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July 13, 2012

Art style restoration: Toshiaki

Date drawn: August 2012

This was done for an art trade.

What do I like about this that I would continue using in my art?

  • I made special note of this picture because I like the use of textures and ornamentation. The textures are a nice cherry on top. It's a subtle paper-like texture that helps give the artwork a little more oomph. This picture was a good reminder that I should use more textures in my art.

  • I like the Japanese ornamentation influence. The clouds are represented by thick horizontal bands. I also like the subtle floral patterns on his robes- the white-on-white doesn't stand out much, but it still glistens. 

  • I like the fern-like plants and the fact that they're all slightly different in color and brightness so they don't compete with each other. I like that the design is more ornamental than realistic.

  • I like the colors used for the giant flowers. Minimal shading with shifting gradients and a texture overlaid on top. The whites are mostly represented by pink hues, and in the shadow they turn blue-purple. I also like the green and blue used for the leaves. 

  • Subtle use of stock images. Probably some Photoshop brushes I downloaded back in the day. I would love to make my own ornamentation graphics that I can use whenever needed.

What didn't work and how would I have done things differently?

  • I used a letterbox effect, but I wish some objects had popped out of the frame.

  • Not a fan of the yellow/green shading on his skin and clothing. I would have given his skin more of a pinkish hue, especially for the darker shaded areas.

  • OMG. Did I forget to color in one of those flowers/leaves? The one by his leg is neon green. I didn't know about Fill Layer back then I guess.

  • The setting is vague so I'm guessing it was improvised. I want to improvise the things I'm confident in (colors, texture), but plan for things I struggle with, like composition.

Art style restoration: Kan-nah


Art reflection: Kan-nah

Date drawn: August 2012

What do I like about this that I would continue using in my art?

  • A cutesy kawaii art style
  • Very thin lineart and soft feeling
  • The coloring style in general is fairly minimal. Mostly flat colors with soft gradients where needed, and the occasional hard shading used sparingly
  • Soft pastel colors that bleed together. Lots of light blue and pink
  • Hair is light blue but the glow of her skin makes her bangs glow pink. I definitely used the pin light filter when fine-tuning at the very end. I can tell because the lineart in that area is pink.
  • This was during my blurry eyes phase. Honestly, I still love the look. It’s not everybody’s taste, but it’s certainly mine. I love the soft ethereal effect.
  • There is a vertical letterbox effect, with some objects extending past the borders to give it a more 3-dimensional effect.

What didn’t work, and how would I have done things differently?

  • I remember struggling a lot with the backdrop. Eventually I settled for an aesthetic that I’d seen on Pixiv, inspired by the artist Suou. Flat organic patterns with a fringe effect. If I did this again, I would give the plant backdrop more definition.
  • I would give more emphasis to the dango motif with soft round shapes repeated throughout. Soft round shapes are a visual symbol for soft and cute.

June 1, 2012

Finding my art style: 2012

 This is where my coloring style perfected. I was on a roll in 2012. My style has changed a lot since then, and some characteristics have been lost over time. I made a list of the style choices I would like to keep / bring back.

  • Notable characteristics

    • I personally think this is where my art style peaked

    • Perfected the art of soft, ethereal coloring

    • Glowy special effects

    • Floral and other ornamental patterns

  • Drawing

    • Thin linework

  • Color and shading

    • Pastel colors

    • Small accents of more saturated color

    • Shading is crisp and rich with color, but also subtle and soft

    • Narrow range of values for shading

    • Less important details blur together

    • Soft, glowy coloring

    • High contrast shading used sparingly

    • Bleeding glow

  • Face

    • Cutesy art style

    • Minimal shading

    • Rich yellow tint for the skin

  • Eyes

    • Blurry eyes

    • Emphasis on the eyes

  • Hair

    • Narrow range of values

    • Bleeding glow

    • Soft, subtle shading

    • Minimal highlights