Fun Illustration Game - Critique Appreciated



  • Hey everyone! My friend and I just started an illustration game with each other to help build our portfolios. It's similar to the SVS monthly contest. I give her a topic, she draws something creative, posts it, and on the post gives me a topic to illustrate.

    I have a background as a fine art painter and am just beginning to build my illustration portfolio. I was hoping for some feedback on this piece.

    Are you able to see what is happening in this sketch, without me telling you the topic? What are your thoughts? I also feel like it needs something more, but can't put my finger on it.

    I did a ton of thumbnailing, but often get carried away and start painting before I should, which is why I'm asking for feedback before I start adding color.

    Thank ya'll so much for this awesome community. Cloud Gardening@0,33x.jpg



  • @Kaela-McCoy that's a good idea to build your portfolio. "Just make more images" isn't getting me very far 😄

    I'm not sure I can figure out the story in your image. I have two ideas and I'm not sure which is the direction you might be going:

    1. The girl lives in the clouds and collects (farms?) lightning. The boy does not belong in the clouds, he has travelled there via helium balloon and is trying to spoil her plans / ruin her day.
    2. This dynamic duo are creating a storm together. The girl throws lighting down below while the boy supplies the rain.

    I feel like the second version is closer but the girl looks like she is angry with the boy so it doesn't seem like they're working together.

    Anywhere close?



  • @neschof Your second guess is right!!! Thank you for your response. My idea was that they are a brother/sister combo that "gardens" storms together! She plants the lightening, he adds the rain. I thought I would do a silly scene, where he dumped water on her head, and she got mad. It's hard to tell that she's soaked - I tried to make the hair flat and dripping with water, but was having trouble conveying that idea with just line work.

    I was going to have them wearing matching overalls, her with a lightening undershirt, and him with a cloud undershirt. I might add a balloon around her waist, too, to make them look like more of a pair? I was also thinking of switching the direction of the watering can, with it facing her. Do you think that would help get the idea across?


  • SVS OG

    @Kaela-McCoy i’m not quite sure what’s happening. Are the kids fighting or are they starting a storm?



  • @Kaela-McCoy cool, I like all your ideas, I think the outfits will really help to get across that they're a team and they are meant to be there. Then making it clearer that she's wet will show why she doesn't look happy 🙂 I can see, now that you said it, that her hair is wet. In a book it would be obvious because her hair would not be flat in the previous pictures but here I just assumed that was her hair. Maybe if it went over her face a bit? Or it will just be clearer when colour is added.



  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz The idea is that it's a brother/sister combo that creates storms together, watering the clouds and planting the lightening. But the brother got silly and dumped water on her head instead of into the cloud, which is why she looks angry.

    Do you think I could polish this idea with more detail/color, or is the storyline itself too far-fetched?

    Thanks for responding!! 🙂



  • @neschof Maybe I could use this as a sequential piece for my portfolio? Then I could showcase that I'd be able to draw the same character in different positions/emotions, but also show that her hair isn't always flat to her head- haha!!


  • SVS OG

    @Kaela-McCoy I think the concept is not clear. There is quite a few issues I’d suggest you consider before going to color. First and foremost, your character’s gazes don’t point to each other. Secondly, it’s not clear that the boy dumped water on the girl. Perhaps there’s a trail of water falling be hind the boy. Thridly, why does the boy need balloons when his sister can clearly stand on clouds? Wouldn’t it be more consistent if he’s also riding on a cloud? I’ll try to post a rough redraw in a bit.


  • SVS OG

    @Kaela-McCoy here’s a quick redraw that might help.
    9B8BBDB4-EE3A-4DEB-AD10-6EFABE2EF187.jpeg



  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz This is great - much more playful and more action!! Thank you so much!!!!


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