[Narrated Time Lapse Video] Kalara's Shirt Cut Meme

Sharing this a few days early for my Patreon fam!  This article doubles as a transcript for the narrated video I did for this collection releasing to the public next week and a tour of each piece in the meme.  Enjoy and let me know your favorite outfit in the comments!

It’s been a long time since I've shared much art (or videos for that matter).  Life has been a little crazy with the house move and a pandemic, but here we are!  I hit a bit of art block along the way, but you know what drew me out of it?  This silly cheesecake art challenge – The Shirt Cut Meme.  Curling up with the iPad to paint this image in Procreate was just the therapy I needed during a stressful time!

What is this challenge, you ask?  It was started by @druzsea on Twitter and challenges artists to create different types of shirt collar cuts for your characters (aka. It’s a boob-drawing meme).  Not something I usually draw, but this seemed fun and different and I liked the idea of showing more of my character, Kalara’s playful and elegant sexy side!  Without further ado, enjoy a tour of each entry topic!

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Outfit 1 - Sideboob

For those who are new to Kalara, she’s my Exalted tabletop rpg character, a smooth-talking diplomat and merchant who rose up from the slums of a desert town.  She was chosen by the sun god to bring nations together with her words, but she chooses her own path of revenge, first.  If that sounds up your alley, you can see more of her over at www.theuncrucified.com

Another purpose of this challenge was to get to know my character in a more realistic style. Up until now, I’ve drawn Kalara in a more anime-inspired style, but now I want to match the art style of the more recent edition of Exalted. Anime doesn’t always translate to realism well, however, so it’s been a bit of a struggle for me!

All that aside, my gal loves to dress up! This first outfit was inspired by the sheer fabrics and inlaid turquoise of ancient Egyptian fashions.

Click here for more sketches, inspirations, etc for this entry.

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Outfit 2 - Inner Sideboob

This second outfit was inspired by a less traditional star collar shape I’ve spotted in modern haute couture fashions. Kalara wears a woven waist sash with golden threads and chandelier style gold wrought earrings to pay homage to her homeland in the South, a desert region in Exalted. She sports small swirls of fire in her jacket trim showing her kinship to fire, the ruling element of the South. I’ve also hidden an Eclipse Caste symbol in her jewelry, which is a scandalous thing to do, considering Solar Exalted like her are seen as anathema by the ruling kingdom.

This pose is my favorite of the bunch! I’m so pleased with the perfect pose reference from Adorkastock and the fun I got to have with her layered eye makeup.

Click here for more sketches, inspirations, etc for this entry.

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Outfit 3 - Boob Window

I call this third outfit Kalara’s “Merchant Queen” look.  I had more trouble with this pose, which you can see in the time lapse where I drew two alternate ideas.  In the end, I went with a different pose so I wouldn’t have too similar of a facial angle to the other poses and a concept that had a more comfortable wrist angle for the gun she’s wielding in this entry.

I leaned harder into a desert-inspired design with her head wrap and layers for this outfit.  I imagine she might wear this outfit when she’s dressed to impress high ranking merchants at important meetings on the route.  The circles in the trim are a call back to her hometown of Gem, which specializes in the export of precious gems. 

In my headcanon, I like to think Gem clothing leans on circle motifs that mimic the look of gems (or actual embroidered and embedded gems for the truly fancy outfits).  I took a chance on an unexpected color palette that once again harkens back to Kalara’s homeland kinship to fire with the bright colors of a hot and cold flame and the little flame buckle in her sash.

Click here for more sketches, inspirations, etc for this entry.

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Outfit 4 - Underboob

Kalara’s fourth outfit also has hints of the swirling flame motif in the collar and a bright sunny fire color scheme balanced by a complementary blue-green accent color.  Her belt buckles also swirl in a shape inspired by stylized Chinese motifs in the form of a flame.  Once again, Kalara’s all bling in this one with gold lipstick and shimmering eye makeup!

You can also spy her crucifixion scar in this pose, something she usually hides behind gloves when she’s in more proper meetings where she doesn’t want people to be distracted by the question about its origin that the scar tends to raise.  I like to think she might also leave it exposed when she’s intimidating certain parties who know that the scar symbolizes her survival of an execution her adversaries in the Guild tried to engineer.

I also had help with this pose from Grafit’s amazing photo reference packs on ArtStation. Highly recommend them if you’re looking for affordable, well-lit, and inspiring refs for your art!  I’ll link all the references I used in the description of this video for those who might be interested.

Click here for more sketches, inspirations, etc for this entry.

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Outfit 5 - Free Space

For the fifth and final outfit, I was originally planning a more revealing lingerie Kalara might wear to one of the sexy celestial parties she attends, but I ended up exploring a completely different idea instead.

Meet Koh, the male disguise Kalara donned to evade her Guild pursuers at the beginning of our tabletop campaign.  Koh was known as a dangerous dissident, a smooth-talking criminal, and a master thief…all things Kalara wasn’t necessarily good at, but she had enough charisma to convince everyone through rumor and charm she could do these things! In this pose, she’s letting the look slip a bit with her shirt open to reveal her chest wraps and the dye covering her fiery red hair fading out.

I spent a lot of time on the Prayer Piece guns in this one, as they’re the high level guns Kalara spent a lot of time with in our campaign and I have somehow never drawn them before now!  So it felt really good to finally solidify a look for these weapons.  These jade and orichalcum weapons contain miniature shrines to small gods that speed the gold prayer inscribed bullets to their targets.

For Koh’s outfit, I went with a leather and woven threads aesthetic for Koh, who is more earth tones for her life on the road traveling with bandits.  The little bottles on Koh’s belt hold reserve firedust for her other guns, while you’ll also notice one single golden bullet around her neck, just in case she comes down to needing that one last shot.  Finally, Koh’s spectacles were inspired by designer Francis de Lara’s amazing snake and apple glasses.

Click here for more sketches, inspirations, etc for this entry.

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Sometimes we get inspiration in the most unexpected places.  I’m excited to have gotten the chance to try something different and have such fun with my character before I return to working on more serious projects.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this booby costume exploration as much I enjoyed creating it! 

I’ve been exploring a new format for my time lapses with the debut of this video and am really excited to bring you more!

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LINKS

REFERENCE PHOTOS 

MUSIC CREDITS

  • "Lift Motif" by Kevin MacLeod
  • "Mystery Bazaar" by Kevin MacLeod
  • "Eastern Dreams by Tom Kent
  • "Vadadora" by Kevin MacLeod
  • "Jalandhar" by Kevin MacLeod
  • "Feral Angel WaltzFeral Angel Waltz (feat. Alexander Nakarada)" by Kevin MacLeod
  • "Inspired" by Kevin MacLeod

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