I’m so happy to finally finish this drawing! I think I started the initial sketch back in November or December. Initially it was meant to be for the Holiday Pop Up shop 2019 event hosted by The Black Ribbon but life caught up with me and I didn’t make it in time.
I actually started drawing this traditionally and I had a lot of fun with the individual needles of the fir tree branches! I did set down the concept early but I struggled immensely with what her hands would be doing.
That arm ewww.
I knew I wanted her to hold gifts but the work I did on paper left so much to be desired. I usually give up on a drawing at that point but right then I heard some of my favorite artists talk about Clip Studio Paint. I figured I could scan it and use this drawing to familiarize myself with CSP.
I have to say the program is absolutely amazing. I am still learning and the learning curve is quite steep imo but there are so many tutorials and freeware it’s mind blowing!
I really love how easy it was to transfer the scan to somewhat clean linework. It really transformed the process that would take me hours in Paint Tool SAI or Photoshop and turned it into a 30 minute fix!
Cleaned lineart after scan.
I use an older iPad to work in CSP but I have so much fun drawing with the pencil tool that I pretty much threw out how I’d line in my old programs and went with a bit of a messier textured line style. I always struggled trying to create thin clean lines and I definitely just went wild combining the linework and shading for this piece. I really just went and drew for fun rather than going step by step how I would usually do it in the past. I haven’t had this much fun drawing in a long time and I do think I can attribute it to the program.
Fixing that dreadful arm situation. Many attempts were made.
I also started experimenting with the prerendered assets in CSP and boy is it insane. I played with some of the ruffles but it quickly felt like cheating so I ended up redrawing the ruffles with the rendered ones as guide. This raised some ethic questions for me - is it still your drawing if you heavily use the assets that are available from other creators? For now I’ll use them as reference but I will have to do some soul searching on that one because some of the available assets are amazing!
Ruffle dreams taking shape!
For the coloring I just went with my gut, I played with a lot of different brush options but I really fell in love with the pencil emulating ones. Next I want to find out which ones are the color blending brushes so I can play with more of a rendering style!
I also tried to use some darker colors to shade than I usually do. I know I don’t use a lot of contrast so I’m trying to find a good balance for that!
I also have to admit that the background gave me huge issues. Since I took the initial concept and never put anything in the top right corner I really needed to find a nice way to somewhat fill that area.
At one point I just sat here for two days trying out decorative brushes and tweeting my frustrations to the world:
A cry for help, shouted into the void.
I do think the lace / doily like whites with the periwinkle made a fun combination in the end and I’m glad I didn’t give up!
I shaded the whites a little for some extra depth.
After many days of drawing I was finally done!
I made sure to save a lot so I could create a little time lapse!
Here are some detail pictures as well:
Really went wind with her eyelashes! I also never thought I’d subconsciously end up drawing purple hued lipstick but here we are!
I’m in love with how the hands turned out haha 💦 it took SO many redraws
I’d guess this took around 6 to 8 hours total. I’ve been playing around a lot and hope that future paintings will be a bit faster 💦
I’m definitely seeing this drawing as the start of a new chapter, the focus might still be a winter theme but the days are getting longer again. It might be cold now but things are starting to warm up!