The Phantom Inker

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Draw This Again, 2003-2017

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Even though Celine isn't Ally, they have similar character designs, and it's interesting to use them as a point of comparison between my skills in November 2003 and my skills in October 2017.

I was pretty proud of Ally when I first drew her. I had to use a few photo references to get her pose right, and I spent huge amounts of time trying to get all that shading so it looked okay. Ehheh, the things I didn't know I didn't know.

So what's changed in the almost exactly 14 years between these? Quite a lot, obviously! Some of the more notable differences:

  • I'm way better with proportions now: Instead of looking like a girl attached to a hooved mastiff, Celine looks like a girl on an actual full-size horse. Even Celine's human torso looks like it's better-sized for her.
  • The "anime influences" are pretty toned-down, at least to the point where I don't accidentally draw characters that are 8000% chibi-fied anymore. Interestingly, when I first really started drawing again in the early 2000s, it was a screen capture of an anime eye (Téa from Yu-Gi-Oh, if you must ask) that really got me inspired to do so; now the eyes are scaled back almost to "realistic."
  • The shading is much better: The highlights are softer, the shadows are sturdier, the lines are softer, and I do a lot more with a lot less.
  • For all their failings, those hands on the right had no references. I was still using references for every hand in 2003.
  • Also, backgrounds! I'm starting to paint those now. And while the farm behind Celine is far from perfect, it's a long way from the simple "pink wash" behind Ally.
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