SOD.238 redux

Thanks for the comments on that last Sketch of the Day. I've done a bit of tinkering and thought it would make a good example of how relatively small changes can have a major impact on an illustration.

First, here's the original for reference:

Various folks thought the ear was in the wrong place, or maybe the figure's right eye (to our left). After working with it a bit, both of those observations were mostly correct. The ear is in the right spot, but because there was no jaw line it ended up looking more or less grafted directly onto the neck, instead of onto the skull. In the Open Critique Days, you'll often hear me talk about the "figure-ground relationship", which is basically a fancy way of saying it has to be clear what's on top of what. That's hugely important in a 2D drawing of a 3D world.

The solution in this case was to add a line for the bottom of the earlobe, clearly establishing that the ear is on top of the neck. Along with a strong jaw line, we now are able to separate out the skull from the neck that supports it.

The figure's right eye was also a bit too far over to the viewer's left, and tilted too far up. Moving and rotating it slightly helps establish a clearer relationship with the other facial elements. And finally, the opposite eye also needed to move in a bit, both giving a better distance between them and providing space between the eye and the side of the head. That visual distance again helps reinforce the spatial relationship between the elements.

That's three relatively small changes that make a big difference. Here are the two side-by-side:

And here they are with the redline edits marked on the original:

Just to tie it all up in a neat package with a bow, here's the full size revised version:

Thanks again for the feedback, I think I ended up with a much stronger illustration because of it. Her eye may still be a smidgeon too high, but I think I've about wrung this one for all the learning value it's worth for now.

5 Responses to SOD.238 redux

  1. Nice improvement. If the eye IS too high, I can’t tell. Looks a bit better though.

  2. Watson Bradshaw

    vastly improved, its funny how a few lines here and shifting the eyes slightly make such a dramatic change for the better

  3. I didn’t have a problem with the eye in the last one, but Zyp may have been right when he called that one. With the defined jawline making the ear look more natural, and the eye shifted up and over, the sketch definitely looks better.
    Glad to have helped point that out in the last sketch. You don’t make mistakes like this often, so when they do come up, I’d like to feel comfortable calling you on it (constructively, of course).

  4. The day I get so awesome I don’t make mistakes, I’ll be sure to let you know 😉

    So far, though, I don’t see that happening, and the only way to get better is to learn to see the mistakes and fix them, for which other eyes are often best.

    In other words, don’t be shy about saying when you think something isn’t working!

  5. I like this one. I wish that we had more/better faces to chose from in the head:female faces location.