My next commission was to draw this girl from an anime called Bleach. Her name is Soi Fon and she fights with this dagger-like fist weapon.
I can’t draw anime.
So this commission unnerved me quite a bit.
First, I went hunting for pose reference. When Google turned up nothing, I went to deviantart and started hunting around in their stock photo section. Lo and behold, I found this. It was almost exactly what I needed.
So I did my first sketch.
I changed the position of her hands and her right leg, because I wanted her off the ground. You know how people in anime fly around in the sky when they’re fighting. That was the look I was going for. Also, this character wears these weird traditional-Japanese style clothes, so I roughed those in, too.
Then I dumped it to Illustrator.
Illustrator is a vector program, meaning that it draws images with mathematical points and lines. You can see the zillions of them in her face here.
This is how it turned out.
If I was really masochistic, I’d have done all the shading in Illustrator, too. But I’m far too lazy to be masochistic.
Next I dumped the file into Painter, and painted a sky with clouds. Don’t you love the way Painter makes it look like I used a real brush that was loaded up with thick, smeary paint?
Then I tossed it all into Photoshop for the final shading and details.
Tada! It was a ton of work, but I think I pulled off the anime look. It’s really hard to draw, not least of which because Japanese art in general has this obsession with perfection. And I’m not into perfection. I’m into getting it sort of close and calling it good.