So there’s this favourite project of mine which I started writing as novels, but I’m never satisfied with my writing and I keep changing details anyway, which is why I never managed to finish a single novel in years.

So I decided to illustrate as if it was a JRPG instead (that fits it crazy well anyway! I like to think of it as my “odd mythology-historical fantasy-Warcraft-JRPG-crossbreed with a similarly odd crossbreed soundtrack“). With beautiful pre-rendered backgrounds, creature designs, and “status screen” character portraits that appear when you talk to them. I also dig those “chatwindow“ portraits enormously (think Disgaea or Tales of… games, for example), although I doubt I’ll have the patience to draw several different expressions for all the characters. My favourite geeky idea is to name all the characters’ battle skills after song titles. I’ll totally make it a thing.

So I started trying out some poses and used Leoithne the bard as my guinea pig for colouring and lineart style. She was a natural candidate; she appears only in one of the several storylines of the whole project (which stretches over more than a thousand years in total) and only as an adult, so I don’t have to draw her at different ages and in ten different attires. And there are more than a hundred (!) of them. I counted. Admittedly, not every single insignificant kitchen maid needs her own portrait, but then again, the more important ones would need at least three or four portraits because their looks change significantly with age, and I honestly have not the slightest idea when I’m supposed to draw all those portraits. And the backgrounds. And the critters. And everything.

Then again, chances that I’ll finish all of that are somehow higher than that I ever finish the novels, so I guess I’ll just keep working on it now and then between all the other things I’m doing and then maybe I’ll finally be able to bring my pet project to some kind of life!

I like the lineart here, but I’m not satisfied with the colours yet. I don’t know yet whether I’ll try to get better at digital painting until I’m satisfied with it or whether I should colour these portraits in ink and watercolours. So a lot of trial and error is ahead. But I’ll manage. Somehow. Someday.