Monday, June 15, 2009

An "I'm not sure if I like it" kind of illustration

Strangely Familiar

So yeah... in theory I like this because the new technique was fun and I like the dreamlike quality (as it is meant to be part of a dream), but in actuality it just seems "off". Just missing the mark for me from what I intended. The girl's leg seems a bit detached even though I thought I had mapped that out. Anyway! Would love all of your opinions on how this could have been better.


Isaac Marzioli - Freelance Illustrator said...

I love the fantasy element and the composition! I think the girl was rendered quite well too - especially the face!

There are a couple of things though - the first is that even though her body is slightly turned to 3/4 pose, her arms and hands are straight forward...

Also - with the legs - the right leg is fine, but the left leg is in profile and behind the other leg which flatten it out. I feel, with that view, you should be able to see more toes which would help add dimension to it...

Oh - and the two flowers on the right - the top floewr is tangenting on the vine below it.

I really like the composition! Especially how the one creature is slighty coming out of it! Great job!

pete said...

I agree that this is a nice composition. It has a very nice, warm feel to it. I also like how you make your watercolors rich and vivid. I think that makes your final product interesting and sets you apart.

I like the pose of the girl, her face, and your various characters. And, as usual, your wardrobe choices are always top notch! Where do you come up with these? They are beautiful.

As far as crits go, I think your lamp lighting could be stronger. The light it produces vanishes pretty quickly into thin air. It'd be nice to see it landing on her outfit and body - and on the furniture, casting shadows and so on... I would almost go greener with your foliage, too. The colors are very near in value to the background brown, to my eye at least. Or just go darker with the brown...not sure which would be better. I tend to like the idea of a darker brown.

Really those are pretty insignificant points, if you ask me. I think the illo looks complete and polished. The expression you've captured on her face is thought-provoking and subtle. Very cool! I think it's a success.

By the way, what's your new technique? Heavier color?

Patti said...

I think there are some really lovely parts to this image. It is a nice composition and the colors are really nice. The only thing I would say is that the way her head is sitting on her body feels a bit off. I don't know if it is that her head looks a bit big for her body. There seems to be a disconnect there. Both the body and the head are lovely, they just seem a little off. Her face is really wonderful.

Carmen Keys said...

Thanks everyone! Yeah, maybe it is her body that is bugging me, all the weird twisting angles. Just doesn't look comfortable. Maybe hands and feet should have been bigger to balance out her larger head.
Pete good idea about the darker brown in the background. I think I was intending for this to be much darker, or at least way more contrasty value-wise, and perhaps that is why it seems to miss the mark for me. Great suggestions!
The new technique was to start off with a thin layer of white gouache as a base for the whole thing -- it makes it easier to move paint around after it's dried so that I can get more of those soft glows and lifting out highlights in her face. Fun! Must experiment more.

Christy said...

Hi Carmen,
As always you have a lovely soft fantasy feel to your work. I love her outfit and face and the odd little catlike critters. :) I do think her arms and hands are too small for her head, but you seemed to catch that. I love the new is very soft.