I would like to thank my friends, my professor, and the wetcanvas community for giving me great feedback regarding my 16×24″ Dinosaur Skull Assignment.
This is a picture of the drawing to date
Summary of the feedback I received from WetCanvas
Artsy Bren, Golgiman, Robertsloan2- Make the leaves look more ‘dead’- Make them more curled up, or work up the skeletal part of the leaf. This was agreed upon by everyone! So I definitely put some work into that
Shar- Add creeping ivy, and work up the background a little bit with distant clouds or more dead vegetation like a log in the corner. She pointed me towards the wetcanvas image library, which I didn’t know about until now. I tried to add the ivy, but they looked too “alive”. I tried to add creeping branches but whatever I was doing was crowding the picture. I guess I still have a long way to go as an artist! It was a great idea, and the image library was definitely a good find. I didn’t add a log, but I did add some leaves to the ground behind the skull.
Kevin- Add more detail to the foreground, and ‘lose’ a bit of the background to get dramatic perspective I did this in a subtle way. On the skull itself, I tried to add a few details to the front. I also added more darks to the vegetation in the front, and got rid of the stark contrast between the ground and the sky. It’s hard to see in the picture, but I added a few subtle clouds to get in a bit of that atmospheric perspective.
Summary of feedback I received from my Art Teacher
1) Work on the leaves to make them more ‘dead’. Dead leaves are more angular, and they curl up more. Even my teacher agreed :)
2) Move the horizon line up on the page, so it looks like the skull is comfortably on the surface This was a really good suggestion, and it definitely made a huge difference.
3) It is not necessary to add anything to the back corner (I told him about Shar’s log suggestion and asked him if there was anything else that I could add if the log didn’t work out), but a few wispy strands of grass or something subtle would help make the horizon line a little less dramatic. This goes back to Kevin’s suggestion about “losing” some of the background. I ended up adding in a few leaves, and getting rid of the strong contrast
4) Dead twigs are much more angular, so I could add more dramatic angles to the branches in the back. This has also been updated
5) Revisit the original skull image to see if the jaw lines are as straight, because the unbelievably straight jaw lines almost makes it look fake. I did revisit the picture, and the allosaurus jaw line is oddly straight. I never noticed that before! I did dramatize a few of the ridges to keep it from looking like I used a ruler
6) Lighten the “creases” on the dinosaur skull, to make them stand out less compared to the darker hole areas. This was another very subtle observation made by my teacher. He really has an amazingly keen eye which has done wonders for my drawing skills over the past couple of months.
The Final Result
Overall, both my teacher and the wetcanvas community agreed that I could work up some of the dead vegetation (I have never drawn landscapes or backgrounds until this course, so it’s all very new to me). I also had positive feedback from everyone I mentioned above and from mooz49 and luicre, especially on the skull, which was also great to hear :) (After I took this picture, I removed some of the darks from behind the trees)