My word! I’ve yet to do any Gunslinger Girl fanart! This is an outrage, to be sure.
I still have a ways to go, but this lineart doesn’t look totally horrible. I just looks kind of horrible. I think my main weakness is that I lack the ability to project a 3D image onto the page with my mind, then draw lines around said image accordingly. To be able to draw with such confidence requires, a) confidence, of course and b) experience. I took a few drawing classes back in Freshman year, but in retrospect they weren’t nearly enough. I need more experience in life drawing–learning about how certain things should look in certain situations. So, what’s the best way? I suppose more classes would be the most prudent course of action, but say I don’t have that option available to me at the moment? Should I just start drawing from images of Asian U-15 swimsuit models until I get good? Men in suits? Both?
One thing that really hurts me is when it comes time to clean up my rough linework. I tend to be fairly happy with what I have sketched out, but when the sketch makes the transition to clean lineart by way of the lightbox, it always looks worse. Part of this is because I don’t have a steady hand, so when I trace over with my 0.3mm pencil, my lines are somewhat squiggly. It could also be because I lack a proper drawing table, so I can’t get the kind of support I need to keep a steady hand. Confidence once again plays into this–I find when I trace with more confidence, my strokes look better.
Another couple of things that really screw me up are fabric folds and shadows. It seems every single artist out there but me is good at fabric folds, so the fact that I’m really terrible at them kills a good amount of the soldiers in my Self Esteem army, but I suppose it’s just one of those things that takes practice. And more life drawing. Shadows are probably the easiest thing to be bad yet, yet they’ll still look decent if you have an okay handle over them. Once again, mastering the shadow, and where it falls simply requires more practice.
All this said, I’m a little bit happy between where I used to be and where I am now. This is a generous estimate, but in the next year or two I suspect I’ll get to the level I want to be at if I keep working.