Mobile Game Assets - Loading Screen Illustration

A small duo working on a mobile sports game came to me asking for illustration work on a loading screen. The main idea was to have it split down the center with two separate styles, one based on soccer and the other more hockey-oriented.

Went through several iterations, some progress shown below:

A really rough grayscale sketch in Photoshop just to figure out the placement of all of the elements and composition.

Improvements made here, they wanted the field curved downward more, a smaller plain white ball, and I worked out more details on the center logo.

Moving into color in Illustrator. They didn't want the  scoreboard look of the "GOAL" in the logo so I made all of the letters look the same throughout.

The clients felt the previous version was lacking in details, so the crowd was redone and more shading was added throughout the image in the final version.

Unfortunately, the final pass still didn't quite have the amount of detail they expected. When you're paying an artist to do work for you, the end result should be no less than stellar, and after this I was more aware of my own technical shortcomings. I'll do whatever I can to make sure that my clients get precisely what they were looking for, and that I don't fall short again in future situations.