03 July 2011


Click Jin's bloodthirsty eyes to see the full image.
Jin is the first male I've drawn in a very long time that didn't turn out looking like a chick. Sure, I rushed this contest entry (as always) and the airbrushing sucked. But the important thing is: he looks like a dude.

The rough pencil sketch.
This was done before my Wacom Cintiq 21UX. Sketching was faster on paper than on computer, and also much less stressful on my carpel tunnel.
Line-art and base colours.
I admit I got lazy, but I was also short on time. I had less than half a day to complete this, so I cheated on the line-art. I used the pen [P] tool *cries* and didn't even do any dynamic lines. That's right, it was all 1pixel throughout. And I am not proud of it.
Primary shading: brown and black.
I started doing some quick shading using my Wacom Graphire4 4"x5". I went against the rules and started with the darkest colours first, which helped me determine the contrast of the entire image from the get-go. Typically, if I have the time, I wouldn't do it this way because it destroys the chances of me setting a good tone and atmosphere. But I had already decided on the background before I started the sketch, so this was A-O-K lol.
Roughly shade in the rest of him, then start highlights.
I typically set the paintbrush [B] to 16% opacity (and set the dynamics too of course) then put it on a layer set  on Multiply. I would lay the base colour on top of itself, which when multiplied, looks great. Then I would sample [alt on B, or I] that result and brush it over again for darker areas~ and repeat. Eraser [E] is also usually set to 16% with brush dynamics set to my liking.
The skin and the blades are shaded.
I was super cheap here on the blades. In the base colours layers' blending properties, I played around with gradient and pattern overlays. Then I did the quick shading on a Multiply layer. Remember, clipping masks are your best friend~ [right click layer, select option] And a neutral background makes it easier to see your shading or if your base colours were spilling over your line-art.
Resized and added a comic background.
I used the paintbrush [B] on 100% hardness and 100% opacity to spatter dots of random sizes all over the background layer. This sat over a layer with rendered static. Then I merged the dots and static layers, and played around with different distortion effects (such as Motion Blur and Pinch) until I got the above effect~ Use the circle crop [M] tool with a feather to clear out the middle. Values will vary depending on the size of the image, therefore it's useless for me to list what my numbers were.
Speech explosion and the back of the Dark Lord's hat head.
Using the wand [W] I clicked the centre of the background layer and selected all the white area. I had to play with different tolerance levels to achieve the right balance of black and white. Create a new layer after making the selection. Right click on the selected area and fill it with a colour on the new layer. After I did this, I also went into the layer's blending properties to set a radial gradient.
On fire!
I played around with different colours in the gradients to decide on what kind of tone I wanted the image to be. The orange reminds me of Naruto.
Cartoonish cool blue!
The blue looked almost TMNT-like o_O I'm not sure how I feel about that.
The final result.
In the end, I lowered the saturation for the background colour. Overall, I suppose this is the best I could have done in the few hours I had. In addition, I think the Dual Blade class is stupid, which does not help when it's the subject I am drawing. The link to the full size piece is the very first image of this post: click his eyes!!!
Now go eat some markers.

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