Sayumi 2nd Microsoft Surface Pro 5

I’ve been wanting to paint Sayu in this outfit ever since it was uploaded. She kind of reminds me of a Team Rocket member.

This is the second Microsoft Surface Pro 5 painting. This time around working with the surface felt a lot smoother. The next test will consist of me working in portrait mode. I know it works since I tried to see what would happen if I tilted the whole screen, although it did make Corel crash… I’ll have to play with it a bit more.

Hasta la proxima,

-NUBE

Momoko resting on arms

I was wondering why my artwork was looking a bit blocky when I was resizing it to a smaller size so that I could post it online and just now remembered that I didn’t change my settings that I used for creating pixel art. Changing the resample option to automatic and that did the trick. I think I have about one or two weeks worth of artwork that have been resized using the wrong settings… What’s funny is that I already had a resized version up and ready to post, but I’m glad I forgot.

The line art for this painting is quite old now. Its from way back in June. I remember trying to paint it not long after drawing it but didn’t like what I was coming out with. I decided to go with a Copic/watercolor like style. Using Toko Suzuki’s brush is great since it has both texture and opacity control. I really like the amount of detail and control I can get with it. There’s many ways to paint this Momoko drawing but I have couple others that I can try that out with.

Hasta la proxima,

-NUBE

Momochi pink swimsuit

This is a painting of Momochi that I have been working on whenever I had some free time during the weekend. This time I used a couple of oil brushes from my collection. I will probably be making another version where I make it a bit more anime like. But first I wanted to go for a more realistic feel. The reference I used was a screenshot from “Off Momochi in Okinawa”. I think this will give me more options in terms of what I can study and paint as well as look closer at poses with movement. I’ve been wanting to also do some animations so this will really help.

Momochi looks freakin adorable as usual.

I have a couple of momochi ink drawings that I haven’t painted yet, I’ll have to think what coloring style I will use for them.

Hasta la proxima,

-NUBE

Sayumi Birthday 2021

I’m two days late, but happy birthday Sayumi! Wasn’t too sure what to paint this year, but I went with this. I used two reference photos from Sayu’s instagram.

References used: 7th photo and 9th photo (for the second link).

Hasta la proxima,

-NUBE

Airi Jacket

We are actually still getting snow where I live, so that inspired me to finally give this painting a try before the weather finally changes to a warmer one. I really love the colors of Airi in this cold weather and wanted to give it a try for a while now. It’s also been a while since I did a realistic painting so I opted to go for that. There are so many more photos I want to try painting so we’ll see when I get another chance.

This painting is based on Airi’s digital photobook vol. 92. I only used the real tapered wet flat brush for the whole piece. I like the brush but it can be hard to use because when I try to use the same paint color, I can’t quite get it back using the eyedrop tool since each bristle stroke is different and mixes together. I already have a number of paintings lined up where I kept trying out this brush and a new one that I believe is my new main brush, to be used with the oily bristle and tapered oils brush.

Hasta la proxima,

-NUBE

XERO DRAWING – Godzilla x Gypsy Danger PART II

Time spent: 11 hours 48 minutes (total: 17 h 08 m)
Materials used: Sakura 0.7 mechanical pencil, Faber Castell Perfection 7056 pencil eraser, eraser,
Sakura Pigma Micron set Black 03,
Sakura gellyroll White,
Uniball Signo White
Reeves Water Colours 18 set: Ivory Black, Phthalo Blue
Copic Markers: 100, C1, C3, C5, C7, W1, W3, W5, W7, Y11, Y15, Y17, Y26, YR04, YR68, B0000, B01, B05, B21, B24, B32, B34, B45, B97, BG10, BG13, BG72, BG75, BV00, E04, R00, RV14, R27, V01, G21, G24, YG03, 0

I’ve finally gotten done with this drawing! It took quite a long time. It took a total of about 17 hours and 8 minutes. The longest so far (I think). In any case, I’ll probably make a couple of slight modifications like adding more details to it before I add it to deviant art.

I made the drawing with them at the start of the conflict but ready to go with their strongest attack. I also wanted to try out a couple of new techniques, so I decided to make the scene dark, something I rarely do. Over all I am satisfied with how it turned out, but I also feel that if I were to do this again it would look at least a bit better and cleaner since I have a better understanding of the process I have to take to make certain effects like on the water, or making light.

As for who I like more? Obviously Godzilla. I seriously enjoyed the Pacific Rim movie specially because it was done by a paisano but, Godzilla has a lot of sentimental value to it. And I enjoyed the Heisei movies more (even though they were a bit cheesy at times). This goes for who would win in a fight as well by the way.

-XERO

XERO DRAWING – Godzilla x Gypsy Danger Part I

Time spent: 5 hours 20 minutes

Materials used: Sakura 0.7 mechanical pencil, Faber Castell Perfection 7056 pencil eraser, eraser,

I am actually about half way done painting the drawing, but I had two drawings to do this week so I had no choice but to break it into two parts. For this drawing I wanted to do something a bit different, so I decided to draw Godzilla vs Gypsy Danger. Surprisingly it wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be, but it did take quite a bit of time to draw. And since painting it has a lot of details plus I am also trying out new techniques along the way.

Over all, it looks quite bland without any color or even shading so it looks mediocre. But that will all be fixed on the next segment.

Hope you look forward to it.

-XERO

SPECIAL A present to Risa Niigaki

Originally I was planning on ending this year round project by drawing Ai last but things didn’t turn out that way. But, in a way I am glad that it happened this way. After all Gaki was an important member of the group that sadly many seem to overlook. Her voice is definitely powerful but can also be tuned to sound extremely cute. Her versatility is quite astonishing. I felt that as a whole, the two main vocalists (Ai and Reina) needed someone to fill in the places where their weaknesses might reside. And that is where Gaki came in. She filled in the really deep parts that others couldn’t, and she did it extraordinarily.

When I first saw and heard her in Mikan I was quite amazed at how deep a voice she had. I had never really seen a group with so many different voice ranges before so hearing her singing voice was a surprise to me at the time. It soon became clear to me how vital her voice was to the group. This variations of voices are what really makes the Platinum Era so special. When hearing their songs, you could immediately tell who was who. And not only that but almost everyone had a really good voice (Koharu definitely had the weakest, and although it pains me to say this but so did Sayu but she can sing quite well when she puts all her effort into the song).

One of the reasons I am glad that I got to draw Gaki last is because she really seemed to be the member that loved Morning Musume the most out of all the members. I remember how she would like to talk about that whenever they asked why she joined, and also how she would boast of her collection of Morning Musume member postcards (is that what they are called?). She really seemed to care for the group. So much so that she gave up on her idea to leave alongside Ai (I do wonder if the gokkies all promised to graduate together? That didn’t happen of course, after Asami and later Makoto left, but still. That was the kind of vibe I got since they were all so close), to teach the newcomers for one year until finally deciding to graduate herself.

One thing I always remember was an episode of Yorosen where Gaki was the teacher and asked the members to write a letter to themselves, I believe it was 10 years later. Out of all them she was the only one to speak of Morning Musume. And not only that but she believed that they would still be in the group. What was most touching was that she was talking about the Platinum Era, not any other members. Hearing that just made me so happy. It just makes me very pleased when these members all speak so well of this lineup. Not the Golden Era, and not the colorful era (I believe that’s what the fans are calling them), but the Platinum Era. She isn’t the only one of course. I remember reading a interview with Ai where she felt that this lineup would be the ones to take Morning Musume to new heights for years to come, but then came the graduations that shook that thought. Then there were the comments of Reina in a recent interview? where she said she had wished that the Platinum Era was just as popular as Morning Musume is now.

Some day, some how I will reunite them all. I don’t know how, but I hope to show the world just how amazing they all are together, this legendary group that sadly was way to underrated.

This concludes my year long project. I probably won’t be doing any more Morning Musume drawings (on youtube). But I will go back to my old schedule of anime and manga drawings very soon.

In any case.
If you happen to see this message:

お誕生日おめでとうございます.

Happy Birthday.

FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS.
Hope you enjoy it,

– XERO

SPECIAL – A present to Ai Takahashi

The person who drew me in to Morning Musume, the one that captured my heart with her amazingly cute smile and heart wrenching voice, the leader who despite the massive backlash of fans after the departure of many old favorites still managed to keep the group together and created an ever reaching fan-base around the world. That is Ai Takahashi forever in my heart as the leader of the Platinum Era. She was left with Morning Musume when it was at it’s weakest state, she along with the other eight members managed to fight through it so that the name Morning Musume could eventually be passed off to the next generation.

To me, when Ai Takahashi joined, the group just became something magical. She was destined for greatness. Her voice, movement and emotion all drew people in. Such a combination of talents in one person, could that even be possible? This of course also had some repercussions. Because of her abilities she had to support the whole group, that, to some fans seemed unfair to the other members. Although I can see what they mean, I feel it was for the best and something the group needed. A voice and unreal girl that would draw in the crowd, that for some reason decided to leave or have never heard of the group before. Her voice and performances were that of a pro, and that is what was needed to break the chains that restrict many idol groups. Sadly not many seemed to appreciate the best vocal group in the history of Morning Musume and of all the idol groups. It seems that whatever resentment was still left, only kept accumulating to the point of trying to bring Morning Musume down in forums and such. But that only goes to show how great the Ai chan led era was. Despite so much going against them, the group managed to stay afloat and even gradually started to gain momentum to the top.

The first time I saw Ai was in Mikan ( I know I mentioned it before, but it was such an important moment for me). Right away, despite seeing many cute girls in the screen (I did not know them then) the one person who just had me looking for her throughout the whole MV was Ai. There was something unreal and just… special about her. Soon after I wanted to know more, her name and the names of the group members. I needed to learn as much as I could, specially about her. Luckily for me I entered the fandom almost as soon as the Platinum Era began (I missed Onna ni Sachi are). At the time I was in high school, so some days were rather rough and dull, but I always felt a sense of relieve that I could always head home and watch/hear Ai chan’s voice.

Despite there being a five year difference between us, and she might see me as a child, I would totally do what I could to make her happy (I know to many that seems like a hopeless dream, but I really feel serious about this). But before that I would have to get on her level. I’ll support her whenever she is down, at least, that is what I would do. After all she is my dream girl.

To many people I see talking about her, she can be either the best thing for Morning Musume or a good addition that also happened to “steal” the lines of other members. But I would like to point out to those people that she didn’t steal anything, and secondly, that was only in the singles. The other members had their chances in the other songs made for the album. And now that she is gone we can still hear her voice, so prominent and beautiful. Hopefully we will be getting a solo album of hers soon. Then a duet with Gaki that will eventually span more with LinLin and Reina. And this in turn will hopefull bring back the Platinum Era so that it can bring about heaven to the ears of many once again.

To me she was a great leader to be remembered. One that truly cared about the group, and that truly wanted to bring them all together as an actual family that could use each other as support in the harshest of times and also celebrate the great accomplishments they all happened to go through. She definitely was a caring leader that showed her love through action rather than empty words. Not seeing Morning Musume with Ai chan was just so foreign that it left a big hole within me when she left. Luckily she stays in contact with her fans and makes many appearances in the media. One other thing that makes me feel, yes, I did not make a wrongful judgement in making her my favorite member was when she took time to visit the Platinum Era members and allowing us fans to be a part of it. That type of dedication is just … lovable.

In any case.
If you happen to see this message:

お誕生日おめでとうございます.

Happy Birthday.

FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS.
Hope you enjoy it,

– XERO

XERO Drawing OPERATION – Goku Super Saiyan God

In commemoration of the new Dragon ball movie that has just recently been released in theaters (sadly only in Japan), I present to you my rendition of the newest Super Saiyan form… Super Saiyan God. I really like it, specially because of it’s simplicity. I had seen many renditions on the internet, some had Goku with really really long hair (probably taking Super Saiyan 3 and Super Saiyan 4 as inpirations). I wouldn’t doubt it if Toriyama sensei saw any of these, and because he likes to go against others and be different I’m sure really wanted to make a really simple design but still make it different from anything done before. And so with that we get a form that’s between Goku in his normal form and when he becomes Super Saiyan with the big difference that his hair, aura and eyes all becom red. Because of all the expectations many fans had, many were of course dissapointed with this design. But again to each his own. Its just how some hate Goku’s Japanese voice (which seems strange to me) and others love it (I have had the pleasure to grow up with the Spanish English and last but not least the original Japanese voice, and despite all the hate I absolute love the Japanese version). I really hope I can get my hands a copy of the movie soon. I’m sure it’s going to be great.

What do you guys think?
Any Questions?

Hope you enjoy it,

– XERO

 

Rurouni Kenshin 2012 Live action adaptation: THOUGHTS

For those fans who have been following any news of the newly released live action adaptation of Rurouni Kenshin, the news of the release of the dvd and blu-ray release should already be known. Sadly you would also know that is was only released in Japan (for now) and that the screening of the film in the States is only in select theaters (from what I found out, it was going to be in a film festival in California), to those who got to see it in the theaters. I can only say, lucky… But despite not being able to see it in the theater, I was able to watch it. And I only have one word to say about it; extraordinary.

In the past we have been given some really far off adaptions of games or manga (and in the west, comics). But it seems like that is all starting to change (finally). Many of the stories one grew up with were usually destroyed when movie companies decided to choose what the viewers wanted to see. Changing the cast to different ethnicities and their over all personalities (Dragon Ball Evolution as an example). And from what I have heard, American comic adaptations also didn’t fair too well either. But it seems like fans are finally starting to make their voices be heard. In the states we have seen the Avengers and the Dark Knight trilogy (I would like to point out that I do not follow comic books so I do not know if they stayed true to the source, but like me, I have heard that fans really seemed to enjoy the adaptations). Now a new era has been forged for comic book adaptations which will give rise to others (like the Justice league, or so the rumors say).

That’s all nice and good for comic book lovers, but what about for those who follow Japanese Manga/anime and games. So far we have been given some horrible slaps in the face, with two Street Fighter movies, Dragon Ball (I get tempted to just call it Evolution) and there is bound to be a couple of more that I luckily have not heard of. Now most of these movies have been taken outside of the country of origin and changed dramatically (sadly I also hear that Akira will also be done in the states, once again changing things). But what of movies made in Japan, the source. It is sad to say that film companies have a bad habit of changing things to their desire, thous hurting the original story. And there is also the use of cgi, sadly from past movies that I have seen, Japan did not have as much control over it as the US. This was one of my greatest worries for the Rurouni Kenshing film. Despite this bad record in the past, Japan has made some good progress as well (just like the US with comic adaptations). Some of the films I have enjoyed so far (specially since I was already a fan) are; Cromartie High school (funny and nonsensical like the manga), Death Note (although not a fan, it still kept most of the components of the original), Shinobi (although there was too much cgi that was apparent), Dororo (do not know the original, but it had that manga film to it) and Casshern (which was estraordinary, the first adaptation I loved. Although I do have to admit I do not know much about the original story). With these titles, I dare to say that this is now the new era of adaptations both on the East and West.

Now on to the main topic of this post (sorry for my previous rambling), Rurouni Kenshin. I must start off by saying that this is by far one of the best manga out there, the anime was also really good (too bad after the Kyoto arc they strayed from the original source). I am an immense fan of this series, and even now after a couple of years of first reading it, I can still remember it quite clearly. So having heard of the adaptation I was weary of what they would do with this master piece. Would we have another “Evolution” movie, or would we have a “Shinobi” film (which was good, but had too much cgi). I really wanted this movie to have extraordinary action, but still have that realistic element to it. After seeing the trailer for it, I was completely blown away. If the movie was just as good as it was being portrayed then maybe just maybe this would become one of my favorite films. But I had been fooled before, so I did not want to make any premature decisions.

here is the preview if you have not seen it yet:

I will try to review it in a way that I do not give too much away. So here goes.

The film is set to cover two of the first arcs, the Kanryuu mansion and the Jin-e arc. Now, because they were condensing so much story into a film two hours long they regrettably had to cut out some events and characters out. But I will say that despite that, it did not hurt the original story too much. The main characters shown are Kenshin, Kaoru, Yahiko, Sanosuke, Saito, Megumi, Jin-e, Kanryu, and for some reason Gein and Banjin from the Jinchu arc. I do not know much about the other fans out there, but I was kind of sad that Aoshi Shinomori and the Oniwabanshu would not be present in this film. If you had this concern as well, all I can say, do not worry. I actually believe it might have been for the best. I heard that Watsuki san had a say in the film, so I am sure this was his plan. You see if Aoshi and the Oniwabanshu were revealed here then their story would be too weak and short. So I assume that to make up for this they used Gein and Banjin which in turn also helps tie it to any more films after this one (which would inevitably lead to the Kyoto arc and the Jinchu arc). Now as for the other characters in the manga, other secondary characters also make a brief appearance, such as Tsubame, Tae, the police chief and the commander (sorry forgot their names), as well as the old man with the little girls that often come visit Kaoru. And surprisingly we also get a glimpse of the man who married Tomoe as well as Tomoe herself (don’t worry, they don’t say or clearly show her, but fans will know it is her), this was done for those who do not know much about the manga and why Kenshin decided to become a wanderer.

Now I have been going around the net and read a couple of comments of how some were miscast, all I can say is that they are all wrong. I understand some of their arguments, but the demeanor, vocal tone and over all appearance are spot on, heck even the costumes were done in a way that would look realistic but also keep a close tie to the original. One could really see the effort given to this film. Even Jin-e’s eye was kept in tact. Despite the weird design of the original, they did their best to keep close to it and to also make it look realistic keeping any cgi almost unnoticeable (only one scene looked a bit off, but even then it wasn’t bad). Kenshin, Sanosuke, Yahiko, Megumi, Saito well everyone looked just like in the manga. But the biggest complain I hear some say is that Kaoru was too beautiful in this film, but really from what I read she wasn’t really that plain in the manga (and specially in the anime). I’d say she fits the part rather well. I have also heard comments of how Saito appears too emotional in front of Kenshin, and although this does seem to happen at some points (not crying or something like that). I have to say that it felt rather natural to me. Saito does seem to have this bond with Kenshin of rivalry and that of a comrade from the past (despite being enemies then) in the manga.

You can see the cast here:

http://asianwiki.com/Rurouni_Kenshin

The story is actually much like the original except with some minor changes that fans will immediately notice but will not mind too much. The film left it open so that it can be continued (although it did give a solid ending that could leave the movie alone as it is). It was done in a way that the film left a satisfying feeling of an end, but also did not give any problems so that the story could continue and

(minor spoiler, you can skip is you want) that Gein and Banjin could make a return in the Jinchu arc.

Luckily for me and all the fans another installment is set to be released, and some other great news is that they vow to keep it closer to the manga. Seeing as they did not change too much on this installment, then the second movie will be extremely close to the original. Hopefully they follow a four film plan, uncluding this one. They should introduce the Oniwabanchu and then start to tie it in to the Kyoto arc for the second. Eventually the Kyoto arc is completed in the third. And finally for the final movie we see the Jinchu arc, with the return of Gein and Banjin in their original costumes and gears.

Over all the film was the best adaptation I have ever seen, the acting and action was definitely top notch. If only because of some of the changes to the original story and the exclusion of Aoshi I will give it a 9.5/10. An almost perfect score. If you ever get the chance to see it, do so. And make sure to support the film so that the film company knows that these are the kind of results we expect from manga adaptations.

till next time and also a hoping you have an Amazing New Year,

-XERO