“Lost” the next concept…


First try at a critter lost in a cornfield. (These are all sketches that were drawn in pencil, photographed and brought into Procreate on the Apple iPad Pro.) While working up the value study I got carried away and added color. I will paint them in watercolor once the image is right.


Then I thought it might be more interesting with a group of terrified critters. I found I was still missing the anticipation part of E. B. Lewis’s four rules.


Tried another version where you could see the expanse of corn that they’re lost in and then tried to figure out how to bring anticipation into the image.


Big improvement. E. B. is right, of course. We’re storytellers not people who make pictures. Now I need to tweak the shadow to make it more effective as a element of anticipation. I also have to figure out how to make the shadow look realistic…or at least how a shadow might look on top of a cornfield.

I’ll follow these up with another once it’s done!


3 thoughts on ““Lost” the next concept…

  1. I used to love to concept with illustrators when I was working in graphic design.

    I feel like the first illustration really shows the nervous tension of the situation—the field is so large that you can’t even see the edges. The shadows loom. The angle is interesting to me.

    I love that, like the subtle choice of the words of a storyteller, the light, angles, framing, all shape the visual story and through those choices you can get endless variation on emotion.

    • Thanks Denise! I feel like I’m just starting to understand what needs to happen in an illustration. It’s more about the concept and the story than anything else. I’ve spent so long focusing on improving my skills in illustration, now I can move into the most important part, the idea behind the image. E.B.Lewis also said that you know you’ve mastered a language when you can tell a joke. It applies to images just as it does in words. I don’t think you always have to tell a joke but to be able to show emotion, anticipation or some kind of “aha” moment is a special thing.

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