Dragonfly WIP - Composition and value - Feedback welcomed!



  • Hi all,

    I've finally managed to put Red Dead Redemption down and get working again, enjoyed the month off though! I thought I'd try for a darker tone for this month, something like a 'Card Art' style image, definitely not a children's illustration, try and be a bit more realistic.

    So this image is meant to feel as though the viewer has just stumbled into the dragonfly's lair and disturbed him, there's a skeleton half in the swamp in the foreground, roots and stuff growing over him, whilst the dragonfly is about to eat a dead warrior.
    I know the drawing is rubbish, and he looks like a muppet, hopefully i will come up with a decent character design, just trying to get an idea down at the moment.

    If anyone has got any thoughts/ideas on composition, value, anything else, id be grateful to hear 'em! Thankyou!
    Dragonfly planning web.jpg



  • @gavpartridge this is great! I love angle and composition. I think the "darker" tone is awesome for this challenge. Have you thought about taking away the dead warrior and making the focus of the dragonfly on the viewer? It might give it more intensity if the viewer feels like they themselves are about to be attacked instead of watching someone else get eaten. Just a thought! Love where this is going and can't wait to see more!



  • @gavpartridge I love the composition, and how dark the foreground is, in contrast to the background. Also the movement of it’s tail is great. I also like the idea of the dead body’s....I think I would miss a lot of the context and storytelling of the illustration if these were missing.



  • @JoshuaDages hi, thanks for the feedback, thats awesome! Yeah in the final the dragonfly will be looking at the viewer. In theory. Although im not entirely sure how to do that yet with dragonfly eyes as theyre so round they never look as though theyre focusing on anything. Highlights maybe. I know what you mean about the warrior, i debated whether to take him out but i want it to feel like this creature has been around for a while, killing unwary travellers. Ill keep him out the light nice and adark, if it still looks distracting ill paint him out. Cheers mate!



  • @Freya-Chakour thank you for the kind words, much appreciated! Youve put my mind at rest about the tail, i dont think dragonfly tails actually move like this, but i felt it needed a bit of movement. I thought he looked a bit scorpion like, but ultimately that might not be a bad thing. Nice one, cheers!



  • The tail definitely reads more scorpion to me - but in a cool way! Looking forward to see this.



  • Curve on tail is good for composition but not biologically correct. Real dragonflies have straight, rigid exoskeletons. It's a creative choice but some folks will be taken out of the narrative by it.



  • @Kim-Hunter Real dragonflies also don't get to monstrous sizes and eat people haha. There's nothing in the prompt saying it has to be a real dragonfly. 😉



  • @ina
    exactly. its just a word without any other rule applied to it so it can be anything. i work on a image with a fly which wants to be a dragon...."dragonfly". he on the other hand seems to want to do a real one...just big so you might want to stick to the original in such cases.



  • Apparently in the Paleozoic, 100 million years before the dinosaurs, giant dragonflies terrorised the skies(!) Maybe it's one of them? (Although the skeleton would be a bit out of place, I guess 🙂 I really like the composition. Looking forward to seeing where you take it next.



  • @ruth Yes! Its definately one of those! I do agree with the comments about the tail, it is sort of what makes a dragon fly look unique, but ill take a bit of artistic license with it. Just got to try and paint it well now, i think its gonna take a while.


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