Behind the Art: Red Panda Adventures
Myk takes us through the design process for his Digital Ducks collab NFT!
WAX is full to the brim with art. The wide range of styles is fantastic to see, and is testament to the level of talent on the blockchain. With so many quality pieces out there, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd – but Red Panda Adventures achieves that, and then some.
Over the past few months, Myk, the creator of Red Panda Adventures, has developed a signature illustrative style that just makes you smile, with his skill improving with every single Rusty he draws. Myk oozes artistic flair, so to be able to take a peek at how his illustrations come together was a real privilege.
Myk – take it away!
Hello! I’m Myk, and I’m the creator of Red Panda Adventures collection on WAX. I’ve been making NFTs since April this year – a mixture of stickers, illustrations and animations! Currently, there’s 15 animated Rusty the Red Panda NFTs, and Generation 2 is on its way a few weeks from now!
The first thing I do is to sketch some ideas, typically using the pencil tool on my tablet. I’ll usually come up with a number of different scenes and angles, and then focus on the best composition I came up with.
For this piece, my initial idea was for a fight-scene – but it looked a bit strange with the size difference between the characters! I came up with this chase scene idea, and it came out equally as well!
2) Line Art
After sketching comes my favourite part – the line art!
I like to draw my lines with pen pressure enabled. This leads to lines starting thin and getting thicker as the stroke continues, or when lines connect.
At this stage, I start to shade some of the shadows in solid black, and add slanted lines to create a gradient effect – a technique seen community in comics and manga.
Once the line art is complete, I always create a clipping mask above it and fill it with a red tone. This makes the lines blend in with my predominantly earthy, warm colour palette.
3) Base Colour
Next comes the first colour layer!
I tend to start with mid-tones and work my way outwards from that. For this piece, I used a colour wheel to pick a complimentary palette of colours, portraying a warm, almost sunset-like aesthetic.
This is a great time to stick on The Office, or Community – they really help to keep me focused during a long colouring session!
4) Shadows and Highlights
One the base colour is down, it’s time to shade and highlight!
At the start of this layer, I need to decide where the light source is coming from. This will dictate where the shadows lay. I create a layer above the base colour, set the blend mode to Multiply, and set to work on the shadows.
Once those are done, I move on to the highlights. Here, I created an Overlay layer and used a yellow-tone to simulate the sun glinting in your eye.
To brighten the image, I added a further Overlay layer in the same yellow-tone. This really helped to simulate ambient sunlight!
5) Final Touches
Once the colouring is completed, it’s time for the final few touches.
Here, I adjusted some areas that had odd proportions (can you spot them?), and added a final flourish with some grunge and paper fold textures to give the piece a printed, almost aged postcard-esque look.
For me, the art is never finished – but I was very happy to the result of the piece!
This took me about a day from start to finish. Since introducing this illustration style with my Dungeons & Pandas event, I’ve really enjoyed each and every piece I’ve done in this way.
Outside of NFTs, I actually work as a 3D artist for video games, so it’s a nice change of pace to do a completely different type of art in my NFTs!
Thanks to Digital Ducks for allowing me to draw Stabby Quack in the Red Panda Adventures universe! I really love collaborating with other artists, and there will certainly be more of these collab illustrations in future!
Myk – thank you for showing us how this collab NFT came together! I’m a big fan of both Red Panda Adventures and Digital Ducks, so to see Rusty and Stabby Quack come together is a wonderful sight to behold!
Seeing Rusty’s adventures over the past weeks and months has been a joy. Myk has created a wonderful, loveable character – and seeing the quality of the illustrations improve with every single piece has me incredibly excited for what will come next!