Inky Fairy WIP Critique/Advice Needed

  • Hi everyone,
    I've been brainstorming ideas for the August contest prompt this evening. I'm struggling with it if I'm being honest though. This is the second iteration I've made so far but I feel it's boring or at least a bit too cryptic. The flash is supposed to serve a dual purpose of indicating a photo flash and also a magic fairy spark in a way. But I think it's one of those things that doesn't really make sense without it being explained in words. Any critique is appreciated here even if it's along the lines of ' nice try but scrap the whole thing' lol. I keep refreshing my feed to see if anyone is posting their WIP or final images so I can get some more inspiration 😅 If you wanna post your WIP or thought process on approaching this prompt I'd be really interested to see/hear how everyone is thinking of approaching this contest this month. TYIA 🙂


  • @Mary-Toth Hey Mary!!
    I have thought a a bit about your piece. Concept wise I thought at first the paper I am seeing is a illustration and not a photo especially because you put ink and feather beside it. So that was confusing, giving the prompt was a bout a photo. I would definitely remove these. As for making it clearer that it’s a photo: If people photograph things, they often do a lot of photos, so you could have much more photos on the table. I think it would be funny if all of them where kind of not good. Like on one there’s only one leg of the fairy, the next one she’s moving so fast that you can’t see anything really, or she’s throwing ink in the direction of the camera..... something like that 😉 hope this helps

  • @Mary-Toth

    I like your inking and line work style ☺ but your instincts are probably right, the story is a bit cryptic. I only read the sparkle as fairy magic and I’m unsure, is this a photo of the fairy?

    I’m struggling with this prompt too on a couple of fronts (B&W format, original idea, composition being the main struggles!) so I’m still working thumbnails of my ideas.

  • Moderator

    I wonder if maybe the table has some texture on it, possibly, or some texture in the paper? Or, conversely, maybe we see a a layer of reflective sheen on the surface of the paper? Maybe an overlaid reflection of the camera? If you go that route, remember that the metal of the pen and the glass of the ink bottle would also logically have some reflective qualities as well...

    I really love the fairy, and her texture and shapes are wonderful! She has a lovely look of curiosity! I can see the fantastical nature of the drawn fairy coming to life on the page and interacting with the flash, so I wonder if maybe some or part of her body was casting a shadow on the paper like it was lifting off of it and coming to life? Is she crawling out of the ink and leaving smudges, maybe?

    Just some thoughts. I don't know where you want to go with the story, but that's just what I was seeing off the top of my head. Keep going!! It's such a good start!

  • I usually start my brainstorming by analyzing the text. And in this case wondering about who is Ellie and what does the Ink fairy mean to her? When you know who your Ellie is, it´s easier to put a peace together. Where are they and how/why/when is she going to take the photograph? Dont know if this is any help but it usually works for me.

  • @Freya-Chakour thank you! your advice/suggestions just sparked a new idea! 🙂

  • @Lovsey thanks! no i wasn't trying to make it a photo but more of just a scene of a 2d fairy on paper with someone above snapping a camera at it. i really like the idea of telling the story with a printed photo tho. I didn't consider this route before

    @Coreyartus thank you! I appreciate the suggestions, they are giving me some more ideas. I am going to take all this and make some thumbnails today 😃

    @Sara-Nilsson that is helpful, thanks! I will get my self a cup of coffee and mull this over before making some more thumbnails sketches. I like hearing other people's processes for tackling an illustration

  • @Mary-Toth glad to hear!!! 🤗looking forward to see where you are going with this!

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