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Possible Portfolio Critique?

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Hi guys!  :yeah

So I have some awesome CPs for my writing but no one to actually help me when it comes to my artwork. I've been slowing trying to put together an illustration portfolio. At the moment it's a sort of hosh podge of old and new drawings and my style has changed. I'd love it if someone could take a look and let me know if I'm on the right track.

Maybe I need more night pictures, more kids pictures, or more animal pictures. Whatever it may be, please do let me know. I studied fine arts but was always drawing cartoons outside of class. I've recently gotten back into it.

#1 - December 17, 2012, 08:59 PM

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We love fairies in this house - my daughter enjoyed looking at your illustrations! I liked your pen and ink drawings best. But I'm not really in a position to critique and only know that for portfolio purposes it helps to have lots of illustrations of children and animals doing various things, so it might be a good idea to do some animals. But one thing I did notice is that the images look fuzzy? It kind of hurt my eyes after a while. Is it my screen or are they scanned in incorrectly maybe?
#2 - December 18, 2012, 06:15 AM

I draw stuff for chocolates.
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Here's an excellent article

Also get yourself to a life drawing class so you have a firm grasp on anatomy. Draw from life as much as you can. Go to the library and get a pile of recent picture books. Take them home and study them. Take them back when you are done and get another pile. Rinse and repeat.

Join the SCBWI and hook up with other kid's book artists in your area. Many local chapters have crit groups for members.

Also draw from life. A lot. (Yes, I'm repeating myself)
#3 - December 18, 2012, 07:38 AM
Animal Totem Mandala 2016
The Story Circle 2016 (Piñata)
Color and Conjure 2017 (Llewellyn)

Thanks for the advice guys! And interesting article Lyon--that should help!

I think I'll be hitting up the library this week and picking up some books on illustrating for children and more picture books. My amazing little cousin brought out his entire library for me. I adored A Very Brave Witch.

In terms of the fuzzy--I think I may be hitting up kinkos or office max to make sure my scans are of better quality. The scanner I have back at school hates me so I was going to pick up my old one from home, but it's missing. No doubt, in a lovely box. (Moms, they pack up your stuff like crazy the moment you leave the nest)  :lol2:

Thanks guys!

#4 - December 18, 2012, 08:11 AM

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Evvie, you might be interested in the free portfolio building "class" that art director Jon Schindehette is hosting on his ArtOrder site:

ArtOrder Portfolio Building Class   

This summer I was going to do a class on self-promotion and portfolio building. Unfortunately, a conflict-of-interest issue kept me from participating in the class. I was quite sad that I didn’t get to do the class. At least I was, until I realized that I could alter the delivery of the class and format it so that I can run it here on ArtOrder as a few weekly exercises. There is no tuition, no class schedule, no required books, but there will be homework! Don’t worry, you don’t have to do the homework…that is, unless you want a better portfolio.

Every great class has a syllabus. Now, I’m not going to promise this will be a great class, but it will have a syllabus.

Week 1 – What is a Portfolio?
Week 2 – The Self Assessment
Week 3 – Setting a Strategy
Week 4 – Developing a Plan
Week 5 – Storyboarding & Presentation
Week 6 – Talking Points and Questions
Week 7 – Sealing the Deal

Depending upon participation, I reserve the right to alter the syllabus without notice. And yes, there will be opportunities for participation!

- Tanja
#5 - December 18, 2012, 08:52 AM

Thank you thank you thank you!!

This already looks super helpful :) And it just started yesterday?
#6 - December 18, 2012, 09:43 AM

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Hi Evvie! Great start to a portfolio.

You definitely have your own style developing which is great but I agree with Wendy that taking a life drawing class, or even sketching people from a coffee house or other such public area, will give you a much better grasp on anatomy. Along with the big pile of picture books I would also recommend picking up some books on drawing in different mediums such as animation and comics to give you a much stronger foundation. Possibly even a book on inking as your cross-hatching clashes with the "dots" effect that you use. A book like that will also teach you how to use the techniques more effectively.

You're absolutely on your way and I can see how much fun you're having as it comes across in your art which is wonderful! Keep at it!
#7 - December 18, 2012, 11:06 AM
World's Crummiest Umbrella (2014, Wandering in the Words Press)

Thank you all SO much for the feedback. AJ I got the pen & ink technique book like you suggested and a few others :D

I've put a few more on hold that are in transit too, but I figure this is a good start!  :yay

Note: I tried to show you guys a picture of my library book stash but sadly it wouldn't let me :(
#8 - December 22, 2012, 04:02 PM

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Evvie, do you mean you tried to post a photo in the thread? We have size limitations for images: under 100kb and approx 3x3 inches. If it was too large you could reduce the image size and try again, or post a link to your photo.
#9 - December 22, 2012, 05:04 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

Thanks Artemesia!  :thankyou Well, here's the stash I managed to get from the library.

(Not pictured here is an awesome audiobook In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce--I LOVE HER!  :love4:

#10 - December 22, 2012, 05:55 PM

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Awesome grip of books Evvie! You're off to a great start and have the drive so these will easily help shape your work a bit more. Good luck and I know you'll do wonderfully!

To encourage you even more, here's a dancing chicken:  :chickendance
#11 - December 26, 2012, 09:53 AM
World's Crummiest Umbrella (2014, Wandering in the Words Press)

I was once the boy who wouldn't sit still!
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That is a great stack of books. I really enjoyed some of your illustrations. My advice is to make sure you only show your best work. When I took a class on building portfolios my instructor always said less can be better. If an image didn't scan well leave it out and showcase your best stuff. Keep up the good work!
#13 - January 22, 2013, 04:13 PM


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