Children's book illustration
 
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    Children's book illustration

    Children's book illustration
    been working on this for a long time and it just isnt as good as I hoped it would be. Any tips?

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  3. #2
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    It seems the penguin is not flowing the same direction that the light is going in, and seems to work against the flow of the image, I did a VERY quick paintover, to show you what i mean. Other wise nice work, good rendering is it digital?

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    Hey great, thanks for the tip! Yeah its rendered in vray and panted over in photoshop.

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    That's a very very nice illustration, I like the mood and color, it's great !

    I agree, the little guy body don't follow the movement of the lamp. You can give the lamp a more vertical angle too to give more "weight" to the penguin. Maybe you should more why he is aiming for this direction : the exit with the ligh inside is not very attractive, you see a door but not really the exit. At first look I didn't understood this part if the image very well...

    Last edited by Griffonnage; January 17th, 2013 at 08:31 PM.
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  8. #5
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    It's charming.

    And I agree; there's just something about the penguin's position that doesn't work. I dropped it into Photoshop and tried moving him around, but was never quite happy with it. It's certainly worth working out, though.

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  10. #6
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    Thanks Stout and Griffonnage. I trying to work out the penguin now.

    The door is supposed to be a mystery. The reader doesn't find out that Alyssa's closet door opens into the southpole until a little later in the story. I wanted to give the kids a hint of what it might be without giving away the surprise. Any thoughts on how to resolve the fact that its not looking attractive?

    Thanks again...very much appreciated!

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    Hmmm I have no clue about the ultimate good solution but here are some ideas, hope it can help you :

    If you want to let it be a "surprise" but show there is actually "something" mysterious, you can make it more brighter and reflect the light a little more in the room...

    Looking at the general shadows, the main light come from the left in some part of the room (look at the central mirror) and from the right if you look at the left wall... The mysterious door is supposely very bright and do not "feel" like it is... So maybe you can correct the main light direction first, then add the secondary light like the mysterious door backlight ?

    If you don't want the thing to be too obvious, you can draw the closet door closed with some ray beam escaping from joints between the door and the wall ?

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  13. #8
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    Right now the two focal points are the girl and the chest of drawers. Now, the girl is fine. You want people to look at her. But why did you make the chest of drawers so big, complex, important-looking and surrounded by negative space that it steals all the attention away from the penguin?

    At this point I would recommend that you move the penguin so that it obscures the top right part of the mirror, since that is where people are looking anyway, and make sure that it contrasts enough with its surroundings (make sure it is either dark, or blue-ish, or both) so that it is noticeable.

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  15. #9
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    its gorgeously drawn!
    I thought maybe the composition, even with the bendy eaves, was kind of flat and wide, i messed with it a bit, see what you think

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    Children's book illustration

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  17. #10
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    I was going to ask 'Why it was so wide?'. If it's for print, is this a 2 page spread with text across it?
    If not then I'd reposition a few things as you're cramping everything into really small areas (there's a lot of empty areas)

    There's a danger of the 'closet' door been mistaken for an outside door - the only way I can see it to have it opening the other way, with 'closet' written on it.
    I just wrote a large amount of waffle which I've replaced with a paintover - it's a lot easier this way
    Boost the lights/shadows to give the closet door a bigger (daylight) glow.

    Just ideas, not sure what to do with the penguin (it was hard to tell if it was leaving or entering?)

    Really nice feel to it though

    (Ah I see VK got in before me haha!)

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    Last edited by Venger; January 18th, 2013 at 12:39 AM.
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  19. #11
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    face palm, its probably a space for the text isnt it. Sorry Maggie!
    your art style is absolutely lovely, i think if you thumbnailed more carefully your work would be fantastic.


    "I just wrote a large amount of waffle which I've replaced with a paintover - it's a lot easier this way "

    aint that the truth. im terrible at wording much easier to draw..

    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; January 18th, 2013 at 12:48 AM. Reason: think slowly
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  21. #12
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    It looks really nice My main problem (apart from the already mentioned penguin flow) is reading that the closet is actually a closet, it looks more like a house door. Maybe it would benefit from a more traditional looking closet, more furniture than furnishing, if you understand what I mean.

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  23. #13
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    Man,
    you guys are so awesomely helpful.
    Thank you Inigo Montoya. Velocitykendall- thanks for taking the time out to do a paintover. Yes it is a spread, and the empty spots are for the text. I like what you've done to the mirror. It definitley looks better I'll implement as much as I can.

    VENGER! You're a lifesaver! Really appreciate it! Will post my update on the piece when its ready. Hope Im able to implement your advice successfully.

    I cant believe I didnt think to adjust the closet door to open the other way. So, since all of the advice is so solid I think I will just readjust my scene in Maya, rerender and the repaint. Sucks but it has to be done. Live and learn. I'll post my work here more in the early phases of the process. This is such an awesome place for great advice. I need to go through the WIP Crit threads and pay it forward with any help that I can offer. Thanks guys!

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  25. #14
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    Children's book illustration

    So before I go further on this and really get into painting in photoshop...Anyone see anything that isn't working or have any tips, advice?

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    I would move the swinging penguin down if you can, or make it larger. You've got a lot of empty space underneath it and it seems cramped into the top right corner.
    Obviously that's because of the lamp, perhaps it could be leaping off the drawers with a showering of Alysaa's possessions.
    Actually - I nearly missed the second penguin, make it bigger? or more visible (sat in the drawer maybe?)
    …you've lost "Alysaa's room" so maybe we could have "Alysaa's closet"?

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  27. #16
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    I honestly really like everything about it (even the penguin in the first version doesn't bother me) EXCEPT the girl. And that's an awfully big "except." Her face just isn't appealing, and she's also the one part of the illustration that really shows its 3D roots. You should really work on her expression in your overpaint, because your model isn't giving you what you need. (I also miss the lower POV in the newer version.)


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  28. #17
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    Children's book illustration
    Thanks Elwell and Venger. I know the model of Alyssa sucks right out of maya. I planned to do a paintover. Not done with her yet but I think she's looking a little better. I still have a lot of work to do, but I want to post an update. Anything out of place or just not working?

    Thanks!

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    The penguin's position in relation to the swinging lamp is just 100% wrong here. His weight will be pulling *down* on the edge of the lamp (causing the edge he's grabbing to hang much lower in relation to the suspending cable), and he'll be swinging in the same--not the opposite--direction as the lamp swings. Highly refined pencil drawing JPEG below, or look at any photo of a trapeze artist if you don't believe me.

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  30. #19
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    Wow that new point of view is great ! Lighting is definitly better !

    I would not put the two pictures in the corridor right in the corner of the door, it create a little distracting shape, maybe you can move one to the bottom ?

    About the penguin, I did a quick test and would say you can bend it really more, again it's for the swing purpose !

    Something you can try too : make the pengouin looking at the little girl, that would create an "eyes contact" between the two characters. I don't know if it can work on a double page, I know the purpose is to finally show the closet door.
    If you still want the penguin to look in that direction I would construct a "path of penguin" that lead to the door : you can add one on the furniture ready to jump and that could explain how he finally bounce at the lamp... Maybe an other one at the foreground too like looking really close at the reader ? And finally, make some flying object from the penguin looking into the shelves to add some movment to the mess ?

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  31. #20
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    HAHA..Adding a penguin to the foreground looking right at the veiwer with a goofy grin could be really funny. I wonder if I could work that in? I had the bouncing, moving ans swinging strokes but got rid of it because it wasnt looking right. Maybe I should try again. Thanks!

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  33. #21
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    progress update

    here's a progress update. Still trying to work out some of the suggestions. The penguin in the foreground wasn't working out so I still have to do some work in zbrush and import the model then do a paint over. Im wondering if there's too much contrast from the shadows. Not sure if the action lines are working here.

    Children's book illustration

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    I love everything about it and just want to say thanks for posting, kids illustration is burried under monsters and orcs and who knows what in here normally.

    all the best with it and I cant wait to see the next one.

    A great kind hearted lumbering bullock



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