The original for this one was actually done back in…2009? 2010? I was dying to rework it. When I started it, I thought it was going to be an easy process of smoothing out pixelation (the original is much smaller, the new one could be a damned poster), but I ended up reducing the opacity of the original and redoing it completely on a separate layer.
Why the changes:
1. Her hair has always been described as “silver”, but it definitely didn’t look silver in the original. Over the years, her hair kept getting longer and curlier and more tangled in my mind, so I reflected that — especially for this image, where she wouldn’t have very well-kept hair.
2. The original’s armor was just for looks. Nowhere did I ever describe her having glassy galaxy-like armor, but I think at the time I was getting used to drawing galaxies (because of their eyes) and the extra practice was fun. The armor in the second image is accurate to Astral, when Skai uses her cephai to replicate the “armor” she sees the Ouru (or Faceless) wearing.
3. Her clothes. At the time I drew the original, I’d been taking life drawing classes and all the models were naked. I honestly hadn’t drawn clothing in so long, but clothes were one of my favorite things to design when I was a lot younger, so I tried to go back to her original look (the triangle-tipped sleeves, the asymmetrical design). I had to think about what I was going to do with her sleeve where her arm has turned into cephai, and it’s not the best, but it’s supposed to be all torn up. I could’ve spent more time on it, but I didn’t want to distract from the cephai itself.
Skai has kept the “ribbed” sleeves throughout most of my renditions of her. It’s supposed to be a bodysuit under her main attire. One day I’ll rework all of her older drawings to show it in more detail.
4. Her “arena” gear. Skai has always been shown wearing some kind of armor and “crest” hanging from her chest, mostly because that’s how I’ve always seen her in my head. Having the arena scene in the beginning of Astral has really let me elaborate on this stuff, where it comes from, what it’s used for, what it looks like.
That’s it, I think! I had a lot of fun reworking this one. I hope to go through even older drawings and bring them back to life.