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So I'm trying to design the front of a shirt for print. I'm unsure if this works or if it doesn't or what is lacking.
Snor translates to Moustache in Dutch.
It seems like I captured a mood or a feeling in the sketch, but lost it when I did the final design.
Any advice, crits or tips?
The eyes conveyed a lot of mood in the original sketch, which is very different to the final design. The area around the eyes is darker, which makes him look like a) he has a strong forehead and b) perhaps more evil/pissed off/takes no shit. Maybe that's the feeling you were going for? The painting makes him look more harmless, almost meek. Another thing is that he looks more hunched over in the painting. In the original he could conceivably be standing straight (strong, not meek), and is just a big guy with no neck. And having the vest cover more in the painting maybe makes it feel slightly more modest (instead of "my chest is showing and I don't care"). Again adds to the 'more meek' feel.
The eyebrows in the painting may also add to the flattening of the forehead. In the sketch, the values clearly show the forehead protrudes.
Have you tried starting over, more faithfully following the sketch? Might help to try making changes towards the original sketch to see if that helps things. Otherwise, explain what mood you wanted and maybe we can help with more specific advice.
Thanks for the in-depth review, Lulie! I've changed some things around a bit. Trying to give more focus on the bad-ass "mood".
I still feel that some expression/mood/depth/etc is lost when I redraw my sketch in illustrator. I'm not sure as to what I'm missing.
Maybe use darker/black lines around the eyes, like you do in the original? Covering everything else up with my hand makes me think it's all in the eyes. Try making those identical to the original (paying attention specifically to the values, especially relative to the other values in the picture), and then gradually make it more illustrator-y and watch for the moment it loses the expression.
FWIW, the pink is very pink now. And his ears look pink enough to make me think maybe they're connected to the pink behind him. Don't really get why he's entirely grey except a little pink in his ears. I liked the duller, heavier look of the first palette. (Maybe you could lighten it some, but he looks a little on the bleached side now.)