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Weekly Update – Criticizing my own work

This week I finished the Artwork for the last Unicorn based on the novel by Peter S. Beagle. I am mostly happy with the result, but I am also my biggest critic. So I thought, I would share my own opinion on my work with you all.

First things first, I loved the finished sketch. But one of my biggest nemesis is coloring. I worked for a long time mostly in black and white. I personally would not dare to use bright colors at all. As a result, the color choices I made are all quite deluded. (except for the red bull of course) It’s is not bad but I made some mistakes. And I see were I need to improve.

The first mistake I made was using one color palette for each illustration within the artwork. All the illustrations look fine on their own, but all together looks quite messy. The eye does not know were to go and the overall coloration is very busy.

The Artwork looks more cohesive when I (as example) lay a colored filter on top of it. Suddenly the illustrations looks more put together, rather than each illustration standing out and making a slightly confusing mess of the whole illustration.

The Illustration with a red filter:

The Illustration with a blue filter:

Another mistake I made, which I discovered during workin on it, was the size. No matter how sharp my colored pencils were, the lines I played down were to big. Meaning, the illustration was to small. If I had done the sketch on a bigger scale, not everything tiny I painted would have been smudged. (And believe me I tried to color as clear a possible – but I think it can only go so far) I usually like laying texture on the aquarelle colored parts, but this was only possible with the larger illustrations. (The red Bull or the texture of Mammy Fortunas coat.)

What I wish I could erase is the Harpyie and mammy Fortunas color palette. The Harpyie just looks weird in comparison to the others.

What I love most about it, is King Haggard and the Red bull. They both match pretty well and they itself would bmake a great illustration.

Overall my take away on this work is the following:

• Improving the color palette to make it more cohesive
• planning out the correct size and keeping the limitation of using super small pencil strokes
• Not being fearful of bright colors and taking risks

This was it for this weeks weekly update. I have some things on mind I want to draw next, but not as ambitious as the last artwork. I hope you all like to follow along again. I will keep you regularly updated on my instagram page and at least once weekly on here.
Thank you all for reading and your support!

Monia Baillieu is a professional illustrator and sculptor from northern Germany. Her illustrations are mostly eerie or haunted themed. Occasionally she creates some funny comics as well or ventures out into graphic novels. Sculptures are created with polymer clay and fit into the overall theme of her works.  

For professionell requests or collaborations please check her portfolio and send an email to

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