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I've been working on nothing but explosions over the past week for an art test I've been given. I must have gone through 30 different versions, trying everything I could think of that could be considered  in line with what they asked for. You can see some of the explosions I made HERE

I was given 2 images as reference: 

after 3 days, I submitted some examples for review and got pretty good feedback from them. Their main criticism was that the explosions were too puffy and round, and lacked real shape and contrast. The debris needed work and they wanted to see more smoke trails, both in the projectile firing as well as from the blast itself.

 My style leans towards cartoony so I assumed that's kind of what they wanted. Poofy and squishy are good friends of mine. This gives me the opportunity to learn and show how I respond to feedback. 


I spent the next day or so working on the main body of the explosion, making it asymetrical and giving it more form and contrast. I tried a few deifferent approaches.



After I truned in my second submission, I got nervous thinking, maybe they want more "manga" then I was giving them.. They gave mne the reference for a reason. I then spent the weekend coming up with a more stylistic explosion. Long story short, because I'd rather be working on vector fields than typing this entry,  I didn't submit anything else and just left things how they were. I got a call yesterday for  a phone interview. Woohoo!

Here's the manga-ish explosion, for the record. It's still in it's early stages:


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