Twisted Magic Cover – My Artistic Process!

A friend commissioned me to draw a cover for her novel Twisted Magic which she posted on I was very excited about this because I’ve spend years harassing Barbara to let me draw something for her, and I have a special place of intense geeky love for Twisted Magic (primarily due to it being one of her few novels where the adorable couple isn’t dead by the end *AHEM COUGH COUGH BARBARA STOP WRITING ADORABLE PEOPLE AND THEN KILLING THEM OFF IN HORRIFIC WAYS COUGH COUGH* ). Also, out of all her couples, I love Korin and Ádan the most, so this was really a dream project. Plus, Barbara has very high standards for her work, and I really wanted to prove I could rise to the challenge! Also, I decided to take this project on as a “fun” project to “relax” while struggling to dig my way out from under various other high-stress projects (YAY DECEMBERJANUARYFEBRUARY YAY).

Keep that context in mind while we examine the pros and cons of My Artistic Process ™(copyright – I’m too lazy to go find the symbol)(SERIOUSLY IT IS MY PHRASE NOW).

Let’s Begin!

First off, I def wanted to come off super super professional, you know, like a REAL artist, which is hilarious because Barbara has known me for something like 15 years now so I don’t know why I thought I could pull the wool over her eyes. ;D. Like any good artist, I began with the most important thing: a set of hastily drawn concept sketches:

The “They look too much like friends” sketch! (Korin’s the human, Ádan’s the elf)
The “action pose!” sketch (I 100% thought this was the one she was going to pick)
I did this one as a joke.

She emails me back and of course she preferred “Action Pose”, just like I thought she would, so I start developing that one.

Such intense! Much wow!

I shoot this off to her for feedback and this is when I realize I completely misread her previous email. She did not, in fact, pick Action Pose. She wants Hello Sempai.


I ask her if she’s serious. She assures me she is.


Yeah, I don’t know what the hell is going on w/Korin’s expression, Ádan’s head is too small, and I’m kinda proud of the forearm, but it’s living in a different time zone from the upper arm.
Oh no, I made it worse! (༎ຶ⌑༎ຶ)
That arm…I wish I could say I’d noticed by this point but I hadn’t.

OK, at this point I should have realized I needed to find some reference. Sadly, I was living in the denial bubble of “I CAN TOTES FAKE IT, GUIZ!!!”

If I add color, I can ignore everything that’s wrong with this! :D
This is where I realized I needed help and went off crying to my friend Myriam Bloom. She’s a great artist who taught me all about tangents!
Trying to fix it. Remembered at this point that Korin is not a disembodied head.
Oh god, that forearm. Distract from all the problems with more color!!!
This is where I remembered there are 3D models in Clip Studio Paint and I posed one to FINALLY get that damn arm figured out. Shoulda done that three weeks ago! Further attempts to distract from Korin’s missing body by adding a kicky scarf.
FIIIINE. I’ll stop being lazy and draw Korin a body.

And that, my friends, is one of the many ways ART HAPPENS! (^▽^)

Little Witches – Project Update!

It’s been awhile since I posted regarding this project. I’m so close to finishing the coloring on the pages! I’ve been concentrating on keeping my head down and focusing on getting the work done. Every month I do a dump of the pages to show my editor, and she’s happy with my progress, so that’s encouraging!

Clip Studio Paint – Swap Main and Sub Colors

I’ve been going crazy for awhile trying to figure out how to swap the main and sub colors on my toolbar. This is a feature I use frequently in Photoshop to easily reverse gradient directions.

This is especially important in Clip Studio Paint as there is no easy way to swap gradient directions (you can do it, it’s just not easy. The toggle is buried a bit in the gradient palette). Unfortuantely, there’s no swapper arrow and clicking on the colors just opens the palette to choose a new color.

After dealing with my mounting frustration, I sat down and decided to figure this out.

As you can see, by default, “X” is assigned to “Switch main color and sub color”. This doesn’t mean the sub color is brought into the foreground, it means the sub color is selected. Not quite what I wanted. After a little trial and error, I figured out that the option I want is “Switch between main color and sub color”. This brings the sub color into the foreground and moves the main color into the background.

I swapped the shortcut and added it to the option I wanted. Problem solved!