I've dug up an old illustration from a decade ago that I still very much enjoy, featuring the popular Samus Aran from the Metroid series. I was inspired by the trailer for the (then) upcoming Metroid Other M video game. I wanted to depict a more casual Samus in the heart of the galactic federation. However, I used her reflection on the window to reveal more about her character, the fact that she is a bounty hunter and savior of the galaxy.
Something unique about drawing this one was the fact that I pencil sketched Samus and the cityscape on two separate sheets of paper. I would combine them together in Adobe Photoshop later, but having them separate allowed me to draw Samus on a full size paper so I wouldn't loose the detail. The city was scaled to best match Samus, even if it meant some of the buildings I sketched would be covered up by her.
The Line Art
In 2010 I was using Corel Painter Essentials to draw my line art, with the help of the Wacom Bamboo Fun drawing tablet. This was certainly a step in the right direction, especially for a start up digital artist like me back in the day. Now, however, my line art is cleaner is smoother thanks to Clip Studio Paint and the iPad Pro. It was important to keep everything on separate layers because of the heavy use of transparency in the final image.
The Finished Illustration
Corel Painter Essentials did have some good brushes, I'll admit. I definitely preferred coloring this one in Corel than in Adobe, by comparison. However, it was necessary to switch back and forth between the two programs to fully generate the reflection, textures, and other effects for the background. Nowadays, Clip Studio Paint is my one-stop illustration app that can do all this and more.
It may not be a perfect illustration, but it's still one of my favorites and features a character that I enjoy drawing very much. That's why it's one of the select artworks that I offer as a poster print. I am really excited for the reveal of Metroid Prime 4 on the Nintendo Switch. Where are my Metroid fans at?