Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Version 2 of Picnic Ants

Thanks to my wonderful critique group I have redone this illustration. With their excellent advice I think the improvements so far have made this a much stronger piece. The ant carrying the watermelon still doesn't read as well as I would like, so I am still working on an effective solution for that problem without doing a complete redo by repositioning him. I'd like this to be a portfolio piece, so I am really trying to make it stand out. Things I am playing with are taking the whole watermelon out completely, putting the whole watermelon in shadow so that it recedes, maybe adding an ant to the top of the jar trying to pull out a pickle... still playing around before making any further permanent physical changes.  So, let me know what you think, I am always open to suggestions for improvement. Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to let me know what you think!




















 *watermelon darkened

20 comments:

  1. Wow, Karen. This piece is wonderful. I don't have any criticisms as I believe you've really pushed this one to a place where it works really, really well! I think you should be very pleased with it. IF by chance you are inclined, I think your suggestion to add another ant pulling out a pickle would "activate" that right side a bit, but you know, I wouldn't even have thought about it if you hadn't said it. I am just so pleased looking at this!!

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  2. thanks so much Shirley, I really appreciate your opinion. I have to give credit for the ant on that side to Andrew Finnie, he is part of our critique group and is so great at seeing things that I miss or forget to do.

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  3. shucks Karen

    ;)

    Well I'm liking the idea of the extra ant, gives us a little more fun to explore. I like Shirley's concept of 'activate'

    That's a hard call on the watermelon. It's so beautifully done it would be a shame to lose it. On my monitor I couldn't really see a big difference with the darkened part compositionally wise.

    Maybe tilting the watermelon piece so its not so front on to the picture plane - would add a little depth and also reduce the size of the water melon slightly?

    Have you tried looking at the piece upside down? Or flipping it left to tight, just so you can see it with a different 'eye'?

    I think the work looks great, each little tweak zaps it up.

    I'll post this on Cc as well!!

    cheers

    andrew

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  4. Well, isn't this a fun piece for summer? I could've been one of those ants at a recent picnic, as I recall sampling one of everything in your picture, but as calories would have it, I'm not nearly as small! That cupcake is just calling out for someone else to grab it- that little ant better hold tight! ;o)

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  5. Karen, hey! Always good to see you, late or not. Heheh. Thanks of course, and I hope the picnic went well!

    I can see that these little ants are enjoying themselves, and there goes that sneaky one! Again, with my cupcake!!! :)) oxx

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  6. Monsieur Olivet sends you a big Bonjour! He thanks you for visiting he and his friends! (and so do I!). Really great of you to visit..hope all is well with you. It's great to know that you're really enjoying the critique group - that's awesome to get constructive feedback like that..way to go, Karen!

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  7. Hi Karen, this is looking really good. The ants have great character and the composition is strong. I also like the colors. My one suggestion - it looks like all of the food that the ants are carrying have the same lighting on them. The food looks very bright, but it looks like you have some shadows on the tablecloth, so I think there should be a few more shadows on the food. You mentioned the watermelon - it looks like it is sort of tipped forward, so I would try adding some shadows on it down near its base where the ant is holding it. You could experiment with shadows on another layer until you get it the way you want it. Other than that it's looking great!

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  8. thanks Vincent, great idea. I was thinking the food was higher up with the light hitting it directly and the food is casting shadows on the blanket. There is a little shading on most of it, but I don't have much on the slice. The base of the slice will probably benefit from some shadows also.

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  9. simply amazing! great work :) Have you ever seen the book Ant Ventures? it is a vintage book and is illustrated by Harrison Cady an amazing illustrator too :) i just looked at the copyright and it is 1924 by Blanche Elizabeth Wade :)

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  10. I love the changes you made! That tablecloth looks really grounded now and the line of ants adds a nicer motion through the composition! Wonderful!

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  11. Aha, looking out for version 3 :)

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  12. Thanks for the prod my friend. I have been nursing my daughter back to health and haven't really gotten anything done for me. I will work on pickle ant today! I will, I will, I will...

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  13. Nice piece, Karen... a definite portfolio piece!
    I'd keep watermelon ant, too – maybe make him look like he's struggling under the weight of the watermelon. I like the idea of another ant on the pickle jar – maybe he could could fall into the jar with his legs kicking frantically in the air. Keep up the great work!

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  14. Nice, Karen! Especially nice work on that basket, looks like it was pretty labor intensive!

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  15. Nice. Feels like the backgrounds are from a photo. cool style.

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  16. REally like the subtle lighting and texture effects on the blanket...always nice to get good critique people that will be honest, isn't it!!!

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  17. This is absolutely great! I love everything about this illustration. The texture also rocks!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment! You are the best!!!