This is a very organized image, the panels helping to create a very set in stone transition from one part of the action to the next. Organization can be good for the eye, it gives a defined set of directions to follow in understanding the image. But it can also limit creativity and freedom. This image gives a sense of anticipation, as there is no direct action but is instead a build up to another image. The fact that you have a set of events, a story to tell with your image is always something I look for - although maybe not always as literal as this.
Since you have everything blocked out, weight balance in the overall sense is fairly even, since there is something relevant happening in every panel. For focus, again, blocks do help that to an extent. My only suggestion there would be to perhaps make the subject of your capture more prominent, maybe zooming in more on it for the last panel, as the pokemon is occupying maybe 10% of the whole image. And don’t limit your story by telling it with words, let your images speak for themselves once in a while. As the saying goes, a picture is worth 1000 words.
Detail - one thing immediately popped out when I started truly looking at the image. Last panel, you have Feebas looking up at the pier. The problem lies in the boards making up the pier being very thin, and laid lengthwise. Most all piers would be made of larger boards, and be laid widthwise. Especially since you don't show any support structure to hold said long thin boards up, it must be a physics defying pier. It is especially odd, since the panel above shows a much more reinforced pier. Consistency between panels in an image like this is key, especially if you are going for something as high ranked as a demanding.
Ill throw this in here too, when I zoomed in to the image I saw a lot of rougher edges, where the lines perhaps weren’t clean in scanning or drawing (whichever it is you do.) Its always a good idea to make sure the image is smooth, especially in very contrasting images like this.
Color and Shading
Here’s one area where you fell rather flat. The lack of color doesn’t hurt the image, but there is next to no shading. Everything is white, which gives no real sense of shape, form, or reality. The only shading I see is in the second panel, at the back of the person’s head and hair. For anything above easiest we usually expect some amount of shading, for something this high level, everything in the scene should receive some attention. There’s all kinds of light playing in this scene, both from the sun shining down to water reflections, caustics for the underwater scene, and other areas of brightness. By that same token, you would have areas of darkness, like Feebas’ belly as well as the pier support poles perhaps getting darker as they go down.
Something that goes in both shading and detail would be the last panel. In it, I feel like something should be showing through the water, even a ghost of a pole or two feet to show that there is something besides an empty pier above the surface. The lack of underwater distortion also seems a bit odd given the location of the image, the pier lines would not be that sharp and straight if you looked up through non-motionless water.
In a pokemon as high ranking as Feebas, there needs to be a lot more in this category.
Despite a limited amount of shading and color, you did manage to add enough texture to show a little variation between materials. Most notably would be the wood poles, the small indents showing the rough wood to a certain degree. The hair also has a few light lines to show a fibrous material. Theres plenty to improve on here too. Wood, water, clothing and body parts all have different textures, colors, appearances, ways the light will bounce off them to make each an individual in and of itself. Always make sure to add as much texture as you can to separate everything from each other.
Feebas is a little chubby from that low angle, he but I guess that plays right into the ugly duckling scenario. Due to lack of color or much shading its hard to tell exactly what shape or size it is in the image. You have most of the main parts right from what I can see, the fins and tail having enough detail to be recognizable immediately and having a decent amount of detail. I like that the tail is more spread out the way you drew it, a combination of perspective as well as the reality of water separating the thick strands into more separate entities. Stuff like that is what I like to see more of the higher the ranking is.
The environment is more or less what you expect from a story about fishing, the tried and true ocean pier scenario. There's obviously nothing wrong with using it, but adding in more to enhance the reader’s understanding is always what you want. How long is the pier, what surrounds it in the distance, things like that to spice up an otherwise flat locale and give the story depth when it comes to the where.
Since you used more than the traditional 1 image perspective, theres some good that comes from it. The reader gets to see different angles of the subjects present in the image, which can truly enhance the image with correct shading and color to define the elements presented. The perspective I like the best is in the last panel, for obvious reasons. It gives a more interesting view than what you normally see when fishing, a blue-grey expanse of rippling water occasionally touched by some surface imperfection or reflection. So an angle such as this is something good to utilize in images, especially comics.
Creativity - you added some good elements to your image, but its still very much what you would normally expect from an image relating to a water type pokemon. Don’t be afraid to jump outside your comfort zone, make up something completely amazing and maybe even unrelated to water. THe more interesting you make it , the more powerful the image/message. As far as effort goes, I do see the effort, but i know you can be capable of more with this level of talent already showing.
I pointed out a lot of things in their relevant sections, but I want to say this: Don’t stop making art, there’s definitely talent here. You draw a whole lot better than I can, and I’m sure with more practice and effort you could catch almost anything on here just by drawing.
The grade is so harsh purely because of the rank of the pokemon. The higher the level, the more critical we have to be.