Finally I draw Mai, though with a Maximum twist!

Self Critique: You won’t notice it, and I should probably stay quiet about it. But one of the hands looks horrible. I covered it with the fire since it was beyond fixable. The “tail” is a little too stiff. I was stuck in this half-way mentality of wanting it to spiral around for flair, but to straighten it since she was lunging forward. So now it just looks awkward.

So yes, the time finally came for me to draw Mai Shiranui. The opportunity arose over on DeviantArt group Fighting Games Elite and their New FGE Round Project. The theme was to do characters that, from my understanding, haven’t appeared in the FGE project yet. I took a look at the list, and most of the good ones (like June from Star Gladiator) were taken. All except Mai. The catch: it was in her Maximum Impact outfit. I usually see fanart of Mai in her normal attire, or her original Fatal Fury outfit. But not much in her MI design. So I went ahead and snagged the spot.

I kept tossing around ideas in my head as to what to do for the pic. I kept thinking of doing a more standard sexy pin-up pose. But at the same time I wanted to outdo what I did a last year back when I drew Marian from the Double Dragon SNK Arcade game. So that meant I had to do something dynamic and action heavy, like a special move or a super. I thought of Ryuuenbu, but I think others have already done that since, well, the move itself is really nice looking and would lend itself well to a drawing (maybe a future drawing perhaps?). The next was the move where she jumps in the air and dives in. But I’m not quite ready for something like that just yet. The triple fan throw was out since the focus is usually on the fans thrown (plus drawn, it’d just look like Kachousen spam). I eventually settled one of her super, Chou Hissastsu Shinobi-bachi. I could draw her body in full (including her famous assets), and really add some flare to it. Literally!

I knew I had to do some really good looking fire effects. Last time I did them was with flaming pumpkin Jackie on The Fearless* Belinda Cauldron. I had a grasp, but it was still a lot of trial and error, and something like what I did for him was not gonna fly here. So I looked up a tutorial on how to draw fire, and came upon one by DA user Chiakiro. I followed some of the steps, though using a few different brushes and filters than what was in the tutorial. I primarily used three of Clip Studio Paint’s watercolor brushes, Running Color Edge, Smooth, and Dense, as well as the Soft airbush for moments when I couldn’t control the flow with the Smooth watercolor. Since it was a tutorial for SAI, some of the filtering options are different, so I primarily used Add Glow, which worked wonders! I also followed that last bit of advice to add some color saturation if the flames are looking a little dull, and that’s when it all just clicked! So if anyone wants to know how to draw some fire, go check that tutorial out!

Hope FGE like what’s here! And go check out what other artists have done for the project.

Schematic sketch done on Autodesk Sketchbook with Galaxy Tab A with S-pen. Rest done on Clip Studio Paint Pro. Intuos4 Tablet used. Body chan model traced for schematic skeleton, then drawn freehand the rest of the way.

Mai Shiranui, King of Fighters: Maximum Impact (c) SNK.

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