1. Introduction Picture

This is my first entry for Variation 1 of the 100 Theme Challenge. I always do better when I have a little bit of direction. Maybe by the time I finish this my skills will have improved enough to start my comic. If not, I'll just start on Variation 2.

Mandatory TL;DR part:
I started this about two months ago. I got it 70% finished and then my interests switched to traditional art. Although I haven't improved much since then, if I drew this now, the anatomy would be better. But this is my starting point in a 100-piece chronicle of my improvement, so I made no attempt to clean it up. Hopefully I'll be able to upload art regularly now.

The character on the right is Sparklyena. Her comment is a reference to my previous deviation Taste the Rainbow. (After I finish the challenge, I'm going to redraw that one to test my progress.) After having my tablet for a year and a half, I just figured out how to get the pressure sensitivity to work as I was finishing up this picture, so I was playing around with it and some things I learned on a painting show when I did her shading.

The character on the left is my fursona and muse, Zhenzhu. She's a clouded-leopard-based composite mythological creature I made up for a webcomic I'm hoping to launch in a few years. (Although she may look like just another catgirl, I did a lot of research and can point to a myth for each of her non-human traits, but I'm not sharing my research just yet.) Regarding her anatomy, her shins are supposed to be longer than her thighs (in nature this means an animal is a fast runner). Her actual limb proportions are still a work in progress, as are her snaggleteeth. Due to chronic joint pain, I often stretch out in weird positions like she's doing.

Other notes: Her clothes are inspired by traditional Shaolin monk attire (it's plot-based). Due to a running gag in my comic where digitigrade bipeds don't wear socks, they've been modified into leg warmers. If I tried to draw a car, it would probably look about like the one on her sketchbook. And she has a box of Koh-I-Noor Progresso woodless graphite pencils in front of her. They're my favorite drawing pencils and a major reason why I started drawing again after ten years of disinterest, but that's a long story and I've rambled on long enough here.

Final note: I have voices in my head, but they only talk to each other. They don't know I'm here.

Done in PSE 7 mostly without pressure sensitivity.
Journal entry.

Edit: Zhenzhu is now the star of a new little comic, My Evil Muse. (She doesn't have the eyepatch in the comic, but it'll be back someday. And her ears are a bit lower on her head, now that I realize I had mistaken a bullet hole for the ear canal when doing anatomy research. Facepalm.)
Continue Reading: The Muses