Hope your weekend was something special! I had an awesome time with my cousins Friday night with out LAN. Saturday we spent cleaning the house and getting Jan's gas braai (like a BBQ for my international friends) clean. I also started working on today's blog topic. Sunday was spent with family and finishing my little project.
Before I get started, just a little reminder to vote in the poll on how the novel should continue. I've had quite a few name ideas from some of you so far, thank you for that! Will include all the names in another poll at some point. Now, the story has it's own page now, it's under my logo and the last tab you can click, in case you haven't read it yet. The poll itself is on the right side of the page, underneath my links. Please take the time to vote!
Anyway, on to today's post. Some of you may know that I like to paint and sketch. I've actually blogged about some of my work before, so you might have seen what I can do. But today I'm going to do a step by step explanation of my latest piece of art, which is a manga drawing.
Now, if you're really just beginning, I recommend you check out these guys, who have absolutely golden tutorials and advice on how to draw manga (pronounced maan-ga). Mark Crilley's YouTube videos are incredibly helpful and are actually what got me this far. And I own a couple of books by Chris Hart, which are just as great for beginners.
Oh, and one last thing, I did this on my digital tablet and I used a couple of programs to get it done, but the most was done in Photoshop.
First of all, I plotted the basic shape and some of the initial ideas out. I used red, because I can easily distinguish between red and the black that would follow when I did the line art.
This first plotting out is done very roughly and a lot of it changed when I did the formal line art.
I flipped the image on the canvas, made a new layer and I drew in my black lines, which would become the line art.
I named this layer 'lines' and I dragged it to the top, because it has to be on top of the colouring layers for the lines to actually show.
Also, the background has to be transparent for the same reason!
Line art is literally what the name says; the art in line form. I work in different layers in case something happens which I don't like and want to get rid of. That way, all my other work so far stays protected. A lot of purists will say that's cheating, and if I did it on paper or canvas, I would have had to correct my mistakes by painting over them or with ink remover. I say, if the wheel's been invented, why walk with bricks in my shoes! The technology is there to be used! :P
On my new layer underneath the lines, I wildly coloured in her flesh tone. You see, because the lines are on another layer, I can now just as wildly erase and not lose anything. I'm a messy painter, so this is a messy process. :P
As far as the colour goes, I picked a peachy colour with the colour picker and I made it about 25% lighter and more browny.
With the lasso tool, I selected some areas for highlights and with my fill opacity on 25% and the mode set to dodge, I filled in highlights (I did make the fleshy colour slightly lighter before I did this).
I did the same with shadows, making the fill colour slightly darker and the mode was set to multiply.
Then, because the lines were too obvious where the three colours met, I put my brush on 0% hardness and about 18% opacity and, with the original colour, I softly went over the lines to blend them in. I did this until I was satisfied that there was a nice gradient.
I decided she looks like she's dancing, so I added the earphones to the lines layer, before I went back to clean up her skin layer. You can see the tones of her skin are more blended now.
Then, on yet another new layer, I filled in her hair (don't know what made me pick turquoise, but it works!) and did the exact same thing I did with her skin.
In steps six and seven, I filled in the rest of her clothes in the same manner.
I merged the layers and cleaned up before going on to the boots and socks.
As far as the stockings go, it was simple. I used one of the default custom shapes that photoshop offers, pressed it and cloned it a couple of times (merging the layers as I went), until I had like a grid of red diamonds. Then, I simply played with the warp tool to bend the diamonds as they would have bent and stretched if they were on real stockings.
I added another layer, in which I painted in the grey colour of the stockings, then put an effect from the effects gallery on the red diamonds (I think it was the cut-out one), before merging the two layers and doing the shading.
I coloured the rest of her clothes and her earphones. The necklace was actually a brush from jojo-ojoj on Deviant Art, on which I used the perspective tool to bend slightly.
Sorry, I only saved an image for this tut when the eye was already done, but I'll explain how I painted it anyway.
I drew in the white of the eyes with a soft, round brush. Then, using purples and violets, I plotted out the eye's shape. I added the black around the edges and around the top part of the eye.
Then, with the dodge tool set to around 25% and to mid-tones, I dodged :) around the bottom half of the eye, as well as above the black ring. Then I set the dodge thing-y to highlights and dodged again.
I used the burn tool next, set to mid-tones and 25% to burn the upper area of the eye.
Then, I simply softened the edges with a soft, round brush set to low opacity. I changed this up as I went along, and added some purples again when I felt the colour was getting lost.
Last, but not least, I used my round, soft brush and added some white dots as highlights.
I downloaded some music brushes, but in the end I didn't use any of them, because I couldn't find what I had in mind. So, with one of the photoshop shapes, I created a wave, which I tweaked with the warp and perspective tools until I was happy. Then, like I did with the stockings, I cloned it four times, rasterizing and merging the layers as I went.
Then came the tedious part. With my hard, round brush and eraser tool, I battled on until I got the shape I wanted to get, taking the music bar over and around her hand and arms. I should probably point out here that this music layer was now my top layer, so the lines went over everything else I'd drawn up to date. I continued to tweak, erase and re-draw, until I was happy.
The dots were made with the round shape tool and I held in shift while I dragged them all over. (Shift constricts the sides of the shape, which ensures that the circles will be perfectly round.) I rasterized the shape layer and joined it with the bar layer.
The treble clef (the music thing-y) is yet another photoshop shape, tweaked with the warp tool. Did you notice how I recently discovered how incredibly useful the shape tool can be? (:
I added a layer at the bottom of my layer pile (which was now at about 12) and painted in the grey with a very large, very soft brush. The opacity was quite low as well, so I got the gradient effect I wanted.
Then, to get the colours to bleed into one another even more, I applied a very high level gaussian blur to this layer.
This is the last step. I made a layer where I used the scratch-out brushes from Obsidian Dawn in different greys to create the background texture, just above the gradient layer.
Then I signed my name on the lines layer and I was done!
This is the finished art and some detail images :
I hope you liked this post. This isn't something I've done before on the blog, and it isn't my usual style of drawing either. I mean, I've been trying to learn how to do this manga thing for a while now and I've never quite mastered it. I'll keep trying though, because I really like it! It's not quite a craft tutorial, but it'll have to do in the craft section this month. :P Let me know if you want to see more, maybe I'll do this kind of thing more often.
Anyway, stay beautiful and be kind to animals,