A Mint Word: March 2022

Another month, another progress to make! I’ve managed to get lots of sketches done and finished up some side projects, so here I am with another blog post, so let’s get into it! …I hope you all like Ray.

Grey Kya Illustrations All Textured

I ended up finishing adding textures and shades to the first three Grey Kya drawings, the black, purple, and green ones. You’ll be able to get a better look at the differences below with the sliders between the drawings, but the main differences were as follows:

  • Black: Added flower, pine-cone, and leaf shadows, and made some light color corrections for better contrast
  • Purple: Made clouds more purple than blue, added extra soft shades and cloud blending
  • Green: Added extra texture to the mountains, gave shadows to the flowers and stems

With these final touches, there is one other big thing of note: I am completely done with Medibang. I just needed that program to go back to those old files before I could uninstall it for good. So goodbye, Medibang, I’ve moved onto Clip Studio Paint for my desk work, and Procreate for some tablet sketching.

I didn’t really make any new sketches on Procreate this month besides one lineart I’ve since given up on. I will admit I am warming up to sketching digitally now and my traditional sketchbook is seeing less and less use. I haven’t tried coloring a Procreate sketch on Clip Studio Paint yet though.

I know when I wrote about the Grey Kya Illustrations last time that I made it sound like there was very little work to do, and to be fair there was. But yeah I’m really done writing about them this time.

Ray Got to Dress Up

I have many, MANY fashion sketches to show this month. And a lot of thoughts behind them to share, but I’ll try to keep it brief-ish…

The main goal of these illustrations this time was to figure out an alter-ego design for Ray. The starting inspiration for her look was Carmen Sandiego, I wanted this design to look like she had a secret, but still wanted to be out and about and noticed by the world. I also initially toyed with the idea of this alter-ego having shorter hair than her normal appearance. That idea…ended up being discarded pretty quickly. You’ll also see for a while I was stuck on the idea of the character having a sort of corset.

On the second batch, I played with the idea of her having a ponytail and having a full body suit. I do still like the boots as well, but I wasn’t really digging the ponytail.

This batch was more body suit ideas and playing with more stylized, sharp hair. I think the sharp hair could work in certain contexts, but I moved along without it and am not sure if I’ll revisit it. I also said no more hats, not really on purpose though, I had simply ran out of ideas as for what hat I thought she should wear…

Sorry for the smudges….

Fourth batch I tried giving Ray a long sleeveless coat and a skirt underneath the corset. I kept thinking she should have a bow on the back of the corset, but came to the conclusion that a ribbon was too cutesy for the look I wanted.

Fifth batch I finally said fuck the glasses and put them on top of her head, and I instantly liked her look better. I also tried playing with skirt ideas, trying to find a good balance for a bottom that wasn’t too floaty and girly. I also changed her bangs a bit so only one piece on each side would be flowy and the rest would be more straight and angled. I ended up liking that change a lot.

Sixth batch I got rid of the boots in favor for high sandals. Yeah, they look complicated as hell to wear, but I realized that Ray’s normal design has sandals, and she should continue wearing some form of them in her alter-ego outfit. I also gave Ray a bit of an arc or spread for the bottom of her hair? I don’t know how else to describe it really.

The last batch for this post, I played with the idea of Ray loosely wearing a coat on her arms, as well as having some sort of waist belt holding the jacket in place. Not gonna lie, once I got this idea on paper I loved it. I just thought it was so playful and had so much potential for when Ray starts moving around, and I also really appreciated how this jacket wouldn’t hide too much of her top or leggings. So with this batch, I feel I’m pretty close to her final look.

Current WIP

My current full color illustration work-in-progress is below. I’m trying to be cautious with it because this is my first time coloring with Clip Studio Paint and I’m getting stuck learning all the new tools. Outfit wise, this is my current most favored alter-ego outfit of Ray’s, I imagine the alter-ego’s look won’t ultimately look too different from the base colors below, but don’t quote me. Tool wise, I ended up setting up a technical pen tool that I really liked, and I believe gave a nice retro edge to the work. I’m not too sure on how much of this I want to be soft shaded versus cel-shaded, but I would like to make a look similar to my other full color illustration I made recently in Procreate.

A work in progress colored illustration of a woman with red hair, wearing sunglasses on her head.

Random Life Stuff I Thought Would Be Nice to Share

In trying to get a little closer with my local town’s community, I actually tried auditioning for a community play in order to get to know others. It was a pretty fun experience, as the play was for an adult sex comedy. However, I didn’t get a part, so looks like I’m going to have to find another avenue to meet people. I ended up embarrassing myself when they told me they “weren’t able to cast for the play” and I thought that meant that the play got cancelled. I asked them what happened, they… didn’t reply, and a few days later I found the casting list online. Derp.

On a more successful note, my partner’s been able to meet new people in dojo. Hey at least one of us succeeded!

Conclusion

Whelp that’s it for this month, as always I’d like to have gotten more done but I am my own worst enemy sometimes. Hopefully next time I don’t have so much fashion sketches to show and I can get some full color illustrations out. For next month, I’d like to have those, and maybe finally get Ray a proper character design sheet, half the reason I’m drawing her so much is because I’m trying to figure her out after all! Thanks for reading this far as always. I wish you all the best, until we meet again.

Now if you excuse me, I’m going to play Rune Factory 5 until I die.

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