Jet Dancer vs. Drone Acolyte

I recently finished a big coloring commission, so now is the time for me to get back to work on what a lot of people follow me for: my premiere character Jet Dancer! Those who purchased a copy of my art book RPB (available here in print or digitally) may have run across this young lady:

Her tentative name is “Drone Acolyte”. Like most of my random practice babes, I hadn’t initially intended to do anything more with her; she was just a fun character design. But someone on deviantART gave me the idea of using some of these random characters as subjects for comic practice, so I did so.

To get myself back into the comic-making groove, I decided to throw together a quick eight-page comic featuring Jet Dancer, pitting her against the aforementioned Drone Acolyte.

The name was random. It popped in my head because I gave her a weird helmet that made her look like someone who was, well, an acolyte of some sort of weird high tech religion, and she has those floating things rotating around her, which felt like some kind of drones to me. So that’s the general idea of the story: Jet Dancer represents fun and freedom, and she gives hope to many, but there is apparently a sect out there who wants the populace to rely on a system of control, rather than freedom. Jet, being a beacon of freedom, is a threat to this sect, and therefore an Acolyte has been sent to test Jet’s abilities. And that’s the story.

It’s just an excuse to draw a quick fight scene, but it works.

Also, I’m doing this comic in an attempt at grayscale rendering with touches of color. Mainly, Jet’s glow effects and those of the Acolyte will be the only things in the comic that are not black, white or a shade of gray.

I’m keeping track of every aspect of this project’s creation so I can produce a walkthrough at some point, but for now, here are the steps I took to produce the first page in MediBang Paint on iPad Pro and Clip Studio Paint on PC:

Page 1 - thumbnail
First step was the rough thumbnails. I drew all eight pages on some layout sheets I downloaded from Google. Jet Dancer starts out doing her thing, which is leaping across rooftops using her rocket boots and super strength to enjoy the heights and momentum.
Page 1 - Line art
Here is the line art. I did this mostly in MediBang, but I used Clip Studio Paint’s perspective rulers for the buildings. I changed some of the poses I initially came up with because I wanted it to look and feel more dynamic. I’m especially happy with the landing pose in Panel 3.
Page 1 - Flats
Flats. I made a custom grayscale palette in Clip Studio Paint. Aside from black (which I used for the lines) and white (for the parts I intended to make glow) I only used five shades of gray for everything: 10, 30, 50, 70 and 90 percent gray. Oh, and the red and blue for Jet’s eyes; her heterochromatic eyes are part of her signature look and I’ll be maintaining that for the comic.
Page 1 - Final Render
Final rendering. I “colored” this the way I generally color everything, using the lasso fill tool, gradients and other tools in Clip Studio Paint. I did all the highlights and shadows on one layer, set to hard light at 60%, using white for highlights and black for shadows.

I’m currently about to start rendering the third page, but I still haven’t written a clear script yet. I might need some help coming up with the exact definition of this drone religion/cult that has it in for Jet Dancer, but I’ll focus on that once the art is done. I’ve cleaned up all the thumbnails already and the art portion of the project should be fairly smooth sailing from here on out.

Keep your eyes on this blog for updates! Thanks for reading.