BerryKyuu 20th anniversary

It took a while but I finally managed to finish this painting to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Berryz Koubou and ℃-ute first known as the Hello Project Kids. I was wondering what I should draw\paint to celebrate and remembered the I believe Hello Morning episode where they announced the finalists who would be joining Hello Project. The delayed reaction of everyone learning that they were all chosen to stay was funny and cute. There was a good delay before they all reacted to the news. This I believe was a great moment to paint since this is where it all began.

Thank you for this past 20 years. And here’s to celebrating the future ones as well.

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

The Artist Avatar Challenge DarkCloudXERO

My entry to the DeviantArt contest. Tried to include all my current art styles into this piece, both traditional and digital. Background is fully digital, painted with Corel Painter. The astrological clock, character and ink jar backpack, g pen and brush were done using Photoshop. The pixel maid was done using Pro Motion NG and then enlarged using Photoshop. The skeleton was drawn using my g pen and the tiger was painted using ink. The text was drawn using Photoshop. 
I painted my current workspace which I used as the background, but most of it was covered up by the front layers and also cut off. 
Apparently if Scorpio is in the Moon Sun position, it indicates that they are “creative, intense and mysterious”. Which I thought would fit in well with the theme. 
Luckily I read the instructions again so I redid the VHS distortion by hand which does the trick quite well and has some cool painted effects from the I believe it was the pastel brush.

The character himself was actually the element that took me the longest to paint since I was just coming up with each section as I went along. Life can be hard and it can chain us down, both in terms of time, physical methods and psychologically. But art is a way that can help us break those restraints and let our emotions and creativity take shape, letting us create anything that’s inside our minds or that of others. 

With that in mind, I wanted to create a painting where I could use my art tools to bring my creations to life and help free me from my limitations and problems. The tools would change in size depending on the application and would revert to their original size when I needed to put them away. The ink jar I felt would be carried as a backpack. 

The reason the skeleton and the tiger are splattering ink is because they have been newly painted/drawn so they are not fully dry yet. 

Hope you guys like it.

#ArtistAvatarChallenge

Hasta la proxima,

-NUBE

Ryoga Umbrella watercolor

What I wanted to try out was Rumiko Takahashi’s classic style of painting. Looking at various artworks I decided to paint Ryoga in this way using only one color for each section of Ryoga and using only the saturation of the paint to make color and value variations. But only ever so slightly. But before I did paint it, I went over the rough draft with my mechanical pencil to darken and indent the paper. Once this was done I then erased the whole paper and painted with whatever graphite managed to survive and the indentations left behind. The effect wasn’t too bad, but it was obvious that I needed to add some type of outline. For this instance I decided to do that by using my Copic multiliner and a Stabilo pen for the darker areas.

Hasta la proxima,

-NUBE

Emil 10th anniversary Celebration

Me and my brothers were waiting for this moment for a while now, and after ten years a remastered edition has now been confirmed in the Nier 10th anniversary event. So to celebrate I wanted to paint a quick piece. I’ve only drawn Emil once before for the Initial D drawing, but I wanted to do another one. Next time I want to do one of him using his magic or something, we’ll see.

I think this only took me a little over an hour to do. I played around with Photoshops blending brush again.  I really wish Corel Painter wasn’t as clunky and slow, Photoshop is beating it in this way as well. Corel 2020 is supposed to have fixed that but haven’t tried it out yet.

Emil 10th anniversary Nier

Hasta la proxima,

-NUBE

1st Krita drawing Sayu

I was looking into Clip Studio after I saw a video showcasing the ability to have the program auto color one’s line art. And what made it cool was that not only did it seem to work great but one can have a say on the colors used as well. I couldn’t try it out since the trial version doesn’t make it accessible. But there is a website that does the same thing named PaintsChainer so I played around with that for a bit. While I was reading more about Clip Studio I happened to hear about another program that was open source and free named Krita. I have heard of this program before (quite a while ago) but never gave it a chance. So I decided to finally give it a chance. I’m amazed at the amount of tools and options it has. It really does seem to offer (at least from what I have tried so far) everything most pro programs offer.

One other reason I was interested in using Krita is because Photoshop seems to make my tablet drivers quite after working on it for a while, and the only way to make them work again is to restart my pc. What sucks is that sometimes I only make a couple of strokes and the drivers quit on me. This makes working digitally really annoying, time consuming and messes with my work rhythm. Now to be fair I did have too many open tabs on chrome so I’m sure that was causing my pc to use too much memory causing problems.

In any case I’m glad this all culminated in me trying out this program because it’s quite amazing. It has many pen options and works quite well. Most things work like in any other painting program so making the change isn’t hard. I really like the g-pen to draw. One thing I’ve never tried was using the pen pressure to dictate the opacity. I’ts actually quite amazing and intuitive. I think I might prefer using the pen pressure in this way instead of controlling the size of the brush while painting. It gives me a feel that reminds me of how watercolor works.

I’m still not used to the way to color selector works, I prefer the one from Corel and Photoshop (the Coolorus addon one).

As for the drawing it self I wasn’t too sure what to draw so I just began doodling until at some point I decided to draw Sayu. This time though I just wanted to see what would come up if I just did things from memory and imagination. After doing the line art I decided to try out painting with the program and am quite surprised and pleased at how great it feels and works. I highly recommend it specially since it’s free. I’ll see how far I can push the program in some future works. Hopefully my tablet drivers will finally stop crashing as well so I can just draw and paint at my pace without disturbances.

The 1st drawing/painting:

The process:

Hasta la proxima,

-NUBE

Misaka and Misaki’s Christmas 2018

How about a Christmas themed painting! (((o(*゚▽゚*)o)))

I really like the pairing of Misaka Mikoto and Misaki Shokuhou. The way they banter against each other is really cute, even more so when they have no choice but to work with each other. It was a smart idea to make them both rivals and allies at the same time. Definitely one of the best duos in the series. And seeing as they can hack into all security systems to delete their presence digitally and the power to also erase and manipulate peoples memories they really could get away with any crime. Whenever there are hints that they will pair up again I get really happy.

This painting was actually started last year. But I didn’t finish it on time. It still needed a background after all. So I decided to save it for this year’s Christmas. I was bogged down with other work but I managed to finish the background just in time to maybe even start a new Christmas piece. In any case I had to find a suitable reference picture. The one I found was in portrait mode so I had to make up the rest.

It was painted using my Kuratake Gansai Tambi watercolors and my Nicker Poster Colour paints.

Here is the final piece:

References used:

And here is the process:

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painting of Misaka Mikoto and Misaki Shokuhou-

process of the background:

And the process done digitally to combine both pieces:

 

Hope you guys like it. Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Hasta la proxima,

-NUBE

Halloween/Fall Artwork; Ghost Girl by the window

I was hoping to do a bit more artwork for the seasons, that way I had a bit more to aim for and to just get into the spirit of the holidays around the year (I feel that if I continue not to do so the years will just continue to feel monotonous and boring). I might do another quick one for Halloween before the actual day. Though Dia de los Muertos is also approaching…

It’ll be fine…

I guess that midterm and the extra work that piled up really did a number. But that’s life I guess.

I want to be able to meld reality and anime a bit more, so I want to play around with that a bit more. And this is one of the paintings where I am giving that a shot.

I am wondering if the way I do watercolor paintings look good to others or If I should make them look smoother so that the grain of the paper isn’t as noticeable. I can do that a bit more if I use color pencils to go over the watercolors I already put in. I have used this technique before, but I want to get better with just watercolors first so that I don’t just rely on color pencils to fix my inexperience. Once I get better I will try to combine them again, but hopefully this time correctly.

In any case this is the painting in question:

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There’s something about the character design of the ghost girl from Pokemon X/Y that I really like. So that is the theme for this year’s halloween painting. I was also looking forward ot seeing if I could make her zig-zag mouth look like it could belong to our world (what do you guys think?).

The painting itself is largely inspired by this picture I used as reference:

Cosplayer: Cherry Neko

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One other thing I really wanted to try out was seeing if I could choose the right color schemes despite the reference pictures having different colors. As I’ve mentioned before color is still something I’m struggling with. So this was designed to be a good challenge for me to play around with that. I’m still relying on references but I will learn faster this way, and I will have a better understanding of how colors work as well.

I’m starting to get the hang of watercolors a lot more, to the point that I’m no longer afraid to try new techniques and push ones I’ve used before further. I still get a bit frustated when the sessions go for too long and I can’t quite get it right, but that’s fine (nothing a little rest can’t fix).

Strangely enough I actually drew this picture various times (four times) and colored it twice. Once with Copic markers and the second one with watercolors which is the one you see above.

Here is the original sketch/drawing:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/37997922582/in/dateposted-public/

Here is the Copic version done with one of said four drawings:

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The copic version exists because I wanted to first try out the color schemes that I thought would work. I did this because I didn’t want to use too much time painting only for it to come out wrong. And since Copics are faster to use and dry almost instantly it was a perfect medium to try out the colors. I was almost thinking of just using the Copic version as the final piece, but then I ran out of a couple of colors and buying replacements would be too costly so I just decided to start all over with watercolors. In other words I made this piece twice which is one of the reasons I haven’t posted in a while. But I’m finally done.

For those that are interested here is the process:

From this angle it look like a good start, but I would later learn that I had made quite a couple of mistakes.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/37975118286/in/dateposted-public/

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Thinking I was pretty close to the end I noticed that the proportions were quite off. The head was much too big for the body, the shoulders were too small and so were the hips.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/38029011271/in/dateposted-public/

On top of that, after taking a break from painting when I came back I decided I needed to make even more changes to it.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/37975444346/in/dateposted-public/

And this was the final version I decided to go with:

Ghost Girl by the window resize

Well that’s it for today. Hopefully I can get another piece out before Halloween (though it will be simple if it is).

Hasta la proxima,

-NUBE

 

Updates – Practicing with watercolor, broken camera, new paints and plans

 

After thinking all this year and trying to learn a much as I can about colors, it was now time to actually put it into action. The best way to learn is to learn from others. So that is what I am currently doing right now. One of the things I really want to be able to do is realistic paintings. This requires a good understanding of applying paints and mixing colors. I’ve mainly been watching three youtubers;

The Mind of Watercolor

This channel is great because he teaches a lot of tehnical techniques and explains them in great clarity. On top of that he is very fun to listen to and his videos are very entertaining.

Lioba Brückner

This artist has a very beautiful style that I really want to learn. I’ve been watching her videos and learned quite a lot.

Laovaan 

Actually saw his videos first, and through his videos I found the two channels above on the reccomended list on the side of youtube.

Anyway, years ago after I graduated from high school I bought some photobooks of Platinum Era Morning Musume with the idea of one day being good enough to paint them. Well, after taking a year (this year) to learn I felt it was finally time to give it a try. I was actually a bit aprehensive to start. Heck, I would even say I was actually a bit scared? But it is finally time to make my art finally grow and gain more experience.

One other thing I want to learn is dealing with dark colors, so I chose this photo (the one on the bottom):

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Maybe it was a bit reckless of me to choose one with three people instead of just one, but I wish to be able to do a background and deal with multiple focal points. One problem with my artwork is that I have been adding too much details to areas that are not the focal point. The problem with doing that is that one, the focal point is not clear, but more importantly, it just doesn’t look good. When I finally figured that out, I decided to pay attention to what I see and really think about what can bee seen on the sides of the focal point. What I mean is that I look at an object (whatever it is) and try to pay attention to the surroundings and learn just how much detail I am actually able to see when I focus on one point. Turns out, not much. I can see the outlines and main figures, but not any really fine details. So I’ll have to keep that in mind from now on.

Using photos as references can also be problematic since they can see things very differently than a human. So in that sense I will have to choose what requires details and what doesn’t. And then I have to learn just how much details are enough to convey the athmosphere while making it all meld well together.

I was also afraid of using the colors I saw because I had never used them before. Such as when I see yellows, pinks, browns, reds and blues etc (on skin colors). I tend to go with very generic colors instead due to my inexperience and fear of ruining what I have at that certain point. That in turn makes very flat artwork that doesn’t really exist in a realistic sense. It may look good with anime/manga characters but once I apply such colors to real life people, it just doesn’t look right.

One other thing to mention is that due to that fear I also end up making very muddled artwork that just ends up looking dirty. Copic Markers are great, but they do have their limitations and one has to know them otherwise one can mix colors that don’t combine well or one can also over work the colors to the point that they make very dirty colors. This of course does no good to the final picture. One good example of this is the Macross artwork I did a while back;

Human Culture’s Songstress
Print now available.

When you are working with something that requires alot of concentration, detail, colors and experience. It is easy to understand if one messes it up. For one I am assuming the colors and ignoring the ones I see in the actual reference pictures (as can be seen here);

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/36830534054/in/dateposted-public/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/36830533774/in/dateposted-public/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/36830532954/in/dateposted-public/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/37492201346/in/dateposted-public/

After learning what not to do, I decided to actually give it a try and paint what I see instead what I think it should be.

With all that said this is the finished piece:

Rockies Memories resize

And here is the process of how I drew and painted this new piece.

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Let’s talk about the broken Camera.

Before I started recording this watercolor piece I had dropped my camera which sadly cracked my lens. That is noticeable on the first videos I recorded. So I had two options, buy a new camera or try and fix it. Hopoing I had not damaged the  sensor I ordered a replecement lens. It took a while to arrive, so half of my recordings have that crack. When it arrived I was debating whether I should finish painting this piece first or if I should fix it before continuing. One concern was that if I messed it up and couldn’t fix it, I could very well end up with the camera in even worse condition.

After some thought I just decided to go for it. And that took a bit of time to get done, but since I have some experience from fixing some of my other electronics it didn’t take long for me to figure it out. It did take me three times to hook up the ribbon cables (which gave me problems that of course freaked me out a bit). Luckily it was all working well when I properly hooked them up and the rest of the videos did not have that crack.

As for the paints.

I decided to use some of the money I made from NanDesuKan and buy some paints that I have been interested for a couple of years. (I’ll talk a bit more on some of these things later.) Those paints are Nicker Poster Color. The way they can cover a whole area completely opaque but can also be thinned out really caught my attention. And the idea that I can paint on top of what I have already painted while still being completly opaque. I still haven’t tried them out yet, but if they work like I think they do it will be my dream medium.

Plans.

Fall is here, and October is here. So that means that I should make the effort to make some pieces with those themes. Since I am in October, I should make some Halloween themed paintings. I actually have one that is already drawn out since last year. I was planning on finishing it for last years Halloween, but decided to learn how to use colors first then come back to it so that I could do a much better job. Of course I could wait to get better, but I feel this could be a good learning experience now that I know a bit more. Hopefully I won’t mess it up, but I have to not be afraid to try new painting techniques.

Aside from that I do want to make maybe two more new ones. I just haven’t decided what character to choose or any ideas of what to do.

But those are my plans, I will have a midterm soon so I hope I won’t hit a snag.

That’s it for now.

Hasta la proxima,

-Nube

Quick Update 10/21/16

The deadline for voting on the winners of the art contest on DrawCrowd was yesterday on 10/20/16 and yet only the cosplay category winner has been announced… None of the actual Corel winners have been mentioned at all. That’s truly strange, I wonder if the winners have been notified yet? Having said that, there are two pieces that I feel should be first and second place (of course this is just my top picks).

For second place I would choose this one:

Artist – 녹충

She appears to be an artist from South Korea.

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I really like the way it looks, it’s simple and gives a scene that would happen in real life.

My pick for first place:

Artist – Miimork

She appears to be from Thailand.

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This one has so much going on. And without words you get a story out of this one image. I really like it and feel it deserves to win above all other entries. The description says it all though, “This is the illustration of my friend who’s studying architecture. Back to school, new project, and old friend.”

In any case, good luck to the winners.

As for my work? I have been uploading artwork to DrawCrowd in intervals and at different time periods to see when it is most effective. I started with a Reina Tanaka drawing, uploaded at night which got over a hundred views in a day. That amazed me.

It was this one:

Tanaka Reina photobook study
Are you interested in it as a print?

Uploading to Pixiv you barely get a hundred if that in about a week and let’s not even talk about the abysmal views on DevianArt. After I believe five days it is getting close to 500, amazing huh?

After that I uploaded an Ai Takahashi drawing about two or three days later in the morning. And that one exploded in views. In one day it got around 6,000 views! I’ve never had that many people look at my work in such a short amount of time. After two days it is getting close to 9,000 with two likes and one promotion.

This one:

Ai Takahashi pencil drawing
Are you interested in it as a print?

What does liking and promoting mean? DrawCrowd is pretty interesting in that you have two options to let the artist know how much you like their art. You have the standard like option. By liking an artwork you are making a personal and private list of work you liked while letting the artist know that someone liked their artwork. Promoting an artwork on the other hand compiles a public list that is shown in your profile showcasing artwork that you deem good enough to recommend. It’s a really good system that creates a chain reaction of exposing artwork that others that follow said artist might like as well.

Now back to the third piece I have uploaded thus far. The third piece is the Halloween painting of Yuzuki Yukari I made last year. I uploaded it today in the morning and it has already reached close to 20,000  views! In just one day! This site is incredible at giving exposure to one’s work. I’m really glad I decided to give it a try. It did so well in fact that it has made it to DrawCrowds daily ranking! These daily rankings are a list of artwork that are popular during a day and are showcased on the homepage of DrawCrowd giving the artist and art piece more exposure. I debuted at #195, so I still have a ways to go compared to other artists. I wonder if I can reach the top 100?

This one:

Yuzuki Yukari - "Halloween Pumpkin Smash"
Print now available.

Well that was a quick update. I also have another announcement but I will leave that for tomorrow. Till next time.

Hasta la próxima,

-Nube

 

XERO DRAWING – Sailor Mars The Calm Flame Warrior

Time spent: hours 8 minutes 03
Materials used: Sakura 0.7 mechanical pencil, Faber Castell Perfection 7056 pencil eraser, eraser,
Sakura Pigma Micron set Black,
Uniball Sigmo White, Black
Sakura Moonlight gellyroll: Yellow, Red pink, Orange
Copic Markers: Y11, Y15, Y17, Y21, Y26, Y28, YR04, YR09, YR68, R08, R27, R29, C1, C3, C5, C7, W1, W3, W5, W7, G21, G28, BG18, V01, V15, V17, 0, E00, 100

So we are now on the third Sailor senshi, two more to go. From what I have seen so far, Rei Hino is definitely my favorite one. What is interesting is that they changed her personality a lot on the original anime from the one in the manga which I find a bit weird. But from what I have seen so far, this one seems to be more like the manga Rei which is more to my liking. Here powers are cooler too, specially since she already had spiritual powers to begin with.

Now for the drawing. I wanted to change things a bit more for this one. I wanted Rei to be a bit more like a Yamato Nadeshiko. So I made sure to not add much indication of eyelashes. And also change the shape of the eyes a bit. And truthfully, it worked out. She came out even better than I expected. One thing that I did sort of messed up are her eyes. I made them purple, but I was reading that they turned red when she was in her senshi form. But oh well. I really like her purple eyes. They blend really well with her long dark hair.

What do you guys think?

-XERO