Thoughts & Process: 2021’s Forever WIPs

I’ve been really excited to write this one since I came up with the idea: collecting all my unfinished works in progress pieces from the entire year, and essentially memorializing them on this blog… as let’s be real, I don’t think these would see the light of day any other way. Sometimes, like other artists, I get excited about a drawing, make it, but before I actually finish coloring it and publish it, I get unmotivated, or distracted by something else entirely. So I’d like to share some of them with you all! And maybe even mention why they got dropped or why I had the idea in the first place.

Quick note: These WIPs are all projects that were initially supposed to be colored & finished illustrations. I think there’s a difference between those, and sketches just meant to stay sketches. Also I apologize for the lighting on the traditional sketches… my scanner is still broken :(

A sketch of a man sitting on an apartment outdoor staircase.

1/14/2021 Sketch

The character featured here is a character concept for a wind based character, kinda like how Kya is my gijinka of Earth. I gave him a name a long time ago… that I’ve also forgotten a long time ago [D . The idea with this sketch was that he’d be sitting on a staircase in front of an apartment building, man-spreading and all. I actually still really like the fashion I gave him still, with his looser dotted shirt and side-shaved hair. I’m a big fan of people who can pull that hairstyle off honestly. The reason this one got left behind, I think, was just because of bad timing. I was getting this blog ready and trying to finish my sister’s fashion illustration I made as a Christmas gift… yes it was a late gift. I could see myself revisiting this drawing once Wind here has a more concrete design and I have the time.

First and second sketches/edits of this concept

1/20/2021 Statue

This one somehow got discarded twice. When I drew this WIP, I was seeing a lot of illustrations of people drawing character’s kissing statues around. I thought it was so tender and interesting, that I wanted to throw my hat into the ring. I started with the current concept of my OCs Ray and Cloud, where I imagined Ray would have wavier hair and Cloud would have a striped sweater. And despite my hesitancy to draw decent backgrounds, everything was coming along really well in the initial sketch! I thought the woman statue looked nice, the guy had a good pose, and I thought the background looked pretty cohesive. I was feeling pretty good when I left it, but at first I got distracted with another project.

The second time I attempted this, months later, I had a more solid idea of what I wanted my OCs Ray and Cloud to look like, so I tried to refine the sketch so it looked more like those two. I immediately started running into issues. Ray’s hair is pretty straight, minus an upwards curl towards the ends of her length, so it didn’t make sense for the statue’s hair to be as wild and windy looking anymore. This caused there to be an inch or so of empty space towards the top of the composition, which I wasn’t happy with. But I didn’t want to just enlarge the composition, since that would erase the roses on the side. I also wasn’t willing to change the aspect ratio, though in hindsight, a landscape view would have probably been really nice. Finally, Cloud’s hair from the ear and below just didn’t look right to me, and I tried multiple times to redraw it until I finally gave up. I do really like this idea, but if I ever wanted to try again, I’d definitely start from scratch.

And yes, the gates say “XOXO.”

A colored image of a woman clutching her baby as she crotches down from being pulled down by a sticky red slime. She is colored in green with a purple background, giving an ominous atmosphere.

(Date Unknown) Tasi Trianon

Yep. This one was not only a rare fan art piece I was going to make, but it even got colored a bit too! This is a fan art tribute to the game Amnesia: Rebirth, and one of the endings in the game you can get where the main character, Tasi, decides to sacrifice herself and her baby in order to defeat the game’s antagonist Tihana. I absolutely loved playing Rebirth, even though it scared me into helplessness and immobility at some points, and I also really loved Tasi’s character and struggle in the game, and felt Rebirth was getting a kind of bum rap. So I initially wanted to make something nice as tribute! The background was going to feature Tihana’s throne room crumbling away, as Tasi clutches onto her child and tries to shield her. The pose took a while to get right but I’m pretty proud of how it ended up.

There was one thing that stuck out to me about the decision for this ending: if you know the first Amnesia game, The Dark Descent, you know that in the Agrippa ending, the main character Daniel sacrifices himself to defeat Alexander, but is saved by another at the last second and gets a second chance at life in a new world. This thought occurred to me upon reflecting my experience with Amnesia Rebirth: why was Daniel, a character who tortured men, women, and children to save himself, allowed a second chance at life; while Tasi, a woman who’s biggest crime was not giving up her own baby to a stranger, killed in these very comparable endings? Granted, if you played the games and know the stories of both, there are very legitimate reasons that answer this question. But it did occur to me that if Agrippa had existed in Rebirth, he would have saved Tasi and her baby too. So I really liked the idea of him saying his classic quote from the first game, in reference to Tasi:

“Do you see him, Weyer? He deserves so much more.”

Despite all this, why didn’t I finish it? … this is one of those cases of me getting distracted, sadly. I guess Tasi deserves much more [D (I know I’m not funny).

A sketch of three characters in bedroom attire sitting on a dresser. There are flowers scattered on the ground, and a big cat plushie behind one of the girl's legs.

7/7/2021 Sketch

I probably got too ambitious here for what little attention span I had at the time: this was going to be a piece with Rey, Addo, and Kay all in pajama attire sitting on top a dresser placed in the middle of an empty street, with roses floating down from the sky. I didn’t know where to put the roses at first, so I drew them om the bottom of the page with the intention of placing them around in different places in the refining stage. This piece was inspired by Vanity Fair’s July/August issue, along with Dua Lipa’s photo shoot in the same issue.

I guess with this piece I just ran out of steam, an idea of mine that I consider to be pretty good but just sadly got left behind. I still really like certain aspects about it, like I consider Addo’s (character on the left) pose and attire to have been done really well. Plus I think the flowers look pretty good too! I would like to get Ray, Kya, and Addo all in one good illustration someday, even though I don’t think they’ll ever be from the same series/universe.

Why is the cat plushie there behind Ray’s legs? …. It just felt like something needed to be there at the time.

A sketch of a woman in a stripped dress looking out in the distance. There are some flowers drawn to the side.

8/24/2021 Sketch

This illustration was meant to be an ocean view drawing with Kya on a balcony, wearing a classy stripped dress. The stripes were going to have some floral patterns in them, with the flowers I drew on the side of the page. The stripes would also expand outside the dress with a nice transparent effect. However, I just wasn’t a fan of how the sketch came out, and didn’t see much potential in refining it. There’s not too much else to say about this one.

A colored work in progress drawing of a stylish woman holding a purse and staring straight at the audience.

8/25/2021 Color WIP

Here I got a flat coloring of Ray in the outfit of an ad I saw in InStyle for Versace in their September 2021 issue. Guys, I tried really hard on this one, but it was not meant to be. I originally really liked the sketch, and playing with the colors on the accessories. But good God I did not like looking at Ray’s face in this one. Just looking at it made me feel disgusted. I tried redrawing it multiple times, but gave up on this piece entirely when I got the idea to draw Sailor Mars/Rei in this outfit and pose instead. And for what it’s worth, I thought it was a fair trade. There’s still some anatomy issues about this WIP that bug me too, like I think Ray’s right arm might be too skinny, her chest too big, and her head too thin. But this WIP is doomed to stay unfinished.

A sketch of a woman crying with fungi surrounding her. There's a pair of moth wings behind her.

11/15/2021 First Draft

This sketch here was actually the first rough draft of my 11/15/2021 piece. I actually very rarely do different versions of my drawings, I tend to just refine them when and where the need be. However when I drew this first draft, I was in a FOUL MOOD. My computer was giving me tons of trouble and I was just so frustrated I drew as a venting outlet. I knew this piece needed to be the orange version of all the grey Kya drawings I made, but the only idea I had in my head to draw alongside Kya was to draw fungi. It’s also hard to tell, but there’s moth wings behind her. I also drew Kya upset and crying, and I just wasn’t a fan of the expression I made for her. Upon finishing the sketch I knew I wasn’t going to go through finishing this one, and made the one that actually got colored. I did keep some elements of the first drawing though, such as the earrings and the floral hair piece.

Phew! That’s it for all my unfinished WIPS this year! Even though I might not have completed them, I’m glad I was able to give them a little more attention before the year ended. Overall I’m both proud and disappointed with myself over the amount of unfinished WIPS I had this year: I didn’t have as many as I thought I was going to, but I’m 99% certain this is also because overall I drew less this year… despite trying to keep a routine art uploading schedule. On the bright side maybe this means I’m not giving up on some of my ideas and working with them better?? But at this point I’m just rambling. Thanks for joining me in looking at these drawings, I’m amazed that this blog is almost a year old! I wish you all the best, until we meet again.

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