dcomic 410

[061017]

(This rant is actually being written EARLY!)

So here I am, about four years down the line from my first experience drawing in the anime/manga (A/M) style. Now, this may seem like a contradiction to my rant in “episode” 96 (When I say “episode”, I am not referring to the number in the dropdown list, but the one in the url, each of which is n-1 where n is the number in the dropdown list – thus when I say “episode” 96, I’m referring to this: d79) which sets this date at 03/04/11. The 4/11 date refers to my first freehand attempt at the A/M style, whereas this new date… which I cannot pinpoint to a more accurate time than “December, 2002”, refers to my first attempt, period. The details of that attempt are delineated in the first few paragraphs of episode22.

In the “episode” 22 rant, I refer to three DMG drawings that I did across Dec02 – Jan03 (Dang, that was a long time ago). Here they are:

Recently, I did a couple of redraws (I really do like redraws) after running out of original ideas. Among those were my Raine series (Referred to in d48) and the aforementioned DMG (Dark Magician Girl – Yugioh) series. Here it is:

Well. There’s certainly a difference. Now at this point I want to differentiate between two types of the quality. There’s the quality of a drawing in and of itself and there’s the quality of the image being depicted, but I consider these types of quality two ends of one spectrum, rather than two seperate things – it’s hard to explain, but my brain works in wierd ways, and this just happens to be one of them. You can ignore this paragraph if you’re lost. I know I am.

Now I like to do redraws because it is a good way of gauging artistic evolution (But you have to gauge by my quality criteria – if you’re me, which you aren’t) By comparing two pictures of the same thing drawn at different times, you can kinda see what has gotten better, what has stayed the same, what has gotten worse, and so on and so forth. This is particularly true of DMG whom have I drawn at rather key points in my figure drawing “career” (For lack of a better word). These “key” points are:

1. The pre – April 2003 period, before I started freehanding in the A/M style.
2. The April 2003 – Starcrossed interim period.
3. The Reflection period, which is by far the ugliest period so far.
4. The “Sloppy Lines Period 1” of early 2005.
5. The Summer 2005 period, which I have always stressed as a “local max” for those of you in Calculus.
6. The Summer 2006 period, tentatively named the “Sloppy Line Period II”.
7. The current period, which who knows what I’ll name.

I made up those period names on the spot. Sue me. I’d post the DMG examples from each of those periods,but you know that I hate negotiating with my scanner. If you want to see continuous evolution, refer to d94.

The point is that I think I’ve come a long way since 2003, which is still only three… well, almost four years ago. Every year that I keep at this I think I’ve surprise myself by getting a little bit better where I thought improvement was impossible the previous year. Granted, I’m nowhere near the top of the pile, and I say that with the utmost conviction, so don’t think that I think I’m all that good – I’m not, every year I see more flaws in pictures I thought were flawless. Hell, when I drew Starcrossed, I thought my work was ready for PRINT. Nowadays I’m a bit more pessimistic about my absolute ability level (Which is still a relative level, but relative to everyone, period), having been exposed to a lot more A/M drawings/works, but I find that doing redraws gives me a bit of sometimes needed confidence to keep at it.

Like I said, I still surprise myself. I can vaguely remember a time when I thought I would never be able to reach the relatively moderate drawing level I am at right now, way, way back in elementary school. We’ll have to see what this is all like in another half a year or so. Until then, I’ll have a few more quick redraws in the next rant, I’ve got a hella lot done right now.

Well, that wraps up another uber-long rant. I’m sure I missed stuff that I originally wanted to put in.

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dupdate 061016

[100607: Two dead links]

[061010]

Well, the first picture was supposed to be a parody of J’s Mecha Musume, but not being very much the parody type, it didn’t quite turn out that way. Nonetheless I think it turned out pretty good.

But today’s story is about the cyclicality (Is that a word) that my drawing has apparently been an innate characteristic of my drawing (For example, those dead days I used to have with immediate “high”s afterwards, I dunno if anyone ever remembers me ranting about it). Though how I define a “dead day” or really a “dead period” these days is not quite the same, I still fall into this cyclical pattern with drawing.

About a month and a half ago (About the time I started making those random updates with comic updates in between, with the comics being pages I drew in mid august) I had a “dead period” during which I pretty much gave up on figure drawing. So I did the obvious – I stopped drawing figures, telling myself that I should go on a month long hiatus concerning figure drawing – (For J – this is when I started to do all those BKS drawings).

Now, I’ve done this before, resulting largely in the rather rapid and sporadic style changes characteristic of Starcrossed and even the first 20 to 30 “episodes” of NWars, especially if you consider the test comic that adorns my section of NWars “episode” 1. However, I don’t think I’ve ever done it intentionally, it was more of a practical problem than anything.

Well, times change and other things do as well, while some things stay the same. Descriptive, huh?

These days, the slumps don’t really cause all that much variation in my drawing. You look at the characters in 407, and you notice they really aren’t that different from my drawing at about the NWars half way point – or, at least the change is certainly not as great as my drawing from the start of NWars to about the half way point. But I still find my drawing to be, for lack of a better work, a bit more “crisp” (Ok, that’s really not a good word choice, but the next alternative was “refreshing”) after a slump.

When I started doing figures again after my month long hiatus I was thus surprised to find it more “refreshing” than usual. I also found I was able to integrate figures and machines into the same pictures, which I hadn’t been able to do very well up until this point. In turn, that prompted me to go overboard on the “parody”, a similar styled drawing not having been done since my summer 2005 series (Example), and even then, the S2005 series is a bit more high quality.

On a slight tangent, I’m finally beginning to notice a lot more flaws in the S2005s, which I always used to think were really top of the line. Hopefully that indicates that I’m actually getting a firmer grasp on my anatomy (Erm… don’t interpret that).

So I had some troubles on the “parody”, most noticeably on the feet, which I ended up erasing and omitting (Largely due to the paper starting to give way) – if you look closely you can see the scars that multiple pencil marks made on the paper. Surprisingly, Chikara’s foot turned out decently. Aerith’s left shoulder is also kinda screwed up – both arms should have formed a uniformly curved arc had I followed my outline better (Oh, gives me a good idea for the next update), but by the time I noticed it was pretty much too late to change…

AND FINALLY, this in turn made me think, “Hell, I should practice more. Just freaking draw. Especially while my art is on a “high””. And that led to the second drawing you see up there. It’s one of a couple I did over the weekend, focusing more dynamic/complicated poses/perspectives. I was also focusing on cleaner lines and character differentiation, but it kinda took a back seat.

Hmm. Yeah, I’m done. J’s getting his new machine. I look forward to his receiving it.

dupdate 060727

[060727]

I like J’s idea of an update. I’m going to do the same.

I don’t know what time frame J defines as “Classic NWars”, but most of the most interesting D-san developements are prior to the launch of the NWars website.


So here we are in early 2004. This is me in a Statue of Liberty spoof. It’s not even really a D-san picture for that matter. In fact, no pre-nwars pictures are actually D-san pictures because I don’t call them D-san pictures until the start of NWars.


This is still early 2004. This is D-san as of the first of four Starcrossed Author’s Notes. It’s pretty much a generic early Starcrossed character, with nothing more to distinguish it from others than a slightly different mop of hair.


04/04/10. Now we have an exact date. You can see the drastic change (Note I didn’t say “improvement”) over the previous picture. A short decline facial anatomic accuracy follows here…


04/05/24. This was one of the best D-san pictures at the time. Note the elongation of the chin, and the general stretching of the face. Such is the defining characteristic of this era of my drawing.


04/06/22. Now the entire face is generally getting longer, pointier, and uglier. It isn’t half as bad as the next picture, but it is already pretty much near the bottom of this decline I was talking about. It’s kinda sketchy too.


04/06/27. Just a few days after the last one, and ewww. I mean… the eyes, the chin, the everything, it all screams ewww. Things can only get better from here I suppose.


04/08/30. Yay! NWars! You’ll notice the eyes are back to their normal sizes. The forehead and chin are still terrible, but it’s a start. The next image is a drastic improvement.


04/11/02. At this point, I’d like to say that this is “second generation” Nwars in terms of art. I mean, look at that picture compared to the previous one. It’s not perfect or anything, but it’s certainly better.


05/08/30. We jump almost a year ahead. This is a one of kinda D-san picture. The styles involved in this comic are not duplicated anywhere else. I was either having an off day, or just crazy.


06/02/05. Erm… somehow I forgot to crop that one. But anyways, this is largely the end of D-san developement. Everything here is basically as it is at the present, which is not that far ahead.


Today. I drew this one half an hour ago. Yeah.

dcomic 399

[100406]

I think this is really well drawn strip. Very appropriate for the rant I’m about to write.

Tommorrow (04/11) will be the third anniversary of my first recorded attempt in drawing in the anime/manga style. When I draw nowadays, I always ask myself whether my current work is an improvement over my previous work, and the answer varies (Improvement really comes in fits these days, but nonetheless, I think I’ve come a good ways in three years) Unfortunately, it wasn’t always this way.

I think I’ve mentioned it several times already, but for much of my drawing life (And by that, I really think only up until three years ago, and that’s three years out of about 13, BTW), I’ve only concentrated (And that’s a relative measure) on drawing machines. Comics in the ‘old style’ (Started in 07/98) were not taken as seriously (As the machines, which the seriousness of is also a relative measure) for almost five years.

If you didn’t understand that paragraph, it basically means that I didn’t put a lot of emphasis into figure drawing, nor did I care about any sort of active improvement in my drawing in general. Hence, the figures in the first 1998 comic are basically the same as the figures in the last ‘old style’ comic of 2003. This is a scan of the last ‘old style’ comic, completion dated in spring of ’03.

It was around now that two of two things happened. I was already familiar with the whole anime style (Pokemon having been around for a number of years, the American version of CCS having aired on KidsWB in the meantime, the American version of the Yugioh TCG having been around since late 2002, and having owned a number of Sailor Moon and Hello Kitty/That frog guy – Keropi? VHS’s), but I never really believed I’d have the ability to draw in that style, being vehemently against drawing anything “natural” up until then.

Like I said: two things. A friend of mine lent – gave me a copy of the two TV seasons of Akamatsu’s masterpiece, Love Hina. My sister got into anime/manga for about a year, and bought a copy of Clamp’s Chobits.

Huh.

Wow.

I think part of my never drawing in the anime/manga style was that whenever I experienced it up until that time, it was always animated, and for a novice artist such as myself, that was probably intimidating on some level or another, hence my belief that I could never draw anything of that caliber (and even now, I could never animate anything to the extent that they do in an anime, even if I studied Flash in detail). However, when I encountered the drawings on paper, such as in the manga version of Chobits, I thought – huh, why are my figures so crappy compared to this? I thought I could do better than what I was doing.

I think I’ll continue next week. I’m tired.

22 – Eaten || NWars Physics 1

[J][041111]

Oh my gosh! A new character? We’ll see…

In other news, “Toaster Pastry” is the first mini-arc I’ve done if you don’t count “Anime Swiss-Army Knife”.

[D][041111]

Eh heh, this is a really nice work, IMO, so I’m gonna have one of my life’s stories accompany it. (BTW, all pictures hosted offsite, so they might be a bit slow)

SO. Let’s rewind to two years ago, when I was *OMG* in eighth grade. I was a YGO noob at this time, and as addicted to the game as a crack addict is to crack. It was in the third thing of Beckett YGO Collector that I first came across the Dark Magician Girl; the P4 version. (Believe it or not, I still have this issue)

[100522: Dead link]

And of course, as the legend goes, I was mildly obssessed with this card for almost a year; I bought all five of the Japanese versions on Ebay, AND I pulled an English one in my first pack of MFC almost a year later. So either way, it would only be obvious that I tried to draw the card. Of course, the first time I attempted this was way back in winter of 2002, the first of two golden years of YGO. It was for an Art project, and to be honest, I copied it. Horribly, in restrospect. I knew nothing about anatomy, nothing about CGing, and nothing about drawing people at all. (Lower right hand corner – D.Lim (That’s me) 2002)

[100522: New link]

I did do another two DMG and an IFL drawing (The latter two which you have probably seen if you were here long long ago, if not, you can find the threads in this forum) in this same manner, pencil drawing, ink overlay, pencil color, before stopping. Then came Starcrossed, and Reflection. In that year and a half, I finally developed a sense of how the human body is put together (And I’m still working on this), and just this Spring, I did my odd freehand DMG series. The anatomy was far from perfect, but it was freehanded, and a definite improvement from the works of 2002. Some of you have seen that series as well.

[100522: New link]

And now we jump forward another three months. All we get is a style change. The anatomy is still a bit screwed up, but this early NWars era sketch is a bit nicer than the past few.

[100522: Dead link]

Then, there was this one guy on MT forums (And I owe a lot to this person, though he probably doesn’t care) who pused my facial anatomy to were it was correct. Or close to it at least, without the pointy chins and stuff. At that point, I was on the last page of a 100 page sketchbook (200, since I use front and back) which I had been using since the beginning of the year (Alright, March, maybe). So, of course, I had to do something special. And that, was another version of DMG.

So now, I present; 45 minutes of lineart, a bit under 3 hours of coloring, and 15 minutes of compilation (For the final, the first compilation is fscked).

[100522: New link]