I draw just about every character I roleplay in ongoing campaigns, but I looked at my portfolio recently and said to myself, “Kira, nearly all your character designs have blank white backgrounds. It’s BORING. How about giving them a background or a setting or something?” So when I sketched Senefer, my paladin-turned-bard, for the first time, I placed him in a comfy nook of the ship he travels on, practicing his violin.
As you can guess from my portfolio, I’ve worked mostly in black & white and I really would like to do more color. Trouble is, I haven’t painted since college, and I never really got the hang of it back then. After the one weekend I spent in my apartment with an open can of paint thinner and no ventilation, I realized there were some health considerations that came with oil paints. I’m not sure how many brain cells died that weekend, but it was more than zero…
Anyway, along came digital color to save my olfactory senses and my wallet. And then along came a pandemic, an iPad Pro, and a chance to teach myself digital painting with a stylus. Not only has it turned out to be so much easier and more fun than my Wacom, the stabilization feature of the Apple pencil is the best invention I could ask for (apart from a COVID vaccine), because it mitigates the effect of my hand tremors.
But technology won’t teach you how to use color effectively, so I’m still in the early stages of this journey. I’ll continue sharing this piece as it evolves into something real.