@Leontine-Gaasenbeek oh wow - that is so beautiful! I love it! Thanks for sharing it! No, I never heard of her before. Really cool! And thanks for the advice on method - I am very new to digital so I am always trying to learn how best to use the medium. Usually I just paint over what ever is there since I am used to oils and so that's my goto method - but I will try your method if I get stuck!
Ok - so sort of admitting defeat on this one and sort of forging ahead. The more I looked at it and the more feedback I got, it became clear that there were so many things I had to change to tell the narrative I was going for, that I might as well just paint it again. But, I really wasn't willing to scrap 100 hours of work to start over and I have had very little success in the past once I start repainting the figure and taking and adding things in the composition and then having to change the size of the image to compensate for the changes of comp. The last painting I tried that on, I got well over 300 hours in and am still not happy with it.
So, I have been wracking my brain where I want to go from here - and I decided that I wanted to find a way to make the image work visually with as much of the present painting 'intact' as I could and I was willing to let the narrative shift if it made the painting read better. So, this is what I came up with: I've changed her tail to have a more elegant curve as suggested. I've removed the shark behind her to make her look less doomed, I've added an eel protector. And I have committed to the red being actual blood instead of poor represented magic. Also, I've widened the canvas to give me room to try and align the line of sight a little better between the shark and the girl. Many of the changes and improvements I have made (other than the eel) have come from everyone's wonderful suggestions on here and I am really grateful to everyone. It really helped give me the information I needed to make a decision on what to do with this and how to. So - hopefully this reads better, even if not true to the original narrative:
also - I love painting eels