Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Monster Tea Party

I'd be happy to be the first to go, if nobody minds. Not sure if we need to wait for more members to join...or should we just go for it?

Image is pretty small on my monitor, so you might view it at my website for a closer look.


This is acrylic on watercolor paper (140#) piece I finished late last night. The dimensions are 10" x 13". The image was digitally photographed and color-balanced using Photoshop (although I'm still not 100% comfortable with the photo vs. real quality).

The purpose of the piece is strictly to support my portfolio. I'm trying to place more emphasis on color usage in my paintings. Painting is a new animal to me...I've always been a pencil and paper guy. Please let me know how you think I'm handling the color. I'm going for a saturated and contrasting style...not sure if I'm achieving it yet.

I'd also like to know if you all think this could be a good postcard selection. I've been painting and painting for awhile now and feel I'm close to the point of showing to publishers. Do you have a preference for images on my site that you feel would be good to show my style? For me its between this one and the crooked old man. This will be my first postcard, so I want to make the right decision.

I look forward to participating in this group. You all are VERY talented.


Candace Trew Camling said...

I think the composition has wonderful size relationships.
It might benefit from variation in line weights though. (ie, closer objects have heavier lines, things of less significance or further back might have lighter lines that fade a bit more)
The large character is very endearing and I would think he would be appealing to boys or girls.

sara.b said...

I saw this on your blog Pete, and was anxious to see it finished! I love the concept and like Candace said, the size relationships are great! The monster looks incredibly sweet and again, I agree with everything Candace said. The bold green and lines in the background do make the monster feel overwhelming and large (as he should be), but I think yeah, you could tone it down a wee bit. Or gray it a tad to push it further back.

As for an image for your postcard, its a sweet one, thats for sure. I don't know...I just figured my first postcard image out and that took me forever! It's hard because it's the first impression. :/ I'd say for me its between this one, the lawn mower vs. the tractor, and the rhino. :) The humor in your work is fantastic and I do enjoy the saturation.

Be careful of those thick black lines tho...they can be a bit distracting (i.e. the bumblebee in the 3 bears house illustration). Anything with thick black lines makes it come way close to the viewer. Your color is already strong enough that really, the black lines aren't necessary. Style wise, they work tho. So that's something you can play around with.

sara.b said...

BTW, thanks for being first. :) I think we do have enough contributing that we can dive right into our work.

Carmen Keys said...

Hi Pete!
I think this has a good sense of story -- it makes me wonder what the story might be! Also I think the interaction and friendship between the girl and the monster is well rendered and looks very sweet.
I agree about the black lines, they look good here for the most part but they are a bit overwhelming on the chair for me personally. Maybe more of a general outline there and keep the joints and corners more soft. You have such great rich color that I think the shapes will come out just as well with more subtle lines.
Also I wanted to comment that you do reflections quite well such as on the characters' faces. Something I wish I were better at!
I loved looking at the rest of your portfolio, what a great sense of movement and fun! I am still new to what works best for postcard mailers, but the pieces that jumped out at me were the tractor being chased by the lawnmower, and the motorcycle chicken. Too funny!!

marikris said...

Hi Pete! Sorry for the late comment. I'm on vacation and don't have a laptop, so I borrow one when I can.

I agree with everything that's been said here. This is a very strong work - but I've been to your portfolio, and well, really, I think they're all terrific. So aside from the line width that's already mentioned (I do agree that the chair outline might be distracting because it's so very bold against the white color within), I don't really have anything else to add except more positives.

You created awesome textures. I can tell that the monster's skin is smooth in areas and rough in others. And both characters portray personalities as well. I think you do this really well, as two of my favorties from your site is about the lawnmower and the tractor and the one next to it with the chicken (like Carmen's favorites). Anyway, I don't think you should discount the lawnmower one from your postcard contestants either, since it's got a lot of elements (loads of textures and expression, as well as composition) that highlight your skill very well.

pete said...

Thanks, everyone. I've been dealing with technical issues, and thanks to Sara, can not comment back! Yay!

I agree that my lines are heavy. I'm trying to find a way to make them "play nice" with the colors. I will definitely try lightening the line to set a limit for the colors around it in the background...fading the line as suggested. Right now, the lines are pure burnt umber...though they're appearing very dark. Something gets lost in my translation from actual to digital.

This group rules! Maybe we should all become art directors and start our own publishing company...tib books (it's gotta nice ring!) :)

Tiddly Inks said...

Pete, I really like this and I don't see the heavy black lines that others commented on though. I like heavy lines, so it looked right to me! LOL I love the size relationship and the tongue sticking out on the girl. I would suggest lightening the impact of the green wall, but I like it dark because it contributes to the sense of impending monsterness! :) I might suggest removing the red spikes on the arm...not sure why, but they distract me.
Overall, it is a wonderful postcard and looks great. If you have only been painting for a little while, then you are well on your way! Great composition and subject matter. It made me smile. :)

Pixiewinkle said...

Hi Pete, I've been to your website before (a couple of months ago) and on first impression really liked all your work. It spoke to me. I think that you have a color palette that is strong, but not overbearing, so keep using it, because it works. I agree with all of the previous comments, so I am not going to revisit. I did look at your site again and I think that this illustration is really special. I like it better than the old man for a postcard because I think that this image is more memorable. These two characters have quite big personalities. A monster entertaining a little girl? And a little girl more concerned about pouring into a glass without spilling than being held up by a monster?