30 Day Monster Challenge: Multiple Limbs

The more amusing ways to do this (doing a bug person, a spider person, or an octopus person) are all already covered earlier in the challenge list, so I went with someone who’d likely enjoy having multiple arms instead.


This charming lady is Ermine Hammerfall, warlordlady of the Dwarven stronghold of DragonsAreDumb Keep. Naturally, the name has gotten them a few unwelcome visitors, so Ermine decided to go see a man about a spell and came back with two extra arms and a special order for some new armor to accommodate them. She’s really REALLY excited that she can now wield four weapons instead of only two.

“HEEEEEEERE Dragon, dragon, dragon. COME AT MEH!”


And now, for something I don’t usually do 😀 A step-by-step 😀 (Non-artists, I realize you probably don’t give a crap how I do these. You’re welcome to run free now, and find cat videos to enjoy instead)

Please note: THIS IMAGE, like all of my images, IS COPYRIGHTED TO ME. Just because I’m showing you how I did it, doesn’t mean you can make off with it, nor that you should.  It is not for sale, use, etc. unless you have my express written permission.

And now, on with the step-by-step!

#1: The sketch layer


It’s a bit deformed since I cut and pasted things around a smidge because I wasn’t totally happy with the original placement of her sword, since it was covering her face. Imagine taking the chunk that’s out of place and swinging it back up so the face lines up. That was what it originally looked like.



Next, I ink over the sketch to create the linework. I inked everything around it before moving the portion of the sketch that has the sword in it. That way I don’t lose important reference points before I’m done with them.  Then, once I’m satisfied that the linework looks good and I haven’t missed an portions of my sketch:


I hide the sketch layer. Then I just see my linework.

After that, I tried something a little different (again) from my usual method.



I did the entire positive space of the image in a light grey, so that it would be easier to color inside the linework and to give me an easy way to select the whole positive space area at once.



I selected the whole grey area and added a layer above it at 33% opacity and shaded on it with black with the brush opacity set at 100%. This way I can easily draw over the same spot more than once or erase out shading that got where I don’t want it without getting uneven or odd looking shading. Everything is uniformly tinted with a translucent black shadow wherever I paint it in, and is unshaded anywhere I don’t. Without the grey, it would look like this:


Right now she looks like a D&D miniature waiting for paint, no? So let’s paint her up 😀



For simplicity and cleaner color areas, I turned off my shading layer for the coloring process. I checked how everything looked by clicking it back on periodically, but it was just easier to get clean edges and smooth fills without the shading turned on. I left the light grey as a base color for her armor and painted the rest of her colors around it. Then I turned the shading back on and got this:


I added another shading layer with a slightly lower opacity above the original shading layer and touched up a few areas I thought needed more definition or dimension:


The difference is small, but noticeable. Look particularly at where her helmet touches her face to see how much more depth it gets here.

Next, the background needs to be dealt with. I didn’t want to do a whole chaotic battle scene around her, so I just went with a background that suggests lighting and left it alone. Then I tacked in my logo (the jellyfish) and the image is done.



TADA! This is not how I ALWAYS do my work, but I use a similar process for most of my illustrations and comic art. And now you know 🙂



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