Saturday, April 25, 2015

OMG She's an Otaku

So when I said I'd be blogging more regularly, I didn't specify the frequency, did I?  Heh.  Early Spring, between work and various extra scheduled activities, has been really busy.  I didn't have any time for art, which was really a drag.  But in the past couple of weeks, things finally settled down and I was able to play again.  My inspiration came in the form of all my favorite animes that I've been sharing with Mr. Pocket.  So, once again, I got out my old pencils and started sketching.  This time around, it has felt more natural again to be drawing and forming images of people.  I feel like I've got my mojo back for real this time.  I'm still a little rusty, but I'm off to a pretty decent start.  Here's what I've been doing...

This is Natsu Dragneel, from the manga and anime series Fairy Tail.  He's a dragon slayer wizard who uses fire magic.  My first sketch of the current revival.

This was a bit of a test.  She is Lucy Heartfilia, also from Fairy Tail, but I've redesigned her for the Middle Ages.  To stay consistent with her character as a wizard who uses keys to summon celestial spirits, I gave her a chatelaine full of keys on her belt, and the whip she uses when she has to fight on her own.

In keeping with the anime thing, and prompted by a fan event over on Tumblr, I started practicing characters from another favorite of mine, Free! Iwatobi Swim Club.  The first (and so far only) one I've tried my hand at is the main character, Haru.  Still not finished.  But here's an in-progress photo:

I was trying to take a very straightforward approach, just getting his features right without trying any particular expression.  Not unusual for Haru, who's very stoic.
So, the aforementioned fan event on Tumblr is called Sakurathon, and fans were invited to submit art, fanfiction, or any other creations featuring Haru and another main character, Rin.  Both are swimmers, and have been friends since childhood, and they really keep each other motivated.  It's sort of generally held among fans that they are desperately in love with each other, even though no such thing is directly established in the show.  So works submitted for Sakurathon had to feature the two of them together, along with cherry blossoms which are another recurring theme in the show.  Well.  I love cherry blossoms, and I needed an excuse to draw more (of course), so I decided that I had to participate.  Besides, I'm one of those fans that likes to think that they're more than friends.  So here's how my entry came together...

Blocking out the adorable swimmers.

Base sketch complete.  Haru looks better in my other sketch, but oh well.  Three-quarters views are hard.

Sprayed background, and their eyes have been colored in with Peerless watercolors.

Fully colored with Peerless watercolors, plus Tea Dye Distress Ink for their skin.

Inked the outlines.  With a Sakura Micron pen.  Heh.  Fits the theme.  LoL I'm a dork...

And finished!  Cherry blossoms stenciled with Prima crackle Texture Paste over Picked Raspberry Distress Ink.  The stencil is one I cut from doodles I did at work.  Don't judge me, indexing gets boring.

Wide view, so you can see my pocket stamped to show it's mine. 

I'm pretty pleased with  how this turned out, overall.  It's the first time I've ever tried coloring one of my sketches with watercolors, and I like the way it turned out.  The Peerless are fantastic to use.  And I love the crackle paste.  I mean, just look at it: 

Ooooooh texture....

Here's a closeup of the adorkable swimmer boys:

They're prettier in the anime, though.
I did learn something useful, too.  I learned that I do not like Dylusions spray inks.  They smear and bleed all over the damn place when you get even a hint of water near them again, they end up all over the place, and though they don't like to stay put on paper, they can't seem to get the hell off of your skin.  I've got a dance recital tomorrow and my fingers are blue.  Argh. 
Anyway, if you ever want to see more of my anime fan art, I've started a Tumblr blog just for that, so that here I can stick to mixed media and other forms of creativity.  My Tumblr is here:  Got Some Anime in My Back Pocket  Whether you follow that or not, I hope you've enjoyed this look at my sketches and my first fully integrated sketch and mixed media piece!