TFA Arcee Painting

After finishing the rough draft for the Final Year Project, I decide to take a rest for while, During the time a tumblr request based on a colour meme was sent to me, and so I thought I could try finish it today.

While I plan it to be a cell-shaded sketch, circumstances and my reluctance of drawing precise lines due to fear of strain made the project snowball into a full-blown digital painting. This is the first time I drew a proper TF digital painting.


First I drew some sketches to decide which pose to draw. Then once I finished the draft, I use the brush tool, the lasso tool, and fill tool to decide the colour key of the character. It took me a while to figure out the suitable background colour.

First sketch
Final Draft
Basic Colour Keys

Then I move to the lighting, first by shading. Realizing the potential of lighting, I opt for a chiaoroscuro method, where the part further away from the lighting source are in the darkest colour. Insofar, my tactic is pretty much refine one part until it looks perfect, before moving on to the next one. I go for her legs, then the head, then the sword (which I drew the base colour first, then the highlight and the translucent part from the body behind), and finally the back kibble.

Leg finished and most colour key completed
Head refined + base colours for sword

I wouldn’t say it’s perfect, seeing I still have a long way go to create the most compelling lighting and composition, not to mention how to make the sword look appealing and more convincing. Still, I am surprised by the result, given that this is the first digital painting I had attempted ever since the boat illustration, along that most of the drawings I made insofar are linearts. I could only thank the previous life drawings lessons for giving me an experience to know how to draw lighting.

Perhaps once I had completed the animation project, I can try more experiments in digital painting with OCs or TF characters. Maybe I could try improving my digital painting skills after graduation (if I could, of course).

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