Saturday, July 2, 2011

Mandy Shefman - Baseball 003

The Ball Girl - Revised
Okay here are my revisions. I've changed the hands and the perspective and added a little more detail to the crowd. I also named and added the "Ball Girl" title to her hat to help clarify what was an ambiguous scene.This black and white is so that I have an "original" so I can tweek colors later if I need to. These changes are based on your feedback. How did I do? Any other thoughts on improvement?

The Baseball Moment

B is for Batting - from The Active Alphabet

The Active Alphabet is the book I'm illustrating from a lullaby my mom made up when my brother and I were kids. We are self publishing this book hopefully in the near future! This family project is what inspired me to try my hand at children's book illustrating.


Mandy said...

Hi fellow anthdrawlogists!

I am in need of feedback. My goal right now is to put together a portfolio and I am pretty much starting from scratch trying to learn the ropes of illustrating. I would LOVE to use this blog as an opportunity to get better so please share your thoughts & critique my baseball illustration (and any other illustrations I post) with how I can make my style, layout, characters, (anything) about my work more portfolio worthy. I will apply that to future attemps (which will also be good editing practice!).


Adam Heine said...

I wish I could tell you what makes for a strong portfolio, but that's a world I know nothing about. But I really like the little girl's pose and the way you drew the crowd. The B is for Batting boy looks pretty polished to me too.

I'm sure Charles or Marie can chime in on the portfolio thing :-)

Mandy said...

Thanks Adam! The big thing I got from the portfolio seminar I attended recently is that you know you have a strong piece if you get a response from your viewer whether it's an "awe" or "cute" "wow" or "cool" or "haha". So I guess part of it is having a good concept and then being able to create it too. You seem to easily incorporate humor into your pieces. I could use that touch.

Adam Heine said...

Thanks, Mandy! And thanks for the portfolio info too. I'm always interested in learning stuff like that, even if I have no interest selling my cave drawings ;-)

Charles Eubanks said...

Heh, thanks for the vote of confidence, Adam! :) I don't consider myself to be an expert, but I'll do my best...

Mandy - I can tell you take your art very seriously. For the longest time, I was scared to show my work and ask for feedback, but I'm now convinced it's the only way to get to a professional level.

So on to the feedback. In the first drawing, it looks like you may have the hands backwards. The man's right hand is tipping his hat, and the thumb and forefinger are on the wrong side. Same with the one holding the ball. I'll admit I suck at drawing hands, but I know that it's something art directors zoom in on right away.

It looks like there's an interesting story going on, but I wasn't sure what it was. My wife suggested that maybe he's letting her throw out the first pitch, which sounds right.

I still love the little heart laces on the ball in the second drawing. Little details like that stick with the viewer.

In general, drawing from reference can really strengthen your drafting skills. Especially if you can get into a life drawing class. If you can't, drawing from photo reference is the next best thing. Here's an online figure drawing tool: Or if that gets too overwhelming, set up some simple objects (tissue box, ball, sheet of paper, etc) and try drawing them from different angles.

I could probably come up with more feedback, but IMO this is better to do in person. Are you going to come to the next critique group meeting on 7/13?

Anyway, hope this feedback helps!

K. Marie Criddle said...


I agree wholeheartedly with what's been said before: the second drawing looks really polished in framing, detail and even coloring (as a artist completely frightened of color, I'm jealous!!) The box behind the boy and the ball is great for framing but, in my opinion, it seems to invalidate some of the movement from the boy's swing. Maybe cocking it a little might help? Then again, movement might not be as important as framing (especially if it's going to be an alphabet book).

I love the interaction between the girl and the player in the first picture. The player is grounded and stable while the girl is bouncing on her toes...a really interesting juxtaposition. What threw me off a little was the perspective of the field; the figures and the field seem to be on two different planes (although the crowd in the back seems to be on the figures' plane...maybe it's just the pitcher's mound that's off). However, I love the girl's hair! It speaks of movement even without the bouncy marks around it! (I know there's an actual term for "bouncing marks"...ah! Must go review my Scott McCloud.) The oversized hat on the girl really emphasizes her youth, too. Great characterization.

Anyways, hope that helps! I REALLY hope to be at the crit group on the 13th. We can talk more then!

K. Marie Criddle said...

Mandy, huge improvement on the perspective! I think that one works much, much better.