Its quite easy to find yourself stuck in a specific style as an artist, of course theres noting wrong with having a recognisable or signature style it helps brand recognition, that said its worth remembering to push yourself outside your comfort zones from time to time.
So when a mat design comes along that is, for the most part, quite straightforward (‘draw Bulbasuar’) its a perfect opportunity to test things out and in this instance I wanted to try blending to black.
I don’t tend to go that dark in my usual style, or rather, when blending colours tend to stick to lights and shades of those and then add any black elements afterwards. So in this instance instead of stoping at the darkest green I had I decided In would go right on though to black.
It took quite a while to get there though, and the end product is quite different to the various times a stopped and thought ‘is this dark enough?’ Especially since the first iteration I though was finished was more of a pastel image. In any case by the time I got to this final version it was apparent I would have to stop soon, the layers of colour may be quite thin by themselves but after so many passes of various greens some blues to bring the shade back more in line with Bulbasaur’s usual colour and the black on top of all that, certain areas were becoming particularly saturated and resistant to further colouring and brush movement.
In terms of materials used its quite an expensive technique to achieve but I think its worth it for the end result. I am however unsure of how well it would work on smaller figures – that will have to be the next test most likely. The sky I decided to keep quite simple while feeling in the mood to draw clouds the two tone nature came about both as a nod to the games Red and Blue (since Green is represented by the Bulbasaur itself) and because having a completely monotone sky would have been a tad dull. While the horizon line is clearly the line of grass at the bottom, the edge of the orange clouds slightly below the center line of the mat also serves to make the character look closer / taller as if they are standing on a vast grassy plain extending into the background.
The fact that the grass means I don’t have to draw one of the back legs is also quite useful, you shouldn’t be able to see it in this pose anyway but had the ground not been so close to Bulbasuar’s body the brain may have expected to see it.
Thats the other thing about learning new techniques, its not just about acquiring new skills but about finding ways to use the ones you have more efficiently, I’m sure, for example, now I know how to use this style I will be able to further refine it and use less materials.