This illustration, while trying to evoke a feeling of sympathy from the audience, and trying to display an emotion of sadness/depression/remorse, does so in an unfortunately cliche way. While the use of high to low contrast works for the intended piece, the pose of the woman in front is too simple to understand, and the dripping paint technique, furthers this feeling of similarity to other pieces. As well the inclusion of the book pages in the back is reminiscent of the numerous paintings done on newspaper. I believe what would set this piece apart from others, and get the message across in a less obvious way would be subtlety. What I would change about this would be to show the expression through the eyes in a very minimal way in which you can tell it is not a straight portrait of someones likeness, but that there is a slight feeling of emotion that would contrast with the dark background as to express that something does not sit easy with the viewer. Another thing I would change is that if there had to be text in this piece, is to juxtapose or include it in a different way, possibly playing around with scale, or maybe overlaying a layer of gesso on the paper so they are barely visible and then begin the painting so the viewer upon closer inspection of the piece could notice that it was not just a white washed background.