The before is found deep within my scraps gallery and is from all the way back in July 2008
The new one is from Sept 2012 (of course) for the dA before after contest
I was feeling kinda blegh about my art and from past experience, (I've done two previous before and after memes) I know that reworking an old and terrible drawing is a great way to feel better about your art and visibly see your progress. So yeah, this was a good thing to do and I had a blast drawing it.
OK, now I wanted to explain my thought process as to why I changed so many things. I wanted the new piece to really show how I've grown in my art - not just in technical skill but in style and design etc.
1) switched from traditional to digital media - I still love traditional media and I did the sketch for the new one on pain old paper but in the past year or two I've been doing the majority of my work digitally. It costs less in art supplies and I find it to be a much cleaner process (no eraser marks!) that allows for easy re-sizing and editing that I would be put off of doing traditionally.
2)Pose and expression - I wanted to keep the holding of fire obviously but I found the original to be very... cliche I guess. The expression was also very bland to my eye (since the original drawing I've done a lot of comics and that's definitely influenced how much I value a good expression) I wanted the reworked drawing to convey more of a sense of excitement (after all, if I could summon a fireball of sorts, I would think it was cool). To this end I had her use both hands, tried to raise the shoulders up a bit, and gave her a smile and wide eyes.
3) Clothing design - Once again, finding the original very bland, I wanted to add some detail so I thought about the types of things mages and wizards or whatever generally wear and went with a mildly decorated robe - I tried to keep the shape close to the original so it's still a straight down dress with a tie in the center.
I wanted to keep the color scheme similar as well so we still see the purple and green although in slightly different shades.
For the arm wraps, I thought they looked kinda ungainly so I switched to tattoos of a similar pattern - I also added some magic-y-looking writing to them to try to convey that they were there for a purpose.
As a side note, the hair style got changed because... OK this is kind of silly but I have wavy hair and as a little kid I REALLY wanted straight hair and just could not understand why I couldn't have it if I combed my hair out nicely. Anyways, I think that this envy of straight hair probably showed up in my art (even at a slightly older age). Nowadays I like having wavy hair (usually) and so I thought it'd be kinda fun to have a different hair type included here haha - hairstyle changed with it because wavy/thick hair would look weird tied like that... probably straight hair too haha! Anyways, I kept the hair tie and length of the original.
4) Fire gives off light.
I'm not the best at unusual lighting but I do like attempting it so there we go. It's definitely something I have to work on so hopefully if I do this meme again in 4 more years we'll see some better highlights and shadows haha
OK, if you stuck with me through that you're a real trooper
tl;dr: I wanted this to express all the ways in which my art has evolved and not just the... technical skill aspect?
I just have to say that dA has been a HUGE part of why I've continued drawing and improving in art. This site gives me such motivation and support and I'm very thankful for that!
Thanks for looking =]