Sunday, January 11, 2009

CIC - Owl

I'm working on this pastel painting for the Children's Illustrator's Club in Deviant Art. This month's topic is "Owl." Btw, this picture was cropped a little bit because it was crooked, so there's actually more space on the left.

Right now it's just a very rough work in progress. As you can tell, I'm a big fan of Van Gogh. Is the composition working out? Should I add some stars? I'm scared it might look *too* much like Starry Night, since I did kind of appropriate the moon. The sky is definitely not done yet.

Also, do you think I should add some houses at the bottom, or would it be alright to leave the bottom mountain just a mountain? The blue is just the underpainting right now.

Thanks for your help in advance! Now I'm going to go and binge on some ice cream/comfort food since apparently the Giants won't be in the Super Bowl this year :(

~ Kris

---------------------------- UPDATE
Sorry for the slight blur - I had to take the picture under my flourescent light since I couldn't wait till day light tomorrow.

I added some heart/stars and worked on the owl (I know, I said I didn't want it to look *too* Starry Night, but meh, I figured I may as well). I'm not happy with the owl at all, so I think I will wait to do the other one. I think she looks slightly angry O_o Anyway, I'm not sure if she pops out enough, or if her colors just look blah.



Cyn Narcisi said...

What are you using on this? It looks like pastels. I'm noticing that the composition seems split horizontally (like the top half could be a separate illo from the bottom half). The owls are too similar in size to the moon. I would increase their size if possible. Instead of houses, add more leaves and branches. Can you post your work in its latest stage?

Lyon said...

This is a great rendition of Van Gough's style.

I think the owls need to be larger and more "owl" shaped. Pick a specific owl and do some research on the net as to specific species features. If they are larger and take up more space in the painting, they will become a focus point, something I think the image is lacking right now. It will also allow you to bring the coloring technique into their feathers and eyes and pull the picture together.

I like the color choices you have going on.

sara.b said...

I like the heart stars...and the red. It really draws your eye to them and are a beautiful compliment to the sky. I love Van Gogh so I'm lovin' the movement!

I agree with what has been said above Kris. And looking at your update, what bothers me with the coloring of your owl is you've used black? It looks like black, which isn't helping her. Very heavy outlines flatten an image. I would try a lighter brown or some yellow orchre. If there is anyway to let her go, and totally rework her I would make the owls larger and do it again. I also liked how in the first one the girl is looking at your (it appeared that way) and the boy is looking at the girl. A beautiful interaction.

In pastel I find it hardest to work. They say watercolors are unforgiving! :P Keep working on it Kris, you'll get it. It's moving along and its beautiful! Don't loose hope because of an owl. ;)

pete said...

I really like your sky! The color combination really pops when you go very dark to light like that! I'm a bit partial to dark saturated I really like this one.

As stated, I like the idea of making the owls bigger. At this size, I think they will compete for attention with the stars and moon as you get nearer to the end. You might consider using some lighter colors on the owls, or bright highlights reflecting star/moonlight to bring them to the front. I like the shape of the owls, as well.

I like it so far. Let's see how it progresses! By the way, how big is this?

marikris said...

Thank you guys for all your great input! I had stopped working on it yesterday because I truly couldn't figure out what was off with the owl, and I totally see now how the owls and the moon are competing with each other because of their similar size. The drawing is 7 x 11.5 inches, but I definitely need to go bigger, specially for bigger, better rendered owls.

Thanks again and I'll definitely post my progress since I'm sure I'll need more advice throughout the process ^_^

Tiddly Inks said...

I love owls and starry night and this could be a neat composition. I have to agree though that with larger more 'Van Goughy' owls it would be more effective. I would say keep going with it and make the owls the focal point by enlarging them and making them match that gorgeous sky.
I would like to know how big it is too. :)

Carmen Keys said...

Oooo, I love owls. :) I don't have much to add as I agree with what everyone has said already (except I do like the owls' shape as it is, but bigger would be better). I also like the suggestion of maybe some more bits of tree branch higher up in the painting so that it doesn't look so half and half.
Other than that, this is really going to be beautiful, colors are awesome and the mood is awesome. :) And did I mention that I love owls? Ha ha