Mermay WIP - I would love your feedback!

  • Hi all! I am working on the challenge of this month and I would love to hear what you think of my WIP sketch. I am particularly interested in receiving feedback around the composition of this drawing and also hear if there's anything that seems 'off' from a structural or geometrical perspective.


    I've also had this other idea that I sketched out as thumbnail, but for some reason, I like it less than the other (maybe cause it's a bit sad?). Anyway, I would be curious to know if anybody thinks this is a stronger concept and why. Ready to change my mind and shift focus, if that's the case! 🙂


    BTW, it's my first thread on this forum! I am Elena and I live in Italy, where I work as a designer. In the future, I hope to transition to a career in illustration, but in the meantime, I am focusing on strengthening my drawing and illustration skills and seeing where this might take me 😉

    If you are curious about the stuff I like to draw, this is my instagram:

    Looking forward to learning from this beautiful community!

  • Ouch! I just realized the tail has an impossible angle!! Already fixed it!

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @Elena-Marengoni both are great pieces. I actually prefer the second. I don't think its sad. The story is clear within seconds for me on the second one. The first I needs to take a little more time looking at the image to see what the story is behind it. Not sure if that will change your mind LOL.

    P.S. great stuff on instagram!

  • @Elena-Marengoni I would agree with @Chip-Valecek that the second one is provided the viewer a better story.

    You might want to look at the framing of the piece though. The little girls head is pretty close to the top of the piece. I love all of the additional details you are providing though. They really make the pieces work.

  • @Elena-Marengoni very nice, but I gotta say that the second one really draws me in more, there’s more emotion to connect to. I can see that the girl is sad, but what I connect to is the empathy being displayed by the mermaid. I agree with @theprairiefox that reframing it a bit so the girls head isn’t too close to the edge would be better. Also I’d suggest allowing the bear to be whole rather than missing an arm. You have a character that’s comforting another with a teddy bear; for me, the missing (jagged) arm breaks up the smooth/round lines and slightly undercuts the feeling it gives. Great work you have going on here.

  • I love the second piece as well! I think bringing the figures further down and eliminating a bit of the unused space underwater might help with the composition. Good luck!

  • @Elena-Marengoni I do like the second one for the reasons everyone mentions, especially the stronger composition and more serious emotion, BUT I was also immediately drawn to the first one for what looks like exhausted-mermaid-mom to me. Maybe an interesting concept for another time?

  • @Chip-Valecek thank you!! 🙂 You're actually right, the outcome of the second story isn't sad at all...after seeing all the comments, I might indeed change my mind!

  • @theprairiefox thank you for the suggestion! Yes, totally agree, the way the photo is taken is all wrong (I wanted to avoid capturing the edge of the sketchbook, but yes, it does need more space on the top)

  • @Adrian-K I love your suggestion for the teddy bear. I tried it out and also changed a little bit the I feel the image is stronger. Very helpful!

  • @djly thank you for the suggestions! Indeed, that's what it needs, plus some details!

  • @suenaumi that was exactly the intention behind it! But after all the great feedback I got, I feel I can relate to the second piece more, so I'm gonna go with that I think. Thank you for the feedback!

  • This post is deleted!

  • P_20190519_221723_vHDR_On.jpg

    Worked on it a little bit last night and I'm feeling quite happy with the progress, although I might go and give the teddy bear a happier expression and add some more details to the underwater world.

    Can't wait to color this with markers and pastels!!

Log in to reply