Over the past month, I took some time to draw the three most major characters of Samael: Samanta Liu-Rivera, Niklas Østergaard, and Tien Vo.
Samanta Liu-Rivera is the titular Samael, a well-known and widely feared assassin who tries to retire from the business, but ends up not being able to.
I’ve drawn her many times over the years and her design hasn’t changed all that much.
Niklas Østergaard is a guy who should have been a hardboiled detective but is stuck as a police detective. He is also a spy for Samanta and her assassin friends.
This was my second time drawing him – the first time was a sketch that’s since been deleted.
Tien Vo is a hacker and Sam’s best friend and mission control. She is Vietnamese-Australian and uses a wheelchair (which is why she’s sitting), which I did not draw here.
I’ve drawn Tien a couple of times before, but her previous design was pretty boring. I like this one a lot better.
I started this back in early 2020. It had a completely different color palette – one with sunset-y colors. After working on it for a few hours, I set it aside with every intention of coming back to it. That did not happen.
Then at the end of January 2022, I went through my art folder, deleting half-finished sketches that I was never going to get around to finishing. Rather than delete this particular painting, I decided to redo it entirely.
So, using the same sketch, I figured out a new palette. Then I decided it would be best if I kept it as a rough speedpainting. I think the reason I didn’t finish the previous version of this painting is because the details were taking too long.
This was done in Clip Studio Paint and took approximately 30 minutes.
I did so much drawing as a kid. If I wasn’t reading, I was drawing. Most of what I drew wasn’t “finished” in any sense of the words – they were drawings of animals and characters I made up, all done in pencil on cheap printer paper or in notebooks. I only started doing “finished” work when I started drawing on the computer – and really only after I got my first tablet.
I produced hundreds of “doodles” from the ages of 3-11. This only happened because I was a kid; I had zero responsibilities and endless free time. There was no reason I couldn’t draw to my heart’s content.
Now, as an adult, I have all sorts of things at my attention and very little free time, so making time for drawing is a bit of a luxury. And I often want to spend the free time I have on other things – writing, reading, playing video games. If I choose to do one of those, then I don’t have time to draw.
Additionally, most of what I draw now are “finished” pieces. I don’t do much doodling/sketching anymore unless I’m figuring out character designs or doing concept art. There’s an actual reason for this: in my late teens, I decided that I drew too much of one thing (people standing around) and not others – backgrounds, landscapes, etc. I decided to work on drawing other things so I could improve at them. It worked, but with the result of my art taking longer than it used to since I was adding more to each piece.
I think what I need to do to get out of my drawing slump is go back to “simpler” art. As much as I really want to draw elaborate things, I simply don’t have the patience for it – and such things are often easier to paint instead of draw.
Here’s hoping I seriously get back into drawing this year.
Here is my first acrylic painting of 2022! It’s based on a doodle I did back in June 2019. It took about 70 minutes over the course of several days.
I think I may have actually found a painting process that works well: work for about half an hour on a section, do tiny touch-ups over the next few hours/days, then move on to the next section. I’ve always had trouble finishing art in one sitting, and breaking it up like this seems to have produced pretty good results.
Back in 2016 I started doodling a magic knight. I then drew a mage to accompany her, and then an archer, a rogue/thief, and a cleric. I’ve since lost the images for the rogue and cleric, but I still have the images for the first three – even though I almost lost them as well.
In the Stories I’d like to work on someday blogpost, I mentioned a story called Marina’s Quest. All three of the characters seen below are going to be part of that story.
First up is Lacey, the magic knight/spellsword.
Second is Marina, the mage. She’s the youngest of the group at around 10 years old.
Third and last is Ash, your typical archer.