I want to try out different styles, the quickest way is to do it digitally since I can redo every line and color as many times as I want.
It was a bit hard trying to contain my self and use simple color schemes, I just felt I could add more but it’s important to try and learn how and why these simplistic coloring styles work and hopefully will be able to create better works in the future. I was going for a 90s style.
I’ve been wanting to learn how to add color to my pieces so the best way is to study photos and also see why other peoples paintings work by recreating them. Using the eyedropper tool is quite useful but I want to practice and learn how to choose color just by using my eyes and instincts. Doing it traditionally is easier since I’m limited to the colors I have in hand. But digitally I have to really focus and think about it since I have every color imaginable at my disposal so it can get a bit overwhelming and the chance of screwing up is quite a possibility.
At the time of this painting I had invested in upgrading my Corel version up to 2018. So this is the inaugural painting I did for it. Corel and Photoshop are quite different. Photoshop is quite versatile and one can do a lot of things with it quite easily when it comes to editing but I feel that Corel is the better program to paint. Something about it makes painting more intuitive. But I tend to switch from one to the other when creating new paintings regularly. Sometimes I hit a bump and for some reason seem to find it easier to do on the other program. (・∧‐)ゞ
In any case I of course chose Sayumi Michishige as the subject, as you can guess I really love her aesthetic and her photo books are filled with a lot of great pictures to choose from. As stated before I chose colors by eyeballing it and am surprised I wasn’t too far off. If you compare my painting to the photo of course there are a lot of differences but I feel like I managed to capture the essence and you can tell it’s Sayu right? (๑•̀ㅂ•́)و✧
This is the reference picture used from Sayu’s photobook “La”:
Here is the process:
The eyes were too big so I had to resize them.
And that should wrap it up for now. I really loved working on this painting and am glad I was able to get it to this point. It looks realistic but also like a painting which I really like.
As mentioned before I said I was going to be uploading some artwork that I’ve been working on as a bit of practice so here it is (sorry about the delay, like usual the workload has been a bit of a pain but I’m pushing forward – luckily this semester is almost finally over… though construction work seems to be looking to increase).
I got a Samsung tablet for my self at the end of last year and didn’t really use it all that much, but while in a dollar store I saw a tablet stylus and decided to try it out. I was surprised at the accuracy I could get with such a clunky pen, so I ended up purchasing an app to do some art on the tablet. Sadly the tablet is not that powerful so it stuttered way too much while I was working on it and it even crashed plenty of times but it did get me interested on the possibilities of drawing/painting digitally directly. Though one can get used to looking up at the monitor using a normal drawing tablet, there is no comparison to actually looking at what you are drawing/painting. Now I’m really craving a drawing monitor…
Anyway here are two tries I made while waiting for my class start;
On the traditional side of things I wanted to make some quick practice sketches with a pen. And not surprisingly the ink really made it standout and look cleaner than when using a pencil.
I wanted to try a conversion from a real person to an anime version so I decided on using this reference picture of Eri Kamei to try it out:
I decided to only do the main lines to test out how it all looks.
This time I used a pen from the brand LePen, I want to test out how a lighter pen combines with color so I used their Dark Grey color which leaves a much lighter mark that I hope combines much better when I add watercolor and copics to it.
After I did the outline I wanted to see what would happen if I added more detail and darker lines, but my skill are still… anyway I’ll figure it out by doing some more when I have the chance. For the thicker lines I used one of those ink pens from Hobby Lobby that are meant for calligraphy. Did not end up how I wanted it…
But despite all this it does give me a good opportunity to try out if I can conceal mistakes using my Knicker Poster Color white, it does work but I have to gauge the right amount so as to make it thick enough to cover but not thick enough to make a mess. What I do know is that the thinner lines looked much better, I’ll have to figure out how to ink and shadow properly.
I inked some sections and added some details but not much since I didn’t want to use too much time on it. I’ll practice some shading techniques on a blank paper to figure out what kind I should use and at what time.
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;
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):
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;
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);
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:
And here is the process of how I drew and painted this new piece.
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.
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.
I now have finally finished and made a decision when it came to Asuka’s drawing. I will upload it on Friday and for now I will see what else I will be working on.
Now as for something else I wanted to talk about is the graduation of Sayumi Michishige. If I’m correct she has already graduated as of yesterday. This marks the last of the members of my ever favorite Platinum Era. I don’t really know how I feel right now. I feel kind of, off. Though I seriously can’t get myself to look at any of the new stuff that Morning Musume has made (mainly because I get nothing but nostalgia to about how it was almost 5 years ago now, and sadness because it is now all over). I’m sure all the new members are good, but the current Morning Musume. 14 is not for me. It’s for the new generation of fans and all the hardcore Momusu fans that have been there all along.
It actually wasn’t until recently that I found out that I wasn’t really a fan of Morning Musume, no, I was a fan of the members from the Platinum Era that ran from the end of 2007 till the very end of 2010. They were, just different from any other idol groups. In fact, Idol groups never really caught my attention. It was Morning Musume that changed my mind about what an idol group could do, and that they could and maybe even should be taken seriously (more on this later). And although I can’t do that for every idol group, I did gain some respect and even got to like a couple of other idol groups like Berryz Koubou and Cute (yeah I’m an H.P. fan almost exclusively). Though I liked and still like to look at the videos that were in the Golden Era and the Eras before the Platinum Era, I finally realized that the reason I liked looking at this videos is because I got to look at most of the Platinum Era members in their first years in the Idol world growing up before it was them taking the reigns of the group. It’s amazing how things turned out. I just get really warm and fuzzy looking at those videos and the ones during the Platinum Era.
What’s sad is that I can’t really get to enjoy much of the videos and content after 2010. All that comes to mind are the words; “it is not the same anymore”, “They are all separated now”, “Why couldn’t they have stayed together?” and “They were the best line-up”. Most of the members in the Platinum Era were good at singing and dancing, and those that weren’t like Sayu had other strengths that made the whole group even stronger. And that is what I liked about this line up. They all had weaknesses but they made up for it by working as a group, and that made them strong. And in my opinion it made them the strongest line-up that there ever was and ever will be. But it seems like the fans aren’t really into that. They tend to prefer the more electronic and autotuned songs more (funny, I remember when many people made a big deal of “Kimagure Princess” because they used a bit of autotune). What am I doing? I’m getting off topic.
It’s strange seeing how things turned out and my feelings that come out because of it. Ai, Gaki and even JunJun didn’t pursue singing, instead they went into acting. Ai got married (this was a big blow for me, specially because she married this questionable older guy). Aika stayed behind in H.P. but is now gone to study English in New Zealand (I’m actually quite happy she decided to further her education). Sayu was still in Morning Musume and has created this great bond with the new members (this makes me sad, somehow I feel jealous that she may like them more than the Platinum Era Members – minus Eri). And speaking of Eri, she hasn’t made a return after leaving Morning Musume after the 2010 graduation (man how I miss her). Luckily there were at least two member who are still singing. LinLin decided to go solo in China. She went with a more “children’s style” songs. Although I like that she is still singing I didn’t really like it much (well to be fair I am not a child so… yeah). I did really like her third song that was in her single. It was more her style I think and it was beautiful, I really hope she sings more songs like that. And another person who has been keeping my attention even after graduation more than anyone is Reina Tanaka. All her decisions I have really liked up to now. She decided to continue singing. So she had a rock band get together. I actually think she goes well with the members (strangely enough I have nothing against them, in fact I think I actually like them). She had a rough start since they were doing just covers for the old guys in Up-Front but after a couple of events they finally got to sing some of their own material. And most of the recent material is really good. I like the path they have taken. What I like most of Reina is that she actually said what I and many other Platinum Era fans have been saying all this time, The Platinum Era was the greatest there ever was. And she even questioned just how far they would have gotten had they been more popular. This… this just made me so happy. To have one of the the members of that time, and even a member that many thought really wasn’t enjoying her time with those members say these words. And have it be one of my favorite members second only to Ai (though they did fight that position many times). I just felt this warm feeling that it wasn’t just an illusion what I was witnessing. That was a magical time.
This is getting long, but I will just end it with this. Thank you Platinum Era Morning Musume. With Sayu graduated, now there are no ties to you which is sad. But, I have hope that someday all these members will get together and form something special that will take the world by storm. (wishful thinking I know, but I will continue to hope)
And so we finally have another drawing of a Morning Musume member. This time we are drawing Aika the first of the eight generation. Strangely, she is not as popular as many of the other members. I really do wonder why that is, every time I go online people just seem to spit out the same words, from my experience it just seemed that someone out there started this and it spread till it got out of hand. I do wonder what is with humans and our inability to go against the norm. In any case, what ever others have said I really do like her. Although I will admit that she isn’t my favorite.
If there is one thing that people should appreciate is her amazing perseverance while in Morning Musume, and even now while in H!P. Despite her many difficulties and weaknesses she pushes on and tries to overcome them. This quality of hers is something I hope many look up to, I know I do. This I believe is her strongest charm that many (for whatever reason) over look.
Another thing that really surprised me was that she seemed to have an interest in Mexico! My native country. Upon hearing of the news I truly was overjoyed that a member had set it’s eyes on the beautiful country that is Mexico (which sadly is trying to overcome some harsh problems at the moment, I really do hope that things get much better). And not only did she just talk about it, (information on whether she had anything to do with it, is based on my judgement, only some wishful thinking and deduction) but it seems that plans had been planned to take a concert to the soil of Mexico. They even sent a video where she and Ai Takahashi (which made it even more amazing and filled me with such joy) talked in Spanish hinting of one day going to visit the Mexican fans. The video is at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbCPH94c-xw
Sadly the fans screamed every once in a while so some of their speech was muffled (I can’t blame them though). But alas the members that I actually cared about are now gone, and even then four other members had already graduated as well. It’s not that I would have been able to go if they did happen to visit Mexico, but just the thought that they took to the time to visit my country would be a great honor.
Well it seems I got a bit off topic, in any case I really do hope you guys enjoy it.
It has been quite a while since I last uploaded something. But I personally prefer it this way. I really do think that quality over quantity is much better. For this installment I have added another SPECIAL video to commemorate the birthday of another one of my favorite Morning Musume members… Kamei Eri, the sleepy turtle.
I found her to be extremely beautiful and cute when I first got into Morning Musume, and as I got to know her and the rest of the members more, I just could not get enough of her and her segments. She really made things so funny and interesting. I recently found some of her old appearances on some variety shows and couldn’t stop laughing when they declared her as the person who would most likely communicate with aliens. At times her expression really made me think she actually was.
It’s a shame I was only present to see her last year on Morning Musume (that’s what I get for learning about them late). Whatever she decides to do on her future, I can only hope her the best. I’m sure she is capable of forging a path just for her, whether we as fans are able to witness it or not.
As for the drawing, I’d say that I had the most trouble replicating her face. I really took quite some time to draw her out. I had to redo a lot of details. Even at the end, I question whether I was able to truly capture her essence. In any case it was really enjoyable. Now, for those of you who do not know, recently Ai Takahashi released a couple of pictures of the current Eri, who actually allowed her self to get pictures taken of her. And that is where I got my reference material. In other words you are looking at Kamei Eri as she looks in 2012. She really hasn’t changed much, the only difference is that she has her natural dark hair. Which I truthfully prefer, she looks extremely cute and natural.