It's been far far too long since the last time I've posted any of my art onto this blog. Shit I don't even update as much as I would like anymore. Spring has finally come (supposedly, although it did snow last week) so I cut up even more of free recreational time for working out. Before it used to be goto school -> go home and study -> Talk to friends through skype and play games together -> draw out my own non-school related art. So to fit in blogging I would I have to cut down on my studying hours or my gaming time with my friends. But now that spring has come and I feel a huge need to workout, I've decided to stop playing games so regularly and use that time to either draw/blog and use the leftover hours of the night to go out running. And with that I've made some nice strides in my artwork =).
Tech pen and washed ink with brush
During the past few weeks I have made the gradual transition from the usual tech pen inking I do to the authentic doujinshi style with a quill pen/nib pen/dip pen lol I'll just call it the nib pen. It has made a huge difference in the way my lines behaved. Absolutely huge. I couldn't figure out why with all the effort I put into my drawings they never looked the same as a doujinshi. Heck even the lowest quality doujinshi out there had that "look" that separated itself from an American comic as a Japanese Doujinshi. The difference was simply the tools used, well the art style too, but the tools were the key things I was missing.
First 4-koma doujinshi, done with tech pen and ink wash
Didn't know how to end it so I gave it an abrupt one haha...
I couldn't figure it out until I finally took it upon myself to draw out a simple 4-koma (4 panel) doujinshi. It was my first one but by now I had all the techniques I needed to properly create one. No matter how I would thicken the lines and variate them I could not achieve the same Japanese looking quality I wanted. I mean it looked great when it was all finished, scanning it made the ink tones really transparent but in person it looked like a passable comic.
First two panels Tech pen and ink wash only, 3rd & 4th are with quill pen
Here I used a quill pen for the first time, along with following a more accurate Japanese 4-koma format since the first attempt had some really weird measurements. Well I've used quill pens in the past before but the ones my teacher handed me were some god awful quality ones. To be honest I didn't really understand the concept of "nib" pens because I simply didn't understand what a nib was lol. It wasn't until I read a label saying it was a "quill" pen that I realized how I was supposed to use it. Unfortunately I didn't have beginner's luck with it. As you can see in the last two panels where it was used I had a really hard time controlling the lines and adjusting to the quill pen itself after using a tech pen for so long. In the 3rd panel I found out how careful I needed to be the hard way, so that would explain the huge blotch of ink spilling out on the top of the panel.
Quill pen only after a few days of practice
I had to do quite a bit of practice to get the pen under control. I'm glad I spotted the difference between tech pens and quill pens right from my 2nd attempt at 4-koma. It was discouraging to mess up so much, but I recognized how the lines behaved so well. With a tech pen you will always have the same thickness and quality in the line. It makes your drawing look very neat, but it will also make it look very lifeless, very inorganic. With a quill pen the lines can have slight variations in thickness without me having to even try.
One of my practice drawings
As I practiced more and more, the quality of the lines just got better and better. This one here is one of my best examples from my sketches. If I had inked it in with just a tech pen it would look so plain, blocky, and lifeless. With a quill pen I think I've gotten a whole lot closer to achieving the quality of art I've been looking for since the day I told myself that I wanted to create a book of doujinshi 6 years ago.
... I just wish I had done this all sooner... The main reason why I had not attempted to continually make doujinshi is 1. My art sucked and 2. I didn't know how to properly make a doujinshi. I've only started now because I was becoming desperate. I honestly don't have much time left to draw so freely... I really need to make this year and next year count. If I can sell just one book at a booth at AnimeBoston then I will have achieved one of my life goals.
Greyscale on left, Black only on Right
So now I'm more equipped than I ever was to draw doujinshi. I've been crunching out art a lot more casually now with less effort, so the aspect of diving into the world of doujinshi isn't as scary as it used to be back in high school. This one here is an unfinished one. I accidentally kicked my sketchbook (I don't know how..) and a piece of the page got torn, funny it doesn't show up on the scan =_=. But here its showcasing some of my next big hurdles in drawing. First of all, there's not enough content, so I need to get used to drawing smaller and fill in the panel with richer content. Second, is the ink washing I've been doing in place of toners. I hated using toners, but toners seriously give a huge boost making your doujinshi look an authentic Japanese one. Even when I was doing K-ON fanart I made it with toners and god, it looked like a page out of a manga. I'm pretty sure there's an example of one of my original works with toners. The art sucked but it looked good just because I used toners.
Technically I could use a computer to do toners digitally, but I just don't have access to that =P. I'm quite sure a lot of doujins apply toners manually. Maybe there's a trick to it... Because shit it wasn't fun spending 3 hours painstakingly cutting and pasting toners on finished inked panels. I kept accidentally cutting into the paper as well, it didn't show up on the scan but it noticeable in person.
Well this is good progress. 4-Komas are nice and simple, great for drawing out slice of life genre doujinshi. Hopefully this will develop into a daily habit.