Help please! Someone wants to pay me...



  • @linhb I don't think I'm understanding what you're saying, what wanted feedback on is how to finish this piece that the client liked AND to do what I can to it so I'm not putting something out there that I'm not proud of at the same time. You said it had design flaws. I agree. I just want to fix what I can. If you don't think I can do anything , that's ok. It may be a lost cause. But the feedback I'm getting from the comments is helpful. I'm going to try and fix it up how I can.



  • Now I have another question. Sorry guys. I thought what I was dealing with here was composition issues. But now I'm wondering, in general, what make a piece tell a story? To me, this sketch tells a story...He's finding something more interesting in the water than he expected to... and he doesn't realize he's being looked at too. The whole story isn't there - how he got there, why he's on the dock... just this little piece. But, I like pieces that make me wonder & want to know more. How much do we need to know for a piece to be "storytelling"? Does everything have to be spelled out? Or can there be a bit of mystery? Specifically, how would I help this piece along? I'm really confused right now. @Will-Terry @Lee-White @Jake-Parker If any of you had some insight. Even just to this question in general... what has to be there for a piece to be considered a storytelling piece?



  • I think everything tells the story of a piece. The composition, the "acting" and gesture of the characters, the props, the colors, the lighting, the render style.

    Your piece has a lot going for it. Could it be stronger? Perhaps yes. Do I "get" the story? I feel I do! The mermaid and the boy appear to be the same age. . . probably preteens, which gives it an innocent-romantic-first-crush feel. They both look curious of each other on different levels. The mermaid curious of the boy, but also teasing. The boy curious to figure out what exactly he's seeing. Does he eventually find out? I think your piece effectively invites the viewer to wonder what happens afterward.

    At this point, I think the strongest improvement you can make would be in the gesture and expression of the boy. As you move forward with the piece think about how the decisions you make with color and value add or detract from your story.

    In the future, explore different angles in your thumbnailing process. I know you did initial thumbnails to figure out which piece to do. A step further would be to do more thumbnails once you've chosen your basic idea. Then you know for sure you've chosen the right comp for your tastes and for your storytelling. I know this case is a bit different, because your client jumped forward before you could to this step. You could still offer them an alternative if you'd like, but I wouldn't get hung up about it.

    You've got this! It's good you are being thoughtful in this process. Just don't let it stop you from moving forward.



  • The first thing I thought when I saw this was "this is a lovely story". I only thing I would change is bring the boy closer to the edge of the pier so his arm is not so stretched out and have his head bending down more to look at the tail.Just make sure the client wants it changed at all and make any changes subtle,your client probably loves it the way it is everyone has different ideas and there is no point trying to second guess the client, better to ask before you waste your time drawing.I am sure you know anyway but Pixabay has great free references.



  • Just finishing an illustration to "get paid" is never the way to go. I had someone on Instagram see my early work and asked me to do a drawing from a photo because he "liked the sketchy-ness" of a rough drawing I posted. I kindly told him that I would like to wait until I have a better handle on my artwork before I complete the drawing. After over a year, I still have not done the drawing as I am not yet at a point where I feel comfortable doing a commission for pay.
    If Pamela does feel comfortable completing an illustration in its current state, she will not do her best on the final, as I can imagine she will be agonizing over details she knows could be done better if a bit more thought and time was given to them.
    My suggestion to you, Pamela, is to get with the person who asked for the finished piece and discuss your concerns with them first, taking with you the suggestions offered here, perhaps sending a revised sketch for approval before painting. I posted a couple ideas on the other post, so I won't repeat them here. Best of luck!



  • Your piece does have a very nice rhythm to it. I like the circular composition. In terms of story telling, it's ok not to spell out everything in the image. In fact, I prefer that. If you show too much it doesn't create enough for the viewt than spelling it out for the viewer.

    In terms of this piece, the payoff for the storytelling isn't satisfying enough for me. The fact that he's reaching for her tail doesn't make much sense. I would suggest maybe changing the shape of the tail above the water to resemble something else (like maybe a duck or something). So the boy is reaching for something that is familiar, but is off a little bit. That would make sense for him to be curious about it. I don't think he'd reach like that for a random fish tail sticking out of the water.

    Those are the things I ask myself when setting up a story. Does this motivation for my character make sense? Does the reaction make sense? etc. Then I start trying to enhance what is good and get rid of what is bad.

    I would recommend using this sketch as a starting point and doing a bunch of versions of it. Try out some different stuff and play. There is nothing worse than just having one sketch and then trying to figure out what to do with it. Just go nuts and burn through a bunch of options. Post them here and see what people think. It's fun and will free you up so you don't tighten up at this stage (which is tough not to do).



  • @Lee-White Thank you. That actually helps a lot. I'll play around with it more and see if I can get a better working image and then check if the client is ok with it. Thanks for the tips. I thought it had some issues, but some of the feedback made me think the whole thing was a disaster. 😖 I appreciate your help!



  • @tombarrettillo you are very right. If I'm not comfortable with it, I shouldn't feel pressured to just finish anyway. Thank you. I'm going to see what I can do to rework this a bit.



  • @tombarrettillo said in Help please! Someone wants to pay me...:

    Just finishing an illustration to "get paid" is never the way to go.

    that's right :)) but if the client can really see the values in this sketch, that means she successes what else can she do beyond finish it ?
    not everyone can Just finishing an illustration to "get paid" anyway. If i have an opportunity like this i'll finish this 1 right away and take the money, then make a better version if i still interest in this piece. This is business man. Business comes first :))



  • @Pamela-Fraley I think it would be as easy as giving him a fishing pole - or a model sailboat?... 🙂


Log in to reply