UPDATED: August Dragonfly WIP. Hoping for some feedback.

  • Hello! I am hoping to get some feedback about my dragonfly entry for this month's contest. I realize I'm at a late stage of the image already, but am open to critiques and changes.

    I call this "Learning to Dragonfly" and wanted to show the mother teaching her kid how to fly using clouds as "floaties." I would love to know if this comes across or anything should be modified.

    Thanks! I'm enjoying everyone's entries so far!


  • I really like the texture of the brushes you are using and the color scheme is lovely! Using clouds as 'floaties' is such a good idea!

    I feel like having the dragonflies interacting with clouds more might make that idea read a little more clear? Maybe having the mom dragonfly's line of flight going through a cloud and she is on the other side with her floaties on? Or she is holding some cloud to give to her kid? Great work though! Such a fun idea!

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  • @JessicaStauffer Great idea! I think having the mom holding clouds would really push the idea across. Thanks!

  • What an adorable idea!! I like the ideas @JessicaStauffer already mentioned. In the new comp maybe you could also place the mother behind the kid, or do something else to make the size relationship more clear. Now it's not obvious it's a small dragonfly vs a dragonfly further away and it makes it easy to miss the floaties at first glance. I think this is going to be really cute! 🙂

  • @ina Thank you! I agree that repositioning the characters makes for a better story. I think I will play with that. Thanks!

  • SVS OG

    @JoshuaDages Hi! I don't how willing to revise you are but I think this piece would do better if redone using a bird's eye view. Picture the kid dragonfly high above the clouds and the mother is seen below, yelling instructions to her child.

  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz Oh interesting! I played around with that a little bit in my thumbnails, but may revisit! Thank you!

  • Maybe adjusting the shapes/proportions of the young one to make it look a lot younger could help push the story too. Right now they look the same age/same size, with the younger one farther off. If you give youngster a bigger head proportional to the body and generally rounder/youthful shapes, it'll help a viewer understand that that one is little and learning.

  • @Carmanda You read my mind! I am working on that right now and think it reads much better. Thank you so much!

  • Okay! I've been hard at work updating over the past few hours and here's the newest version!

    I rearranged the mom and child, and added an element to the story to make it clearer as to what's going on.

    One thing I'm debating, should I keep the sparkles on the kid's wings or no? I feel like it adds texture, but don't want it to distract from the cloud floaties.

    I'm open to any and all critiques! Thanks!


  • @JoshuaDages hi Josh. One thing that is distracting me is the little froggie in the corner. Is it an integral part of the story? If not, you might want to delete it. His cragged rock contrasts so much with the soft swirls it seems kind of jarring. The new composition is much stronger with the larger insects and the poofs of cloud look a lot more like training wings.

  • @JoshuaDages I think the message would come across better if the mother was interacting with the baby more. Research how animals teach their young for ideas.

  • @chrisaakins Good to know! Yes, I really want the frog to be part of the scene (he's the dragonfly's best friend), but can totally see what you're saying. I may try to soften him up a bit (as well as the rock) and see how it looks. If necessary, I'll take him out though. Thanks!

  • @Chris-Perry-0 Thanks for the idea! I'll think about how I can maybe work that in. I wanted it to come across as the mother charging in to rescue the doomed flight, but maybe that's not fully coming across. Thanks!

  • Thanks to everyone who helped me with my entry! It's now posted to the Contest thread! (final version below)


  • @JoshuaDages
    would i watch on the image without context i would neither know that the frog is his friend, i see mother and kid, and that she is trying to teach him fly+that the clouds help him to do so. i like the idea you have but it doesnt really get translated into the image.

    i would take some steps back from rendering it out to thumbnailing doing some sketches like you can see in the other threads. this saves you a bunch of time to get it right before you tackle the finish.

    the frog for example could cheer for him so that you actually see they know each other and that they are friends instead of sitting there waiting to swallow one of em. the show how to teach him fly part is a bit harder but i would get away from the cloud helping things because thats hard to explain for it to make sense with just one image. would it be a comic you could build it up but for a splashpage kinda hard and out of the blue i have no idea how to do it right but maybe people here have some ideas.

  • I love the way it turned out! Very sweet and the colors are just lovely.

  • @ina Thank you!

  • @Molambo Thanks for your feedback. I definitely plan on coming to the forum sooner rather than later with my next project. Thanks again!

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