Illustration Friday: Tension

This week's Illustration Friday sketch is a remake of a remake of a remake of a remake of an early portfolio piece I called "Helping Hand."

Here's the first one (in watercolor on Arches hot press paper):

With a couple of portfolio critiques by children's book publishing professionals, I learned that the characters in my original picture were generic and their expressions bland enough to undermine my quest for employment as an illustrator.  A year or two later I took a stab at making them more dynamic.

One redo effort (with Copic Multiliner SP pens on Dick Blick 80 lb. drawing paper) had the girl about to crash headfirst into the creek bank. 

The next was closer to the original but, like the remake above, with the girl's head twisted back as if looking at someone or something she's trying to get away from in a hurry:

For this week's IF topic, I decided to take the last remake sketch and use it as a template for an ink layer in Painter 12, altering lines and details to increase the TENSION.  To save your scrolling muscles, here is the most recent drawing again:

Perhaps I'll attempt another full color version if I have time later.

How about you?  Do you ever go back to work you did months or years earlier and recraft it using new tools and your increased knowledge?


  1. I think it turned out great. It was an improvement from the original, with the girl's head turned. I thought this week's subject was difficult, especially for us happy go lucky children's illustrators. Nice Job!
    Amanda Sorenson
    bits n' baubles studio

  2. I like both versions-- and they both have just the right amount of "tension." :)

  3. Really nice work and lovely blog header !!

  4. Thanks, Elizabeth!

    Thanks, Nirzara!

  5. Really interesting to see the improvements from the original! I like the both versions, but I have to say that the last one is much more effective. Good job.
    I'm interesting to see the colored version ;)

  6. Thanks, Yara! For the colored version, I may take a page from your book and combine traditional and digital media.


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