Dragonfly WIP



  • I've been going back and forth over whether to color this piece or leave it black and white(ish) - currently leaning towards not adding color but i'd love some opinions.

    Also wondering if I need to work on the light source? I want the light to look like it's coming from a skylight or overhead task light that's off the page but I'm not sure if the way i've done it is super believable or whether it may look better softened?

    Lastly, do you think this piece is telling enough of a story? It's a quieter moment, which I like, I don't want to add any sort of commotion or over-the-top action but still want my illustration to be engaging.

    Untitled_Artwork 4.jpg



  • @StudioLooong wow very good! Looks like something out of a Pixar movie. Maybe just color the area where the light is shining in



  • @StudioLooong Tough to say without actually seeing the color version, but I think my first inclination would be to just keep it uncolored. It's quite striking.

    About the light source, I can say that looking at it gave no immediate impression of something being odd or off. I like how it's brightest on his shirt, so it definitely highlights the character the right way and doesn't draw your attention to itself instead.



  • @StudioLooong I love the black and white. I don't think it needs color.

    I wonder though if you could push the story a little harder. It took me a minute to determine what was happening. First I thought he was making a mechanical dragonfly.

    Maybe something like a box of insects on the wall/desk with a missing spot. So that this is the golden insect he has been looking for.



  • @StudioLooong I hope you don't add color! It's a really wonderful image as it is.

    The light streaming down would cause crisp shadows you might be able to use to help with the storytelling. Right now the light illuminates him in a soft way in the same way as the background. Maybe he is using the sunlight as he is working. If his left hand is lifting the toy dragonfly to the light to check a detail or admire his work, whatever tool he is holding in his right hand (a paintbrush might be better) will show against his skin better than it does right now against the far wall. His left knee would be in shadow along with most of his front, and right now it emphasizes his coffee too much. And his glasses can reflect whatever shine the dragonfly toy has.



  • @StudioLooong I think you don’t need the beams of light or at least not as much. Try pushing the values a little more on his head and where the light would hit and you should see a big enough contrast that you would infer a light. Unless of course you are implying that this is a very dusty room. Look at paintings of chiaroscuro for examples, maybe. 7e6810c1-7d77-42da-815d-0a8a012c2dde-image.jpeg https://i.pinimg.com/originals/19/38/fb/1938fbbce8ac65a535228905927e3331.jpg
    Here is a Chris van Allsburg for reference.



  • @chrisaakins that's great reference, I think I need to soften the beams above him a little and push the lighting on him and the dragonfly like @carolinebautista is describing with his body taking on a bit more shadow in places.

    @theprairiefox I like the suggestion of having an open frame for his new catch, I'll have to see if I can make room in his office where you can see the opening, maybe he will have to clear some space on the shelf behind him πŸ™‚



  • Looks like you already got answers from the post before, just some more ideas into the discusion... for a strong light beam one needs to expose on the light side and have a lot of atmosphere in the room. With that comes this chiaroscuro effect and nice silhoulettes but one looses all the details in shadows which become just one value basically. Something (very roughlyπŸ™‚) like this maybe...
    20200819_001451.png
    But i guess you want much softer light, not so staged.
    If considering color, blue fill light should help with the feel of more diffused light coming from the window.
    There might be some perspective issues on the image, to me it is not quite clear if the cabinet is by the character or it is more in the foreground.
    Overall very nice image! Great concept and feel to it. And nice details.



  • @StudioLooong I misunderstood what he was doing, sorry about that! That is definitely NOT a problem with this image, it's just me not comprehending things on the internet and trying not to get distracted by everything around me. It might have been the dragonfly's eye that led me to that conclusion but it's not something I think should be changed. Marek caught what I was saying with the light, but dragonfly wings can catch the light like jewels sometimes. So I still agree with what i said before, but now I might add labels everywhere. Collecting specimens means being obsessed with labels, especially since dragonfly specimens lose their color.


  • Moderator

    I like the black and white. The story is subtle but if one looks you can find the answers, which I like. There are a couple of technical things I would like to comment on, but won't if you only want to know what you asked about. =)x



  • @StudioLooong Love the character, and lightling. Beautiful image.

    I just saw an image by Kenard Pak, and thought it might be interesting to add into the discussion here. It is mostly a monocolor image, with a touch of color for storytelling. I thought it was doen veyr effectively. Screen Shot 2020-08-19 at 09.19.03.png

    Another thing I am wondering about is the compostion. Would it make more sense to move him a bit towards left, so there is more room in front of him? Right now the left side of the image felt empty - something is missing.


Log in to reply