well 🙂

  • @xin-li - I think the first one is a good way to go to emphasize the relationship, because the magical aspects are in an otherwise normal situation. I like the normal fishing boat in the first one. The second emphasizes the magical aspects, and then later you look at the father and son more.

    I am very sure you can make the first look magical, so I would go with the first because it conveys their warmth more.

  • Thank you so much @Heather-Boyd , @Neha-Rawat, @Coley ,@Mara-Price , @Jacy13 , @carolinebautista. A lot of constructive and insightful feedback for me to chew on. It seems like both options have some interesting aspects, both need some more work. I think I might clean up both sketch a little bit more, and I will take 2rd to more final version for now. But It looks like I might be able to use both images somehow.

    @Neha-Rawat, @Mara-Price I totally get your point on the focal point. I have to tone down the contrast more for the house. I also think maybe the silhouette of the character might be what makes it feel a bit generic, I will work more on that.

  • Spread 1 feels quieter and more intimate. Spread 2 feels grander and more magical. It reminds me very much of Peter Pan and the flying pirate ship. These are both amazing in their own way.

  • Thank you so much, everyone for given me such a insightful feedback. I tried to bring a bit more connection between father and son in the second image, so this is what I end up. It is a moment before father throw the star into the sky. He looks at the son and asking "are we ready?". I also rearranged the stars a bit to show that they are actually hanging the star instead of catching them (you see more stars behind the boat.)

    Let me know what do you think?
    Are there any compostion issues? do you think the buildings and the crowds on the roof-top distracting in this version?

  • @xin-li Hi Xin Li. Wonderful!

    The homes are toned down and the peoples’ silhouettes looking up in awe make a wonderful connection in this special moment. And of course the father and son looking at each other is nice.

    About the stars, I thought the stars were falling off the boat leaving a wake of stars.

  • @xin-li Your revised version is definitely showing a much stronger connection between the father and son. I think the rooftops are also sketched out very well now.
    Though I'm not sure if it's still clear that they are hanging the stars instead of collecting them. The only thing working in favor of that is that there are more stars behind them i.e the path they've already sailed. Although the stars on the right look nice compositionally, the "hanging stars" story would be stronger if the sky was starless in front of the boat and all the rooftop people could be pointing up at the starry part of the sky.

    Also, the wind direction of the sail and the smoke from the chimneys show that it's blowing backward, but the boat is moving forward? Is that correct?

  • @Neha-Rawat good catch with the wind direction. Hehe. I have not thought about it, only thought about composition in abstract shapes :-). The text of the manuscript told clearly that they make stars. So I will leave it for now, and would think more of it if I get to work on teh entire book :-). Right now, I am doing a piece to show the direction.

  • @xin-li The sail is the same size as the father and I think it should be on the same axis as the two of them, coming up at the same angle. I know it is fantasy, but I think that's why enlarging the father and son has somehow made the boat less convincing.

  • @carolinebautista hmm. interesting. I will try to make the character a bit smaller. I think I have a tendency to make the character too small, and now I am overding it by making it too big :-).

  • @xin-li I think the sail and pole can go out of the frame, so I was thinking to make the sail bigger (at least at first, because i like the bigger size of the characters).

  • @xin-li I like the new composition! There feels like more of a connection between the father and son. I also like the scale of the characters, I don't think I would make them any smaller.
    I'm not sure if I would understand right away that they were hanging stars, but I'm sure that if we had all the other pages and text that it would make sense in the context of the story anyway so I wouldn't worry too much about that.

  • @xin-li I really like it. Personally I would have maybe just a couple of figures looking up at the boat (maybe a mother + daughter?) But I think this depends where in the story this moment is- if its at the end more of a crowd could work, picks up the drama. If it is more of an introductory scene I say have less figures, keep the focus on father/son

    The buildings look great. The sail reminds me of a crescent moon, don't know if this was intentional, i think it's a charming detail 🙌

  • @carolinebautista, @eriberart, thank you so much for the input. I tweaked a bit on the size relation, it looks better now :-).

    @Mr-Kite I want to the crowd to focus on the stars :-). I am so glad you notice the shape of the sail. Yes, it was intentional 🙂

  • @xin-li I didn't realize the sail was the moon, lovely! But I'm sure that once it's rendered, it will be clear, as will the way they hang the starts. I hope you can post the final image at some point soon. I am so curious about the manuscript and how the two images you started with relate to different parts of the text. Thanks for sharing all of this, it's always fun. 🙂

  • Hello, everyone.
    Thank you so much for the constructive critiques, and encouragement. I proceeded with the painting this week. Here is what I have so far. I have got the deadline for this on monday. Feedback and critiques are much appreciated.

    @carolinebautista I am not sure what I can share regarding the manuscript yet. Maybe later in the process 🙂

    Note: I am still working on the stars. There is a specific description in the text about the stars, which I have not figure out how to do them yet.

  • Looking amazing! I love the colours you have chosen so far. I would maybe add one more accent colour to draw your eye to the father and son, eg maybe their tops could have a touch of a pink/red/orangey warmth instead of yellow. Not sure how it would look against the purple background, the yellow might work better in the end 😁

  • It's so lovely, pleased you decided to go with this one. There's such a nice magical 'mary poppins' feel to the skyline and you can feel the bond between the man and boy nicely.

Log in to reply