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Environment Sketches – Trees

Environment Sketches – Trees published on No Comments on Environment Sketches – Trees

[For the hiatus, I’m going to be posting a bunch of the development art I made for the series. It’ll be posted in the order it was made, leading up to the week the comic resumes]

{ORIGINAL COMMENTARY} Also with a cloud on there too. I tried a couple different things with the coloring and shading; trees are weird. I absolutely need more practice, but it’s something I’ll be very happy about once I get the hang of it.

{NEW COMMENTARY} Since Chapter 2 is going to be done digitally, I’m going to be focusing more of my efforts into shading that way, instead of traditionally.

Environment – Plants and Flowers

Environment – Plants and Flowers published on No Comments on Environment – Plants and Flowers

[For the hiatus, I’m going to be posting a bunch of the development art I made for the series. It’ll be posted in the order it was made, leading up to the week the comic resumes]

Since Key to the Future’s Fate was set to be a Solarpunk story, I needed to practice working on my plant and flower designs. The actual ones in the comic are a little more cartoony, but it was still interesting to practice something more realistic, so that way I could learn how to start making my own, more alien ones!

Alien Sketches – Malgent

Alien Sketches – Malgent published on No Comments on Alien Sketches – Malgent

[For the hiatus, I’m going to be posting a bunch of the development art I made for the series. It’ll be posted in the order it was made, leading up to the week the comic resumes]

{Original Commentary} An alien species that had a very brief cameo in old Cat Comixz!

The bureaucratic cornerstone of society in the universe. They’re almost always the first ones to visit potential species to join the universal community.

They’re also almost always the first to fall in love with the potential species they visit.

{New Commentary} It’s weird to read that I originally intended them to be more cat-like, as I don’t remember that at all.

I’ve imagined their personal society to function under a form of bureaucratic anarchy, where countless clusters of unrelated Malgent organize information between each other. Not one other race encountered yet is capable of successfully replicating their system, which has served to strengthen them as a species.

Background Fodder – Neo Cats

Background Fodder – Neo Cats published on No Comments on Background Fodder – Neo Cats

[For the hiatus, I’m going to be posting a bunch of the development art I made for the series. It’ll be posted in the order it was made, leading up to the week the comic resumes]

{Original Commentary} Some examples of cats who have gone through more extensive genetic engineering. The most notable differences are the greater diversity of eye shapes, ladies having breasts, and better feet. Generally, the cats in these families are more fond of technology and modifications.

The final one is actually more of an example of the type of clothing worn by spacer and/or rebellious types. The comfortable and soft clothing styles most people wear are nice on-world, but they don’t shun practical clothing when it makes sense to have it.

I really like how these ones all came out. I’m feeling much more confident in creating characters mostly from scratch now. I was still heavily relying on reference images for outfit inspiration (and I used an awesome color-wheel thing that has helped me with color coordination), but the base characters came about super organically. I’m not worried about thinking about designs for them nearly as much anymore.

{New Commentary} Even now, designing these background characters has been one of my favorite exercises. I feel the Neo-Cat designs do a better job showing off my strengths in terms of character design.

One thing that was a HUGE help was the color-matcher I used. That and I was feeling really inspired regarding clothing concepts and patterns – this was just a fun time.

Also, I’m planning to include these characters within the comic at various points, so see if you can spot them!

Alien Sketches – Bonic

Alien Sketches – Bonic published on No Comments on Alien Sketches – Bonic

[For the hiatus, I’m going to be posting a bunch of the development art I made for the series. It’ll be posted in the order it was made, leading up to the week the comic resumes]

{Original Commentary} One of the very first aliens that is encountered in Key to the Future’s Fate: The Bonic!

I’ve had a handful of alien concepts in my head for years now, and it’s so nice to finally have a place for them. Granted, the aliens in KttFF aren’t the focus, but they’re fun to design and think about.

I love aliens made of goo or something similar, but I wanted to put a slightly different spin on it. It’s weird that I’ve been thinking about the design for these guys for years (specifically their simple face/head, but the rest of their body just came to me while drawing. They’ll need lots of padding to protect their organs and whatnot, after all.

{New Commentary} Making the Bonic was fun. They’re so expressive and chunky, it makes them fun background fodder.

And I’m sure you’re thinking that it’s weird that they can just walk around without clothes most of the time. The guiding rule in the KttFF universe is that, so long as there isn’t anything inappropriate showing naturally, then no one will bat an eye.

Background Fodder – Common Cats

Background Fodder – Common Cats published on No Comments on Background Fodder – Common Cats

[For the hiatus, I’m going to be posting a bunch of the development art I made for the series. It’ll be posted in the order it was made, leading up to the week the comic resumes]

{Original Commentary} Practicing some designs for background common-cats. The physical designs weren’t too difficult, but Solarpunk outfits are something I need practice with. I’ve saved a bunch of outfit references I’m using to get a handle on things, which is helping. Also I’m still not super confident about my color-matching, but more practice is always good.

{New Commentary} Designing Solarpunk outfits is still a struggle for me, since I want to give off the feeling of something more traditional while still making it seem “futuristic.” At the very least, I certainly feel better about my ability to make such outfits now and match color better.

Fun fact, I’m planning to put these specific characters in the backgrounds of the comic (given I spent so much time on them). See if you can find them as they come up!

Characters – Luca

Characters – Luca published on No Comments on Characters – Luca

[For the hiatus, I’m going to be posting a bunch of the development art I made for the series. It’ll be posted in the order it was made, leading up to the week the comic resumes]

{ORIGINAL COMMENTARY} I haven’t changed her proportions much since her conception, but I have changed her outfit and personality a lot since I drew her first.

I had a ton of trouble trying to get her markings just right. So few looked good to me, but I eventually found I felt comfortable with a sort of diamond theme to the black marks on her (along with her adorable chest heart one).

Originally I was going to go with an outfit that had some big neck-ware thing going on, but I couldn’t figure out how to make everything connect nicely. Instead, I went for a more simple robe thing that clicks together along her stomach. She’s got a shirt on below that. I wanted something that kind of split the difference between Trinity’s more naturalistic outfit and Ms Shepard’s more official look.

The patches on her shoulder marking her as being allied with both FA and FB were shifted into being little bandannas things she wraps around her arms. Since her arms are bare in the outfit, I wanted to add something to make them stand out a little more.

Gonna need to keep practicing this leg structure. But I’m very satisfied with how she looks. I’m still debating a bit on the Tecktrins wings, but I like this well enough for now.

As for her personality, she’s usually pretty grump or tired…
OF PEOPLE’S NONSENSE, THAT IS.

{NEW COMMENTARY} As you can tell by her actual appearance in the comic, I dropped the arm bands; ironically I felt that made her design too busy.

Since… another character is going to fill the grump role, I’ve changed Luca into being more exasperated with everything going on.

I’m probably going to add more to her coat down the line, but we’ll see.

Characters – Trinity

Characters – Trinity published on No Comments on Characters – Trinity

[For the hiatus, I’m going to be posting a bunch of the development art I made for the series. It’ll be posted in the order it was made, leading up to the week the comic resumes]

{Original Commentary} Looking back at my first attempt to draw Trinity, I didn’t really feel satisfied with her design. I know I wanted a very tall and very thin figure for her to sort of match the “idea” of her character (which is what the world thinks of being the perfect figure).

I eventually settled on like a very tall triangle-like figure for her body and legs, which I’m satisfied with. I like her way more with really long legs. She’s tall as heck!

I also knew almost instantly what outfit I wanted for her, so I didn’t end up using more than a page to figure it out. 😆 It’s kind of like a belly-dancer outfit, I’ve realized (mainly an excuse for me to show of her cute white tummy fur). But of course, she’s also a respected researcher, so she’s got her white lab-coat.

(It’s a weird solarpunk future and she’s a genetics researcher don’t question it)

{New Commentary} Now that’s more like the Trinity I remember! It wouldn’t be until we get into the comic proper that she gets her muzzle, though.

One of the earlier mistakes I made when designing characters was not having a strong grasp on the colors they would have (given that the designs are all black and white). If memory serves, I still didn’t know what color her fur would be at this point.

Going into the comic, you’ll notice that I went back and forth minor details about her; mainly her lab coat and some parts of her fur. Knowing myself, I’ll still be changing those right up until the end.

Character Sketches – Melody

Character Sketches – Melody published on No Comments on Character Sketches – Melody

[For the hiatus, I’m going to be posting a bunch of the development art I made for the series. It’ll be posted in the order it was made, leading up to the week the comic resumes]

{Original Commentary} Leon’s sarcastic but loving sister. The siblings don’t get along, but that’s mostly Leon’s fault. Melody’s really shy and introverted, and Leon’s self-interested personality doesn’t mesh well with her.

As with Cat Comixz before, she’s tall and thin. I have had her design more or less down before I started (though I was still getting used to exactly how tall she is). It was just nice to draw her again. She won’t be in the comic for long, but she’ll play a pretty important role none the less.

{New Commentary} Once I started to color her, her design changed a bit (most notably the sleeves).

I know the earlier bit makes it sound like she’ll only appear in the prologue, but she’ll be appearing a few more times before the comic ends…

Character Sketches – Leon

Character Sketches – Leon published on No Comments on Character Sketches – Leon

[For the hiatus, I’m going to be posting a bunch of the development art I made for the series. It’ll be posted in the order it was made, leading up to the week the comic resumes]

{Old Commentary} You’d think after all these years, I’d know how to draw my main kitty, but he’s still changing so much.

At least by this point, I actually have an idea of what his proportions are. I decided to make a stylistic choice where his eyes will always show up over his hat & hair. I like it. Looks more cartoony that way.

The poncho thing he’s wearing is something that may show up in chapter 2. The main body of it is planned to be orange, with a white stripe, bigger black stripe, and another white stripe. On the one hand, I want him to wear it so he’d feel like he’d fit in better with the Solarpunk setting, but on the other hand, the way he generally contrasts with the colorful world might help him stand out more visually. It’s something I’m gonna have to debate.

Also posing him is so fun. My smug little kitty.

{New Commentary} And he’s changed quite a bit since these sketches! He’s got more of a tummy (along with lots of smaller tweaks), and I’ve gotten better and understanding what he looks like in 3D space.

Leon has been a major character for me for over 10 years now. It still blows my mind. I can’t even imagine what he’ll look like by the time I’m finishing Key to the Future’s Fate!