I started experimenting with Prismacolor Pencils. I'm really liking them so far! These are some illustrations I did of my Ronin Yoshino characters on ATCO (art trading card original):
The first drawing of Yoshino (red haired character) was inspired when my parents and I were walking at the little park area on Main Street in Patchogue. It was a beautiful day and the Canada Geese parents were with their fluffy yellow goslings grazing away. Across the lake were more Canada Geese, Mute Swans, Mallards, Muscovy Ducks and a Eastern Cormorant. I tried to capture the tranquility of that day with Ronin Yoshino peacefully looking out to the lake. The second image is Akatsuki from the manga. It was a cool day and clear turquoise sky and our Evening Primroses are in bloom, so I tried to illustrate the feeling of a cool, spring day.
I don’t like having to rely on computers for everything, so instead of digitally coloring on Adobe Photoshop, I also like traditional methods – pen and ink, pencils, markers, sumi-e and now colored pencils!
Ever wanted to be an anime character? Have a role in a manga? Be a samurai swordsman, priestess with spiritual powers, a powerful youkai? Now’s your chance! You can become a character in the upcoming season 2 of Ronin Yoshino – Onigashima arc!
See contest details and how to enter here: http://www.roninyoshino.com/contest.htm
Season 2 Preview:
“Ronin Yoshino has been on hiatus – but now she’s back and ready to fight more exciting battles! Season 2, Onigashima arc – The Ronin Yoshino ventures alone leaving her tengu retainer, Kagekiri behind. This arc is based on the tale of the famous folklore hero, Momotaro and combining the history of Japan’s historical “Exile Island”, Hachijo-jima. More action, new characters, and all new adventures!”
Illustration I did while upstate NY! Inspired by the beautiful scenery of the mountains and rivers... Drawn with non-photo blue, manga pens and colored pencils on a ATCO (art trading card original). Character is Akuba Someiyoshino (aka: Ronin Yoshino). She's looking up to the sky and a flock of geese are in the distance.
Sakura Matsuri: Japanese Cherry Blosom Festival is today!!! It's at the Stony Brook Charles Wang Asian Culture Center in Stonybrook University, Long Island NY starting at 12noon.
There's FREE outdoor performances of taiko drumming and martial arts and the exhibitors area were lots of Japanese arts, crafts, kimono and other cool stuff is for sale. I'll be one of the vendors selling my handmade maneki-neko charms, kokeshi charms and my original manga series, Ronin Yoshino art prints and printed manga books.
In the theater, there's performances of traditional and modern Japanese music and dances! Feel free to check out previous years photos at my website:http://www.shinrinart.com/asian.html
For more info about the event, check out: http://www.ryushukan.com/cherry-blossom-festival-sakura-matsuri-home/
Sketch I did yesterday of my original characters, the Ronin Yoshino and her partner Kagekiri, ready to fight!
Here's the finished art! I used one of my kimono fabrics as the background for a different look. A preview for the new, upcoming arc which I was inspired by one of my favorite Japanese folktales, Momotaro and the history of Hachijo-jima!
New Ronin Yoshino sketch featuring the character Kagekiri!
Here is the finished art:
Since I've been practicing sculpting dogs out of polymer cay, I decided to try to sculpt my character. I'm still a noob at polymer, so I wanted to try and make it "easy" (although it was actually a pain in the butt) and I made Ronin Yoshino as a chibi "Kawaii" keychain charm figurine! I hope to get really good at polymer sculpting so I can made a figurine of Ronin Yoshino as good as Kotobukiya...
Sketch I finished tonight Takemaru Arashi, the Daimyo (warlord) and the Ronin Yoshino's adversary.
Here is the finished version:
Creating a manga isn't easy...
I forgot how hard it is starting a new comic book series. I’m going to have to put my new series, Dragons Amulet, on hold again, the ideas are just not panning out smoothly. I love creating manga, but it’s extremely difficult and time consuming to create. There is a lot involved making a manga series. Here’s what I do to create manga:
1) I do research by choosing an era and study the clothing, customs, weapons, military and mythology…
2) Then I buy several books in order to get inspiration, to learn and depict the series to be culturally accurate.
3) I use my “elemental character chart” which is a special system I use to create base characters, which I tweak them around into more unique characters later on by basing them on real people.
4) Once I have the main cast, I design the character concepts designs.
5) Next I choose the “flavor” of my story, such as; adventure, fantasy, comedy, action, drama…etc. and the targeted audience (niche and age group).
6) I start writing the backdrop of the story by creating an entire world for the series: the environment, culture, government, folklore and I also draw a map to give an idea of what the world looks like in the story.
7) Then I work on a script for the pilot chapter by writing the dialogue, scenes and panel cuts (which have to be exact). At this stage, the script is edited and reviewed by Zoraida & Aaron.
8) After the script is completed, I start sketching the manga with pencils according to the script.
9) If I’m happy with the result, I redraw the entire chapter again using special manga pens, Japanese sumi-e brush, stencils, rulers and a light box.
10) Each page is scanned into Adobe Photoshop, edited, add screentones if it’s going to be in B&W. If it’s going to be in color, I use my mouse and color the characters, insert my nature photos and use them as part of the textures in the background and foreground. I edit my photos using various effects.
11) After the illustrations are completed, I insert dialogue bubbles and text, which is edited again.
12) Once I’m happy with the result, I downsize my manga and insert my copyright watermarks ready for web. Then the most difficult part of all, is promoting it… I post my manga everywhere – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress, Weebly, YouTube, Instagram, Google+, Artfire and putting my business cards on cork boards in stores (hoping someone may check it out).
Time it takes for me to complete an entire 16-20 page chapter is about 4-6 months. It’s fun and challenging, but can be stressful, trying to gain a “fan base”, doing all the work and to get exposure. Creating manga is time consuming and a huge amount of work, but I still enjoy it! I’d enjoy it even more if it had more interaction and fans of my series though… All I can do is keep at it and maybe someday the right person will help market it for me and will someday become an anime! *_*
Check out my video on the different steps of a Ronin Yoshino illustration here:
Ronin Yoshino sketch in non-photo blue pencil. She stands over a cliff gazing upon Onigashima (Island of Ogres) beyond the blue sea. A hint to where the journey will take her next...
Here is the finished illustration:
While I'm working on my new comic series, Dragons Amulet, I decided to try something different - creating short side stories of the Ronin Yoshino characters! These short fillers are called 'Omake' (extra/bonus, usually are humorous) manga. I just finished creating this one, hope you enjoy ^_^
"Don't Disturb Yoshino"
When she's not fighting samurai and yokai, she likes to relax alone, or at least trying to...