We had another assignment in my digital illustration class, with the prompt Castles in the Sky. I missed the “in the sky” part and just thought it was supposed to be fantastical. I also didn’t realize at first that there was supposed to be a character in it. We had to do a bunch of thumbnails and value and color studies. Some of my thumbnails below.
I first thought of doing something with books, and I did a few with that idea:
Then I thought of the onion domes you see on Russian churches, because I’ve always thought those we kind of cool. But after doing a rough thumbnail with them, I had a more interesting idea: cats heads instead of onion domes. I ran with this idea and did several different castles this way. Here are a couple:
I decided to try a noncircular shaped castle and came up with this:
I had to do some value studies, so I picked three of the thumbnails to develop further in Adobe Illustrator so I could block out the areas for value and color. Here are a few of the three different compositions:
I did some color studies of each composition, as well, but I was just throwing stuff out there for the assignment. Here are the best from each composition:
The feedback I got on the submission of all that was that 1. I needed a figure, and 2. It was kind of boring. I needed something with more going on. So I came up with this idea of the castle in the distance (I liked the middle one with the cat heads) and a path over rolling hills with a cat (of course) looking on at how far he has to go. I also decided to go with a triadic color scheme of purple, orange, and green. I spent a lot of time doing it on my iPad in Photoshop, which while usable is really limited. But I liked the end result even though there are some definite areas for improvement. Here is the final piece (at least for now):
This is actually my favorite of all the cats I’ve done because I think it looks pretty realistic. The rest of it turned out decent, I think.
Edit 6/27: I actually did one more version of it, to limit the color palette more: