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 watercolors



I meant to start posting these last month, but I guess I got overwhelmed with working on other things and wanting to let my little collection get bigger. I started watercoloring last November, and then received a set of watercolor pencils for Christmas so I've been watercoloring quite a bit more lately. Nothing too interesting though; since I'm still getting used to the colors and trying different methods, my subjects have mostly been fandom-related, as seen above. ^^; (It's, uh, Poliwag wearing Kaito Kid's hat & monocle.) I did that one today while watching the Super Bowl. Good game. So here are some little previews of some of the other ones that I've done. I'll probably upload them all to Jade*Island sometime later.


This was the first one I did back in November. (Wind Waker Link)


This was the second one, done a week later. (Okami)


I did this one after Christmas. I need more work on shading. ^^; (Zelos, Tales of Symphonia)


And this is a sea turtle, which I finished last week. I had fun working with the colors. ^^

Watercoloring has become a bit addicting though, I'm even starting to prefer it over computer painting, even though it has a wider range of color choices, editing/undo-ing, and the glorious layers feature there. I even bought a little size 0 paintbrush so I could have more control over painting lineart and other little details, and am looking for some masking paint stuff that I read about.

I'm not quite sure which method is best for getting the paintings onto the computer, though. Scanning them makes them blindingly bright and messes with the color, so I've been taking photos of them even though it makes them a bit grayish. I try to fix the colors in GIMP, but it's not perfect.

I feel a little silly though; most of my paintings so far have been anime or game related characters, and look rather childish. They're things that I should have painted 15 years ago, even if those things didn't exist back then. I should be painting nature-scapes and profiles and stuff like that, or if it is fandom-related, at least look like it was drawn by a 20-something. But I'm not interested in that, at least not right now. I want to draw cute/nice things, with vibrant colors. I guess since I'm still at a beginner/intermediate level with watercoloring, that's okay for now. I want to practice more techniques though, like selective palettes and using a spray bottle. If I could, I'd watercolor all day. ^^;;

Sunday, February 01, 2009 - 6:57 pm 
Music: La nuit j'm'accroche a toi - Maco 
ID: 14  Tag: art 

-♥-


 December!! *shakes fist*



=( I haven't been here in a long time again. And now it's December. It's December and I've only posted here seven times, LJ twice, DA twice, and site updates 18 times - most of them DH-related. I've made three site layouts, but I haven't finished any of the other projects I set out to do this year, most not even getting past the first stage. This year is almost over and all I have to show for it is a handful of posts, three layouts, a bit of art, a slightly better understanding of Japanese grammar and vocabulary, and finally being all caught up on the Detective Conan series. Go me.

But that's not really what's bugging me. I never cared about legacies or leaving my mark on the world or how many people know who I am. I used to write so much back in the day. All the time, no matter if it was important or not. It was so easy to be open and share what I was thinking or doing, back then. But now.... I can't even post the slightly noteworthy things, let alone the super important or completely trivial things. Did you know that I somehow fsk'd up my knee a week and a half ago, and had to walk on crutches for four days? Or how I've been on the search for a new job, one that hopefully that won't be too stressful on my legs? How about how I've finally caught up on the Detective Conan series and how I can't wait to learn more about the upcoming 13th movie because it looks freaking awesome? Oh oh, how about how I've started watercolor painting again, and randomly decided to teach myself geometry since I never really understood it when I was in school?

No one knows any of this and more, because I can't seem to find the nerve to talk online anymore. Even to those it matters to, like forum co-workers or friends. (Sorry! No hiatus messages for you! x__x;;) And I don't know what changed. I went from being able to talk about almost anything and posting all of my latest drawings to... occasionally posting one-two sentences about the new Naruto/Conan chapter or game help and almost never posting any of my artwork. I hate it. I absolutely hate that I'm shutting myself out and creating this atmosphere that my opinion or wanting to write about something is shit and isn't worth posting. I don't care if it's worth reading/seeing or not, if I have something to say or share then I should post it. Forget the Friends list and those who only watch for the icons. If I want to rant about how much I dislike the second Naruto movie because it rips off Tales of Symphonia, then I should freaking make that post. Complete with comparing pictures! Yeah. That's what I should do.

........... I guess this is where I would write something along the lines of "Yeah! Next year I'll post like crazy! Every week! And upload every sketch and painting and sprite in progress!" And then everyone will live happily ever after, or something. But you can see the failure in this plan already, can't you? All this talk about overcoming whatever posting anxiety I have acquired, and returning to Pitas-like blogging on LJ... and yet I'm writing this here, on my Muso doodle blog, where most people fail to look. And no, there's no way I would copy+paste this to there to prove a point. The failure in my fire-up speech is terribly apparent. I would still like to post more though. This has been strangely fun. ^^;

As for the picture, it is the work in progress for my Phoenix Ozai sprite. As you can see, I have refs for his outfit as well as for how I've previously done capes and helmets. Even though I mostly use GIMP for art projects now, PSP7 is still my baby when it comes to spriting. I've already finished eleven other finale and character related sprite sets, but I want to finish all of them before I post them all. Once I finish this guy, I'll still have... three more outfit sets to make. It's kind of annoying, saving up so many for one post, but, it's also why it'll be nice. I guess I'm just strange like that.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008 - 6:21 pm 
Music: Where I Stood - Missy Higgins 
ID: 13  Tag: musings 

-♥-


 the project resumes



Decided to give this fanart project another try, and deleted all of the previous color layers. I had an idea to make it look more oil-paint-like and to try color it more "loosely" instead of locking layers/staying inside of the designated color areas and then try to figure out the color style from there. This preview is really really rough, but I kinda like it. The style isn't as stark/straightforward as the song/song beat is, but the different color palette areas might sorta fit in, and at this point I just want to get back to drawing/coloring it and stop wasting time fretting over whether it "matches" the feel of the song or not.

One thing that I will still be fretting over though is resizing the image/lineart on large canvases. I can't believe how horribly jagged the lines get. D: Even following the advice of resizing in percentages of 75%, 50%, or 25% it only minimally makes a difference, and the interpolation things don't make that much of a difference either, though the Sinc/Lanczos was the nicest one I guess. How do the artists on DA do it? Do they use thicker lines so that after resizing they won't be so thin? Maybe the more advanced paint programs have better options.. :/ I guess it wouldn't hurt to ask some of them.

Monday, October 13, 2008 - 12:58 am 
Music: Lost Cause - Beck 
ID: 12  Tag: art 

-♥-


 On a rocketship that lost control



I've always liked Turquoise & Crimson version this song by VAST, and after hearing it today I suddenly decided I wanted to try painting it. (Full picture is here.) It was a lot of fun, and a great chance to try out some of the COLOURlovers palettes I dl'ed last week. (such an addicting place! I could spend hours there and not get bored♥) I like how this picture came out, even though it's kinda on the simple side. I was thinking about adding some more stuff in the background, like other rocketships or planets, or floating spacemen, but I decided not to. Although a little galaxy to the right of the rocketship's purple tip might give the pic a little more depth. :s I guess I'll add that in later.

But anyway. I painted it on a big big canvas in GIMP which was easier than I thought it would be, but I still don't really see the benefit of drawing big and then resizing when done. I guess... the highlights on the rocketship text that make it look like an engraving looks better than it did at the original size, but everything else looks the same. Next time I'll try painting something a little more detailed and maybe then I'll better see why so many artists swear by giant canvases.

As for the Naruto/Wolf Parade fanart project, I have sketched a few more pics for the next few lyrics and changed the coloring style for the first pic, but it's quickly losing steam. =/ I'm still having trouble figuring out how the coloring should go and how to maintain that style across all the pics so it looks like they're all a part of the same group. I know the color palette should be dark but still have sorta bright highlights, but does cell-shading make it look too cartoony? Soft-shading made it look weird, using textures in the background made it look Victorian-ish (I know that's not the right term), and combining all of those isn't working either. Maybe I should just focus on drawing the lineart for the other pictures in the series, then color them all together later on when I've done more research on different art styles and have decided on something.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008 - 11:58 pm 
Music: All I Found Was You (Japanese Fantasy) - VAST 
ID: 11  Tag: art 

-♥-


 a Naruto-filled post



Soooo tired. -__- Hasn't been a very restful week, I guess. I've been practicing the Paths tool in GIMP when I've had time though, and finally feel confident enough to begin a fanart project I've had in mind for a while now. I suppose you could call it a fanart version of a lyrical icon set. The scary part is that I have 20 picture ideas lined up for the lyrics, which is an insane amount to do, but I'll be happy if I can just finish the first two since those are the only ones I've fully planned out so far. The lyrics and picture ideas are all pretty straightforward though, so I'm hoping I can try to use this to stretch my artistic ability a bit and make it look more interesting.

...This first preview pic isn't a good example of that though, but I have plans to help it out some. If I can pull off the look I'm trying for, anyway. Right now I've finished the lineart (which turned out much nicer with the Paths tool than when I tried outlining it with the pen tool), and finished coloring the tails. A while back I got this crayon/charcoal brush set and I used one of them for coloring & texturing the tails; I really like the effect it gave. The tails are supposed to look like they're drawings on a wall, but I may need to add textures to the wall background to help it look more like that.

In addition to that, I've also been working on coloring manga icons. It's definitely a lot easier to color manga in GIMP than it was in PSP7. Resizing is much nicer too; the lineart doesn't look as pixelated as it used to. ....Might be the computer I'm using, though. 13" laptops aren't very easy on the eyes when dealing with small graphics. ^^; I can't wait for my old computer to get fixed. Anyway these are the latest ones I've done:

I like how they turned out, but I can't help but notice that I'm not taking any risks with my icon-making anymore. So for the next few icons I make, I'm going to really try to change it up and make it look different or at least look more complicated than what I normally do.

Oh, and funny story. So in the recent Naruto Shippuden manga, Naruto is training with the toad sage and during a break is given the first book Jiraiya wrote to read. It's a really sweet sequence, and the shots of him reading on these giant leaves looked like a really relaxing thing to do. With all the recent rain my background is actually green, so I decided to try something similar. (xP) So I grab one of my favorite books and a sheet to lay down on the grass because tropical bugs are a nightmare (I saw three centipedes and two spiders while I was laying out there), and I don't realize it until I'm laying down, but there was a toad just sitting in the grass right next to me. It had kind of a gross-looking pattern on its back, but apparently it didn't seem to mind me or my randomly talking to it 'cause it just continued to sit there. xD I took some pictures of it, I'll post it next time. It was so funny/weird though; I've never seen a toad that close before. They have funny looking fingers, but those circle things/ears? to the side of their eyes are cool looking. (And no, it didn't seem to know any ninjutsu. ^^; )

Saturday, September 13, 2008 - 11:39 pm 
Music: BMFA - Martha Wainwright 
ID: 10  Tag: art 

-♥-


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