January has been a busy month. Between being a new year, starting new projects, spending a couple days recovering from a maybe-cold, and preparing my page on ko-fi (details on that, here), there has been a fair bit going on. Aside from the random-maybe-illness, it’s been full of many good things!
First Things First
While technically just before year-end, and therefore not completed in January, I noticed that I hadn’t shared my final digital work of 2019! Major oversight.
I’m normally not one to create fanart, and prefer to draw random or original characters. There’s really no reason to avoid it when inspiration calls, so I finally relented. Why not?
It’s time to let go of these silly rules for myself.
Sailor Moon was a huge obsession growing up. During the lunch break in grade five, my sister, Jenn, and I would race home aiming to arrive at 11:58am, just as Sailor Moon aired on YTV. It was 1995, and I was 10 years old while my sister was 8.
I sometimes wonder if my sister appreciated the show as much as I did. I was a kid with a strong personality, so I often pushed to get what I wanted. From being Player One on every video game, to having her join me as Raphael when I wanted to be Leonardo for Halloween, to watching the shows I wanted during that precious half-hour break for lunch.
I hope Jenn didn’t mind it all too much.
But here I am getting sidetracked.
I watched the show many times through as a child, in both English and the original Japanese (with subtitles). How the main character looked changed as the story progressed, and some of her superhero uniforms (transformations) were pretty fancy. The “Eternal” transformation, which is the look of her uniform featured here, is one of my favourite looks for the character.
Once I decided on the style, I began to plan the look of the final image. I wanted a frame, some flowers, and gems all around. What I saw in my head took some work to get onto the blank canvas, but the final result is pretty close to what I had in mind.
Over the course of the latter half of the month, I spent hours listening to an audiobook or music while drawing. (As an aside, have you heard of John Scalzi’s The Collapsing Empire? It is Awesome.) My goal was to try something new with shading and go with deliberate shadows and highlights, and avoid blending as I have with previous work. I want to attempt different styles and ways of creating to get a better idea of what I like and want to continue to refine.
Do you like the roses? I hope everyone else can appreciate the time and internal cursing that went into those petals. I sketched out a couple of them, and then copied, pasted, flipped, and mirrored them around the frame. And then, when it came to inking, drew each and every petal on those pretty little flowers.
I didn’t want it to be horribly obvious that the flowers were repeated, so I didn’t repeat them beyond the initial sketch. However, I think that, for this type of image it would have been fine if I had.
[Insert a pun about not repeating mistakes.]
2020 Update for real this time
One of the first things I promised my husband, who was boyfriend at the time, after we met was that I would give him a drawing of his Charr, Shadu. Charr are a cat-like species from the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), Guild Wars 2. It’s a game that we both used to play obsessively, and is how we met, so it seemed a fair thing to offer as a gift.
And then I didn’t do it.
It’s 2020 now. It has been 6 years since I made that promise. I, uh.. decided it was time.
Better late than never, right? That’s how that goes?
I used a screenshot as visual reference and reviewed that while drawing the character, taking care on the facial features and being more free with lines with the armor. This is my first time drawing Charr and wow do they have teeth everywhere. It did become easier to sort it all out once when I realized the face reminds me of the dragons of the Eastern dragons of folklore.
This may be the first time I have worked on armour, too… didn’t turn out too badly if I do say so myself.
Around the latter half of the month, this toonme art challenge began showing up on Instagram and Twitter. I thought it was silly, at first, but after seeing so much inspiring artwork I started to reconsider.
Here’s my attempt!
It’s a bit weird but I had fun with it. It was surprisingly tough, though! I had to remind myself that it was supposed to be quick, loose, and not take me a long time. I started over after spending about a half hour on it, and then tried the next day and completed it in about an hour.
I used ArtFlow Studio, and finished up in Photoshop as usual. It was nice to both start, and finish, a piece of art in the same day.
My current projects are a few personal pieces are are works-in-progress, that I’m waiting to share once they’re a bit futher along. I also have a commission on the go, which I’m excited about! That’s coming first, and I can’t wait to be able to deliver it.
In February I’ll be switching my Ko-fi account to “Gold” and opening up a few commission slots. If you’re interested, please keep a lookout! I’ll be updating here of course, when it goes live, but the best place to keep track will be on Ko-fi. (And you can follow me there without supporting/subscribing, though you’ll need to make an account.)
Thanks for coming along with me thus far. There’s much more to come!