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 she had a Russian accent, and 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 I realized I could gain inspiration from wartime posters where the soldiers charged before the giant version of their national figure (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