You guys are amazing! I started on the new draft last night and I think it already looks better.
I will definitely keep in mind your May idea! And I'm also glad you guys like the outlining...it was certainly a lot easier to color it that way
Just hang in there with me, guys. It's going to be a long process!! I hope can pull off the backgrounds (never has been my strong area).
I think it's safe to say we all want the calendar, even if it's after mid-January, but please keep in mind that for the Creators Club discount, you'll have to finish the project in time for Sweet Duffy.
Also, mmommie's Etsy shop? Link? What do I have to do? How could I seem more interested? Could someone please help?
First off, I just wanna say - WOW! The legs and hips are now perfect in both weight and length, and by "length" I mean short stubbiness. The torso still feels a bit "too long," and seems kinda extra stretched now because the legs are so perfect, but it isn't necessarily something you'd redraft for, just maybe consider for the next one. Duffy's right arm, which was too long before, is now also PERFECT, and you totally NAILED the "bend." Bravo!
The facial furriness looks even better than I thought it would and really does bring it all together in your signature style. I also love the new boots. Your work, though it has simple and elegant lines, is very detailed and I think these boots are much more consistent. Nice choice!
I do have some critical feedback, but none of it is really serious. Well, only one thing is fairly significant, I guess. His left arm now seems way too long and too straight, like he's really stretching (but his body looks relaxed) or, like lines on paper. The snowman's head was almost touching Duffy's in the first one, and I think that was the better composition. In the second one, it kind of makes it seem like Duffy is behind the snowman, reaching forward, creating a weird perspective thing. It's a bit jarring because it's the center of the piece and because the overall line quality is so good. I'm not sure how you could fix this without starting over, unless you can erase and pull back Duffy's arm a bit (and don't use totally straight parallel lines to draw the arm^^) and then maybe have him not quite putting the eye in place yet? That might even be cute! Though I admit, I really liked how close they were in your original.
That's the hard thing about trying to recreate a drawing, or a piece of writing, anything. It's hard to recapture that initial spark. And once you've got two, there are wonderful things in both, and things you'd change in both. You know what they say, "third time's the charm!" I feel the silhouette of the scarf moves slightly more out and to the left in the first one, too. The second one falls a bit flat, but this is easy to change.
The shading on the bottom of the legs and the lines tucking the pants into the boots are WONDERFUL in the new version and totally do what you want them to. But look at the way you shaded the "crotch" in the first one compared with the second. Duffy doesn't have a crotch. In the first, you really just shaded Duffy's left leg and that totally worked. In the second, there's too much shading and highlighting there and it looks a bit like Duffy has "boy parts." Fortunately this, too, is an easy fix.
I also think the first stump is a kind of natural height, a bit tall but believable and cute. The new stump feels a little "too tall." If you do make a third pass, I'd say go with the first stump.
You also fixed something that I had noticed but didn't mention because it wasn't as big a deal as the other stuff. You moved Duffy's left pocket and made it more centered. Nice, NICE! That made a HUGE difference in making the coat even cuter! And you noticed on your own, without any of us mentioning it, which is also really cool.
I think Duffy's face is just freaking ADORABLE in the first one; I literally wanted to pick him up and squeeze him as soon as I saw it. It's slightly less this in the second one, but I think it may just be that the eyes are a teensy weensy little itty bitty bit too small. See if you see what I mean and if you agree, and if you do, try widening the eyes like literally a hairline at a time until you think you've got it.
The last two are totally just my opinion. One is that I absolutely love the lines in the first snowman branch arm, and that I absolutely love the shading in the second one. If you do tackle this a third time, I hope you'll combine those. And the second is just my opinion, but it's a strong one. I find the igloo very, very distracting. It makes me wonder where in the world Duffy is. Igloos and snowmen are different to me, and I just keep staring at it. I think a nice backdrop would be woods, maybe with a pile of cut firewood stacked somewhere in the clearing (maybe where the igloo is!). A pile of stacked wood helps to explain the stump visually, and getting rid of the igloo keeps it in Cape Cod. Unless maybe you wanna do Duffy traveling? And he could be in different countries in each month? I don't know your plan, naturally. And of course, who cares what I say anyway. If you love the igloo, keep it. Critical creative feedback is only as helpful as it is useful, and it is only useful if it helps you communicate more of what you have decided to communicate, the way you want to communicate it. That's the spirit in which my feedback is given, and the spirit in which I hope it is received.
As a final word of advice, I think I've given enough advice. Maybe don't post anymore progress pictures. Or post sketches in very light pencil early enough that changes are quick and easy for you if you really want help working out a composition. But I'm not gonna say a lot more from now, no matter what I think.
What you said about your dad and boyfriend really hit home for me. I'm not really a visual artist (though many of my friends love to disagree with this^^), but I take my writing fairly seriously. When I'm really working on something and I know I didn't nail it but can't figure out what's not working, and my friends are all just like, "Yeah, yeah, that's great," I feel so frustrated. I wanted to give you genuine care-full advice because your talent is seriously impressive and it's clear to me that your skill can match it. But there's nothing else I could really say to you that you can't see for yourself when you look at your work now. We've finished "Duffy Anatomy and Cape Cod Place Setting 101" and you get an "A." So, no matter what, I'm gonna be quieter. Don't think that doesn't mean I'm loving your stuff. I just think the most important thing for an artist, in addition to well-intentioned and knowledgeable critical support, is confidence and self-trust. So I'm gonna shut up now, but know that I am silently cheering you on.
Oops, but before that I just have to say - LOVE the snow pail!
The feet are GREAT! If it were mine, I would try to make him smile wider, which might be an easy fix even if you stick with drawing #2. (Just make the corners of his mouth come up a little higher, and MAYBE make the pink inside of his mouth a little bigger.) Bigger eyes probably wouldn't hurt either, but if you've read my critiques of some of the professional Duffy "art", I fixate on that bear's mouth, for some reason. Which is probably one reason why I love the smiling/open-mouthed bears so much.
(Speaking of which, I love your art MUCH more than the art like you see on the face of the Duffy Vinylmation...and that was made by Disney! Disney US, granted, but still.)
In future pictures personally I'd give him a bigger head still (or a smaller body), but if the proportions are your style that's just fine.
I think it's neat to see the work in progress. Now, we can see how you work, and how it evolves. Keep up the good work. It makes me want to finish my own drawing. I have the pencil sketch done, but it needs to be colored.
Alright I'm hoping the third time is the charm. I went down to the art department and used their light box to trace and kind of combine the good parts of each drawing. However, after I shortened the left arm (the one that is placing the snowman's eye), I was so consumed with making the lengths of both arms match that I was unable to make the right arm bent-- so now he's holding the carrot out to his side. I hope that isn't too disappointing to anyone, but when I made the arms of equal length the bent arm just looked unreasonably stubby.