On our writing group, I asked if somebody had a book that was super light and fluffy because my brain was burned out. A friend offered me his book. I started reading, and it’s basically what’s called a light novel–that is, a manga in novel form without pictures. The characters are all obviously anime characters, with anime powers, and anime tropes. It’s very light and just what I needed.
So the author mentioned that his second book has catgirls. A lot of catgirls.
I said, “What, like a harem anime?”
“No!” he replied. “The catgirls are trying to kill the heroes.”
I said, “Well … that’s not much different from a harem anime …”
For those not in the know, a harem anime is like a love triangle. Except it’s six or eight attractive women vying for the affection of one clueless guy. No idea why this hasn’t caught on in the YA book genre yet.
So I threatened to draw a harem anime poster, but do it as Destiny characters, just for laughs. Everyone dared me to do it. So I did.
I asked people to contribute their characters, and everyone cheerfully did. And now, here they are, all together in a spoof of a Love Hina poster.
Over the past few weeks, I’d been searching for an alternative to Adobe Photoshop. I tried out the demo of Clip Studio Paint, liked it, and bought it on sale. Since then, I’ve done tutorials and realized that this program can do everything. I’ll show off some of my experiments.
This was a speedpaint to try out the clothing brushes in Clip Studio Paint. The gold braid and the ruffle brushes have potential, but I need to really experiment with them.
This comic was me trying out the comic tools in Clip Studio Paint. It does panels, speech bubbles, and layout tools like you wouldn’t believe. It also has 3D posable models to use as reference, which made me insanely excited. I spend hours searching for just the right pose or angle, and now I can just slap down a model and pose it the way I want.
I’ve had to do hours of tutorials to get this far, and I have hours more ahead of me. And let me tell you, I am SUPER excited. 😀
Here’s a few artworks I’ve done in the past week or so:
This is the scattered bits of things I did over the last two weeks. The kids and I have all been sick, and it’s kind of knocked my art drive out the window. Trying to get my groove back, though. I’ve been trying out a new art program, Clip Studio. I think I like it, and it’s only 50 bucks, as opposed to whatever the heck they’re charging for Photoshop these days.
Here’s the progress on last week’s pic: a gunslinger from Destiny 2.
It took a lot of sketching to get the pose right. Then it was really fun doing the black and white, figuring out how it was going to come together. I wanted to do a lot more art, but this wound up taking all week to do.
Only one pic this week, but I worked on it all week. As you can see here, each step took a day. In the case of the shapes stage, two days.
I was practicing figure sketches, and I liked this one because it kind of tells a story. So I turned it into a full pic. I also tried doing all the shadows with the pen tool, mostly because of this tutorial:
See how the black shapes and the gray shapes in the first stage are on separate layers? And he colors on them separately? I wanted to try doing that. I’m afraid my first try was pretty tame, but I want to continue experimenting with this technique.
I’ve also been scribbling out a new fanfic. I noticed that it was getting kind of long, so I checked and realized I’ve written 30k. Pretty much just for fun. I love it when a story has that much pull. So I’m tossing it online, slowly, until I get it finished. Fortunately, the last third is in sight, so it’ll be done in a few more weeks.
A friend of mine has been dealing with her son’s suicide last year. She wrote a blog post today about how art is fun, and good for your brain–until you start trying to do it for money. Then you’ve killed your joy. She partially credits this for one of the many reasons her son killed himself. It’s worth a read, if you’re feeling society’s guilt that you’re making art and not selling it.
It’s given me a lot to think about, especially since I’m drifting that direction, myself. Where is the balance between art and business? I’m not sure, so I’ll continue to write fanfics, draw fanart, make zero money, and have all the fun.
Here’s the finished version of that comic from last week:
And then this one, which was based on a true story.
This past week was a marathon of building IKEA furniture, finding we had the wrong parts, exchanging them for the right parts, and in general having a sea of cardboard boxes and Allen wrenches everywhere. I didn’t draw as much as I wanted to, because I slept through my early morning art time every day. But hopefully, next week will be better!