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! (^▽^)