Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pencil Portraits and Digital Doodles


Since my last post, it seems Blogger has been having issues. For example, I can only see one post from my Reading List per day, and when I click "View More" nothing happens. Not sure if I'm the only one with this problem, but nonetheless, it's one of the reasons I haven't posted much lately. Been hoping that the glitches would be quickly fixed, but alas, they have not.
Also, I've been working away on some new, secret projects, so that's also why I haven't shared much.

Anyway, a short while ago, I've updated the tools at my disposal and have been experimenting with sketching and inking digitally. And it's been really fun! To no surprise - there are many benefits to drawing digitally. Here are my favourite:

1. You can erase, redraw, skew, and do all kinds of modifications to your sketch, pretty much infinitely. (Provided you don't delete your original image layer and all you have is some skewed experiment which you don't like the end result of.)

2. No more scanner dust cleanup. For people like me, who are pretty OCD about dust specks making into a nice sketch or inked drawing which I want to show later, this is fantastic. More time drawing, less time hunting for little dots.

3. You can only use one physical drawing tool - the pen stylus - to produce marks similar to pencils, markers, ink pens, paintbrushes, etc. It can take some research and experimenting before you get good at it, especially if you don't often work digitally, but any skill takes time to learn.

There's only one the only thing I dislike about drawing digitally so far:

1. Zooming in and out. Now, this isn't a true dislike. It's more of a personal "quirk" that digital tools let me exploit. I like to fiddle with my drawings, too much at times. So, whereas on paper - the size of my sketch is as big as I let it be on the sheet. And the tiny hand movements are restricted by the dexterity and size of my hand in proportion to the size of my drawing. BUT,  if I'm sketching in Photoshop on a tablet - I can zoom in, and in, AND IN, to make tiny little adjustments here and there. This isn't healthy at the sketch stage of an illustration, and something I have to restrain myself from. It's always better to make a new sketch.

Anyhow, that's that. Here are some sketches, both traditional and digital I've done for fun, during work breaks.

Also, as an exercise to get more comfortable with colouring digitally (so that I can quickly and easily do color studies and coloured concept thumbnails in the near future, and make finished digital illustrations in the slightly less near future) I decided to create a simple self-portrait, in a more comic/cartoon style.
Here is the breakdown of my process. (Pretty much the same as my traditional methods, but way more layers that I could click on and off)

Loose sketch
Digital line-work/ink

Added some simple colouring underneath the inking and that's what it looked like with the linework turned off.
Made some color adjustments to the some of the line-work to make it more in tone with the colous underneath.
Finished off the piece by adding some subtle patterns.
And made a GIF of these main steps, because it only takes me a minute to do that.

Have a nice week!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Art of Yuki-Onna - The Master Post


Today I've decided to a final post about my work for The Art of Yuki-Onna collaborative visual development book I've been writing about. Hope I haven't tired you out with it! There are previously un-posted illustrations below, so stay a while. =)

**Edit: It seems that for some reason Blogger decided to turn the white backgrounds on most of my images grey.... For proper colours, please see this post's "twin" on my Behace page----> here

This collection of images represents a portion of the work I created for a visual development book called "The Art of Yuki Onna". It is a sampling of character, environment, and pattern design I contributed to the project.

Book Brief:
"The Art of Yuki Onna is a collaborative, yet independent, artistic exploration of a Japanese folktale about a mysterious snow spirit - Yuki Onna. Various interpretations of the story from each participating artist have been curated into a humble, limited edition book.


The snow spirit Yuki-Onna glides through the winter forest in contemplation and solitude, hardly detectable by mortal eyes.

*For close ups from this image, please visit through the "Concealment" project folder.
"Duality Discovered"

This is a scene in which the duality of the protagonist is revealed through a reflective moment of her husband Minokichi.

Yuki-Onna (above) and O-Yuki (below)

With our protagonist having two contrasting identities - an winter enchantress and a mortal mother -  it was a great opportunity to design (at least) two distinct looks for her. As the daughter of a winter god her clothing and hair are more elaborately ornamented, while as a human wife her styling is simpler.

Inari the Fox Woman

In one of our adapted versions of the folktale, Inari is Yuki’s guardian who is akin to an older sister that needed to take on a parental role. To allude to her fox-form and to contrast with Yuki’s aesthetic – I gave her sharper features and less traditional garment and hair. Her more traditionally masculine attire articles, combined with feminine pattern motifs, symbolize her playing the roles of both mother and father to Yuki.
Inari's fox form, rendered in a naturalistic style.
Potential accessories for the characters.
Some of the motifs I created to be used as clothing patterns and as decorative design elements throughout the book.
"Family Stroll"

This image depicts a scene from the folk-tale which speaks of the flourishing family of O-Yuki and her husband Minokichi. My favourite part was giving the baby white hair, as a symbol of the winter magic that is secretly passed down from O-Yuki to the children. This baby might even be fully blessed with Yuki’s immortal legacy.

*For close ups from this image please visit the "Family Stroll" project folder.

Environment - Maps Triptych

Inspired by traditional Japanese woodblock triptych landscapes, I created a triptych of my own. What resulted was narrative map triptych (for those with keen eyes) which captures three scenes from the story that take place in proximity to the human settlements -  the wood cutters’ discovery of the hut, Minokichi and 0-Yuki’s first walk together, and 0-Yuki’s ‘misty’ farewell.

In the original text, the story ambiguously ends with O-Yuki/Yuki-Onna turning into mist and disappearing through a chimney. My personal belief was that she did not perish, but became a part of the wind, so that she could still look after her family. Perhaps one day she will re-materialize.
The first printing of our book.