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Storybook - Side by Side

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It was something of a challenge to revisit a piece so old - because so much was so terribly wrong with the original. Stiff figure, bad perspective, weak color, no contrast, awkward plant work... still, there was something appealing about the story it was telling, some feeling of anticipation and mystery, that I tried to capture in my re-make.

I wanted to keep as many elements as possible from the original - the snakes, the owl, the spider, the shape of the crown, and the feel of the framing vines. I tried to the work the vines into the piece more fully, not just as a fore-ground design element, and I wanted to center and emphasize the crown and spider more. I concentrated on giving the figure more flow, and improving the general realism of the creatures and plants. I was working from a very tiny scan of the original, and did not notice the stairs at all, so I took some liberties there, but still wanted to keep the feeling of entering somewhere dark and mysterious. But with more 'dark and mysterious' and less scribbly, lazy 'I want fog and darkness but can't be bothered to draw it...' It's much more effective having bright eyes from dark shadows than trying to put dark eyes in gray fog, I think, too.

This was a fun challenge. It's nice to know I've improved in 20 years... :P

The new version is here: [link]
The old version is here: [link]

ETA: I am entering in group 3 - traditional work.
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© 2009 - 2021 ellenmillion
Comments26
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yf19-sama's avatar
Great details improving!

Thanks for adding this piece in the group "Before and after evolution".
hrfarrington's avatar
That's really cool... The fact that it's a gap of 20 years, but also because you kept all the same little details. :D Awesome work!
shylittleunicorn's avatar
I like looking at both versions. ^_^
kamisch42's avatar
A very drastic, beautiful improvement! This is great! I love the spider webbing on those vines :love: And yeah, the original owl was cute, but the reincarnation is definitely impressive. So gorgeous. I love re-trying old drawings...unfortunately I missed this contest :( It was right up my alley too. Ah well. Did you win? Not only do you have a phenominal sense of improvement here, you have a nice, refreshing 20 year gap. It's a rather like a reunion tour :D Congratulations!!
inspire-meee's avatar
stairs? lol well done!
inspire-meee's avatar
stairs? lol well done!
Asher-Bee's avatar
....went a wee far back didn't we. ;P
orafaerygirl's avatar
Great to see how you’ve grown as a artist, wonderful work :)
haius's avatar
okay, you win! =D
haius's avatar
though I gotta say, the owl in the first one is very cute...
celticwren's avatar
Love it! I've been waiting for you to put this up so I could put it in my faves. Gosh, those vines must have taken the most time, you did an excellent job. Light eyes looking out from dark bushes does work better. :)

I love seeing old and new stuff. I did a little timeline of my art, but only have stuff dating back to 1999. I think the older sketchbook from 1995 is in Arizona.
Nyrak's avatar
what a great result, and how fun to see the original and the remake side by side!
afke11's avatar
That's just awesome, and I especially like to see them together. :D
ellenmillion's avatar
kyntha's avatar
It's amazing seeing them side by side like this!

You can really see how you've grown from the first version. (20 years ago!). The detail you now put in your drawings is very clear when you see it compared to how it once was. What I find great to see however is that back then you allready had great idea's, a fantasy feeling and a feeling of mystery in it. Regardless of the lack of detail you can still tell!

The new image is a more mature version and it's lovely to see them side by side :)
ellenmillion's avatar
Thank you! Seeing them next to each other is pretty eye-opening.
kyntha's avatar
it truely is

I can't wait to get mine started now that I've seen this :)
astrals-stock's avatar
This is an incredible comparison. You certainly have come a long way as an artist. The new piece really feels like an illustration with so much depth compared to the older piece which is very 2 dimensional.
ellenmillion's avatar
Thank you! I really wanted to push the depth factor, particularly. :)
astrals-stock's avatar
well you did a fantastic job of that. I admire your skills.
HiddenRelevance's avatar
Man.. 20 years old.. personally I find it incredible that you had it! lol
ellenmillion's avatar
I keep all my old sketchbooks - I've got 20 or so of them lying around! Keeps me humble. :P
HiddenRelevance's avatar
Actualy, now that I think about it, I might have some of my notebooks that are that old...so I guess I can't say much lol
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