Might as well hop on the bandwagon, no?
My story started when DeviantArt was around half its current age. I had recently started drawing "manga-style" artwork and wanted a place to share it. It wasn't very good, but I found it quite liberating learning to draw in a new style.Fig. 1.1: KAWAIIII UUUGUU
For a variety of (obvious) factors I never got much attention and my art was never well-received. I grew dissatisfied and left not long after joining. While gone, I ended up on OS-tan Collections, a small forum, gallery and wiki where I met many welcoming people who helped me grow as an artist. The departure of my friend C-quel
from the site and his (and Kattlanna
's!) subsequent move to DeviantArt motivated me to revive my account and start posting my works here again. I'd become more technically-skilled as an artist, but my works were still riddled with a variety of anatomy, posing and color/lighting issues. Fig. 2.1 — 2.2: Vector art from 2008
I became more experimental in 2009. I began working with watercolors, paying more attention to traditional art and attempting to branch out into new styles. However I continued to neglect fundamentals like proper anatomy. And posing. And lighting. I also fell into this rut where I drew everyone's head way too big? And was plagued by borderline Moon Over June
-style expressions. Whoops. Fig. 3.1 — 3.3: Faces are hard
Interesting things happened toward the end of 2009. I became more serious about watercolors and produced many large paintings. I finally fulfilled my childhood dream of owning a Mac. I developed renewed interest in OS-tans and returned to OSC after spending about a year away. I was welcomed (back) warmly and I became friends with many members there, including the infinitely rad cptlfrghtr
, Choco-la-te NejinOniwa
(later on), all of whom engaged my mind and helped me grow as an artist. Fig. 3.4 — 3.6: A brief respite from awful anatomy
2010 was a very busy and productive year for me. I bought a Wacom Bamboo and experimented with a variety of tools: Inkscape, GIMP, Photoshop, watercolors, pencils. This was the year that laid down the foundation for my later works, especially 2013 forward. But more on that in a moment. Fig. 4.1 — 4.4: Mediums galore!
If there's one thing I remember about my artwork in 2011, it's the color schemes. No idea what happened, but they're pleasing to my eyes to this day. I also feel this was the apex of my anime-esque coloring style, which went steeply downhill and became quite plasticky and lifeless by 2013. Fig. 5.1 — 5.4: Look at those colors.
I don't want to talk about 2012 because it wasn't a very good year, personal-life-wise or art-wise. Anyway, here are a few of the better pieces, even if I hadn't yet discovered how to draw body types besides skinny-ish and leggy (I was possessed with malevolent CLAMP spirits, sorry). Fig. 6.1 — 6.3: Good enough.
2013 was strange. The first part of the year was more-or-less a continuation of 2012's works ... Fig. 7.1: Still sufficient.
...but then something happened around the half-way point of the year and my art ended up looking like this: Fig. 7.2 — 7.4: Who are you and what have you done with the Real BellaCielo?!
It was a culmination of events: cptlfrghtr
encouraging me to learn to draw a wider range of body and facial structures, Samantha-Wright
helping me get a better handle on lighting and coloring, and the matter of my body finally developing the hand-eye coordination to sketch directly on a tablet. I also got much better at conceptualizing 3D objects and understanding 3D forms (which I secretly suspect is related to me getting back into gaming for the first time in ages, even though that's probably not the actual reason).
So far 2014 is a continuation of the skills I developed in 2013. I'm completely obsessed with dramatic lighting schemes, learning the mysteries form and light and color theory and drawing characters of a wide variety of body types. Also shipping. And Valve fanart.
There's a lot of that. (Sorryimnotsorry.) Fig. 8.1 — 8.3: How about that lighting?
Finally I want to thank all my wonderful friends and watchers here. Your comments, advice and critiques have been absolutely invaluable to my development, and I'm not sure I'd have progressed this far without your support. Thank you for making DeviantArt such a fantastic community.