Works in Progress
The colors work well, Giselle. My comment on the hood is that maybe it could be a bit larger. I am not sure if the color needs to be changed. Perhaps a shadow on the bottom edge would separate it more from the cape. What I think might make a difference is to move her head or at least part of her hair...up from the forest behind her. She seems to get lost there with the brown of her hair and the green of the forest. Perhaps a lighter shade for the trees would bring out her lovely chestnut hair.The movement here is very good. She has the carefree air of a child having a very good day on her way to someplace special.
Me again, Giselle, I took another look at your painting and I think that the shading under the hood, if very subtle and only on the lower portion, would bring out the whole head without doing anything to the trees behind Red. And, with that shadow for added drama, the stone work on the ground is more subtle as well. Maybe a few soft , very soft, and pale shadows on just a few of the forward most stones would work.It is really coming together so well!
I wouldn't say that the cape overall needs to be a deeper shade, but I might explore deepening the shadows more, and as ginger mentioned, making the hood a bit larger - it doesn't look as if it would fit on her head. I can't wait to see what you do with the stones - it is going to be gorgeous! Are you planning some variation in color from stone to stone? That may be too labor intensive - I personally wouldn't have the patience for it, but I think it would look incredible! Otherwise, perhaps a deepening the shadows a bit on the stone road as well, so the hard work you put into the stones will show up a bit more
For me, it's hard to tell yet whether or not I want to change the red of her hood. When I'm unsure, I usually pause and move on to another section. As things come together, it's easier to see whether or not a color, or shade of a color, is working for it. Good luck with the stones...just keep telling yourself it will be worth it! :)
Thanks Ginger, Christy and Gina,I will make the hood a little bigger. It's funny it didn't look small to me until after I layed in the color,Argh! It's not to hard to change with the gouache though. Back to painting and watching for new postings.You guys are great.
I don't think you need a darker shade of red. The red you have now goes very well with the rest of the colors in the picture. I agree with what has been said earlier here, about making the hood larger - it seems a bit small. I love the color of her hair!
Thanks Anette,I'm working on that hood as we speak! Will be posting update or hopefully finished piece for next Monday.
I love the way her face is shaping up - very happy expression. I think the colour of the cloak is fine, and the way it's flowing out behind her really contributes to the sense of movement. I agree that the forest background does compete with her a bit, cos they're both the same intensity. Perhaps once you've scanned the finished drawing you could consider lightening the background a bit with photoshop...Giselle, you're going to hate me for this, but her forward foot STILL really bothers me - it looks like she's going to fall over if she lands with her leg at that angle.
Hi Sarah,Not to worry about that foot. At this point I am very afraid of changing it because I struggled with it so much already. It's in an area in the piece where a lot more redrawing would show. To tell you the truth I'm OK with it. The original intent was to show her not only doing a "Skip" but a little jolly kind of dance where you turn your feet a little with each hop. I used to do this when I was little. Anyway thanks for your help. I have already deepened the shadows on the cape and made the hood a bit bigger. Thanks for your suggestions. Will post soon.
Giselle, Its been quite fascinating to see this piece grow from mostly sketch to this point. Its got a real old time feel to it. Like post war period, perhaps its the clothing and it feels like a european small town setting. It gives the piece a sense of history, as though Grandma was telling the tale from her youth.I think you capture the movement of the figures so well. I hope to be able to instill some more of that in my characters in the coming months. The colour red of the cape is just fine with me but it could go a few shades into a deeper red. What a joyful portrayal of youth!It will be so interesting to see the different ways we process through our work.
Thank you Pat! I think the biggest struggle for me is the challenge of making the character look like it's feeling something. I have set a goal to make sure and try to accomplish this to the best of my ability since a couple of months ago. Actually it all began with my 5 yr old son, Evan, who found a book illustrated by Marla Frazee called " The Seven Silly Eaters" and written by Mary Ann Hoberman. I was so entralled with the way the illustrator made her characters have such personality that I just had to write to her. To make a long story short she ended up giving me some wonderful suggestions in general and a full critique of my online portfolio! The first thing she told me is that no matter what your style the image needs to convey a feeling or emotion. She calls this the "first read". After that she told me there should be a "second read" which tells some kind of story about the character explaining "why" he/she is conveying the emotion. The scenario should make you want to learn more and turn the page in a book. These seem like simple concepts but when you try to apply them it's not so easy! Anyway I thought I'd pass the info on. Thanks again for your feedback!!
Thanks for passing on that illustration advice. I'm keeping a log of things like that to keep in mind when I'm developing a scene. The first dummy I made really lacked emotion coming from the main character (at some point I should post some of it so you know what I'm talking about, but I don't want to revise it. I just want to move on). This scene that you've created is very joyful... the girl looks completely enraptured with her skipping and dancing and the colors of the sky and village reflect her mood. I don't have any suggestions about improvements.
Kaela, I'm happy to pass the info on. I keep a log also of things I learn along the way. It helps me work issues out with regard to my work.Thank you for the comments! Hope to finish this piece this weekend.
What a great way to jump start your passion. I admire your courage to reach out to someone already successful who could offer such insightful advice. I think thinking that way will certainly add depth to everyone's work. It will certainly help me develop an illustrator's mind set. And may even give me courage to reach out and engage with others who are already working more consistently in this feild. Thank you for your generosity in sharing her thought process with all of us. This group already has shown such a heart for sharing that it really bodes well for all of us, don't you think?
Oh yes I think we have a wonderful group here! The fact that it is small and all of us seem to be at similar stages in our careers makes for a great forum for really getting into detail about the illustration business and what we know and our experiences so far.