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Adventures in Distress - Page 040Shight101Adventures in Distress - Page 039Shight145Adventures in Distress - Page 038Shight145Adventures in Distress - Page 037Shight132Adventures in Distress - Page 036Shight102Adventures in Distress - Page 035Shight182FanFiction Black Saitama Villain as a HobbyShight9112Adventures in Distress - Page 034Shight243
Our main character is a beta tester for the newest technology "Virtual dream". A VR device that takes control of our dreams. Everything seems fine until something unexpected happens... A conflict between our awake and unconscious self. Is it really possible to control the realm of our subconscious?
Preface: I want to practice storytelling and writing, so I thought it could be interesting to add a backstory to my fanarts. PS. There is my drawing at the end of the story
Original Manga Reference: Chapter 2 - Crab and Job Hunting and Chapter 5 - Itch Explosion
Saitama CRAP, WHAT AM I DOING!!? I saved the kid from the crab out of impulse. That crab looks really pissed off at the nipples drawing.
Saitama: "AHAHAH, you look just like a villain from an old anime I used to watch as a kid."
As those words left his mouth, Saitama was sent flying away, bleeding all over. But he stood up, taunting the monster.
Saitama: "There's something else I just remembered, I dreamed as a kid to become a super hero that blows away stereotypical villains like you... with one punch. I'm done with job hunting, COME AT ME, CRAB!"
In that moment of courage, he heard a voice screaming: "STOP RIGHT THERE VILLAIN! YOU'RE GOING TO FACE ME!!!" A Superhero made his appearance, a real hero. Long mantle, tight costume, big muscles, one of those stereotypical superheroes who always saves the day.
Saitama let out a sigh of relief, but he also felt a bit disappointed, he thought he was finally embracing his destiny, finding his right path.
Superhero and Crab started fighting but it was clear that justice would have won, the difference in strength was overwhelming. Yet, the hero seemed hesitant to give the final blow, he first crushed one of his opponents' eyes, then proceeded to neutralize his claws and cut his abdomen. It was a horrifying sight, blood, organs, bulbs splatting everywhere. But the Crab monster was still alive, no, more like it was left alive on purpose.
Saitama started puking. When Saitama saw the smile of excitement in the stereotypical superhero's face he realized. That was no justice, but torture, bullying of the weak, evil power disguised with the mask of heroism.
The Crab begged "Please... Stop... it.", the Superhero answered with "No, you must die!" Saitama couldn't keep watching, he jumped in front of the Crab and saved him.
Saitama: "NO!! This is NOT what I dreamt for as a kid! This is Evil! You're not a hero!" Superhero: "This is justice, hero kills the villain, everyone accepts it, we must save innocent people from cruel merciless killers, monsters don't listen to reasons." Saitama: "It might be true but what makes you different from the villains?!" Superhero: "I am a human and I have more power." as he spoke, he quickly bashed Saitama with a light hit, he knew people were starting to watch and he couldn't easily kill a human.
But Saitama stood his ground and counterattacked desperately. What could his punch do against such a powerful Superhero? His enemy was caught by surprise and what was a punch on the face, suddenly became a deadly fist to Superhero's eye, who screamed, yelling in pain and anger. Before he could recover Saitama knew he was in deep trouble, he didn't mean to blind him. As he was gathering his thoughts he was suddenly lifted. It was Crab. Saitama: "Hey, what are you doing!?" Crab, with the last breath in his body sent Saitama flying away as far as possible. Saitama flew, unable to reply or react, he barely heard the last words from the Crab before it got killed, "Thank you."
Saitama Three years have passed since then... after feeling so powerless, I trained so hard I lost all my hair, so hard I thought I'd either die or lose my mind and finally managed to acquire an invincible power. I have become the hero that I had always dreamed of being. I stop disasters and monsters with just one punch, but my heart feels so empty... the words of Superhero still echo in my mind. I don't want to be like him, a stereotypical self-righteous hero. But I'm becoming emotionally numb, I feel no fear, no joy, no excitement, no anger, nothing, no matter what I am up against, they're all insects to me. Have I lost my humanity in exchange for power?
Little did he know that Superhero recognized and labeled him as a villain, so the world regarded him as the "bald villain" who apperead from time to time to destroy cities and obstacle heroes.
"If you can't measure it you can't improve it." ~ Peter Drucker (maybe)
Pretty easy concept right? If you want to lose weight, first you find out your baseline and check again after a day, week, month or so. If you want to run or swim 100m faster, you measure your current state, train or change something, and see the difference. In other words, you have a "before and after" difference to compare and put numbers to measure. From these analogies to sports and fitness how can we translate this to art and drawing?
It's a very useful practice, especially if you plan to work on commissions, to know how much time it takes you to sketch, ink or color an illustration, to know how much to charge roughly for minimum wage per hour. My suggestion is timing yourself on your favourite subject drawings (character design, background, manga page, illustration, etc.), and divide it in a bit smaller chunks, like sketch, ink, flat color, shading color, for example. Each time you're going to draw something, especially a recurring theme or subject:
You can use a stopwatch from your smartphone (and do cool poses by yourself when you finish like Kira) to get a more accurate timing, you can stop temporarily if you have an interruption.
If stopwatch makes you too anxious with time tickling (learning to appreciate deadlines is important too), you can just write down the clock when you started to draw and when you finished.
Write down your numbers per each drawing (or action, like sketching, inking etc.) and see the progression on excel, google doc or just look at them on notes, you can ask and answer yourself why your time is improving or not, what you could change or do less, etc.
BEFORE AND AFTER (DRAW THIS AGAIN!)
We've all seen this meme in the art community:
Ehm I mean this one. It's a very useful way to have your "fix", I mean "dose" of... confidence when you have an art block, especially with very old Before pics, you can see how much progress and how far you've gone. Here are a few very inspiring ones (I notified with a mention, I didn't want to wait the time to get permission from all of them, so I hope they'll forgive it with credit and link to their profile, if not, let me know and I'll delete it):
It's a rough and approximative method:
Choose one or a few drawings as a starting reference point for your standard quality, choose a pretty good one to set a high standard and live up to its comparison if you're very driven.
You give a rating on a 1 to 10 scale to each new drawingor you can ask others to rate it compared to the standard quality drawing(s). You can ask here on groups or facebook groups, and calculate the average of the numbers, but always ask why, why 3 or 10, only includea bit more detailed and critical feedback, internet is usually too forgiving in this case.
If you hit a high 8-10 or a low 3-4 (very unlikely anyone would say 1 or 2), ask yourself why, what makes it so much better/worse than previous drawings?What did you do differently?
Once your new 10+ drawings keep hitting the homerun it's time to move on your standard quality reference point to a new level and keep on improving.
LAST TIPS AND THOUGHTS
Be more focused and specific: already covered in "timing yourself", in the "before and after" for example you could focus and zoom more on re-drawing only your weak points (hands/feet/clothes/tree/sea etc.) or strong points to breakthrough and improve them even more. It's useful if you want to improve something specific on a short span, after a few years you can obviously change your whole style and technique but in a short period it's harder to make a huge difference on a big scale.
Similar but different: try to add, tweak something, the minimum that will create a huge impact change in the quality of your drawings (change brush setting, opacity, color values, etc.). If you have the .psd files you can try to change a few details applying 1 or 2 new techniques you've studied.
Emphasize your strengths, minimize your weaknesses: this is why it's so important to really know what you and also other people think you're doing right or wrong. If your new coloring technique makes your drawings amazing, keep it. If the new way you changed the backgrounds doesn't affect at all or even worsens the drawing, throw it. But this also means, if you love drawing characters (like I do) and you suck at backgrounds (like I do), don't focus too much on improving a weakness that will become average at most (unless you're madly driven to master it for a good reason), instead focus on those things you really like, craft them even more, better.
Test A/B + Combine multiple methods: for example you have studied a new coloring technique, cel shading, you can run a test like "before and after", with how you used to color a lineart and how you would try now, showing both drawings and ask to "grade" both and see which you and people prefer and why, meanwhile you can also "time" how much it took you to do both techniques, whether the difference in quality is worth the difference in time (if you took 1-2 extra hours just for an almost equal grading it might not be worth it).
This is a revision of an old post I hopefully improved. Any comment here or other social media on what other subject or questions you'd like to hear about or whether this is useful or not is highly appreciated.
"Imitation is the sincerest (form) of flattery." ~ Charles Caleb Colton (English Writer)
No matter how original or unique a person can think of himself/herself, we always start from imitations. I started when I was 3 years old, I used to "draw" (more like scribbling) characters like Batman, Donald Duck, Goku, etc. copying from my older brother's notebooks (not the computer... back in my days it meant paper you write notes onto). Ever since then, I've been obsessed in particular by one detail, which was always my starting (and ending) point of most of my drawings: the eyes, "the mirror of the soul".
"Keep Reading. Comment and Share. Or else..."
Nowadays I feel like I could learn the key points of any style of eyes if I put some effort. So, as I was trying to backtrack my learning process to hopefully find something useful for anyone passionate about eyes (aka someone crazy enough to trust me and try it out), I came up with those steps/phases/stages.
I suggest you don't read the next step until you've finished doing the previous one.
The difference in eye styles are expressed through the change of certain patterns in a few key elements:
4) Eyes' size and distance.
I'll walk you through the process by following the steps for the manga Toriko, which I've never drawn before, as an example.
Step 1: Research
Search and save a lot of reference images of your favourite anime/manga character. Savedifferent angles and expressions images. If you're interested in Toriko: Toriko Ref Images
Open a new file on your drawing program (Photoshop, Sai Paint Tool, Clip Studio Paint, Gimp, etc.)*
Put a few reference images in it, make them fit in and put them on lower Opacity (~30-50%).
Create a new layer on top of them and start tracing the eyes(yes, the dreadful sin of artists), copy the exact same eyes just like they were originally drawn.
Do it for multiple reference images and keep them in the same workspace.
For Traditional Artists, it's still possible to trace but you'd have to be more creative, like attaching the paper on the computer screen or print the images (remember the transparency) and then trace on top of it, or use a lamp underneath your paper.**
For those who're already thinking "Yeah, everyone is able to trace, this is stupid/pointless/wrong/I'm out" Keep calm and continue reading.
Everything is dumb and pointless if you just stop at the first exercise drill.
The purpose is to fast track your ability to recognize the patterns of the style, with 100% accurate repetition.
In my case, I noticed that Toriko has: 1) Gull Wing Eyebrows that are thick in the first part and thin at the end, and at a very high angle. 2) One extra line for the upper eyelid, separated from it. One distinctive oblique line at the lateral canthus (the external meeting point between the upper and lower eyelids), usually it gives an asian look. 3) One small white circle in the Iris, which sometimes is totally black and sometimes it's white with a black dot. 4) The distance between the eyebrows is small, it's compensated by the thickness of them. The eyes are thin and sharp. 5) There is usually a wrinkle under the eyes and sometimes 2 lines, close to the nose, when he is more serious or angry.
You can collect those informations with observation but if you trace them, your hand will also catch the correct movements you have to make to draw the lines. It's up to you if you want to skip this step. If you're a beginner I recommend staying on this step a bit longer.
Keep all the references and your traces in sight, find some empty space and now try to copy a new pair of eyes without tracing, but with the reference close in sight. They can be the previous eyes you've traced (easier) or new reference images.
Now, put the reference images invisible and try to reproduce the exact same drawings, this time without a visual aid, just from your memory. Wouldn't it be cool to surprise your friends and draw a famous character's eyes right off the bat?
Take your time with this step, if you really don't remember you can just take a look back.
The purpose is to reinforce the patterns you've discovered and re-draw the images without guidelines, kinda like taking off the wheels from a bicycle, and also to train your eye-hand coordination which is always useful even when you want to draw something from a high-resolution (not really for me) 3D game called Real Life.
Step 4: Create
Now you're going to create eyes from scratch, in the style that you've always liked. You can start with the reference in sight to check that whatever you're making up, it won't seem "too out of style".
First, try drawing the eyes from different angles that you haven't seen so far, with the same expression and patterns used so far (keep in mind Eyebrows, Eyelids, Iris, Eyes' size and distance, Wrinkles).
Next, you can improvise different emotions, expressions, but you need to understand better the mechanics of the facial muscles, the shape and tendencies we have when we experience certain emotions.
Congratulation! You've finished how to draw any fanart eyes! The result still depends on your personal drawing skills, the lines control, your memorization abilities and practice time. The Tracing step could prove crucial to the speed of learning.
This process could actually be used to learn how to draw more stuff in a vacuum, out of context, which is rarely a good idea since it can easily disrupt the proportion and positioning balance.It's much better to do the opposite, learn how to draw top-down, the whole first, and then zoom in to details. For example: 1) Full-body from head to toe 2) Upper Body or Lower Body 3) Face, Bust, Arm, Legs, or Feet 4) Eyes, Nose, Hair, Hands, and so on...
If you've read so far and you've decided to give it a try, share the results and let me know in the comments. If you have questions or problems with anything, let me know and I'll find you... a solution.
If you have an original story or fanfiction in mind that you want illustrated so badly. I can also emulate styles. I can also help with the story as a reader or writer. In case paying for all the pages costs too much, you can select a few key points in your story to make me draw like a manga page or novel illustration.
--Fanart/Original Character Illustration/Design with Simple BG-- 50-100€ x1
If you have a fantasy romance between your OC and a character, or fighting side by side or against, or maybe an original character design for rpg like d&d, pathfinder or others.
--Portrait-- 50-100€ (Chibi 15-30€)
A different gift from the usual "useful" and predictable presents.
I’ve been struggling in my life with backpain, neck pain, wrist pain, eye strain, every-goddamn-pain, mainly caused by the many consecutive hours I’ve spent and still spend sitting in front of my computer drawing, writing, reading, etc. no care or awareness to my posture.
So I thought about doing some research, and medical advices I got for prevention and remedy, and I would like to share what I’ve found to hopefully help you avoid every-goddamn-pain.
It’s stuff we’ve all seen or been told, more or less, over and over again, but "Common sense is often not so common".
LOWER BACK PAIN
Here’s some research data:
“About 60 to 80% of the adult U.S. population has low back pain, and it is the second most common reason people go to the doctor. Low back problems affect the spine’s flexibility, stability, and strength, which can cause pain, discomfort, and stiffness.
Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years old. Each year 13 million people go to the doctor for chronic back pain. The condition leaves about 2.4 million Americans chronically disabled and another 2.4 million temporarily disabled.”
I don't (I do) want to scare you, it’s not going to kill you, relax, just chronic pain, to the point you can’t hold a pen or sit on a chair.
First and foremost, I'm not a doctor and this is not direct medical advice, if you have immediate great pain go seek medical advice for god sake. But you don’t have to wait that level of pain to be informed about how to prevent it by yourself.
If you're not a very active person, AVOID SITTING as much as possible.
“Based on a study of more than 220,000 residents in New South Wales, researchers found that the longer you spend sitting down every day, the higher the risk of dying prematurely, even if you engage in regular daily exercise. The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that adults who sat for more than 11 hours a day had a 40 percent increased risk of dying within 3 years– from any cause– compared with those who sat for less than 4 hours a day. In addition, the chances of dying were 15 percent higher for those who sat 8-11 hours a day, compared to those who sat less than 4 hours a day."
The lesson is... Get to 4 hours sitting. Or at least 11 hours max. So what if you can’t because of work/passion/hobbies? Do the same when you don’t have time, money, or any precious resource, prioritize and cut waste to 0.
Always find a way to stand up in every situation that doesn’t require sitting:
- Waiting on Transportations: be kind and offer the seat or be even kinder to sit and sacrifice your back instead of theirs? Big dilemma.
- Organize your workplace: stand up desk or at least good ergonomic chairs/tables. If you work at home, you can get creative... I'm sure the inventor of shoe box would be amazed to see what it's being used for...
- Regular breaks: set an alarm on your phone so that every 30 min at work to remind you to stand up, ideally exercise or even just strech your body, neck, shoulder and arms for at least 1-2 min.
- Using your phone on the couch/Watching TV/Videos: reduce or cut the time, or maybe find a way to do it while standing or do some small stretching exercise while watching from time to time.
Whatever, you get the point. Be creative in finding new ways to combine pleasure or work with health.
WARNING: if you used to never even move (like me), start with smaller and easier exercises, focusing on the correct position since you’ll be less tolerant and possibly cause more pain.
A) While sitting or standing, consciously change your lower back position and alternate between straight back (forming the "S" curve), to relaxed back and curved (lower back, not slouching), and then straight up, keep doing it back and forth for 30 sec - 1 min.
B) Yoga: with a mat, strenghten your core: child’s pose, cat stretch, modified cobra, superman, glute stretch, etc.
C) Plank: strenghtens your core muscles for the lower back, which might be too weak and therefore be in pain when they're stressed.
D) Egoscue exercise:
While you’re sitting, POSTURE:
1) Keep your back straight. ALWAYS. My former manga teacher, disciple of the father/god of manga (Tezuka), a hard-working Mangaka lady for over 30 years, always told me that keeping the back straight made a huge difference between her and her collegues full of back pain.
2) Don’t slouch forward. Keep neck and shoulders in line with your straight back.
To get into the habit, you can try to set a reminder to check and focus on your posture for a few seconds.
Further Tips for people who work or like drawing a lot
1) Exercises for wrist/hand to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome:
- Wrist extension/flexion stretching against the wall or a table: there are many ways you can find on youtube to get the visual and motion technique.
- The prayer stretching: put your hands together in the praying position close to your chest and lower your hands in that position while keeping your elbows high
2) Draw with your shoulder, forearm, not just your fingers or wrist. (Common tip you can google it). Get a little extra equipment or creative, and try new drawing positions or workplace.
3) For shoulder pain, this is personal, not a researched exercise (maybe it exists), but it has helped me instantly. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as hard as you can to get them close and then extend the opposite way, strech them as far as you can from each other.
I’ll give this a try personally and see what seems to work or not for me. If you want, you can share and let me know if something has already worked for you or you know some good alternatives that do, thanks for reading and share if you think more people should be aware of this.