Somewhere in January I made a sketch of a cat girl with blue hair. I dubbed her ‘catgirl’. I’m real innovative like that. Just shoving two words together.
Here’s her first appearance on my Instagram:
Then I kept on drawing her, again and again and again. Eventually I decided that I had to make some legit illustrations featuring cat+girl, otherwise I wasn’t getting it out of my system.
The thing is: I had been scared of going back to working digital for some months. After February this year I …I don’t know, I just couldn’t pick up my old Wacom. I was afraid of the process I think? I was bothered by the way I was working. I was mostly doing line-less artwork and that didn’t feel like me.
Truth is, I like lineart. A lot. And not having a grip on lines when working digital has been a frustration since I first got a pen tablet.
So I started again, trying to get the lines to work with me. Here’s what I’ve found thus far:
- Without a Cintiq or equivalent I’ll never be able to draw lines like I do on paper, so I gotta cheat where I can
- Enter: Paint Tool SAI. It’s such a simple program compared to, well, about anything else out there but it has a magic trick up its sleeve: the adjustable pen tool. It allows you to change your lines after you drawn them. Really nice.
- The pen tool isn’t very ‘realistic’ when it comes to strokes, not like you would see in Manga Studio and the likes (let alone the real thing) so I decided to work with very thin lines to compensate for the loss of depth.
- Very thin lines keep the focus on the color of the piece without obscuring the line work. It’s a win-win in my opinion.
And as for catgirl? She’s really grown on me. In a way she represents the part of me that is happy, carefree and in love with plants & nature. Wearing bright colors, hanging around outside in the sun. Probably more who I was as a kid to be honest.
I think she’ll be back one day. Perhaps sooner than I think.