At some point I may have promised to post the first attempt at the “Talent” picture. Today is the day that promise is kept.
It wasn’t a completely awful picture, really. It had a lot of good things going for it. But after two or three days of work on it, the picture wasn’t improving very quickly, and I could no longer see the way back from the brink.
The characters were stiff.
The colors were bland.
The shading was choppy,
Most egregiously: the composition was static.
The stiffness of the characters can probably be attributed to the technique I was trying out. Instead of doing a cartoon-style outline filled with colors, this one was meant to be more “painterly” – no outlines in the finished piece. But in translating the original line sketch (see below) into the eventual piece, some of the life got lost.
The palette for this piece was simply not that well thought-out. There isn’t much movement or variation in the colors. The best part is the sky and the mountains. Other than that, the colors come across as both random and dull. I even tried “shifting” the hues using a tool in Photoshop, which was an improvement, but not enough of one. Once again, gimmicks and shortcuts can be great for enhancing a good piece, but rarely can salvage a mess.
The choppy shading was not a mistake, per se. Many of my pieces start out with blobs and blocks of color that get blended in as the piece progresses. The problem was that there was a lot of blending to do, with not much time before the deadline for Illustration Friday. The faces, which are a bit more “finished-looking” were added just a few days ago, just so I could where this piece might have ended up. Meh.
The composition was the main flaw of this illustration. The triangular relationship that I imagined between the two main characters gets lost in all the scribbles – not that it was compelling in the first place. As evidence, see the line sketch below:
The whole attempt, however was a valuable learning experience, frustrating though it was. Plus, the lovely background landscape was recycled much more effectively in “The One Talent.”