I started this project in October of 2011… and I WILL finish it.
Cotton Candy is the second of three (possibly four) planned iterations of the same lined drawing, done in different colors and in three different sets of media as a personal experiment in exploring and refining different techniques.
Drawing a simple comparison to Candy Corn, I have learned a great many new tips and tricks that cut my production time down immensely and really add to the quality of the finished work. Clipping masks are amazing, and I everything I’ve learned about them, I learned from Niza! I also played around with colored lineart this time around – and I really like the way it was able to soften the digital coloring and make it look a little less like a hard cartoon.
I was really focusing on the cloud-like quality of cotton candy, and the inherent girliness of the colors. I wanted the material of the dress to look a bit like satin, with harsher differences between light and shadow. Again, compared to Candy Corn, I seem to have been successful! I also got to play around with a multi-tone fabric – the waistband, headband, and frame are all a blue-purple blend, which was really fun to shade. I’m pleased with the fact that it didn’t turn out muddy or anything – at least, I don’t think so. Be sure to tell me if you disagree!
Last, I wanted to do something simple but effective for the background. For Candy Corn, I did a harsh black background with a white pop outline. It worked, but is far from a truly good solution. So, for Cotton Candy, I decided to pull again from the whimsy cloud-like inspiration I got from actual cotton candy, and made a bubbly white shape as a backdrop to the figure, lowered the fill, and set the background to a pale gradient of the main pink and blue in the outfit. And I liked how it looked!