Summary of art 2020
2020 has been a hellscape of a year for many reasons, but thankfully it was a pretty good year in art for me! :>
I managed to keep up the grind and made a bunch of attempts at new challenges and improved a bunch of stuff. At this point the improvements aren't as drastic or easy to spot, but here's a few things I attempted this year:
- Piece variants! They're something I figured I'd get to eventually since I want to do more visual novel work, and a couple commissioned pieces got the ball rolling. As it turns out, making variants is a really hairy and murky science. It takes a lot of planning to do it well and not have to redraw more than is necessary, and I've been learning a lot about it. I'll for sure be doing more of these in the future.
- Lighting revelation. For a long time now one of the big problems I'd been struggling to comprehend was a quirk about lighting where round objects that overlap - most common case was breasts and butts when seen at a side angle - looked weirdly lit. Almost like the lighting was wrong somehow, even though it made sense logically. With the help of some chatters I was finally able to make sense of it and the revelation hit me like a ton of bricks. I'll probably make a blog post about this at some point, but what you should take away from this now is that this is a really big step in improving my lighting.
- Color tuning. I've been studying how some other artists do their post processing effects, and it's lead me to explore level tuning more. If you check the last WIP and the final image of some of the recent pieces I've posted, you'll notice more variance between the lightest and darkest colors, and it's in part due to this. The effect can be very subtle, but it should generally create a more appealing image, I think. Still lots more practice to be done here.
- Trying more different light sources that are not directly in front of the character. This leads often to more striking lighting setups that cast shadows over larger portions of the character, and it's been fun to explore, and something that I'll definitely keep trying more of in the future.
- Exploration of other Summer lighting. I'd sort of settled on the same sky colors for my Summer backgrounds and I was growing a bit frustrated with them. They felt like they were not quite as warm and nice looking as they could be, so I did a bunch of experiments trying out subtly different sky colors, and I think it's led to slightly nicer looking skies. :>
All this plus assorted improvements to anatomy, gesture, lighting, etc etc.
At the moment as you guys know my hand is still recovering, but I'm excited to get back to drawing and drawing more and better looking waifus next year. Here's to a better 2021!