Please Crit my piece from Mermay?

  • SVS OG

    Hi all,
    I was wondering if you can critique this piece. Time is valuable for sure, I understand why Lee and Tom didn't critique all of the entries (at least that's what I gathered after skimming the Mermay crit subscriber video.) I get that you can learn from other's works, but sometimes you just need the focus on your particular piece. I need eyeballs from artists, and not just Instagram hearts haha. Was hoping to hear some thoughts on this piece from them, but I open it up to you all if you want to crit this. Thanks in advance and feel free to tear it a part! -Todd MERMAY.JPG

  • @artbytra fun idea of using a claw machine to get the treasure. Here a few thoughts I had.

    Things that are working well:

    1. Having her hair a warm color in the water that is a very cool color does a great job of bringing focus to her.

    2. The idea allows you bring in a lot of fun elements into the claw machine so you can have a lot of fun with that.

    A couple opportunities for improvement:

    1. The perspective is bothering me a bit. Not sure what is going on with the ship floor behind. It appears to be curved which is distracting me.

    2. Layout could be better. First, a clear edge would (either oval or round or square) would provide a more professional look. As-is it appears you just got to the edges and quit. Also, if you did this then you could target your most important items at the 1/3s hot spots.

    3. More story! You have a good hook for a story. But I think you could use the characters to tell a more robust story. For example, have the turtle and mermaid and shark all scared of the claw. Or have the kid look very determined. I am not sure exactly what is going to happen next. Is he trying to get the mermaid? Play it out and maybe change the timing to reflect that. Could you have the mermaid hooked on the tail?

    Just my thoughts... hope that is helpful. I think it is difficult to critic my own stuff as well and figure out how I can improve.

  • Hey, I'd be happy to help. Through critique is how we learn and grow!

    The values of an image usually tell a lot. In this illustration's case, the values are quite samey, so there is not much of a focual point. There's a lot going on in the water, which is great (kind of like the draw 50 challenge), but again because of the lack of contrast, the image seems busy and I'm not sure what's important.

    Going on placement at thirds, the pirate and the boy made them seem like the most important thing, followed by the crane. It took me a while to realise the mermaid was in the water because of the lack of contrast which is unfortunate.

    I think your sketch is good and lively. I'd definitely fix the water line to the left of the turtle's head, right now it doesn't follow the same line around the pool which is a little distracting. Maybe also the perspective on the treasure chest. I'd also focus on trying to achieve contrast where the most important bits are. The main action is from the pirates to the crane, down to the mermaid. This is a nice triangle eye-movement so I think it's structurally ready to go.

    Can't wait to see what you come up with next 🙂


  • Moderator

    Really nice.

    I feel like the bucket claw is the largest element. While it's not that distracting for being a dull color, it's bulky and throws off the feel of the scene.

    The kid has a claw hand, like a claw machine. You could make the bucket a claw like that. Would lighten it up, be a bit less distracting, show a bit more bg, and maybe the kid would feel empowered seeing a claw like his.

    I love the contrast of the water vs her hair.

  • Moderator

    Forgot to add, the chest needs some structural help, as well as the mermaid tail fin.

    alt text

    Could angle it.

    alt text

    There is a tangent, where the sail boat meets the horizon, could extend it above.

    everything out outlined, but the sharks head, and its head is on the small side.

    You have a small pile of coins, I would sprinkle a few more throughout the tank.


  • SVS OG

    @theprairiefox Great things to consider. Thank you for your input, and valuable feedback!

  • SVS OG

    @NelsonYiap Good call on the focal points, I tend to get held up on filling in the image more than anything. Something to remember going forward, thank you!
    Thank you for your valuable feedback. It will help me going forward. Cheers!

  • SVS OG

    @CLCanadyArts Thank you for your comments. Structural touch ups need addressing for sure, thank you. I like the more story telling aspect you suggested with the kids claw and connecting it with the Big claw. I probably chose the bulky crane to fill space and not think of story. Things to remember!
    I've removed the "shark Fin" out in the open water, I feel it wasn't needed. tangent avoided! Cheers!

  • SVS OG

    I haven't read the others posts. One thing I think would help is to diffuse the ink lines that are under the water so that they are less sharp and clear, then ti will seem more like those things are submersed in the water.

  • Hi Todd, what a fun piece! In my opinion you are giving equal attention to everything in the scene, and therefore its hard to focus on the main idea. I think if you de-emphasized the background and cropped the right side a bit, it would give a little more clarity. Just my 2 cents.


  • SVS OG

    Hi @TessaW Yeah this makes sense, I do like the cropped version and more focal points to the pool and the important part: the Mermaid! I appreciate it, Thank you!
    Making notes of all the comments and opinions on this piece, so that I remember these important factors for future creating 🙂

  • @TessaW

    Is there a reason for the box/container that is behind the turtle -or is the turtle suppose to be in it? I find it distracting unless there's a purpose I don't know about? Adding the shadows really helped. 🙂

  • @Heather-Boyd I think that's the place where the prizes are dropped into so they can be retrieved by the player!

Log in to reply