Welcome to Sketch Round-Up! This will be a place for a couple of artists to trade ideas and share them with anyone who might find that interesting.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fun With Copics

I have Copic markers.  And for the longest time, they've been sitting on a shelf of my computer desk.  I've sat and watched all kinds of tutorials on how to use them, and kept telling myself "Yeah, I'm going to use these soon!"  And then I do lots of...nothing.

I guess I figure they look too pretty to use.  Or something.  I think I've always done that in some way or another, buying nifty art supplies because they're popular and then I just sit them aside because some silly notion inside me believes I'll get proficient through osmosis.  But that's not how it works, however much I'd like to believe it.

So I went through my collection and picked out the colors most people use for flesh, chose some random colors for hair, eyes and lips, and simply started playing.  Now, normally Prismacolor pencils have been my medium of choice for just about everything, so this marker business is a whole new ball of wax.  Makes me wonder why I invested in Copics.  Maybe I'll blame it on The Marker [see first blog entry ever].


Copics have a learning curve.  Blending color is a process that I won't necessarily call slow, but it is methodical.  The process is much like watercolors, working from light to dark.  Type of paper makes a big difference in how the colors blend.  I was using Strathmore Bristol 100 lb. smooth for the image I was working on, as shown below:

The hair was done with a 'feathering' technique using the brush end of a Copic Sketch marker.  And before I continue, here's a brief rundown on a Copic Sketch marker and what the big deal is.  A Copic Sketch is a double-ended marker with a brush tip on one end and a marker-style chisel end on the other.

[photo taken from McCallister's Art Supplies]

The brush tip is the end used for most detailing for obvious reasons.  The feathering technique involves taking the brush tip and touching it to the paper, lifting up as the stroke is made.  The video capture below shows some examples of how the end result will look:

[Full video can be found on YouTube]

The finer strokes are what I used for the hair.  I first applied a light base color for the highlights and built up the details gradually, using The Marker and the base color back and forth.  Re-infusing The Marker with fresh ink made for the darker accents.  I think the hair was mostly successful, but laying down smooth flesh tones was another matter entirely.  The flaws were much more evident when I scanned the image at 300 dpi.  But I'm confident these problems will be worked out with practice.

Colors used in the drawing were as follows:

HAIR - E33 [Sand], E37 [Sepia - specifically The Marker That Will Not Die]
SKIN - E000 [Pale Fruit Pink], E00 [Skin White], E11 [Bareley Beige], E21 [Baby Skin Pink]
EYES - BG10 [Cool Shadow], G07 [Nile Green]
LIPS - R21 [Sardonyx]
Lashes done with Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen, type "B" [brush]
Eye Highlights done with White Sakura Gelly Roll  
Stay tuned for more Copic craziness, to come soon.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Slackeroonies...! Well, not entirely...

Okay, so my last post was in March...that does qualify for slacking.  However, I'm pleased to note that I was actively engaged in an art project recently, as in end-of-June recent.  I was asked to create a design for the cover of a program booklet for an anime-oriented con.  A request was made to give it a Leji Matsumoto look and feel.  In case you don't know who that fellow is, he's the creator of several popular anime stories, among them being Galaxy Express 999 and Captain Harlock.  An example of his work is below:

In a nutshell, he's an epic space opera kind of fellow.  So I thought up a basic concept of a pilot, his computer AI which takes on the form of a woman, and the unusual ship he flies, which is called the Space Bird.  My initial rough pencil came out like this:

Expanding on the idea required me to do some research on Mr. Matsumoto's style to get the appropriate 'look and feel' for the image.  The Pilot, the girl and the bird were each rendered as separate black and white line art images.  These images were then scanned, sized, retouched and colored.  The girl required several layers for the many aspects of her costume, which is kind of funny since she appears semi-transparent in the final image and some of the detail is lost as a result. But it turned out well and the reaction was very positive.  For those of you who are curious, here it is:

Needless to say, there's a long series of steps to get from the initial pencil to the final product.  In my next entry, I'll try doing a step-by-step explanation of the five W's as I develop the image that I will post.  And I'll try not to take several months in between entries.  Promise.