Critique Wanted: Bongo and Clyde

  • Hi everyone, I'd welcome some feedback on my June entry. I tend to struggle with color and with the transition from pencil to digital. I am comfortable working in pencil and I'm happy with where I end up but then I get it into Photoshop and while I'm generally happy with the final outcome I do feel it could be better. I've posted the sketch and final below. Thanks in advance!
    Monkey and Croc SVS June.png

  • @Brad-Newman I think you have done a pretty good job with your colors. Though I am no expert.

    A couple of tips I have been trying to work in lately that I think help are:

    • Use as few colors as possible, if I can go monochromatic all the better. There is less chance of color clashes and colors pulling you to the wrong the focal points.
      • I think you are doing this pretty well you only really have 3 colors Orange, Green, and Blue. One thing you might entertain is to make the tree stems less of a red-brown and more of an orange-brown. If you wanted you could make the water green instead of blue (I did that in my piece to remove a color)
    • My second thing is to make sure the values work even after applying color.
      • As you can see below your values are working pretty well even after applying color. Though you might want to lighten up Bongo just a hair. Clyde's value contrast with his background really bring him out.


  • Hello!

    I saw this an thought that your image would POP a bit better if you lighten the background, so I made this quick mock up. I also tinted the monkey slighter more red to contrast with it’s environment better. These small changes with improve the overall contrast in the image. Hopefully this is helpful to you 👍

    21EB702A-685D-42E0-A932-62D1F4E4FADE.png 9C0A9C03-BA4D-4A6C-BBA6-6C61F8E00CC2.jpeg

  • I agree with the @theprairiefox’s comments. In particular, looking at the image in greyscale is often really useful (I do this by adding a top layer set to a blend mode of saturation and then filling it with white). Looking at your piece in greyscale, it feels like the values might be a bit too clustered around the middle in terms of brightness. You might experiment with applying a levels adjustment to make the darks a little darker and the lights a little lighter. Here's quick example of what a small layers adjustment could look like (original on the left):

  • @theprairiefox Thanks very much! I'll have a look making that water a bit more green and the trunks more orange-y.

  • @Braxton Thanks for the reply! Yeah, I do tend to stick to the middle. It's hard to add contrast. Good advice. 🙂

  • @Brad-Newman One suggestion a friend gave me is to take an illustration where you like the distribution of lights/darks/contrast, turn it to greyscale and keep it visible as a guide while you're drawing. You're not trying to copy it per se, just using it as a guide if things start to skew too light or two dark (or not enough contrast).

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