Ep. 22, Page 50

smbhax on July 29, 2014

If you were following me on tumblr today you'd have seen a lot of draft versions of the pencil drawing for today's page, as it sort of tortuously evolved over the hours, for a particular reason that kind of caught me by surprise. I won't show you the hideous earliest versions here—you can go scroll back through my tumblr archive at smbhax.tumblr.com a bit to find ‘em yourself : )—but here’s a sort of midway one:

So the difficulty I had was that I had Selenis all drawn out in pencil—heck I had pretty much the whole darn page all drawn out—after just a few hours and I was all happy and thinking I might set a new record by getting to bed on time for the third day in a row, and then I got to thinking well gosh I'm so ahead of schedule maybe I'll try drawing her reflection in the window like I'd considered doing earlier but thought I wouldn't because it's hard for me to duplicate a likeness that closely, not to mention backwards. Well, so—oh, hubris!—I decided to try drawing the reflection, and sure enough it was taking forever to get something that looked like a reflection of her face from the left side of the page. That wasn't the real difficulty, though; that came next: once I finally got a decent reflection drawn, I realized that it was way better than the original figure it was reflecting. The reflection put the original in the shade!
I think it's at least partly because it didn't have to bear the brunt of a figure being constructed and all that, it was just pure “okay that line goes here and over here are these lines and” so it got that slight, easy abstraction to it that makes something look less drawn and more actual; and as sometimes happens, after trying to draw something over and over my brain kind of went blank and my hand just did stuff. So for instance the hair zig-zagging through her eye, though not, in fact, happening in the face on the left, came out way cooler than if I had really been trying to do that consciously. Dagnabbit.
So I struggled with this in my head for a while and there was just no help for it, I had to erase the original figure and try to redraw it to be more dynamic and cool and slightly abstracted, like the reflection—except reflected back the other direction, naturally. I knew, of course, that this was more or less impossible—I still haven't been and I don't suppose I ever will be able to draw completely fearlessly and unconsciously at will :"|—and, sure enough, it was rough going. Drawing the reflection of a reflection was tricky! >__< I guess if I was going to be all hardcore about this I might go ahead and draw a reflection of each figure in each drawing I do, then erase the original and reflect the reflection back, and thus end up with an improved figure, but um yeah I probably won't be doing that.
I should definitely do more sunset scenes, though, 'cause apparently watercolors are bonzo at sunsets! Who knew?