Thank you Kathy Temean for another opportunity for Christy and I to crit a willing artist’s two sequential images. These weekly short and ‘on the spot’ crits have been a fun experience for us and hopefully teaching all artists who see them a little hint here and there to improve their own work for this children’s book market. Enjoy…..
CHRISTY: This dog is really sweet. It looks so much like mine! Right off, I like the limited color palette of these; details are minimal and the eye goes directly to the main character and the story at hand – yes! I also love the pop of red of the dog’s collar.
I’m a little confused about the story here, though – I see that the dog is dreaming, but is he dreaming of the scene in the second image? And if so, wouldn’t that be in the dream bubble? Also, what exactly is happening in the second illustration? Is he melting butter onto toast with his nose? What does this mean?!!? Perhaps I’m missing something from the story at large, but if these are being used as stand-alone sequential scenes, maybe a better “dog dream” for this pup would be something calm or content. In the sleeping illo, the dog seems at peace and happy – leading the viewer to believe that he’s having a pleasant snuggly dream (maybe even one that includes his bear friend – or his owner!). But in the next scene, he is emoting anxiety. Is he trying not to eat the bread? Is he trying to melt the butter? Is he being punished in some way? His energy and expression (which is very good and clear) in the second image just doesn’t equate with the peacefully sleeping doggy in the first. Therefore, I don’t see these two going together.
I do like this dog character very much, and I think the artist did a nice job in illustrating a dog – this one is endearing and relatable; just what you want!
CHRIS: This is obviously done digitally and at times quiet well. The dog is adorable and full of story potential personality. I feel in other images he’d be fun to watch. I’m assuming the text would go in the dream bubble and I like the various weight of that line there…nice touch. Also like that the artist did NOT use the line to ‘trace’ all things. The bed is cozy and comfortable because there is no line, and the dog ‘breathes’ for the same reason. The scratchy gray lines to the left of his head are just shy of being a distraction. The black scratchy lines on and around the plate in the second piece are VERY distracting and not necessary. Shadows are never truly black. The blue, in various tones, would work very well and would actually pop the dogs face. The pup’s face coloring works well for viewer focus (without the black scratches) due to the white of the face and black nose (the black works here!) Lightest Light and darkest Dark. The dog’s expression is so adorable and telling! But I’m not sure what he’s telling because I’m not sure what that object is on his nose. Other paintings might explain this, but the story being told should be clear in each image. This object (butter? honey?) is there because…? I am curious!
My name is Melissa Mihalyov. My husband and I are working on a picture book based on our beagle, Chester. I’ve worked as a graphic designer for over twenty years with a degree in fine arts. After reading many, many books to our daughters, I’ve come to love the storytelling and artwork in children’s books.
I want to thank Chris & Christy for taking the time to share their expertise with us. It helps so many illustrators and is very much appreciated. Here is the CATugeau Agency website link: http://www.catugeau.com/
HERE IS HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE:
For the next few months illustrators can submit two consecutive story illustrations for critique by CATugeau Agency.
If you do not have an agent and would like to be featured and hear what you should do or how it could be tweaked to help you sell your work, then please send Two SEQUENTIAL illustrations – not just 2 pages of illustrations, but two with the SAME “story/characters” to:
Kathy.temean (at) gmail.com. Illustrations should be at least 500 pixels wide. Please put ILLUSTRATOR PORTFOLIO in the subject area and include a blurb about yourself that I can use to introduce you to everyone.
Each Sunday one illustrator will be chosen.
If everyone likes this, we will continue until the end of the year.