Illustration for children's book - Need help !!

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    Illustration for children's book - Need help !!

    Hello guys and ladies,

    I'm currently working on an illustration for a children's book and I would appreciate every comment on this one.

    First I'd like to show some steps of what I already did, then I try to explain all that is to know, regarding the book and my methods of creating the illustration:

    Illustration for children's book - Need help !!

    Illustration for children's book - Need help !!

    Illustration for children's book - Need help !!

    About the book:
    It is written for 9-12 year old kids, it takes place in the time before the last ice-age, and tells the story of "Mooti", who is about to become accepted in his tribe as a hunter, but before that he has to accomplish the rite of initiation, which means he has to hunt a mammoth together with the rest of the tribe, but he has to lead the hunt.
    Later there are some strange "accidents" happening and Mooti has to find out who is responsible.
    The book is intended to be a detective story.

    About the scene I chose to depict.
    Its the scene were he and the other "kids" get the carved stone, where each kid picks a different animal - the girl is kind of his friend/future wife or something, the guy is the arrogant son of the chief hunter, maybe also the one who later tries to sabotage Mootis hunt.

    I was told to create a "dark" and "crimi-like" atmosphere, because they already had an illustration for the book, but it was to bright and .. uhm, "soft".

    As you can see I made some outlines in the beginning, coloured it with Copic-pencils, scanned it and coloured it with PS - which is also the main question for me here in this tread - is this method viable?
    Should I rather intend to finish the whole thing on paper, and only use PS for the "final touch"?
    I am also kind of a newbie when it comes to the usage of brushes in PS - shall I get the "Painter" program?

    Thanks in advance to everyone who can help me with my questions !!!Illu_mooti_final_CA.jpg

    Last edited by Alabaster; April 11th, 2011 at 10:09 AM.
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  3. #2
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    Well, I have to say that these kids look like 21st century larpers at best, rather than ice age kids. The boy in the right looks like he's just wearing a common sweater, and the two others or the background doesn't really give any more of ancient feeling, aside the spear.
    Also it's hard to get a "dark" feeling when the kids look (mostly) happy. Also there's too much empty space between the title logo and the kids. If used well it might give more intimidating feeling, or if there were something, like clouds or colour gradiation or something, but like that, it doesn't really work.

    Mixing traditional and digital is perfectly good method and you can get very good results from it... but unfortunately, this looks shoddy and amateurish. It gives off a nice texture, but digital colouring doesn't hide the flaws of the original drawings. Like the original white paper causes that the kids are lit like in the brightest day. At least it makes them properly visible, buuuttt... it doesn't look like real night. At least give some sort of reasonable light source for them to be so visible.

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  5. #3
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    Thank you for your honest critique!
    Do you have a suggestion regarding PS and the implementation of digital colours onto the drawing? Would you create several layers for each person/object?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alabaster View Post
    Do you have a suggestion regarding PS and the implementation of digital colours onto the drawing?
    I would at least fully finish the traditional characters (maybe even do a colour test digitally that would help to keep the colour scheme unified and help selecting the Copic colours) so that they are fully coloured, and match (at least somewhat) the digital background. I would probably use some textures to give the digital parts traditional feel too, so that they're not completely separate, or go as far that I'd do the whole image traditionally and then use Photoshop to tweak it.
    Here's a couple simple examples of mixing digital and traditional:
    http://weremagnus.deviantart.com/art...oots-197813072
    http://weremagnus.deviantart.com/art...vern-197561110
    Edit
    Or for example, do a "colour wash" and the finish the colours digitally, like in here:
    http://madart84.blogspot.com/2009/09...host-page.html

    And I wouldn't create several layers for every character/object unless it was needed.

    Last edited by TinyBird; April 11th, 2011 at 11:19 AM.
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    Hey, thank you so much, I really needed a commenter like you !

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    Your characters are a bit flat, try to add some gradients, and play more with colors.
    Add some variations.
    Good luck

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    Illustration for childrens book Need help

    The "DC comic guide..." is a great book about color theory.
    I believe that a good book about render is "HI-FI colors for comics".

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