Tag Archives: portrait

Lord of Murder

evilpallyI realized I haven’t really talked about this picture that much, but as silly as it sounds, it means a lot to me.

I’ve mentioned this before, but for the longest time, I’ve struggled with digital art. This is the first time in a long time that I’ve felt confident with something I’ve drawn and colored digitally, and I didn’t think that was possible. I’ve always told myself that I’ll never be able to do anything digitally beyond a cartoonish combo of crisp lines and cel shading.

One day, I sat down with my refurbished Motion Computing tablet (because I can’t afford a cintiq) and I told myself that I was going to stop sucking at digital art. One thing I’ve always liked was drawing and shading with ballpoint pen, so I tried to get the same effect with digital. You’re looking at (probably) the only idiot who likes to ink with the rough pencil tool.  But it works for me and I like the way it looks. And the entire struggle has been to try and find something that feels comfortable and has my signature style to it.

This is the first of many more good things to come. I’m already working on making more elaborate drawings with even more complex rough pencil shading. I’m just surprised at how quick I was able to get this done (2.5 hours). I’m used to spending 10 hours not knowing what the hell I’m doing with digital and then realizing I wasted 10 hours on something I didn’t even like.

Image and character © Indira Jainanan

Walking the line

digitalcomparisonThis is where I get to sit in my little corner of the internet and talk about my feelings.

I’ve went through a long period of time where I refused to do digital art because it never looked the way I wanted it to. Back in 2004, I was happy with my digital work up until about 2008, when I decided to switch to traditional media. Traditional media always felt more ‘free’ to me because I wasn’t limited to the functions of a program and my lack of how to make said functions work for me.

Towards the end of 2012, I decided to invest in a (refurbished) tablet PC to draw on because I certainly couldn’t afford a cinitq. I still can’t. I bought a Motion Computing LE1700 and while it made digital art a bit easier, I certainly wasn’t happy with the quality of work I was producing versus what I was capable of doing on paper.

I spent a lot of time, sitting around and dissecting other people’s photo-realistic digital paintings and thinking “why can’t I do that?” And then I tried doing that and while the lineless art with smooth shading looked pretty good… it didn’t feel like something I would normally produce.

After a while of giving up on that, a couple of nights ago, I sat around with my tablet and I wanted to do something. I wanted to use loose, sketchy lines because it was a style I always felt comfortable with.  Every time I’ve tried to ink digitally, it always looked static and boring. It didn’t look like something I would normally produce. I felt like some sort of poser who didn’t have a trademark style and that was a result of me trying to do what everyone else was doing.

So last night, I gave sketchy lines another try and the final picture from this comparison is the result. I was really happy because it looked like something that I did and it didn’t feel like torture to draw or color it. It had my ‘flavor’ to it because my lines were clearly visible.

This is something I hadn’t realized. Today, it dawned on me that all of my favorite works since I started doing digital involved color thrown over sketchy lines. That style just became more and more refined over time without me even realizing it. It’s crazy that it’s taken me over 10 years to get to this point. It’s also crazy that I’ve stopped myself from doing what I was comfortable with all these years because it didn’t look like what all the other artists were doing.

So that’s what I learned this week.

Lord of Murder – Progress

evilpallyprocessStep-by-step thingy of how I did this. It’s not a tutorial by any means whatsoever and I’m definitely not a shining example of how to do digital art, as I tend to work with as few layers as possible.

There were 9 layers total. One for the red sketch, one for the black outlines, a layer for his skin, one for hair, one for clothes, one for the blue and yellow highlights, one for the grey background and one for the pattern on the background.

This took me about 2.5 hours on Manga Studio. So far, it’s the only digital art program that makes sense to me for coloring.

I’m also happy to be able to find a balance between having a more ‘realistic’ coloring style without sacrificing my line work. I feel like once I lose my lines, it no longer feels like something I did. There needs to be lines.

Image and character © Indira Jainanan

Speedpainting – LokhTharr

lokhtharrAnother marker sketch done with the Copic toner markers. I recently started replaying Dragon Age: Origins because it was super cheap on steam and I enjoyed the game. While looking through my screenshots folder, randomly, I found a decent reference picture for my character and I thought I’d take a crack at trying to draw him. The lighting in the screen cap was weird, which is why the lighting looks weird here, too. I’m pretty sure I screwed that up, anyhow. I also wish I’d have captured his permanent smirk better.

His name is LokhTharr (yes, you might have seen that name in Buddy and Friend as I have many incarnations of him) and he’s a city elf rogue. He hates other elves more than he hates everything else – even though he really hates everything else. Despite him being a HORRIBLE man, he is a devout follower of Andraste.

There is quite an extensive history of the LokhTharr lineage that I may get to in another post. Basically, his character is consistent in the sense that he’s either some sort of thief OR wizard or a hybrid between the two. He takes things from people, not because he wants those things, but just because he doesn’t want anyone else to have them. He’s also a murderer. A horrible, horrible murderer. He murders because he thinks it’s funny.

Currently, he’s a main character in Buddy and Friend, because I couldn’t waste such a terrible character by just using him in video games :D


speedpaintingA while back, I ran out of my usual Borden and Riley Paris Bleedproof Paper for Markers and Pens. It sounds fancy, but it’s pretty inexpensive and I like it because ink doesn’t smudge on it. I had a hankering to color something with markers at some odd hour of the night and I didn’t have my usual paper, which made me really sad.

I desperately tried to search for something else that was marker-friendly and remembered that I had a random book of Copic’s own marker paper. I decided to use that and see how it works. I drew something before this, inked it and when I tried to color, the pen ink lines smudged all over the place. That made me angry. So I was sad because I didn’t have my usual paper and I was also angry because other paper was smudgey!

BUT – I discovered something awesome. The smudgeyness works really well with the markers alone in the sense that the colors blend together really nicely. I immediately scrapped the old inked thing I was working on and tried to do a ‘lineless’ black and white portrait like how a CG artist would do.

I gotta say, it worked pretty damn well! I know the face isn’t totally symmetrical or whatever, but this was just a test. The paper definitely has potential to do really awesome things, even though it’s not useful for what I originally wanted it for.

I’m in a mood to experiment with the same line art, a lightbox and  a bunch of different types of paper to see what can be done on what paper. I just have to wait until I get different types of paper.

I’ll post the results and my findings when I’m done :D
Image and character © Indira Jainanan