Here is a piece I just finished for Cory Godbey's The Art of Personal Work class. I will be attending Spectrum Fantasy Art Live this year, so my goal is to create some more fantasy illustrations to sell there. I really need to speed up my pace in creating personal pieces, however.
Usually the main characters in my illustrations are women, so I wanted to create an interesting male character. I liked the idea of a man selling fantasy creatures, and my first sketches were of a man selling tiny pet dragons.
However, I already have several dragon drawings, so I changed him to a seller of pixies instead. I wanted him to carry his wares on his back, like the chimney-sweep in Mary Poppins.
A guy selling pixies is interesting enough, but I wanted more storytelling. In all my illustrations I try to make them look like a moment in a bigger story, not just a pretty scene. I added in the girl character, who is obviously pining over a pixie of her own. Immediately there is more interest and interaction in the scene.
I realized that I could add even more storytelling by making the girl appear poor - she wants a pixie, but we can tell that she probably can't afford one. It adds conflict, and it (hopefully) makes viewers wonder why the girl wants a pixie and how she's going to get it.
I struggled a bit with the characters' poses, and I even had to break out some perspective grids in order to get the background right. My husband helped a lot, letting me take reference photos of him posing as the pixie seller when I couldn't get the guy's face right. Thank you Jasson! Thank you advanced perspective classes!