Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?"

OK - I'm ready to dig out the old scanner. I've spent all morning trying to photograph this drawing, battling the breeze and inconsistant sun. Trying to get an image that shows the colors accurately has been a challenge.

The original goal of this drawing was to carry out my own complete illustration inspired by the book "Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?" (which includes the work of many popular illustrators).

Besides just coming up with the concept, composition, and media, I met another unexpected challenge when I realized that this was going to be an evening/night scene. Now, I had to figure out how to show various lights - not sure I was completely successful, but I learned something new (and that's really the point here).

I think the drawing is done (mostly). I always go in and tinker with little details for several days, but it probably won't change much from this. I'm happy with a lot of things about it, although there's always something that stands out as "YUCK." I don't know if that's the result of being to close to the drawing for too long, or if certain things are really as bad as I think they are.

One thing I can't stand is how the "Pecking" sign came out - very muddy. If I can change that, I think I'll sure try, but it's not easy to change colored pencil! But, I really learned a lot about working with colored pencils and the result of layering different colors.

I really like the diagonals that zig-zag throughout the composition. I'd like to say that I planned ALL of them, but some I noticed after laying it all out. I like how the diagonal of the roof takes the eye down to the (ugly) "Pecking" sign that turns the diagonal back the other direction. This takes you to the blue tables and bush that turn the diagonal back to the chicken in the foreground. That's what I see, anyway.

I consider this still an unfinished work and would love any feedback or suggestions that any of you might have.


Shawna said...

Nice illustration! Like the style and the look of the medium you use- colored pencil? Good composition. I once did an illustration of why did the chicken cross the road. Fun stuff!

sdzsmith said...

Thanks Shawna! Yep - it's colored pencil and a fun project.

High Wire Girl said...

Hi, Diane. My name is Mary. I came across your site through Illustration Friday. I think the Pecking sign is very effective, my eyes weren't drawn to it as though there was something wrong with it. It matched the rest of the composition quite nicely; as well, I assumed there are lights flashing to indicate to patrons that they should stop on in, which might give off somewhat of a glow.

sdzsmith said...

Hey Mary -

Thanks soooo much for the feedback! I really like to hear what other people see.