Recently, most of my colored work is pixel art. It’s been a while since I did a full colored non-pixelart illustration and I started to feel an overall rustiness whenever I tried to do it. That was the main reason I forced myself to do a piece for this month’s Mischief challenge – Robolovin.

What I enjoy in Mischief is how it strips you from shortcuts like layer modes, filters, textured brushes or blending tools. It’s direct approach to drawing and painting forces you to consider everything and not rely on aiding tools to correct your mistakes. That’s exactly what I was looking for: a direct test with no turn arounds.

Doing this piece made me realize how much I need to go back to the basics and practice lights/shadows, color shading and color values. I spend double the time testing things and correcting mistakes to still not be at all satisfied with the final result. The “later I can quickly fix this” personal bad habit that I gained from Photoshop or Gimp caused my initial rush to paint without clear thinking of the result I wanted to achieve. With this, only later I understood the lack of harmony caused by some mistakes and how much work was needed to repaint everything.

Although people seem to enjoy this illustration, on it I just see the lack of depth of field, where background smashes the foreground causing a weird flatness, or how the sunlight’s source isn’t evident, where besides one or two hard shadows, everything else has soft shading as if there was a cloud covered sky, filtering all the light.

Clearly it’s time to revisit Matt Kohr‘s CTRL+Paint’s tutorial library and Sinix’s youtube channel and get back to practice. Expect in the near future a lot of digital painting exercises being posted here. Meanwhile, I hope you still enjoy the illustration for it’s idea. That little girl sure loves her new tree-house.

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