Studies & Exercises

Progress in Procreate

I’m getting more and more comfortable in Procreate. I think it’s also thanks to a new grip I bought for my Apple Pencil, along with a silicone tip. The previous grip I had was comfortable, but I had to take it off every time I wanted to place the pencil back on my iPad Pro to charge. This new one allows me to charge while it’s on so it’s definitely more convenient. And the tip removes that slippery feeling while drawing on the glass.


Watercolor Practice: Sunflower ひまわり

On a whim, I decided to forego laundry this Saturday afternoon to practice some watercolor painting instead. As usual, I was intimidated, but I put on some music, decided on a simple reference, and just went for it. I have to say…I think watercolor is pretty neat. The way color behaves and interacts with the state of the water on the paper is fascinating. I forced myself to limit my color palette and I think this simplified approach really helped me overcome the intimidation. What I learned from this session: [1] start with the background and layer upward (I had started with the foreground), [2] next time try a lighter, more neutral, water-soluble colored pencil for the initial sketch, and [3] try using a blowdryer for faster drying between layers.

Studies & Exercises

Quick Study: Mitsubachi みつばち

I spent about an hour after work today doing a quick sketch of a honey bee. I didn’t think anything would come of it but I was proud that I saw it through and I posted it on Instagram. :)

Here’s the 30-second time lapse from Procreate:

Studies & Exercises

Ideas & Preliminary Sketches

I started playing around with character design today. I’ve never really done any of this before, and it’s been well over a year since I drew anything. To say that I’m rusty is an understatement. I figured since I have the basis of the story in place, it would be a good idea to establish character designs so that I get comfortable drawing them in comic form, which is a style I’ve never attempted before. I’ve always done still life drawings only. Always with a clear reference (photo or real object). I never realized until now how difficult it is to simplify shapes and expressions. Throughout my art classes in college, I’ve always had to learn to draw things realistically. And it wasn’t like I was an art or illustration major either, so I only took a handful of art classes. Now it’s like I’m undoing the few solid things that I’ve actually learned. It’s literally back to the drawing board!

The grip that I bought has some downsides. While it makes the Apple Pencil 2 a lot more comfortable to hold, I can no longer place it back on top of the iPad Pro to charge, and I can no longer double tap to switch between the eraser and paint modes. 😩

The tip also has a major downside. It makes the point even bigger, which is something I don’t want. And it just feels kinda weird. Ugh, I should’ve definitely thought this out more, LOL. At least it was really cheap on Amazon Japan and I got it the next day. It was about $15 for both items. I’m still definitely going to use the grip for sure though.

I’m deciding to call the manga series “The Adventures of Miyu and Maddie.” It will be kind of set in outer space, but with elements based on our real lives, and a focus on Miyu.

In the first screenshot, I left out the title because Ken made a good point and said that her sleeping quarters actually looks like a spaceship, kind of like Goku’s capsule. That wasn’t my intention, but I can see why he thought that. So the cover of the first manga book will have to change into something more generic. I wanted to incorporate elements of graphic design into the title at least, because I know I’m gonna have to go in most likely Adobe Illustrator to add the content for the speech bubbles anyway. And I also want the cover to be in color as well, just like with traditional mangas.

I’m gonna work more on Miyu’s character design throughout next week, if possible. I want to develop her space uniform, her casual earth clothes, and her spaceship pajamas. I took inspiration from Rini from Sailor Moon and this Japanese candy character named Peko-chan. Miyu always wears her hair in a low ponytail going to school so I wanted to keep that particular theme going. My goal is to make progress and post something every Sunday night. Even as I look at what I’ve done so far, the prospect of simplifying things even further into easily digestible comic strips is daunting. This will be a good exercise for me, methinks. Wish me luck!