Industrious Illustrating #29 – Early Drafts

Welcome back to another week of Industrious Illustrating! First off, I’m happy to share that my drawing of Tappan Hall on the upper right of this picture was on display at the art-themed UMix last friday in the Michigan Union. I’m planning on making more illustrations of UMich campus locales in the future in the same style!

Additionally, I’ve been making sketches and drafts for some new sprites that’ll be used in “Flamechaser” when the prologue and additional scenes are added into the game. I also sketched out a new UI design idea (larger sprites) for the game, which will be implemented in the upcoming 0.6 build of the game. Quick concept ideation like this is helpful for getting feedback from other people on the project and figuring out what I want to do with the final drawing before I commit too hard to developing the concept further.

Let me know in the comments if there’s any topics you want me to discuss or expand upon for future Industrious Illustrating posts!

Industrious Illustrating #28 – Character Concept Sketching 2

Truth be told, I’ve been having a hard time maintaining a regular regimen of drawing at least partially because I feel like I’m clocking in to a day of grueling work every time I sit down to draw. It’s a feeling I have to continuously deal with if I want to continue developing and monetizing my art as an illustrator, but I haven’t found a good remedy aside from drawing self-indulgently and not worrying too much about what the final drawing looks like. As a result, this week I have more quick character concept sketching to share.

The above character, Wenet Tozawa, is another character in “Blade of Seafoam”‘s post-apocalyptic world. I still need to develop her backstory more and draw out her full design, but here’s the character description I currently have written down for her:

“A traveling medic known for her ability to regenerate the sick and injured almost to the point of giving them new life. She’s apparently close friends with Rashida, though the history of their relationship is unclear to outsiders.”

I’m planning on developing and showing off more character designs from “Blade of Seafoam” soon, so look forward to that if you’re interested in seeing my character designs!

Industrious Illustrating #26 – Character Concept Sketching

While I’ve been trying to get back into a regular artistic workflow by working on more sprites and illustrations for “Flamechaser”, I also feel like I could benefit from exploring new ideas more. Because of that, I found some time this week to sketch out a character design for an original character I’m going to call Rashida Kuromiya. She’s a cybernetically enhanced freedom fighter who dons a helmet shaped like a canine’s head in battle.

While I haven’t gotten around to fleshing out a full backstory for Rashida, I enjoyed drawing her and I want to draw her more in the future. Eventually I want to implement her into a story idea I’m working on called “Blade of Seafoam” that follows an amnesiac super-soldier who’s traveling across a post-apocalyptic archipelago to find clues about his past. I’m not sure yet whether I want to make this idea into a comic or a visual novel, so I may have to adjust the character designs based on whether I’m drawing them just a few times to make sprites and illustrations, or a hundred times for each panel they appear in. I’m working on character turn-arounds for Blade of Seafoam for my ARTDES 220 iterative projects, so I’m looking forward to being able to share them with everyone once I’m done with them.

In other news, I recently sent applications to several conventions happening this year hoping that I’ll be able to get into at least one or two Artist Alleys. I really enjoyed my experiences at Con Ja Nai, Anime Park, and Youmacon, and I’m hoping to make more good memories and sales at future conventions!

Industrious Illustrating #24 – A New Year

Happy 2023, and welcome back to another semester of Industrious Illustrating! While I’ve been busy with a lot of things these past few weeks that hit me one after the other, I did at least find the time to cobble together a 2022 art summary showing off some of my favorite works from last year by month. In 2023 I’m hoping to further strengthen and diversify my illustrative skills, while also putting more work into projects such as “Flamechaser” and tabling at more conventions.

In terms of what I’ve been drawing lately, I’ve been trying to get back into the flow of freely sketching, as I haven’t been working in my sketchbook as much as I used to. Here’s a few sketches I made recently from life and from photographs I took in Portugal:

See all of you again next week, hopefully when I have more to show for artistic output!

Industrious Illustrating #21 – Two-Tailed

Hello again, and welcome back! When I was abroad vacationing in Spain and Portugal over Thanksgiving break, I saw a lot of interesting art and architecture, but one particular image I saw depicted on tiles particularly stood out to me (warning for some partial nudity): 

After seeing the twin-tailed mermaid, I immediately had the idea of making a drawing where her tails more closely resemble legs. This is what came out of it:

I’m swamped with final projects and assignments at the moment, so I didn’t have the time to push this further than a black-and-white sketch, but I hope to develop this piece and this concept further in the future to make something interesting out of it. Good luck with the last few weeks of this semester, everyone, and see you again next week!

Industrious Illustrating #19 – Material Explorations

Welcome back to another week of Industrious Illustrating! This week I’m returning to discussing schoolwork and the creative process, as I’ve done for previous Industrious Illustrating columns.

For ARTDES 270: Visualizing and Depicting, we’ve been working on an assignment to create a short childrens’ board book about a letter of the alphabet. I ended up writing a book about mythological animals whose names start with the letter K. I made character designs and sketches in a mixture of watercolor and ink.

Before I made the final illustrations, I explored a few different approaches and mediums to figure out which one I liked best.

I tried gouache and colored pencil,

ink and collage, and digital painting.

In the end, I still ended up returning to using watercolors for the book project, but I now had a better idea of what I wanted to do with the character designs, compositions, and techniques in my final illustrations.

Next Friday I will post the finished layouts of my childrens’ book to compare between the conceptual process and the result. I hope everyone has a great and restful Thanksgiving break with the friends or family of their choice!