UPDATE- Here's a wip of the piece so far. What do people think of the arrangement of things on the table? I've been moving them around a bit, and I'm not sure what I like the most. The figure still needs some work on the lighting, and I plan on adding embroidery and other details into his outfit. Does the narrative I mentioned before still read?
Hello everyone. I've been working on a new illustration, and I've narrowed down my thumbnails and sketches to one that I'm pretty happy with. However, I wanted to make sure that the narrative in the piece reads clearly to everyone else. Basically this gentleman is playing his violin in his room, illuminated by the candles on the table, and the shadow that's being cast against the wall is evil/demonic and instead of holding a violin bow in his hand its holding a glowing or flaming dagger.
Does the shadow on the wall read like it's some twisted version of the musician's shadow, created by the candles, rather than just some other random shadowy force rising behind him? I'm trying to keep the similarities in the pose and gesture, such as the tilt of the body and shoulders, in order to give the appearance that it's the musicians shadow. On the other hand, I didn't feel that giving the dagger the same horizontal angle as the violin bow made much sense story wise, because then it looked like the shadow was just holding a dagger behind the figure's head. I thought tilting the dagger down a bit more would look more ominous, like the shadow's about to plunge it into the man, but on the other hand it does change the shadow's pose a bit from the musician's, and I was wondering if this was harming the story I was trying to get across. What does everyone else think? I'm interested in your thoughts.
The table in front looks tilted toward us, but not enough to make it look like he's knocking it over. The ellipses are wonky. Also, the way the flame overlaps his sleeve is awkward, like his jacket might catch fire. Not digging the demon's left hand, which looks at a very awkward angle.
I like the original full length composition better. Did you abandon it because it's such a tall, thin composition?
I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
I figured something was wrong with the table, but I can't figure out just what. I don't think it's the ellipses themselves- I used the same ellipse for all of the objects on the table, so I think it's the angle of the table that isn't working quite right.
Im pretending to be an expert here..
There is a subtle perspective difference in the objects which unfortunately you are trying to avoid by using the same ellipse 35degree-40 ? however I don't think it affects the bigger picture and I would not draw to much attention to it with detail- tone down the background panel verticals and highlight or it will look too wrong on an inclined table which as we all know is device for creating additional interest or disguising a boring composition. If you have the back ground on a layer most artists would avoid the centering malarkey spoiling your picture and perhaps move the creature stage left, leaving the claw where it is - the claw hand btw needs as much work and care as violin man, I personally think its too crude.
The name of the game is 'if it looks right it is right'
I think the full figure composition is much better. It has a clearer narrative. It is easier to see that the demon is coming from his shadow. The coat on the standing figure looks very elegant and echoes the curve of the shadow demon nicely. I think that the cups and candles in the other version are only distracting. Have you tried to do away with the table all together?
I did some tweaking of the objects on the table, so I don't think the teacup should look like it's about to tip over anymore. I originally wanted to include the table with the objects on it because I thought it added to the idea that this guy was in a fancy room somewhere enjoying some time by himself. I tweaked the shadow's arm and dagger a little bit, and tried some variations with the objects and table. Should I leave the table in, or just get rid of it entirely?