This was inspired by "Mansion Man," by The Willow & The Builder, a song I especially love on snowy days, though these are unfortunately far scarcer in Tokyo than in the country. I wanted to do some more pushed paintings, rather than just sketches, so I started this when we got a little snow this past Thanksgiving, while listening to the Adrian Simon catalogue.
I wanted the piece to be one of the more "heavy" illustration entries for my reviews at Tokyo Comic Con, so I had developed it a little further from the versions I posted on Twitter and Instagram. This is how the image looked going into Tokyo Comic Con for reviews, while the version at the very top is where I've taken it after the feedback.
This is the version I posted on Twitter. The feedback I got on the TCC version was that it was a little too blatantly digital-feeling, so I decided to clean it up a little more for today's post, particularly the bg, just about redrawing it entirely. I overlayed super faint versions of the original bg, though, as per their advice to incorporate more texture.
Clean-ups involved neatening the lines, but also clipping a color layer on them, too. The pure representation of the colors is masked by the overall blue layer coating everything, but the colors still make a great difference. The above is what it looks like without the chilly blue color-style layer active.
And this is what the final lines look like plain. Hopefully the feedback led to a stronger piece. I do have a WIP version with flat colors underneath everything, but it's getting unwieldy and I need to move on.
Bonus snow edition. I noticed when you take out all of Nyao's lines, the remaining effects make it look like she's a snowmeow. So there's that.