View Full Version : Cassowary

08-16-2016, 11:05 AM

Title: Cassowary
Year Created:
Medium: Colored Pencil
Surface: Paper
Dimension: 8
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

The cassowary - a subject I feel dearly about as the small coastal town I live in is within a cassowary conservation area and, despite all the road speed signs and "recent sighting" signs, people continue to speed and kill these special birds.

I am happy with the cassowary (though if you can see something wrong please tell me), I am not so happy with the background. If you have any suggestions on how to improve it I would appreciate it, although it could be almost impossible, given how hard it is to erase coloured pencil. Many thanks in advance.

Tom Brown
08-16-2016, 11:57 AM
Nice work, don't jeopardize it by trying to tweek the background. It's good as is.

08-16-2016, 06:06 PM
I agree, leave it alone.

08-16-2016, 08:17 PM
Thank you Tom and gebhm - I guess I was hoping someone would have a "magical" quick fix when, in reality, trying to change the background would more than likely end up making it look worse.

08-17-2016, 01:24 AM
Nice work,
I enjoy using colouring pencils myself. Like the others have mentioned, there is not much you can do with the background, but I think the overall picture could use a contrast boost.
I don't know if its the camera flash or lighting, but its looking very flat in contrast right now.
I suggest bumping up your dark areas first, paying particular attention to the eye area, as that's your focal point. Also consider reducing the white highlights area a little-as its looking pure white and you never want to have a pure white or black without a really good reason. This is drawing the focal point away from the eye.
Other than that, I think its a really good piece. Nice work.

08-17-2016, 07:05 AM
Thank you SilverSwallow for your great advice - the back of the head and the casque, while not being as light as they appear in the photo, did need to be darkened a bit and I also darkened the pupil and lightened the highlight in the eye so that the eye is now the focal point. Cheers :)

08-17-2016, 11:13 PM
I think your background is in good harmony with the bird. It doesn't fight for attention, yet when you look at it, it is interesting. Pretty cool looking character.

08-18-2016, 10:18 PM
Thank you Libby. :)

08-21-2016, 01:00 AM
Hope your art helps with the conservancy efforts! Would darkening the neck shadows under the beak side of neck help bird stand out from background leaf?

08-29-2016, 08:21 AM
Thank you Audrey - yes I think that would help too. Either that or I could darken the background in that area, I hadn't noticed how similar in value the colours there were. Thanks again.

Use Her Name
08-29-2016, 10:44 AM
I am really thinking more contrast, and some sharper edges. I'd beautiful though. These birds have always held a special place in my heart.