Knight Sister–Girl Number 83

Knight Sister is the latest illustration for my art book that I’ve uploaded online, but I’m not showing every single image I’ve done since the last entry–I’m actually up to 86 images now.

How I put the Knight Sister together

This one was kind of a process. Still getting used to drawing on my Chromebook Plus, I decided to start it in an Android drawing app called Infinite Design, a vector app that’s really awesome. (It has an infinite canvas! Started your drawing too close to the middle and feel like you might have to cut the feet off? Not with this…just zoom out.)

Digital rough sketched in Infinite Design.

But after I got comfortable with it, I said “eh, I think I want to go traditional” so I printed the rough out.

Then I said “nope, I need more clarity”. So I opened the digital rough back up and cleaned it up a little in Clip Studio Paint on my Cintiq Companion. Then I was like “okay, NOW I’m ready to go traditional” and I printed out the clearer rough on cardstock paper and inked it with a Sharpie Pen.

Traditionally-inked version on cardstock paper.

I liked it, but even if I wanted to color Knight Sister traditionally, I wanted to protect the inking first. So, I scanned it into the computer so I could AGAIN take it to Clip Studio Paint and do the final rendering. I decided to get a little looser with cel shading to give her armor a sort of weathered, not-smooth look. Honestly, I think the lines suffered a bit from all the back and forth, but I like the color.

The scanned and flatted version, in Clip Studio Paint.

Moving Forward…

The road to 100 Random Practice Babes continues, including a basketball player (see my Instagram for that) and something much more mythical (you probably won’t see that until the whole book is done though).

Production is going to slow down a little as I’ve picked up some client work. I’ve been enlisted to create some toon likenesses of models for a series of book covers, and it’s going well so far. Grateful to have gotten some commission work again, and I need to be sure I’m putting my all into it. The subject matter suits me perfectly; it focuses on beautiful black women.

Jon

Making a choice

today

I finished another girl drawing today. I’m actually kind of proud of it. But I am resisting sharing it (in its entirety anyway). It’s not amazingly innovative or anything, but I need to teach myself a new habit.

I’m up to 36 images. Most of those who follow me online have seen most of them already. I learned a valuable lesson…if I want my work to actually have value, it might help to not share everything online for free.

I just can’t help it; I thrive off of attention for my work (not personal attention–I actually shirk from that). I have no one to really share my art with in my real life, no fellow artists, so I get my art connections online. So I want to show people what I’ve done, even though if I were habitually able to just produce girl drawings without sharing them online, I could probably have produced 100 individual illustrations in the time from mid-May (when I first started and announced the project) to now.

That’s my real problem, my real hindrance from finishing what I start. I’m plagued by the hunger for instant gratification. I like seeing people ‘like’, share, reblog, and comment on my art. I liked the idea of being a webcomic artist for a while, using ads to support and fund the comic while I posted week after week, but I couldn’t stick with it. And Patreon seemed like a nice idea, but it’s been my experience that people aren’t willing to start paying for something they’re used to getting for free, and I don’t know what to offer.

I feel I must make a choice; either get used to the idea of not sharing the images I produce until the book is ready (and I’m kind of set in my ways so change will be tough), or put it out early and accept the fact that I’m a short-term, instant-gratification type of artist…accept that attention on social media means more to me than possibly having a product with value to sell. Sounds obvious on paper, but the last 17 years have shown me that I’m more comfortable sharing my work and not worrying about sales than trying to be an art hustler or a businessman.

For the record, some have suggested that my goal of 100 girl drawings was a bit too lofty and that I should focus on putting out smaller, cheaper products more quickly. I was just trying to challenge myself to do something harder than I’ve ever done before. I’ve drawn far more than 100 images in my lifetime (well over 1000 exist on my deviantArt page alone) and I’ve completed comics with more than 100 panels total, so 100 versions of my favorite subject matter should have been at least feasible. It still is. I mean, if I finish the 100 girls by May of next year, I would have fulfilled my original goal, but the question is, is it worth it?