A week ago, I began brainstorming for future TF Femme Zine pieces, since I planned to create more TF entries with a clear theme.
During that time I had make a lot of research in posters and artworks alike. For Strika, a character I find both cool and fascinating due to her nonstandard design and role as a femme character, I decide to pick on the Soviet theme, since a.)she had a Russian accent, and b.) according to her creator Derrick Wyatt in Allspark Almanac, “his specific inspiration for Animated Strika was a stocky Russian woman wearing a babushka and lipstick”
Since I’m still not entirely familiar with posters or graphic design in general, I collected several posters from internet and gave a quick scan on the composition and colouring many times. At the same time I drew many thumbnails to figure out the ideal composition for the piece.
Ultimately the idea for the Strika piece came first, when inspiration struck from wartime posters (where the soldiers charged before the giant version of their national figure, such as Lenin / Stalin / Mother Russia).
From the thumbnails, I figured out a sketch where TFA Strika points at somewhere, signalling her troops to charge. Her smaller version of troops (taken form of Team Chaar members) took charge under her command. I even planned a red + yellow striped background, since I thought that Red + Yellow = stereotypically Soviet.
Yesterday I decided to finish the piece once and for all. First I inked it, then I cleaned it up in Photoshop. I scanned three version of the sketch, the final one having the stripes added on the sketch. However, I eventually realized the stripes did not achieve the desired composition, and so I chose the second sketch.
Colouring did not prove as easy as I thought, since as mentioned before, poster design is still not within my comfort zone. I made several attempts in colouring, and ultimately I had to do several adjustments and layers (along with white outlines) to make sure the piece looks presentable. The process took me 6 hours to complete, and has been proven to be one of the most challenging pieces I had completed insofar
Also the background does not seem soviet-y as I wished. Most likely it’s due to the black lines on the red / yellow striped background. I guess I’m pretty done with the piece.
Since my carpal tunnel is acting up due to my constant thumbnail / doodle sketching, I decide to take a rest for a while. Perhaps if permitted, I would draw at least 2 more of the future TF entries for the fanzine. I will try to take care of my hand until then