I have mentioned my buddy Tom and his Marooned webcomic before, but he's getting the last little details in place for his latest project: the definitive Marooned graphic novel. He KICKSTARTED it and pulled in more than double his asking price.
He called on some of his artist friends to contribute some work and I did just that. Tom is putting EVERYTHING into this book. His entire complete series, a bunch of pin ups, and a couple new short stories. Not to mention the buttons and prints and a whole other "making of" art book that he was offering up as rewards. I'm looking forward to seeing it all put together.
So for my latest contribution, I struck with Lian again. I've drawn a couple other Lian images so I wanted to add to the series of sorts. Tom has been great in that he has let me do whatever I want with his characters. It's the perfect opportunity to take established characters and apply whatever it is on have on the brain. Very freeing artistically. The thing I had in mind this time was elongating Lian. I wanted her to have a long face and a long body. Maybe in an anime-ish sorta way. Oh, and I really wanted a project where I could sink some time into Drew's mask-painting technique. Drew will use vector shapes in PS and clip various highlight/shadow/texture passes to 'em. 'Cept I didn't use vectors for Lian. I just blocked in colors with pixel-paint and clipped away from there. Not as precise/clean, but vectors induce a different mindset for me.
Blah blah blah. So ya wanna see the first sketch I did???
Well...it's...something. Definitely, strangely, elongated. It looks like the browser mighta squished the image but it hasn't. Thinking back, I remember this working for me. Something along these lines would satisfy my elongated vision and I liked her head at the very least. That was enough to keep going I guess. This is all it took - ha!
Here's a process .GIF:
These never seem to capture all the gritty details for me, but it is pretty fascinating to "see" the thought process. Funny to see the multi-armed doodles as I try to find the pose. I definitely played with the hair for a bit. It's certainly fun to play with shapes and designs for hair and while I wasn't sure where it would end up, I did know that I wanted it covering her face. You know the phrase, "I'll know it when I see it"? Well that's exactly it. I typically don't have the vision, but there's always a handful of things I know I want or don't want.
One thing I'm personally happy with is her legs and hips. There is some weird forced perspective in here and her lower body is even kinda squarish. I think it takes effort for me to say, "this is completely weird, but like it - just keep going." It takes effort to ward off all those internal arguments. Hehe.
Here's a seizure-less final:
But wait! There's more!
After all that, I went back into my older images and tweaked 'em all in one way or another, and served them up to Tom as well. I don't really like to go back into old work (for fear Lucas-osis will set in...) but I was able to keep myself in check.
Here's the rest with brief notes:
Tom asked me if he could use this for the front cover of the "extras" art book. I updated the color of his spine to be blue like the rest of his endoskeleton. I think it was taupe/brown before. Not sure what I was thinking then.
Nothin' changed on this one.
I tried to make this feel a little like offset printing and there was a little "outline" on the top of his nose that completely distracted me these days. Removed.
I struggled a lot with the colors in this one. I wanted everything to be blue and I wanted everything to read clear. I don't think I pulled it off, but I did try to fix a few other things: tucked her legs under her and gave her lower body more imperfect shape. I think I scooted her head around and made it so her shoulder overlaps. Gave her head more of an imperfect shape too. Adjusted her gem and her eyes and lips. Added some edge light. Eh, I like it more than before, but it still irks me in some ways.
Still my favorite. Nothing changed here.
I colored the line work as I thought the pure black originally was too harsh. Adjusted some lights/shadows in her face - particularly her nose. I remember completely changing her far hand and getting it where I liked it, then going right back to the original. One thing I admit looks weird are her shoulders, but I like 'em. It's like her head is sitting in the concave scoop that her skin makes draped between her shoulders. Or something.
Enjoy! Time fer bed!