Sorry if I came off a little harshly,
A couple things I should have explained:
I think you mentioned that you didn't understand this comment from me: "PSSS__Please remember that I *don't* work directly from my hand-drawn sketches, rather, I sculpt 3D pieces BASED ON those visual and mental notes. Once roughs are approved, you will have another chance to weigh in on a preliminary." - 7/27/17
That means that we are truly only in a preliminary "Phase 0" (rough thumbnails) and you will get to weigh in on the actual sketch in its true form. (the best thing to say here is that "when you see what I mean, I think you'll totally understand.") I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you might even like this process once you see how I work it, because you'll still get to help me make it right in the next phase. The roughs are just the "idea." It does honestly take a lot of time and thinking just to get to this starting block., for now, I am going to concentrate on the two sketches that exist thus far, and that you have greenlit for the next phase.
Dorothy & the Manticore:
To that end, I have a scene sample from you where there is a cybernetic-looking manticore fighting a reptilian monster across a fallen tree. Is that the Lion, as a Manticore? May I please have the description of the Manticore as originally described in your story? (I always feel better if I have the author's original description)
The Bantam Village:
Tricky scene. Imo, truth be told, we don't want to graphically depict a "husked" (some of your description, which is good, scary stuff) baby girl but maybe a slightly older (age 4-ish) little girl in a tattered dress and (again, this is my opinion) we want the viewer to have to look closely at it to tell what it is, because the essence and eventually the liquids were drained out. Therein lies the horror--"Oh, that's a freaking little girl in the vine!" That's what we want people to say.
As for my style clashing:
It will stick out, thus far. But actually it wouldn't be a bad thing to have lighter, more sketchy color work, like what I've seen so far from your samples, and then, BAM! A handful of very detailed pieces. I will keep in mind that you want Middle-grade to consider reading this. I get hired a lot for Middle-grade work, and to me that means keeping the colors a little brighter.
Cool, I will keep going on those two scenes for now,
And we can both see how things go, and if you like it,
PS__I am without my workstation until tomorrow, sadly, as Frys is still troubleshooting the problem. Please adjust the schedule a tad to account, and accept my apologies. No one hates this ongoing saga with my new work station as much as I do.
Descriptive Text (you made me realize that I needed to doctor it up...which I did...
Good Luck with the computer...they and their Foster Parents, Technology are more frustrating than women....
In that instant, there came from the forest a terrible roar and a fierce lion-like creature bounded onto the road. With one swipe of his paw, he sent Scrobins spinning. In the flip of a flea, the lion-beast then struck the leg of the Woodman with extended claws. Though his blow caused no harm to the metal woodman, the creature struck with such force that the Woodman fell to the road and struggled to regain his footing.
Instinct thrust me from the sling. With a deep growl, I curled my lips back, and gnashing my buckteeth, I waddled swiftly between the huge cat and Dorothy. This was no ordinary Kansas barnyard brawler; this was a super kitty. With a thunderous snarl, it curled its lips from its teeth. As I stared into a mouth large enough for me to nap in, the raging beast charged.
What Kind of Cat is That or The Cowardly ????
If not for William, distracting the brutal beast with an earsplitting bellow, I’d have been cat food.
While I backed up at light speed. My dear and brave Dorothy, fearful of my safety, and heedless of danger, rushed forward.
With a mighty slap at the nose of the beast, Dorothy screamed in its fearsome face, “No one messes with my dog…or shoes! Don't you dare to bite Toto! You ought to be ashamed of yourself, a massive beast like you, harming my friends and going after my poor little dog!"
William snorted. With a nudge of her head, she shoved Dorothy from danger and faced this magnificent cat-like creature. With a lowered head, the threat of William’s horns was great.
"I didn't bite him," it replied with wide wild eyes as it licked and pawed gingerly at its nose. “My, impressive horns you have there.” After a brief hesitation and a curious cock of its head at William, it continued. “I should like to know the difference between my teeth and your horns.”
“I can assure you that the difference is subtle. Pounce, if your curiosity outweighs your common sense,” William replied.
The creature dropped its gaze. Then looked up slightly. With hangdog eyes, and a downturned mouth, the beast almost whined as it spoke. “I have no desire to fight; I make terrible and frightening noises, but my heart is cowardly.”
Dorothy stepped in front of William and thumped the great creature on the nose again. “You are a coward at that,” she said…, “striking a stuffed man too, the poor scarecrow!"
With a shake of his great mane, his beautiful amber eyes narrowed as he watched Dorothy set Scrobins upon his feet. With its voice filled with amazement, “He’s stuffed…and, I see that I knocked the stuffing out of him.”
While Dorothy tucked straw, poked, and prodded Scrobins back into shape again, she replied with fiery eyes. “Of course, he's stuffed!"
“Well,” said Scrobins, “that was not one of my funnier falls.”.
"I’m not sure what I find more amazing, you stuffed with straw or your ability to speak. Is the other one stuffed also?"
"No," said Dorothy, "like you apparently, he's made of metal and is a mighty woodman, but his great weight makes him clumsy. I’m not strong enough to help you up, Woodman."
With a deep bow to the creature, Scrobins introduced himself and asked, “You appear to be of feline origin - you are a cat of some sort…aren’t you?"
“I am a male manticore in my prime.” The creature rippled his coat, fluffed his mane, and raised what appeared to be undersized wings as if to prove the point.
William ambled to the downed Woodman, “Take my horn, and not with your snipper, and I’ll pull you upright. Chip released his ax and gripped one of William’s horns. She lifted her head which easily righted the Woodman.
"That's why the woodman nearly blunted my claws," said the beast. "When my nails scratched against the metal, it made a cold shiver run down my back. What’s that little black creature you’re so fond of?"
"He’s my dog, Toto," answered Dorothy.
"Is he made of metal, or stuffed?" asked this strange miscreant.
“What I am made of is none of your business,” I raged ferociously and advanced toward the brute, determined to show my authority. “But if you must know, it’s meanness. Pure meanness is the substance from which I’m made. I’m Mr. Toto, leader of this group, and Mr. Toto is the only name that you may call me.”
Dorothy over talked me. "Neither metal nor straw, Toto is a hothead and unique throughout the great state of Kansas. With those cute little bottom buckteeth, and dirty mop of a hairdo, Uncle Henry says there’s nothing scarier than Toto the terrier!”
Dorothy then shook her head and with a short smile, said, “Toto, what am I to do with you? Sometimes I worry that you’ve more bark than brains. Perhaps you need more than gizzards when you visit the wizard.”
Image of Manitcore... and yes it once was a lion or "the Lion".