Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Magic Gone all Wrong

I really could use some help with this image so any critiques would be great. Why ever back lit this illustration, it's horrible in photography and a nightmare in art. I will never try back lighting an illustration again. I just want to make sure this reads good and the lighting and shadows work. I want to use this illustration for my Directory of Illustration ad.


Carmen Keys said...

You know Steve, I think this rocks. So much movements, great expressions, so much going on! And even though so much is going on you've made a nice focal point on the rabbits with how you did the lighting.
I know, backlighting is hard. I've only managed to do it successfully *once* myself, haha. The key there is that the center of the object is going to be a LOT darker than you think it is, and the white highlights are going to be on the edges only -- like for the flower wand, you'll want the dark parts in in the middle, and a bright highlight around the very edges. I think most of the true backlighting will be on the wand and the rabbit holding it. (He's going to need a lot more shadow in the middle!)
Really though, I think this reads clearly even if you didn't change it. It's a great image with nice depth!

sara.b said...

Hey Steve,
I too enjoy the movement and quarkiness of this illo. The colors a great in the bkgr and the rabbits are a total joy to look at!

Carmen has a great point about the highlight outlines. I definitely add them on wand. Another thing to consider is the woman's dress, maybe bring it up a bit more in the chest to reduce the amount of skin seen. Especially if you want children's book gigs. The woman's left (our left) eye is kind of sagging and is larger than the right. The angle of her face isn't extreme enough for them to be that different in size.

In one of my crit groups a member was told her work looked too much like disney, and I see a bit of that here. Careful. The way work looks like disney is the digital coloring. You've done a fantastic job on it! No doubts there, but maybe take some time and compare your work to disney's. A lot of AD commented on that with her work and she wasn't moving forward. Texture's and application has everything to do with it. :)

I also love the cards and how you manipulated them to carry your information. Very clever!

pete said...

Great illustration, Steve! The color choices are great, the light source hints at the desperation of your if he's trying to get his trick together as his cue is being given, and you've incorporated lots of characters and objects without making the scene feel overcrowded. I also continue to enjoy your use of focusing on the foreground and blurring the background. That makes the action pop very well!

I agree with the previous comments. The backlighting might need to cast more light around the outer edges of the rear characters. Something about the anatomy of the mustached stagehand's left shoulder/arm seems slightly off.

Very cool work, though. It reminds me of the short film, "Presto."

Isaac Marzioli - Freelance Illustrator said...

Terrific illustration Steve! You add so much detail and it looks great (not busy)...

I had a couple of things that I noticed - first is the face of the magician. One eyeball is bigger than the other - which, while I assume was done on purpose to add to the expression of the character - should be felt throughout the face. Like, if his one eye is open so much bigger, than maybe the eyebrow above it should also be arched. Or, consequently, if the other eye is kind of squinty, then the eyebrow on that side should slope downwards a little bit. Also - I feel like he's not fully expressing his anger/frustration. His pose could be pushed more. He's standing very straight, which doesn't fully express him furiously shaking his hat. Speaking of the hat - I feel like the hole at the bottom (where all the stuff is coming out) is out of perspective with the rest of the hat. If you can see that much of it, the rest of it should be more foreshortened...maybe? Also - it appears that his arms are 3/4 pose and his torso is straight on. And his left arm isn't connecting up to his shoulder.

Also - I love the cards you've drawn! And it's very smart to have put your info and stuff on the biggest card coming out. I think though, that card shouldn't tangent with the bottom of the page or the rabbit's foot. And there's a couple of cards that are tangenting (like the card touching the bottom of the rabbit's left hand, and the black 6 on the ground by the bucket, and the backwards card above the rabbit's left hand is touching the pulley system thing). Also - the 3 of clubs card on the ground might need a shadow, it appears to be floating a little bit...and it might possibly be out of perspective. Oh - and the flowers are tangenting the janitor's back.

And finally - the face of the closest rabbit. I know you're going for a fun pose, but his face seems a little lopsided...

Anyway - hopefully this helps...I just thought, especially since this will be used in such an important professional way, that these would be important changes or tweaks...