well the construction seems okay.
you should try to add alittle more volume, perhaps some darker shadows, highlights, etc.
it's ok for a kids illustration, the kids would love it, it's got proper colours and a nice funny aspect.
still, try to focus more in the volumes, the turtle's paws look like mere cilynders, they could use alittle extra work.
overall, pretty good job.
It's actually a rather charming image. Slayer's got some good points, some more volume would be good. I would get a reference of the turtle's head because I think turtle's heads aren't bulbous at the end of the neck like a human's would be, but it tapers down from a wider neck. I would also lose the two lines you've got going down his neck because it weakens the picture in my opinion. I got a question though, now when you say the picture looked childish, did you mean something more like a child drew it? or it'd be better if children were the audience. And if you were thinking of making a comic of the two characters, what kind of comic would it be? what kind of audience? I'm kinda curious because any advice I could possibly give kinda starts from there.
nothing says friendship like a boy and his tortoise.
If you want to keep the cell shading and stylized-style( ran out of English) you should draw out the clouds the same way. The rocks (?) on the ground should be done like that as well, right now they look like a mistake you forgot to erase.
"Be who you are and say what you feel,because those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind."-Dr. Seuss
No problems with the subject... good children's illustration is as noble as any other art.
In addition to the things JL.Alfaro pegged (the difference between the character and the clouds is a big red flag!) I would work more with variation in line weight. Good control over the thickness of your ink lines will add to the feeling of volume, polish, and general "rightness".
If you don't know what I mean by line weight, at it's most basic it's a matter of thickening the lines on the undersides of each form... a thicker line "feels" heavier... the result gives the image more presense without getting into rendering and shading. The best practice for this, I find is a bottle of ink and a flexible inking brush. Vary your pressure on the brush as it moves and the line will get thicker and thinner... makes your lines and marks feel very alive.
"Change is a virtue my friend... if you want to escape, all you have to do is make up your mind."
John Cale / Bob Neuwirth
As a fan/purveyor of the cel/toon-shaded art style, I can say that it's tricky finding a good balance between simple and complex.
This piece has a charming feel to it, but it seems as though the shading hasn't really been fully developed. Also, while there appears to have been a great deal of effort and attention focused on the character, elements such as the ground and sky are a little bit under-developed. As has already been mentioned, continuing the shading style into all aspects of the piece will give it a more unified feel.
One other thing I noticed in regards to the shading - while, in general, it's pretty well done, in places it seems as though the light and shadow doesn't accurately show the form. For example, the turtle's head - it seems as though, from the direction the light is coming, the shadow would actually start a little further towards the back of the head. Also, the shading on the boy's shirt contradicts the shading in other areas of the piece.
When adding shadows and highlights, regardless of how detailed you plan to make them, the two things that are absolutely crucial are visualization of the forms as three-dimensional objects, and identification of the light source's position three-dimensionally. It's very easy to look at a drawing as a flat entity instead of a flat representation of a three-dimensional entity.
Hope this all makes sense... keep at it!
EDIT: Added a paintover... hope you don't mind. It demonstrates some of the techniques mentioned, and makes a couple of other suggestions. Of course, you shouldn't just copy the paintover... take in the suggestions and try them on your own, adding your own touches.
Last edited by Imagus; November 9th, 2007 at 07:46 PM.
Reason: Added Paintover