Monday, March 9, 2009

Sugoi! to Absolved

On Saturday morning, Microsoft takes Japan was mostly finished. The only thing left to paint was the character. Nevertheless, for some reason I felt the picture was looking too clean, too dull. Looking at the city, things looked peaceful. I realized that I wanted a higher degree of chaos. Wasn't there supposed to be a battle taking place?

Looking back at my concept sketches, there were originally smoke clouds rising from Tokyo. I thought adding about adding a cutout graphite sketch of smoke clouds into the painting. Mixed media dude! Like high school! Then I thought about a different, but equally mixed media approach.

Over the last three years, I've dropped screen tone into page after black-and-white page of Peach Fuzz. For some time now, I've wanted to use screen tone in my paintings, but it never felt appropriate. Graphically, screen tone, with its small sharp dots, is one of those trademark aspects of manga that just doesn't seem to have a place in paintings. Would it clash? Would it look to garish? It wanted to know.

At first, the toned clouds did look awful. The dots were too small and too loud. I reapplied the tone and as the dots became bigger, the image started to work. I ran a Gaussian blur to reduce the harsh edge on the dots, and -WAMMO- I was getting somewhere. Then I applied the sketch clouds over top of the dot tones to supplement them. After a wash of green-yellow and red, I was satisfied.

I think I'll be using tone like this more often.

On the character, I tried cel art for the face and hair. Like I imagined, the juxtaposition was striking, but it went too far. The flat art face became a jarring focal point. It was hard to see the rest of the picture past the cel art head. After several reworks, I decided to lightly paint the face, and draw lines around the contours of the hair. I think it still makes the point, she looks intentionally cartoony without overpowering the rest of the picture.

So now what? Image spamfest to all the CG galleries online. I hope that it gets a good reception.

And now, for something completely different.

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