In the end of the Summer Festival, our OCs were sent home to their own realm. They woke up again in their rooms in steampunk Arcryla City and didn’t remember what happened in the fantasy world. And, of course, Paula wasn’t able to take Sparrow with her (or to keep the elf’s ears).
All that was left were vague, dreamlike feelings, dejavues at the most. Still, I got this idea to connect Sparrow with the steampunk world. There are no big bird mounts in the steampunk realm, of course, but there is the African secretary bird, a bird that comes next in appearance to Sparrow.
With this piece, I wanted to try out some new things. Again, I managed to do Paula’s updated haircut (although ruffled by the night) but I also found a new way to draw abs. I always wanted her to have visible abs but wasn’t able to sufficiently. I think, I will stick to them the way I did here.
The second goal was to practise anatomy, going into the very details, including full frontal nudity. Yes, in one version of this painting you can see her boobs and then, there is a version in which I cut out one of the plants pots, so you can spot her genital piercing (she always had one, but, well, no nudity on this site, you know). Both are among the paintings you can see on above-mentioned Patreon channel.
But let’s keep speaking about creating the SFW versions of this painting. The original, the most genuine version, the one that I had in mind when drawing the painting, is the one featuring the big plant leaves. It depends on your point of view, if it just doesn’t tell if Paula is wearing anything or if the leaf covers her up.
My intention was, yes, it implies nudity (therefore you won’t find it on Ko-fi) and with „most genuine“ I mean that it fits Paula’s „I don’t give a fucking shit about what other peoples think“ attitude most. So, in the real universe, she is standing in full nuditiy on her balcony, „So what?!“.
First I thought of covering it up by adding another big plant right in front of her but as it came to painting this part, I was too proud of my newly drawn abs and they would’ve been covered as well along with a big part of Paula’s upper body. Besides, it would’ve been to obvious what I was going to hide. Still, I had to add some vines covering her hips, so nobody would be able to tell if she wears some kind of panties.
„Chirp, chirp, chirp …“, the birds outside the windows awakened Paula.
Still dozy she left the bed to look after her plants on the balcony. She felt like she’d had a weird dreams but couldn’t recall anything. She stepped on the balcony and gave herself a good stretch when she heard some flapping sounds.
Opening one eye, the second one still half closed, sleep in the eyes, behind a wall of blurry dream dust, she noticed a big, long-legged, talon-armed and sharp-beaked grey and white bird. She immediately got the feeling of familiarity, although she couldn’t say where this came from and the bird appeared to be docile enough.
Paula didn’t read a lot – in fact she didn’t read at all -, so she didn’t know what a secretary bird is or where they usually live, so she didn’t question it. She also didn’t remember the adventures in some weird fantasy realm, but she knew that she got a new but somehow familiar friend.
She called her „Sparrow“.
This became important with the full SFW version in which she wears a shirt. Still no hint of panties (and being Paula there won’t be any) but by looking at the painting, you may imagine some. To keep this version SFW, I had to shade Paula’s boobs a little bit darker, so there won’t be any visible nipples.
If you look close, you can see that there is the head of a waterbear on the shirt, indicating that it’s one of Crissy’s. If you look even closer, you will spot her in the background, lying in the bed, there is even a part of her leg sticking out of the blankets. I even put her waterbear plushy into the painting, but this one is fully covered by the bed curtain, I fear. Another detail that details got missed due to the background blur are the two pictures on the wall.
One of them you still may recognzige as the photo taken on the Zeppelin Ride that I presented as Valentine’s entry in the beginning of this year. The second one is a photo taken by a speed trap as they both were riding Paula’s jetbike during last year’s Summer Festival. Since it turned out a nice picture, Paula decided to put it on her wall.
In my first approach to the background, I didn’t want to bother with it a lot. Therefore, I tried some lineless airbrush … well … you have to call it „diffuse airbrush blobs“. It didn’t really work out without lineart, so I skipped the seemingly „fast and easy“ attempt and drew the lines.
I often got asked, if it’s Crissy’s appartment or Paula’s. Admittedly, it’s not that obvious. Still, I already mentioned Paula’s carnivorous plants and here they are. I exaggerated a lot and played arount with my fantasy rather than taking references of real carnivorous plants in their actual form or sizes.
They are taken from several popcultural sources like Little Shop of Horror (the small Audrey like plants) or Pokémon (there is a Victreebel-like plant hanging around), inspired by real plants (like the sundew or the „cactus“) or just made up as I went along (the big one on the balcony’s railing). And as often this days I also hid a tiny but happy frog in this painting.
Another detail that got invisible are the reflections in the door’s glass. I actually did some, I really did. I didn’t want to bother with them a lot, but I did. They basically were parts of the painting put on an extra (clipping) layer above the door’s glass and lowering the opacitiy really low.
Because this way it never would’ve been an accurate way of reflecting this was an advantage on my side and well, I just wanted to to hint at them, not get them recognizable. However, the other background details are covering most of them anyways, not to speak of the reflection of the morning sun (and the whole morning sky) in one of the glass tiles.
Btw, I’m really proud that I managed to get this bright morning feeling and the dizziness after waking up after deep dreams, when there still is sleep in your eyes and a blur in the corners of your field of vision.