Thursday, January 1, 2009

My Illustration Friday Piece

"The Owl and the Pussycat are an unlikely pair -- they must meet in secret to avoid the stares!"
(If you click on the image it will show a larger version).
Okay, here's for my first post! I did this graphite illustration for the Clandestine theme, it's about 8x10". I wanted to do a watercolor version of it later so I'd love to see how I could improve it before I dive into that. I do know my boat-drawing skills need help! How about the composition? Anything I need to add? Take away? Re-draw entirely?


Candace Trew Camling said...

I would like to see a bat or two in the background maybe. I think the boat should have a tad more dimension. I really LOVE the owl's wing and the movement of the wind. Their faces are rendered so nicely too!

Isaac Marzioli - Freelance Illustrator said...

I think it's a great illustration. The characters are sharp and are rendered quite nicely.

In my opinion - the moon doesn't seem to be a part of the composition. There's a really nice triangle composition going with the two characters and the boat, and the moon is apart from that. I think if you take Candace's comment about a bat or something in the background to make the moon more of a part of the illustration, then that would take care of that...but I think the mood can be set with the shadow you have currently - and if you'll take it to color - then the color can set the mood of night without the need of the moon.

One last thing - the boat - I assume it'll show as wood when colored - but the current pattern looks a little like brick (which I use a lot because it's an easy pattern to make, for me). Also - the characters look dimensional, but the boat is flattens out the composition. Maybe turning the boat slightly, so you can see at least a hint of another side? I'm sure it'd still be a terrific illustration if you just left it as is...

Overall I think it's very strong. I love the stylized waves, and the two rows give dimension to well as the framing/texture of night around the characters. Great job!

sara.b said...

Hey Carmen,
I too adore the characters and the development you've provided them. Also this is such a classic and beautiful concept...I've always loved it!

I think both Candace and Isaac have great points, so taking from those here are my two cents. I agree with the triangle aspect, but think you can work with the moon where it's at. A lot of your work is centered, and your strongest pieces, in my opinion, are those that aren't. You do incredible trees and foliage, why not bring some up on both sides or on one side up into the sky with the moon behind some branches. Make the mood romantic but secretive. Fireflies or a hanging lamp off of the boat would add another element as well.

As for the boat...keep in mind...they're not flat. Round out your lines for the wood a bit. Or in better words, bow your lines out down towards the water slightly. Make sense?

pete said...

I agree with previous posts.

The characters are beautifully drawn. Your pencil work is great! I can't wait to see the watercolors complete the illustration.

From an overall view of the image, I get a sense that the kitty cat is leaning adoringly towards the owl, and I love the action/emotion that is created...but the owl seems very rigid and vertical to me...almost leaning away from her.

Getting some motion in that ocean (or leaning the boat, might also loosen the overall composition. A crescent moon-shaped boat might make things interesting...just a thought.

You have a real gift for rendering animals! Very well done!

Tiddly Inks said...

I love the front wing on the owl and his cape and collar. Her clothes are also lovely too...very windswept and full of movement.
I agree with most of the suggestions above, but I was thinking that the moon could be large and behind them. That might call for a silhouette, so I am not sure.
I would suggest making her face a tad larger to match the size of her body and the owl's proportions.
With the suggested changes to the boat, I think this would be a great composition because I really like the owl's expression and her little laugh. I look forward to seeing it completed. :)

Lyon said...

I love this piece. I really had to hunt for something to crit that was different than the others.

Two things for me. The cat's face seems small and she appears to have no neck.

There is so much movement in the rest of the drawing the boat seems "off" because it's so straight. The waves are choppy, the wind is blowing, I think the boat needs to wobble a bit to keep the action going all through the image.

Like I said, these are nit picks. This is a really wonderful sketch. I can't wait to see the color version.