With 2015 here, it's time to look back on 2014 and see what, if anything, was accomplished.
The first thing I note, looking both here and at my tumblr
, is that I'm extremely lousy at regularly doing art. I'm hoping to change that for 2015 so that I get at least one piece I can post every week. Note, that, due to Terms of Service, that may still mean a few "postless months" on DA, but hopefully I won't have any gaps in next year's "best of" post.
I did a few digital pieces near the beginning of the year, and one for a friend's birthday, but that's all. I've almost completely transitioned back to traditional full time, and most of those are ink-and-marker pictures. I think I'm going to try to do a few digital pieces this next year, just to keep in practice and maybe even learn how to use the tools I have properly. My major desire is to learn how to use Manga Studio and create/apply a texture to digital images. One of the things I so love about paper is the texture you get. Colors are not 100% solid and vary a lot.
So, how have I improved at the whole traditional art thing? Well, the earliest piece that isn't a multimedia image for 2014 is
and the last image I did this year for DA was
Looking at them, I can see that my lines have improved tremendously. The widths are far more even and there's a ton less wobbling. I do have some issues where I accidentally make a line way too thick and wobble a bit, mostly on long curves such as found on pony tails. The transition from fixed pens to a brush for inking could probably be called complete. I'm pretty sure that my brush skills now surpass my general inking skill from the beginning of the year. To me, this is a huge success. Not only does it make pictures look better, but it actually takes less time for me to ink with a brush. The variable width lines I was using where done with pens by outlining the stroke and then filling it in. hand cramps abound.
Coloring has not had such a resounding success. I think my blending has improved a little and a few techniques for doing highlights and shadows have improved, but the dynamic range of my drawings has shrunk: teh difference between the lightest and darkest colors is much smaller. In 2013 I ended up using b00, b02, and b05 copic markers to color Dash's coat. In 2014 I transitioned to using b000,b00, and b02. I'm fairly sure the lighter base colors look better, but I don't know if I like teh fact that her shaded areas are only 3 steps darker instead of 5.
As to the thing I'd love to do more often: comics. I finally did some comics in 2014, so that's awesome. The very popular
one was my first attempt at full color. I didn't have the fortitude to brush over the lines I'd spent forever inking, so it looks fairly flat. The much less popular (inside jokes and references to old memes always are)
was inked with a brush, and, in my opinion, looks so much better than anything else I've ever done. If I could do this level of quality on all the other ideas running around in my head, I'd be happy. I do still have a Flutterdash idea I want to comic, but time and mental health has kept me from starting it.
Goals for 2015
- Better Manes: I want to work on making manes look more like hair. This would most include better color/texture and drawing in locks and general shape of the mane. I did some experimentation way back in graphite, but I never got it to work with colors, so I want to fix that this year.
- Comics: I need to work on a process to make these. I don't want the webcomic format of 2-8 images just stamped together in photoshop. I want traditional comic format of frames, frame-breaking, action-frames, and using the constraints of a sheet of paper to my advantage. I've got a decent book on making comics and I would love to complete it.
- Humans: My enthusiasm for watching MLP has waned since S3, and I've not actually watched most of s4. I still love the characters as I remember them, but I don't want to stop drawing just because I'm not in love with the show anymore. So I would like to be able to draw the human form and face. I've tried a bit in 2014 and have hated almost everything I've drawn. Between generic anime-face and hands/feet, I feel like a total noob at this again. I want that to go away.
- Productivity: I really, really need this goal. If I can spend 1 hour/day drawing, at least 4 times a week, I bet I can reach the other three goals. Since I tend to post stuff even if it's bad, I don't really need a post/week metric, but I'd like to get 1/month at the least.
So there I have it. Four goals for 2015.
Happy New Year's guys