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 -___-
 – 
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.