A Facebook fan group recently held a contest where they asked people to imagine a new school for C. A. Cupid, the character who transferred from Monster High to Ever After High, and draw her as a student of that school. Now that the deadline is over, I'll talk about how I drew my entry and then I'll show a doll I bought earlier that arrived in the mail this week.
One of the reasons I created this blog was (I keep repeating myself) to organize my crafting time and make a timeline of my projects. I have a bad habit of starting too many things and get bored or discouraged quickly, which results in many useless incomplete things scattered around the house and a growing sense of worthlessness and displease with myself. I'm thinking of ways to improve my work habits and implementing these changes on every occasion. I started blabbering more about my plans. I figured if many people are in the know, I might be shamed into actually getting something done. To support this incentive, I created a Pinterest board of my WIPs where you can look from time to time and tell me what you'd like me to give priority to (if you have opinions but aren't on Pinterest, you can always comment anywhere on this blog).
While I'm getting somewhere with my crafting and my blogging, there's still one thing that scares the bejesus out of me: art. For those who don't know, I came on Blogger from deviantArt (where I learnt Photoshop), and before that I sketched a lot during a brief window of reasonable eyesight when I was in school. I quit photomanipulations after computer problems coincided with my moving out from my parents (to lousy internet connection) and a tense atmosphere on dA. Every time I want to pick up from where I left, it's getting harder and harder to find motivation.
I'm tired of feeling like a failure so I decided to grab onto the next opportunity to draw. I knew that if I let this one pass by, I'd only make it harder for myself to gain enough confidence to keep me afloat. Besides, the contest holders made it very clear they weren't looking for a masterpiece. I managed to send my inner perfectionist on vacation, dusted my old tablet and let my imagination run free...
Drawing CupidFirst step: the concept. What school could I send Cupid to? To be recognizable, Cupid needs to keep her wings. In Monster High, Cupid had bone wings, in Ever after High - feather wings. What else has wings? A fairy! My Cupid was going to be a fairy. Lame, I know. I'm not big on original ideas. My creativity is in the "get that thing to work" department, or simply put, I'd rather someone else provide the inspiration, and I'll be happy to think of ten different ways to make it happen. No such luck for me in this contest - it's ideas they're after. Oh well, fairy it is. At least I get to draw and that's the important thing.
I recruited one of my dolls for a pose reference. I can't look at a blank page and draw things from my mind.
I opened Photoshop and started tracing on a layer straight over the photo. I wouldn't do so for a real drawing, but since it's only a character design, I didn't consider it cheating.
I hid the photo layer and started putting down bits of ideas I thought of during the previous couple of weeks. I figured it would be nice to give Cupid a full updo to make all that flying business easier. I made it a heart-shaped bun with a crown braid low on the forehead. I outlined some butterfly wings and for the outfit, I just made it up as I went. I tried to keep it generally fairy-meets-Greek-mythology. Here it is in full doodle mode:
When I was done I traced over the doodle to get slightly cleaner lines.
I began filling in the face, because at that point my brain couldn't squeeze any more ideas for the outfit. For some reason, the nose shading gave me a hard time.
For the following day, I grabbed a colour reference (the computer I was working on has no internet) and corrected my palette.
I forgot to take significant screenshots after this point. I tried many colour combos on the dress, initially I wanted to make the torso white. Made two custom heart brushes which I used on the torso and skirt. The lineart gave me headaches and I couldn't get my computer to cooperate. I cleaned only a little bit and lowered the opacity to hide some of the mess. Here is my finished entry:
My Cupid has a similar colour scheme to the official versions (especially the EAH one) and many heart and bow details that identify her as Cupid. She has a gold necklace consisting of two heart halves; heart patterns in the dress fabrics; hearts on the sleeve fringe, ankle laces and earrings. I decided against arm jewellery because whatever I tried seemed redundant. Instead, she wears a gold belt of bay leaves. Her bow shrunk to a little ornament on her arrow shaped fairy wand. Her dress hem is typical of fairies and also reminiscent of the drippy black things on her MH doll.
I didn't dwell much on all the drawing mistakes and imperfections and submitted my entry a full two days before the deadline, which might be a personal record for me. The best designs and the winners will be revealed in a couple of weeks. I'm dying to know what other people came up with! I bet there are at least 20 more fairies, but I'm curious how they went about it.
Doll support arives
While I was finishing work on the drawing, a package came in the mail. It was a doll we ordered a day before my birthday, a JCPenney exclusive Draculaura sans the car, shoes and glasses. We got it very cheap from a Chinese store and although they had a photo, I was worried they would send me a fake. But no, aside from a floppy knee, the doll is perfect straight from the package.
I can't get over how short the dress is though. It's very difficult to photograph even from a straight angle. It looks like underwear to me. I can't decide if I want to cut it into a top or let it be kinky. I couldn't help adding stockings :>
To be fair, it's not my fault the dress is so short. They put the idea in my head.
With the colours toned down, I can appreciate the beauty more. Love the raised eyebrow! This doll is fighting Dead Tired Cleo for the #1 spot in my favourites and that's saying something. The timing was great too, a nice reward for me participating in the Cupid contest.
Did you ever do something that scared you and feel good afterwards? What are your strategies for boosting your confidence? Share in the comments!
The Black Kitty (^^)~~~