d346 120213 Tear Grants 2012

I admit, a little late in posting this post. I had it written for a while, and I thought it had been posted a while ago -___-

[120121] – [120129]

It’s windy like nobody’s business out there, and I should be sleeping… but I’m writing this update instead. So far I’ve actually done a considerable amount of drawing given that we are fairly well into an academic term, to the point that I’m basically going to be able to post a new painting for the next three or four updates (inclusive) at the rate I’m posting updates (roughly every 20 days).

This Tear Grants 2012 is the start of an effort to really clean up lineart. Included will possibly be my first serious effort to use the pen well since a long time ago. Hopefully with a bit of polish, general art quality can take a bigger step up than it has in recent years, but likewise, I try not to be too optimistic.

It’s a start. The process behind it is a development of what I used for Motoko 2012 in the last update; I got rid of the fairly heavy-handed pencil shading and simply outlined the areas that I would have shaded in pencil. Everything is still done on one layer, and the “effects” are also done manually. There is actually a painting between here and there, but it obviously didn’t make me happy, so I didn’t post it (so many paintings I can skip posting one – wow!). I think just a little bit of lineart stiffness can really put me off.

In a sort of uninspired way, this is somewhat of a redo of Philia 2009, just as Motoko 2012 was somewhat of a redo of DMG 2008. I think redos are just sort of my own little way of proving to myself that my art is getting a little better over time. I have a little graphic too, this time, but I didn’t realize my Tear data points were so few and far between.

From right to left, this is late 2006, late 2007, late 2009, and early 2012. The drastic improvement in lineart quality from 2006 to 2007 is partially attributable to the difference in the scale of the two figures, and probably also partially attributable to the volatility of my art back then; if you look at my DMG comparison from 2009, the 2006 DMG (direct center) is very different from the 2006 Tear, and the 2007 DMG (direct left of center) is very different from the 2007 Tear. The 2009 DMG and the 2009 Tear, while still scaled differently, are much more similar.

Interestingly enough, I believe that 2006 Tales painting is also single layered.

One trend that I would hope is evident is the gradual decline in “splotchiness” in the paint since 2009. It was already better in 2010, and I like to think the paint is pretty smooth in today’s painting. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s less about being “good” at blending the colors than it is about choosing colors that blend well. What exactly it is that makes particular colors blend well: I haven’t yet really formulated a cohesive theory on that.

also concerning color, I do believe I am generally getting better at choosing them from the start. For the most part, I haven’t really had to do any heavy-handed color correction on the past couple paintings; the worst as of late has been the really bad Akemi Homura 2011 piece, which is a while ago now. Below is the non-adjusted original, which, as you can see, is more or less the same thing.

Here you can also see the relatively small color palette and the relatively large amount of cropping in this particular painting. I think colors follow some variant of the 80/20 rule: you use 20% of the colors 80% of the time… or something like that. The lighting effect from her staff came out better than I thought, too. I make an effort to try to do any such effects manually and I think it paid off in this case.

Last but not least, a small craft I designed, partially based off of something I dreamed about; it’s kind of an Aruku Reshivu shaped hull with Last Exile styling. I really like the square-radiator-into-conical-propeller-cone thing, and corrugating the hull does wonders too. Otherwise, this thing has boat elements, plane elements, and car elements all in one. Maybe there will be a painting in the future. I’m trying to do a lot this year.

That’s all for now.


d345 120121 Motoko Aoyama 2012, Love Hina sketches 2

[120103] – [120107]

This update features the continuation of my Love Hina character doodles.

I noted that the order in which I draw these characters is more of less arbitrary. The order in which I’m posting them is also such. With Haruka, the overall drawing quality starts to increase. I didn’t actually think she was going to turn out too well at the lineart stage, but sometimes it’s amazing what a little bit of shading can do for you. Other times, it’s not so impressive.

With Naru I encountered quite a few situations where I just wasn’t sure how I was supposed to draw something, but surprisingly, it also turned out quite well. Here, as well as in the next drawing, I start trying to fill out backgrounds with hybrid shading. The traditional pencils are really good at texturing surfaces, so it’s kind of unfortunate that I ended up contrasting a lot of that shading away in post-processing.

Shinobu’s figure is only okay, but I think the bushes here are great. The bench is actually based off a Google Images hit for nice bench”.

Continue reading “d345 120121 Motoko Aoyama 2012, Love Hina sketches 2”

d344 120102 Akemi Homura 2011 R2, Love Hina sketches

[111220 – 120102]

The first illustration in today’s update was actually done before the last picture in the last update, but everything in the last update flowed together better, so I didn’t include this.

This is basically a remake of what I consider the crappiest painting as of late, the Akemi Homura 2011 painting. While this colored pencil piece is obviously somewhat less polished than its digital counterpart I think its also a lot closer to what I originally wanted. In part due to the immaturity of my colored pencil process, the lighting here is also fairly ambiguous.

There’s a less-than-interesting process photo I took a little more than halfway through too. A little bit of color testing on the side; for whatever reason it was significantly harder to settle on Akemi’s colors than it was to settle on Inori’s colors. You can also see that there’s actually a lot of “junk” lines that the colored pencil covered up really well. Overall, fairly satisfied, though. Satisfied enough that I wouldn’t attempt another in the near future.

Continue reading “d344 120102 Akemi Homura 2011 R2, Love Hina sketches”

d343 111205 colored pencil

[111205 – 111220]

So this post features some doodles I did not during Thanksgiving break, but, surprisingly, during the weeks after.

I’ve kind of gotten at this in the past, but I think one of the issues I’ve been having in general is that the more I try to “polish” a drawing, the crappier it gets. To be more specific (in a really vague way), I just feel that things get “stiffer” or just less “fluid” when I actually try to commit to doing a full painting or whatnot. Often enough, I think the sketches leading up to a particular painting are, with respect to lineart mostly, better than the painting itself. The most telling manifestation of this phenomenon is something I’ve written about many times in the past; it’s that the lineart for a painting always turns out worse at the end.

And obviously I’ve tried various things in the past to get around this, the latest being that I’m using pencil linearts straight up with only a little bit of erasing, but even then I still find something just isn’t preserved.

So this colored pencil thing initially didn’t have anything to do with the whole polished = rubbish thing. I was just using the colored pencils to indicate the colors on some thoughts, and I was just messing with how exactly to apply the colors (like as shading or ontop of shading, etc). That’s the top left. Then I had this thought, and I was talking to J about this, about doing like shading and coloring in parallel rather than in series, and that’s kind of what’s going on in the bottom left and right. That didn’t go far, but I got two sketches out of it.

Continue reading “d343 111205 colored pencil”

d342 111127 sketches


Another month, another update (though it’s more like 1.5 updates a month, given the last three or four). Today’s is admittedly weak, but I basically didn’t do any drawing this quarter and I basically didn’t do any drawing over the break as well.

These first two pages of doodle were done in August. This is a general redesign of Bradly’s yacht from Reflection. I don’t seem to have a drawing of the original posted, but the general gist is that lines became straighter and the ship became less obnoxious. Also present are Charles, Bradly’s pilot (chauffeur? butler? secretary? we’re not really sure at this point), and Bradly donning his traditional Founder suit over a Steve Jobs-esque black turtleneck.

This is a little more recent, but it’s another general redesign, this time of the Wind Charmer Wynn from TIAIIS. Again, I can’t seem to find my original sketches on the site, but again, the lines became straighter (though this one wasn’t particularly obnoxious in the first place). I think the general result here is that the ship is overall more “professional” than it used to be. Meaning, even though it is still built from two ships, it looks like the military did the conversion, rather than John Doe.