Thursday, June 2, 2011


Remember these guys? Since I haven't done much with the characters since their initial designs, I decided some more illustration were in order. I picked Sobel first. Her sketch turned out to be a bit more of a challenge than I expected, but it was a very fun exercise and I learned something in doing it.

The first bit of trouble I ran into was the pose. Because I'm not an archer, I felt that going with a photo reference was a good idea. I wanted to get Sobel's position correct, and knew I'd get something wrong if I tried to draw from my head, or pose in front of a mirror. However, I picked a reference that wasn't too clear in some areas, and ended up paying for that. The face and right leg took the longest to adjust properly, balancing how the model was positioned against what looks correct. That's the "con" of the pose; the "pro" of course, is that it looks very dynamic. Another "pro" is that the model is wearing a sleeveless shirt, so the muscles are visible as the bow is being drawn. (Again, this is a case of photo being preferable to live reference; I am not that buff.)

Ernest helped me quite a bit. He's done about 500% more archery than I have (which is to say, any at all), and was able to give me some tips. One thing that I had completely neglected, initially, was a chest guard. I'd seen them before, but it never registered in my head what they were for. It's sort of ironic, though. In the initial design, I got some flak for not making Sobel's bust noticeable enough (under a chainmail shirt, I might add), so I gave her a bit more definition; this time, I actually scaled it back a little, because the chest guard would compress her bust slightly.

I finished up the sketch with some greyscale shading and, again at Ernest's suggestion, some vegetation to ground her. I'm pretty pleased with this.

The second bit of work I did yesterday was more straightforward: a simple landscape. Since I'd just finished drawing Sobel, I thought I'd try to connect the landscape a bit, by giving it an English countryside sort of feel. Although I was able to paint the whole thing, it was a pain and a half to do so. My regular tablet has tilt functionality, and the one I'm using now does not. ...Which means I had to go back to my old, less efficient method of painting.

It didn't come out quite like I expected, but in the end, I think it came out pretty well. The sky (done with watercolor tools in Painter) and the river are what I'm most pleased with.

And I still can't wait until my tablet is repaired.


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