Hello, I wanted to make a painting for my grandmother's birthday, and so I chose to make a poster of her favorite movie, the sound of music. I tried painting it in the style of Jules Cheret mix with my own kinda loose style that was inspired by the watercolor of John singer sargent and Andrew wyeth I would like to know if the strokes at the bottom left and right (the one above the lettering and beside the lady) make the composition too busy and distract from the face. Below I have attached 2 version (picture 1 and 2), the first one done purely traditional in watercolor and the other I try to fix in digital and would like to know which people prefer- I would also like to know if the hands are too loose and I should define it more. (p.s. I have also attached all my photo references at picture 3 to hopefully help more clear at what I'm trying to do Anyway, thank you for reading my post and if you reply, I really appreciate it :D (Also, I know it's kinda redundant at this point but @Liandro , any thoughts?)
Hey, @paper! The Sound of Music is such a great movie. I think this is a pretty sweet gift, I guess your grandmother will love it. I see no problem with the character’s hands being loose. In my point of view, the strokes in the areas you mentioned do look a little bit busy, but not distracting - I see it as part of the global visual style of this piece. Comparing both versions, I definitely prefer the all-traditional one. I believe the reason is because it seems to me that the aspect of the watercolor strokes look more cohesive and harmonious without the digital interventions - the smudgy aspect of the color blending in the digital-tweaked version is what, to me, looks distracting and kind of misfit from the “big picture”. But one digital adjustment I believe could help improve your composition would be to expand the page area in order to leave a more generous margin between the lettering and the borders of the paper. The way it is, there is almost no room for the word “of”, and even the word “music” looks too close to the bottom edge of the paper, which, to me, conveys a feeling of the sentence being cluttered or “claustrophobic” in the composition. Perhaps you could even try digitally erasing the handmade lettering completely and replacing it with a digital typography, have you thought of that? It’s just an idea, but I’m thinking it might give the movie title a better readability. In the Moulin Rouge poster you used as reference, even though Chéret probably drew the words manually (since press media was still sort of in its early days back then), there is a lot of control and technique in the way the letters are drawn, so it feels much less like handwritten words and much more like mechanically printed letters. Nowadays, you could conveniently look up and find a nice digital font to fit harminously with your drawing. Another thing you could try digitally (if you want, or course) is to clean up the sketch lines, which are still visible. That’s all I have in mind now! Hope it helps.