Last week I started the line art for this painting (finally had some time to work on it a bit on Monday night and the rest on Tuesday night). I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do so I was just sketching whatever came out. I then had the idea of having Kenshin look up, which gave him a sorrowful feeling. I then wanted some movement so I made his hair to blow in the wind. I was surprised how quickly the drawing came out, I used to take hours just to draw something even if it was simple line art like this one. From there I was looking at reference pictures of what I could use as the background. I found this really cool one of a shrine (turned out to be one from Nagoya when I researched it) but then I started thinking that a shrine doesn’t mean it’s a graveyard (plus it wasn’t in Kyoto) so once I had to work on the space right behind Kenshin I looked around google and found some references of graveyards. I used the impressionist brush for the texture but it looked really weird compared to everything else. But it turned out to be an easy fix when I started glazing and blending the graveyard pillars and steps. I thought of adding writing on them but that would take too much time to research, come up with and paint the intricacies of the kanji. So I just made some brush strokes that from a distance might look like actual writing but they have no actual meaning, they are just scribbles. The overall look I wanted to go for was the style used in the 90s anime which I believe holds up very well. Specially during the Kyoto arc.
Just as I was about to upload this painting I noticed that I hadn’t painted in Kenshin’s iconic cross shaped scar. Good thing I was too tired yesterday to upload it or he would have gone with out it.
I really like painting Guts. I had another idea of painting him traversing through a forest covered in snow. But that idea might get changed when I work on it once the snowy season starts this year. In it’s stead I decided to work on a piece where Guts is travelling through a forest at night, trying to reach the end and seek the warm safety of the light.
This time I’m working with blue as the background which I have yet to fully understand. All the colors work differently here so I had some setbacks at times. What I did in some cases was putting top layers of different shades of blue and used multiply on guts and some of the surroundings to darken areas around the background. After I felt the colors looked good together I then added some other layers to try and mesh Guts with the background. On top of all of that I then added more paint to add highlights and shadows so that I could try and integrate it more as a whole painting. For the end result I wanted to have it look like it is both painted but still has some aspects of the original manga art style. Hopefully I accomplished that.
Was working on this last week but didn’t get to finish the painting process till just now after work. The line work was done using my Stabilo pens. It’s been a while since I last used them. I wanted to see what kind of effect it would have when I underlaid it digital paint. It’s not a bad look, especially in the skin tones but, I think the blue is a little too well blue. I’m thinking using a grey pen on most parts except on the skin tones would work better. But at least now I know. It’s a shame they don’t really work well with watercolors (they smear and bleed). Well at least they work with copics. It’s a shame really because when it comes to traditional painting/coloring I now prefer to use watercolors. As for the digital painting process I tried to replicate the anime coloring style which I just absolutely love. Will definitely try doing it again. I’ll also do try doing this using my traditional paints.
Things have been getting rather hectic lately. Stay safe out there, and never give up.