This was the illustration I spent the most time, hoping to get it to my envision without limited faults, though that was quite difficult. Throughout the process of making this illustration I found new ways in which I could change it to make it look a bit more aesthetically pleasing, unlike the original sketch I created for this illustration. One of the biggest changes I made to this illustration was the eyes.
I asked one of my peers (Cade) what he thought of my illustration up to now; this was around the time I was beginning to add little details to the illustration to make it look a bit better. He stated that he enjoyed the illustration up to now, but his eyes make him look too youthful for someone who is meant to be in their 60’s. At first – mostly due to defiance of thinking it looked decent – I didn’t follow his advice, I simply carried on with my illustration, adding small detail to the hills in the back. However, the more I looked at the piece of art the more I started to agree with Cade. In the original illustration (which you can find in “Practical Problem Solving”) his eyes were very large for someone who was meant to be aged – seen many battles. They are meant to be drooped – like most old peoples’ eyes – and wrinkled. So I eventually changed it, though it gave me extra work as I had to remove part of the illustration to even do this, it was definitely worth it as it gave Elmer the perfect look.
What I enjoy most about this illustration is the hair that Elmer has adorned on his head. Throughout all my projects this year, apart from Unit 11 and 12, I have created characters. There is something about creating hair that gives me enjoyment as I can make the character come to life. Though it is a timely process, the ending result is definitely worth it. When people look at these illustrations they notice the hair first, seeing how detailed it looks and similar to that of actual hair; that is what I was aiming for. Some of my peers thing this was quite difficult to achieve, but there is a secret to doing this. First you colour the part where you want the hair to be in a base colour of your choosing, I went for a light blonde. You should typically go for a darker colour and then build it up, but with blondes it is easier to go for a lighter shade and then build it up with darker shades. Then I went on the colour wheel and started to select blondes darker than the original colour – not that big of a difference though or the hair will look look very out of place. When you are ready, you lower the opacity of your rounded brush to around 15% and begin placing the different shades wherever you please.
What I dislike the most about this illustration are the hills. They look so 2D compared to the rest of the image and somehow affects how the rest of the illustration looks. Elmer looks very detailed, the decor of mud across his outfit and the finely detailed eye, then you look at the back of him and see hills with a small hint of shading on them; it seems like I didn’t even try. When I first did this I thought it looked decent, maybe that was because I didn’t do the sky yet, but to my eye it looked like hills. However, when more detail began to be added to this illustration it definitely affected my opinion of this illustration. What I could of done to avoid this mistake was search hills and how they looks during a storm. I know Beth mentioned that a storm affects how the scenery looks; the hills would be darker, along with the ground. If I were to do this illustration again I could make the hills much darker than they are now and added more detailed shading to its exterior to make them look as realistic as the rest of the image.
Overall, do I think this illustration was a success and would pass on the market? Yes and no. Yes because even though the scenery looks daunting, Elmer looks very detailed and is the main focus of this illustration. You are not meant to focus on the background but on the character as it follows the narrative perfectly. The no is because of the lack of detail in the back. Would anyone buy a book that had one detailed part of an illustration and then a half-assed (pardon my language) attempt on the background? It would definitely not pass. It has made me aware that when I come to do illustrations in the future that I need to focus on every single aspect of the image to bring it together.