My elephant "looks sad". Advice?



  • Hey guys, I'm working on a project for a client. They needed an illustration of an elephant. I thought it looked fine.

    BUT....no matter what adjustments I make, the client is insisting that the elephant "still looks sad". I don't see how, though. Any advice or suggestions on how to give it a more neutral expression?

    FIRST CONCEPT
    E1.png

    RECENT VERSION
    E2.png


  • Moderator

    I would suggest having the nose side lines taper upward like the corners of a smiling mouth. I know it's a nose, but the mouth is directly underneath it, so the human eye will think it's smiling. Also, the head shaping in the top image can read as expressive eyebrows, even thought they're no where near where eyebrows might be... Eliminating them was a good instinct.



  • What expression is the elephant actually supposed to have? If it was never specified it might be a good follow up question to propose a few additional solutions. For example, if it's a branding project, you might want to reinforce the client's brand with attributes that match what their goals are.

    It might actually be the line that's below the eyes (the first nose wrinkle) since it looks like a sad mouth shape. Perhaps smaller eyes that are further out with a couple more indicators above that first nose wrinkle could potentially disassociate that feeling?



  • Thank you so much for your honest and quick feedback. I really appreciate it and used both of your suggestions!

    @Coreyartus You're right the mouth is right under the nose. So I tried to put upturned lines there to make it look like a smile.
    @jdubz Absolutely. Adding more indicators around the first nose wrinkle helped remove the sad expression. And you're right, the client didn't specify what the mood was supposed to be except "serious". I'll ask them.

    It's looking much happier now 🙂 Will be sending it off to the client for input. Thank you again!
    E3.png



  • Nice! I'm curious what they come back with - it definitely shifted the mood at least when I look at it.



  • @jdubz Yeah, thanks for asking. They said it was excellent!. YAY! I really appreciate your and @Coreyartus' help! 🙂


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