Fishing WIP

  • So I had a bad couple of weeks in art block hell, and this image is somewhat working out, but I feel it needs some SVS input. The boy needs work, and some of the underwater details. I plan to add fish and possibly some ducks as well. Any input would be greatly appreciated.


  • @eric-castleman this is really beautiful already maybe add some warm colours to the boy so he stands out a little more. And something to balance the detail in the bottom left to the top right

  • Pro SVS OG

    This actually works pretty well as is...I'm not sure it needs anything else. I would actually add more details around the boy (maybe a basket, or something in the boat, like a rope and buoy) to contrast it with the quietness of the rest of the image. You could try to play up the reflection of the clouds in the top half if it needs balance, but I don't think adding fish or ducks would improve it. It gives off a great sense of loneliness and being small in the face of a problem or's emotionally very strong.

  • Don't add anything it works fine this way

  • Thanks everybody! I must be overthinking things and making it harder on myself.

  • I think it works real well as is. The sense of emptiness in the lake really works. A little sense of dread (for me at least).

    Almost like there's something lurking there...

    Like a lake shark.

    Anyhoo, it's a beautiful piece of work!

  • One more vote for "it's done if you want it to be" It's beautiful. I love the feeling of emptiness, the vast water, the small boy, and the big ripples.

  • SVS Instructor Pro

    As everyone else has said, this is a lovely piece! What I enjoyed reading in the comments are those who are responding with the feelings this image evokes for them. I read keywords like "quietness", "loneliness" "sense of dread" "emptiness". BTW, I totally agree. I get all that from this image.

    Now, the question is -- are those the feelings you intended to evoke? If so, excellent! Sit back, pop open a soda and binge watch the new season of Trollhunters this weekend!

    If not, then there's work still to do.
    You didn't mention it in your original post, so I just want to ask: have you identified your intent for this piece? How do you want the viewer to feel? What do you want them to look at first, second and (if applicable) third? When you can communicate your keywords all sorts of things start of fall into place. Not only for you, but also for your peers who offer critiques.

    For example, you absolutely can add fish or ducks to this piece. It will still be a very nicely executed image. BUT will the addition of those element reinforce the way you want the viewer to feel? Or would you just be adding "stuff" to an image that is already working splendidly?

  • @davidhohn great comment. Yea, the image was designed for my son’s recent autism diagnoses. The focus was on a quiet place without triggers, as well as ripples on the water which is something he focuses on when he is in the bathtub.

    Glad everyone likes it.

  • SVS OG

    @eric-castleman Very poignant and well done painting Eric - for critique there may be one thing - the surface of the water and the perspective of the dock seem slightly at odds - if i follow the lines of the edges of the dock out into the water it puts the horizon line not far above the center of the ripple - i did a quick sketch of the idea i had as a fix - i just changed the lines of the bottom edge of the dock to push the horizon line out and tried to match the perspective of the flattened circles - also thought that having the light hitting the rocks underwater might be good to be brighter near the boy? One other thing i just remembered that i thought might need looking at is where the fishing line enters the water - it looks like it may be stopping short of the surface by a bit or that the surface of the water is lifting to meet it - i put a small set of ripples to try to establish where the fishing line enters the water - i might be off on all of this but i thought i would share my thoughts - Your paintings are really looking seriously good!


  • SVS OG

    looking great! I like this illustration already but yes, I agree. You can still add a few details to it. It does seem a bit empty. Ducks and fishes would be great. Here's a pitch though... why not add a monster fish lurking below the surface? I hope this helps. I'm excited to see the final version.

  • @eric-castleman This looks great Eric! I get a slightly melancholic feeling of calm before or maybe just after the storm from this one. I agree with what others have said that you could call it complete now if you wish.

    If you wanted to do more to it, as someone else said a tiny bit more warm tones on the boy wouldn’t hurt. I’m not sure about adding ducks personally, however, I’d be really tempted to have a really subtle fish shadow somewhere where you wouldn’t notice it straight away. I kinda like Nyrryl‘s idea of a monster fish!

    If I was going to be really picky, the boat has a little bit too much of a highlight in the bottom of it and maybe it’s a little distracting only a little tho!
    I hope your art block has passed & your feeling better about it. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your paintings 🙂

  • This is very beautiful. I love the colors.
    I agree with the other comments. It has a very quiet, peaceful feel, and could also have some sadness or loneliness.
    I think it is a good depiction of your intent / inspiration for the piece, and as someone with a chronic illness, I feel like the ripples are very symbolic of how things like this effect every aspect of your life. Something else that comes to mind with knowing the background of the image is that the boy is doing something. A diagnosis can feel very limiting, but it's good to figure out what you can do and focus on those things. (This is one of the reasons why I joined SVS.) So in that light, this image is hopeful as well.

  • @kevin-longueil
    Yes, something was bothering me about the ripples, but I didn't know what it was.
    Thanks for taking the time to do the draw-overs--seeing things like this really helps me learn. Good advice!

  • @eric-castleman I love this piece. It has a sweet, peaceful tone. If you want to add some playfulness you could add a little (orange or red) fish looking up at the boy. Or some personal items on the dock to lend to more story telling about the boy and who he is. I'm deep in a creative block right now I'm looking forward to getting past.

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