Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mini Watercolor Fanart Dump

Since finishing my thesis, I've spent a lot of my free time painting.  It all began with the acquisition of a Sakura Koi field set , and you guys have seen some evidence of my productivity here , as well as on Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram.  These mini watercolors began as a way to see if the Sakura Koi set was any good (it is), then morphed into a demo for a new type of convention commission, and has constantly been a way for me gain a little additional exposure while working on other projects.

Recently all of these pieces were for sale in my Nattoshop, but even more recently, I sold everything but personal pieces and things that had been spoken for to Savannah GA's Planet Fun.   The owner has been extremely supportive about buying local nerd art, and though I've sold my buttons and charms to him for a couple years, I was surprised when he offered to take all the watercolors I'd brought in, pretty much wiping out my stock.  I was more than happy to oblige, since I knew I'd be doing more of these addictive mini watercolor paintings in the near future.  It's strange that they were listed in my shop before ever making it to my blog, but May and June have been pretty much non-stop for me, and this is my first real opportunity to share them on my blog.

For a long time, I didn't dedicate much time to finishing fanart.  These little watercolors allow me to generate a finished piece without dedicating too much time to someone else's intellectual property.  They've also given me the opportunity to increase my audience- my Instagram is practically nothing but these little watercolor paintings, and my Tumblr is full of them.  Often they're the only original (ish) art I share during the day, since they're the most finished and seem to get the best response.

This collection is pretty mixed, but there are some reoccurring themes.  Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past has been a favorite in this apartment, I did a homage to the original cast of starter Pokemon, there's a little Gravity Falls, a set of Adventure Time artist trading cards, and a fair amount of Ghibli fanart.  Not everything is fanart however, a few of these pieces are sample commissions.

All of these mini watercolor paintings were painted  on cold press watercolor paper, either Fluid or Strathmore.  The Strathmore pad and artist trading cards were sent to me by Chris Paulsen, the creator of Precocious and a good friend of mine, in exchange for a Milotic watercolor I need to mail.

The Paintings



While playing Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (the first Zelda game after Twilight Princess I've played from start to finish), I sorta assumed that Link ATE the fairies in order to regain hearts.  Apparently that's not how  it goes?  Supposedly they heal him in gratitude for him releasing them after he's captured them in jars.  Eating the fairies suddenly makes way more sense to me.  I guess there's no understanding Legend of Zelda logic.  While playing, I doodled a lot of Link, since I found the idea of a generally naughty little boy saving a kingdom to be an appealing idea.


It definitely seems like I can't just get enough of doodling Sailor Moon fanart.  To be fair, Usagi's character design is fun to draw, particularly in her Sailor Scout aspect.


I don't have to justify some Gravity Falls fanart, do I?  This show isn't as popular as I wish it was, but maybe not having a huge, vocal, and weird fandom is a good thing for this fun kid's show.  Dipper and Mabel Pines are the cutest twin siblings.


As a kid, I wasn't allowed to have any videogames, so I didn't get into Pokemon with the rest of the 8 year olds.  Instead, I watched the TV show and played the cardgame, both of which are not quite as awesome.  Doesn't mean I can't spam you guys with some Pokemon fanart though, starting with Charmander.  My selection process was pretty simple- I picked from the original 150 Pokemon, starting with my favorites, then I took requests on Twitter.


A Meowth grooming himself.  I can't remember this happening on the show, but I wanted to draw my interpretations of possible behaviors, and not stock action poses.


This Pikachu was the first of the batch, a test to see if I could convert Pokemon to the art style I've been using for these mini watercolor commissions.  While he's a little stiff, I think he's still pretty cute.


I may not have played Pokemon as a kid, but I definitely went outside and played with turtles.  One thing's for sure, a capsized turtle's in a lot of trouble.  I imagine a capsized Squirtle would be in much the same predicament.


Getting a nice pink isn't too difficult with my Sakura Koi Field watercolor kit.  I simply mix a little scarlet red with the red violet in order to get the pink necessary for Jigglypuff.


Blue greens aren't too difficult either-- I simply mixed the dark green with the lighter of my two blues.  You can get variations by also mixing in the light green, a little bright yellow, or even the darker of the two blues.  A good blue green is important when painting Bulbasaurs.


Here's an example of a 'personal' mini watercolor commission- a self portrait of me.


This Yotsuba was one of my first watercolor tests, so her colors are a little on the light side.  This was mostly just a little test- working from blue pencil with graphite on the back, tightening up lines on the card itself, then painting right over it without stretching the paper (it came on a pad with two gummed sides) or applying an overall wash.


Princess Peach here was an experiment in achieving suitable pinks.  Fortunately, a nice pink is easily achieved by mixing scarlet with red violet.  If you want a more blueish pink, you add more red violet, if you want a more salmon pink, trend toward scarlet or even orange.


Back to Pokemon!  Greytones like this Koffing can be produced easily, you just mix a little black, some red violet, and a bit of indigo to make a purplish grey.


I lost a lot of street cred on Instagram when I spelled Eevee as Evee.  This is what I get for posting art when I'm tired.  No matter, Eevee and the various Eevee-lutions are some of my favorite Pokemon, and you'll probably see more of them as I gear up for convention season.


When I do actually finish fanart, it tends to be Studio Ghibli inspired.  Some of my favorite movies come from Studio Ghibli, and it's no accident that my drawing style is heavily influenced by Ghibli aesthetics.  This fun little Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service is just one of hopefully many future Studio Ghibli watercolor fanarts.


Soot sprites are another iconic Ghibli character that lend themselves to some really cute fanart.  This tiny watercolor painting is only 4"x6".



More Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past fanart!  I think what makes Link so appealing to so many fangirls is that he's basically an empty vessel that we can pour our own preferences into.  For me, I prefer Link as a bad little kid, disturbing the peace while he saves the kingdom and the princess.

And sometimes being a mischievous little kid leads to consequences, such as when the fairies beat you up for trying to eat them.

Considering how much time I spent chasing fairies, it's surprising this didn't actually happen in Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.

Some of the Pokemon watercolor paintings were inspired by requests from friends on Twitter.  Matt Dawson (@sometimealone) suggested a Delibird, who's a bit out of my Pokemon knowledge, but apparently this Pokemon looks like Santa Claus.  I wanted to minimize the Christmas-ness and maximize the penguin-ness.


I've been gently accused of not drawing animals very often, an accusation that rankles because it's comparatively true.  Most Pokemon are based on very simplified shapes (Polliwhirl, Jigglypuff), but Pokemon like Growlithe can be used to convey animal gesture, which is an important part of drawing animals.


This Milotic is part of a trade with Chrispy, which I mentioned far far above.


By the time I hit this Quagsire request, I was out of interesting pose ideas for Pokemon who have a beanbag as a basic body shape.  Attempted headstands sorta count as an interesting pose, right?


Every fanart I've ever seen of Satsuki and Mei (My Neighbor Totoro) has them interacting with Totoro rather than with each other.  As fanart, not interacting with Totoro defeats the point, but I wanted to produce something that was out of the norm for these two.

Surprisingly I didn't do any fanart this round for my favorite Studio Ghibli movie, Howl's Moving Castle, but maybe it'll make the next round!


Nobody requested Bellsprout, but it still ended up being in my top favorite three illustrations.


Tepig was another requested Pokemon, and one that I'm not particularly familiar with.  It's such a cute design that I couldn't help but draw Tepig doing something cute as well.


The attention my Pokemon paintings gained me (40 new followers on Tumblr alone) inspired me to branch out and do some Adventure Time Artist Trading Cards.  These tiny cards are about the size of a business card, but are still cold press watercolor paper.  They come loose in the pack, so I tape 'em down while I'm painting them.  There's some curling, but other than that, not a whole lot of warping.   This tiny watercolor of Fin and Jake is only slightly curled.



Princess Bubblegum's design is so monochromatic that it isn't really fun to paint.  Just shades of pink in varying intensities.  I handle this one of three ways- work from the lightest and let the water evaporate to get darker hues, work from the lightest and mix in more pigment, or work from the darkest and add water as I progress.

The nice thing about these Adventure Time artist trading cards is that they're relatively quick to paint, meaning I can charge less for them (the going rate is $5 each).


More tiny Link!  It was my goal to steal every sign in Hyrule that I came across, and either throw it into the river or against a rock.  That's what they're there for, right?

The simple artwork in Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past really lends itself well to reinterpretation of the characters and scenerios, doesn't it?

One of my Tumblr followers requested a Polliwhirl, so here's the first evolved Pokemon I've drawn in this batch.


As I neared the end of this batch of Pokemon, I began to think about what my next series would be.  Having been a fan of the Final Fantasy series since I was about 14, it seemed like an obvious choice, although probably lacking the absolutely massive fandom that Pokemon enjoys.  I started with FFIX, my favorite Final Fantasy, painting Zidane, my favorite FF hero.


And here's another example of a 'personal' watercolor commission, this time with an anthro flair.  I painted myself as a shiba inu.
And here's the last watercolor of this batch- another Adventure Time artist trading card, this time of Fiona and Cake (my favorite!  I prefer genderswap Adventure Time.)

This isn't the last of my mini watercolor paintings.  If you follow my Tumblr, I post new ones almost daily (although that's slowed down now that I'm working on other projects), and the same goes for my Twitter.