April WIP. Merry-go-round gone wrong + pose theft?



  • Hi guys! Here's my idea for the April contest. It's a robot being a little too aggressive spinning a merry-go-round. I'm typically a very slow worker, but I'm going to try and get this done in a week or two. I am kind of scratching my head thinking about how to design the robot.

    When I was planning the pose for the foreground character, I sketched out the girl and had her legs kind of going "scorpion style" over her head. That pose seemed familiar to something I'd seen before, and realized that @Braden-Hallett used it in one of his pieces recently. I tried to change it up, so as not to copy. Now I feel like maybe the whole concept seems familiar, and maybe I'm subconsciously copying it as well? Do you ever get this feeling? Of course similar concepts and poses are utilized by different artists all the time, but it feels weird.

    As always, I'm open to feedback.

    Merry go round.png



  • @TessaW Yeah, I have that feeling more often than I'd like! Whenever I come up with a good story, my self doubt kicks in pretty much immediately ๐Ÿ˜… I'm like "Wait, did I come up with that all by myself or is my subconscious tricking me?"

    I really like the concept and the composition! The gestures of the characters look on-point. I think most of us are struggling with designing the robot and giving it character and we're banking on our concept more than the character designing.


  • Moderator

    This is a good idea. I hope you finish it. ๐Ÿ‘



  • @Neha-Rawat Thanks for commiserating with me! ๐Ÿ˜Š While I don't wish these feelings on anyone, I'm glad I'm not the only one. ๐Ÿ˜…

    @burvantill Thank you for the encouragement. โ˜บ



  • I played with some colors:

    Merry go round color test.png


  • SVS OG

    I like your concept, and your tropical environment and colors (which even the sky reflects!). I just might make Lisa (I'm thinking that's Lisa in the foreground) a little more contrasty somehow so that she shows up enough.The face plant is hilarious, even if it must be painful!



  • Hi @TessaW, this is such a great camera angle! Iโ€™m guessing Lisa is in foreground with face plant?


  • SVS OG

    @TessaW something similar happened to me when I was young but it involved a swing. My friend was pushing me really hard and I was swinging very high. I got scared and jumped off but I was launched forward by the momentum of the swing and I face planted on the ground. It left a huge scar on my cheek. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚



  • @TessaW said in April WIP. Merry-go-round gone wrong + pose theft?:

    @Braden-Hallett used it in one of his pieces recently. I tried to change it up, so as not to copy

    Considering that there's a 99.99999999% chance that I copied that pose from some source I'd seen in the past (calvin and hobbes, bone, bugs bunny, etc) or even some newer source that I'm not remembering, I say you should use whatever pose you want for maximum impact! Copy! Please! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Heck, find the picture you're thinking of (was it the inktober pug rider?) copy it into your composition and trace!

    Now I feel like maybe the whole concept seems familiar, and maybe I'm subconsciously copying it as well?

    The more I listen to pros describe the process the more I realize that the best designers aren't original, they're just really good at researching and combining concepts that they like. I guess what I'm saying is that instead of SUBconsciously copying they copy conscientiously, lol.

    I think the rapidly spinning merry go round flinging kids off has absolutely been used many times. And that's fine.

    I rather like the pose for the face plant you've got ๐Ÿ™‚ It's got some serious impact going on. Lookin' forward to seeing more!



  • Itโ€™s a fast read on the story so thatโ€™s great! Also I love the face plant too ๐Ÿ˜†



  • @LauraA Thank you! I will keep an eye on those values.

    @Jeremy-Ross Yes, I was thinking she's probably Lisa. I'm also thinking about making the girl in the yellow at the opening of the fence into Lisa and making her look more like an inventor with a toolbox and stuff. What do you think?

    @Nyrryl-Cadiz Oh no! Yikes! That's awful! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I think we all probably have some scars due to childhood shenanigans. I know I do! ๐Ÿ˜

    @Braden-Hallett Haha, thanks. Really good points. I guess I was feeling a little weird because it's such a distinctive pose and angle and because of our proximity due to the forums. I'm glad you like the current pose.

    @Coley Thank you so much! I'm glad it's a fast read. Sometimes you don't know if other people can understand what you're trying to show!



  • Hi @TessaW, personally, I like the foreground girl being Lisa. What if you put a screwdriver or a remote control in her hand with toggle jammed on fastest speed? Iโ€™m sure the final piece will be incredible, as always!



  • @Jeremy-Ross That's a really good idea, thanks!



  • All art students begin by copying old masters. Everyone "copies" or are influenced by artists that came before us... or rather do not copy but steel like a pro ๐Ÿ™‚ A couple of years ago I was in a seminar held by a writer Jymn Magon who wrote episodes for animated TV series like Ducktales... I think... He said that all stories have already been told and that what makes your story different is the character who's story it is. Same thing with illustration. All pictures have been created but what makes your picture unique is the story and the characters and I suppose your personal style.



  • @TessaW said in April WIP. Merry-go-round gone wrong + pose theft?:

    I'm glad you like the current pose.

    The mound of dirt gathered in front of the sliding girl is a nice touch ๐Ÿ˜ƒ



  • @hakepe Thank you! Really great points. Now I've got the DuckTales song stuck in my head. ๐Ÿ˜

    @Braden-Hallett Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚



  • Ok guys. I've added a remote as suggested by @Jeremy-Ross Top image, I've made it so it looks like it got flung off of the merry-go-round and got stuck in the dirt. Bottom image, it's in Lisa's hand. I'm not quite sure if I've nailed the positioning of her arm/hand as of yet.

    What do you think of the remote addition, and do either of these work? Is one better than the other?

    Merry go round remotes.png


  • Moderator

    @TessaW I like the top one. ๐Ÿ™‚



  • Hi @TessaW, I like the top one too as suggested by @burvantill. The bottom one is nice too but might be better if the remote was closer to the camera view. Definitely like the addition of the remote!



  • Here's an update of where I'm at. I still need to work on some rendering. I tried a different placement of the remote and am liking it more than my other two options.

    Do you guys have any thoughts on how it's working over all? Sometimes I add too many elements. Are they getting out of control?

    What do you guys think of the robot? It just has two arms, but I was trying to convey that the main body of it was spinning. I don't think I've quite pulled it off. Should I just leave out the extra arms or leave them in?

    Merry-go-round Progress.png



  • @TessaW I love it! I think it's so fun. The kid flying over us looks amazing. I think the amount of detail makes the image really fun to explore. The only things I would mention to you:

    I don't think you need that background tree. There is so much contrast between the darker green and pink that i look at that first. Picturing it without the tree makes the robot a better emphasis. There used to be stuff hanging in it, but with what you've got here (just the one pair of legs) I think you can get rid of it completely, imo.

    The other thing is that I had to look for the remote! It was easier for me to read when it was her hand. I already knew about the remote so I wonder if that's just a sign of how bad I am at seeing what's right in front of me lately. ๐Ÿ˜ž So take that one with a grain of salt.

    The red flowers are adorable and so is the flower the robot is wearing, but the colors and the detail don't lead me around the image in the right order as easily as I'd like. I think it might be better to desaturate color everywhere except the obvious stuff - the red button she didn't push to stop the robot, etc.


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