One of my goals for Q4 2021 is to draw or illustrate. I didn't think I'd start this soon but I just remembered about Inktober. Instead of the original Inktober challenge, I'm going with the Ghibli version — Ghiblitober. Here's to 30 days of drawing! 🎨
Tools I'll be using: Wacom tablet, Corel Painter (first half), Clip Studio Paint (second half)
My art background
I don't really have a formal art background. My parents signed me up for painting classes when I was a child, but I wasn't particularly good at it nor did I enjoy it. I stopped when I got older before I went to high school. We did have art classes there, but they weren't useful. I did spend time doodling anime characters in my textbooks during classes. I did a few drawings with colour pencils and dabbled a bit with photoshop. Also not particularly good at it. I'm pretty decent at drawing characters and scenes as they are, but if I have to draw my own scenes or poses, that's a different story. So, I think I'm self-taught. I don't follow tutorials. I experimented and played with the digital brushes — see what works, what doesn't. I observed and paid attention to other people's works, then tried to replicate them on my own.
I try not to aim for perfection. So I try to finish each piece in ~3 hours.
Subject: The Kodama Movie: Princess Mononoke Time taken: ~3 hours Favourite brush: Sumi-e Watercolour: Liner (I found it amazing for backgrounds!)
Princess Mononoke's OST was playing in the background as I drew this. On the first day, I spent some time playing and experimenting with brushes. I didn't want to spend too much time so I capped myself at 3 hours. Then I realised I'd forgotten what brushes I used to draw. So... I spent some more time looking for those brushes. Lesson: Save your favourite brushes.
Subject: Laputian Robot Movie: Castle in the Sky Time taken: ~3 hours Favourite brush: Impasto: Round Oily, Glazing: Flat Soft
I couldn't decide what to draw that's iconic. I thought of doing Ponyo, the castle from Howl's Moving Castle (I was thinking straight here), or maybe Howl and Calcifer. I decided on the robot from Castle in the Sky. It was fun blending and shading the robot's body. It blew my mind when I found out I could still move the body by pressing on the command key. I thought it would be fixed in place once I have it down! I also learned how to do more layering.
- Background + light shining
- Body base
- Body shading
- Detailing on the body and moss
The moss was the most intimidating part. Colouring and shading the moss were fine, but it's the draw it in a way that looks like moss is difficult. I started with the grass in more detail on the shoulders. Then I added squiggly lines at the edges of the moss and randomly around the moss. It was looking a bit better. When I added the squiggly and grassy lines in a lighter shade of green, it made so much difference! Drawing the moss isn't too bad after all. At first, I wasn't convinced that the drawing isn't that good, but after having some time off from it, it looks pretty decent! I like it. Lesson: Just keeping drawing even if you don't feel convinced. You can make it better by adding in some more shading or detail in a different colour.
Subject: Soot Sprites, Susuwatari Movie: My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away Time taken: 2½ hours. Favourite brush: Graphic: Soft
I was sort of worried about finishing this piece faster because of how 'easy' it looks. I didn't have to worry after all because it also took me pretty long anyway.
I spent a good chunk of time drawing the hair and stars. My mistake was I started drawing the hair of the soot first before I drew the eyes, limbs and stars. I noticed some of the soot's hair wasn't the same as the rest. It depends on the eyes or direction of the soot are facing. That's when it hit me that maybe I should draw the eyes first. I deleted the first hair layer and started from scratch.
I became caught up with following the exact detail of the stars and how the soots look. Then it hit me that I don't have to follow it to the exact detail. That's how people's art styles are created! You make up your own style.
I didn't want to draw each soot ball and star manually.
- I drew only one soot ball, and copied and pasted 10 more.
- I drew and coloured one star, copied and pasted a few more.
- I did the same with different coloured stars too.
This piece has much more layers than the first two! Especially when I had to figure out whether which layer should go on top of the other e.g. the hair, stars, or limbs should go first.
Subject: Setsuko Movie: Grave of the Fireflies Time taken: 3½ hours. Favourite brush: Graphic: Hard
Clothes are one of my weaknesses. I wish it was less baggy here! I learned how to draw and paint tears in this one. Thank you, Google. Tip: Draw and colour the tears in white first, then erase and blur the insides. Somehow the colours look... stale. I'm not sure how to describe it. But I think the colour of the darker shade shouldn't be too much of a difference from the normal shade. I wanted to draw a background for this one. It looked normal but... I don't want to use up too much time here. Fingers crossed for a chance to draw backgrounds in the upcoming prompts!
Subject: Sakuma drops Movie: Grave of the Fireflies Time taken: 2½ hours. Favourite brush: Impasto: Round Oily
My partner could tell I was a bit lazy with this one. And I was. Maybe it was a bit of tiredness too. At one point, I did black out for a few seconds. That was when I knew I needed a break. I took a quick nap before continuing. I think the hardest part about this one was drawing... sideways? Especially the words. I also still need practice with drawing the corners of boxes and containers. I could have done more shading on the container, add the bar code details on the side and draw candies lying on the side, but it was enough for me for that day.
Subject: Turnip-Head (aka Prince Justin) Movie: Howl's Moving Castle Time taken: 2½ hours. Favourite brush: Watercolour: Simple Water and Wash
Time taken to finish this does not include the time when Corel Painter crashed and I needed an extra hour to finish it -_- A bit happier with the shading this time! Looks less stale than the previous one with Setsuko. I also experimented with the background this time using watercolour brushes. They're fun to use once you get the hang of it! Initially, I wanted to find and download foliage brushes so I can draw a nice greenery background but I couldn't find any free ones for Corel Painter. This seems like a good tutorial — for future reference. I also took a break in between instead of focusing on the piece in one go. It helps. Please take breaks in between when you can.
Subject: Sunflowers Movie: My Neighbour Totoro Time taken: 2 hours. (Not including finding the right brush and redoing when it crashed) Favourite brush: Oil - Bravura: Flat Smeary, Oil - Bravura: Tapered Detail
1 - Identity shortcuts for my most used tools In my case, it would be the brush (B key) and dropper (D key). I switch between them a lot and I cannot believe I've been doing it manually for the past SEVEN DAYS. So this is almost a lifesaver.
2 - Prep your palette on the side of the same canvas This is especially useful if you shade a lot and want to keep a consistent palette. Also almost a lifesaver. 3 - Brushes are EVERYTHING It took me one hour to find a good brush to do the greenery. And it can be a shortcut to create repetitive stuff like grass if you know how to use it right. I haven't found a good (free) brush to do this yet so I still had to draw the grass manually. 4 - Layering the greenery This is a pretty good tutorial that I found when I tried searching for tutorials on how to do paint grass on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wXv4TZuG1k&t=647s
Subject: Calcifer making breakfast Movie: Howl's Moving Castle Time taken: 2½ hours. Favourite brush: Watercolour: Simple water
Wow, today and yesterday were tough. Not in terms of painting itself, but I wanted to give up LOL. My inner critique kept telling me I should have waited until I'm better before showing my work and I wanted to give up. But I also kept reminded myself that I learn better by DOING. I'm no good at sitting through a tutorial after a tutorial before getting started. Toughest part was not knowing which brush to use for the Calcifer to draw his flames. I ended up using a watercolour brush to give the 'flowy' 'transparentsy' sorta effect. Even the bacon had more shading but I can't seem to find a 'transparentsy' type of brush that allows me to paint a darker shade on top of the existing colour. Maybe blender? Oh, I forgot to try out the Blender brush.
Subject: Ponyo and Sousuke Movie: Ponyo Time taken: 2½ hours Favourite brush: Pencil HB
When in doubt, draw circles, blocks, simple lines for the bodies. This is a basic technique but it HELPED A LOT. I only realised it after spending half an hour trying to figure out how to draw their postures. This was the hardest sketch yet! I also found out that I can use the lasso select tool to draw a circle around Ponyo and move her closer to Sousuke. Love that. There was one instance where... I select-drew a circle and I couldn't paint anything OUTSIDE of that circle. That would have been helpful if I wanted to do a landscape or portrait style sort of painting where it looks like it's framed. I can't remember how to do this though. Also I'm so unhappy with their heads and facial expression lol. Their heads were actually a bit bigger but I fixed it halfway. That's why Sousuke's neck looks so long.
Subject: Child Taeko Movie: Only Yesterday Time taken: Almost 2 hours Favourite brush: Watercolour - splatter, dry spatter
First time finishing in less than 2 hours. A record! I always can't seem to get the line art and facial expression right when I colour in. Only the sketch looked decent. Maybe I just need more practice. I tried playing with the background colours and textures more, like the original screenshot of this. As you can see... eh. Could be better. Need to try to experiment more with the background with other brushes. But I did enjoy painting with the watercolour brushes especially the Watercolour: Simple Water!
Subject: Adult Taeko Movie: Only Yesterday Time taken: Almost 2 hours Favourite brush: Graphic: Hard
I almost didn't want to finish this because my Corel Painter started lagging sooo bad. Force quit twice, then had to restart my whole laptop just to see if it got better. It did, for a bit. (Might just be my laptop because I can't even edit on iMovie today wtfff) Quite pleased with the shading today. I found the right colours. The trick I think is to choose a grey-ish tone from the original colour but not too grey and not too dark. Kind of a vague explanation, but that's I think it gets better once you keep practicing. Hmmm still not quite pleased with the facial expression BUT it feels a bit better especially the eyes. I didn't try to follow the original screenshot and used my guts on what looks better on my drawing. And I think it turned out decent. I forgot to create a new layer for my line art so I drew the line art on top of my sketch!! I'll casually say that it's part of the aesthetics on purpose if someone asks.
Subject: Fish waves Movie: Ponyo Time taken: Almost 2 hours Favourite brush: Graphic: Hard
This is probably my favourite piece to do because I don't need to draw humans or do background LOL. I tried to see what other brushes I can use instead of the usual but... I stuck with the usual. It works! It fits! I had a thought to play around the colours more instead of relying on what I see on the screenshot, but the thought faded away pretty quickly. Internally I was probably still afraid how it might look like so I just chucked that thought out. Maybe I'll try again another time to experiment on the colours and try not to follow line by line, colour by colour of what I see in the upcoming posts.
Subject: The sky + hat Movie: Porco Rosso Time taken: ~1.15 hours Favourite brush: Blender Messy: Grainy
Combining both days' prompts today so I can take a break tomorrow. Can you believe that I think I'm burning out from drawing and painting LOL, though I think it's a combination of other things. I created three layers of clouds here, though it's a bit hard to tell from the front two clouds because they're sorted mashed together now from the looks of it. Need more work on the clouds to be honest, but I think I need a tutorial for that. Can't seem to get it right no matter how many times I tried to blend and shape.
Subject: Totoro Movie: My Neighbour Totoro Time taken: ~1 hour Favourite brush: Graphic: Hard
This took faster than expected. I'm either getting used to it or maybe it's a simple prompt. Maybe both. I didn't realise how... warm-ish the colours turn out. I thought I chose white for the clouds at least. Maybe it was just my imagination... Either way, not many comments here but I think I'm getting used to sketching → making the line art → colouring → shading → detailing → the background painting. The momentum is good! But at times I want to quit Inktober because I want to catch up with other things instead. I'm halfway through though, so might as well see it to the end.
Subject: Shishigami, Deer god Movie: Princess Mononoke Time taken: ~2 hours Favourite brush: Pen: Smooth
It's okay to sketch it out messily. It's just a rough outline. And it works. I don't have to spend so much on it after all. I'll do the line art after that (to which it's kinda fun drawing the fur). For colours, when you choose a colour, be bolder to go slightly duller/greyer from what you choose. It's fine, and it looks more... natural. Hmmm, the two parts of the fur that stood up on top of its face could be better. Just realised one is shorter than the other.
Subject: Jiro Movie: The Wind Rises Time taken: < 1.5 hours
My Corel Painter trial ended, so I scrambled to find a new tool. I decided to use Clip Studio Paint! I feel like most of the interface looks a bit more simplified compared to Corel Painter, especially the brushes. I don't need to choose between a bazillion number of brushes. So it took me fairly quickly to get accustomed to CSP. I tried to experiment on the clouds, just mixing the cold pinkish colours around using the gouache brush. Turn out pretty okay. For the blue background, I used the Wet blotting Ink, I think.
Subject: Jiro Movie: The Wind Rises Time taken: ~1 hour
I could have merged yesterday's prompt with today's but what's done is done! I can't believe I finished this pretty quickly. I didn't expect I'd be able to nail the body position fast but I did. 🤯 It helped because I did super rough sketches from the start first before trying to get it perfect, then only did the line art later on. Thinking of the body (or drawing!) in boxes help. The skin is a bit paler than I'd imagine so maybe a bit more in the redder tones is better, like the previous prompt. I was quite tempted to draw a better background but I didn't want to spend too much time again. But I did try to experiment with the background again! Kinda dig it. The yellow-gold wasn't intentional at first but when I added the purple in, it felt... right. So there you have it. Using the gouache brush again, along with the dry gouache brush.
Subject: Mei and Satsuki Movie: My Neighbour Totoro Time taken: ~1.5 hours
Wanted to give them eyes but... I still haven't managed to figure out how to paint eyes. They always look pretty... bad. Quite pleased that I got it out in under 2 hours!
Subject: Chibi Totoro and Chu Totoro Movie: My Neighbour Totoro Time taken: 1 hour
I'd like to thank Clip Studio Paint for their brushes. I didn't have to draw and paint the grass or the ground textures because of the brushes they provided. 😭 Lifesaver. I just planned to colour in a simple plain background of green and brown to mimic grass and the ground, but decided to experiment since CSP has so many USEFUL brushes to choose from!! Quite pleased with the colours I used for the two Totoro.
Subject: God Warrior Movie: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Time taken: 1.15 hours
Ok this was my favourite one to do. I also enjoyed it! At first, I wasn't into it (as usual), but halfway when I started painting the flames in, that's when I flourished lol. I think I'm slowly realising that I like NOT drawing humans or characters. The ones where I can just freely paint something are the ones I enjoy most... at least for the later parts. But also it helped that I prefer Clip Studio Paint much better than Corel Painter. The only thing I didn't like about this piece was the buildings are too neat amidst the destruction. I could have drawn them collapsed myself but I used the brush on Clip Studio Paint to help me out.
Subject: Kiki Movie: Kiki's Delivery Service Time taken: ~1.5 hours
When I think of "Lost", I thought of losing a fight or lost in the woods sorta lost at first. What about the feeling "lost"? When you're burnout and have lost your sense of purpose? That's when I thought of Kiki when she lost hers. I don't think I hate drawing humans. I just hate drawing their faces 🥲 I really cannot seem to colour the eyes or draw the shape of their faces right... But I think I got the eyes a bit better this time around. My favourite part of this piece was painting the background with the gouache brush because it was just plain fun blending in the colours together with no aim but to make it look pretty.
Subject: San Movie: Princess Mononoke Time taken: ~2.5 hours
This took slightly longer but it was worth it because this is my FAVOURITE PIECE I've drawn and painted yet. I honestly thought I had to draw an actual fight scene for this and I wasn't looking forward to it but thought to myself... I could draw something that LEADS to a fight scene. San IS preparing for a fight so that counts right? I LOVE how the colours turn out in this one here. Practice does make (almost) perfect. I've been dreading to draw every time for the past few prompts but honestly, when I start to get into the process, I start to enjoy it. Why is starting always the hardest?