Lol.... the most fun thing I can find to do now is just trying to improve on my artistic skills. Good thing its a productive activity.
I remember when I was 8 years old. Man I was obsessed with doodling, I would draw over any piece of paper I could put my little hands on. I don't know why I did it, but I doodled away and naturally I began to like a certain way of drawing. Which ended up being Anime characters =P. I'm so glad that I kept almost ALL of my old anime drawings since 7th grade. I still have first sketch, my first attempt at drawing someone, which looks god awful now but I was so proud of it when I was a little boy.... What's really interesting is looking how a person's skill and technique become better and better as they get older. Each one of my sketchbooks represented one year of drawing (until my junior year when I doodled through sketchbooks like nothin). Each year I noticed that I would improve in certain areas where I was weakest because I hated lookin at how ugly my drawings would be. And each year after that I would notice new things about my old artwork from last year that needed improvement that I had not noticed the year I drew it. Pretty neat stuff...
So I did some research and it turns out that your brain subconsciously goes through your thoughts when you sleep and basically sits there and ponders over it so that when you wake up you'll have a better grasp/understanding of it. So that means when I draw a picture in one year, I may not be able to pick out its flaws until I have another year of experience in art. That's probably why we have Professors rushing us to steamroll through books with their guidance... Learning to improve my art alone will obviously mean that I'll be practicing for years and years before I can get on the same level as the mangakas themselves.
Well I finally went out to buy some new pens and a nice big drawing pad to work with. With all the ingredients for a page of manga-styled drawing I got to work and came up with the pic above. Things really come to life when you ink it in and use some toners. Looking back on pencil sketches were nice but nothing can beat a fully done job. I'm just really surprised at how clean it looks when its scanned because when I was puttin in the toners I didn't use the right kind of knife... so the whole thing looks REALLY butchered up when you look at it up close IRL. But yeah.. it was a fun thing to make, its a nice representation of my break from WoW, Kruloc is the name of my character.
Theres definitely a lot I need to work on though.. One of the biggest things that separates authentic looking manga and mediocre doujinshi is the consistency of the line quality. Like the lines can be thick and ugly but as long as its consistent, it really looks like an authentic piece of manga. Here my lines are shaky and they're in different sizes. Probably due to my inexperience with inking =(. I'll just stick to one pen size for now and let the toners do the rest.
Tried to scan it in black and white like Connie said but it didn't work =(
So I figured that I needed to practice inking a lot more. It turns out that one of the biggest causes of a bad ink job is "lack of confidence" lol. I was too scared of screwin up so the pic with the toners and everything looked unnatural. Here I did a quick and harmless sketch and inked in a little bit without stressing over anything and they looked a lot better. Buuuut I still got to work on getting the right body proportions down. Deep down in my mind I can tell that something is really off proportion-wise, therefore making the whole character look freaky... its just that I can't pinpoint what it is because I haven't practiced enough =_=
I'm going to have to search up some kind of Manga-related art program to help me do this stuff because toners get used up quick and they can get expensive. Having a tablet and knowing how to use all those complex programs will probably cut down the time to make a page in half. Toning and inking things can take up a whole day of work =P.
If I drew more every week during high school I'd probably be a lot better now. But nope... late nights and video games were a real cock-block there...Well letsee... work on inking and bodies. If I keep practicing heavily and not screwing around maybe I might be somewhat decent by the time I'm 22 or something. Bleh who knows...