Initial A Suzuki Airi vs Takumi

A couple of days ago Airi posted an instagram story of her pretending to drive or should I say race a car while some Eurobeat played in the background. I believe it was Deja Vu but I may be wrong (it was definitely one of the iconic songs). I was actually quite surprised that Airi was aware of Initial D so it was a great surprise. It’s a shame it was a story and wasn’t left permanently on her instagram because I really wanted to see it again.

After watching the video I decided to make a drawing about it. I wasn’t too sure of what car to choose for Airi. At first I was thinking of using one of the cars that appeared on the Buono! music videos but then I figured I should choose a small compact car that was a bit more in the AE-86 class. So a small compact car that fit with the English theme of Buono!… I for some reason like the aesthetic of mini coopers so I ended up going with that. Luckily I had some references of mini coopers in my references collection so I really just had to find some references of Airi and Takumi (as well as his 86 which for some reason I didn’t have many of). I made a lot of mistakes while I was drawing but I cleaned what I could with my Nicker poster color which worked really well. After I was done inking and shading with ink I then used Photoshop to clean up the pencil marks and adjusting the black and white levels. Once I had that going I then used Clip Studio to add in the sound effects that are so iconic of Initial D.

I quite liked the way it came out. Hope you guys enjoy it as well.

Hasta la proxima,

-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

XERO DRAWING – Sailor Mercury The Intellectual Warrior

Time spent: 8 hours 59 minutes
Materials used: Sakura 0.7 mechanical pencil, Faber Castell Perfection 7056 pencil eraser, eraser,
Sakura Pigma Micron set Black,
Sakura gellyroll White,
Sakura Moonlight gellyroll: Light green, Dark purple, Blue, Yellow
Reeves Water Colours 18 set: Viridian hue, Phthalo Blue, Ultramarine,
Copic Markers: 0, E00, C1 C3, C5, C7, W1, W3, W5, W7, YR00, Y11, Y17, Y28, V01, G21, G24, G28, BG10, BG78, B0000, B01, B05, B21, B24, B26, B28, B32, B34, B39, B45, B69, B97
Sharpie Oil Based PAINT White Fine Point

And so we continue with the Sailor Senshi series. This time it is the second member to be revealed in the series Sailor Mercury, real name Ami Mizuno. So far, I like her more than Sailor Moon. Though she hasn’t really made a strong impression on me either. On another note, I still don’t quite understand what Sailor Moon’s attacks are based on, most likely they are just random attacks that Naoko Takeuchi thought were cool. But for all other members, it seems like they have an elemental affinity tied to them. For Ami Mizuno it is water, so since the start I wanted to incorporate that. In the end I was thinking about it being either ripples or waves. I never really made up my mind before starting the drawing, but in the end I just combined them together. And surprisingly, it worked quite well together.

In any case, I hope you guys enjoy and learn from this video.

-XERO

XERO DRAWING – Sailor Moon Warrior from the Moon

Time spent: 7 hours 56 minutes
Materials used: Sakura 0.7 mechanical pencil, Faber Castell Perfection 7056 pencil eraser, eraser,
Sakura Pigma Micron set Sepia +Sakura Pigma Micron set Black, Sakura gellyroll White, Sakura Moonlight gellyroll: Yellow, light pink, Dark Pink,
Reeves Water Colours 18 set: Lemon Yellow, Medium Yellow, Ivory Black, Phthalo Blue, Violet, Ultramarine,
Copic Markers: R08, R27, R29, Y11, Y17, Y21, Y28, B01, B05, B34, B45, B97, C1, C3, W1, W2, V01, G21, G24, G28.

There was no video last week because I bought a new scanner, but it would not arrive till after a couple of days later after I usually upload a video. So I decided to hold it back and wait for the scanner to arrive. It is a large scanner that allows me to scan areas up to A3 (which is a scanner I have been looking for for quite some time). Now I can get a good quality copy of my artwork here at home.

In any case, for this weeks drawing, we will be doing Sailor Moon. I heard the new series would be broadcasted so I decided to give it a chance and see what it was about. I know I saw some episodes when I was younger but I only saw a few and don’t really remember much. So I said, what the heck, lets give it a chance. After all, I kept hearing good things from both females and males about it. My overall impressions at this point? Personally the old animation looks more appealing to me, but it definitely doesn’t look bad at all. I hear this series is following the manga better so I will see this through to the end to see how good it is. I gotta say, Usagi is rather dumb… But I guess that’s a common feature among Shoujo heroines (as well as Shonen heroes of course). We’ll see how this goes.

-XERO

Xero Drawing – Erza Scarlet Yūen no Koromo (COMMENTARY)

Time spent: 9h22m

Materials used: Mechanical pencil, ruler, eraser, Faber Castell eraser pencil
Colored Pencil: water color PrismaColor – peacock blue, ultramarine blue, french grey 20%, true blue, violet, black, crimsom red, lilac, white, blush pink
PrismaColor – ginger root, peach, beige, cream, sand, light peach, 20% french grey, lilac, parma violet, dark purple, mulberry, carmine red, pink, process red, yellowed orange, crimson lake, 50% warm grey, 70% cool grey, 70% warm grey, 50% gold Grey, White, Black
Crayola – pale rose, violet, brown, taupe, lemon yellow, jade green, harvest gold, magenta
Rose Art – violet, orchid
Verithin – dahlia purple
Ultra Color – purple

 

We have made it to the second video, this time the objective is Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail. A good series (that relies on way too much fan service…). For this drawing I thought I would only use color pencils and nothing else. I figured I would try to show different techniques that can be implemented with different tools. The most common one that people can easily get their hands on are color pencils. They are rather versatile and can leave some really good effects, but only if used right. I’m mainly a pencil type of artist so I’m a bit shaky when it comes to coloring. But I have been practicing and coming up with new methods ever since I decided to go pro. I’ve actually been starting to understand how to fully utilize the full potential that color pencils possess. And that is what this video will be about.

Hope you guys enjoy the new format, and learn much more this way. Till next time.

-XERO

 

Darkcloud Xero Drawing – Asuka Shikinami Langley

This is the first drawing video of 2014, and to commemorate the new season of videos, I have created a new title and image. Drawing videos will now be called “Darkcloud XERO Drawing”. One of the new features for these videos is the availability to buy a print of the featured drawing (can be purchased in darkcloudxero.com ).

Back when I was first getting into anime (I was probably 11-12), I saw a preview of this really amazing series that contained one of the most incredible songs (“A Cruel Angel’s Thesis” which really fit) I have ever heard. I used to rewind the cassette just to rehear the song over and over again. I eventually learned that the public library had the series but it was in dvd, something I did not have at the time. It took me a couple of years to accumulate the money to buy a PS2 so that I could finally watch them.

Though much of the content was for a mature audience, I got really hooked and watched it till the end. I felt conflicted. I loved it yet I hated it? It had a lot of things that I enjoyed watching and exploring, but it also contained themes and characters (Shinji and Gendo) that I really disliked. I feel that this combination is what made it so memorable though. Something that surprised me was the amount of symbolism I was able to pick up despite my age. Most people will either love or hate it, but I will say this, watch it at least once.

While watching the trailer (before actually watching the series) I was captivated by Rei Ayanami. After watching the series though, that focus shifted to Asuka, who was both the strongest and the weakest character in the series. Despite her problematic past and trauma, she made sure to push forward hoping to forge a new path for her future (only to be demolished by Shinji in the “End of Evangelion”). Another reason that made me really dislike Evangelion.

After a couple of years I heard word of the new Evangelion movies, strangely enough I didn’t see them till just last year (all three of them). I really liked the changes they made to Asuka as a character (though I still dislike the fact that she has affection for Shinji again). And yes I know that I lot of people dislike the changes they made (to Asuka and the series), but I think this is for the best since it gives it a totally different spin on the original, which I greatly enjoyed. In this series, Asuka seems to have more of a future, the chance to totally change her and the remaining humans lives. Still, I’m sure that Gendo is acting the way he does for a reason. The problem is that we will not know completely till the final film.

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

SPECIAL A present to Sayumi Michishige

The story of me and Sayumi Michishige starts off quite simple, in fact this was probably the case for many Morning Musume fans as well. I really didn’t like her… Clearly it wasn’t because of her looks (she’s so cute and beautiful it almost seems too incredible to believe she is real). But her personality that she showed on variety shows made her seem really mean and stuck up. Although I mainly blame some of the “fans” who commented on Morning Musume videos for giving me that impression of hers (I’m to blame as well of course for listening to their thoughts). Of course, at the time I felt like this, I was very new to Morning Musume and was barely beginning to learn more about each individual member of the group. Like many had said Sayu was definitely giving the aura of a narcissist, but after a couple of weeks of cramming in as many videos of the members as I could find at the time, things began to change. I also started to pick up all the subtleties of how each member acted and I noticed that sometimes Sayu wasn’t so sure of herself and what she said. She was definitely quick to recover and change the subject or keep going with the original onslaught of remarks depending on the situation. At first I wasn’t too sure what to think about it, but I began to question whether she really was as bad as she made herself out to be.

Sure enough my suspicions were right, in fact I was entirely right. She was mostly playing the role of a narcissist, but I still didn’t quite understand, why? In the end it was very simple, the entertainment world definitely prefers someone who is fun to watch and listen to, and although many of Sayu’s comments could be deemed mean or hurtful it was obvious that she was really thinking about what she uttered so they weren’t too painful so people didn’t take it seriously. In fact after saying one of those “Shige mean” comments she seemed to leave it open so that others could react. By becoming, arguably, the most famous variety show ace of Morning Musume, she made sure to raise the name of Morning Musume as high up as she could. Even if people came to hate her, as long as they have heard of Morning Musume she didn’t mind it. And truthfully that is what made her so endearing. She didn’t mind getting hated as long as the group was to prosper. Truly a woman worthy of my love.

She truly is the perfect women in my eyes; cute, smart, and nice (believe it or not). Not only that but her code of honor and respect for the group and members is absolutely alluring. She definitely deserved to be the last leader of the Platinum Era and Sixth Generation.

Her beauty is just so … I can’t even comprehend how she could be blessed so much, and what makes her even more amazing is that she seems so humble (this is something I really like about Morning Musume, despite being so famous they don’t act stuck up and feel like they are better than everyone). What I specially like about her appearance is her long black hair, it just seems so natural that she kept it like that. I seriously can’t imagine her any other way. I’ve seen her with wigs of other colors but black was definitely better. And I’m glad she herself took note of that. Speaking of notes, I remember her talking about doing self study sessions of what she could do to improve whenever she made tv appearances to not embarrass the rest of the group, having heard that I just absolutely gained another level of respect and love for her.

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 – Misaka Mikoto ( Railgun )

I’m really surprised that this drawing took me so long to draw, but I guess it is expected since I decided to add some background this time around. The time accumulated for this drawing was … 19 hours and 10 minutes. In a way I find that astonishing, but believable since I was making up techniques as I drew. I’m surprised I didn’t get stuck and end up ruining the drawing. One thing I have learned though is that adding various colors to a certain object or objects will make it more believable and realistic so I made sure to go in with that type of mentality.

I’m sure many fans of the To Aru Majutsu no Index and To Aru Kagaku no Railgun know that a new series is being aired at this moment, it seems to be focusing on Misaka and her involvement with her sisters/clones. And I have to say, it is absolutely amazing. Both the story and the animation. I seriously wish more anime’s put in that much effort at least into the animation. In any case, this drawing is inspired by the fight between Misaka and Mugino Shizuri ( no. 4 as the strongest level 5, known as the “Meltdowner”). Their confrontation ended last week and it was awesome, plus it also left it open for some more “encounters of the level 5 kind” (yeah… I know, stupid joke).

Throughout the drawing I really did not know what I wanted to do yet. I just had a goal to draw her in a pose I haven’t seen before. So I just made things up as I went along. As I was drawing I decided to have her injured but still willing to fight, and I also liked the idea of having her fight outside (meaning I would have to draw a background as well). One thing I did want to include was her shorts. Usually I don’t like upskirts in anime/manga but because she always has shorts I find her to be a really awesome character that doesn’t feel the need to flash in order to be popular. I seriously feel that more female characters need to be like that. Plus her shorts are pretty much her trademark (well that and electricity, gekota, etc.). I did feel kind of bad making her bleed, but I feel that makes her look more vulnerable and human like. As well as making the situation look dire. If anything I feel the drawing only needs a bit of rubbing/blending in order to make it smoother (mostly in the sky).
What do you guys think?
Any Questions/Comments?

Hope you enjoy it,

– XERO

My setup for making videos.

About a month ago I was asked to make  a video of the setup I use to make my youtube drawing videos.  Sadly I was quite busy  until recently with school and some projects that will be incorporated into youtube and this page as well of course. I think it would be much easier to just do a quick guide here instead of making a video. The process isn’t really all that hard, and setting things up usually just needs the things lying around the house.

Anyway I’m sorry Caio Mitsukayro, I really wanted to make this sooner. Hopefully it will still be of use to you.

Here are some pictures so that you can get a feel of how it looks:

IMG_20130525_195446

 

My room seriously needs another paint job, but ignore that for now. Below is a closer shot:

IMG_20130525_195453

 

I don’t know if you can tell, but that is my camera up there in between the boxes. Currently I am using a Cybershot, I really don’t regret buying it.

IMG_20130525_195509

 

As you can tell, I have my laptop right next to me. It’s really helpful in case I need a couple of references or if I want to hear music as I draw. I won’t deny it, but most of the time I’m also watching something online as I draw (usually late night shows, well that’s a lie. I only watch Craig Ferguson if it’s a late night show…). In any case the desk was created by me at the end of last year. It’s nothing fancy but it does it’s work. It can actually fold up and become part of the wall to give me more room when I need it. It was chains so that I could ignore the legs, this makes it easier to move around when I need to step away from the desk, or I need to fold it up (I rarely do it though.).

 

IMG_20130525_195559

 

This is what I see when ever I draw. Truthfully all you need are some boxes and a small tripod or something that can hold the camera in place while it records. As you can see I use two lamps, this helps in the glare that might come from the graphite applied by the pencil and will minimize shadows. I used to do it by sunlight, but that would make the light in my videos inconsistent. Specially whenever nightfall came around and I had to change to a lamp. If you have ever seen some of my older videos you might be able to notice it (have I posted any of my old channel’s videos up?).

IMG_20130525_195609

 

As you can see I have setup a small mirror that’s attached to my toolbox. This is important because it allows me to see how the camera is doing (how much time I have left, how much charge I have, etc.) and it is also very useful when setting it up so that you know the sketchbook is in the frame. So if you happen to move it in the moment or by accident you can just adjust it mid recording. The set up is quite easy, and can be done in seconds. Now if you notice the video will come out upside down, but that can be easily edited on a video editing software (this feature is present in the free Windows Movie Maker), you just select all the video files and turn them upside down, giving you the appropriate view. I’d say that’s all that is needed. One can get elaborate and put an adjustable tripod on the wall (horizontally, facing down like in my set up) so that it hangs that way instead of using boxes.

I hope this is helpful to anyone who is also thinking of making videos.

-XERO

Graduation Special: Tanaka Reina 卒業おめでとう

This obsession with Morning Musume is almost over it seems…Now that one of the last two members that kept me interested in the group has finally reached the end of the line in terms of Morning Musume.

After about ten years of giving fans happiness and humor, Reina Tanaka makes her exit to her own rock band, LoVendoR. Although I will miss her being in Momusu, she will at least not totally disappear and continue to sing. No matter how one looks at it. This will be a big hit to Morning Musume since she was the main vocalist. Now Morning Musume will truly be entering the new era. The new members are cool, but I think that my own involvement in this group has also ended (at least until Sayu decides to graduate as well).

I know change is need, but I don’t necessarily enjoy when it happens. I’ll probably still hear Momusu’s new songs from time to time but it will definitely not be the same. Now I understand how long time fans felt when my favorite era (Platinum Era) took control of Morning Musume. It really is a different feeling and that connection is definitely minimized. All one can think about is the good old days. Luckily for fans they left a lot of material to remember them by.

I’m really at a loss for words, so I’ll end it soon.

This has to be one of my best drawing so far. I really tried to bring in all my techniques and effort in my arsenal. And I feel it really shows. I was extremely pleased when I was taking a picture of the drawing and the camera recognized the face as a real one. Although I know I can improve more, I’m definitely going in the right direction. I can only hope Reina happens to enjoy it as well. I’m kind of saddened that I did not do something like this for the past members of the Platinum Era. I’ll have to make it up to them someway sooner or later.

What do you guys think?
Any Questions/Comments?

Hope you enjoy it,

– XERO