As I said I would, I’ve been working the human figure and drawing the last few . . . increments of time.

Finally it dawned on me. WHY HAVEN’T I BEEN BACK IN THE GROOVE OF DIGITAL?

I wanted to do the Dragon Age clothing meme. I’ve wanted to do it for a while.  My little non-inquisitor/Non-warden Elf  has been dying to pull out her wardrobe and put it on display.  (I have so many sticky notes with the different veils she owns drawn on them, haha).  The thing for these meme’s is i really like it when it’s the same body over and over, with the focus purely on the fashion. Traditionally, then means a lot of lightbox and tracing. I love my lightbox, but I hate repetition.

Then it hit me, as I looked through digital after digital meme. Chika, you have some silly little computer all set up to draw, why have you don’t nothing but little edits here and there?

Digging out my old tablet I set to work with a new lineart tutorial I’d watched on youtube months ago. Me being me, I didn’t save the video, as I thought “eh, I’m not going to work on this now. Maybe later” and closed it, and forgot it.

Well I remembered her advice well enough. Zoom in and join several shorter strokes, undoing every time the stroke is wobbly or unnatural. just keep swimming, just keep swimming. . . .

Alright so here’s the primary things I changed when I did my lineart this time, versus in the past.

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So I’m a moron, and forgot to check the size of my image before starting, so my lineart’s not big enough to go on a really big print. GUYS DON’T BE STUPID LIKE ME. I scan everything in as big as my scanner will allow me though.

That being said, the things I changed in this drawing that are GOOD changes are as follows:

1. I didn’t play the ‘draw black lines on a graphite drawing with an opaque layer of white on top’ game. What that means, if you’ve never done this trick, is basically you load up your original sketch, open a new layer above it and bucket paint it white, then you bring the opacity down and until the original lines are really pale, and draw you lineart over top of these in a new layer with the black brush.

I mean, I suppose it works, but I liked what I did more.

So my original drawing was in pink. I’ve started drawing in pink. I’m not sure exactly WHY it helps, but it does. I created a new layer above my pink drawing and drew the line art over top in Blue. I got really nice distinction and could easily see what I was doing, much better than black on grey.

2. I drew the next element in pink on top of the blue lines. There was really something helpful about changing the colours of each element as I drew it.  Set it apart before I blended it all together.  There was no confusion about “well maybe that was a hair . . .  or an earlobe”.

3. This is the change I’m really stoked about. I DON’T KNOW HOW I NEVER NEW ABOUT THIS. Are you ready for the big reveal?

CLIPPING MASKS

So I don’t know how many times I’ve decided I want to change the colour of some thing or mess with it, but get frustrated with how the wand tool leaves little fuzzies around everything, no matter how I set the tolerance.   Plus it felt like a waste of efficiency. But masking it out felt wasteful too. Little did I know the solution was clipping masks.

I was finally able to do line art the same colour as the object it referred to and efficiently highlight and add to shapes. I actually learned about clipping masks from this video, which I liked to because of item number 4.

4. Brushes. I’m not sure how much difference my choice of brush made, using his as opposed to basics, but I’m going to blame my success here on Tsaoshin. (click the link to go to his brushes download on Deviant art)

Plus, his soft colouring brush finally enabled me to understand how digital artists got that one particular look. kinda a soft layered blend, I dunno. I’ve been dying to be able to make that mark for years. NOW I HAVE ALL THE SECRETS.

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From there I continued on my merry little way (don’t look at the clock. you’ll see what a slow worker I am. I totally don’t watch spanish rom coms while I work at all. nope. Deeeeefinitly not brittish hisorical dramas either. Definitely not.)

After about 5 hours my hand was frozen solid and I reached that impatient stage, where you’re supposed to put it away and go to bed, but I didn’t want to.  It really doesn’t help I’m using my old Bamboo tablet from 2007 and DEAR GOODNESS is that tech old. It was amazing and innovative and caught everyone’s attention on the airplane when I first bought it, but touch tech has improved SO MUCH in the last (oh my goodness) 9 years. (i feel old)

I think I only put in another hour or so before rolling into bed to read mangas I used to read in 2007. (i really didn’t intend for it to be a flash back nigh,t but it wanted to be)

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So there it is, outfit number 1! And the nice thing about the way I did this, there’s legs under that skit that I can quickly put pants on. No having to draw them out.

All in total I’m SUPER STOKED about how well this turned out. Is it the most amazing artwork I’ve ever seen? Not yet, but for me working digital seriously for the first time in years with my glitch-y little bamboo, I just see forward momentum beyond my expectations.

(ignore that beige stripe of sketchbook paper on the last image xD I quickly converted this working file to jpeg at 2 am)

I feel like I may even have to open up a new Deviant art so I can post the final meme. Is DA actually still alive? I only go on there now for resources. OH MY GOODNESS I AM SO OLD. I FART DUST AND DON’T KNOW WHAT SITES ARE HIP. I actually had to watch a buzzfeed video to find out what ‘On fleek’ meant. It’s the beginning of the end.

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