One of the things on my 20 Before 20 list was to do a line art swap. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t felt like I was good enough to do it.
The lovely NinaHah, who drew this awesome art for me, agreed to swap with me. We settled on a full body drawing, without a background, of one of the recipients characters, and given the time of year, we went with a Halloween theme. We were gonna draw the characters in a Halloween outfit.
I had a look at Nina’s Deviant Art page and picked her character Mariola.
After a quick sketch…
… I got started on the piece to swap. I wanted to put her in a witch outfit, because witches are awesome. I didn’t want to be boring and go traditional though. So I added some style. I don’t know if it’s good style – I have no fashion sense. But I like it. I appear to be a little obsessed with striped socks.
It’s very weird drawing a piece when you have no intention of colouring it. Very weird. But I scanned the drawing into the computer and tidied it up, then sent it to Nina. She was very excited to start planning colours.
So what did she draw for me?
Another witch! I guess great minds think alike. This is my character Wren.
I considered printing and colouring her traditionally, but I really want to work on my digital skills. The method I’m used to using to colour images is to make clipping masks, but that requires transparency instead of white. I figured out a way to make the white transparent, but then I spent an hour deleting individual pixels from the intricate bits.
Screw this. I’ll just colour around the lines. This wasn’t as easy as it sounds. My tablet isn’t a proper graphics tablet. It’s just a touch screen. And so the stylus that I have to use is a great big thick rubber end – it’s hard to be accurate. The colouring around the lines took forever.
And then Nina taught me about multiply layers. All of a sudden it was a lot easier.
I had a lot of fun doing it. I’m continuously learning new skills with digital art – this time I figured out getting the gradients in the hair.
Figuring out how to add a background was also a bit difficult, but I got there in the end. I’m pretty sure that most things I do digitally I do the long and complicated way round. But I’m learning.
One of the biggest things I’m learning is to not obsess over every tiny pixel. When I work, because of the tablet style, I work very close up.
It makes me want to make sure that every single pixel is perfect. But I’m trying to resist that, and I think my finished piece looks freaking awesome.
Thank you for doing this collaboration with me, Nina. I can’t wait to see what you’ve done with my drawing of Marie.