My first painting WIP on these forums was a wonderful introduction to conceptart.org. Javier especially went above and beyond the call of duty in his paintovers, and I came away a better artist than before. A huge thanks for the privilege of being on this forum.
There may be a few things to tidy up with the previous image, but I thought I'd go ahead and get the ball rolling on the next one in the story. This stage is purely compositional, so hold off on anatomy and perspective critiques just yet. Let me describe a little of what I'm going for.
The line of the story is the juggler's challenge to the bandits:
You bandits, that crown is not yours on your head
and him you should serve you have captured instead!
I give you fair warning: release him right now
or I'll have to do it myself (with a bow)
I have in mind a worm's eye view with two point perspective. The juggler will be facing the bandits, but hopefully in a pose where we can see some of his face and not just his backside. He'll be pointing accusingly at the leader (or should he be pointing at the king?) with one hand, and doing a one-handed juggle of three balls in the other hand. The bandits will be doing any number of banditory activities - counting money, drinking ale, fighting amongst themselves, cleaning their teeth with their daggers - all looking quite annoyed at being interrupted. The leader will be seated pretending to be a king, though the ill fit of the robes and crown and the general unkingliness of his demeanor should keep this from fooling the viewer. The king will be swinging from a rope ("tied atop a great tree as a jest" - as the narrative goes) in his under-tunic - furious and kicking. I don't want him so high that his fall will injure him when he's (*SPOILER ALERT*) later cut down by the juggler using the bandit's own knives.
As far as focus goes, I want the eye to move between the juggler's face to the bandit leader and his stolen crown, to the captive king. I have in mind to perhaps have the king's own castle off in the distance somewhere - symbolizing his strength and help being out of reach - but don't quite know where to fit that in yet. Since the juggler isn't under the shade of the tree yet, I can get a nice value contrast.
Well, that's the concept. Any thoughts on the value and composition?
EDIT: Added image for thread thumbnail