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    JaNanamation is a shared art blog between cousins Janielyn and Christina! While both have varying tastes in art, they share a keen interest in the world of animation.
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2016 Redraw

It’s about that time for one of my art redraws!

tuxedoash

…Okay, this one’s a little embarrassing to share. I was looking for an older sketchbook that still had some blank pages in it (because I can’t bring myself to use any of the newer blank sketchbooks I have) and found a bunch of really old drawings. Pokemon, Sailor Moon, Dragonball Z, Powerpuff Girls, Neopets…a pretty good representation of what I was interested in as a kid/preteen. I did quite a few crossover drawings, like this “Tuxedo Ash” (which, BTW, I’m pretty certain is not an original idea of mine).

I also drew comics back then, but let’s not talk about those! >\\\\<

SO. This drawing. 15 years (!!) has sure made a difference, especially with proportion and composition. I’m still struggling with color and backgrounds….and I still have no idea how capes (fabric in general, for that matter) work.

2016 was another slow drawing year for me, apart from Tam Team Adventures. Oh well. Just gotta keep doing what I can 🙂

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Yearly Redraw

poirot

2015 was kind of a lousy art year for me, but I managed to revisit another old piece of art, which has become something of an annual tradition of mine.

So here is David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s famous Belgian detective. I’ve just recently watched a number of episodes from the series Poirot (actually I blew through 50+ episodes in a little more than a month haha) and I am really impressed with Suchet’s portrayal of my favorite literary detective 🙂 Interestingly, I drew the first picture before ever actually watching the series.

The second painting is significantly more accurate, mainly because I used a grid system to map out the landmarks of the image instead of relying solely on my own estimation. I think the shading is a bit more effective in giving a sense of space and dimension, and I like that the edges are much more clearly defined. In the first painting, I sort of blurred the edges with a fancy texture brush; at the time I thought it added a bit of flair to the image, but I realize now that it was just a way to distract from my deficient skills 😉 Just a bit of the smoke and mirrors, n’est-ce pas?

I’m starting 2016 the same way I start every year–with the intent to draw more. I think maybe this time I should focus on getting better at one thing instead of trying to get better at everything all at the same time. If you would like to suggest something for me to improve in, I’m all ears 🙂

Inktober Reflections + Onward to November!

inktober2015_reflection

Well, here we are at the end of this year’s Inktober and I somehow managed to create 30 comic pages (31 if you count the cover) to post every day of the month! It was fun and hectic; there were days when I’d draw 3 or 4 pages and others when I was very tempted to give up. The last week and a half was the worst…almost every page during that time was started after 9 PM and had to be finished before midnight. Now that the month is over maybe I can get to bed earlier XD

It’s been a while since I’ve really done anything with traditional media, and I’m not too experienced with using ink, so I learned a few things over the course of the month:

Paper is important! I didn’t go out and buy paper specifically for wet media, simply because I have so much unused drawing/sketching paper (I’m not supposed to buy any more sketchbooks until I finish what I have…but sometimes I do anyway haha). For this comic I used pages out of the Maruman New Soho Sketchbook I bought years ago; the front cover claims that the paper is suitable for water color, so I figured that it would work with an ink wash (it’s just watered down ink, right?). It didn’t. The pages curled with the smallest application of water. So! Next time I need to either get paper that can better handle water, or use some other method for shading (like lighter toned ink pens?).

Planning helps a lot. I decided to take on this comic project sometime in the middle of September. Around then, I started drawing thumbnails of comic pages; I did about 15 of them by the start of October. At that point I started right into drawing the actual comic pages so that I could start posting. Drawing those first pages were a breeze; I found myself drawing several pages ahead of schedule, which afforded me a bit of breathing room (keep in mind I still had real life responsibilities to deal with). However, when I finished drawing the pages that I had done thumbnails for, progress slowed significantly. Before drawing each page I had to stop and think about what was going to happen next, how I should compose the page, what the characters should say, etc…and that gets tedious. Eventually my buffer ran out and I was scrambling every night to get a page finished.

Simple is good. In the past, I’ve always thought that the panels of a comic page needed to be arranged in an “interesting” way and that no two pages should have the same panel arrangement. This sort of thinking slowed my process a lot. For the sake of speed I decided to simplify the way I drew the panels, using very basic arrangements. I came to realize that simple just works so much better overall. The purpose of a comic is to tell a story, so panels should be as easy as possible to follow along; over complicating the page just makes it confusing. Actually, I went back and looked at some of the webcomics I read and found that they use simple panel arrangements as well, which shows how much more effective it is to convey the story.

Drawing traditionally is faster. I know that there are people that can digitally draw and paint crazy fast, but for me, using traditional media is logistically faster. I think it’s because when I draw digitally, I’m confined to the small space of my tablet, and for large images that makes me especially slow. I have to zoom in and draw part of a line, then move the canvas to draw the next part of the line, and so on. With traditional media, I’m only limited to the size of the drawing itself. I can use my whole arm to draw longer lines, so I was able to finish certain parts of the drawing more quickly.

There are more things I took away from this experience, including things I didn’t particularly like, such as not being able to undo mistakes, accidentally smudging my pencil sketch (I’m a lefty), and almost ripping the paper while erasing my pencil sketch. But all-in-all, I enjoyed myself and would gladly do it again in the future!

You can read the comic from the beginning here. I know it ends kind of abruptly, but I really didn’t want to drag it out past the end of the month. Right now it reads like a prologue to a much longer story, the rest of which I might eventually draw.

Until then, The Adventures of Princess Talia is being put on the back burner because November is another marathon month: NaNoWriMo! Except instead of writing a novel, I’ll be writing a text adventure! It’ll be interactive, so I’ll share it once it reaches a point where it’s playable. GET EXCITED!

Oh, and Tam Team Adventures will resume on November 13. I’m taking a week off to reacquaint myself with digital art LOL XD

End of the Year

Whenever I’m in a slump I like to take old art that I’ve done and redraw it, because it helps me see how far I’ve come as an artist! There’s quite a long gap in time between these versions so the difference is pretty dramatic. It’s probably more practical to redraw something more recent, but to be honest, I didn’t draw very much (esp. original work) from about 2007 to 2012.

I was very pleased with the original picture when I drew it back in 2006, so much so that I printed it out and used it as my binder cover so that everyone could see it. There are still a few things about the original that I like, such as the clean lineart (I’m pretty sure I used the Pen Tool in Photoshop though) and the shape of the hands. I can’t say that I’m as pleased about the redraw, even though the girl is more proportionally correct and there is a better range of values…so it makes me think that making art that you are happy with doesn’t necessarily come from having good technical skills.

The girl, by the way, is a character from an old comic I used to draw called project Helix. But that’s a story for another time 😉

On Art Improvement

Every so often I like to take an old art piece and redraw it. One of the hardest things about being a creative person is having an idea of what we want our work to look like, but being unable to actually match our work to our vision. It’s almost an unattainable goal — we work and work on our craft, yet that artistic ideal always seems to just escape our reach. It feels like we can’t get any closer, no matter how far we stretch forward to reach it.

That’s why it’s helpful to look back once in a while — even though it seems like we haven’t moved closer to our goal, we’ve still come a long way. It takes a lot of work and everyone moves at a different pace, but as long as we don’t give up, we’re still moving forward!

I’m not even remotely close to the artist I want to be, but I’ve definitely noticed some growth, especially over the course of working on FlowerPower. I learned a lot from being out of my drawing comfort zone, and I hope to continue trying new things so that I can develop my art skills further. The road to improvement is certainly long, but the journey, so long as you recognize that it is a journey, is most enjoyable.

Keep drawing/writing/being creative!

(You can click on my images to get the blank version of the meme so that you can do it yourself!)

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