I love drawing people and animals, and that is what is usually commissioned from me; however this drawing was a special treat for me, because I had the opportunity to include a beach scene with cliffs in the distance.
Some of the things which make a drawing special, as opposed to a photograph, are the subtle changes that can be made to improve the overall feeling that the picture presents. In this drawing, of course, the obvious change is the elimination of the second girl in the background; but there are several others, less apparent.
To make her daughter more of the focal point, I drew her larger than she appeared in the photograph. That's like zooming in on the main subject, while leaving the background in place. In order to balance the drawing, the girl was raised from the bottom of the frame and placed off center, using the cliffs in the background to achieve overall balance. (You might note that in the photo her right foot was cropped, so I had to "make one up".)
The girls head was placed against a background of a very light, cloudy sky, in order to bring out her features, and the tone of the overall picture was lightened, to give it a brighter, more cheerful feeling.
Seascapes present a unique set of challenges to an artist. Ocean waves and foam on a beach are beautiful in real life, and the artist must strive to capture that same mood for the illustration. The waves need to be dark in some areas, showing the depth of the ocean and lighter in other areas, showing the reflection from the sun above. The briny foam requires random patterns of the sandy beach, underlying the pure white foam. Each hole area in the foam requires a slight shadow on one edge and bright white on the other edge. This gives each area depth and makes it more obvious that the "white foam" is on top of the brown sand.