This was an odd commission to get – drawing an anime styled Nurse in a Chinese dress with a phoenix motif. This would take me completely outside my comfort zone of my more normal cartoony cuddly toy Teddy Bear zone and really did test me.
I am still learning human form, and struggle a lot drawing the female form especially with the cheesecake anime references that this illustration would require. I gathered and researched a ton of anime references, (a dangerous business typing Anime Nurse into your browser,) and as the commission came from an African-American Lady I had to work with a different skin tone, and different body style too. I was challenged by this drawing, (a lot,) and was really a source of a weekend long frustration until something clicked, and she came to life in front of me.
The Gallery below gives a good overview of the progression of this illustration from pencil to finishing with blended inktense pencils.
It is too easy as an artist, especially one that is learning like me to get stuck into a grove. It is important we find projects that challenge our skills, because unless you try something beyond what you’ve already mastered you will never grow. The Anime Nurse threw several curve balls at me, first body form, then face, lips, legs and lastly feet. While drawing is really just a series of shapes that connect, you still have to figure out proportion and human form is really… really… hard.
As an experiment I returned to the Anime Nurse Pin-up and experimented with Digital Coloring using Photoshop; the results was bolder richer coloring that suits the subject matter well. Quite happy with the results, although I am still better at drawing Teddy Bears.
Keep pushing my friends… Keep pushing…