Monday, 27 December 2010


So. Yeah. Stuff I've done lately.

Ink-tests for my comic for the parts that take place under water. A bit scribbly and half-assed, but I'm sort of getting to where I want to be with them.

Also, lighthouse-girl - who still needs a name. I think I'll have to consult my atlas to hunt for appropriately sea-worthy names.

And last but not least - Ichinose, looking typically grouchy. It's his ground state of being.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Currently working on....


There will be a character in there as well, and a lot more stuff on shelves and floors and whatnot - and it will obviously be in colour.

I need to practise perspective and backgrounds in general (as in, actually having them, because I tend to be terribly lazy), so I thought this might be a good start

Monday, 20 September 2010

Projects and paintings galore

I have too much creativity for my own good. However, all things need to have a modicum of thought behind them, so before I paint things - at least before I paint traditional things - I have to plan them a little. Acrylics do not come equipped with an undo-button.

Sketches and ideas for paintings (which will look very little like these sketches):

Barn owls are my favourite owl. I mean, that face...

Those things on the left are halfhearted sketches of the layout of the painting.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Watercolour process

Erm, hi. >.> Let's just skip the whole "Sorry I've been gone" thing, because we all know I'll pull that stunt enough times for you to be tired of it. I'm here, there's a new entry, there's pictures. Let's rejoice, or something.

Painting a portrait in watercolour:
(Step by step process, as done by an acute amateur:)


This is what I use to paint; an assortment of watercolours, mostly Van Gogh, Derwent watercolour pencils for sketching and lines, markers for the colours I don't have, some paper to wipe my brushes on, and the cheapest possible synthetic brushes you can find.

Step 1:

I sketch out the picture with Derwent watercolour pencil - Prussian Blue this time, because the painting is going to be mainly blue. I try to sketch lightly, but since the pencil is water-soluble anyway, it doesn't really matter much.

Step 2:

Using pretty much only water, I paint over the lines, using the smudging pencil to mark out where my shadows will be; if need be, I add a bit more blue. I paint the shadows in blue because, again, the picture is going to be mainly blue. I keep the shadows light; it's just a sort of underpainting for me to know where they go.

Step 3:

I add the skin tone and the base red tone for his clothes - lightly, because I might change my mind, and because it's better to start too light than too dark with watercolours. I also fill in his eyes a bit.

Step 4:

Darker shades on the clothes, and another layer of skintone to build it up (I am trying to make sure that the colours show up when I scan, but that, alas, is a lost cause; my scanner snacks on watercolours) - then a bit darker blues in the background to make the character stand out.

Step 5:

New verse same as the first; more layers of colour, layers of blue for the shadows, detailing with a tiny brush for the hair and the eyes, etc., etc., and this is what looks like when it's finished, before the scan - only not quite, because the lighting is crappy, and my camera is kinda out of focus.

Finished artwork can be found here - in all its scanner-mauled glory.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Long time no see!

Erm. Yeah. Long time between updates. Stuff happened.

But I'm still drawing stuff!

Like concept-sketches for a new short comic (ten pages). These were drawn without reference.

These, though, I did have reference for - which is a little silly, since they don't actually turn up in the ten pages I'm drawing. They turn up later, I think. At some point. In another, related story. We'll see. >.>

Oh, and have a mobster, too.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Sketchdump ahoy!

Er - apologies for being absent for more than a month. School ate my brain.

The comic project is progressing bit by bit - I've finished the pencils for all pages (save one panel on page 27), and I've inked almost eleven, so that's nice. Hopefully, I can keep this pace up.

But this post isn't about that. This is a sketchblog, so enough babbling: this is what I've been doing when I haven't been inking an endless parade of trees and stairs and shrines.

The God of Winter, again - more sketchy this time, and with more snow. ... I really want to draw him in a comic sometime, but I don't have time right now.

Ichinose and Sawada - two of my mobster-characters - in their uniform (drawn mostly as a brainless stressreliever, and as a size-comparison; she is really freaking tiny) - with a line of baby-Bonebirds on the side.

Speaking of mobsters - here, have another. Kimov, the Russian hitman!

Sometimes, I draw comics that aren't tengu-related. This is one of them. I swear, one day I'll ink it and letter it properly.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Hesitant progress is being made

I'm plugging along on A Thousand Miles of Wind, and it's going quite well. I am behind on my planned schedule, because of family trouble and a persistent and quite incapacitating neck-ache that strikes me at odd intervals - and since I much prefer a whole neck to a whole finished project, I've been forced to slow down.

But I'm not defeated yet!

Here's the first inked page of the comic - it's been scanned in two pieces, because it's drawn in A3-size and I only have an A4 scanner, so there's a strange break right in the middle of the image, right across the stairs, but ignore that part; when I scan this for real, it'll be on my school's A3-scanner.

This took me.... about five-six hours to ink properly, I guess? The leaves didn't take as much time as I feared they would, but it was still slow going, considering the architecture in general, and the stairs in particular.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

A Thousand Miles of Wind - bits and bobs

Interesting fact of the day: storyboarding eats my brain.

It is the most important part of comic-creation, and while it might not be as time-consuming as actually drawing the pages, it is hard work - it tends to leave me feeling as if I've turned my brain inside out.

So why don't I show you a bit of what A Thousand Miles of Wind looks like right now? Here's the storyboard for pages three and four:

Usually, I write a plot-summary first, and then I write a proper script, then I do the storyboard, and then finally I revise the script to fit the storyboard - with A Thousand Miles of Wind, I did my plot-summary the usual way, but I've storyboarded and written the script at the same time, piecing everything together as I go along.

... It's all very scribbly on the page, but it's enough for me to know what's going to go in each panel and what it's going to look like.

Speaking of what goes in the panels, here are some background characters - only the old lady has any lines in the script - four of them, I think.

I just wrapped up the entire storyboard for the comic - it ended up being thirty-two pages, two pages over my planned maximum limit, but I am pretty happy with it, all things considered.

Now comes the most work-intensive part - actually drawing the thing.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Kurohara Sousuke - Progress shots

Occasionally, I draw stuff that is not tengu-related. Like this here yakuza fellow - this is a step-by-step progress sequence to show how I did it.

Step One: Sketch out the basic layout - there tricky part here was making sure that he was correctly reflected in the mirror. I had to run over and look into my own bathroom mirror six times over just to get it right.

For once, I actually managed a pretty clean sketch - I usually sketch as if I've got uncontrollable spasms.

Step Two: I sketch out his tattoos on a separate layer, in case I feel the need to re-do them completely.

Step Three: I always sketch in blue, and once I start colouring, I convert everything to black - in this particular picture, I make no cleaner lineart, since I want to keep the paintery feel. The lineart layer(s) are set to "overlay", since that makes them blend better with the underlying colours.

Step Four: Overall colour scheme is important, so I block in the general areas of light and dark in the background. I pick green, because green is a nifty colour, and it fits this character and situation - it's not the nicest bathroom in the world, I imagine.

Step Five: Blocking in the colours of his skin. When painting people, I always start with the skin, for some reason. The blobs of colour on the mirror image is my palette - even though Corel Painter has a nifty palette function in the program, I've always felt more comfortable blobbing it out on the actual painting. It helps me keep the colours consistent.

Step Six: I finish blocking in the colours of his skin, and the colours of the mirror-frame and the little things in the background. I keep the walls green, because I like them that way - I was going to do this complicated thing with tiles, but I didn't feel like it.

Step Seven: The tattoo is coloured on a separate layer - set to "overlay". The design is not final, colour-wise - I can't really make up my mind - but it looks good enough for now.

Step Eight: I discovered that his nose was far too long, so I painted over it on a separate layer, and raised his mouth and painted over his eyes as well. Fixed some minor details, painting over his hair, doing the cigarette-smoke, etc., etc. Also fixed some bits with the tattoo - I'm still not entirely happy with it, but it looks good enough.

Step Nine: Final step! I add three layers - two overlay layers filled with various shades of green, since I noticed he looked a bit washed out, and to darken the mirror image, and then one layer with a paper texture that I found in the dark recesses of my texture folder. And now it's done!

It doesn't look the way it does in my head, but then again, it never does.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

ATMoW - Toshiyuki

I've already shown off the "antagonist" (antagonist makes him sound evil, which he isn't he's just opposed to the main POV character) in the previous post - the great tengu of the mountain - so maybe it's time to show off the POV character/protagonist?

Here's Toshiyuki, the shrine-keeper/priest.

I'm not really happy with any of these, face-wise - he comes out looking a bit crooked - but this is the main idea. He's wearing the traditional shinto-priest clothing - aka Heian era courtier clothing (something like this, without the silly hat) - with some unconventional shoes. I've also left some details out - such as the fan/uchiwa shinto priests traditionally carry, but it's enough to get a feel for the character.

Toshi is... cute. He's cheerful. He's happy-go-lucky, endlessly positive, and not afraid to let you know what's on his mind - he gets into trouble with supernatural forces, and he gets scared, but he never really lets it get him down.

The shrine he's the keeper of has a layout like this:

... My handwriting sucks. Aaaanyway. This is the basic idea - I've done some sketches on the architecture of the shrine buildings themselves, but none of them have come out very well - but with this, at least I know the layout for the shrine, so I can draw them when I have to.

And last but not least - one of the yokai (see: definition) that comes and bothers Toshi over the course of the story. This is a nekomata - which is a sort of monstrous version of a cat. Nekomata were once regular cats that were turned into yokai when they got so old that their tails split in two.

Toshiyuki is in there as a size comparison - Toshi is about 168-170-ish centimeters tall, and the imagined ground-to-shoulder height of the nekomata is roughly 1 meter.

... And that's it for this entry, I guess?

Monday, 15 February 2010


First art post - yay!

So, A Thousand Miles of Wind is going to be the story of a young shinto priest named Toshiyuki, who accidentally gets into trouble with the local supernatural critters - the most important one being the tengu who lives on the same mountain.

I'm still kind of fiddling with the details of the tengu's design - adding things and subtracting things all the time - but I'm pretty happy with how he looks right now. He's a bit difficult to draw from the back, considering all of those feathery things on his head, but I'll get around to that.

Breaking and entering

It always feels awkward, posting for the first time in places like this - I got tongue-tied writing my first LJ-entry too. The good thing about this place, though, is that I'll be sticking around here, unlike LJ.

I find I draw a whole lot more than I do interesting things to write journals about. Sure, I write a lot, but not diary-style things.

So yeah. In the future (soon, I promise), I'll be using this place to post sketches and WIPs and scribbles and worldbuilding stuff that I don't want clogging up my DeviantArt account.

For the next few weeks, there will probably be a lot of sketches for my comic project, A Thousand Miles of Wind - architecture, items, characters, page-layouts, etc., etc. Just stuff. There'll be a lot of other stuff as well, but I'm trying to focus on ATMoW, since it's my final project for college.

.... If anyone actually reads this, I guess I'll see you around.