Tag Archives: samurai

Pluses and Minuses

     Happy holiday!! Or it would be if I weren’t on a train headed to work. 

     You might be tempted to ask how that happened, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Anyway it’ll give me the chance to do some artwork in peace. So there’s that…

     Today’s image is from a manga/anime/live action movie, Rouroni Kenshin. It’s actually from a cosplay done by a new friend. And it allowed me to blend a few skills I recently acquired.

      As some of you know, backgrounds aren’t a major part of my art. I detest landscapes, probably stemming from having grown up in one. I’ve gotten better of course, but it isn’t an image of choice.

     Still, my work shouldn’t suffer because of personal bias. So I practice it occasionally, to keep my skills up. In this image I needed to give the feel of a snow covered forest; easy enough, but making it feel like a Shinto shrine clearing took a little research!

     I was happy with the result, and moved on to the character himself. Trying to create texture for his clothing wasn’t as easy as it first seem. I haven’t drawn a lot of silk in awhile. 

     After that my next big hurdle was his hair. Depending on the look of the scene, you can often get it completely wrong. There have been times when I needed a more realistic look and ended up with something out of a comic book. 

    And there’s the real issue. The great thing about talent is that you start out ahead. You can intuit things that others have to learn and practice. 

    However, the downside is that unless you really pay attention, you can easily become a creature of instinct. Getting simple things wrong because you didn’t think ahead can lead to disjointed images.

   If you’ve got the talents, congrats, but don’t forget to learn the skills.


   Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

    Guy meets girl. They like each other. Guy asks her out. Girl says we’re friends. Guy moves on. 

    Normal, right?

  Followed by girl stalking guy and not leaving him alone. Because she can ladle out rejection, but apparently can’t take it.

    This week’s picture comes from a daily art challenge that I took on. I decided to make a few changes in the final image.

    First, I decided that instead of drawing all the folds and pleats in his clothing to simply make them a solid white. This involved drawing it as negative space, or the absence of imagery.

       This also meant I had to give a lot of attention to the background. Since my markers come in gradients, I was able to create the illusion of distant objects by drawing them first.

     In the end I was pretty content with what I came up with. It took 3 hours and was almost exactly what I had envisioned.

      Hope you have a great week!