I haven't really drawn or painted anything since late 2017 or something, but it always seems to be the Bleach site that makes me start drawing again. Thus, when it closed, I stopped drawing, and now that it's back... well, I'm drawing again. For a long, long time, I drew exactly like Kubo Tite (no shit), and unfortunately that kind of coloured my art style for the following ten years. Only real recently did I start managing to make my anime-style artwork look any different, more like mine, but I realised somewhere in there that I didn't want to draw anime-style art for the rest of my life, anyway. I wanted to paint.
A long time ago, I started edging my way into digital painting, and honestly it was really kind of a pain in the ass. My brain was too caught up with its OCD in the details of the lines, which in animanga style artwork, we know is really important. You mess up the lines, you mess up the whole thing. Right? Right. So my brain had trained itself to focus on getting the lines 100% perfect first. Well then I couldn't quite shade it after that because OH sure I could get that line exactly where it should be. But don't ask me about the colour and light right there. No clue.
Really commonly, I heard from digital painters that "If you want to paint, master drawing first. If you can't draw, you can't paint," and here I am, ten years of that shit later, saying, "That's not necessarily true." And that up there? That's exactly the fuck why. Here's the thing, if you actually paint everything instead of draw and then paint over it, there's no real drawing skill necessary in that. Certain styles of semi-realism require lines because you'll use them to some extent, but if you're just gonna paint it all anyway, drawing is almost completely useless to you. (I say almost, because you do learn some really solid anatomy that way, and if you're painting people [or, shit, animals? animals have anatomy], and most do, yeah that's important.) The preliminary sketch in a full-blown digital painting doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't even have to really look entirely like what you'll be painting. All it needs to do is get the point across, for you, and build some semblance of image composition. That's it. Slap them grey blobs up and build your image after that with value and colour. No drawing really necessary.
And at least in my case, focusing too heavily on trying to master drawing actually really screwed me over as far as digital painting goes. We live in 2019, where art and image programs can effortlessly pick up a thing, move it, and blend it back together. Or grab a part of an image and push it that way. Tilt this character's eyes just slightly more upward. Make them slightly bigger. The drawing part doesn't have to be perfect. But I will instinctively focus way too hard on the lines. And then I will instinctively depend on them too heavily. So, really, it's more a matter of deciding what exactly you want to do and be good at. Because you shouldn't be focusing too hard on something you actually don't want to be doing.
So, this is Suifeng (pronounced soy-fawn) of Bleach. I did this in about 4 hours total in Photoshop CC 2018 on a Huion H610 Pro tablet. I built her face and the basic rough shape of the rest in black and white, then added colour and started throwing light everywhere (and colour dodge, bit of colour dodge). Mostly this was like, Aight Arc, you're Asian. Act like it! Do the Asian thing and turn a couple grey blobs into a masterpiece. Not entirely sure if I've got the Asian-art-magic, I'm not Chinese or Korean, I'm Filipino and Thai, so it was like welp this may not count for me hahaha. But I actually really like how it came out. Now if I can do this without references, that'd be bloody grand. Come on brain, you know how light and colour work! Stop acting like you don't!!
Blah blah, rare artist rage among the coder rage.
In other news, I've started on ACM3, and it already hates me! Ahh, I'd expect nothing else.