Creepy enemies and secret tips
Came to the depressing realization that I was just too slow - like really-old-man-with-a-walker slow.
Been drawing like crazy since I finished all the background props for the Graveyard level (see previous post and video here). No breaks, no relaxation, just straight to drawing all the enemies. At least it feels that way.
Six different enemy faces in total and oh man, that was a lot of work.
At first, I was overwhelmed by all the artwork I had to make. Almost to the point where it turned into a mental sinkhole. Got to work and finished the first enemy, then the second one and then I came to the depressing realization that I was just too slow - like really-old-man-with-a-walker slow.
I then took a deep, hard look at my drawing process, identified critical ways to improve it and BAM! - the last four enemies were (almost) done in a snap. Read the secret hows after the video.
Secret tips to drawing faster
Actually ... these tips aren't that secret. Just thought it sounded more interesting, more pirate adventurous.
So, with more levels planned and a massive amount of artwork ahead, I knew I had to finish drawings much faster. Not twice as fast, but several times faster.
I found these three things to have the most drastic impact on my speed:
1. Be less critical (and listen to your kids)
Goes without saying that being too self-critical won't get you anywhere. So, I looked myself in the eyes and told me, in a deep godlike voice, to ACCEPT THE LESS PERFECT and to be confident in what I create will still be really good.
Also found that the honest opinions of my kids, often too brutally honest, can be a good indicator. "Dad, your skeleton looks like an ugly, weird sea monster" - redid that one.
2. Don't color sketches
Because I redraw my sketches in vector format anyway, there's no reason to spend valuable time coloring those sketches, tweaking gradients and adding nice shadows. Just sketch in one color and then move straight to drawing in vector. Then add all the niceness as part of the final vector drawing.
3. Use the paint bucket
Color fill, color fill, color fill. Using the Apple Pencil, I found it natural and fun to color areas by painting them over, stroke by stroke by stroke by stroke by...z..z...z. Like you would do on a real piece of paper.
However, that process takes waaaay too long. Instead, trace the contour, create a closed shape and then SPLASH! - hit it with the paint bucket. Done! Rinse and repeat.
Speed, the natural result of practicing
Drawing every day also just made me better at using the pencil and software. I would also carry details and ideas over from one drawing to the next which meant they became better and better while still retaining speed.
It's essentially just the natural result of practicing. You get better, you figure out how to draw stuff and can then do it faster.
Now that most of the artwork is done, there's still a bunch of stuff to do before I can release the graveyard level. Other areas of the game also require an update to support multiple levels and so forth. So, I'm aiming at late summer 2020.
Fortunately, coming levels will be faster and easier to create ... unless I let too many new features creep in. Time will tell.