Hope all is well with you! First of all, I'd like to thank many of you for the new watch, comments, faves and feedback which I have been receiving lately. In all honesty, the feedback which I have been receiving in the past 6 months is what drove me to go beyond my comfort zone to improve my art.
As many of you know already, I am in the process of compiling the drawings for the Historically Wrong Sketch Series: Medieval Revisited
into an HWS: Medieval Women Warriors Artbook
which will include 80+ drawings of women warriors depicted in practical, historically inspired armor. From the start of the year, I realized that most of my drawings are old, outdated and didn't have the same feel or the format which I want to incorporate into the artbook, so I decided to review my past works and try to perform some adjustment, and failing that, create a new sketch to best fit into the artbook. For some of the improvements, I have have divided into separate section below:
Part 1: Transforming Landscape Into Portrait Orientation
This is perhaps the most straightforward, since there only way to fit the drawing into the artbook is to actually re-draw it into portrait orientation. On the other hand, most of the drawings done in landscape were done back in 2014 which didn't have that much detail or accuracy as intended. One of the best example the drawing for the medieval french woman warrior
As you can see, this was done in 2014 and was one of my early attempt at incorporating background. Only the main character is inked, while the rest of the background was drawn in pencil with rough sketch. Compare this to the re-drawing version below
While the basic techniques are still the same, I tried to experiment with depicting fighting on horseback, while at the same time, making the background blend nicely with the action scene. Apart from that, the whole attire went into complete re-design to better fit the historical references which will be included in the artbook
Apart from that, I also wanted the drawings to be more details and more believable, depicting a warrior rather than just a female model in armor. You can see the examples below:Drawing for Chinese Culture
Compare to the recent drawing below
Drawing for Byzantine/Eastern Roman Empire Culture
Compare to the recent drawing below
As you can see, the re-drawing has more detail and in my opinion, a more immersive picture, which will contribute to what I believe to be a more enjoyable reading experience for my artbook readers Part 2: More Detail and More Immersion
The experience I received from re-drawing also made me review the other, less detailed and older drawings. For the past 6 months, I have been studying various historical illustrations from great artists, trying to find which area I can learn for improvement. It was from them that I began to experiment with other illustrations, trying to practice my anatomy, accuracy and adopting the use of 0.05mm for a very very tiny details. The use of such a tiny point pen helped me to put a bolder move of inking parts of the background, which were previously drawn with pencil. As such, not only I was able to create highly detailed drawings for the main character, but I could also add more details into the background. You can see the examples below:
Both the drawings (top & below) shows my attempt at incorporating more details and more immersions into the drawing.
Below is also some example at how I revised the portrayal of the character which is more full body, one that allows more space for creativity (and detail) which fits better into the artbook.
With the short showcase, I wanted to re-assure you that I am still working and Improving my skills on to make the artbook project into a reality. I have to admit, the progress is rather slow given that I have to juggle my time with my work. While to some, the improvements are not that big, I must admit that all off these improvements are possible with your continuous support and feedback. I have always believed that with every new drawing, there's always room for improvement, which actually what drives and motivates me to create more art.
Perhaps, if any of you are currently frustrated with your art or facing an art block, you can take my example as a lesson. Good art skill doesn't come in just one night, it takes time. First thing is to set up a goal and what you want to achieve, because your art will revolve around your goals. The second most important step, is well, to finish it. As trivial as it is, to be able to set up a goal and then achieve it is actually what separates the success from the rest. People need to see results, not excuse; so keep that in mind. Lastly, always leave yourself some time for self-reflection and review your past artworks. That way, you will be able to see some room where you can improve, be it your artistic skills, or the subject of art you are dealing with, to better suit in achieving your goals. If anything, listen to critiques and feedback; most people you meet know something you don't, so it's important to keep your ears open. That being said, perhaps the most important factor out of all the three is to have confidence with your work. By confidence, it's not the "They will like my art" one, but rather, "I'll be fine if they don't" confidence