Big News! (((o(*゚▽゚*)o)))

So… because I was so focused on working with the Youtube video and the Traditional X Digital I kinda forgot that just how close the local anime convention NanDesuKan was. To my surprise the convention is only a little less than two weeks away. Now that wouldn’t be too big a deal concerning the amount of time I can dedicate to new work. But an amazing opportunity became available this year! But more on this a bit further down, first let me give a little background.

I started going to NanDesuKan when I got out of high school. One thing that I look forward to the most (well along with looking at the cosplayers) is the Artist Alley where artist come together and sell prints of their work. I have seen some amazing artwork and dreamed of joining the same stage at some point. But I knew that my skills had a ways to go till I was worthy of showcasing my work. But I soon found out that not only did I have to worry about my skills but I also had to take into account that they have a raffle system to get a table. On top of that, past artist also have a chance to continue getting a table on the subsequent years. So really in the end getting a table will be solely based on luck. Now, once I do get a table I can be voted to come again the next year. Which is why I feel that having a high level of skill was of utmost importance.

Funnily enough now that I felt I had created a good number of  artwork that could be sold, well I was too late to apply to get a spot. So for that reason I had no choice but sit this year out (assuming I would even get a spot).

As if by luck or fate I found out that I also had a chance to sell my art in the Art Show. The difference between the Art Show and the Artist Alley is that the Artist Alley is all about selling prints and duplicates of goods. The Art Show on the other hand is all about selling the original physical artwork. This includes drawings, paintings, statues, etc. So in essence this works to my strengths since I prefer to do traditional art work. On top of that, most of the artist go to the Artist Alley instead since they tend to focus on digital artwork. This means that not that many people submit artwork leaving spaces open. So all of that sounds good right?

Well, it gets even better… The system for showcasing artwork in the Art Show is done by just showing up with one’s artwork the first day and securing a spot. So as long as I get there early enough I get a chance to showcase and sell my art! On top of all that, after contacting them to clarify some of my concerns, I also learned that I really won’t have any real restrictions in how many art pieces I can submit. In the last years there was a limitation of using a 4×4 foot panel to hang artwork. But now that has been done away with and they will provide even more space if needed! Just thinking about it…

For that reason I will be focusing on getting things ready. I want to make some special frames for a couple of art pieces and I only have a little less than two weeks so I will be using all my time and focus on that. There are a couple of things that will also keep me busier on top of getting ready for the Art Show. School has started this week, so my schedule will be completely packed. Hmm.. I don’t want to keep neglecting this page though, so I will do my best to give updates on the work I have prior to the convention and during it.

This will be a great step for the Artist Project! If I can make this work…

“hhfffuuuu” σ(≧ε≦o)

I will call these opportunites:

CHANCE!

Hasta la próxima,

-Nube

New Opening and Ending for the Channel

So I have been out for a bit, well only a couple of days. But fear not, I was actually working on some more work for the Artist Project. I had mentioned before that I wanted to start uploading videos up again to Youtube, but I also wanted to do new content as well. The first thing I wanted to do though was to create a new Opening and Ending for the channel. But I wanted some more interesting visuals than what I usually had by using the easy to use effects given in programs like Windows Movie Maker and the very basics of what I knew from Sony Vegas Pro. This meant that I had to sit down and actually learn some new techniques.

It sounds easy to say, but one of the reasons I wasn’t able to do it before was because I had too much information pop up. This wouldn’t be a problem if I wanted to learn from the very beginning, but since I had something specific I wanted to do I just felt like it would take too much time to get to the part I was interested in learning. Having said that, after playing around with Vegas for a couple of months now I have gotten used to the basics on my own. So once I had an idea of what I wanted to do, I just went and searched for that very thing. Thanks to this new Opening and Ending, I learned a lot of amazing things I can do with a program like Sony Vegas. Along the way I also learned a lot more techniques so that I can fully utilize Photoshop. This was a very insightful project.

I will probably make a post of the process I took to make this video in the near future, so please look forward to that.

Here is what I was working on:

 

 

This will be the new Opening and Ending for my videos. For any of you Jackie Chan fans out there, you will notice that I am paying homage to his earlier films of the 80s and 90s. Background is from the beautiful artwork from Oboro Muramasa. I couldn’t find any clean backgrounds, which sucked. But this pretty much forced me to learn some new techniques in Photoshop, so I am thankful for that. It took some time but I managed to clean them up and leave nothing but the background intact.

I took a bit of time to get to learn how to use Sony Vegas Pro and Photoshop to make this video possible. Now that I have this done I can once again start working on some new artwork and finally start uploading some Youtube videos.

There will be a couple of tweaks I will make to this intro and ending, but overall it is the finished product.

Hasta la próxima,

-Nube

Actual Lelouch final

So after taking a small break from the Lelouch drawing I decided to go at it again to make a couple of little tweaks. But before that, here is how the drawing looks without the original drawing:

Lelouch no drawing resize

It looks really funny.

But any way here is the actual final piece:

Blood stained gift for her future darker resize

I just eased the blood lighting, darkened some areas especially on Lelouch and I also added the Geass. I don’t really want to spend too much time on this so I will leave it as is. This was a good test of what is possible.

Hasta la proxima,

-XERO

Traditional X Digital (Color) IV II Final

It, took longer than I expected…

I really thought I would have been able to finish this one quite easily, but in the end as usual it took quite some time to go about modifying areas over and over as I went along. Luckily that doesn’t surprise me anymore and can work on that as I go along. Color theory is still a bit of a pain, but I feel like I am getting the hang of it. The great thing about coloring digitally is that I can make as many mistakes as I want and I can always go back and fix it. On top of that I don’t have to redo my whole work either, I can just change the hue of the layer and modify it so that it fits with the overall picture.

This one was quite technical. Digital art isn’t as straightforward as traditional (although traditional is harder and requires quite a bit of thinking beforehand, in essence it requires a lot of skill and concentration). With that in mind I made sure to use every technique I have picked up so far using digital color to acquire a good image. It is still lacking compared to the pro digital artist, but I feel like I have gotten one step closer. This image had numerous layers that allowed me to get the feel and effects I was imagining.

There is one revelation that became quite clear as I was working on this piece though, and it’s a really important one. Coloring pencil artwork might not be such a great idea. It’s quite tough when they actually have a background. Because there is only so much one can do to smooth things out and have as little areas that aren’t uniformly shaded, this create areas that are very… rough, uneven, grainy, etc. These defects get passed on to the digital artwork. And although I can probably use this to my advantage in some artwork, it won’t work for most of it. For this piece I spent quite a bit of time just trying to downplay the amount of grainyness from the pencil shading that gave it a “dirty” look when colored. This is quite disappointing…

Of course I have thought of other ways to use these same shadings to my advantage on some future projects, but as explained before, it won’t work with everything. It seems that this technique will work best with simple drawings with no background, but will work even better with using artwork that only focuses on the outlines for me to color in digitally.

Hmmm…. I do have one more drawing I wan’t to try coloring though, it is also done with pencil but this one is done on a much higher quality paper that I managed to pour all of my skills onto (well, at least at the time). So I wan’t to see just how big the difference is.

In any case I do want to finally show what I managed to make. Don’t know if I want to add it to the gallery though… What do you guys think? (for now here is the final piece, I’ll upload pictures showing the process tomorrow on this same post. It’s quite late right now and I really want to take a break and rest for a bit):

Here are some pictures of the process, will add the “whole” process later in video form (something new I want to try out):

So from where we left off last time, here I went over it and shaded the drawing a bit closer to bring out more details. Doing that had some collateral damage though, now there are even more rips on the paper.

Lelouch III cropped resize

And as expected the longer I worked on it the worse the rips became, it was really annoying but luckily I have some experience dealing with rips.

Lelouch rips not fixed resize

Rips fixed! I went ahead and started repairing it digitally using the clone tool which took me quite some time to understand… make sure to right click the area you want to clone as you hold the Alt button if you which to copy the right area instead of struggling to find out why the clone tool is painting something you don’t want. In the end I found that the best tool for the job was the healing brush tool since it blended in the area according to the surroundings. Of course it also had it’s quirks so you have to pay attention and do small areas as you go, but it’s quite easy to use and made repairing the rips quite easy.

Lelouch rips fixed resize.jpg

From here I just started to add color using the method mentioned on my other posts of Traditional X Digital.

 

Lelouch IV resizeLelouch V resizeLelouch VI resizeLelouch VII resizeLelouch VIII resizeLelouch X resizeLelouch XI resizeLelouch XII resizeLelouch XIII resize

Lelouch - Blood stained gift for her future resize

I did the best that I could digitally on this one. I have a ways to go, but I feel it look much better than it would have looked had I tried this even just a month ago. I’m no longer afraid of digital, I’ll make sure to understand it more as I continue to polish my skills in all areas!

That is all for now (Aside from adding that video I mentioned above).

Hasta la proxima,

-XERO

Traditional X Digital (Color) IV

Here is the next project for the Traditional X Digital series. This one is different in that it is a somewhat recent piece. I had it originally as a rough draft, but I guess at some point I forgot that and added way too many details to it. It was also originally going to be a drawing that I would make for a Youtube video as a request. But if I remember correctly I ended up drawing a simpler drawing with no background for that. I wonder if the requester even saw that video…

In any case, as I was working on some other work, I remembered I had this piece that just needed a couple of detailing and shading to bring it back to live so that I could color it digitally. This was specially important because the sketchbook I use is a really cheap one that has very sensitive paper. Since I only make rough drafts on it I don’t mind, but since it does contain this one piece that I don’t feel like redrawing since it looks quite good and has a lot of detail, I decided to just finish shading and polishing this piece.

Despite taking some care, as expected I did end up creating some rips all around the drawing. Which kinda sucks, but I should be able to revive it digitally. For now i should just focus on shading and finishing this piece. Since this one actually is an original piece I should be able to put it on my gallery (assuming it comes out great). So please look forward to that.

Here are some scans:

Lelouch I resize

If you look around the drawing you should be able to see the rips I sadly made on the paper as I was working on it.

Lelouch II resize

Well, that’s it for today. I will keep working on it, and hopefully will be done soon.

Hasta la proxima,

-XERO

Traditional X Digital (Color) III

This is the third try at coloring. This time I will be using an old piece from 2008. This one is from one of my top manga favourites School Rumble. The reference used for this recreation came from Vol. 1 Chapter b01.

Here is the original:

[Yanime] School Rumble b01-02

I remember the first time I saw this page I fell in love with the artwork so much that I just felt compelled to recreate it. I noticed that there isn’t much shading done on my attempt. I wonder if that is because I drew with pencils not much stronger than HB or because it is so old that the graphite has rubbed off? Or maybe this was back when I was still trying to master shading?

In any case here is the piece I used to practice my digital painting:

2008 Yakumo getting ready (768x1024)

I’d say i got rather close, although my lines are quite rough thus showing how much I was struggling making fine lines and making a clean recreation. On top of that the lack of shading does make coloring digitally more difficult. Despite all that, I am quite amazed at how it turned out.

As for my first attempt to color it, here it is:

2008 Yakumo getting ready (768x1024) Single layer

It doesn’t look all that much special does it? Take into account that I did do quite a bit of work on this piece. I also added quite a bit of details with countless layers to add more depth to the drawing, but in the end it still looked rather mediocre.

That’s when I remembered a technique I had been playing around with when I was painting the first Cardcaptor Sakura drawing. And that is to add a duplicate layer of the drawing (specially if the if it lacks shading) so that it can give it more depth and detail. So here’s how it looks after doing just that.

Remember I just duplicated the original drawing layer (the drawing layer is all on it’s own set above all layer, marked as Multiply):

2008 Yakumo getting ready (768x1024) Double layers

Doing something so simple gave it so much depth, and I really didn’t have to change any of the colors to achieve it. It’s quite wondrous how much the drawing and colors changed just by duplicating the original drawing. The hair alone was giving me problems, but this one technique gave me the color and feel I was looking for.

After this I tried adding some more details like a bit of blush and more details around her body:

2008 Yakumo getting ready (768x1024) (COLOR)

After this I just tried playing around to try and create a background from scratch just using my imagination and the tablet. I did ok, and would just need to add a bit more layers of detail on all aspects to truly bring it to life. But in the end I see no need for that since I can do that and more just by doing it traditionally first then applying color later.

In any case here are my unfinished attempts at creating a background:

2008 Yakumo getting ready (768x1024) table2008 Yakumo getting ready (768x1024) Table and Floor2008 Yakumo getting ready (768x1024) Table, Floor and wall

It looks quite out of place next to Yakumo, but making it all fit would require quite a bit of tweaking to make it all cohesive and look good. But I think I should just develop my own style for now and learn how to make art digitally that way and then eventually learn about making all digital work (at least for backgrounds) later on. Though I will just end up integrating those techniques to work along side mostly traditional artwork.

I will stop working on art for a bit so I can work on that Youtube video I mentioned before. I want to try and make something different and that’s also high quality, so that will probably take me a bit to make and edit. Hopefully not too long.

Hasta la proxima,

-XERO

Traditional X Digital (Color) II

Here is another go at coloring digitally. For this one I will be doing a much more simple drawing with no background. I wanted to use only about two different varieties of the same color to see how simple coloring would look on a drawing. This drawing is again of Cardcaptor Sakura and also from 2006. I know this is a reproduction, but I don’t know where I got the reference from. Most likely it is from one of the volumes of the manga, the things is I just don’t know which volume… So I apologize I can’t show you the original this time.

In any case here is the scanned drawing:

2006 chibi Sakura and Kero (744x1024)

It’s a bit rough, but it will do. It is a very simple drawing that I can just apply color to it.

2006 chibi Sakura and Kero (744x1024)

So for this drawing I tried to use some of my traditional techniques. On top of that I used some the few digital techniques I picked up so far.Not looking too closely, it almost looks like if I colored it using Copics. And that makes me ecstatic. Of course this is still a bit new to me, and I have much more to learn. The road seems to be a long one, but I really hope I can grow exponentially as I go along.

Here’s working towards the best!

Hasta la proxima,

-XERO

Traditional X Digital (Color) I

A few days ago I said that I was working on a new technique where I digitally colored an old drawing that I had archived and scanned. From there I plugged it into Photoshop and after converting it to a layer and setting it on multiply I placed every other color layer below the scanned picture. What is amazing about doing this is that I get to keep every single detail that I placed on that drawing once I color it in. This is great because I really suck at drawing on the tablet. I prefer traditional. I’ve gotten to the point that I can draw traditionally very good at a really good pace, but when it comes to adding color… I am still learning and that is where most of my time now goes. And since it takes so long, I don’t have time to practice digital art. Doing this will be the best of both worlds! (If you have been reading the past posts you may be wondering why I keep repeating all this. The reason is simple. I am super exited that I can do this and am really looking forward to when I get to master this technique.)

For the first piece I will use to try out this new technique (at least to me anyway), I will give the honor to a drawing of Sakura Kinomoto from Cardcaptor Sakura (one of my all time favourite animes, and a fond childhood memory). This was done at a time when I was still learning how to draw by mimicking my favorite artist (almost all my old drawings are reproductions of one thing or another). This is a drawing I tried to recreate from one of Cardcaptor Sakura artbooks.

This is the piece I’m talking about:

233

I still couldn’t let go of a lot of my habits from traditional drawing… I will have to try and develop some new ones. The best way is to learn from others that have already learned how use the digital medium, and luckily there is  alot of artists making Youtube videos showcasing their artwork and techniques so really it is just a matter of looking for it.

Anyway, here is the drawing I did when I was around 14 or 15 years old.

2006 Sakura (740x1024)

Now as to why the drawing is inverted is any ones guess (no seriously I really don’t know why, maybe the copy of the artbook I got was inverted because it was Japanese and  they decided to have it open like western books here in the States… thinking about it, that might not be far off.)

Now as for the first piece to go through my fledgling digital abilities, here it is. I will admit, it isn’t the best coloring job ever but I did the best I could with my current digital art level.

2006 Sakura (740x1024) Colored I

It may not look like much to you, but for some reason this did take me quite a few hours to do. Aside from painting it over I was also messing around with my tablet and learning keyboard shortcuts along the way. I actually learned quite a lot from this piece and also configure my tablet’s buttons to do all the shortcuts that I felt I would need the most to move in the most productive way possible. The original scanned drawing doesn’t have much detail or shading so I do wonder what kind of effect it would have on it when I add even the most simple of coloring techniques?

Well this was a quick update on the beginning of my quest to mastering the elusive Digital Artwork!

Hasta la proxima,

-XERO

Will upload a new Youtube video soon

I have been wanting to revive my channel for a while now, and I will be editing one soon. It will have a different format from other videos before, so hopefully it won’t be too jarring. The videos will focus on the Artist Project that I am implementing and supplement the documentation of my progress. I also want to touch on other subjects like artwork and artists that I like, talking about my artwork a bit and even why I drew that piece in the first place. The whole point is to let people know about my self and my thought process when creating artwork, and hopefully helping other aspiring artists in their own quest to become better or even take the plunge and try and become professional artists as well.

Hasta la proxima,

-XERO

Training on my digital skills

So for that last days I have been working on my digital skills. And despite all the advantages of being able to go back and redo things infinitely it is still quite tough going from traditional to digital. It’s quite frustrating. But I eventually came to a great discovery after learning that I can use my traditional drawings and color them digitally. I have had the idea of doing this for quite a couple of years but I never really learned how to do it, till now. Turns out it was actually quite a simple thing to do. I just had to create a new layer and make the actual scanned drawing into a layer and then place it on top of the new layer and also change the drawing layer from “Normal” to “Multiply” and I can keep all my outlines and even the shadings intact. And that is exactly what I dreamed of being able to do. For now I will work on an old drawing from 2006.

I’ll keep you guys posted on this. But I will say that this is a dream come true. I can now do digital art, but I will also be able to use my traditional skills as well. This will make the transition much easier and now I have to only focus on coloring.

Things are looking good.

Hasta la proxima,

-XERO

Human Culture’s Songstress

 

Here is the final piece, it will be added to the gallery now.

Human Culture’s Songstress resize

Two questions.

What do you guys think of the final piece?

and

Do you guys know what is on the light panel?

Hasta la proxima,

-XERO

Mikoto Misakas and Tsuyu Asui Final

Finally done. This piece was done with a combination of both watercolor and Copic markers.

I wanted to make a drawing with a simple background, which I have a really hard time doing. So I want to now focus on these for a while so that I know how to do them. I was annoyed by how much time it took to come up with something. Keep in mind a design like this is quite easy, so finishing it in one day should be absolutely no problem. And yet the amount of time it took me to come up with something is excruciatingly slow. So really, it’s more of my mental capability to make up backgrounds that will need to be strengthened so that I can not only make backgrounds that fit with the drawing but are also interesting to look at.

Since it is done traditionally I have to rely on just my brushes and my markers. This is where I can run into problems if I want to make identical patterns. I could do it the dumb way of drawing it one by one, but that will take too long, it also wont be perfect recreations and really it would be really annoying to do it that way. So the best options are either making stencils or better yet make a stamp. Which is what I ended up doing.

And here it is (it’s made of an old eraser that I cut into shape with an e-xacto knife, sadly the eraser was too soft so it gave me problems when applying tint on it, and to make matters worse it started breaking off in the end):

Gekota stamp

So in the end I came up with a really simple design that was brush painted in a light green. From there I decided to make the Gekota stamp to make reference towards Misaka’s adoration to anything Gekota so that way I can connect why she seems to be entranced by Tsuyu Asui, definitely one of my favorite characters from Boku no Hero Academia.

Now, why are there other Misakas? To be honest my original plan was something a bit different. And that had to do with having the background filled with Misaka imoutos (younger sister, aka Misaka clones). For that idea I was originally thinking of making a stencil with the figure of an imouto, then reproducing it on the background to give it a somewhat cute/creepy mood overall. In the end I opted against it and went for a much simple design which funnily enough took me more time to come up with…

Misaka's dream XI cropped edited resize

In any case along with that idea I wanted to have Last Order the smallest Misaka and Misaka 9982 (the most cheeky of all the Misaka sisters). I remembered Last Order having those goggles so I quickly came up with the scenario where she would have like to make a trade for Tsuyu’s goggles which look quite interesting and of course Misaka 9982 being the voice of reason when it comes to Misaka Mikoto’s obsession with anything Gekota. I also really loved the annoyed facial expression she makes so I really wanted to recreate it.

Now as for Misaka Mikoto I really wanted to capture this catlike expression she makes whenever her curiosity and infatuation comes into play. And of course not wanting to make the drawing too simplistic I also wanted to add some creepy/cute love aura around Misaka. I also thought making Tsuyu look a bit more worried would be a good idea, but I remember that she rarely changed her expression and going back through the manga I was right so I decided to keep this simple expression.

The drawing looking a bit too lonely on the left side I decided to add a speech bubble that emphasizes her worry about the situation. What do you guys think it says? (Hopefully I spelled it right)

Misaka's dream XII FINAL resize

Before I forget I should also give it a title. The title will be: “Misaka Mikoto’s PARADISE and Tsuyu Asui’s Confusion”

It will be up as a print in the gallery.

And that concludes this piece. What do you guys think?

Hasta la proxima,

-XERO