Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tom Thumb Dummy






A poor woodman sat in his cottage one night, smoking his pipe by the fireside while his wife sat by his side spinning. 'How lonely it is, wife,' said he, as he puffed out a long curl of smoke, 'for you and me to sit here by ourselves, without any children to play about and amuse us while other people seem so happy and merry with their children!'

'What you say is true,' said the wife, sighing, and turing round her wheel; 'how happy should I be if I had but one child! If it were ever so small - nay, if it were no bigger than my thumb - I should be very happy, and love it dearly.'


My previous post was the precursor for this one, which, is the first page for my book dummy (Tom Thumb, Grimms). I figure I get stuck on inspiration sometimes and I should have a dummy in the portfolio, so go for it! Above is the accompanying text (not placed, but should be above the characters - I would have added a framed box for that, but I don't know whether the artist or publisher works that out). As with all my stuff, its acrylic meant to look oily. The lighting was again tricky because I was going for firelight dancing on the characters' faces. What do you guys see? After the photography and upload, some of my lines read sloppy, but aren't as noticeable on the original painting.

7 comments:

Isaac Marzioli - Freelance Illustrator said...

You guys and your lighting sources...I'm starting to feel bad that I always use the exact same one for my pictures - I like that you're pushing yourself and making htings challenging. I also like the eyes - it's something I'm currently working on (to make the eyes look rounder and wetter...which you've done quite well...AND with real paint!)...

The only real thing I could say about this piece is that because it's based on a story, I feel like I want to see more. As a picture itself, it's fine - but if it's the scene that opens everything, I feel like it needs to show more. I know you have the picture of the cottage as well...so maybe it all works out when you see both pictures in sequence...but if it's a woodman sitting in a cottage with his wife spinning - I feel like it should have more of that.

Of course a lot of this is hinted at - the hole in the shirt, the lighting (signifying the fire light) and the bored expressions...

Actually - just turning the page and having a wider layout of the land might work...or a view of the wife spinning and saying her line about the thumb...

To sum up - I guess I'm really just saying that this picture does work by itself - but since it's a part of a story (or dummy) its success depends on the sequence of art that follows. So good first pic and I'll look forward to the rest!

Carmen Keys said...

Wow, great light source Pete -- it really does almost flicker and has a good warmth about it. I like how you push the angles and perspectives of the walls and window, it adds interest and drama.
I'll agree with Isaac about having maybe a spinning wheel in there, a little further pulled back of a shot. And I think I would lighten or soften the circles around their eyes a bit, at least the man's -- it kind of looks like a black eye. I think it just wouldn't have such a sharp edge to it or all around the whole eye. And one last nitpick -- the smoke from the pipe is perfect as far as color and opacity, but smoke doesn't really curl from a whole bunch of different stems; the swirls would be working together in more or less the same main directions, like a thin sheet. Like this for instance.
Aside from those things, I think this is a great piece so far! Your coloring is wonderful and I love the bored expressions.

marikris said...

Wow, Pete. Every time you post something, that's pretty much what I say lol.

Ok, I love the warmth you achieved. I will add one thing to what's already been said. The light source appears to be behind the shoulder of the man. Where the light hits his nose and the rest of his face, the shadows they throw should overlap the woman's face more (and be more elongated) from where she's positioned on the other side of him and quite close to his side. However, because your lighting is *so* clever, I don't even think this is a big deal (I thin of it as artistic license and done really well). It looks very good and I think the thin shadows adds to the "play" of the firelight.

Kris

Christy said...

I love this, Pete! Truly. :) I always hate to suggest changes to you though because I know it is done in real-time paint and it will be hard to change. LOL I love it, but I agree with Carmen and Isaac about being too tight in to the faces. The light is great and the pensiveness on their faces is perfect. Very nicely done. :)

Isaac Marzioli - Freelance Illustrator said...

Also - i think you should either leave the text off completely - or place it above the illustration entirely. Or darken the box behind the words. Right now it's hard to read - and kind of distracting.

I think the publisher usually has a designer fit in the words...but does anyone know how this works when you're doing a dummy? I've always assumed you'd just paste the text in on top (on the computer, of course) - but do the people you turn in a dummy to, does it strengthen your story to already have it designed out, or should you plop it in there and have them figure it out?...

Anyway - in this case, I think your text should either be above the illo - or maybe even design a box to go around it...

sara.b said...

Heya Pete! Total awesomeness! Love the warm light and your walls look so streamlined but frame the husband and wife very well. I agree about the husband's eyes, I see them, yes, being darker, but fading out a bit at the bottom like the wife's. I think for the smoke issue, the curl going off of the edge of the illo isn't needed. If you brought it colliding in with the one reaching for the ceiling you'd be set!

I too felt like there should be a bit more space, but it's very strong on it's own as is. So don't concern yourself too much with that. I love the husband's hands and the wife's freckles. :) Those eyes really stand out with all of that warm orange! Very nice!!

Pixiewinkle said...

Pete, I think that this works well with your last illustration that you posted- different colors, but same eerie feeling. The eyes do seem like they glow in the dark a bit too much, so I agree with the other's comments, but it might be a matter of painting a slightly gray wash over them. Keep going, I can't wait to see the next one!