Slowvember 2020 WIP

  • I had originally planned on painting my Inktober piece for Slowvember, but I've decided that I need a break from that project to really enjoy it, and will get back to it over Christmas break. Instead, I'm going to do something similar to last year, and create an illustration that I've had in my mind for about a year. This will be a take on the tortoise and the hare, with them instead of a race, playing a game of chess (much more at Tortoise's speed). I'm going with this concept because I love working with animals, I wanted to do something autumnal (there's going to lots of fallen leaves and warm tones), it'll work well as both a postcard and a print, and it's also going to be my entry in the Together contest.

    I'm feeling comfortable enough in my digital rendering process to go in that direction, so the only handdrawn steps will be the final sketch and inking. Everything else will be done on the computer. As of now, I've got the thumbnail selected and the rough sketch made, so tonight I'll start work on the final sketch.



  • @ajillustrates I love th dimension you were able to give in the sketch! Looking forward to see the development

  • Update: I had a last minute freelance design project come out of nowhere, so I think I'm officially too slow for Slowvember now. Because of this, I'm changing the scope of this illustration to finish the inking for Slowvember, and then I'll return to the painting portion later.

  • So a combination of burnout, last minute freelance, and Thanksgiving means that I need to totally change course for Slowvember to another project already in process, the "fox adventurer" prompt for this month's Character Design Challenge. Basically, I should have known that after Inktober, jumping into an extra project the direct month afterward is a terrible idea for me. Hopefully I'll be returning to this chess game next month.


    Started off with the first layer of sketching, which I think of as the "structure" sketch. I'm by nature a heavy drawer/writer (probably because I the pencil weird), so this step forces me to scribble sketch and feel my way out very lightly until I land on the shapes and pose I want.

    Final Sketch.JPG

    Next step is the final pencil sketch (completed with coffee stains), where I define my structure sketch into the final forms and details. I don't always sketch to this level of finish, but since I'm kinda making this guy up on the fly, I felt I wanted a pretty sturdy base before adding ink. It was in this step that I googled some fox reference to keep him from looking too "wolf," so I shrunk the nose and bushied up his tail. Fun note on the pencil: until recently, I've only ever sketched in HB graphite, but I've just started using red, because it looks great with ink over it. Also, this pencil is literally the red "grading pencil."

  • Ink.JPG

    Inking done on my Fox Adventurer. Turns out this sketchbook REALLY hates my brush pen, so this was a real fight. Also, does anyone else place their pen to artfully cover the ink smudges when they photograph? Asking for a friend.

  • Block-Colors.jpg

    Now that the hand drawn work is scanned into the computer, I've blocked in the colors underneath the line work. At this point, it should look a bit like 70s/80s era Marvel comic art. I also adjusted the angle and length of his blaster arm.

  • @ajillustrates love this take on tortoise and hare

  • Dark-Tones.jpg

    Darker tones and fur added.

  • Lighter-Values.jpg

    I think adding the lighter values might be my favorite step in this process. It's when I really start to feel the illustration coming to life.

  • Shadows.jpg

    Shadows added, and he's starting to feel close to getting done.

  • Highlights-and-Hotspots.jpg

    Highlights, hotspots, and holograms.

  • Final-Render.jpg

    And with the final background and textures plugged in, I'm done!

  • @ajillustrates the final looks so cool!! I love the textures and all the details in the fur!! they really sell this piece!

  • @Freya-Chakour Thank you!

  • Well done @ajillustrates!

  • @Jeremy-Ross Thanks!

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