Friday, December 16, 2011

Becca's Viking Sketch(es)

Full size image
Cropped in close
Cropped a bit less, and flipped horizontally

Same as above, but not flipped.

Okie dokie, here's what I've got going so far! An intimate moment between father and daughter, before the father goes off to... somewhere in one of those sweet ships. The focus is really going to be on the girl, and I'm curious what you guys think about which direction they should be facing. I'm playing with cropping too. I'll be working up some tonal and color comps as well, and really trying to pay attention to maintaining my focal point - Jesper Ejsing recently did a nice post about this on the Muddy Colors blog. I'm avoiding going into a ton of detail until I've got the basics really hammered out - let me know what you all think, the more input the better!


  1. Hey! great! This looks really nice. I personally think that the cropped version works a bit better because it makes me feel more like i'm a part of the scene watching the girl embracing her father. The full version doesn't work quite as well compositionally with her feet right at the bottom and I also feel like the axe handle is a bit long. but in the closer version those aren't problems any more. A couple things that jump out to me if i'm nit-picky: Maybe you could angle the axe handle in a bit so that It doesn't create such a harsh vertical? Even just slightly! Also, I understand the need to have her holding the shield up with her hand, but for me it makes her embrace a bit less emphatic. Like she's just kinda half hugging him. Does that make sense? Maybe it's just me. And lastly, the boats feel like they're just kind floating around empty. Are there any guys around back there? MAybe you could have a couple look like they're loading up the boats with supplies or something. Nothing too detailed, but just to give us the idea that a group of men are setting off on a journey.
    Otherwise, I think it's a nice moment here. The characters look good, and I think having her be the lightest object that she will stand out well against him and his onward gaze.


    Did a drawover - I agree with Scott's comments - cropped is better, put the girls hand around her father instead of on the shield, and add some little dudes in the background... and the axe. I looked up some viking axes and there were a few that curved down more, so I tilted it and changed the axe head a bit, in doing so I had to widen the canvas size a bit to give it more space. It was just too vertical before.

    I also moved his eye back and lower a bit.
    I made his fur fluffier and cape longer so it could show some of the wind better. The girls hair looked super heavy, there should be more wisps blowing around rather than just at the bottom.

    And as for her hand and the shield. I think you can just leave the shield there how it is without a hand. I don't think you need to explain how it's being held up! (:

    You also might want to look at some cool clouds that will help with the overall composition... ones that help bring your eye to where you want the eye to go.. I think they actually look pretty good now, depending on how you color it though you might want some pencil lines in them too so they don't just look like watercolor splotches but have more shape

    Anyway those are all pretty little things. Overall it's a great piece! Siigggh, heartwarming. I want it to be made into a movie!!!!

  3. yeah i have to agree with pretty much all of scott and lis' comments and draw overs. the way the last one is cropped is definitely the way to go and i like her hand off the shield. you could also add some one mast to each of the boats if you want, might make them look a bit more dynamic. but overall you got the emotion right and thats the important part of the piece. looking forward to the final.

  4. I'm commenting on this after seeing your first color "in progress" post and it is looking great. I like them facing to the left - I feel we read across and right into them then the details of them lead our eye around. Also the clouds subtly flow into them, that works well too.

    I agree with Lis on her drawover tweaks to the tree line and boats and you brought that even farther. They look like they are on the move which feeds into your story. I don't like one being half off the page. I know they moving away but I think they could still be in shot and give that impression. Layering one behind the tree works well. I wouldn't change what you're doing but would try changing it digitally afterwards just to see if affects you the same way. If I spoke up sooner I would have suggested composing the negative spaces around his arm so the boats were almost framed by his arm and the axe handle, still layered under them but working together. I guess I'm saying they are a little cramped in that space behind his axe and arm. I agree with the Jesper Ejsing post but in your pic the boats need to be a secondary focus it seems. But again, in the color they are sitting back in atmospheric perspective very nicely. Changing the embrace worked too, great.

    For some reason the pencils looked under drawn or not complete. In the color work in progress I see all the subtlety you were planning and it all comes together beautifully. Maybe if you layed in some of the darks in the pencil/digital sketch it would have looked more planned and solid but the color is developing really well.