Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Fun with Watercolor and Ink

Hey guys! This week, my sister and I decided to do a little experiment with watercolors. After watching the new DBZ movie, I've been looking at a lot of artwork from the series and I'm always impressed with the traditional old animation cels. When I was in Japan, I visited the International Museum of Manga in Kyoto and picked up a few new art supplies that we've been wanting to try out. So I figured a watercolor and ink version of Gohan's Super Saiyan 2 transformation would be a fun project.

I don't delve into traditional art very often (I like being able to ctrl + z!), so this was a pretty unusual experience for me. So my sister brought out her old watercolor set and we both got to painting (you can see her results over on her blog). The white watercolor tube was all dried up so we had to substitute in some acrylic... which was kinda weird but still worked well enough for color mixing.

First I drew out a sketch. I normally do this on a layer underneath the drawing in Photoshop, but since I didn't want a mess to erase, I did a practice doodle on a separate piece of paper. From there I did the line art in pencil on the full sheet of paper.

The watercolor process itself was pretty slow and tedious. I don't know how people manage to mix their colors consistently for an entire painting! I felt like it was really hard to repeat the same color again once my brush dried up. But it was an interesting process and I was pretty happy with the results.

After letting the watercolors dry overnight, it was time for the inking! This was my first time ever using a manga pen and inkwell, so it was definitely a learning process. I found a great guide that walked me through the process. I would have never thought to clean the nib off with rubbing alcohol before starting, so it was good that I did some research first!

Even with the guide, the inking was a bit unexpected. I never knew if I had the right amount of ink on my nib and sometimes the lines would get a bit scratchy (could have been from my low quality paper!). But when it started flowing smoothly, I really loved the pen! I was able to get some really fine lines that are nearly impossible with a regular ballpoint pen.

Without the crutch of an undo button I was constantly afraid I was going to mess something up. I managed to avoid any big mistakes for almost the entire process until I was nearly at the very end... and disaster struck! I must not have wiped enough ink off my pen because a huge gob dripped down right onto Gohan's forehead. Luckily it was close enough to the blood spot that I could kind of make it look like it belonged, but I was pretty bummed out when it happened.

Lastly, I filled in the word bubbles with his dialogue from the Japanese manga. It says "mou yurusanai so omaetachi" which translates roughly as "I will not forgive you." I thought it sounded a bit cooler than the English Viz translation (plus I wanted to practice writing Japanese kana) so I went with the original.

And that is the finished version. I feel like digitized images of traditional art usually don't do them justice, but my new camera captured it pretty nicely. Overall, this was a really fun project (and it counts towards my New Year's resolution of more personal art projects!). Hope you enjoyed seeing the process behind it. Until next time... Adios!

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