Thursday, September 25, 2014

Something else...

That has changed in the last twenty years is that not only has there been an explosion in instruction books for manga drawing (something that pretty much didn't exist 25 years ago, I was certainly looking) but due to e-books they have gotten to be fairly inexpensive.  This week I've purchased four drawing books. Two were e-books, cost a total of $4.00 (plus tax now, boo!) and I had them to use immediately. In fairness, it takes *both* of them to do what I need but $4.00 make it worth it. The other two are reference manuals of figure drawing models. Together they cost about $20.00 used, which isn't bad, but I am still waiting to find out if they are as useful as I hope.

The internet is also helping here. All it took was a search for "manga" on Pinterest to easily fill a board with references for hands, hairstyles, poses, etc. It is truly a whole new world of self-teaching from that in which I struggled to find *anything* on manga and general instruction books were often expensive.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I said...

Yesterday that I didn't mind doing *studies* as somehow random drawings seem more useful if they fall under the heading of "practice".  This is an area that has been *really* changed by the internet. Specifically the Google and Bing "image (whatever you want images of)" searches. Hands, faces, traditional clothing, all of these are only a click away. In fact, I found so many wonderful photos of people in traditional clothing from around the world that I started a new Pinterest page just of people I want to draw. Even better, on my Kindle Fire I can even change the size of the photos so as to get a really good look at some portion of a given photo.

Another internet tool I found (because I went looking for it due to my certainty it would exist) was the Challenge List.  I found 365 day versions because that was what I was looking for, but it looks like there are one week and one month versions as well. The prompts provided by the originator easily provide a reason for drawing and at least a starting point of *what* to draw which helps me overcome the two greatest difficulties I was facing.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

As I mentioned yesterday...

 Although a decent number of my drawings in the past were of reasonable quality, I had pretty much no control over what (or generally "who" since I tend to draw humans) they turned out to be. At this point I'm not really satisfied to draw like that. I feel that drawings should express more than just that I wanted to draw, but I don't really have anything I'm trying to say with them. I don't mind doing hand studies or other practice things but what are essentially random imaginary people seems pointless for the amount of time it takes to do well.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Another thing....

That is frustrating about manga, not just Shoujo in this case, and really anime as well, is that it makes me want to draw. 

It's been like that since I was about 12 and saw Robotech on summer morning cartoons while my mom was sleeping from having worked nights and my dad was at work.  It was like a revelation and I was almost literally entranced by the completely different style of art which I immediately set out to copy to the best of my ability. 

In high school and attending community college (so, over 20 years ago) since I was sitting at a desk pretty much all day, every day, I was actually pretty good at drawing. I even still have the partially filled sketchbooks to prove it.  I found it difficult to *sketch* since my lines tended to be overly dark and solid but other than that I had gotten to the point that what I drew was interesting and generally in correct perspective. What I *couldn't* manage was to decide ahead of time what to draw and then have that appear on the paper. I sort of had to just go with whatever showed up.  

Now though, I am very much out of practice and have no desire to spend hours every day practicing my drawing, especially since I *need* to spend a fair amount of time on various needlework projects if I'm going to have anything to sell. Which is where the frustration comes in, since the desire is very strong but the ability to do much about it is distinctly lacking.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I should know better....

Than to read Shoujo manga. Since The advice in Song of Solomon to not awaken desire too soon works just as well for widows as the "maidens" it was intended for.  In fact, I generally stay away from even Christian-themed romance novels (much less the nearly pornographic standard variety) because frustrated physical or and/or emotional desire isn't going to make life better for me *or* the kids who would have to deal with me being cranky.

Unfortunately, I wasn't really thinking about that when Eldest Kidlet offered me the first volume of Skip-Beat since I usually stick to Shonen manga and had read no Shoujo in several years. Surprise, surprise, given that I found the relationships in such Shonen as Inu Yasha and Rurouni Kenshin to be extremely romantic, Skip-Beat is nearly unbearably so.  It doesn't help that the artist did a very good job of catching the sort of tender, amused, or intense looks that are something I definitely miss.