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Studio Shoot (Mirai Version): Day 1

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Edit: This work has been completed.

For my new work Studio Shoot (Mirai Version) I’m giving you a glimpse behind the scenes at the way I work, day by day.
You can check out more of my work in progress here.

Here’s links to each day, if you’re interested in the whole process:
Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7 and Day 8.

Like my other works it’s all done on Adobe Illustrator and drawn entirely using a Wacom tablet.

This work is part of an ongoing series Studio Shoot which deals with cosplay. For this work in the series my character will be cosplaying as Mirai Suenaga, the mascot character for Danny Choo’s website Culture Japan. You can read more about Mirai here.

The first day in any project is probably the most exiting. It’s important to get the basic proportions down right before you continue with coloring or anything else.

For this work I am using the set from my previous works so I don’t need to bother with a background.

Reference for Mirai’s clothing:

I also use some pictures of myself posing to help get the proportions right quickly.
I don’t like looking at these so the first thing I do is just roughly outline the figure:

Next I need to give her a pretty anime face (otherwise it feels like I’m drawing myself).
I like to use pictures from Soul Doll for reference.
The proportions for these dolls are more realistic than the typical big-eyed anime style.
For this series I’ve been using the same doll for each picture to help get it to look like the same character.

Here’s my reference:

I just trace it and then stick it on my figure:

I’m still working roughly, drawing each figure on a new layer or duplicating the layer in case I mess up.
Now I “dress” my figure using the clothing reference:

I check how the figure looks over the background:

I make her legs a bit longer and lift her torso to make her taller.
She needs to have the same long proportions as the other drawings in the series so I compare the different figures:

She looks the right size now. Just checking over the background again:

Now that I’m happy with her proportions I draw the figure out neatly using the brush tool.
The brush is pressure sensitive so I can vary the line width as I draw:

Not exactly happy with the face.
Here’s what she looked like in the beginning:


To compare with the previous drawings I do a “face transplant”, copying another face from the same series onto this figure to see what it looks like:

Still not happy, but I can use it as a reference.
I think I’ll keep the mouth and nose though:

Rough shading and lipstick helps me to see if the features are okay:

Think I’ll work on it tomorrow…

Now I need to start cleaning up the line-work. I begin by duplicating the layer and adjusting the stroke widths to look similar to other works in the series. Then I change the line color to dark grey, so that I can distinguish easily between areas I’ve worked on and areas I haven’t.
As I work on each area I change the lines to black when I’m satisfied. Sometimes I also outline the stroke and then edit it for more precise control.

This is the time to do those little details like the frill on her skirt. I use a pattern brush to make my life easier.

Here’s a close-up. As you can see the side on the right in grey isn’t finished; lines overlap and it looks messy.
The neat area on the left in black is finished.

My progress at the end of the day.
See you tomorrow!

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