Thanks everyone! B seems to be the clear winner. I suppose the white outline worked well with my inktobers because it was just the character and not a full illustration. @TessaW and @Adrian-K here is a version with just the splatters.
@Aleksey @Annemieke okay okay! You win! No potted plant. Hahaha. I love the idea about more texture and cracked tiles. I will work on fixing the tangents too. Thank you for your words of encouragement. It makes me happy that you are enjoying this picture.
@Maureen I am coming into this a bit late, but I think @Jason-Bowen has the right idea with the tail. It may not be the shape that you are looking for, but I think what he is trying to emphasize is that you need to focus more on how you construct your shapes. Manatee tails are thicker than the standard Mermaid tail, but they still have the same flow. Tom Bancroft does some excellent tutorials on Mermay.com and he does some that focus specifically on shape and on facial expression. Give those a watch, hopefully they will help!
@Elena-Marengoni I do like the second one for the reasons everyone mentions, especially the stronger composition and more serious emotion, BUT I was also immediately drawn to the first one for what looks like exhausted-mermaid-mom to me. Maybe an interesting concept for another time?
I am liking all of the fun stuff in the picture. Good job.
One thing that took me a second or third read to figure out was the sucker in her mouth. At first I couldn't figure out why you put a cigarette in her mouth. You might want to lengthen the stick and make it thinner so it doesn't come across incorrectly to the viewer.
I love the varying areas of light and dark in the piece though.
@nyrrylcadiz The composition is just beautiful - really wonderful use of white to lead the eye through the composition. And the storytelling potential is rich in this piece. However I too find the gaze/interaction between the girl and the mermaid a bit confusing. I don’t think you’ve found just the right solution yet but I believe you will.
Here are two ‘girls looking down in surprise’ that might be good reference:
Thanks for the suggestions so far. I might take both the fish herder and the tea party idea to the rough comp stage to see which one I like the best, and which one I am more likely managing to pull it off.
I really like the fish herder idea myself, but I am not sure if I am able to pull it off, struggled quite a bit even in the thumbnail stage It is a very much scene based piece, and I have never painted the underwater scene before, nor did I drew many fishes.
Thank you very much @chrisaakins , I appreciate your thoughts on this piece. One of the reasons I avoided digital until about a year ago now was because all I saw was so obviously digital, that there was literally no appeal in it for me. I love the look of traditional media, and trying to enjoy the benefits of digital while retaining a traditional look has been one of my main goals/struggles. All in all, my approach to working has been one of simplicity or a traditional mind set. There are a lot of cool tricks that can be used for digital, but for me, I have to limit those features. When I deviate from that I run into issues like you mentioned with the original border being too clean - (fake).
I may come back to this later to add the secondary character to break the border, but for now it needs to breathe.
@theprairiefox Thank you so much for your feedback! It is so helpful - i am really glad the poetry is coming across to you...that was my main concern really. From the feedback here i'm thinking my travelers inkwell really needs to go since it is reading as being important and as a compass. right now it stands out because i created it with the selection tool and ellipses but i'm thinking now that if i soften the edges, highlights and lines it will still not work...maybe a more classic looking inkwell?? - best to be rid of it i think. Listening while daydreaming about what is being said is so on the nose! I am trying to make it feel as though she is unsure of her own feelings too... something i'll need to work on a bit - the petals are a kind of visual manifestation of the words he is saying...also to show magic exists in this world - because how could he become a merman ....My eight year old daughter says she likes the petals because before i put them in it looked like he was reading her a bill and asking for the money! she was so right too
@chrisaakins Thank you for the feedback Chris! - i will work more on her expression sounds like it needs a bit of an adjustment to get where i want it...my fear is of being too dramatic like a romance novel cover.....Thank you for the feedback on the scales - i have not gotten to them as of yet - i have kind of laid out the location of scales though - a few years back i got feedback from Jake on a mermaid piece that had submitted for third Thursday that i had gone overboard on the scales and needed to knock them back quite a bit..i plan on taking that advice on this and not having them be so well defined - thanks again
@Johanna-Kim Thank you for the feedback Johanna! - my hope was to convey poetry with the little book and quill pen..."The Wooing of the Salt-marsh Mermaid" maybe? I have gathered by now that the metal object must go...it is an inkwell but is not reading as such - Thank you so much for the compliment of the rendering - it was really helpful to hear - I've been afraid of color for years and decided with this piece that i would not back down from that little voice - i still feel lost ..but less lost than i thought i'd feel at this point
Thank you all again - very helpful feedback!
I need to get going on my mermay piece. I started thumbnails but that is about it. I been busy all month on an album cover for a local band. They are really cool to work with. I love getting a client that understands my process and knows what they want.
First was to come up with some band logo designs. They went with a combination of the ideas and settled with the bottom one.
From there we did thumbnails and they decided to go with a combo of A and B with some changes. Their idea was aliens walking around the city like they are part of it. There are call backs to some coffee shops in Amsterdam which is where they got their band name.
Now I am now working on my value stage:
Ha, that makes me feel better then, anything we like goes I guess! I browsed Artstation for mine.
I also just noticed just how formulaic a lot of the images I picked out appear, in terms of placing a vertical object on the line to the right third, against a bright background, framed by a dark foreground. It applies to all of them, apart from the first, which is just the same formula flipped! I feel like @Heather-Boyd 's second set of choices also have a lot of similarities, with bright midgrounds being framed by quite dark foregrounds on both sides, like a cave.
This is a really nice idea, I especially like the pots of watercolours in the water and the character itself is so lovely!
Are you going to be putting a background colour for the sky? At the moment it's looking a bit too bright with the white background and it's making it hard for me to see your characters top half and that she's holding paper and a brush!
Maybe a sunset sky of pinks and blues so her colours will pop out more?
@CesarAndradeArt Thank you Cesar! You've helped me a lot. Right now I'm practicing 24/7. Road to mastery. Can't wait to see more work from you. I have already checked your whole body of work. Thank you for the inspiration.