The writers did you dirty, Bismuth. But not I! This week’s picture, at the suggestion of my very best friend, is of the Crystal Gem, Bismuth AKA. One of the most betrayed-by-the-writers characters to ever exist. I’ve decided to give the poor Gem a break from the needless tragedy of her storyline and draw her just relaxing in the sunset.
I’m pretty proud of this one. It showcases some of the cleanest and most on-model line art I’ve ever been able to do (it probably helps that Bismuth is a rather simple cartoon character) and, in my opinion, I managed to not totally butcher the hands! I couldn’t find any references whatsoever of hands in the exact poses and angles I was drawing here, so I had to find the closest things to references I could and then sort of wing it from there .
If you’ve ever tried to draw hands, you’ll know how utterly complicated the little beasts are, and how even the smallest mistake can make them just look freakish. That mine can stand up to about 10 seconds’ worth of scrutiny is pretty good going, I reckon.
Also the background was a lot of fun to draw. This is the first time I’ve ever drawn a grass texture that I’m somewhat happy with (my previous attempts at drawing cartoony grass have either been “dull green block of colour” or “way too visually busy mess in which basically every blade of grass has been drawn”. I’m pretty pleased with how far you can go with just a few squiggles.
I also spent way too much time with the lighting of the sky and the water. When it comes to drawing landscapes I tend to end up doing something I call “Bob Rossing” it. Which is to say, I slap a dash of colour haphazardly onto the page, mush it around, and see what happens.
When I was doing the rough colouring for Bismuth (my current process is to do rough lines, rough colouring, then go over everything neater – no idea if that’s how pros do it and for all I know I’m being horribly redundant) I did a quick rough background as well so I could have a reference for what the lighting would be like and how I should do the shading. This represents about 5 minutes of Bob Rossing and I ended up loving the sunset and its reflection in the sea; I just think the colours blend so well! (And this isn’t to toot my own horn, I’m sure the graphics software did most of the work for me.)
However when coming to do the neater background I realized that this background wouldn’t make sense – because then Bismuth would be standing with her back to the sunset. (I am so good at thinking things through…)
So I went for the cliff, which I ended up liking a lot more. But I’m keeping this pic too. For the pretty colours.