My latest work. I’m most happy with this one. Have you ever wondered how they paint images in eroge or box art? I might be able to provide you with some insight. For the first time, I’ve documented my progress in video format and uploaded it to youtube. More after the jump!
After my paint of Melody, I would have to say that I was not happy with the result. It looked okay, I guess, but it lacked the sharpness and clarity of today’s modern anime. As my wife had put it, my skills were “old-school”.
I mean, check it out, this is Melody that I painted last time:
This is something that I did in 1993 in color pencil:
You might have noticed that they kinda look the same. There are some improvements in technique, sure, but generally it’s not a whole lot. So I decided I need to update my paint style. I noticed some key differences and made sure to pay attention to those differences when I started my new painting.
So here’s the sketch that I did. Since I wanted to paint something different, I decided to draw something a little different to go with it:
Right from the getgo, you’ll notice that I am trying to put more attention to detail in just the sketch itself. Though the sketch is still rough, you can already see the final results forming. My sketches are generally really rough, so this one is a bit of an improvement. Being rough has its advantages of looser definition and freedom, but that’s a double edged sword, as then there’s ambiguity. Trying to define shapes properly in the final line-art tends to make the line-art more stiff. In other words, being more restrictive in the rough will actually help improve the final line art.
There are two things I picked up from my observations of the more modern-day anime style. Firstly is line weight and quality. It seems that thick lines are out. Thin lines produce a much sharper image. It doesn’t fight with the colors to define shapes.
Secondly is shading. My previous method involved lots of gradiants transitioning from dark to light. This was great in defining depth and roundness, but it also made the anime subject look rather unnatural. These days, hard edges are used. Though more modern anime tends to do away with that, and use Superflat coloring.
I found that creating a shadow guide is helpful in painting in the shadows. Drawing those shadows in during the paint process is inaccurate, and leads to undefined results. You’ll notice that a lot more time has been spent in the pre-paint aspects now.
I didn’t think to record me painting this image until after the drawing was completed, so alas, you’ll have to wait until next time for me to record a drawing. So from here, instead of still images, I’ve created a video recording time lapse of the painting process. The painting took roughly 6 hours to do, and this has been compressed into a more digestable chunk. I’m sure you won’t have the patience to sit through 6 hours of me painting.
Since I was at it, I decided to create a black dress version too.
Which one do you prefer?