meeks: meeks and lorelei (Default)
[personal profile] meeks
This is a sketch of the Feather-Blessed series of stories by [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon, in which best friends Grace and Stella become dragons with the help of a magical feather and find themselves stranded in the local lake when the feather turns out to have insufficient magic to transform two girls and guide them to their new home.

cleaned up sketch:


rough sketch:

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linkbacks: 9

Date: 2011-08-01 07:44 pm (UTC)
aldersprig: (Jaunx)
From: [personal profile] aldersprig
Oh, there we go! It took me a second to see the edges of the feather in the dragon design.

The sepia is interesting; I think I like it.

Date: 2011-08-01 11:50 pm (UTC)
aldersprig: a close up of an alder leaf (Leaf)
From: [personal profile] aldersprig
Either that or... the top isn't as clearly feathery as the bottom?

Hmm...

Date: 2011-08-02 01:35 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Definitely kill the dissolve on the rachis (quill) of the feather. That part has a crisp edge naturally. The plumes at the base and the main vanes can be fuzzy or crisp, depending on the creature the feather comes from. I actually like the dissolve effect, but it makes the design difficult to parse, especially on the lower left-hand portion. Sharpening that definition would help a lot. Another thing that threw me is the rachis doesn't continue through the whole feather, only the quill end shows. You wouldn't want to do much with it or it would distract from the dragons, but just a faint dark line might help.

I've done feathercrafts so I know how feathers look and work. That makes a difference. If feasible, I recommend getting a real feather to use as a reference. People actually paint scenes onto feathers, and you're close to that effect, but not quite there yet.

I think full color would make this complicated scene easier to read, but you're right about the warming effect of the sepia too.

On the whole, though, I really like this picture. I am so pimping this for comments. I want to see it refined!

Re: Hmm...

Date: 2011-08-06 09:07 pm (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I'm glad I could help! This just happened to be a case where I knew the subject matter really well, so could be extra specific.

Date: 2011-08-01 10:04 pm (UTC)
wrenstarling: A light effect gull in flight on a black background (Default)
From: [personal profile] wrenstarling
The girls look just how I imagined them!

Date: 2011-08-01 10:37 pm (UTC)
ariestess: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ariestess
What a fascinating piece! I like the coloring of this piece. It speaks to me as both primal and refined at the same time. I really can't explain it any better than that, unfortunately.

Date: 2011-08-02 02:09 am (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
Thank you! I've been enjoying wyld_dandelyon's stories ever since I met her at an OVFF a few years ago.

Oh!

Date: 2011-08-02 04:35 am (UTC)
wyld_dandelyon: A cat-wizard happily writing, by Tod (wizard writing)
From: [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon
How wonderful!

I like the dissolve effect, but I don't like it on the feather. (Contradictory? Me? Me?)

I think I'd like to see the edges of the plumes near the top too, which is a detail that wouldn't work well with the feather dissolving.

On the other hand, at the point in the story where she's reading the book, the dragons are all potential, maybe the dissolve effect would work where the dragons are starting to manifest/where they blend into the feather?

But Hurray! Thank you.

Now I must go ask people to stop by and comment.

Re: Oh!

Date: 2011-08-08 02:32 am (UTC)
wyld_dandelyon: A good pic of me in my garden (D biopic)
From: [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon
Just because I like the effect doesn't necessarily mean it's the right one for this drawing.

I look forward to seeing the next iteration!

Date: 2011-08-02 06:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tuftears.livejournal.com
Looks like it's coming along promisingly. ^_^

Date: 2011-08-03 08:12 am (UTC)
kelkyag: notched triangle signature mark in light blue on yellow (Default)
From: [personal profile] kelkyag
Squeee! I'm delighted to see a picture of Grace and Stella, and I really like the way you also included dragon-selves in the feather. I am a bit confused by the bottom section of the image, below the feather and to the left -- is that someone's hand?

I hope this means [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon is planning to write more about them, too!

Date: 2011-08-03 05:26 pm (UTC)
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon
If Meeks gets enough comments/tips to refine the sketch, I've promised to write more about them.

Date: 2011-08-13 05:11 am (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
Yay!!

Date: 2011-08-03 05:28 pm (UTC)
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon
Oh--it looks to me like it's two hands, one pale and one brown. Maybe she's imagining the two linking pinkies? It is hard to see.

Date: 2011-08-03 07:48 pm (UTC)
kelkyag: notched triangle signature mark in light blue on yellow (Default)
From: [personal profile] kelkyag
Oh! Yes, that could be two hands with linked pinkies. I totally missed the darker hand under the feather fluff.

Date: 2011-08-03 06:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] minor-architect.livejournal.com
Hmm...until I read some of the other comments, I couldn't tell that was a feather in the foreground at all! I certainly see the dragon designs on it but the shape of the feather itself is very indistinct to me.

Date: 2011-08-13 01:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] minor-architect.livejournal.com
Wow, all the objects in the foreground are MUCH sharper now! I can see the feather and the linked pinkies clearly, where before I couldn't tell what they were. Great, great work. :)

This is wonderful

Date: 2011-08-03 08:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xjenavivex.livejournal.com
I am so excited you are doing this illustration.

Date: 2011-08-12 10:14 pm (UTC)
aldersprig: (Stormclouds)
From: [personal profile] aldersprig
Oh, Meeks, that is BEAUTIFUL!

It's so much clearer in the cleaned-up version, gorgeous. And the feather looks very feather-y now. I like the way the feather splits the two scenes.

Oh, yes!

Date: 2011-08-13 01:56 am (UTC)
wyld_dandelyon: A cat-wizard happily writing, by Tod (wizard writing)
From: [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon
This is MUCH better. The cut-off of the paler dragon's neck bothers me, though I'm not sure what to suggest to fix it. Perhaps make the water rippling around her neck look more liquid?

I love Stella's face. I'm torn between liking Grace's pose, looking out over the water, and wishing we could see her face too.

It looks like you couldn't decide between giving Grace shorts or pants, and her legs look a little short, but maybe that last part is an illusion of perspective.

And the bridge is beautiful--poor bridge. It doesn't deserve its fate.

One final thought, for the moment anyway--I did like the way that Stella's legs seemed to flow into the feather in the sketch--it's a cool effect that maybe you could use for something else.

Deirdre

Oh--I was wrong--I forgot to say you're right, this would be gorgeous in full color.

Wow!

Date: 2011-08-13 02:31 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This looks much more clear now. I really like how this picture turned out.

Date: 2011-08-13 02:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tuftears.livejournal.com
Looks great. ^_^

Date: 2011-08-13 02:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-vulture.livejournal.com
Excellent! It makes a lot more visual sense to me now that I see it out of the concept sketch. The bold, dark, diagonal streak of the feather really works to make this image dynamic, despite the relaxed nature of the subject matter.

PS: I really like the pinky swear.

Date: 2011-08-13 04:47 am (UTC)
red_trillium: cartoon cat that says "I love cats but can't eat a whole one" (Default)
From: [personal profile] red_trillium
This has shaped up beautifully. I love the detail in the feather, I hadn't noticed it in the first mini-picture you posted.

Date: 2011-08-13 02:36 pm (UTC)
kelkyag: notched triangle signature mark in light blue on yellow (Default)
From: [personal profile] kelkyag
The revised version is vastly clearer, and lovely! The centerline and split edges of the feather with the image on it following especially.

Two things I'd question --
One is, with the feather expanded, Stella is partially obscured by it. If she were a little further to the right (possibly shortening the dock?), it would feel less like she was hidden.
The other is, if I'm remembering the story correctly, Stella becomes a light-eating dragon and Grace becomes a water dragon -- and Stella in her new form is lighter-toned than Grace, whereas here the dragon in the lower-right appears to be in the water and lighter-toned. [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon, have I mis-remembered that?

Date: 2011-08-15 02:08 am (UTC)
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon
Stella is definitely the dragon who plays with light, while Grace's magic is tied to water. But now I'm wondering how consistent I was with their colors. I'll have to go back and see! Certainly I wasn't imagining the kind of stark contrast seen in the feather here, where one is depicted as nearly black and the other very white. I guess it's time for a continuity check!

Date: 2011-08-13 02:55 pm (UTC)
wrenstarling: A light effect gull in flight on a black background (Default)
From: [personal profile] wrenstarling
Wonderful! I particularly love the title on the book; so readable and a lovely font!

I think Stella's thumb is a bit too big...maybe more too wide than too tall? Somethings just a bit off on the hand proportions, anyway.

Date: 2011-08-15 01:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reymonkey.livejournal.com
I just love the composition, and the details on the feather!

Date: 2011-08-01 08:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] viva-la-topknot.livejournal.com

The story sounds fascinating and I love the drawing. All the little details in the foreground are fun to look at!

Date: 2011-08-03 08:58 pm (UTC)
rowyn: (artistic)
From: [personal profile] rowyn
Yay dragons! This is my favorite of Dandelyon's writings. :)

Date: 2011-08-14 06:27 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-08-14 04:48 am (UTC)
rowyn: (artistic)
From: [personal profile] rowyn
Wow, that looks great! I love the way the feather came out in the refined sketch, with the teeny slivers of light where the barbs separate.

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