Content note: This entry discusses a drawing that contains explicit (porny) content. No bits are shown in the entry, but you might not want to have someone looking over your shoulder.
If you follow me on social media at all, you probably noticed the pinup I spammed everywhere last week (sometimes entirely NSFW, sometimes with a handy banana sticker covering the “important” bits of the artwork). While I’ve drafted pornographic art before, this was my first finished piece, and boooooy howdy did I have some hesitation about posting.
But things went fairly well!
So now we’re gonna talk about art and process. Even though there are clearly other things we could focus on here, I’m pretty pleased with how this piece turned out, and I feel like I employed a lot of new knowledge that probably should have been channeled into something other than smut. But I am weak.
I’ve been getting better at thumbnailing and at planning my works, even though I don’t usually think about it as “thumbnailing” or “planning” (and my composition is still lacking to say the least). When I was younger, I would often see an image in my head and utterly fail to draw it; now, I get an idea for an image, and plan out (very casually) how I can make that work, what elements are important to make the feeling/premise come across, etc.
Maybe this sounds fancy, but in reality it’s more like my idea is “sandwich” and the planning is “what ingredients will result in sandwich?”
For this piece, I wanted to explore the premise of magical bondage – I wanted in particular to make use of those leg ladders – but I didn’t want to entirely compromise the integrity/power of the subject (Dahl). I also wanted to “expose” as much of the pose as possible, and all of those desires/constraints led to the final pose. Alternatives mostly involved tying the hands behind the back, which would have been a less powerful pose and a lot more squashed (not to mention, I think, more difficult to draw).
Like many creators, I am often shy about people looking over my shoulder while I’m working. This is especially true with writing (when I can sense someone reading my half-finished sentence, that sentence will never get finished), and reasonably true for when I’m drawing. And when I am lovingly rendering a giant wang at 200% magnification in Photoshop? Yeeaaahh…
Needless to say, I worked on this mostly at home, and mostly while my boyfriend was on the other side of the room and otherwise occupied. I did a lot of “incognito” Google image searches (and plenty that weren’t incognito, for only moderately less embarrassing things like “male model arms over head”, because I am trash).
That said… I also recorded some of my process so that internet denizens can “Watch over my shoulder” any time – and it was my first time doing that.
I got a request from a friend about making a process video. I’ve thought about it before, but always hesitated: my artwork usually takes an embarrassingly long time and I assumed it couldn’t be fun to watch. I often draw while distracted (e.g. television/chatting), so I imagined that the video would be filled with loooong vooooiiiids during which nothing was happening/I was contemplating life (and weiners?).
But I decided to test it out.
I only recorded straight for about 45 minutes, and it was later into the work than i would have liked – but maybe I’m not everyone. For me, one of the most interesting parts of drawing creation is the transformation of vague circles/lines into something that actually looks like something, and I missed that in my recording.
But the recording worked! So maybe I’ll try again during my next arting.
Finally: colour! I’ve been reading James Gurney’s Color and Light, and while I don’t have nearly his level of skill (he makes dinosaurs look real; whaddyou want from me?), the book’s been awesome and I feel like I’ve been learning a lot. I’ve found it especially interesting what you can imply with light without actually drawing it, and I like to think I can imply a background without actually drawing it…
…is it working?
I’ve also started to use more gradients rather than inking, or what I was previously attempting to pass as cel shading. This method comes from (among many others) Samantha Mash, a fabulous artist I follow on Twitter and beyond. I think the gradients help to soften the transitions between what is otherwise pretty simple shading, without actually needing to blend/paint. Using gradients also allows me to quickly layer in lighting/shadows in different colours.
Pictured: testing my palette and early shading, plus despair over the utter lack of background.
Finally: reception! The most noticeable difference in reception was on Facebook, where I generally get a handful of Likes from dutiful friends (thanks friends!). This time: comments! I was astonished. I was suddenly getting texts from people who haven’t spoken to me in years. All because of dick pics.
Reception elsewhere was about the same as usual. Maybe I have to up my filthy hashtag game. But no one asked me to get out of their face so… that was nice. Thanks internet <3