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    Children's books

    This is my project in 2011.
    Welcome to comment.

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    Last edited by LENGARTISTRY; July 6th, 2012 at 03:20 AM.
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    Is there a reason that the house and background is in focus, but not the main subject (dog?) and the foreground?

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    Also your characters are lopsided (I guess that could be seen as deliberate cutesy style, but in your images the lopsidedness varies and it ends up looking more like a mistake to me) and the painting of the basic forms doesn't look convincing either:
    Name:  roo.jpg
Views: 243
Size:  68.7 KB

    There's way too much random rimlighting going on too, and most of the colours look muddy, especially all the shadows in the background and the rendering bit blurry. Also I agree with Lulie, many of these images have trouble separating the focus and fore- and background elements.

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    You have some charming characters, but I feel there is a lot that could be improved in your illustrations.

    You have a lot of tangent issues in your compostions, with characters and enviroments overlapping and breaking up the form.

    The values are all in the same 40-70% range without highilghts or shadows, wich gives the images a washed out and flat look. But with all the perspective lines going on it looks as though you were going for more depth.

    The story is a little unclear to me but it looks like some sort of quest to deliver a letter?

    Anyway it's a good thing that you managed to produce so many, but I feel you could use some work on the fundamentals of composition, color and value to make them read better.

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    My god... that giraffe... oh the horror... why WOULD YOU DO THAT TO ME?! I was planning on SLEEPING tonight, you know!

    But joking aside. I agree with what TinyBird and Obstfelder said. I would just add that for a children't book this is way, way, way too detailed. I understand that there are many different styles of kids illustration, but all this extra detail is simply un-needed. Kids aren't gonna concentrate on it. This isn't my opinion either by the way, I'm currently working on a project for CBeebies and had to read all their style guides. So don't waste time on un-needed detail and instead concentrate on the characters and making them more child friendly. Frankly, that giraffe is terrifying.

    Hope this helps! Looking forward to seeing more

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    Yipeee! My fave subject!

    sorry I get a bit excited sometimes, lets start again ......Hi there matey.

    OK Firstly good colours and lovely pictures I can see loads and loads of time has been taken over this, so well done for giving this sort of thing a shot. Because its a bloody sight harder than some folks realise.
    I am going to stick all my points down as bullet points for you so that it is easy to get a handle on where I am coming from ( I ramble sometimes).

    1) There is way too much dentistry or facial expression on show, or to put it another way you are not using enough body language in the characters to sell the action and the mood that they are portraying. I am saying this because I am assuming that the book is aimed at early school age kids from the image style. Kids of that age are not yet reading very well and take much of what they get from the story from the body language.

    2) Get into a bookshop or a library and have a good look through and study of kids books in the age range you are looking at working in, The level of detail is much much lower than yours lovely as it is I am afraid it is a little bit of information overload. The focus of the images has to be right in your face and not subtle at all.

    3) keep the level of threat in the stories and images to a bare minimum they are meant to entertain and not terrify! these things get read to little folks at bed time don't forget and also today's mindless political correctness gets in the way too, so no violence or guns!

    4) be dynamic in the images if you need to but don't go for all sorts of angles in each image, the book will be held by a parent and shared with a kid and it will get really annoying if you have to keep turning the page this way then that way so that both of you can see the image on the page.

    5) question? where does the text go in these images? A picture book usually has around four lines of text on a page so you need to make a clear area to put it in, if a background is too busy and varicoloured that you can't easily read the text of the story.

    I think That will give you enough to think about for now, I will swing by later and see what you have to say, and feel free to tell me to bog off if you like this is just my opinion and experience yours may be different and better so take all crits with a pinch and use what you need.

    all the best and I hope this works for you

    A great kind hearted lumbering bullock



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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoolhoo View Post
    I would just add that for a children't book this is way, way, way too detailed.
    Gotta agree about the giraffe, it looks like a praying mantis...
    Though for the detail thing I would note that to me it's not as much the details, but the fact that almost all of the images have way too much going on at the same time that's not really needed in my opinion, especially if you're aiming this to young kids, as the style would suggest.
    Like there's detailed in the way of the Brambly Hedge:
    Name:  hadge.jpg
Views: 221
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    In that there's lots of details to be sure (and these are probably aimed for kids that are in school), but they don't really confuse the viewer as to what is happening and the overall composition is still simple.

    Yours images have a lot of visual overload and complexity that doesn't add much to the images, like the constant, long rows of trees, there's three or four types of mountains in one image and so on... like with the giraffe, what does the other giraffe on the car thing really give? If it was just a one giraffe with a recognizable postman hat/bag/letter and the roo reading the letter, then I don't think the other giraffe/car is needed there to show how they arrived, as long as the text tells that the postman arrived there. For little kids that's enough. So yeah, think of your audience.

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    It's true we're living in very corporate times and the prevailing wisdom is that kids' books need to be visually simple. On the other hand, when I was a small child I LOVED books with a ton of detail (Richard Scarry and John S. Goodall come to mind) so I would take all the "market-driven" advice here about "what kids like" with a grain of salt. Your work is not going to stand out if you're producing the same stuff as everyone else.

    That said...the pieces you posted are good but there are major issues with the way the images read. You're trying to depict these animals in 3D, but the foreshortening and rendering of the forms makes them feel flat and the end result is really confusing.

    If you want to move forward, I'd recommend you go back to your line art and carefully re-render them with more of an eye toward making the forms read. There are plenty of people on this forum who will be glad to let you know how well you're doing.

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    Woah, that is a beautiful illustration, TinyBird. Must check this guy out!

    Another thing, which sort of goes along with the idea of this confusing composition you have going on. I would carefully watch the positioning of things. One of my work mates noticed that one. In number 2 the bottle seems to grow out of the pig's head.

    Also, what is the story you're trying to tell here? These seem to be quite unconnected from a story telling point of view.

    Obviously quite a lot of work went into these, so kudos on keeping a consistent style and rendering out everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lulie View Post
    Is there a reason that the house and background is in focus, but not the main subject (dog?) and the foreground?
    Ok,I think my focus has a problem,because I want to draw for many detail. I intended to draw kangaroo to be main subject that lost in the forest,So his friends travel to find kangaroo.

    and sorry for my bad English.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    Also your characters are lopsided (I guess that could be seen as deliberate cutesy style, but in your images the lopsidedness varies and it ends up looking more like a mistake to me) and the painting of the basic forms doesn't look convincing either:
    Name:  roo.jpg
Views: 243
Size:  68.7 KB

    There's way too much random rimlighting going on too, and most of the colours look muddy, especially all the shadows in the background and the rendering bit blurry. Also I agree with Lulie, many of these images have trouble separating the focus and fore- and background elements.
    Ok,I agree with you. I will improve in my next work.
    Thank so much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Obstfelder View Post
    You have some charming characters, but I feel there is a lot that could be improved in your illustrations.

    You have a lot of tangent issues in your compostions, with characters and enviroments overlapping and breaking up the form.

    The values are all in the same 40-70% range without highilghts or shadows, wich gives the images a washed out and flat look. But with all the perspective lines going on it looks as though you were going for more depth.

    The story is a little unclear to me but it looks like some sort of quest to deliver a letter?

    Anyway it's a good thing that you managed to produce so many, but I feel you could use some work on the fundamentals of composition, color and value to make them read better.
    Ok,but it isn't deliver the letter.It's a Fallacy.The letter and a basket of Red grapes was sent from Grapes garden to Kangaroo for call him to take Red grapes.He lost in the forest and that night his friends have found the letter that dirty by the Red grape(Kangaroo taste greedily) and think it was blood!So they travel to find their friend.

    Thanks and sorry for my bad English.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoolhoo View Post
    My god... that giraffe... oh the horror... why WOULD YOU DO THAT TO ME?! I was planning on SLEEPING tonight, you know!

    But joking aside. I agree with what TinyBird and Obstfelder said. I would just add that for a children't book this is way, way, way too detailed. I understand that there are many different styles of kids illustration, but all this extra detail is simply un-needed. Kids aren't gonna concentrate on it. This isn't my opinion either by the way, I'm currently working on a project for CBeebies and had to read all their style guides. So don't waste time on un-needed detail and instead concentrate on the characters and making them more child friendly. Frankly, that giraffe is terrifying.

    Hope this helps! Looking forward to seeing more
    Lol.My giraffe is so scary. I will improve my next work.Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightship69 View Post
    Yipeee! My fave subject!

    sorry I get a bit excited sometimes, lets start again ......Hi there matey.

    OK Firstly good colours and lovely pictures I can see loads and loads of time has been taken over this, so well done for giving this sort of thing a shot. Because its a bloody sight harder than some folks realise.
    I am going to stick all my points down as bullet points for you so that it is easy to get a handle on where I am coming from ( I ramble sometimes).

    1) There is way too much dentistry or facial expression on show, or to put it another way you are not using enough body language in the characters to sell the action and the mood that they are portraying. I am saying this because I am assuming that the book is aimed at early school age kids from the image style. Kids of that age are not yet reading very well and take much of what they get from the story from the body language.

    2) Get into a bookshop or a library and have a good look through and study of kids books in the age range you are looking at working in, The level of detail is much much lower than yours lovely as it is I am afraid it is a little bit of information overload. The focus of the images has to be right in your face and not subtle at all.

    3) keep the level of threat in the stories and images to a bare minimum they are meant to entertain and not terrify! these things get read to little folks at bed time don't forget and also today's mindless political correctness gets in the way too, so no violence or guns!

    4) be dynamic in the images if you need to but don't go for all sorts of angles in each image, the book will be held by a parent and shared with a kid and it will get really annoying if you have to keep turning the page this way then that way so that both of you can see the image on the page.

    5) question? where does the text go in these images? A picture book usually has around four lines of text on a page so you need to make a clear area to put it in, if a background is too busy and varicoloured that you can't easily read the text of the story.

    I think That will give you enough to think about for now, I will swing by later and see what you have to say, and feel free to tell me to bog off if you like this is just my opinion and experience yours may be different and better so take all crits with a pinch and use what you need.

    all the best and I hope this works for you
    Thank you very much for the useful critique.I will improve in my next work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo View Post
    It's true we're living in very corporate times and the prevailing wisdom is that kids' books need to be visually simple. On the other hand, when I was a small child I LOVED books with a ton of detail (Richard Scarry and John S. Goodall come to mind) so I would take all the "market-driven" advice here about "what kids like" with a grain of salt. Your work is not going to stand out if you're producing the same stuff as everyone else.

    That said...the pieces you posted are good but there are major issues with the way the images read. You're trying to depict these animals in 3D, but the foreshortening and rendering of the forms makes them feel flat and the end result is really confusing.

    If you want to move forward, I'd recommend you go back to your line art and carefully re-render them with more of an eye toward making the forms read. There are plenty of people on this forum who will be glad to let you know how well you're doing.
    Thank you for the comment.

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    Hi matey

    Sorry I haven't been on in a while but i have been trying to get a book back off a mate of mine and I needed it to give you the correct information, so here goes.

    The following is quite simply the best book I have ever found on the subject of producing children's books.

    "Illustrating Children's Books - Creating Pictures For Publication" By Martin Salisbury

    It has everything you need to know in concise form and is a brilliant no nonsense guide.

    get it from amazon
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Illustrating...1830449&sr=1-1

    honestly mate for the price its unbeatable value and has everything you need.

    I hope this helps you out and all the best with your work

    A great kind hearted lumbering bullock



    http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=209918 = my Sketchbook
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    Lightship69,Thank so much for the book you suggested.

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    I think that if the animal characters are going to be walking on two legs and behaving like humans, you should adapt the anatomy to make it look cuter.

    I don't like the thickness/thinness contrast of the body parts. In the first image the neck is too thin and it breaks the cute for me.

    Also - could someone please tell me what medium are the Brambly Hedge illustrations done with? I love that kind of illustration but I can't find it anywhere... is it ink and watercolor?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DinaCardillo View Post
    Also - could someone please tell me what medium are the Brambly Hedge illustrations done with? I love that kind of illustration but I can't find it anywhere... is it ink and watercolor?
    Really crappy watercolours at least. She talks about her tools in one of the books and I remember that she uses so cheap watercolours that it's hard for the print to get the colours show properly. If I find the book I'll note your further but this tidbit was in one of the interview blogs:
    She draws a rough version of her sketch first, and then photocopies the roughs and goes over the characters in pencil, adding ink, and then watercolour for a final result.


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