Sometimes, I’m allowed to take a little time off and to do other things apart from my job and my artist’s ambitions. Last weekend was this kind of weekend, so this PaintLog comes with delay – but with a healthy delay.
This time, the premise was that our OC that had been stranded in the Fantasy AU realm wished to talk to „Mayor Alexander“, he surely would be able to help you getting back to your steampunk world. But in this realm it is Mage Knight Alexander and our OC’s were dragged into an arena fight facing him, the most powerful knight in the whole kingdom.
This situation had to be put into a dynamic comic or manga („just 1-2 pages“) but without a conclusion of the fight since that is planned as topic for a 5th main challenge. So, sorry folks, it ends with a cliffhanger.
Initially, I actually planned to do „just 2 pages“ but soon I noticed that these won’t suffice. The cover page, for a start, indeed only worked as cover page – no distractions by other panels.
Secondly, the story I had in mind just needed the space. Crissy should learn how to fight the mayor by coincidence, yes, but then she should use what she’d learned by coincidence, so she actually succeeds by using her own brain and mechanic’s skills.
To show this, some extra panels were needed. And then, there is Paula of course (I’ll come back to her later), she too took some extra panels. So, in the end it boiled down to four pages.
However, I didn’t went for a full color four page comic. The cover page is the only fully rendered one. I just didn’t had the time (and the patience) and the black&white style with spare colored parts worked out nicely. Initially, the angled white bars made it easier for me to paint them (I hadn’t to bother with right angles) but this way they also added a nice dynamic to the comic.
As for the fight … Crissy is no fighter. In the fantasy AU realm she owns an arm-mounted crossbow but she is no use in direct confrontation. Therefore, I had to think of something to give her an unexpected advantage – enter the fireworks cannons.
I wasn’t sure about gunpowder in the fantasy realm, so I went for some magic stuff loaded in cannon-like contraptions at the edge of the arena to celebrate whoever (supposedly the mayor) wins the battle in the end. They of course are triggered by fire and so by the magic fireballs the Mayor throws at Crissy.
Crissy running around headless at the beginning of the comic was one of the first pictures that came to my mind. Paula commenting this while sitting in the audience and eating some nuts, was the result of some fun talk in the Arcryla City general chat. This also led to the idea that she comes to help in the end.
Topless Mayor is a recurring theme. Last year, it also came up as fun talk in the Arcryla City chats and my entry to the Mayor’s prompt only could hint at his abs. This time, now, I had the opportunity to go all in.
I gave him a „Mayic Amor“ (of course, you spotted the pun?) and with this a saiyajin-like appearance, inspired by the the calamity forms of the trio in the show Amphibia – those themselves inspired by animes like Dragonball, obviousy. Yes, I exaggerated – a lot! – but I don’t regret it, it is the whole point when creating a comic and it was the most fun.
Crissy shooting his tophat not only shows that his magic powers lay in this hat. I also wanted to make use of this crossbow I gave Crissy in the beginning of the festival but often didn’t even care to draw when depicting her.
Then, there is Vannie. She is one of the Arcryla City council members. In the storyline of the Fantasy Festival, she drags Crissy into the arena. Therefore, I dragged her in my comic as cameo appearance, keeping guard at the door. And if you look close you will spot several items from previous Fantasy Festival entries fixed to Sparrow’s saddle: bags with nuts, a wine bottle, a mangogo, a plush water bear. Don’t ask how she got them …
A last remark to the title „A Mayoral Fight“. This of course is a reminiscence of my last year’s Mayor entry „A Mayoral Wind“:
Paula tossing the coin on a string of course is inspired by all those cartoons depicting characters exactly doing this with all kinds of machines, may it be vending machines, gaming machines or just the mechanism of the entry lock to a public bath room.
Althought I don’t know, if this ever worked with any of these machines, I’m sure, it can’t fail when tossing a coin down a well shaft. – Leaving aside the if a wish actually will become true when pulling the coin back on a string afterwards.
Crissy, not believing in superstition or anything supernatural, is sceptical, if a coin actually can fulfill wishes. Of course, she knows that they are in a fantasy realm and she has experienced magic. So, her critical mind is exploring the possibility that it may work. But she is overthinking, whereas Paula doesn’t bother at all, she just goes for it.
The easiest part of this painting at the same time was the one that took the most time. There are enought references to paint Crissy and Paula. I actually took the one from the second main challenge prompt (that itself was taken from the Phone Call painting earlier this year) to paint Crissy and the fantasy version character sheet to draw Paula.
But, you know, the more details the longer the shading process. Therefore, it took several days to render Crissy. Plus: Half way through the lineart process, I noticed that I draw Crissy’s right hand the wrong way around.
Background and foreground were a one to two days work but most of them were last-minute decisions and a lot of experimention. I didn’t have to think about the grass on the floor right from the beginning, it already was in the initial image in my mind. The grass in the foreground also came quite intuitionally, blurred of course.
Still, as I started the rest of the background for a short moment I was lost. Should it take place on the festival ground? As another showplace of the festival? Then I (re-)discovered that I’ve got some nice tree brushes, oh, and brushes for leaves (for bushes), too.
In my first attempt, the trees stood that narrow to the well that it was hard to spot that Crissy is holding a coin in her hand. Trees and bushes already has been blurred but luckily, I was able to shift the ones in the left part of the painting further left without doing any harm.
Next issue was that, now that the place evolved to be „a hidden garden“, I had to get a shadow over Crissy. Normally, I would have done a clipping layer above the Crissy folder and filled it with black with an opacitiy of perhaps 5-10 %.
However, by coincidence I realised that the multiply effect creates an even more shadowy, err, shadow. After noticing this, I experimented with a leaves brush in the same manner to get a nice leaves pattern. Initially, it didn’t work the way I thought (by erasing part of the shadows) but in the end I was quite proud of the result.
The next problem was that the sky looked so empty (sounds familiar, huh?). I didn’t want to dig out the petals in the air again, at least not as only „air filler“ but I rememered a painting that got added some birds in the sky to make look it better. So, I searched for some bird brushes and I found some. I had to choose between flocks of birds and only a few ones. I chose the letter ones since together with the petals, they are not only dividing the sky in handsome bits, they are also leading the eye from Crissy to Paula in the background.
And as last problem, I had to answer the question „Overall blur or no overall blur?“.
I did an overall blur over the painting, but in comparison, the non-blur looked better. Since the foreground already has been blurred and so has the trees and bushed in thebackground, there was no further need for even more blur.
Secrets in the Garden
After entering a hidden garden, they discovered an old wishing well. While Crissy – a strong believer solely in physics and stuff – still being skeptical about whishing wells at all, Paula had her very own approach to it.*
*Artist’s note: For some moments I also considered to put the text into the painting (party to also fill the sky), but after adding the birds and petals, it just didn’t fit anymore and it wasn’t necessary, too.
As promised last week, today I want to take a closer look at the background of the Moonlight Magic DTIYS painting.
The full moon you already know from the „Weaving Magic“ painting should be background again, even bigger, even shinier. I got several full moon brushes but they all are looking like I cut the full moon out of a photo or something alike, whereas I wanted to be painted in my style again.
So, the full moon brush just served as reference layer for a clipping layer on which I followed the colors and shadows to create „my“ moon. To distuingish my OCs better from the bright moon, I added another yellow glow.
Well, the painting was big enough to add the announcement text of the DTIYS, too. However, this led to the problem that without the text there is definitely too much space in the upper half. I tried to fix this a little bit by adding the flying petals.
Although this worked in some way, it’s still a lot of space that isn’t filled and draws the attention from the two protagonists of the painting. Therefore I also did a cut version of the painting.
I like this a lot more and somebody said, it looks like a scene right out of a movie. Tbh, I can’t disagree.
Leaving the background behind, I also added tome text sheets to the DTIYS. The first one describing the terms of the challenge, the other two giving information about Raven and Samandra.
You by now get to know what Sam actually did with Raven’s amulet in the „Weaving magic“ painting. Following this, I also had to update the character descriptions on the subpages and (som e of) the paintings showing Raven in frog form.
A Familiar Face
Yesterday, the third main challenge of the Arcryla Citiy Summer Fantasy Festvial took place. This time we had to do a collab challenge, randomly picked by the admins. I did a collabd together with _ghostbam00zled_, featuring his OC Raven (painted by me) and my OC Crissy (painted by him).
He also did the background whereas I added the people in the foreground since I found a handy brush to do this. Additionally, I laid a blur over the background and added some glitter.
It was nice to be forced to draw an OC I wasn’t familiar with. There were enough refernence pictures around but I struggled a little bit with the colors of the clothes. Plus, I first didn’t really know what to make of this white vesty thing around the taille since the reference pics only show Raven’s upper body. Same applied to the trousers.
Another challenge was to adjust the style so the two OCs don’t look too different. Therefore I had to do the lineart in black, not in the darker tone of the base color as usual.
I also had to shorten the narrative POV text regarding Crissy so both POV text’s lenghts are more or less even. The long version (in comparision to the one you’ll find below) is this one:
„After the encounter with the mangogoes (and after she took the water bear shaped one with her), Crissy arrived at some kind of dancing area. Before she could retreat – and despite her lack of dancing abilities – she felt dragged into the crowd. Suddenly, she realised that the guy she was dancing with was Raven. She’d seen him one time or the other back in Arcryla City and had been fascinated by the mechanism of his mechanical wings. She didn’t dare to tell Paula, though, fearing she’d wanted to try them out by herself. The wings didn’t seem to be around today, instead there was another threat: She had to dance in public!„
A Familiar Face
After the encounter with the mangogoes, Crissy arrives at some kind of dancing area and before she can retreat she feels dragged into the crowd. Suddenly, she realises that the guy she is dancing with is Raven, the merchant with those mechanical wings which Paula surely would love to try out by herself. The wings doesn’t seem to be around today, instead there is another threat: She has to dance in public!
From dealing with customers all day Raven heads out and ends up with a crowd dancing! He is pulled to the center realizing Crissy is right next to him feeling a bit embarrassed. To lighten the mood raven dances and encourages Chrissy to join along!