hi David, the thumb of this work attracted me with its gorgeous colour tones, and the image is quite enchanting upclose too! Though the mountain is perhaps the more ‘done’ choice for the background, the story works nicely with it, and makes the robot seem even more magical as he’s then out of place in what first appears to be a fantasy painting with children.
Though having said that, it’s only because I read your description that I even realised there was a robot holding the map! i read it as the boy in green looking at a map with some strangely coloured pattern on it, and that the girl on the left was holding some sort of toy robot, which puzzled me even more! Once seen, the robot does look very good, but I think something needs to be done with the placement of the characters to make it more obvious he’s there, or the contrast or colouring on him needs to be increased. Or is there any way you could have some sort of platform the robot could be stood on (branch, hill, that sort of thing), reading the map while the children clamour round him?
Other than that, I love your painting style. People who can do this with Painter make me so envious!!