A little less than a year ago (August 11, 2020), I decided I wanted to learn how to draw. I was unemployed, stuck in quarantine, and not doing all that great mental health wise. A few days later, my spanking new Wacom tablet was delivered, and for once I actually used the shiny new tech I’d purchased on a whim!
My progress has been stop and go — I’ve had much less time for practice in 2021 thanks to the new job, revising The Liar’s Knot, and writing book 3 of Rook & Rose. I tried taking a formal class through a local community college and dropped it within two weeks when I realized it was more ‘how to use Adobe Illustrator’ than it was actually teaching me digital techniques. I was better off with Youtube and Udemy courses.
Still, since my annual check-in was coming up, I decided to do my most ambitious piece ever to show my progress. Just as a reminder, here’s where I was a year ago in terms of what I could do:
Note that I didn’t use things like references, frames, sketches, or preliminary line art. I’d never even heard of layers, vector layers, cell shading, and the whole process of lighting. So on process alone, I think I’ve leveled up a lot. I’m still not as patient as I could be, but I generally have learned to take my time and do all the steps of the onion.
Anyways, the hardest thing for me is still coming up with ideas for interesting things to draw. I haven’t yet trained my brain to think of the ways a picture says a thousand words. But I had this line rattling through my head that seemed applicable to Tian Guan Ci Fu/Heaven Official’s Blessing/Eternal Faith, so I decided to draw that.
So, here’s where I am, one year into the learning process. WARNING: This piece contains out-of-context spoilers for TGCF.
(Note: WordPress was struggling with loading the original, so I chopped it into panels for easier viewing).
And here’s the whole if you want to open it in a separate window: