Mermaid (Friendship, companion) WIP.

  • Hi. I almost decided to skip the contest this time, but I really really want to draw the underwater scene (Which I have never done before).
    So here are some of my thumbnails.
    Which story is worth telling? which concept is interesting to you?

    #1: A lazy Sunday walk with your pet seahorse.
    Keywords: Playful, optimistic, relaxed, happy.

    #2: The fish herder. (a mermaid holding a group of giant fish, swimming away into the deep sea.)
    Keywords: Mysterious, surreal.

    #3: let's go, big guy! (Tiny mermaid is ready to go for a walk with her giant fish pet)
    Keywords: Fun, friendly, content.

    #4: WIll you be my friend? (A mermaid with a giant hairdo, meets a tiny seahorse).
    Keywords: curious, fun. playful.

    #5 Tea party ( a human child is coming for a playdate with a mermaid. She is in the middle of the tea party (a bit of Alice in Wonderland reference).
    Keywords: fun, playful.

  • @xin-li

    I like the creature character (the big guy) in number 3 but my favourite is the herder in number 2 -I think that idea is unique and I would play around with that one. 🙂 Number 5 is a cute idea and is composed nicely.

  • @xin-li Great ideas. I like the fish herder probably the most! Something tells me that they would have morecollective power than her, so I wonder what would happen if you put them in front of her like she has them on leashes and is trying to hold them back?

  • @suenaumi hmmm. interesting thought. I will try that.

  • SVS OG

    I like number 3 the best 🙂

  • I like the compositions of 2 and 4 a lot and think they're worth pursuing, but in terms of story I love the idea of number 5! That could end up being really cute. I think all of them are a good start so I reckon whatever you go with is gonna end up being a nice picture.

  • They are all such good ideas! Great job with the thumbnails. I like #5 the most. Probably because I just love tea parties and I love the story behind it 🙂

  • SVS OG

    I would love to see a tea party! That’s my favorite idea

  • 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 :smiling_face_with_open_mouth_cold_sweat: It is a very much scene based piece, and I have never painted the underwater scene before, nor did I drew many fishes. 🙂

  • I ended up with the playdate underwater idea. The piece is about friendship between the human child and a little mermaid. I want to this piece to be playful, fun, light weighted (Think about kids meeting up to play during the summer holiday).

    It is still rough. But I am a bit blind with this piece right now. Just want to get some feedback on composition/value before I go too far with the painting.

    Any suggestions on composition, and the posture of the characters?
    Which color study do you prefer?
    value study.jpg

  • @xin-li The progress on this is great - everything from the thumbnails to the value studies and colour studies. I like the idea you've decided to go with - it's sweet and playful - and the drawing and composition look very good. The difference between the two colour studies seems to be mainly that the blue of the water is more saturated in #02. I would go for that. Out of curiosity, is there a focal point you would like to have in your picture? What would it be? (:

  • SVS OG

    @xin-li this is really adorable! I love the facial expression on the mermaid. The little
    Swimmer looks good too. That would be a tricky angle and it looks good to me. The arms and body posture of the mermaid going away from the swimmer is a little confusing. Clearing up what’s happening with the hand that isn’t holding the tea cup may help. I don’t know what it’s doing. I also like the second color choice. The bluer water seems happier. The greenish tent in the other one looks like the lake. I like the lake, but it doesn’t make me think of mermaids.

    I really like this piece. Can’t wait to see it unfold! I like the lighting as well! Can be pushed a tad more in her swimsuit. But great job! I really really like it!!!!!

  • SVS OG

    @xin-li This looks great! I like the value of #1 but not so much the green up close as others have said. Maybe go with the blues and a touch of green like #2 but desaturate the water between the characters a bit so that it's not distracting. As it is the background in #2 feels like it wants to come too close to the view with that much saturation.

  • @animatosoor yes. the focal point I have in mind is the face of the little mermaid. She is looking at the little human visitor, with a happy and welcome smile. The fact you are asking this question means that it is probably not clear enough :-). I will work on the color and value to clarify my intension a bit more. Thank you.

  • @Whitney-Simms
    I struggle a bit with the posture of the mermaid, both in terms of making her look "Right" technically, and in terms of the story. Right now she is holding a teacup, looking back - it is the moment when she turns around while noticing that she has a visitor. One of her hands is moving the opposite direction of the head and made some waving effect in the water.

    I also thought maybe there is something more interesting that hand could do to make this, but I have not figured out what :-).

  • @Jon-Anderson Thanks for the feedback. I think I will play with the color a bit more :-). I probably have not hit the "Just right" one.

  • I am still in the process of finishing up the mermaid piece - I want to clean up the background a bit more. Hope I will make it on time.
    As I mentioned above: the piece is about a human child goes a playdate with a mermaid. She is in the middle of the tea party (a bit of Alice in Wonderland reference).
    Keywords: fun, playful, magical, friendship.

    Anything that jumps out weirdly? any suggestions?


  • Moderator

    @xin-li This is a charming piece! You've definitely captured that underwater feeling and the sense that there's dappled sunlight coming from the surface of the water!

    For what it's worth, I'm personally not really sure I can tell where the golden glow's source is on the Mermaid... It looks at first glance like it's coming from the starfish necklace and making some particles in the water glow in front of her, but then the glow would seam to be appearing on the wrong side of her body. If it's from the sky above the surface of the water, the yellow might need to appear on other objects in the water. If it's coming from inside her (as a magical creature) she might need more glow on other parts of her body, too, but I suspect that's not what you intended.

    That being said, your use and control of the blues and their values is lovely!!

  • @Coreyartus Thank you for pointing out the issue. I really see what you mean now: I have an inconsistent light source, that breaks the illusion. I think I should have done a tighter value study to figure out the lighting before moving on the color for a piece with many objects.

    I will mess around with the piece now, and see what I can do. It is fun to draw a different environment. I think under the water scene would not come across my mind if it was not for the contest.

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