Seeking last minute thoughts on my Oz piece and maybe a hug



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    So I am pretty happy with this. Actually really happy. I'm going to let myself say that because I feel like that and my day has been otherwise a little emotional in terms of art and life. 🙁

    Anyhow, I struggled with Dorothy's hand. I felt it was too tight in a fist. So I tried a version where it's more relaxed but I'm not sure it's any better. Partly because I think it's such a tiny thing in the illustration, it can't really have a lot of detail. Anyone have any thoughts?

    Also, I haven't done lettering before and I'm wondering if I should work on that. Or does it look good like this?

    Any other thoughts appreciated.

    On the emotional front, I just got a non art related job, which is good because we really need more income here. But I'm sad because I know that with a family, and a job, I'll barely have time for art anymore in a few weeks. Plus just having time around my kids before they're totally grown up and gone. Also it's an essential worker type of position so that's not exactly exciting me. Good and bad coming with it I guess. Having a moment where I feel like this isn't working out for me. Sorry to be a bummer at the current moment. I think a virtual hug would be helpful from people who understand.



  • @Coley hi, bad news and good by the sounds of it, youre doing right by your family, thats a great thing, dont beat yourself up about that, you should pat yourself on the back! When you settle into your new job you'll see where the openings are to pick up the pencil again, dont stress, you'll work it out! With regard to the art, its really good! I think youre right, the lettering could look better, but im sorry i cant really help, im no typographer. I think the font works with the piece, might just need shuffling about a bit. Its by no means bad in any case.
    I think the second example of the hand is better, but maybe if you just splayed the fingers a bit more, make it look more deliberate, it may help. It looks a bit passive at the minute. Im not at home else id draw what i mean. As if you were dreamily pointing at something, but letting the other fingers loosely splay out. See more finger! Lol. Anyway. Im sure that hasnt helped, but anyeay its a lovely piece, and your family are lucky to have you! Chin up, it'll be fine!



  • Hi @Coley, your piece is really good!

    Don’t worry, you’ll still find time for art! I work in non art field and have a family, and try to squeeze in some art here and there. I’m running so late on my Oz piece!!!!!

    Digital Hug!



  • Thanks @gavpartridge and @Jeremy-Ross . I’m just having a moment and will come round soon, appreciating the thoughts and advice.

    I’m going to go back and redo her hand again, maybe the whole arm. And really think about this lettering. I have a ton to do in the next few days so I’m not sure I can get it done but will try to -lay around.

    Thanks again.



  • Hi @Coley

    First, I like the more relaxed hand. Second, I think the title placement is good, the overall styling is maybe not my favorite, but I think it does work fine and would be ok to leave as is.

    The biggest critique I have is that the silhouette of Toto and Dorothy is maybe a bit too soft, especially in relation to the title. I'd consider firming up the silhouette of them facing the text and maybe adding subtle texture to the title, though I'm not sure on that.

    Overall though, this is a really cool and unique approach to the book. It's fun seeing the pairing of the more rendered style with a more graphic treatment!

    Balancing family, work, and art is really tough- even more so during the pandemic! I'm sorry you're feeling down. Hopefully as things settle and some unkowns are cleared up, you can work out a balance that feels manageable and fulfilling. Hugs to you! 🤗 I wish you well, and will be here on the forums to lend a listening ear if you ever need to vent! I think a lot of us can relate to the feelings you're experiencing.



  • What does it look like if you just justify the text so its all centred, and make it a bit bigger? If it looks alright then f*ck the hand, submit it and call it done, its cool as it is. Sounds like you got enough going on, it'll probably make top 16 anyway!


  • SVS OG

    It looks beautiful, love the composition. Good luck with finding time with art, it is a struggle!



  • @gavpartridge hahaha, that made me smile lol.



  • Thanks @TessaW and @holleywilliamson .

    @TessaW i will try firming up edges on Dorothy and Toto and see what it looks like, thanks. The witch’s hat was too soft and needed a few hard edges, I added them in in photoshop but I guess now I have to do similar with those characters. What you’re saying makes sense, thank you 🙏. You always give great feedback!

    I went back into procreate to work on the hand because I couldn’t get photoshop to agree with me. So this is back a few steps in terms of witch’s hat etc, so take this only for the arm and hand and basket, I just tried having her hold it in a different position and was wondering if people thought this looked ok or natural? I, just sort of Messing around now . It was easier to find reference for the arm in this position. I tried photographing myself in the other original position for reference but didn’t get the angles right.

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  • Hugs. I'm sorry you're having to put art on the back burner for now. That's hard. I hope you're able to find room for it in your life.

    I really like this piece, version 2 especially. Concept and execution are both strong in my opinion. If you adjust the leading on the title that might help. You can also make the font larger if you need to fill more space. But don't worry too much about the graphic design elements. This is an illustration contest so I'm guessing the art is what really counts.



  • I love this piece. Really well done. I love love compose images which characters small - sometimes it can be challenge, for me ithelps focus on the shape, and silhouette, and worry less about "oh, that is an arm".

    If you want to play around a bit more with the piece, it might be worth invest a bit of time on the edge control of the witch character. Another thing you might be try is testing out adding different color in the background, and/or play around with the typography (font/color, etc.) of the title.

    A big hug. I am here to listen. I hope you do keep making art on the side, even it is just 5 mins a day, or an hour a week. I see how your art grows over the last few months that we hang out on this forum.


  • SVS OG

    @Coley I love it. it's so unique



  • @Coley Ah I really love your cover - both work well for me. To be honest, I didn't really notice the hand thing - they both look fine to me, I think sometimes we can spend too long looking and it's hard to tell. The composition's lovely though. I suppose working on the lettering could be an option but this looks ok to me.
    Sorry about your new situation. I know how you feel, I've had to to do this a few times over the past couple of years and it was difficult in lots of ways and although I couldn't do as much art, when I did have time I was probably much more productive. Don't give up, your work is really lovely and you're so far on the road! In view of your current situation this image seems even more poignant. Sending you lots of virtual hugs xxx


  • SVS OG

    Wow, that's a great silhouette you've created with the witch and the characters! The hand didn't bother me, either. In fact, I rather liked it up! If I were you, I'd spend what time I had left on this working on either the title or perhaps a soft background.

    I think there's a little bit too much spacing between the words, and I agree that they are a little sharp. I discovered a little trick with PS type layers. You can select them, create a mask, and color it in with some brushy texture! That might make for a softer font. (You may have to rasterize it first--I don't remember.)

    By soft background, I don't mean a landscape or anything complicated, just a little wash.

    I'm very sorry for the job that will take you away from your art. I can very much understand why that is discouraging. We artists rightly hold tightly to our creativity and having to put it on the back burner must feel like a big defeat. I'm hoping you'll have some compensation or clarity in the long run that will have made it worth it, and most of all that you eventually will find a different job that allows you to draw, or some energy to draw anyway!

    I big virtual hug from me! 🤗 🤗 🤗



  • Virtual hug!! Have you considered removing the curly end from the hat? I would keep the piece pointing toward the title, but remove the curly U shape below, which is pointing away from the title and kind of competing with it.


  • SVS OG

    @Coley This looks great! I really like your style and as others have mentioned, the silhouette is really striking. Re: the lettering, it works compositionally, but I personally tend to gravitate to titles with lettering that's more hand drawn, or fonts that feel hand drawn. If you have time and the interest, it might be interesting to explore options with the lettering. re: having to get a day job, I totally empathize. That's a whole separate thread (sigh). Sending big hugs to you and know you're not alone.



  • Thanks so much for the hugs everyone . They were extra-necessary this morning as I found out an art grant I had applied for was turned down,...... when it rains, it pours as they say! lol. Oh my. Will try to shift focus to what I am truly grateful for . This thread has helped a lot! It made me feel that there were people that understand. Truly grateful for this community!

    I have taken a lot of advice and employed it, great thought on turning the witch’s hat curl @deborah-Haagenson , I think it looks more tornado like too....it might be a wee bit close to the title but I’ll think on it.

    @Johanna-Kim , I like more handwritten titles too, I redid it with a font from procreate but will see what’s in photoshop. And @LauraA I tried a light texture on the font, and a light wash on the bg. I haven’t added any variation or texture to the bg so will think on that. It might detract too much if I did that but I think the white background might have been too stark.

    Thanks also @Rachel-Horne , @xin-li , @amiklo , @Nyrryl-Cadiz , your comments were very helpful ! And all hugs duly noted and accepted 😀

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    Any other thoughts and critique appreciated.



  • @Coley I love the changes you made! I think it looks great!!



  • @Coley I'm just here for the hug. I'm new to the SVS world, but I love your artwork and am giving you a hug with my mind. 🤗


  • Pro

    @Coley This feels odd to say, but I'm so sorry about the job! Your Oz piece is absolutely wonderful and proves one thing: you are a true artist, and will always remain one even if you have less time to put in the craft. And I know your time will come when you can invest more time into it again, sometime in the future! Do what you gotta do fro you and your family - as long as art is in you, it will never truly go away.


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