Angry Artist Alley: My First Time Making Acrylic Charms

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Note: This article isn’t about ‘Artist Alley’ per se, but more of an article about something many artists make at artist alley. I put it in Angry Artist Alley because it could possibly be relevant to some people.

Chilly Pig Creations
is an independent company that prints acrylic and wooden charms. This article describes my first experience with making acrylic charms, and working with this company.

THIS IS NOT A PROFESSIONAL GUIDE TO MAKING ACRYLIC CHARMS. I REPEAT. THIS IS NOT A PROFESSIONAL GUIDE TO MAKING CHARMS.

It’s a beginner’s perspective on making charms. If you’re a noob who wants expert advice, go ask an expert on it. Heck, if I wanted expert advice I’d be asking my other friends on this (which I did). I’m just writing this article based on my very first experience making them. I just have a LOT to say. I’m sure someone on the internet probably wants to read a personal article about me struggling and crying in agony. Here you go. 

I couldn’t find a good article that puts making acrylic charms into a beginner’s point of view. More like an expert’s point of view, that describes quality, perks, and etc. with these things. This is more like the process of making them. If you’re looking for expert advice, I’ve just warned you now, this isn’t the article you should be basing all your opinions from.

Continue reading

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‘Arquebus Dance’ Anthology: PREORDERS OPEN!

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So if you’re wondering why I haven’t had a new blog update in over a month, it’s because I have been wrapping up this project, and now we’ve got preorders open for it!

I’ve never spent so much time and effort in a comic in my life, and hope the results show. I contributed two comics (one one-page, one ten-page), one page illustrations, two collaboration pages, designed the ‘bonus postcard’ and made additional drawings scattered around the anthology. I also helped manage the project, and my partner and I are crossing our fingers that this goes smoothly >.<

Some history before the project: I originally watched Nobunagun to see how whack the series could be, and ended up enjoying it. I mean come on, that main character has a giant gatling gun on her arm. That’s so badass.
Anyhow, details aside, I made a friend at Artist Alley when she saw a Nobunagun fanart. Fast forward months later, and we decided to make an anthology zine for the artist, Hisa Masato.

Why did we make it?
Despite how fun and whacky the anime is, there’s also a manga. And it’s not even in America yet. In fact, this series isn’t even that popular. The artist’s art style is quite unique, and every chapter’s pacing is as fast as an episode of Kill la Kill. I am not kidding–i read the japanese manga updates but I can’t read a spit of Japanese at all. I ask my friend to help me translate some of the pages when I can’t understand it. And I love it. But man…wouldn’t it be great to just buy the translated book in America?

The entire process of making the anthology is to bring awareness of our love to the manga. Seeing as we’re foreigners compared to the fans in Japan, I guess it makes it even more special. We both want it here. We spent many, many months on this. Our goal is to show that the anime is worth the watch and if this book ever came to America, it’s worth the read as well :D
(also, please make season 2 of the anime. It answers so many questions for viewers who have already seen the anime)

So we decided to make an anthology zine contributed by the fans of the series, and then distribute it. Even the artist himself is contributing!

sio preorders

Preorders for the Sio Ogura Anthology, ‘Arquebus Dance’ is up, and includes TWO limited edition prints and an exclusive sticker set that only comes with preorders.
cover_preview_original preview_1_original preview_2_original2015-08-18_original
(credits: far left and right: Celebistar, middle two: me)

This is a fanzine dedicated to Sio Ogura, the main character of the anime and manga Nobunagun, by Hisa Masato. It’s made by fans from America, Japan, and other countries around the globe!

If you haven’t seen Nobunagun, it’s available free on Crunchyrollwww.crunchyroll.com/nobunagun

special-goods_original

It includes both color and black and white illustrations, on quality 80lb paper, and is currently at a 40 page count (which means by the time preorders are over, there might be even more pages!)
We also have a Japanese version available as well.  

[Preorder here]

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Rose

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Just to let my readers know, there’s a huge imbalance of blog articles about artist alley without me actually showing my own artwork. So expect more recent projects or photography here. But don’t expect them to update every week :P

I didn’t get in the Capcom Tribute, but I submitted a piece I really like and wanted to talk about it a little. The Udon crew had an insane amount of competition, so I’m not surprised I didn’t get in (heck, a lot of people who got in that book were veterans or creators of the series). So without further ado, it’s Rose, from Street Fighter!
ROSE_mockup I’m actually really bad at the game, and there’s not a lot of fan art of her, so I was happy just making the piece for myself anyways. She is one of the few characters in the game that I can sort of get a handle on (i can’t do a Z movement on the game stick, and I don’t really know how to handle charge characters, so her limited moves help me out on that). The original illustration is actually markers, but the background, textures, and glowing are done in Photoshop. The piece took about two days to complete, and I currently have them available as a mini print in my store :D

I’m a very late bloomer, but one of the earliest arcade fighting games I’ve ever played was Street Fighter 4. When I first played, I used a game stick, and so when I begged my brother to buy the game for me, I couldn’t figure out how to use the controller, and begged him to buy a game stick for me as well. Best big bro ever!
I really fell in love with the art, and the comics that come with it are AMAZING. I want to give props to the writers of the comic series, the flow is superb.  A lot of my current work was inspired by the game. When the characters pull out their special moves, and the scene changes, it’s so dramatic, and the comic is like watching the game unfold with different characters! I love the sumi-e ink washes that happen when the characters use a focus attack. Anyways, I’m just in my own little world with this franchise.
One of my dream comic jobs is to work for Udon to make a short Street Fighter. That’s such a long shot, but I’ll keep practicing, and hey, who knows! This is my first attempt, I’m sure one day I’ll make more fan comics. 

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Arquebeous Dance: A Sio Ogura Fan Anthology

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So I’m walking out of conventions for a while to work on this project, which is called ‘Arquebeous Dance’. It is a fan-tribute anthology for a series called Nobunagun by Masato Hisa, which has a VERY small fanbase, but very dedicated fans nonetheless. Which is why I decided to join this project and contribute a small comic for it.

The project is dedicated to Nobunagun:

You can check the anime out here, but I recommend skipping episode six and seven when watching the first time around, which are filler episodes.

Also, you can’t deny this is an awesome opening for an anime:

[You can read chapter 1 and the three most recent chapters in the manga here]

Anyways, a large reason for participating in this project was that the manga isn’t sold in America! A friend lent the Japanese volumes to me, but even though I can’t read anything, I just look at the illustrations over and over to understand (although my friend does clarify some things for me). So I hope, when I finish this project, some of you would be interested in spreading the word around, and if there’s enough of a fanbase, some company might consider translating it :D

Arquebeous Dance is a fan anthology that revolves around the main character SIo Ogura. Since the anime was accurate enough to cut off at around volume 4, I decided to make my comic the branch between what happens at the very end of the volume, and what happens in the beginning of the next volume. That way, it’s not quite a spoiler, but a bridge to understand what the outcome for the future of the series will lead to.

These will be the only two ‘preview pages’ of the nine-ten page comic, but I will also be including 4koma comics, and other illustrations in it too!

(comic is right to left, and no text)

set1_finalA set2aIf you’d like to participate, please check out our tumblr for more information on guidelines, deadlines, and contacting us to be on the list! Deadline for open call of artists is June 1, but completion of art is in September! Also, please only participate if you’re a fan of the series. When you pour your heart into something you love, the work always shows, and we want our anthology to be all about that! Support the series, support Masato Hisa!

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And you thought Copics could only do one thing?

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Ah, I was once given the question ‘why don’t you use watercolors instead?’
Well, I mean they’re cheaper and can do a lot too, but I guess the only answer I have for that is ‘because it’s different’

I am very angry and disappointed about kids who invest in these fancy Copics without even understanding how much it can do! I mean, I guess I used to be one, but my first set was given by my friends in highschool as a gift (they chipped in to get me a set! d’aaw). I’m gonna say a ton of tutorials online only show you how to do it one way, and well….there’s more than just a few ways to utilize a marker.

First off, recently I decided to invest in a copic aircan set. I got it because I saw some frames from the comic Dorohedoro that looked like it was airbrushed…then had the urge to copy that. For anyone interested, I highly do not recommend you buying it unless you’re REALLY serious about using it, not a noob, or dedicated to learning it. I especially want to emphasize the last one–some people buy copic markers because everyone else is using them, and find out they don’t really use it except to color spots on pictures or draw lines. Get it if you know what you’re doing.

And here is a tutorial about a piece I worked on, colored entirely with Copic Markers:

1. The first thing to any picture is to think of a topic and draw out the idea. For me, I was thinking of Ghost In the Shell, killing robots, cyborgs and just happened to be reading Battle Angel Alita as well. Anyhow, I started with the blue line pencil, because as any of you know, I keep losing my pencils and the color blue just happens to pop out of my pile of pens more than a pencil.

2. I used a dip pen to ink it. Yes, entire thing. Took an entire night and morning, but it was cool.

3. When I scanned it in, I realized the composition was POOR. But I kept going, because I knew I can just crop it to whatever size.

4. I colored in the girl, and started airbrushing (Copic Air Can, adaptor+ 180). I forgot to take a photo of me coloring the girl, sorry sorry ^_^’

MAKE SURE TO WORK WITH AN OPEN WINDOW AND A MASK IF YOU HAVE ONE!

5. As you can see, when you’re done airbrushing, it looks awful. BUT, don’t fret!

6. I smoothed out all black/blue areas with grey and more black markers, and the shadows tightened with the markers. I did not airbrush for this. I also didn’t show the part after this, but I had to go to the art store to get another can.

7. NOW you’re wondering ‘no way what the hell are you thinking? Well, I watched simple airbrush tutorials, and I remembered a demo that Edel Rodriguez did in my Illustration 5 class where he masked areas with Frisket and just rolled solid colors over it. Well, here I gave some color and depth, and then..

8. Ta-da! peel the frisket paper!

It ended up looking like this:

sweet, clean, and sexy.

Now, the final run.

9. Again, I put frisket paper on the thing again and airbrushed a peachy background (there was enough grey in it, I had to brighten it up a bit). Then I colored in the basic flag, but it was too clean for my taste.

10. I airbrushed some random colors, but it STILL looked too smooth. So I used my colorless blender, and made spots by just dipping the marker onto the flag for a few seconds. Usually that’s an awful thing to do with your images, but for this particular picture, I wanted that flag to look a little less joyful and a little more nasty. Also, it was blending in with the hair too much.

11. Well, done with the picture, and scanned it in. However, I mentioned the image’s composition is very poor. Plus, I needed to make this postcard size so I can print it at a convention. SO, the final picture ended up like this:

I was going to add some white highlights to it, but I kinda felt the dirty colors gave it a deep mood. I was thinking of adding texture to the saws, but I felt it would blend in too much with the foreground, so I didn’t touch it.

….and there you go. There’s more than one way to use a Copic Marker. Now if only the company could sponsor me…..

Some progress of marker work a year later:

 

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HERE’S A SIGN (literally)

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So anyways, you might have heard me talking about a bar in San Francisco called ‘Raven Bar’. It’s only a few blocks from the Civic Center BART station. The bottom two was a set I drew with a Christmas theme. To my surprise, it’s still standing outside!

 

here’s the current website: http://www.ravenbarsf.com/

1151 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

So, the thing is, before these things go to waste,

 

If ANY of you go to the bar and get a photo of yourself next to these signs and send me a photo and post it up, I’ll mail you a special gift!

*one little freebie for each pic of you and each sign. If the sign is gone, then this offer ends, so better get a drink there :] If it’s a group photo, I will send everything to only ONE address, but everyone gets something.

 

I can’t drink alcohol for several reasons, so if you’re like me, and interested in something non-alcoholic, I recommend their strawberry limeade :3

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Women of the Deep Sea (preview)

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There was some contest by a friend, his alias is “WenM”. I doubt I’ll ever win his contest, but I might as well enter this thing. Design of a monster.

 

Digital, Markers, and white gouache

I went to another art museum show called the “Royal Treasures from the Louvre: Louis XIV to Marie-Antoinette” and was inspired to create chimera like creatures. The design is based on a gulper eel (Saccopharyngiformes). I wish there was more material to study about these deep sea creatures, but unfortunately there isn’t much that has been discovered about this stuff.

AND, this is a preview of a small artbook I’m planning. At the moment I am dubbing it as “Women of the Deep Sea”. It will consist of species from the deep ocean floors, homogenized with a human woman (like a mermaid, but not). This is just a sample preview pic, I’m sure I could do a better picture depicting this freaky ass fish. Just wanted to show off a little progress.

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Fall 2012 Illustration Thesis Show

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Once again, it’s that time of year for illustration thesis students to strut their stuff. I think by now I can stop saying ‘dang I’m impressed with this year’ because it feels like I said that for about three years now since I started caring. There were many down points though, mostly being the fact that it wasn’t really ‘advertised’ enough and there were only ten artists, so it was a much quieter thesis show than last year. And next year will be HELL.

Yesterday I felt my mouth just wouldn’t stop talking–blah blah blah, I really apologize if I said anything stupid or wouldn’t shut up yesterday. It gets lonely in the house and I didn’t realize what I said until I went home in the shower to contemplate.

Some REALLY awesome highlights though:

-I met an orthodontist, and he finally told me what these things in my mouth was.

-there were these two twins that wore the exact same clothing:

-I managed to get all but one promo piece.

-Got to see the ‘elite’ alumni crew, as I call it:

 (From left to right: Collin Nita, Laura Szabo, Jonathan Stagnaro, Yina Kim, Devin Mireles) –Sadly, many others are missing in this pic.

-Saw people from my class :3

-Thanks to the ‘Kick Ass’ Illustration 5 class, I was able to eat two slices of pizza, combined with the other food the school provided, which consisted of soda and some sort of stuffed savory pastry for the night:

(Here, the star of Figure Drawing Saturdays, Cyd, is giving me a big smile. And look at all that uneaten pizza….too bad I only took two slices. By the time I finished eating, I realized the sunlight was really good for photos and ran out, so I couldn’t get a third or fourth slice.)

But some not-so-great moments though:

-No faculty kids to mess around with and take pictures (they are so cute when they look at the pictures)

-A LOT of missing alumni

-Very few art directors (couldn’t get as many photos as I wanted, and so ended up with many repetitive photos)

-People decided to get the beautiful reflective Ikea frames, and also decided to stick their frames next to the window area. Fortunately, I had planned this situation and got a really nice polarized lens to remove glare, but the light was very intense and I could only do so much with a lens. This did turn out to be the best lifesaver when photographing Melissa’s bookcovers.

-My feet are still sore from yesterday

-I forgot to switch lenses after sun went down, and that wasn’t good.

-I said stupid stuff again.

-forgot to steal my brother’s camera blower–dust on the camera lens is evil.

 

Fun Facts:

-I used up a memory card this year, and thank goodness I got a spare this time.

-Battery ran out twice, but thank goodness I bought a spare of that as well..and my charger.

-I did quite some research to get this polarized lens, and also, thank goodness I got that too.

-I have been uploading these photos for over twenty minutes in my computer now.

-I went to CCA and started photographing around 12:30 already.

-I gave my ‘advice’ for underclassmen, even though I don’t know why they asked me, as I’ve only done thesis review once and I wasn’t even that great (and no one got in contact with me either). However, if any of you ever ask me again I think I’ll just point you to this link: http://jackieloart.com/blog/a-show-ill-never-forget-my-thesis-show-pt-1/ (never did part two)

-People still knew me from CCA.

 

*note: Unfortunately, I cannot show images of the artists who were at the show. I told them I wouldn’t post them, because almost all of them told me not to in the first place. I can only direct you to the pages that I know of:

http://afuchan.com/

http://anna-lorraine.com/

http://www.caitlinng.com/

http://melissacazaresillustration.com/

http://kpelto.com/

http://mrcaraco.com/

http://brianmutschler.com/

http://marialeung.com/

http://songleestudio.com/

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sexy ninja with ‘donuts’

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I’ve been working on this for the past few days:

(purely digital)

 

It’s interesting what people think ‘provocative’ women are in media. Cleavage? ass? whatever. Notice that most of her chest is covered in wraps, but that one tiny part on her boob crack. Suddenly that crack makes her look super sexy or something, ahaha. It’s like how wearing a bikini is hot, but seeing a girl come out of the shower with a bathrobe is even hotter (even though less skin is exposed). Panty shot vs. butt crack on pants?

Anyhow, this is a drawing for the “Spice It Up Cafe” crepe/donut food truck. I must really thank Ian Sy for being drunk that night when I was working on this pic on livestream, where he was throwing out lots of great advice.

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Fan Art is Fine Art! (part 2)

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A: “Whoa, you have so many markers! Aren’t they expensive to keep buying?”

B: “Yes. and that is why I only have about eight refills.”

A: “WHAT?! You can refill markers!?”

B: “Yes, but I only have six colors and black and colorless blender”

A: “so….you only refill eight markers???”

B: “I mix the rest of the colors. You know…like you mix to get green, or mix to get orange…..common sense.”

A: ……….omg I’ve wasted so much money buying them over, and over…..T^T

B: Well, you should have looked it up online. In fact, it’s 0n the website from the company who makes them -_-‘

 

Ever wonder why markers are so popular for comics? Me too. Well, I don’t have a pure explanation other than the incredible speed it dries in and the speed you have to train yourself to work in. Actually, when I ink enough, I would take a bathroom break for the color to completely soak in the paper and blend the colors together completely. Wouldn’t make a difference anyways, besides, bathroom breaks are quite enjoyable.

Gold Saw from “Black Rock Shooter” series. A well known anime, but not a popular character. I only like that series for the character designs and nothing else.

I never really learned much from looking at those ‘this is how I color with marker’ tutorials at all, so I had to teach myself. In this thing, you can see how much I screwed up in order to get the right color. Ended up okay in the end. Well, I hope i took enough photos to make a little more sense. More explanations at the bottom of this thing.

 

–THIS IS PART TWO—PART THREE COMING SOON!–

INK to MARKER

 Photos were taken by camera in  middle of the day, and I was too lazy to edit most of the photos. Also, as the markers are all hand-mixed and refilled, I doubt telling you the number in the marker will help you find the right color.

1) I have a very basic and light marking about where the darkest areas will be. In a bit, the color will lighten up and you won’t see it anymore.

2) You add in a basic color, and then you add a darker color over it. Pretty explanatory. Notice my lack of skills with all those streaks of markers left and right. No worries…yet.

3) Blue, violet, and cream skin were for the shadowy areas of the flesh. Later it will be absorbed into the paper and become a lighter tone, as well as being a base for the actual skin color. I added blue to tell myself where her hair was at.

4) Changed my mind and added grey. What a waste of blue marker. Then added a darker shade for the strands of hair. Notice I added a darker peachy color to the skin, and it’s slowly blending together with the blue skin colors underneath.  Also, it was time I made the ‘red’ of her armor stick out a little more, so I used an orange-red to saturate the armor as well as blend the shadows a little more. Notice how all the red streaks are gone?

5) Decided to change my mind AGAIN. Added black. Found my pen and whooshed some black strands too. I was questioning how the jacket (which also was originally black) would stand out as much as the hair. I added a dark blue.

6) Added black and grey to blend with the blue.

8) self explanatory. HAHA IT SAYS NUMBER 8 and i’m way too tired to change it.

 

NEXT UP: Marker-to-paper-to-paint-to-marker-to mask! :D

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