Silva Birgen, art/character comparison: July 2006 - June 2016
Firstly, this isn't finished yet. The intention is to clean the new one up, give it a proper background (rather than just a "placeholder box thing") and colour it by the ten year anniversary next month.
To you, this probably isn't the most impressive "Draw this again" on DeviantART - others out there have progressed more or faster. But for me, it's significant.
Thing is, in 2003, I was first given the choice to pick my school subjects going into my GCSE years.
And my art were one of the things I dropped like a tonne of bricks. I was no good at it and the teaching was catastrophically useless; the classes only ever seemed to test skills rather than advance them - being told to draw a bowl of apples but drawing a bucket of potatoes got me nowhere. Sure, people learn from mistakes, but if they don't even know what mistake they made!
Anyway, I thought that was the end of it.
But about three years after that, in July 2006, a friend was himself getting into trying to draw. I'd made a comment on something of his (I believe that it was that the character's eyes weren't symmetrical), which earned me the response/challenge of "Yeah well, you do better".
And well, I thought I'd try. My first effort was a character called "Sean" - I've not really done much with him since though, as he was fairly generic and not really worthy of returning to. But I was prepared to try again.
Silva (as you see above) was about my third piece after the challenge started and was actually entirely an accident. I had an artist's mannequin around that I'd used for stop motion years previously, and was trying to use it for reference, but after numerous attempts at making her left arm look right, I tried sketching just what I saw in front of me... and hey, you know what, that could be a bionic arm, that's pretty cool. She quickly got given a bionic leg too, and that pretty much cemented her as a character. I wasn't a good artist at the time, but she was now visually distinct enough that I could draw her again and still have her look vaguely like the same person.
She didn't keep her original appearance all that long, and she's gone through an number of increasingly "gritty" revisions since. Her bionics have become less "clean" in design, she's put on a lot of muscle, gained quite a few scars, some changes of background and her personality has changed from its original version. (She's more cynical and hot-tempered than she used to be, but also more pragmatic and self-sacrificing).
But she, in one version or another, has now stuck with me nine years and eleven months, and is highly responsible for my overall artistic development.
As far as the redraw, I've taken a slightly loose approach. The original posing was far too boring to reuse, so I've just copied some elements (mostly the raised gun and the grasped knife) and gone from there. More of a "how I'd do this piece now" rather than just a straight re-draw.
It should hopefully become a colour piece in time for next month, but I've still got to decide exactly on everything I want to do with it.
Also, feel free to take a look at full size. This is only 20% of the size of the full piece, but you can still see some of the details in it that I'm happy with.
Character and artwork by RagnarokEOTW
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