C100419

[100426]

A few updates ago, I mentioned NW was shutting down as a joke… well, these days that doesn’t seem so far from the truth, eh?

I watched the Haruhi movie recently. I thought it followed the book pretty closely, but my memory of the book is hazy, having read it a long, long time ago. For all the crap with Endless Eight, the movie was pretty good. Good enough that I’d take two and a half hours of my time to watch it again when I can get a DVD copy.

That leads up to this week’s illustration, Yuki, 2010 version.

The next illustration was really supposed to be DMG, 2009 version, but I was swayed by said Haruhi movie and wanted to do something relevant. Who knows, it might be a good seller at Fanime, too. This is the third such Yuki picture, but I think (and hope) it’s an improvement over the last one

I wanted to combine some of the fancy lighting from Mikoto, 2009, and the figure lineart/painting from the tales series, 2009, but I don’t think either quite got there. On the whole, though, I think this might actually display Tear/Raine 2009 as “best illustration”. Historically, I think it’s rare for me to have so many displacements in a row.

Some of the colors here (those of the books and Yuki’s hair) are somewhat oversaturated. I dunno if that’s a good thing; I noticed whilst looking through a bunch of old paintings that I really do use a large number of the same colors over and over again. I tried not pulling colors straight from reference pictures, and I didn’t use a palette other than the 16-color dot you get with OC 1.1. So 16 colors and then I have to remake old ones from scratch.

Lineart was pretty good right off the bat; besides cleanup, I actually didn’t have to change much going to the “ink”. Props to anyone who can figure out where the lamp on the left came from. It’s not Haruhi. I like doing hair these days. I think better lineart helps make coloring easier, but I feel like I’ve noticed the most with hair. I think with regard to coloring the way I do hair really leverages the strength of the OC brush engine.

I guess overall, art quality is fairly consistent, if not slowly going up, despite my failure to draw any significant volume lately. At the same time, I could say it’s stagnating, but it has really been flat for the past few years. I dunno, this method of painting might be getting kinda stale too. I dunno what else I should do, though.

That’s all for now.

dupdate 100417

[100417]

Well, I haven’t been doing much comic-related drawing these days. Partially it’s because the updates haven’t been moving (and therefore, I’m not feeling pressured to keep the story moving) – thanks to a certain someone – and partially it’s just because I don’t really like this new storyarc already (as I have mentioned before).

I’m not too confident in my alternative story either, but we’ll hold that thought off for now.

I’m taking a one unit class right now that’s making me draw with pen. It’s something like “design sketching”, and I was originally going to try to get out of it since it meets way late at night, and I feel that my drawing is decent… but my good friend and roomate is taking it, so I said what the hell.

In retrospect I think that was a good choice, just to keep me in practice and possible help me “grow” a little.

Because using the pen suddenly doesn’t seem so bad. I’ve posted some of my rare forays into pen, but these are (as you can very obviously see) few and very, very far apart. I’ve just had this physical/mental blockade with pen for as long as I can remember (maybe it’s a little ironic as that first episode 1 of 1998 was done in ballpoint). I won’t say that that blockade is gone or anything, but for the first time in years I feel like I’ve made a little headway.

Anyway, this is the underside of an Inspiron 910. I felt like my first couple pages of penwork really went the way of my paintings (and possibly my general art style to an extent?); they’re “almost impressionistic” in a way. You can obviously tell what’s going on down there, but a closer inspection really just turns up scribbles. I’m not sure what the point was here, but here’s today’s actual drawing.

Ok, it’s kind of a stretch to say it’s more first “finished” drawing in pen, but it’s a start. This is (I believe) the first such drawing (not done digitally) since the final fantasy colored pencil mess of 2005. Speaking of colored pencil, I have some colored pencil stuff that ain’t too bad, but that’s for another time. Anyway, my marker work is pretty much shit, but I think the penning was passable here; it’s still “impressionistic”, but as I mentioned, that might just be the way I draw. There’s a light 6H pencil underlay, but it’s really just a grid, so I thought that was pretty good too.

But yeah, that’s probably it for this one. Watch for more traditional shit this quarter I guess.

J274 – Playing with Mediums

[4/15/2010] Another late update…

Anyway, Anime Boston was amazing~ My friends and I sold our awesome Vocaloid doujinshi; previews can be seen here and here. We also tried to sell a multitude of pins and bookmarks recycled from the cover art, but no one bought them; they were too distracted by the Yu-Gi-Oh! Abridged and Hetalia pins.

Speaking of Hetalia, here‘s my friend and I dressed as Hong Kong and China.

Speaking of Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged: Anime Boston weekend was followed by Campus Preview Weekend, which is a 4-day period where all the people who got admitted to MIT show up and gobs of cash are spent to entertain them and convince them to come to MIT. Yaaaaaay! For our part, the MIT Anime Club karaoke-ed during the Welcome Festival (most people passed us by, but some awesome people stopped to sing. Thanks awesome people!). We also ran a Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged! mini-marathon, followed by a Q&A with the creator of the series. To top it all off, we cosplayed as MIT students … as seen in Pani Poni Dash. Read up on it here!

Wow, that update was link-heavy. I suppose I could have copied some of the images over, but I’m feeling lazy.

Oh yeah, the inking panel was done with some snazzy new nib pens I bought last week. I’ve been playing around with them, and I really like the effect they give over normal pens, so expect to see more updates involving them. Until next week! (orz)

dcomic 538

[100401]

Nonsense Wars is shutting down.

Ok, April Fool’s.

Anyway, now that that’s out of the way…

So I was talking to J the other day, and as our conversations usually go, I got a good idea for a blog post (I don’t remember if I mentioned it before, but I mentioned to J that nowadays NW is like “my blog with a comic on the side”). And unlike the usual way of things, I think I haven’t forgotten what I wanted to say.

I’ve been writing the story past the end of the Directorate story arc for a couple months now… and it hasn’t been going too well. I’ve mentioned in the past that I’ve wanted to write a romantic story – but after flipping through a couple notable series this spring break, I’ve re-evaluated. What I really want to write is just something compelling; something that’ll leave some emotional weight.

For a long time, I’ve neglected the story element of comicking (is that really how you spell that?), mostly just saying that that’s the easy part – that can come later. But later has come. I’ve noted that I think that my art is finally “competent” enough to assist in the telling of a compelling story; I’m just missing the actual story now. And really, that’s easier said than done.

The current direction in which my NW storyline is going is pretty cliche. That’s ok, really, I think it’s still possible to make a solid storyarc even if it’s cliche, but that’s not the only problem. The bigger issue is that this storyline just has too much baggage. I’ve tried to start from a blank slate as we’ll soon see, but it’s really more like someone scribbled all over a piece of paper, and then tried to erase it. It just can’t stand alone.

So I’ve been brooding over writing a standalone. The last time I tried this was with TIAIIS (which was, holy shit, nearly five years ago now), and it was pretty much a flop. It really was an attempt at making something standalone and compelling, but I don’t really think I knew where I was going with it, and it turned out pretty halfhearted. And shitty. Can’t forget that.

I think the TokyoPop competitions back then really got it right. It’s a lot harder to write a competent, compelling story in 20 pages than I may have given credit. I still don’t think I could place in one of those today, but I think I have a shot at being a contender. At any rate, you think how hard it is to make a compelling anime in 12 or 13 episodes; well 20 pages is pretty much nothing. Some series don’t even introduce their main character in the first 20 pages, not to mention develop him or her and have him or her go do something meaningful.

I have a rough sketch of a story in my head, but I’m kinda still short a storyboard. Segueing into a topic related to the last post, that display cable issue on my HP finally boiled over and it’s been unusable while I wait for parts. I busted out the old 500m for a day or so… and then I realized I had that nice Inspiron 910 on which this entry is actually being written. So excuse any spelling errors because this keyboard is dinky.

Ok, that’s probably it for today.