View Full Version : Critique needed

09-30-2004, 12:39 AM
There are some problems with this, and I'm running short on figuring out what they are at this point. It's watercolor on hot press. Any thoughts, critiques, suggestions welcome.



09-30-2004, 12:49 AM
This is really nice Ted! Glad I caught it before I logged out. My first reactionis that it's so pretty I can't find anything wrong, but if I could spot something it would be that maybe you need a bit more darker tones for more depth. The colours you are using are very similar in tonal quality or maybe it's just the scan?
Anyways, best wait for the experts replies. :) Take care.

09-30-2004, 11:54 AM
I'm no expert, but here are my thoughts.

The things that pop out at me the most have to do with the woman, particularly her arms and her feet. The way her hand (that is holding the icecream cone) and forearm are drawn make it seem to be attached to her left arm, or that her right arm is bent in a wrong way. I also have a problem with her feet, and feel that one of them needs to be at a different angle of some sort.

The last thing has to do with composition. Right now, I feel that my eye is lingering at the top of the illustration and doesn't really have a reason to travel around the image. Maybe with some added emphasis or re-arranging you could lead the eye in and around a little better.

Maybe you could lead the eye from the girls feet up along her torso and to her outstreched hand in an "S" format. Or, again start at her feet and lead the eye along her legs and over to the boy and up to the center of interest and back down in a circular format. Also the line of the womans arms acts as a barrier that divides the image in half, add to that the girls left arm is parralell to the womans arms reinforcing the barrier. The girl kinda bridges that, but maybe if you could re-arrange their arms it would work better. Maybe the womans left arm could be wrapped around the girl and the girls left arm could be angled down a bit. That might work to lead the eye up the left hand side in a question mark circular direction.

One last thing, there is a line formed from their hands. The boy's hand with the cone, the woman's hand witht he cone, and the girls hand with the bag. All of which is parralell to the thrust of the girls right arm and shoulders. Not sure if that's a good thing or not, just something that stands out to me.

Overall I do like it and it may just work fine as is, with the exception of the foreshorting of the woman's right arm.

I've been studying compsition lately so take that for what it's worth, I could very well be flat out wrong.

09-30-2004, 07:08 PM
This is all great input. I took it into Photoshop and used the Dodge and Burn tools a little, plus got rid of the Mama's ice cream cone. Some highlights help separate the figures and eliminating the middle cone helps the eye go down to the popcorn bag.

I didn't have any references for anything below the ankles, and no legs at all for the boy, so I probably didn't get the proper positioning of the feet.. it's a weird angle. I think you're right about the shoes. I have a problem with the Lazy factor and usually just go with the first thing I draw. Trying to work on that.

Oh, and good catch on the foreshortening of her arm. Amazingly, I just didn't make the end of the sleeve curve, and that makes all the difference.

Not sure how much of this I can fix, but we'll see. I appreciate it, guys.

09-30-2004, 09:50 PM
Echoing what Dave said, expecially about the woman's arms! that was the thing that stuck out to me the most.

09-30-2004, 10:49 PM
the kids are so great. if you're just mess'in around...i'd suggest taking the woman completely out...put some item (like another bag) between the kiddies & maybe have some fun w/ light hint of foliage in bkgd. course...that's only if yer mess'in--otherwise listen to everybody else--hee hee.

10-01-2004, 12:18 AM
Okay, I just did some quick work Photoshop trying to get an idea of what it'd look like with some of your suggestions. I'm awful at foliage, but it might help it out. This is also the first time I've done full body shots, except for an alien I did a few months ago. So struggling with the paint, I'm often forgetting basic concepts in what makes a good picture. And of course, sometimes I just don't know.

Anyways, here are a couple of variations. Since this is watercolor, I'm gonna be limited as to what I can change, but... I should probably just re-do it.

10-01-2004, 09:46 AM
i like ALL your mess'ins :D am a sucker for the foliage--feels more complete, but guess it would depend if these would be for textbook quickies or what. at least you've explored this & will know in your gut what will be best for a job.
great work!

10-01-2004, 02:12 PM
Ted - I know what you mean about the 'Lazy Factor' - I suffer from it myself.

You might be able to repair more than you think with watercolor. If you're not a purist, you might consider painting opaquely. Or, since it's watercolor wet it and try rubbing out the areas to be corrected.

Another one, not for the faint of heart, you could try a splice (actually cutting out the offending areas and splicing in fresh paper. But that might take as long as just re-doing the whole thing.

This is the one I use most frequently, when I screw up or a client wants changes, I redraw on a separate or scrap piece of watercolor paper only the areas that need changing then paint them in the same style as the original. Once that is done simply scan the original and the new 'patch' and use Photoshop to make the correction. That way the final image retains it's hand painted look.

One thing that I have learned using this method, is to be sure that both the original and the patch are scanned on the same scanner. I have all my work scanned on a wide format scanner at a reprographics house and once a client asked for some minor changes and I thought "ok, I'll redraw that area and scann it on my desktop scanner". The two scanners read the colors differently and I could never get them to match. So I ended up back down at the reprographics house anyway.

Of course, it should go without saying, that if the client is getting the original this method won't work. But, if all they are getting is digital copy or prints then this is a good way to make your corrections.

As far as the image your working on here, I like the direction you're going. Taking out the woman's icecream cone helped. I do think it works better with her still in the pic though, cause the children were leaning on her and when she is gone they seem to be at odd angles. I agree with jen, the foliage is nice. It kinda helps to frame it. But then I got to thinking that if this were say a spot illustration in a magazine with text flowing around it, then it would probably work better as is.

Anyway, jmho.