Just in time to rally the Penguins to a game seven victory! I'm not super excited about my coloring but I do feel I'm getting a better grasp on it and I like what I'm doing with the values. It's a little more involved than my previous attempts on other pieces and it's hitting me well. It was fun to play with multiple figures and I think the next step I'm going to take is to include more interaction. Chris Kunitz and Jaromir Jagr should have maybe dug their shoulders into each other or get the sticks involved (especially with how the series has gone) and I could have moved the time a little further so Evgeni Malkin and Claude Giroux were set up at the faceoff circle more to get their interaction.
With the Stanley Cup Playoffs starting I wanted to start a project that would connect with that. I also wanted to work within a two-page spread format with multiple figures in the environment and get away from a lot of the science-fiction/fantasy art I was doing and ground it a little more to show how my style feels with different subjects.
Some personal criticisms: I still haven't found a good way to tackle nameplates and letters/numbers on the jerseys as well and how far back is far enough to avoid linework and just have color. And while I asked a bunch of people and they all seemed to like it, I'm not entirely sure on the color execution. And as a small last thing, I feel I adhered to closely to my reference. With all the details in hockey equipment I felt discouraged to sit down and draw and I think some parts look a tad static.
Here's some preliminary work from this piece: