The King of Fighters XIII hype train is running full steam ahead on my side of the street so I decided to knock out this piece in honor of it. It was originally going to be just Mature and Vice but I threw Iori in there for good measure even though I’m not completely sold on his new outfit yet. Mature and Vice’s new costumes are ace though and really bring Rugal’s assistants (who am I kidding? they’re his freakin’ secretaries) to modern times.
Stuff and progress animation below.
The linework, as is usually the case, came pretty easy. I always loved the Shinkiro and Hiroaki character illustrations in the KOF titles so I left the background blank as an ode to those. Finding a nice balance with Mature and Vice where they’re sexy enough without being slutty wasn’t as easy as one would think. I moved limbs around and I changed body gestures many times but I finally settled on something I was satisfied with. I inked digitally once again and everything was going pretty smoothly up until that point. The color process though, became a timesink once again.
I tried to do straight up brush rendering once again and I simply failed miserably. I was at least half way through before I realized the piece just wasn’t looking the way I wanted so I completely discarded all the coloring work I had done up until that point. I went back to my safety zone, i.e., animation shading with gradients. It was looking better so I started do some tonal blending and about halfway through I was, once again, met with undesired results and I discarded that part of the process. Ultimately, I decided to keep some blending but in very specific parts like the hair, skin and other small bits of clothing.
Even after all this trial and error, I still wasn’t completely happy with how the whole thing was coming together and I was tempted to completely start from scratch. But I kept chugging along and, out of the blue, I decided to get rid of the linework to see how the flat colors looked. Bingo. Suddenly, everything started to fall into place and the drawing was finally starting to look how I wanted it. I didn’t completely discard all the linework but I did color holds on every single one of them. After that, it was just a matter of adding a few more extra details and highlights and I calling it a day.
This piece took a long time because of all the re-workings but I’m glad I kept at it because it turned out pretty well in the end.
Posted on December 07, 2010 in Illustration, Video Games |