Sayumi Temple Visit 2022

This drawing is based on the photo of Sayumi visiting the temple this year.

Assuming I translated it correctly, this was for a January photoshoot. Having drawn a fortune during this shoot, she drew “Daikishi” (Super Good Luck). I really do wish her the best. I’m also really enjoying her Uruma city videos. I hope more cities invite her to be showcased.

You can see them here:

Hasta la proxima,

-NUBE

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

Inktober 2021 Day 12

I’ve yet to see it, but I think it was a year ago when I found out that Reina was actually involved with Nier. At first I thought it was just for promotional work but I soon found out that she was actually in a canon stage play where she plays a YorHa member. The singing she did was amazing. I should seriously see it soon.

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

Racer Sayumi Honda CR-X

Right now I’m in a Hello Project art mood, I can’t help but want to draw the members whenever I want to try out a new style. But I figured I should try to draw some new subjects, so I was looking through my reference folders and decided on drawing a Honda CR-X which I quite like. Once I had the line art done I decided to try out a new shading style which consists of just laying it down with parallel lines. I quite liked the aesthetic of this style. But once I was done I wasn’t too sure what else I should do with it.
Then I started thinking about maybe implementing someone in front of the car. Then it hit me, I could use that Sayu picture I drew where she has short hair. Once I cleaned up the background I resized Sayu so that she would fit the size of the CR-X and well… I really love the way it came out. I guess things were just meant to be. Somehow that short hair and hat make her fit that racer look.

Hasta la proxima,

-NUBE

Inktober 2018 #7 Tanaka Reina

Today is the 7th day so I decided to draw Tanaka Reina. It may seem strange since she is a 6th generation member but back in the day when she first joined Morning Musume she was given the nickname 07 by (I believe it was Iida Kaori). 0 is rei and 7 is nana, so rei+na = 07.

In any case Reina was definitely one of my favorite members in Morning Musume. She along with Ai were the main vocalist for Morning Musume back during the Platinum Era. She always had this tough demeanor, but if one saw Haromoni one could tell she was actually quite soft inside. She was the type who had doubts and was very self conscious but overcame it all with sheer will power and did her best to exude confidence. During the final years that the Platinum Era was still together, it seemed like she was opening up more and getting comfortable… Shame that all things must end.

After leaving and forming LoVendoЯ it seems like she mellowed out and is more comfortable with the people around her. I remember reading a blog post or something of the like where she wrote how she wished she had opened up more with some members when she had the chance. I like to think she was talking about her time with the Platinum Era members…

This time I tried to really control the shading on the face and skin. And this time I made sure to not make the eyes too dark, instead I gave it shades. I believe it looks much better this way.

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This is the reference picture used from Reina’s photobook RE (Return). I could’ve used any of them. Looking at them, I really get that sense of Fall.:

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As usual, here is the process for those who are interested:

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Hey, two days with no dumb mistakes. Not bad.

Hasta la proxima,

-NUBE

 

Inktober 2018 #6 Kamei Eri

It’s the 6th day so how about a sixth generation member of Morning Musume. I’ve been obsessed with Michishige Sayumi lately so this time I chose Kamei Eri, probably the funniest member in Morning Musume’s history. She’s just so funny and cute in a way that was entirely just Kamei Eri. It’s no wonder she is a fan favorite for many people. On top of that she gave it her all in the concerts. It’s really hard not to like her. One can really find her charm in any of her appearances in Haromoni or any of the dvd’s she appeared on. It’s a shame one doesn’t hear much from her anymore after her graduation. I hope she is doing great as a “normal” person.

One complaint on the drawing itself is that I made the eyes too dark. I should have given them a slightly lighter shade. But over all I really like the way she turned out.

This time I only used my G Pen (definitely much easier to control than the brush pens).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here is the reference picture I used from Eri’s photobook “Thanks” (her final photobook). I like this picture because it fits so well with Autumn.:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And here is the process for those who are interested.

 

 

 

 

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That will be all for now.

Hasta la proxima,

-NUBE

Inktober #5 – Takahashi Ai

By now it’s obvious that I am a big fan of Morning Musume, specifically the Platinum Era (don’t really keep up with the new generations after my favorite members left). So since it was the 5th day of October I decided to choose a 5th generation member, and of course it would have to be Takahashi Ai who really made me want to learn more about Morning Musume. I was in high school when I came across this Japanese music video of a group of girls singing. I didn’t know who they were but they captured my interest right away. There voices were all different from each other and the music was really energetic. The girls themselves were incredibly cute but there was one member who just captured my attention. She had short hair, a beautiful smile and a voice that left me amazed and wanting more. I chose this drawing based on the scene that really stuck out and I had in my mind whenever I thought about Mikan.

Prior to this I wasn’t really interested in Idols, but this MV really changed my perspective and for a time really got me involved in the world of idols which made me see their struggles, work ethic, and triumphs. I’d say it had a big impact in my life. Whenever I went to a place like the summit of a mountain or of the tallest sand dune after the struggle to hike up it I had this urge to just play and listen to Mikan while I rested atop that accomplishment thinking, “I did it”.  (Does this even make sense?)

Sadly I was super busy so I started drawing this piece really late at night and ran out of time. That was a mistake because I decided to use some brush pens that I forgot I had for … well some years now I guess. They are the Koi Coloring brush pen set from Sakura. This set contains three different values of cool grey and three of warm grey. One thing I should have done was to choose to use either the cool or the warm but not both.

Seeing as I was low on time, maybe I should have left it like this. Or went with the hatching technique to add shadows.

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But once I added these black areas the values changed dramatically so I had to continue. Plus I was intent on giving these brush pens a try.

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It’s going alright but really rough and unfinished/ weird, I just had to keep pushing it even further.

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So I added more shadows… But, well it’s just unfinished. I ran out of time, in a few minutes it would be the 6th of October and I had to go to sleep as well. So with that I had to call it quits and this is what I ended up with. It’s so close to being finished and looking right, and yet it isn’t. Because I added these shadows I changed the values quite a bit, thinking now I could fix it by adding darker values in other areas to lighten the shadows on Ai’s face. I will leave it like this since I believe it is in the spirit of this challenge to live with the difficulties and mistakes one makes along the way.

One other that could have helped was to make thicker lines in certain areas to make the areas that I wanted to appear lighter, well, lighter.

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Here is the reference I used. I took a screen grab from the MV Mikan:

 

 

 

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Here is the process for those who are interested:

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That should be all for now.

Hasta la proxima,

-NUBE

Painting Sayumi Michishige digitally with my new XP-PEN

On April 23 of this year I decided to take another plunge and buy an on screen graphics tablet. Of course one does have to be weary of anything that is cheap. So I was pondering first about buying a graphics tablet for a couple of years, then when I did have money saved up I began noticing the other options. At first I was thinking about getting the Wacom Cintiq 13HD, but I’m living in a time that new competitors are emerging in China. On top of that, they offer bigger sizes at around 1/3 of the price of Wacom’s 13 in. offering.  I decided to wait it out till a good amount of reviews and tests were done on them. A number of reviews seemed to be positive but there were not that many of them. Then at some point it seems like these products were being given away to Youtube artist so that they could “review” them (many of them were just unboxings). On top of that, they were always compared to Wacom Cintiqs (which is ok) but they tended to focus on it way too much. In the end these reviews really didn’t give me much confidence. Specially since I hadn’t used any on screen graphics tablet before so many of the points they were making I couldn’t really connect to.

One piece of advice I did connect to was that a bigger screen would work much better since I would have more space to work and wouldn’t have to be squinting or enlarging the image as much. So despite the countless positives of owning a Cintiq, I decided to bite the bullet and buy an XP-PEN Artist 22E ( it’s a 22-inch display graphic monitor). It’s strange, it is quite an expensive device so I almost felt bad about buying it. I even didn’t use it for a week, it just laid by my desk covered by my jacket. But at some point I decided to give it a try. Since this was my first graphics display I struggled a bit setting it up. But it’s actually quite easy when you know what you are doing. A quick tip is to set it all up is using the pen program used for this tablet. If this is your only display than you shouldn’t have a problem, but if you have a two display set up make sure you choose the XP-PEN as the correct monitor and also make sure it isn’t chosen as the extended option (this was the only thing that gave me a hard time). If it seems to not be working, remember that you should restart your computer after you install the driver and program.

I didn’t really want to write anything about this display till I had used it for a good bit. So far it has been two months, so I will document my experiences so far (I will do so in the future as well, I’m quite interested if this tablet will last me a good while or if it will only last for a year of something).

So far I’m content with it. I know a bit more about digital art, so now that I have this on screen graphics display I can work much faster since I’m actually drawing and painting on the canvas itself. One can get used to the other tablet like the Bamboo Manga I used previously, but nothing beats working on the artwork directly. And with the two monitor system I can work on the XP-PEN and look at my reference picture/s and even some sort of entertainment on my second monitor. It works quite great. I used to use my laptop to work on artwork, but now I’m using my PC that my brother gave me which is much more powerful and can take quite a beating (with all the programs I use simultaneously).

The monitor itself works quite well and seems to be of a good quality. In the reviews they talked a lot of paralaxing, but since I’ve never used a better display or really see it as a problem, I really don’t notice it. If I want to draw or paint somewhere the paint applies my paint where I want it. The on frame buttons are also quite useful and have increased my workflow. It came with a stand included that worked great but it took a good amount of my desk real state. So with that in mind I decided to invest in a monitor arm. But I was also weary of buying a cheap one that would break easily or would not move the way I need it to. After much thought and research I decided to go for the Amazon basics arm (in fact another reviewer of this display bought this arm which prompted me to give it a try). Now with this arm and the display I can work much better, more comfortable and faster. Before I was contemplating buying a wireless keypad and converting the keys into hot keys for the art programs like Photoshop. But with this set up I can have the display above the keyboard and away from my arms when I’m drawing and is easily accessible when I need to make a command.

One thing that really freaked me out was that the pen was leaving scratches on the display. I couldn’t really find much about it online, but I guess this is normal… These scratches also leave behind a rainbow effect on the screen but if you clean it off a bit it the rainbowing effect disappears so it really isn’t a problem. I wonder if a softer stylus tip exists? Whatever the case, after a while you don’t really notice it. I guess it’s one of those things where you get a new item and you are always weary of scratching it or something.

As for what can be done with it, that just depends on one’s skills.

I chose Sayumi Michishige as my first model for my very first artwork on this tablet.

This is the reference picture I chose:

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Here is what I managed to do with it, my first digital study:

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This was done on May the 18th. Since then I have been working some more work which I will upload soon.

So far I really love my new XP-PEN, but time will tell if it was a solid investment and will last me a good couple of years or if it’s a cheap “imitation” that will break in the near future. I’m hoping it it does last.

Hasta la proxima,

-NUBE