Illustrated Silhouette

Would love any feedback!

I dig it, except for one thing. The sailboat is the center focal point, but all the detail is in the tree. Up the game on the sailboat.

Actually, what happens if you remove the sailboat?

Yes! The sailboat is superfluous. I’d also consider trying it closer to the horizon at a greater distance (smaller size). the other thing I’d do is vary the bird shapes more; the copy/paste is too obvious. Add some hints of head and tail.

To me, this is a pretty good example of inadvertently creating separate focal points that detract from the cohesiveness of the overall composition.

First, I see the sailboat since it’s so prominent, then I’m distracted by the complexity of the tree, then my attention shifts back to the boat and up to the birds. Since my eyes have bounced around from one element to the next, I begin looking for other things and I find the almost-hidden person sitting on the bench at the bottom.

This hierarchical arrangement can be used intentionally in a composition, but I don’t think it was here. Instead, I suspect it was just a matter of adding spaced-out foreground elements to a nice background since the background looked empty without them.

In another kind of composition, like a brochure layout, a hierarchical arrangement of elements can be used to sequentially engage the reader. For example, a person casually reads an engaging headline, then notices an interesting photo which prompts her to read the cutline, which prompts her to actually begin reading the copy.

In your sunset illustration, however, I doubt this hierarchy of sequential focal points was intentional. Instead, in an illustration, it’s typically preferable for the viewer to see the entirety of the composition before seeing the details within the illustration.

Aside from all that, there are something very nice things about the illustration. I love the sky, the water, the colors and the peaceful emotional quality it has. It makes me wish I could sit on that beach and watch the sun go down.


Thanks a lot for all the feedbacks. I really appreciate them.
I felt the tree is taking most of the attention. I will try making the sailboat smaller and place it further away (or even remove it).
Adding hints of head and tail to the birds is a good idea too.

My main intention to create this was to print it on a canvas. It is mostly like an art on the wall.

Gonna repeat, you have a really good representation of a shore scene, but with a boat drawn in the manner of a 5 year old. Do better. Find a good reference for what a boat under sail really looks like.

Hint, this one ain’t seaworthy… :wink:

©2020 Graphic Design Forum | Contact | Legal | Twitter | Facebook