One futuristic soldier forcefully lifting another intotheair

The above is an illustration I made with the original intention of putting it on a t-shirt with the usage of a special type of iron-on paper that can be inserted in one’s printer. However, Several other people told me the image is too complicated (as in too much going on) to be very suitable for a t-shirt. Another thing I’ve been told is that I need a logo or bit of text to explain what’s going on in the scene, or at least to allude to what the characters pertain to. I’m not sure. I thought I would post it here because I have observed this community to be very good at giving constructive feedback.

Thoughts? Advice?

Edit: This was done in pen and ink and edited with the GIMP, btw.

Yep, cant really tell whats going on. The soldier doing the lifting has no weight , nothing to brace against for the weight he’s lifting. the inserts seem meaningless (i have no idea what the are) and his right arm is getting very lost in the soldier he’s lifting. The angle you have chosen, i feel, does not show the best of what is going on, it doesnt portray the size of the feat, or the speed, or action.

It was supposed to look ridiculously impossible in a terrifying sort of way, like an ant lifting up another bug twice its size, or superman lifting a bus with one arm or something. The inserts were supposed to dramatically emphasize various qualities of the scene (far upper left is the smaller soldier’s “scary” face mask visor, second left is a close up of the distressed lizard guy, bottom right shows the lizard guy’s feet actually being lifted off the ground). As for the angle, I had originally intended for it to be less “level”, as though the POV were on the ground and looking up at the smaller soldier’s back, but I couldn’t seem to get that to come out right so it just ended up being kind of -level-.

All things considered (your critique included) I don’t think I succeeded with many of my original intentions. <.<

Thanks for pointing the stuff out.

My problem is mainly that the lines are confusing. I don’t know exactly why, I would guess that everything is too vertical. At the lower part at first glance you can’t even tell where on soldier’s body ends an where the other one’s starts.
The same problem shows up where one’s head meets the other’s arm, the head at first look as if it was just a bump on the other soldier’s arm, as if it was part of it’s armor or something. Maybe shading would help with this even if it was only that you gave it some dark background or something. Maybe more, but I’m not that good at drawing, so I don’t know if it would help.

Do you think a colored version would help with this problem? I intend to remake the pic soon, just thought I’d ask.

maybe. I really don’t know. The problem is that I’m not good at drawing at all, so I only see what distracts me as a viewer but can’t really provide solutions. I think there is a concept in visual design that a picture should have lines that lead the eye to remain inside the image’s frame, yet to wonder around the whole image.
If i think of this, I would say that if the lifted soldier’s leg had horizontal lines instead of the present vertical ones (by designing his armor as horizontal bands for example) and the other soldier would have horizontal lines on his head would help. But I might be completely wrong, I’m just trying to think how this principle could be applied here, so feel free to ignore me.