I discovered an artist by the name of Ithmid (http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?id=9948043) and thought their style was super-cute, so I experimented a bit with it and thought I'd share! I've been wanting to draw some Rukia since forever anyway.
Playing with that style was reaaally interesting. My style usually has weak color design, relies a lot on shading and has difficulty breaking out of that "sorta cartoony stylization because I'm not good enough for realism" zone into either proper stylization or proper realism. When I draw women I also tend to not emphasize traditionally feminine traits like eyelashes, lip color or blush effects since I easily go overboard with those things and make the face look really trashy. Ithmid's style is pretty much the opposite in all of those regards: It's got a clear, simple and very flowing style to it, an atmospheric color palette, it relies on soft gradients rather than normal shading, and it tastefully emphasizes all those things I don't.
Studying it has been really valuable to me, and I hope to be able to incorporate some of what I've learned into future pictures.
Here's part 2 of what I drew based on that style. At first I was pretty happy with how it came out, but something small was nagging me. So I mirrored it to spot mistakes, saw that EVERYTHING was messed up, and just decided to leave it be. Gonna need to remember the mirroring thing earlier next time >_>"
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