I've been working on this little side project for a while and I reached a critical juncture. I love goth art style in works by Edward Gorey, some Tim Burton, and very few other things. I'm quite particular about it. I love Lenore for example, but not many other comic books in that genre.
This project has a morbid subject (murder), but it is also light hearted. In the way Edward Gorey is quite morbid, but his wit makes it so entertaining. Anyway, the juncture I am at is exactly how stylized am I going to make the art. This was my first pass (okay, more like 21st pass):
Well, my wife made some great observations, particularly about the general flavor of the project and suggested I push the crows to have a little more personality - to be a little less realistic. I agreed and took another pass. Then realized everything else had to be just as stylized - the trees, the character, so on. This was my second attempt:
I definitely like the crows better. I think the design is stronger. I can draw a better character then that and will have to just practice more to get them right. But I'm wondering if this is an improvement, or is it merely different?