So yesterday, I had received three RQs of a tumblr meme, and the second one involve TFA Ratchet and Arcee have different expressions, C4 (mischievous looking) and A4 (surprise) respectively.
For some reason, I felt particularly ambitious despite of my hand fatigue, so I decide to add gestures in addition of the expressions. When I look at the RQ, I was reminded of “Party Ambulance Ratchet” and being inspired, I thought of the idea of young Ratchet inviting an equally young Arcee to dance.
Now the idea requires more reference than I usually do. For one, the character design (particularly Ratchet in his younger, Cybertronian mode). I had to look at several screenshots from “Thrill of the Hunt” and “Transwarped” for reference, and even then there are not much full body shots of him, making it tricky to draw his legs accurately.
Another thing to consider is the poses. I plan to have Ratchet bend over and offer an arm for Arcee, with her standing by looking surprised. Since I rarely did some life drawing and pose ref sketching, I had to do the pose several times and drew some reference sketch to get the pose right. Even then I had to exaggerate some parts to make the pose more expressive.
And here is the trickiest part: to mix both the character design and the pose together, to look expressive without looking too off-model. Now I noticed some fan artists drew things on model in risk of a static image, and some artists forgo on-model drawing to create a more expressive drawing. Since I’m neither good in either of these things, I could only draw some sketches to balance both aspects. For better inspiration, I looked at some Ratchet sketches drawn by a TF fan artist, tiggs-a doodle, who is very good in bending model to make the characters more expressive.
Finally, I drew some sketches to consolidate the expressions and pose required for the sketch, as if I am rehearsing for a play. After I was ready, I proceed to finish the pencil sketch.
Finishing the pencil sketch took me around an hour. I start off with Ratchet’s pose, first with the shape, then I fixed the head shape and the expressions. Once I finished Ratchet’s sketch, pose and design, I proceed to Arcee’s one.
Initially I plan to have her standing on two legs, but the pose seem a bit boring and not able to convey her surprise fully. Once I noticed that, I redrew her pose, this time with her lifting a leg, both to show surprise and to correspond with Ratchet’s pose.
As I finished the pencil sketch, I proceed to ink them, one at a time. As usual, 0.1 pen, a brush epn and a 0.5 pen, before colouring the optics in blue for good measure.
Finally, I tried to scan the artwork, but for some reason the upper part seem blurry. After trying several times, I cut the artwork out from the sketchbook and use a magazine for base. It worked well.
Since I had done my job, I may draw the third RQ tomorrow to let my hand rest. Now that I look at it, I thought maybe I could draw some corresponding sketches of TFA Ratchet and Arcee dancing, but that means I have to research for more dancing poses, and I guess I will postpone it until the end of 2016 / Graduation Thesis.