I thought of the poem by Edward Lear, “The Owl and the Pussy Cat” who sailed off in a beautiful pea green boat... I tried using textures and light this time. Beautiful entries everyone. Lots of great ideas this time.
Here is my entry for this month. I decided to go with an old favorite.
Also...please indulge my sweet 5 year old as I upload her entry for this month too. She saw me working and wanted to enter an illustration of her own story. It’s the story of a magical bedroom where when the big chandelier turns off the animals become real and the room becomes a forest. The title had about 100 words and I am not able to remember it. Annie Jones age 5.
Here is my entry. Growing up in Florida I had a healthy fear of allligators. But maybe they are sweet and harmless, unless they are stealing ice cream, that is.
I was a little late to get my fall illustration to the contest. But I am submitting it here in hopes that you all will advise me on ways I can improve. Composition? Color? Overall style and execution? This is my first illustration with a background and first illustration done in a digital format.
Thanks in advance for your valued opinions. The only people who have seen my things are my family and a few friends. As you know, they can’t be trusted to be really honest. But I am ready to improve so bring it!
I have been working on a new look with my drawing that has a little more detail and that is sparked by an idea for a picture book.
I spent A LONG time drawing (about 22hours so far) and feel like I gained a bit of confidence in my mark making. This is my first time trying a turn around. Does the child look like the same child in all the poses? She is based off of the look of both of my girls at that age. I intend for her to look about 5. She should look sweet and childlike. She will have her favorite cat stuffed animal that she carries in a drawstring bag. She loves to wear green frog rain boots. You will not be able to tell from the picture here, but she is curious and generally good natured and happy.
Does it look like the same child?
Are there any drawing / anatomy mistakes that need a tweak?
Does the drawing look stiff? Or just lifeless?
Thanks for the eyes!
Here’s my Annie. It’s the story of her getting glasses that is the inspiration.
Here’s my drawing
![alt text]( image url)
I’ve been trying to work with much more texture and build my portfolio. I have a serious lack of night scenes and no real lighting focused pieces. So I am attempting to fix that. My problem is that I am not sure I am doing it successfully.
“The Owl and The Pussycat”poem by Edward Lear is my inspiration. In this part of the poem the owl and the cat sail away together in a pea green boat and the owl sings/ plays guitar to the cat by the light of the moon and stars. Those are the essential pieces that I needed to include. ( I chose to include a cuddle rather than singing- but I did include the guitar)
I had a real problem with light and reflections from the moon. I decided to play back the stars a bit and make them more primitive. How does the light look? Are there glaring problems I am missing?
Also does the piece work as a unit? Do the drawing style and rendering style and textures work together? I tried to follow some of the pointers from Lee White’s YouTube video as I missed the live demo last week.
Any help is much desired and appreciated.
@eric-castleman Maybe a good way to depict the memory would be to have it be black and white--or memory on color and the other illustrations in black and white--so that there would be a visual mark of distinction between the now and the past. It's an interesting concept. I would love to see how you make it work!
@Chip-Valecek It was sweet of you to add my little Annie’s art to the official slide show. I did not expect that when I added her drawing along with mine. You should have seen the proud look on her face when I showed her that her art was grouped in with the other works. It was priceless. So thanks for encouraging my budding artist.
I began this project several months ago when the monthly contest prompt was book covers. I was never happy with what I put together. But the revision I am happy with. It’s a Personal ‘level up‘ for me. I did it on Procreate and I am still learning how to use the digital methods.
I have been struggling with my people. I want them to be sweet and realistic-ish and detailed, but not overly so. That,of course, is subjective. But I feel like I got the girls how I think they should be. Hopefully they are not too stiff or cartoonish.
I am open to criticism. I want this piece to go I’m my portfolio so I would want it to be as good as it can be. How is the composition, readability, coloring, and look of characters?
I know I said I like the piece but I am also looking for honest criticism as I am fully invested in improvements.
I would love the opportunity. I really do like the idea of the upvotes getting more of a feature in the hopes that the more "ready" to see art might be seen. I have a slight concern, too, about style preferences causing good work to be overlooked and therefore not featured. Would there be the "staff picks" that would be featured or occasional artists highlighted, perhaps? All that said, I would very much be a person interested in using the portfolio site and am so jazzed that the option might be there in the future. You guys are awesome. Count me in!!!
I went back in and changed my Frog in the piece. I worked up several thumbnails but forgot to save them as I kept tweaking and changing. Here is the original. In this one Lee White suggested that maybe the frog needed a more interesting gesture since his posture was very straight.
I wanted the mood to not be too scary. So I did not want the toad to be overly fearful. I tried a few things.
In the end I liked the frog leaning back a bit and perhaps holding his chest in anticipation.
Do you think the changes read better?
@dafoota I agree with your frustration. There were a lot of well done pieces that fit the prompt for positive or negative ideas of isolation. I do think it was a little wrong to only be looking for negative concepts considering the fact that Lee White said he welcomed a positive spin on the topic. I would liken it to asking an art director for clarification about an assignment and being penalized for following that advice.
I have decided to discontinue the contests and continue to work on my skills, composition, color, light, backgrounds, character design. Not in a “take my crayons and go home” kind of way. I appreciate the good skills that can be learned through the classes and I feel like I have learned a great deal since being a member for the last few years. But I feel like the classes are a value to me and the contests are not.
I joined SVS because it was the only place I could find that had a focus on picture book art. Several of the classes are very specifically geared toward picture book artists and picture books or children’s illustration market. But the contests rarely feature works that are more picture book oriented. A lot of what I notice are images that would fit well into comics or a digital animation style. That is fine. I just have to realize that my art does not fit that look or feel and will therefore not be noticed.
I love that Aaron Painter mentioned that SVS understands that people would like their work to be critiqued in some way and that that would add a great deal of value. (Having any criticism given by a professional artist is invaluable to a person just starting out. So I really appreciate the speedy criticism given at the end of the bracket voting section.) *******My suggestion is that it might be a better use of instructors’ time and students’ learning to select 10 or 15 additional good pieces and give those a 30 second critique based in real and measurable action steps. It could be mentioned that if your piece was not selected for an additional critique, that the submission was appreciated but it needs more work. Better luck next time.
I love SVS and I love the forums here. I am not trying to spread hate or be a “Negative Nelly” but I really want to express my frustration here as well. What would the site be if all the feedback Was sunshine and rainbows?! Growing together. Keep up the good work everyone.
Just as a point of clarification... my frustration is not about not winning contests. It is more about desiring feedback in hopes of improvement.
The recent critique format is a lot more competition oriented and much less than they used to be about advice for improvement. The current criticism is purposefully short to be able to fit all of the entries chosen. They have been “ say one thing about...this round and one thing the next”. The previous format included draw overs and a solid critique of each of the selected pieces. There were fewer pieces chosen, but those pieces got a thorough going over. That was always helpful to me. I learned a great deal from the draw overs no matter the image.
I realize I am in the minority for not preferring the current format. I remember a poll when the format first began that had a super high approval rating and a really minuscule disapproval percentage. I want to say it was like 2%“no.” I would love to see a few draw over critiques or significant feedback on anyone’s work. It would not matter if it was related to a contest or not.
Anyway...that’s my 2 cents. Again, not trying to be a “hater” because I am truly not. I love SVS and the forums. I value Will, Jake, and Lee’s opinions as well as those given by my fellow artists. When I had the choice to make about school, I chose from fear and got a useless degree. But now I’m choosing my passion without the ability to GO back to school. Trying to learn, level up, and make up for 20 years of lost time.
Ok so I took all the advice and added a few things from my own critiques and reworked the illustration. I like it SO much better. Took a while. You will never know how many re-draws of the mom cat and middle cat were done! Whew!!
Ok. I have done some revision and I think I have the cover complete now.
I moved the title and tweaked the spacing and size of several letters. I added and deleted foliage in the foreground all around the trees. Added more leaves and branches to make the piece more balanced and added a bit more skirt peeking from beneath the aprons. I also added a little highlighting to the title and leaves around the title to make it stand out a bit more.
What do you think? Does the title read well? Is it too much or not in keeping with the look of the piece?
Thanks in advance.