Today, instead of spending time resting my hand or at least completing the post production of FYP (Which I am doing right now), I decide to test out digital painting with another TFA character, this time with beginning with a greyscale rather than palettes themselves.
I noticed that due to the muted palettes provided, the lighting of the previous painting seem uneven and not emphasised enough. Considering the idea, I decide to start another digital painting, with greyscale, since from what I see in some professional illustrators, greyscale is a more effective way to create a better atmosphere and lighting when compared to just colours.
I consider it a mere practice, so I chose a simple neutral pose of head-and-shoulders framing. I start with the basic gradient of lighting, then refine each parts with the shading. Like the previous painting, I made some parts darker to make them seem disappeared into the backgrounds.
Afterwards, I use the overlay to add colours. I choose the purplish-blue for the background colour, for it could contrast with the character’s yellow colour.
Now think about it, the colours may look too garish in contrast. But then again, I am still not good with colours, and I haven’t got any references for the colours. Maybe I would take care of the references and colours next time.
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.
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.
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).
So International Women’s Day is two days ago (in my country), and since I thought I want to participate, I decide to draw Chibis of TFA female characters to celebrate. Hope I wasn’t too late tho.
Originally I did plan to draw my favourite TFA characters in full body, but since I have limited time and effort, I can’t quite figure out the composition and the design. Later I thought I could just draw chibis in action poses, since it’s more economic than draw a full body sketch.
So today, I ended up feeling bummed out due to some events this afternoon, and when I tried to draw in-betweens for animation project, I realize I cannot draw them well in this state. So instead I decide to draw some vent art to get it out of my system.
Initially it’s just some random sketches of Cybertronians “crying”. In my headcanon, whenever a Cybertronian is under extreme emotions (eg. anger, sadness, fear, etc), bolts of plasma would be shot out from their optics and even their bodies, as to get the extra energy out to prevent overloading. It is partially inspired by how Tailgate from MTMTE “cry”.
But then I drew a scene. A self indulgent scene where TFA Megatron goes berserk to his enemies (the Quintessons from my AU), presumedly due to either frustration of progress or anger for his fallen comrades. That’s when I realized the pose and sketch itself holds too much potential to be ignored. And so I continued inking, putting more effort in inking the lines and the shading, along with the plasma around him. I have not done much research to the lightning patterns, so it may not look too convincing. Also since I go for quick sketch nowadays, not much long term planning is put in, and I had to navigate between drawing plasma and the Con himself. I’m glad it look decent insofar.
Afterwards, I decide to draw the colour red. Being uncertain, I draw the plasma red, then afterwards, I drew the red parts of the character. And finally, I drew the character with warm grey.
Insofar, I find the warm grey a little regretable, as I feel it takes away the intensity of the “Red Only + BW Lines” version. Perhaps I may not be able to draw the plasma correctly without digital tools, but still it’s a nice attempt. I like it insofar.
So again, instead of resting, I spent the first day of this week drawing yet another substandard TFA fanart sketch, this time with another Blitzwing + Optimus Prime sketch. I guess I was very interested of drawing it ever since I drew the first Blitz + OP sketch.
This time I use the blue pencil, both for the tidiness of the sketch and the lighter tone, so the sketch won’t be too distracting. This is something I learnt from the previous sketch last week’s dirtier sketch.
Again, due to my health condition, I could only spent like few minutes to plan out the pose, and as a result the pose is haphazard as expected. At least the shading look good enough (hopefully)
Seeing how I had completed Act I and III key animation, I decide to take a break tonight, and since I had bought some coloured markers, I couldn’t resist drawing TFA Blitzwing and the Jet Twins despite of my hand condition. I was interested of the pair (trio?), seeing how they share some similarities, like being scientific experiments involving modification of the body beyond what is seen possible (triple-changer / flying Autobots), along with their fire and ice/wind powers.
This time I had used the 0.4 Artline 200 copic liner, along with the coloured markers for the eye colour. The good thing about the copic pens are how soft they are, and therefore easy to use. Still, I used the 4B pencil as draft, and turns out it is difficult to erase it completely. Next time I will use the 2B pencil for the pencil draft.
On another note, throughout the period, I was busying either finishing the key animation for the animation project, or brainstorming at least 2 TFA AU ideas. One is the previously mentioned Quins Attack AU, and another one is an AU when all Cybertronian characters are animated armour in a medieval fantasy world. Hopefully if I could finish the animation project and graduate successfully, I would try to draw some sketches based on the ideas.
In the previous days, I had drew several sketches, then in advise of my parents, I decide to stop drawing any sketches and focus on the animation until the end of June, which is the deadline of the animation project.
Months ago, I thought up of a TFA AU involving both alien invasion and a Cybertron where the Great War never happened, and the Groundbuilds (Autobots) / Warbuilds (Decepticons) live side by side in peace (insofar). The AU has several parents, including the peacetime AU, the idea that both Autobots and Decepticons fought Quintessons together before they turn against each other, and a WWII Human AU sketch idea where Ratchet (an American medic) and Megatron (a British soldier) found Blitzwing (a German child) among the ruins. I am still brainstorming for story ideas, and I’m really bad in creating engaging plots or characterization/worldbuilding.
The AU is still fuzzy in plot and characterization, and the only thing consistent is the idea that Ratchet (a groundbuild medic), Megatron (a low ranked warbuild commander) and Blitzwing (a warbuild soldier who are just activated no longer than weeks ago) are the main trio trying to return to Cybertron while evading the Quintessons. The AU could be regular Cybertronian version, or human version where the main characters are equipped with weapons and tools to fight the aliens.
I wrote some notes on the iPhone for the story points, and drew some sketches to get the scenes right. Some of them are just pre-war designs; others are just messy doodles of scenarios. I would not guarantee that I would necessarily continue to flesh out the AU. It is possible that I would end up dropping the AU, since war and scifi is not necessarily my niche. Still, when ever I have time, I would do more research and collect more inspiration whenever I have time.
On another note, my key drawings for the Graduation project is almost completed. I am planning to finish the rest of them by tomorrow, before returning the equipment by this Thursday.