So this one requires some explanation

On our writing group, I asked if somebody had a book that was super light and fluffy because my brain was burned out. A friend offered me his book. I started reading, and it’s basically what’s called a light novel–that is, a manga in novel form without pictures. The characters are all obviously anime characters, with anime powers, and anime tropes. It’s very light and just what I needed.

So the author mentioned that his second book has catgirls. A lot of catgirls.

I said, “What, like a harem anime?”

“No!” he replied. “The catgirls are trying to kill the heroes.”

I said, “Well … that’s not much different from a harem anime …”

For those not in the know, a harem anime is like a love triangle. Except it’s six or eight attractive women vying for the affection of one clueless guy. No idea why this hasn’t caught on in the YA book genre yet.

So I threatened to draw a harem anime poster, but do it as Destiny characters, just for laughs. Everyone dared me to do it. So I did.

I asked people to contribute their characters, and everyone cheerfully did. And now, here they are, all together in a spoof of a Love Hina poster.

Welcome to the wonderful world of art dares.

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Too sexy?

Dropping into my poor, neglected blog to post a pic that might be … too sexy?

I’m kind of a poor judge of these things.

One of those pics I love and got like … zero likes because I guess it’s too sexy or something. Or maybe not sexy enough? Anyway. I am just slowly making art over here.

Pretty colors with Clip Studio Paint

Over the past few weeks, I’d been searching for an alternative to Adobe Photoshop. I tried out the demo of Clip Studio Paint, liked it, and bought it on sale. Since then, I’ve done tutorials and realized that this program can do everything. I’ll show off some of my experiments.

Stay behind me!
Sonic characters as Destiny classes, just because it was funny.
Shadow is the coolest, naturally.
Rex Magtoris, a character from a story

This was a speedpaint to try out the clothing brushes in Clip Studio Paint. The gold braid and the ruffle brushes have potential, but I need to really experiment with them.

The cat ghost’s cuteness is overwhelming.

This comic was me trying out the comic tools in Clip Studio Paint. It does panels, speech bubbles, and layout tools like you wouldn’t believe. It also has 3D posable models to use as reference, which made me insanely excited. I spend hours searching for just the right pose or angle, and now I can just slap down a model and pose it the way I want.

I’ve had to do hours of tutorials to get this far, and I have hours more ahead of me. And let me tell you, I am SUPER excited. 😀

Monday art dump: characters and landscapes

Here’s a few artworks I’ve done in the past week or so:

Bethany Jennings’s characters
More of Bethany Jennings’s characters
Characters from a Destiny fanfic
Dude with a guitar practice sketch
Working from a landscape tutorial

This is the scattered bits of things I did over the last two weeks. The kids and I have all been sick, and it’s kind of knocked my art drive out the window. Trying to get my groove back, though. I’ve been trying out a new art program, Clip Studio. I think I like it, and it’s only 50 bucks, as opposed to whatever the heck they’re charging for Photoshop these days.

Monday art megapost

I drew a lot of stuff last week! Some of it was finished last weekend, but my blog post had already gone up, so I saved it for this week. Here we go:

Gift art for people of their characters. I was practicing poses, so I might as well do something constructive with them.
Selfie! This was probably the most fun one.
Destiny had an Easter event, and it was too much fun to tell the Easter story in Destiny terms.
This was an excuse to draw angst and fight scenes at the same time.

I’m definitely improving! But I feel a gratuitous color pic coming on. Probably some kind of crazy sunset, where I can push color around. Black and white is nice, but … color …

Step by step – Gunslinger

Here’s the progress on last week’s pic: a gunslinger from Destiny 2.

It took a lot of sketching to get the pose right. Then it was really fun doing the black and white, figuring out how it was going to come together. I wanted to do a lot more art, but this wound up taking all week to do.

Step by step – Flirty (and tutorial)

Only one pic this week, but I worked on it all week. As you can see here, each step took a day. In the case of the shapes stage, two days.

These are me and my husband’s Destiny characters.

I was practicing figure sketches, and I liked this one because it kind of tells a story. So I turned it into a full pic. I also tried doing all the shadows with the pen tool, mostly because of this tutorial:

Practice pic by WinXu Xu on Artstation

See how the black shapes and the gray shapes in the first stage are on separate layers? And he colors on them separately? I wanted to try doing that. I’m afraid my first try was pretty tame, but I want to continue experimenting with this technique.

I’ve also been scribbling out a new fanfic. I noticed that it was getting kind of long, so I checked and realized I’ve written 30k. Pretty much just for fun. I love it when a story has that much pull. So I’m tossing it online, slowly, until I get it finished. Fortunately, the last third is in sight, so it’ll be done in a few more weeks.

A couple of comics and how to kill your art

A friend of mine has been dealing with her son’s suicide last year. She wrote a blog post today about how art is fun, and good for your brain–until you start trying to do it for money. Then you’ve killed your joy. She partially credits this for one of the many reasons her son killed himself. It’s worth a read, if you’re feeling society’s guilt that you’re making art and not selling it.

It’s given me a lot to think about, especially since I’m drifting that direction, myself. Where is the balance between art and business? I’m not sure, so I’ll continue to write fanfics, draw fanart, make zero money, and have all the fun.

Here’s the finished version of that comic from last week:

And then this one, which was based on a true story.

One of our friends went to send out Ghost to do a thing, but he punched a dude instead, which looked like he hit the dude with Ghost. Then Ghost didn’t do the thing. So I made the comic for him. 😀

This past week was a marathon of building IKEA furniture, finding we had the wrong parts, exchanging them for the right parts, and in general having a sea of cardboard boxes and Allen wrenches everywhere. I didn’t draw as much as I wanted to, because I slept through my early morning art time every day. But hopefully, next week will be better!

Art I did this week (or didn’t)

I didn’t do as much art this week, alas. I wound up sleeping through my usual drawing time because sleep.

But here’s one, with a self-explanatory joke:

Once you see it, you can never un-see it.

I’m working on another Destiny comic strip, but I only have one panel done.

It’s kind of super detailed, so it’s taking a while to do. It’ll probably be done by my next update.

In other news, we got a new dresser from IKEA, so I will probably spend the next portion of my life assembling drawers. Yay me!

Dawnblade – step by step

Artwork I did this week–some Destiny fanart, which means two people in armor and fiery wings and swords battling it out.

Pretty!
This is my initial sketch, just working out poses and stuff. Erased and redrew a lot at this stage.
Next, more details. The sketch is more refined, and I drew their armor.

Next comes inking. I’m not super good at this stage, and my tablet is uncooperative. The pros do this stage with the pen tool and vector lines, but I’m usually trying to get this done while the baby is asleep and lack time.
Next, I blocked in their colors and added the shading.
Time for background and special effects, my favorite! The inked lines stand out a bit. I color over those last.
The wings needed more contrast, so I added black to really make them pop. The inked lines got some painting treatment, too.
Last of all, a red gradient set to Liner Dodge to give the figures a nice red glow.

I haven’t done a pic like this in a while, and it was nice. Here’s a comic, too, about what happens when our main tank jumps games from Destiny to Fortnite.