The two main things I've been working on; trying to get details done on Phyrra, and also trying multiple times to get the aesthetic of Kaze down--I thought that Kaze would be literally the easiest character in the cast to draw. He's a shade. Living shadow that lashes out strikes of air, slicing, dicing, piercing, thrashing, ripping, pulling, twisting, throwing, just, air itself in the form of a shadow.
The aesthetic I drew from could be summed up as from two sources; Kazeshini from the filler arc of Bleach, combined with a Darkness Elemental from Dragonfable.
A male, but incredibly effeminate form--very thin, pretty short, but still recognizably masculine, and yet a being who is mostly formless. White eyes and an occasional slasher smile, but no nose, no ears, no form beyond shadows that flicker like black flames. Recognizable arms and legs, with a recognizable chest, but for this to be bathed in shadows that make it not look like human skin. Anthropomorphic enough to still appear to be arms, legs, a torso, a head, but with enough obscurity to not give clearly defined edges. Where you can't tell where 'skin' begins because there is none to speak of. Where the shadows bleeding off of Kaze don't give a center of mass, because there is no center of mass.
I've tried multiple times to nail the aesthetic, but every time came up with frustrating failures. So I ended up biting the bullet and actually googled for the reference images from the two main sources of inspiration for Kaze.
The Darkness Elemental on the left, from Dragonfable, was one of the main aesthetics I was going for with the look. See the face, the shoulders, the chest? and the look on the arms (albeit, the arms on the darkness elemental are much much too big when it gets to the firsts)? That somewhat-transparent, wreathed in black darkness that oozes the aura of a blaze?
Now just give it the more anthropomorphic shape of kazeshini on the right, and you've got Kaze. This image shows perfectly the proportions of what I want Kaze to be--the thin, but still masculine, chest, with the approximately right proportioned arms and head, with the slasher smile and the killer eyes. (Bonus; this image has hair which looks a bit like the black flame-like aesthetic I am aiming for, at the forehead.)
It should be so easy to draw. Pencils provide the perfect medium to do it--you can nail the aesthetic of a living shadow, of flame-like wind sheathed in darkness, just by using pencil mark after pencil mark after pencil mark.
But it's still so darn hard to nail.