22 March 2018

Copic Colors - February 2018

Last month, I heard of a cool new monthly art challenge that is right up my alley: #CopicColors!  Obviously, it involves Copic art markers but in particular, it challenges people to create/color a drawing using nothing but the three featured colors of that month.  The colors are posted on Copic's website and they sell a three-pack of those colors for a limited time each month.  I LOVE my Copic markers, so there was no way I wasn't participating once I learned of this!  I even added it to my livestreaming schedule; I now do my monthly Copic Colors drawing every third Monday of the month :D

Pencil sketch and marker test.

Since this was my first time doing the challenge, I had to decide on my personal completion rules.  Turns out, there aren't any official rules at all, just the announcement of the three colors each month.  A lot of people approach the challenge in different ways--some use NOTHING but the markers, some allow the addition of the colorless blender, some only use a couple colors, and I've even seen some people add a contrast color for effect.  Here's what I decided to use as my personal rules:
  • Black and white ink are allowed, as well as graphite and eraser for underdrawing.
  • All three colors must be used.
  • No other colors may be used.
  • Colorless blender is allowed.
And finally, most important for me:
  • Colors can be substituted as necessary.
You see, for my very first Copic Colors challenge, one of the featured colors isn't available in the Classic line of markers, which is the set I own!  There's no way I'm buying markers from a different set just to do this challenge, so I decided that I can choose the next best color from my set when a color isn't available.  (Of course, if the color is available in a Classic marker but I just don't own it, I will happily expand my collection!)

Lineart, on marker paper, made using a brush pen.

Since the colors for February were pink and brown, I decided to draw chocolate-covered strawberries :3 I even found reference images that had pink-tinted white chocolate along with the dark chocolate, so it was too perfect.  I decided to use marker paper, and that was for two reasons: 1) c'mon, marker challenge, marker paper! and 2) the paper is translucent which allows me to trace my sketch.  I used a black brush pen for the main lines.  Even though I was also allowing myself to use white ink, the sheen on the chocolate areas wasn't very strong, so I only used it on the white heart sprinkles.  I tried to use my colorless blender marker, most especially to get a nice variation of tone from the single brown marker, but it totally died midway through the project!  You can see the difference in the final piece: the left-most berry is so much more smooth and blended than the center and right.

You can watch the entire creation of this piece on YouTube!  As I mentioned earlier, I added it to my livestreaming schedule, so my Twitch stream recorded it all in real time :D

Copic Colors Challenge, February 2018, ink & marker

I think, for my very first try and considering that I had to substitute one of the three colors, my February Copic Colors drawing came out nice!  If my colorless blender had survived the project, I would be more happy with the brown application, but I made do with what I had.  It was just an extra challenging challenge, this time!

(P.S. I bought a refill and brought my blender back to life right away, lol.  Should be good to go for a long while, now!)

06 March 2018

Patreon Chibis - Mika and Ranger

In this blog post, I'm going to share a group of chibis that I recently created in January as a way to show supporters, and especially potential supporters, of my Patreon what a "chibi" actually is, since chibis are a big part of the rewards system there. I decided to draw two human chibis, one in physical media and one in digital, and two animal chibis the same way. I hope that the four chibis together will be enough to show the variety of subjects and finished looks that my supporters can choose from when they receive a chibi drawing as a reward.

Ink, marker, and colored pencil on index paper, 4x6", Completed January 2018

So this chibi is the first human, done in physical media. I used a photo of myself from a 5K race that I had run just the weekend before as reference. This drawing is pretty much all in line with the reference photo except that I changed the color of the mug I was holding (it was an awful neon green originally) and added a generous red tint to my hair and eyes. And well, of course I went really strong with the blush on the cheeks, just as I always do with chibi humans X3

View the real time creation of this piece on YouTube: youtu.be/0sRxMCSOt1s
Buy this drawing as a print or art merchandise: http://fav.me/dc4dtb8  

Ink, marker, and colored pencil on index paper, 4x6", Completed January 2018

Next is the first animal, done in physical media. I decided to draw the Studio Mikarts mascot, Ranger, a black and red (as opposed to tan) Shiba Inu. I had only ever drawn her once before and I realized that not only was she a perfect subject for this series of chibis, featuring the artist and the mascot serving as examples of Studio Mikarts, it was a great opportunity to draw her with my current level of skill. I still like the original drawing of Ranger, but this one is definitely much more well done.

View the real time creation of this piece on YouTube: youtu.be/mny-zrfUc6I
Buy this drawing as a print or art merchandise: http://fav.me/dc4gcb4

Manga Studio and Lazy Nezumi Pro, 4x6", Completed January 2018

This chibi is the second human, done in digital media. I used a reference photo of myself again but this time chose a completely different look. Instead of a sporty, post-race runner, now chibi Mika is a glamorous newlywed! Indeed, I used a photo from my wedding reception as reference for this chibi :3 My chibi dress turned out super cute, lol. I was able to use a lot of techniques here that really show what's different about what I produce in digital media.

View the real time creation of this piece on YouTube:
youtu.be/B1vspQgBQro (Part 1) youtu.be/t8NDJt185fI (Part 2)
Buy this drawing as a print or art merchandise: http://fav.me/dc4nelz

Manga Studio and Lazy Nezumi Pro, 4x6", Completed January 2018

And finally, this chibi is the second animal, done in digital media. It's the Studio Mikarts mascot again, Ranger the black and red Shiba Inu! The two previous drawings I've done of her were both stationary positions so this time I searched for a really active, dynamic reference image. I think Ranger looks even better leaping! Shows off her pretty markings. In fact, I had to decide on her fur pattern in some areas while drawing this because the other positions never showed those areas of her body. The biggest thing I gave her in that respect was the cute skunk stripe on her tail :3

View the real time creation of this piece on YouTube:
youtu.be/nWHKWd8thEc (Part 1) youtu.be/gSxe-CcFIKw (Part 2)
Buy this drawing as a print or art merchandise: http://fav.me/dc4reop

As I said at the top of this post, I created these chibis as reward examples for my Patreon supporters.  That could easily include you!  Every backer at the $5 level and above gets entered into a monthly contest for a free chibi character.  Some higher support levels include discounts on art commissions (which obviously could be used toward chibis) and the top level includes a free chibi each and every month, on top of the chance to win the monthly contest!  You can check it all out and become a member of Studio Mikarts here:  https://www.patreon.com/studiomikarts