After taking some rest and continuing shading despite the fact my hands haven’t fully recovered, I had finally completed the drawing. Good to see it finished.
Before the shading, I made some pencil sketches, so to pinpoint which area needs crosshatching and which area doesn’t. Of course, I took some liberties in some areas, such as Shockwave’s chassis. However, insofar, the pencil draft does help me in terms of a better planning on shading.
(I only submitted the line art and not the final sketch, but that’s because both of my hands are quite numb and a bit sore from overtaxing. I may draw the shading later once my hands are better)
Previously, most of my TFA sketch are solo character portraits, and and the only duo character sketches I did insofar are the OP+RC one and the Bliz+Bee one. Learning the lesson from the previous sketch, I decided to draw another duo sketch, this time with preliminary sketches and drafts in composition and character references.
My choice is TFA Shockwave and Blackarachnia enjoying science together. Inspired by the fact they collaborated in science experiments in the Allspark Almanac, and some of the headcanons post I read in tumblr, I am pretty interested in the duo, particularly how both can potentially compliment each other in terms of experience and respect.
About the Preliminary sketches, one of the most challenging things is deciding the poses and composition of both characters, particularly when it comes to characters I am not familiar to. In this case, it is Shockwave. Because of this, I had drew several reference sketches of the character, particularly the head, claws and torso. Of course, the most challenging thing to draw is his claws, consider how different the structure they are compared to the human-like hands of other TFA characters.
Afterwards, I proceed to draw a pencil draft, complete with the grid lines to determine the composition. Of course, from get go, I made a mistake of sketching too hard, as the pencil sketch are already heavy even though it is not finished. It seemed to be my habit to draw things too hard and result in messier sketches and worn down pencils.
In the final act, I proceed to ink the line art. I noticed that whether it’s traditional art or digital art, I tend to use more wrist strength than necessary, in order to increase my precision in line drawing. This proved problematic, as it may have partly contributed to my currently numb wrists. Of course, I may refrain from drawing detailed drawings frequently. Hope my wrists would recover.
Seeing how my TFA sketches are well received, I decided to continue by choosing my next subject matter: Red Alert.
That said, the process only revealed my slapdash carelessness from the beginning, starting from pencil sketch. While I had planned both the form and shading in earlier sketches, I only drew the basic forms in the paper, all without preliminary sketches and shading. As a result, without earlier planning, the shading seem slapdash and clumsy looking.
Aside from that, I realised that whether I use the 0.05 pen, it will always end up depleted. As a result, the shading can seem thin at times. Perhaps I should let the pen rest for a while before proceeding to shade the drawing.
Still, the experience would help remind me to be more careful in composition and shading. Perhaps drawing multiple sketches and reference sketches for both style and characters would help me create more well-done drawings.
Seeing how I wanted to see another TFA artwork, and how I haven’t drew any female Cybertronians for a while, I decided to give it a try and draw a portrait of BA. Needless to say, I have forfeited careful planning of anatomy and proportions in favor of finishing the product.
Compared to the previous pics I drew before, the BA portrait has more black parts than I envisioned. Because of this, I took more care in the layers and the direction of shading.
(Now think about it, I have drew almost no reference sketches and all finished traditional art during this month. Perhaps I should think of a schedule to fit both reference sketching and traditional art sketching?)
(Sorry for the belated post. It’s supposed to be up here yesterday, but I have a sore throat starting last night)
Seeing how the OP portrait is a success, I decided to expand the subject and draw another portrait based on a similar style: TFA Bumblebee.
Of course I did plan to draw Bumblebee in a close up like the OP piece. However, as far as I know, Bumblebee is an incredibly expressive chatacter, and a close up would limit the gestures. So I decided to redraw the sketch and change it to mid-shot. Regrettably, the original sketch is not recorded.
Just like with the OP portrait, I finished the outlines, both fine and thick, before proceeding to ink the black parts. Compared to OP, BB has more black parts, and therefore, the filling part would require more effort from the pens. Still, compared to OP’s black parts (drawn with a brush pen for efficiency and convenience), BB’s black parts are filled with 0.5 and 0.1 pens for better outlook.
Of course, I did not look at Chris Riddell’s illustrations entirely when drawing the portrait. Once I looked at it however, I realized that I had misjudged how Chris Riddell drew the shading. I used to think he added many lines and crosshatching to add the layer of texture, but through the rereading of his illustration, I realized how he only shades and crosshatches in areas that needed it (eg. an enclosed space, darker areas of an object, objects that are shown to be worn down by time), instead of just adding crosshatching in random areas. Those that did not need shading (eg. faces, upper part of the objects) were not shaded at all.
Because of this, the shading of Bumblebee seemed inconsistent and at times unnecessary. I had drew OP well, but that’s because it is a side view of a head, rather than a 3/4 view of a mid shot. Without much clear and careful planning in terms of 3-D form and weight, the portrait seemed less 3-dimensional in shading.
Still, the artwork looks passable, and at least I understand the necessity to think the objects as 3-D instead of flat, 2-D design. Once my sore throat is healed, I would consider drawing more of these portraits in different poses and compositions. Hopefully, I would get a hang out of drawing intricate shading.
So in reference of the previous sketches (TFA OP+Arcee, TFA Rodimus Smiling), I noticed that artworks with additional shading looked more layered and tangible compared to one’s with no shading at all. Due to the observation, and the reference for Chris Riddell’s richly textured and layered style, I decided to give it a try to an artwork, with the shading drawn in crosshatching.
Previously, I started the inking by drawing all the finer details and lines that required a 0.05 pen, before highlighting the artwork with thicker lines. This time, I want to switch the working order, by drawing the entire artwork, both the finer and thicker lines, before adding the details. That way, the first sketch would look defined before the finer details are added.
Of course, while I have looked at the illustrations of “The Sleeper and The Spindle” for reference of shading style, I mostly improvised the shading, drawing the lines mostly by sketching according to the mass of each components. While it looked good in most part, some part would feel less defined in the mass and shading, like the shading on the cheeks. Also, the reposition of lips in inking ends up making the character look more duck-faced than in the sketch.
Despite of this, the artwork is very valuable to me, particularly in the shading. I hope to draw more artworks in such style. Perhaps more studies in metallic and other texture references would help.
So seeing how SU characters are easier to draw (due to simpler design and less details), I decided to draw another SU character that gave me intense feelings: Centipeedle.
Of course, Centipeedle’s design is a little tricky, as her facial design is quite bird like, all with the beaks and such. As such, I drew some references sketches to learn drawing her face in different angles.
Then I begin drawing the pencil sketch. Once I began inking, I realized how my pencil sketch is not clear enough. The proportions are very off, and so is the pose (the right leg did not support her arms as it should have). Also, the hair inking part has lost the nuance of the pencil sketch. A shame, really.
Still, a valuable lesson. It’s nice to plan the sketch while considering the proportions and pose, and especially not in a state of fatigue.