View Full Version : Giraffe WIP - need advice

10-07-2007, 12:17 PM
This is part of an alphabet series I'm doing. This one is "The Giraffe wore Goggles in the Gliding Gondola." Most of my other letters have a sort of textured background, but I felt this one needed to be flat & light since the giraffe's pattern is so busy.

I wanted the sky and water to blend seamlessly because typically I don't do any kind of background details in these paintings - it's the letter, the animal, whatever other letter-related items are included (here a gondola) and the basic background.

However, I think this doesn't look right. Like the background is too boring or something. Is it just a matter of making the background darker? I don't want it to compete with the letter, though.

I would appreciate any advice on how to improve this painting without starting over. Thanks!


10-08-2007, 05:25 AM
This sounds like a terrific series. Is it for a child's room? It will be a wonderful teaching tool as well. :cool:

I like what you've done so far. The giraff's spots are really well done.

I don't think the sky is boring and I like the way the letter and the giraffe stand out against it.

I think you could easily darken the lower part of the painting where the gondola and the G are "floating" on water.

You could print out a color copy of this and play with it to see if you like the effect.


10-08-2007, 08:07 AM
Your goggle wearing giraffe is wonderful! :) But I think you need something to indicate water, or else the gondola won't read right. Right now it looks like it's flying. Is there any way you could add an arm with a paddle coming from the left?


10-08-2007, 09:31 AM
Maybe just a few darker lines to indicate the water?


10-08-2007, 11:29 AM
I wish I had thought to have one of his legs holding a paddle, but I think it's too late for that now. But everyone seems in consensus that the water needs to be more obvious, so I'll give that a shot and post a new scan. Thanks!

10-11-2007, 12:34 PM
Cute cute cute! I too think there needs to be more of a suggestion of water. Maybe darker at the bottom and a few lines to create movement.

10-11-2007, 01:21 PM
Although this scan doesn't show it well, I did darken the water quite a bit and I do think it looks better. However, I'm still not crazy about this painting. I don't get excited when I look at it like I have with the other paintings in this series (you can see them here: www.kirasfaces.com/alpha.)

So, I think I'm going to put this aside for a while and then come back to it. I may rework it without the gondola. Maybe "The Grinning Giraffe wore Goggles" or something, which would allow me to do a close up of the giraffe's face.

Thanks for everyone's input!


10-11-2007, 02:40 PM
OMG, what a cute alphabet series.

Maybe what is bothering you about this particular letter "G" is that your other letters are on the warmer side of the palette, and then you come to this one and it is very cool -- bordering almost on cold. The water looks 'icy' and not very African (equatorial Africa on top of it). Why not warm up this painting with some color from the opposite side of the color wheel -- the complementary of purple/violet. That would bring you into the yellows. BTW, water almost always is not blue but rather shades of brown and green. Maybe a glaze of Quin. Gold over parts of the Giraffe? Lift some of the color out of the gondola -- add something fun like splashes of cobalt teal or greens (grass colored gondola :))

Just throwing ideas out here for you. I'm a color-a-holic so don't mind me too much. :)


10-11-2007, 06:26 PM
well, I see you did exactly as I was about to suggest- deepening the turquoise water-

this is WONDERFUL- I do love it...now how the heck did you find a giraffe gliding in a gondola with goggles to take a reference photo of ? LOL...

my youngest daughter (now 14) used to be an alphabet-book-aholic... I swear we had them all....

10-14-2007, 12:22 PM
Deb - those are all great suggestions and I'm going to try them. What have I got to lose? :rolleyes:

HarvestMoon - thanks for the nice compliment! Right now I'm selling these as prints but someday I hope to put together a book. I hope kids like your daughter will want one!

Thanks, Kira

10-17-2007, 10:18 PM

IMO this may work well....


10-18-2007, 05:32 PM
Aww, they are ALL cute. Great job on these. Fun, fun, fun

10-18-2007, 09:06 PM
I looked at the whole series and it's great!!!