It’s been an anxiety-filled month with everything happening in the US this month and other personal challenges I’ll post about later once I have all the details. For now, I wanted to at least share some progress shots of the mini comic I’ve been working on for the Exalted Art Challenge.
This has been a fun challenge to try in Clip Studio Paint for the first time. I knew this program was created for manga artists, but everything about it is so much more efficient for this purpose than photoshop, especially the panel tools. I really love its touch gestures for making my life easier as well!
This mini comic was created for the Exalted Art Challenge‘s topic “Favorite Stunt”, or in RPG terms, favorite cool moment of roleplaying! For this particular campaign, my favorite moment happened when our band of weary Solar warriors went up against the Walker in Darkness, an extremely powerful Deathlord who had invaded our town. My gal Kalara decided to initiate combat in a pretty badass way I had fun with!
My comics begin as loose sketches that give an idea of where the dialogue and main figures will be.
Ink and Screentone Style Tests
Next came figuring out how to ink and style the pages. I opted for a style inspired by the energetic line work of one of my favorite manga, Blade of the Immortal by Hiroaki Samura. I enjoy the graceful energy of the lines and the way the screentone portrays the local color of the elements (darker skin vs lighter clothing, etc).
Here’s a peek at our entire party of Kalara’s Solar band! From left to right we have:
Cathak Demiato, Dawn Caste, who rose through the Dynast ranks as a decorated warrior, only to Exalt after discovering the war crimes her family was committing.
Night Locust, Night Caste, a child slave turned assassin who Exalted when they tried to ‘test’ him by having him kill his young best friend. He’s the prankster-sage of the group.
Kalara Vadras (my character), Eclipse Caste, whom most of you know, but if you don’t, she’s an emancipated slave turned Guild reformer who has Major Beef with the Guild after they murdered her surrogate dad and framed her for it.
Chaos Divide, Zenith Caste, raised by a wandering Air Aspect and Immaculate monk after his family was killed by fairfolk. He bakes really good cookies! He’s also the one who gave Kalara the most headaches because he never hesitates.
Xesa, Twilight Caste, a wandering fortune teller who told the fortune of the wrong person and ended up Exalting when they hunted her down.
This comic has come along slowly, but surely. It’s been a fun experiment to get to know Clip Studio Paint and to stretch my legs, creatively, before I return to the final phase of my Birthstone Goddesses project.
Are you enjoying the Exalted material thus far? I’m curious to gauge interest here!
Next, I hope to have the finalized pages to show to wrap up this ‘finale’ for the Exalted Art Challenge.