Hello, all! Welcome to the art compilation for March!
March was a specially emote-heavy month because Twitch has decided to allow Affiliates to have a few more emote slots. I was so excited when I heard those news, both for myself as an Affiliate and for my customers too! The sudden influx of emote requests did cause me to halt production on other projects for a while, but I was really happy I managed to accomodate everyone. (On that note, special thanks to every single one of my customers, who are the most generous, patient and kind people on earth.)
Look at how cute they look next to each other! Also that's a very good number of pink themed emotes. I was very very pleased.~
Aside from the emotes, the first piece I completed last month was not really a commission: it was a redo!
My friend Kyle Landry reached out to me and asked if I could give him the files for an old piece I had created for him to use as a cover for one of his songs. The piece was already a few years old tho, so OF COURSE I saw more than a handful of mistakes when I recovered the file. I then asked Kyle if I could touch it up before he put it to use again. You can see both versions below:
As you can see, the main changes were a few anatomy changes, namely her hand and her waist, cleaning up some of the lines and adding a little more contrast to her hair.
Two things stopped me from reworking this piece completely: 1- Time. I had a little less than a day to work on this, since Kyle needed it rather quickly to submit his song. So it really was an exercise to use the time I had efficiently, as well as knowing when it was enough and I should stop and call it done. 2- (And the most tragic one) I didn't have the artwork's original files. I did have an HDD failure a few years ago and I believe the files for the original piece were lost in that bunch. So all of the changes I made to this drawing had to be painted over a single layer! Again, it was amazing practice. But gosh, I kept thinking how I wish I had the separate layers in order to do some better work on those hair lines...
All in all, looking back at it right now, it doesn't even look like the piece has changed much. But I still decided to add it to this compilation because I hadn't had a chance to talk about my reasoning around it, the challenges it presented to me, etc. It's really good to have this little corner to talk about things like these.~
SPEAKING of reasoning. That brings us to the second commission I've finished in march:
This piece was part of an interesting set of events and one of them was the launching of a new NSFW Patreon page. You probably already read about it, since I wrote about it rather extensively on my main Patreon, so I'm not gonna talk too much about it right now. This was the perfect piece to present along with that idea because I think it nicely picks up the intimate, sensual look I'd like to explore further down the road, but at the same time it doesn't show any nudity so I felt decently safe and comfortable to use it in order to showcase the new Patreon page to you guys and post on my main social media. :)
I'm just gonna reiterate just HOW DIFFICULT it was to shade those scales. The character is of the Au Ra race from Final Fantasy XIV and they seem to have very specific scale patterns, so I spent hours studying them - it was important for me to learn how to simplify them in a way I'd still get the correct look across.
Overall I must admit I haven't achieved a soft or rich enough look for this piece, compared to the vision I had in my mind. I like it right now, sure, but I wish I could have had the time to make it a lineless piece, for instance. That would have, however, caused a big change in hours put in the project, and ultimately increased the price by a lot - and the customer had already paid up front for this. So took this as a chance to exercise some self-control (again!) and try to brush off feelings of frustration and disappointment when I simply have to call a commission "done", instead of spending 5, 10 extra hours on a drawing that should have been a "simple shaded" piece, but I insist it could be a masterpiece.
Last but not least, it's time to share what I believe was the very jewel in the crown of the artwork of March.
And there it is. My rework of a piece done in 2013, called "Let your True Colors Flow".
I had been thinking of that piece a lot. It's very special to me, it holds a lot of meaning, and I wish I could have it showcased in my store and in more places in social media. It was, however, originally done on a very small canvas, so I couldn't really put it up for sale anywhere. It was also rather old, and my flawed anatomy was showing. Basically I had been growing as an artist enough that I could see all the flaws on the original artwork, but I definitely wasn't ready to let it go - neither as a concept or as a message.
So I decided to do a recreation of the piece. I worked on it from scratch on my streams, and it was such a wonderful experience. One of my first deliberate decisions about it was to make the rainbow vortex look like it had movement, like it had a "twist" to it. The old one looked too straightforward and too neat for what I imagined to be a burst of colors and light. I think the new texture and movement of the vortex really is the highest point of the new piece, and definitely what I'm the most proud of.
All steps of this piece's creation were wonderful. It was so special to be able to give my vision a second chance, with my current level of skills. It was so special to hear people saying they remembered the very stream in which the first piece was created, and shared memories with me. And it was so special to hear the many different meanings people were taking away from the piece's metaphor and many ways in which it would touch their hearts.
When I got to the end, I was sad to finish this. I had so much fun, just a grand old time, I wish it could have lasted a little longer. But hey, maybe if I worked a lot longer on this, I'd start stressing over the smallest details and it would cease being fun. So I believe it was just a perfect ride and I'm so thankful for having experienced it.
I really hope I'll get to work on another piece similar to this soon - with a deep personal connection, an abstract meaning and no deadline. These make me go back "in the zone" where crafting a piece becomes pouring my soul on the canvas, simply for the sake of doing it and sharing it with the world. They make me feel like I'm 18 again, back in a time where art, for me, was not about numbers, but about passion. Going back into that zone again and finding that fire still burning brightly inside my chest is quite extraordinary.