XP Pen Reconstructed Masterpiece Bandaged Van Gogh

This will be the actual entry to the contest, now that it’s completely painted. I debated with going with a more painterly style or a more anime like style. After playing around a bit, I decided to go with the anime style. I tried to keep the same color scheme. I added some static to the background which for some reason intensified when I resized the whole painting to a smaller size. I contemplated whether to add some blood to the piece but decided against it…

For the background, if I remember correctly (I think I learned this in art class when I was in middle school) Van Gogh was a fan of Japan. A bit of an Otaku. So I thought it would be fun to play around with that idea with the paintings in the background.

Hasta la proxima,

-NUBE

La Venganza de Don Ramon

This is the colored version of the line art I made for Don Ramon, a character of “El Chavo del 8”. Kind of looks like a Mexican version of Xehanort. I like the way the digital painting meshed with the ink hatching.

Here is the line art:

Here is the painted version:

Hasta la proxima,

-NUBE

Momoko Tsugunaga Caligraphy Brush X Digital

It’s been almost a month since I had painted this piece, I can’t believe I have been pushing it back by that much…

The reference comes from Momoko’s final photobook.

The ink painting used can be seen here:

This follows my current practice working with ink brushes, the translucence it contains and the application of paint and how it interacts with it. I have a couple of other pieces that I can use to continue this practice. It’s amazing, but it does have it’s limitations on what can be done (coloring wise). On the other hand, the effects and textures are really unique and interesting.

Hasta la proxima,

-NUBE

Sayumi Michishige Glancing Right Painted

Link to the line art post: https://darkcloudxero.com/2021/04/07/sayumi-michishige-glancing-right-line-art/

This is the colored version of my Sayu drawing done with Copics. It was painted with Corel Painter and then used the layer styles from PhotoShop. Each style changes different aspects of the painting when it interacts with the line art and the painting layer. I think each one has it’s appeal. Soft light gave it a pastel look which I really liked. Because the copic ink doesn’t completely cover the texture of the paper and it also doesn’t always completely cover an area (there are some patches that are lighter), these can give interesting effects when painted digitally and played with the layer options. This can be affected even further when playing with the layer transparency.

Hasta la proxima,

-NUBE

Pixiv School Girl prompt

Hey, let’s keep playing around with the Pixiv prompts. This time it’s sailor uniform. I’m still trying out different simple coloring techniques. No matter how I look at it I prefer to add a bit more colors. Leaving it too simple just doesn’t seem right. I guess my style is starting to develop. (・∧‐)ゞ

I should be able to push it even more but I don’t want to spend too much time on one piece right now. I just have to keep drawing everyday and let my skills develop naturally. Once I get to a level I feel is good and also feel my speed is fast enough then I will start playing around with adding backgrounds.

Let’s see what happens.

The finished piece:

Reference used, altered to fit the theme among other things:

I drew it and inked it traditionally first. I truthfully prefer drawing this way though I have gotten used to doing it digitally.

This flat color style doesn’t look bad.

That’s it for now. I’ve been working on other pieces but I feel I should try to make and upload a piece a day so I can brute force my development.

Hasta la proxima,

-NUBE

 

Kaleido Star, a homage to a series close to my heart. And overcoming some weaknesses. Part I

I believe it was back when I was in late middle school when I first came upon the series (Kaleido Star). By that point I had seen quite a couple of anime series and had started to develop my tastes. This was a series I couldn’t get enough of. The characters, animation, story, music, athmosphere and themes all pulled me in. It also helped that I was really into Cirque du Soleil at the time (I never went to an actual show, but I did rent the dvds to see the performances). It had that typical 2000s look to it, when animation was starting to move towards digital coloring which (those from that era) tend not to age well. But despite that, the series was stylized in a way that stands up even today. I want to talk more about it, but I will leave that for a later project. If anything I just wish to say, if you haven’t seen it yet, watch it. I highly recommend it.

This is the anime I’m talking about.

The main character Sora Naegino.

With that said, I hope it’s clear that this series holds a special place in my heart. So I hoped to make a piece based on it. After much thought I wanted to do a drawing of the “The Legendary Great Maneuver”. I won’t say too much for the sake of those who haven’t seen the series, but it is a moment that packs a punch of emotions.

I’m still trying out the digital and traditional blending of techniques where I do something traditionally and add to it digitally. This time though I am also using p.h. martins radiant water colors. They are quite amazing. But I have noticed that despite this, watercolors are still watercolors so if I don’t master the balance of color and light I won’t have a good picture if I were to do it completely traditionally.

My main problem is trying to do it exactly as I see it. It sound right in my head, but when I do it on paper… it just doesn’t work. I use too many colors and and it ends up looking, well dirty, muddled. In essence not good. Heck, too much work on it actually makes it look faded instead of vibrant which is what I’m aiming for. Having failed countless times, now that I see other’s work I see that they use the technique of fading the background and only adding more vibrant colors to the focal point (usually the character) on the page. This is even done on digital mediums.

I’m sorry, it seems I can’t embed the image here. I tried and it either doesn’t show the image or plain adds a 401 forbidden messege. So I will just leave the links for those who are still curious about what I’m talking about below, if not then just skip this short section.

Artist: YUU菊池(岩佐有祐)(can be found on pixiv)

Notice how the area surrounding the main focal point (the little witch) has more color and detail, while the surrounding areas don’t. Yet it all blend well together.

link to Image.

One of my biggest weaknesses are when backgrounds are dark or require other types of lighting other than a brightly lighted background (where the colors are basic and don’t require much thought on color variation and shadows).

 

Artist: Stu_dts (can be found on pixiv)

link to image:

This is a great example of what I mean. Notice how the colors on the subject changed in response to the background. Isolating the character would problably look weird in a white background but blends quite well here.

 

https://source.pixiv.net/source/embed.jsThe Sun Never Sets by Stu_dts on pixiv

So in the situation of doing it all traditionally, I wan’t a dark background but don’t want to add too much color either for fear of doing what I explained before. On top of that, when the athmosphere color changes, one’s subject has to change in turn as well so that it melds well together with the background. That’s where one of my weaknesses shows up, I’m afraid of changing skin colors. I’m so unused to it that it doesn’t feel natural when I notice that it’s supposed to be a shade of blue, red, orange, yellow etc. With that in mind i decided to try it out on this piece. I need to get over this weakness so that I can grow and draw/paint faster instead of doubting my eyes and overthinking things.

Luckily with digital I can try as many times as needed till I get it right. And try I did.

Now, before I continue. I’m adding a whole background on my current artwork, but many artists don’t even bother. Sometimes just adding a quick and undetailed or even unfinished background is enough. By doing this, the range of possible colors that the main focal point can achieve without looking out of place increases. But, I wan’t to understand how color works with each other and how that changes in respect to one another. Although it takes me a long time to do, I feel it will be best in the long run since I will be able to understand how color works in different situations. I do worry since I don’t have much time left.. but I think I can get to understand it soon. The further one goes ahead, the more one realizes how much one lacks and still has to learn. I’ve heard others say this growing up, and I’m really starting to understand that more and more these days.

I don’t want this to be too long, so I will divide it into parts (how many, I don’t know). But anyway here are the outlines of what I started with.

I actually wasn’t too sure how I wanted to go about things, till I saw this picture when looking for references. Once I saw it, I knew I had to do “The Legendary Great Maneuver”:

Starting with the roughs:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/34800182994/in/dateposted-public/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/35602060486/in/dateposted-public/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/34800182864/in/dateposted-public/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/35602060276/in/dateposted-public/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/35602060196/in/dateposted-public/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/34800182544/in/dateposted-public/

Background:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/35602064146/in/dateposted-public/

One more character:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/34800184794/in/dateposted-public/

That will be all for today.

Hasta la proxima,

-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

Pokemon Quick artwork

My little brother likes making his own wallets, so this time he asked me if I could design him some Pokemon artwork. He didn’t really have any idea as to what Pokemon he wanted, so I went for the starter Pokemon Fushigidane (Bulbasaur), Zenigame (Squirtle), Hitokage (Charmander) and of course the ever so famous Pikachu.

I started and finished them all yesterday, so I’m actually quite amazed at how much I have improved. Of course these are all simple designs, but they look good despite being drawn and colored in a day.

I tried having them in habitats that they would most likely appear at. Though if I made more time to think and design I would try something a bit more tricky and have some sort of scenario for the artwork, but since I didn’t do that I guess the backgrounds are a bit generic.

Here are the designs:

Pokemon wallet designs resizePokemon wallet designs II resize

Aside from the Pokemon, I tried doing everything without reference and only relied on my mental images of what I think things and places may look like. I’d say it looks good, no? I guess aside from that, I did have to come up with poses for the Pokemon. They actually didn’t take much time at all to think up. Looking at them now, Fushigidane (Bulbasaur) is a bit generic compared to the others. Seeing as he is my favourite, maybe I should have drawn it differently… Oh well. I was thinking of going over it with pens to add more details, but since I have quite a bit of artwork I want to do, I will leave it as is.