dupdate 110713


Well, there was supposed to be some space thing going on, but that didn’t happen, so I’m posting more of these character things. As I mentioned I tried to be real pro and hash these out real fast, but the quality seems to have suffered a bit. If I continue this series, which I think I will, I’ll probably take my time again. This update’s sketch is Motoko from Love Hina.

Yesterday when we were chatting online, J brought up a couple points that I’ve covered ad infinitum, so obviously I’m going to address them again.

I mentioned that, at least since Misaka 2010, I’d been doing paintings right off of the original lineart, without a full re-draw, which brought us to the issue of “sketchiness” in, well, sketching. In d301, I talked about my drawing cyclically getting “tighter” and “looser” over time, but lately, along with variations in style, these changes have more or less vanished. I think the last time my art was actually “sketchy” (based off of my current definition of the word) was around here, in late 2007, early 2008.

I was saying that I’ve always told J to make stuff less sketchy (in the same way I tell people to “be pro”, I suppose), but “always” is a big word. But thinking about it a bit more, we might actually always have been at about the same level of sketchiness.

This is dated for sometime in 2004, I think towards the middle (there’s no exact date – shame on me). It’s actually from the same little sequence that spawned the Discipline painting. As you can see, it’s very loose. J’s Christmas drawing of 2004 (the first non-comic sketch of J’s I could find), is arguably less sketchy.

The fundamental issue I’m thinking of, though, is that it’s hard to make a direct comparison anywhere because while I might classify the Discipline-series “sketch” as a formal “drawing”, J might classify the Christmas drawing of 2004 a “drawing” rather than a “sketch”, or vice-versa. These days, most of the stuff I post I consider formal drawings; the stuff that I consider a sketch, like my storyboard stuff, is still, well, really sketchy. I think J might just classify much more of his stuff as the latter, in which case we’re both just as sketchy.

But based on that method of comparison, you could say that my early work was much cleaner as well, as, comic-to-comic, I was much cleaner, as I initially hid all of my sketchiness with a pretty rubbish tracing-paper process, which I maintained throughout 2004. So as much as I like to think I’m less sketchy and all, the comparison is never really fair and we both just might such the same amount.

I think I might also just be over-analyzing this.

Point 2: do I “backdraw”?

Well, I never heard this word until J brought it up, but essentially it’s like putting down a skeleton before committing to your lines. The answer is yes, I’ve backdrawn since before this site started, and I still do it today. I’m pretty sure most people do it (or I’d like to think such). I commented that, when I started backdrawing when I started doing figure drawings, it changed the way I drew everything else as well, ships and the like.

Point 3: Paradigms?

This we actually discussed briefly longer ago. I was saying that I was pleased that neither of our art styles actually really mimicked anyone’s art style(s) anymore, it was really “J’s art” or “D’s art”. I’ve always described someone’s art style in terms of others’ art style(s) (“J’s art looks a lot like so and so’s art”), but when J described that he thought his style was, he said he thought it was “moe-boring”. While I definitely got a kick out of the term, I really don’t think describing style in terms of “something” is quite right.

J asked if I thought his art was “moe” or not, to which I responded: even if his art was “moe”, if the characters he’s depicting with said style aren’t, does that still make the style itself “moe”? I personally don’t think so, in much the same way that you can’t really make a tree “cute” unless you didn’t some really drastic things (like give it a face or something). Who’s right on this one, I don’t know. Chances are we are both probably right in some regard; I’ve just never thought of style in J’s way, so it’s interesting.

Along the same lines, I’ve always considered Ken Akamatsu of Love Hina fame to be the bigger influence on my art style. Nonetheless, looking back at my old work, I realize/recall that Fred Gallagher of MegaTokyo fame also had a fairly big impact on me. The early Chikara drawing (or is this a sketch?) above definitely has what I’d consider Akamatsu facial features, but also what I’d consider Gallagher’s line quality. Today I think I have considerably more Akamatsu than Gallagher, but I’m sure the latter manifests itself in my art without my realizing it.

More next time.