Thanks July Disney Guys, Hello 31 Animal August!

I just finished July Disney Guys, yes all 31 Watercolor Portraits, and I am very proud of myself. Although, I admit that it is bittersweet because I will miss drawing my boys, I am pretty glad to have finished such a challenge. Drawing 31 Portraits in 31 days was not easy, definitely a challenge especially on days when I am tired and sleepy. It proved even more of a challenge when my work schedule suddenly changed and I had to adjust my creative schedule. It was a struggle to paint anything when you barely have enough sleep, exhausted or just mentally drained.

BUT, I DID IT! NO DELAYS TOO! And I am proud of myself. Check out the flip through below for my Completion of July Disney Guys. YOu can also see them here

I learned a lot during the last 31 days. I learned my strengths were in creating skin tone and in expressive brush strokes. I learned more anatomy and facial planes. I learned about watercolor medium how it acts and different techniques used to render the details on each portrait. I also learned more about myself and my persistence, time management and what I need to improve. I know I have to study clothing folds, how to render textures and metals. I also need to learn how to gouache.

But I am proud of it, for the last 2 months of doing portraits, my pictures have shown a lot of growth. It has been a journey that was worth it and I am thrilled to have finished 2 months of beautiful paintings on Jade, my sketchbook. I am going to finish this book strong, as it is my prettiest book to date.

What’s up for August?

For August we are switching gears and doing small paintings on a hand sketchbook. #31AnimalAugust is something I have started just for warm up. You can check them out on Facebook or my Instagram. I also have started Toby’s Cat-tastic Adventures on my sketchbook. It will feature 13 fantasy paintings in full storybook style, which I will build for my portfolio. If it succeeds, who knows? I may make a copyright-free version and maybe publish? Who knows? But this month I will concentrate on backgrounds and animals and storytelling and I hope to succeed in this venture.

Join me in my Cat-tastic adventures this month! I will also be working more with Every Story My Story and some commissions. as well as some promotions! Looking forward to another productive month!

Art on a Budget

My Anime club has an activity for the in-club artists to exchange ACEOs (Art Cards Editions and Originals) and I have spoken to a few people lately and I have discovered one thing in common– they are scared to color their work. Wait… WHUT?!

A lot of people do lineart quite painstakingly and simply do not have the energy to color. I understand that completely since I do take my time to ink my work and finish the sketch completely before I do delve into color.  Some of them, say they don’t want to ruin their drawing by poor coloring.  And one of them said it’s because they simply do not know how to color or what colors to choose.

… alright, all understandable…

But there was one who said, “Because coloring materials and inking materials need to be top class to make good art.”

Excuse me, but I beg to disagree.

Sure, a good quality colored pencil may cost more, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t use a cheaper version to color with. It’s not the materials themselves but how you use such materials to create art.

So this gave me an idea… this month of June. My theme is “ART ON A BUDGET” — Meaning, I am going to discuss different ways to use cheap materials, DIY tips on blenders etc and smart buys and suppliers for those budding artists on a budget.  I will do it in Several parts which may include:

  • Cheap-ass Manga Material Shopping-  which will go through the materials we can find on a budget, where to find them as well as how to be smart when buying art materials.
  • Creative ways to Color – a look on how to use color/materials and some things on color theory. I may share blending techniques.
  • Cheap Supplies and Suppliers
  • How to take care of materials – because part of being thrifty is not wasting materials

I hope you follow the series which I will launch soon!

The Truth about Manga Materials

One of the most common questions that people ask me is: Where do you get your supplies?  and  What do I need to get started in creating Manga/Anime Art? Then,  when I answer about my materials, they follow up with  OMG! That’s too expensive! I will never be a mangaka at this rate. 

Then, I have to go through the whole litany of telling them that it’s not about materials (though having good materials help), and it’s all about the artist who uses the materials that makes the art.  But, of course, it takes a lot of convincing – because a lot of people simply do not know what they really need when they go material shopping for Manga Supplies.

So, to clear all that up let me take you through the basic manga supplies that you might need to start your adventures at mangakas. Basically, these are your basic tools of the trade.

(BTW, I would like to repeat that I am in no way an expert, just sharing my knowledge and what I have learned so far)

  • Pencils  – when it comes to pencils. ANYTHING will do. A good sharp pencil will do the trick. Some prefer mechanical pencils and personally, I prefer a Non-photo blue pencil to do my art. As long as you are comfortable with your pencil, it’s okay.
  • Paper/Cardstock- For an initial sketch, you may want to do it in sketchpad or ordinary white paper. I usually do mine in A4 sized paper or B5 because that is manga industry standard. (also we have a ton of A4 at work).  A good smooth paper around 170 GSM and up is recommended if you are going to ink and color your work. Also, if you are coloring with Markers/ watercolor you might want to even go higher on the GSM — I use around 200 GSM cardstock (or higher) for smoother coloring. The smoother the paper the better (but let’s not go glossy). I personally use Vellum Boards from National Bookstore, some artists prefer Bristol boards but its up to you. Vellum is cheaper and readily available. Of course you can also use cartolina cut up.. or illustration boards.
  • Eraser/Sharpener- Do not underestimate the powers of a good sharpener and eraser. They aid you in creating art and keeping your art clean!

I want to say that  with these two you can start your manga. A lot of my friends practice with only pen and paper and from there, they move on to inking and coloring.  I also adore some monochrome art and you can learn toning with pencils. So, don’t ignore your pencils!

  • Inking Materials – once you have mastered with the pencils, you might want to move on with inking materials. Personally I have a ton of these so here are my notes.DSC00390
    • If you don’t intend to ever color your work with Alcohol based markers, go for the cheaper, the better. There are a lot of gelpens available for cheap you can use those for inking.
    • China Ink costs cheap, use them with a brush or a nib for good inking.
    • I use Redstone’s Indian Ink or Drawing ink Sometimes with a china brush (the thinnest one) and or Nibs.
    • Nibs are cheap in JOLI’s behind UST. Skyists brand about PHP100.00
    • Unipins are also cool to use.  They dry instantly, and don’t smear under alcohol based ink.  They are also fairly cheap.
    • Believe it or not, some artists line their art with Black COLORED pencils. (It does for softer effect)
    • I also use sepias/brown fineliners for my art my favorite is the STEADLER TRILINER or the Faber castell both costs around PHP 20.00 in National Bookstore. ( I will talk more about Inking materials in my next blogs!)
  • Rulers and Guides/French Curves
    Obviously you need these to help guide you through your lines, I have a compass even, protractors and other rules, to help me create backgrounds, do perspective and keep my lineart looking neat and clean.
  • Correction Fluid/ White Acrylic paint – to erase lines that you don’t need and it’s amazing for highlights. If you can find a white Gelpen, paint pen or an Artline white multiliner, that is amazing to have as well.
  • Coloring Materials- I will also discuss this in a future blog, but I would suggest getting what you feel you are good at. I love colored pencils and they are my best medium as well as graphic markers. You don’t have to spend a lot on them. Just as long as you can color with them. A friend of mine uses ordinary crayons to make amazing art. So, as long as you are happy with your materials, it will be alright.
    marikitstudio2DSC00386
  • FINALLY, you need your patience and creativity.  Because Manga making takes a lot of time, perseverance and creativity.Most of all, and this is most important: HAVE A BLAST while making your manga!

These are some of the basic materials I think one should need in making manga art, so if I missed anything or if you have any questions, feel free to ask me ! ❤