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By JohnSu
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Cailin Cleigh comes from a long line of animators - artisans who construct golems and bring them to life. Unfortunately, none of the golems she makes will move on their own, so she fails to make a career of this and instead finds herself working in the mines. After almost dying on the job several times, her father urges her to pursue something safer, so she takes him up on that suggestion and becomes a bounty hunter.

Her weapon of choice, Zweihander, is a set of two handed-swords which are actually just golem arms that were accidentally flattened during steaming. Those things are expensive to make, so Cailin salvaged them and worked them into swords. Even though she can't bring them to life, she has sufficient proficiency in hand-puppeteering to manipulate them like extensions of her arms. Her fighting style relies a lot on using her swords to grab and disarm her opponent when they attempt to parry her strikes.

Her current opponent, Strawjack, is a renegade scarecrow that took crop protection a little too seriously and ended up running off with all the produce before the farmers could harvest them. He stockpiles them in the unfillable hole in his heart and brings them back out from his head (an ability called "Face Plant"). Also, he's a shameless flirt who preys on fresh fruits & vegetables.


This time I made only the line art and flat colors in Flash, and then did everything else in Manga Studio. I finally learned to make use of selections by using the magic wand tool on the flats, and so was able to do all the character lighting on two layers. I tried for sharper shadows than I usually do in digital painting, and I think I like it! I believe I've made a mistake in the past where I felt that I had to shade smoothly when not in Flash (since it's hard to make soft shadows there), but I feel like the harder, flatter shading produces a stronger visual impact. I also had fun with the background - I find nature to be more fun to paint than buildings since it's a lot more forgiving in regards to shapes and perspective. You can easily tell when two boxes don't line up, but if a tree is crooked...that's OK.

Oh yeah, and yes, Cailin does have a clock as her belt buckle because I didn't know what to do for its design and ended up just basing it off of a wrist watch. Because giant hands.

Made in Manga Studio & Flash
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© 2016 - 2021 JohnSu
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ShinigamiRyuku's avatar
WOW! Fantastic drawing!
Evodolka's avatar
i was just walking in the woods and then i see this...
*takes out the pop corn*
lets see how this goes :D
RiiAqua's avatar
Can you do a tutorial or in progress shots of how you draw background trees? They look like random strokes and impressively realistic trees at the same time
evikted's avatar
Your sense of lighting has leveled up..............!
ErikHaya's avatar
Dat Exeggutor Alola Form
ShibaLoaf's avatar
Hehehe... Zweihander... I get it!
Hasiguchi's avatar
Zweihander = 'Two-handed Sword' (Great sword) = Two + Hand/Handed? = 'Two Hand-Sword'
JohnSu's avatar
Idontcareforeal's avatar
I'll admit, this is kind of cool.
necromuffinbutton's avatar
I love this art style and these characters, everything about this picture amuses & inspires me!
jincon's avatar
This is REALLY well done and I love the background.  Lots of depth here.
Kwokheichan's avatar
WoW, cool as always.

No wonder is so popular hereX3
plainred's avatar
...How do you come up with these stories? Alongside the technical aspect of your art, your storytelling stuff is great.
Marsharino's avatar
The sharper shades do look amaze!!
starlightgenie's avatar
Your coloring has come a long way!
JohnSu's avatar
JackGuilette's avatar
Brilliant as fuck xD 
Lazarus-the-Fey's avatar
Absolutely fantastic job! xD 
the-ska-boss's avatar
Probably one of my favorite of your work, well done.
funkycoldland's avatar
I love the fact that the scarecrow took his job too seriously
Mojofooka's avatar
The environment you did for this is gorgeous! Also this is a very impressive visual pun, and the backstory is a great read (as always) xP
anonymous's avatar
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