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Learning digital art #1—Pantherlily from Fairy Tail

I recently read Austin Kleon's book called Share your Work. It was really inspiring for me, and eye-opening in the way I get very nervous showing people my work, especially when it's not perfect. For that reason, I often hide much of what I do. From here on, I want to change that, so here's my attempt at learning digital art #1—Pantherlily from Fairy Tail.

For ages, I've wanted to get back into drawing. But, again, I always worried when something went wrong or worried about showing people in case it wasn't good. I've been enjoying getting back into drawing (with pencil or biro on paper) and I've even embraced being an amateur by learning something new that I've wanted to do for ages but always worried about: digital art.

So, from here on, I'm going to show you my journey of teaching myself how to draw digitally and getting better at drawing in general and exploring the world of art again. To start it off, here's my attempt at learning digital art #1—Pantherlily from Fairy Tail. He's one of my favourite characters in Fairy Tail (and in anime in general), so he's the perfect first muse to share with you on this journey to share my work and growth.

Learning digital art #1—Pantherlily from Fairy Tail

Pantherlily is one of my favourite manga/anime characters ever. He's a magical panther warrior who turned chibi (small) when he was sucked into a different world with less magic. He's still really cool and strong though, and his favourite thing is kiwis.

Sorry, Lily, I forgot your tail :O

I used my Pantherlily plush (yes, I'm an absolute otaku and have anime merch for my favs) as the reference for this piece.

I learned a lot in drawing this by watching YouTube videos on a few techniques I wanted to learn:

  • Sketching and then using a new layer to make one single, sure outline. I'm a feathery drawer by nature, and my dad often tries to tell me to just to one single line ... but, Daaaaad ...

  • How to fill in areas of colour by referencing the outline layer and dragging and dropping the colour into that space.

  • How to make my lines smooth rather than uneven (look at the outline of the kiwis vs the outlines of Pantherlily. See how it's much smoother? Progress even in one drawing!)

Next drawing, I want to learn/develop:

  • Smooth lines for the whole image outline now I know how to do it.

  • How to use layer masks to assist with colour shading so I can add 3D vibes, not just block colours.

  • How to reduce the pixelated feel on lines by choosing the correct canvas size.

Onwards and upwards, and I'm excited to be doing this and sharing it with you.

See you for image #2, for which I already have a reference in mind.

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