Sketch

Super messy sketch. You can see here I draw the figures first, then the clothes in another layer. I feel like this helps me keep track of the underlying structure rather than losing it under clothes.

Lineart

Trying to keep my lineart sketchy and loose! I want to focus on color more than on lineart to make the artwork look polished. I need to work of my values!

Flats

Flipped the photo because I thought it looked better, and flatted the characters' outlines! I also redrew Alphinaud and Alisaie's arms, to make their poses more natural. Alisaie's arm is now at a more realistic size.

Flats

Flatted Alphinaud's colors! I feel like a sign of good character design is how easy they are to flat...

Flats

And flatted Alisaie! Also stuck in a random rough background, but I'm realizing it's not really working with the characters' colors. Not sure what I should do for the background instead...

Monochrome

Having a bit of trouble keep track of lighting, so did a b&w layer to help plan out shading. I feel like I'm still not very good at pushing value though, the value range isn't very wide here.

Color Planning

I love this little feature in SAI, I guess it's kind of a scratchpad? I use it to keep track of the major colors in the palette. Alphinaud's blue outfit is a key color, and the "blacks" and Alisaie's outfit is basically a range of reds in different saturation levels. Decided to go with yellow and green to create a warmish piece.

Rough Colors

...which results in helping me lay down rough colors! I also tried to push value more here too. I guess I'll keep working on that as I render.

Rough Colors

Rendering! Mostly working on Alphinaud so far. Trying to keep darks dark and lights light and keeping reflecting color in mind (for example, the blue on Alphinaud's jacket reflecting on the black portions and the yellow ambient light from the background in the highlights throughout)

Final

Done! Desaturated the green in a background a bit to give more focus to the characters in the foreground, and reshaped Alisaie's eye because it didn't look quite right. Tried really hard to have a wide value range and a coherent color scheme and I think I pulled off those goals! If I were to redo some of this, I think I might try to use mini-atmospheric perspective to give the illustration more depth. Alphinaud and Alisaie seem like they're on the same plane right now. Maybe I'll come back after some time and do a mini-paintover for myself.