Mermay Foodtruck WIP, Feedback wanted

  • Hello!

    Here is my concept for the Mermay challenge this month : Fishermen getting some fish & chips from a mermaid's food-truck πŸ™‚

    Firstly, I got the idea of the food-truck and thought it would be very fun that the owner got crazy about the decoration, painted scales and top sign.
    Secondly, I thought about the story and at first I was going for a lovely beach scene but then a light bulb went on and I thought it would be more funny to draw fishermen waiting in line to buy some food from this lovely lady.


    My question is how could I improve the comp?
    I think the first one (#1) is too half and half so I extended the waiting line on #2
    Could I make it more dynamic? My focus is the crazy decorated truck and the lady.

    Many thanks in advance!

  • SVS OG

    I think #2 is definitely a lot stronger than #1. The focus is still the truck and lady. Saw your portfolio and loved it. It'll be cool to see this in your style!

  • SVS OG

    Cute concept! I almost thing you could cut it down to only two fishermen. It’s always easier to zoom in vs zoom out. But it was too halfshies in the first one. Can’t wait to see the truck! I would buy fish from her! I love some seafood!

  • @shinjifujioka Thank you!
    I'm never confident about style, felt like I couldn't do complexe scene with "my style" and lately I've been playing with procreate and a more loose and painterly style... πŸ˜•

  • @Whitney-Simms Thank you! I hope I'll managed to do the truck as it is in my head πŸ™‚
    And you're right it's always easier to crop an image than the opposite.

  • Is the food seller a mermaid--I kind-of hope she is...even if that makes her cannibal--because, THAT'S an interesting story.....
    Three quarter view of the truck is definitely better--and it gives you the opportunity to show the character/expression of the fisherman in the foreground...

  • @Laurasketches Yes she is! But that's her secret. It's a new way of approach for nowadays mermaids :smiling_face_with_open_mouth_closed_eyes:
    (We don't know what's the fish is made out of though...but NO she can't be a cannibal, how could she be with such a lovely truck!)
    This image could definitely be a starting point for a story, I think that at the end she actually is the desperate one, looking for true love... Would that be a good story? πŸ™‚
    Re-the view, yes 3/4 view is best however. I hope I'll able to draw interesting characters, definitely not my forte...

  • Hello,

    I've sketched the composition of my illustration and tried to do "interesting" characters... (I'm currently listening to Svs' class "Breathing Life into your Character Designs"...)
    Would you have any feedback before I go into more details? Is the composition interesting enough?


    Many thanks!

  • @marine I like how your concept is coming.

    I had a couple thoughts right off.

    1. Gloria is being cut off. I think you could use the van to frame her better. You might explore making the window bigger or something so the viewer gets a better read from her.

    2. You might want to focus the look of the mermaid on your secondary focus (maybe the boy)? The viewer will follow where characters look and even though she is part of the truck she has a face and eyes to lead the viewer. Use that to your advantage.

    Otherwise, good progress. I would love to see a value study to see how you are going fully work out your design.

  • @theprairiefox Thank you so much for your feedback!

    1. For Gloria, at first I thought she would be much bigger and almost filled her cute little truck. Maybe she could even lean more outside her window and I could show part of her fish tail somewhere? The viewer would need to look for hidden details to get the full story.

    2. That's a good point! Thanks!

  • Following @theprairiefox 's feedback, I've been making some changes :

    1.a. I thought it would be fun to show more of the seller, and give an hint to the viewer, hiding her fishtail.
    b. However, I wonder if her wink to GrandPa is too much?

    1. The big boy is mesmerised by the mermaid sign.

    2. Also did a quick value study, this step is always difficult to me...


  • SVS OG

    @marine I like your concept and the mermaid seller is super fun. I think you don't really need the wink. I'd rather prefer that she be looking at the boy in front of her. The man with suspenders - suggest moving him a bit left, as his crotch is sort've lining up with the docking cleat in the background. With suspender man, I wonder if he could have a more pensive gesture, with his right arm up and his hand under his chin or scratching his head, as he compares the mermaid on the truck to the lady. Love the old sailer guy running for his fish and chips. Maybe to add more storytelling, the boy could have a friend (girl preferably since there aren't any other females) and she could already be snacking on her fish and chips on the side, and just noticing the fish tail in the window? Or a seagull could have landed on the front of the truck and is peering into the front window? Not really necessary, though as you've got lots of story already. Your values look fine to me.

  • @Johanna-Kim , thank you very much for your feedback! Love your idea of the seagull looking into the truck!!! Will definitely add it! πŸ™‚
    Also the pensive gesture of the guy with suspenders is so clever, thanks so much! It will add more layers to the illo.

    Loving this community so much, helping each other to push your work further! πŸ™

  • Revised sketch with seagulls looking into the truck, pensive guy with suspenders mesmerized by the mermaid sign and revised seller pose and window...


  • WIP... colour blocking...colours are so hard!
    Still a long way to go adding details, textures...hoping to finish on time... πŸ™‚

  • Hey guys!
    I'm trying to finish this piece for the challenge but I really struggle with the shadows on the ground.
    Any tips on how to find the shape of the old sailor running?
    Are the other ones looking too strong? I guess my source of light would be a zenith sun...
    Many thanks in advance!


  • SVS OG

    @marine This looks great - i love the old sailor and really feel like that might be where the story is for this piece - i keep wondering what is going on with him - i like the big guy too but wanted to see the composition with more of an emphasis on the sailor so i did a quick cut and paste - i think it may work really well without the big fellow in there - i like how the mermaid sign seems to be seeing the sailor approach too - anyways - i hope this is not annoying feedback - really nice piece!

    Untitled_Artwork 3.jpg

  • Many thanks @Kevin-Longueil for your feedback!
    I like your draw over but as you say it put the emphasis on the old sailor whereas my goal was to put the emphasis on the lady (mermaid) and her beautiful truck, who's attracting all kinds of fishermen πŸ™‚
    I think I should have been more crazy on the truck to make it the focal point but I will submit it like that for now... I could definitely improve this piece, will see in the future... as Jake Parker would say : "Finished, not Perfect" πŸ˜‰


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