Here my progress in drawing a background. I really love setdesigns, and wish to get better at it. But I have to make use of cheap trickery to make my work look like anything at all.
My initial sketch. A road through a landscape…in case you can’t read my sketch.
Then the actual line-art. I just fleshed out my sketch. Adding detail, changing horizons. Playing god in my own little make believe world.
Then the colorflats. Well, I put some degree of color variation in them. Some speckles and the occasional shadow. And then the cheap tricks start.
I put a lightsource in the scene itself. The sun. Next to that a gradient, red. From top to bottom.
And then I put in two dark parts at the top and bottom, just to fake some sort of panoramic view.
My work isn’t as good as other backgroundartists….hell. I’m just an amateur. I want to make the backgrounds to be more cinematic. No blackoutlines for example. I’ll put up more.
So as said: more updates in 2016. Above is a new version of Cat. A friend of S8i. A girl who hangs around a lot with this guy. Same girl by the way. A couple of weeks ago I looked at Thomas Romain’s work in Oban Star Racers. And decided to add the braces as an homage, just like Molly. As I am doing currently with S8i; I should also make some sort of modelsheet for this character. I don’t really have a lot of background information on Cat yet. And I think that’s a good thing. The less I know, the more she can remain a bit of a mistery. I don’t know where she comes from, who her parents are or what her goal is. I only know she’s been in ‘jail’.
Designing a character is in my case a very slow process. It evolves during the entire time I work on the project.
I make a first doodle, and keep changing it bit by bit untill I like the final product. Except I’m almost never completely satisfied with the final design…and thus am never finished.
Finding the character is very important for designing an outfit or wardrobe. Would my protagonist wear shorts? Does she wear an amulet she recovered in an ancient temple. Does he have a tattoo of a deceased loved one? Would this character ever wear green clothes?
Not all my designs are approved. The upper one is just silly! Why would she run around in large boots, have inward feet and no pants!? Okay, it just looks kinda sexy (?). But it’s not really efficient.
With S8i I started out with a doodle. A woman thief for hire. So her profession indicates she wears a suit in which it’s easy to sneak into places. Running shoes to get away. Those are the overall elements. But what about the details? In my opinion it’s those details which make the character come to life. A bracelet. Different color shoelaces. Some homemade adjustments? Well to be honest. Those elements come when thinking of the stories…I can think of a couple of these attributes. But they seem a little bit forced.The character model itself is another point of interest. In which pose should I put her. Is it form over function? Or the other way around? Does she have a strong stance? Or a strong body?I chose a strong stance and a lean athletic body…but not strong. I hoped to achieve a feel in which S8i is known for her wit. And not brute force. She would lose in almost any physical fight.
Her first line-up. These are the first general outfits. As you can see there is not much of an overall look yet. Not a defining color or design element which returns in every outfit. I decided to redo this line-up simply because I thought it’s too sketchy. Sketchy is good. Don’t get me wrong. But this one is just sloppy. I wanted a little more clarity.Next stop is her body. Like I said, I didn’t want her to look strong.
So I changed her shoulders. I noticed them only after I drew the standard outfit. She looked too strong.
After tweaking I still was unsatisfied with the result. So I looked at it from a different angle: copy image and flip horizontally. Only keeping the outer lines and started drawing her back. Immediately some of the flaws became apparent.Here my first version of her back, next to it for comparison, a tweaked version.
I will probably tweak it and tweak overan over again. And then decide to fully redo the drawing. This is the way I learn how to draw, and hopefully increase my skills.Next step is to take one of these designs and make 3 or five different versions of it. That way I can see which one really works best.
To be continued
As a newyears resolution I decided to update my blog more often. I’m not sure if anybody reads this stuff. Either way, for every update I need to have something to show, so I need some new stuff. And thus is my goal to draw a lot more in 2016.
I like to keep my work nice and sketchy. Hope you enjoy.