Mermay Monster


  • SVS Team SVS OG

    Working on a few different projects this month and the month is almost over, what the what? Anyway my idea was somewhat based on my last years mermay where a fisherman snagged a monster out of the water.

    Here was last years....

    mermay.jpg

    This year I am going with a young boy that snagged the tail fin of what he things is a beautiful mermaid but little does he know what he really caught. Here is some process images.

    Rough Sketch:

    step01.jpg

    Cleaned Sketch = rough sketch at 40% opacity and new layer above:

    step02.jpg

    Ink = both rough sketch and clean sketch merged together and dropped to 40% opacity:

    step03.jpg

    I started to add values and will continue to work on it tonight. If you have any feedback or changes that you see are needed please let me know.



  • @Chip-Valecek Last years water is really nicely done and the story is catchy.

    The only things that bothers me in your this years sketch is how close the boat sits next to the post on the deck, the water waves resemble sand dunes than waves (thought it was on a beach) and the post directly angled from the post closest to the boat (on the edge of the page) looks skewed and higher than the other side - the posts line up funny as you get to the end of the dock -the first one looks even (land) -maybe it is in proper perspective - I don't know. It's a bit tricky for me to explain.


  • SVS OG

    @Chip-Valecek really great image! I think the concept is pretty dang funny, and not too scary for my taste. I think all the bumps of the sea monster crowd the water. See what one bump looks like. And there is no clue letting us know he thinks he caught a mermaid. You could have a book or a tackle box that has something like “mermaid bait, or how to catch a mermaid”. That being said, I don’t think it’s necessary. They boy catching a huge fish and the surprise on the other side is plenty of a story! The clue may clutter the piece.

    I’m really excited to see how it turns out. I like it alot



  • Hey Chip, I love this idea. the biggest thing that stuck out to me was the monster tail thickness. I did a quick draw over to show what I am seeing. I get that it is a fictional monster, but it would not get thinner in the middle of the tail. I would make it thinner at the end or potentially at the waist as you have. svs-draw2.jpg svs-draw-over.jpg

    Also, it would help to add variety to the tail "arches" to have some that do not have the negative space all the way under, but instead to have just a bump implying the path of the tail. It takes strength to hold the tail out of the water as opposed to just buoyancy.scs-dfarw2.jpg



  • Hi @Chip-Valecek, I really love the concept of your piece! The monster is really ugly, that is a great contrast with the mermaid feeling! I would just maybe show the tail a bit under the water, blurred and not to clear. And I would maybe think about the expression on the boys face. He looks amazed but you don't know if it's because of the fact he has caught a big fish or a monster (I think you don't want him to realise that just yet, do you). So I would maybe change it to excitement as if he is so happy he caught something big but doesn't know jet what's behind him.

    Anyway, these are details because I love the piece and the idea behind it! Can't wait to see the finished one!


  • SVS Team SVS OG

    GREAT feedback everyone! I will work on making some of those changes. @Heather-Boyd most of the image will be in water, I think at first I had the boat on the sand of the beach but I changed that so it has the lines that still make it feel like it is. I will change that up. @andersoncarman @Whitney-Simms the tail was bugging me also. I wanted to show how long he is, but you both are right, some need to be removed and others reworked. @Sofie-Schollaert I will work on his expression some more, I do want him to be excited.


  • Moderator

    @Chip-Valecek This is a fun piece, looking forward to seeing it rendered!


  • SVS Team SVS OG

    Made some changes and got the base values in. I don't try to do to much with the lighting yet. Just want to develop the forms a little. I create a mask for each of the elements so it is easier to get the values in.

    step04.jpg

    Then comes the fun part... painting it. Since I have everything into clipping masks it is very easy to start playing around with color. I like to get the background done first then I can start to play with the colors of the characters. I did a few different color samples already so i have a map to where I want to go with it.

    step05.jpg



  • Yes!! Like it a lot!!


  • SVS Team SVS OG

    I finished off the rest of the painting and added all the little fun stuff I like to add. I saved two different versions and would like to get a vote on which one people prefer. I know which one I like better but just curious to what others think first:

    SO .....

    Option 1:

    step06_v1.jpg

    Option 2:

    step06_v2.jpg


  • SVS OG

    I like Option 1.

    In option 2, the sticker like effect of the white border takes away the depth you have in option 1.



  • I’m curious, Replace the white border with a black border, what’s it look like?



  • @Chip-Valecek great monster! I like option one best! To me it feels more like the characters are living inside the scene... whereas in option two they kinda pop off the page more with the white border.



  • I am also votoing for option 1


  • SVS OG

    My vote is with option 1! Also, maybe a bit late to mention this, but I was thinking that a "no fishing" sign might be placed a little further up the dock where people could see. Or maybe the boy is fishing because someone placed the "no fishing" sign on that end post?


  • SVS OG

    @Chip-Valecek I cast my vote for number one Chip


  • SVS OG

    Yep, no white lines needed for this one. I love how it turned out. The coloring of the tail totally give the huge clue about the mermaid! I just had to be patient. And his expression is perfect. I think you hit the nail on the head with all your words or story points with this! The no fishing sign is too much of a focal point l. I agree with the rest of the crew. Great job!


  • Moderator

    @Chip-Valecek Definitely option 1! When I first
    saw your linework I was actually going to suggest trying this one without the white line.


  • SVS Team SVS OG

    Thanks everyone!!! I guess 1 is the over all winner.


  • SVS Team SVS OG

    May I also add I LOVE all the advice and feedback from you guys. Its amazing the support we all get! Thanks!



  • @Chip-Valecek I realize this might be late, but I just had to drop in and say the story you're telling in this illustration really caught my eye! It's humorous and the narrative is really clear.

    Just wanted to add also that it's a refreshing spin on Mermay, and the monster design is great! Quite terrifying while also being funny.

    And for what it's worth, my vote would also have been for Option 1. It looks good. 😋


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