31 Days of Post (2) Day 11: The Art Post
I have no idea why I’m obsessed with pastels. But I am. I remember back to taking art in high school and finding the pastel sections to be the most fun I’ve had in the class.
In a way, pastels are a callback to childhood. Their form are identical to the crayons of youth. But they are so different. While crayons are single application colors, pastels are versatile with their ability to create various effects.
Using pastels also require other art skills, namely my old bane- drawing. I’ve never been very good at drawing. Or at least fine drawing. My drawings are often fat and clumsy. And uneven.
But I remember when I drew from some old National Geographic magazines that I wanted to get it right. There was this one picture of a butterfly on a leaf. I loved that picture. I loved drawing it. I loved giving it color. And most of all, I loved the fact that it was, in the end, a gift to my Mom, who loves butterflies (and the ultimate tragedy of that butterfly painting’s fate still pisses me off, years later). I also remember a young Indian groom I painted. As I drew, as I gave it color, I fell in love with him (as much as an artist can fall in love with their model). (And like such loves, I have no idea what happened to that painting).
Remembering all of this just reinforces what I loved about drawing and pastels, though it has been years since I have done anything other than quick sketches (Sara Simblett’s ball point ink doodle drawings are amazing, by the way).
Damn it all! I need some pastels. And paper.
Applying that Drive to Manga and Comics
When I’ve blogged about art, I’ve almost exclusively written in terms of my ambitions to write comics (either manga or traditional comics). Clearly, I’m being stupid putting the end goal before building up the skills needed to accomplish it.
I’m still passionate about manga both as a storytelling form and as a form of art. I make a better writer than an artist, though.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t use a manga style in my own art. And I’ve been dying to experiment with applying pastels to comics art.
Has anyone ever used pastels to color manga or comics? I know that the traditional method is water colors, and the current method is using computer programs.
Something to look forward to, even if it is just for me.
If taking lessons is a problem, how then can someone learn (or relearn) how to draw and paint? Well, get some books, watch PBS how to programs, or check out what the net has to offer.
Now, be aware that some books, programs, sites, etc. will vary in quality and use.
For example, PBS (to my knowledge) exclusively has painting programs with no drawing, pastel, or sculpting programs. Art books obviously vary in quality and usefulness. And the same can be said for using the web.
Personally, I find using the library to find interesting and useful books for future perusal to be very helpful. However, I am disappointed by the pastel books on offer at the library, oh well. The drawing books are excellent, though.
Fan Art vs. Comics (and Manga, too)
When it comes to how to draw manga books, I get the feeling that most of them are designed for the fan artist. The focus is almost exclusively on how to draw the figure. There is no attention paid to laying out a scene, the forms of perspective, page layout, etc.
If you are a budding comics artist, whether manga or not, it probably is a good idea to check out comic book how to books (there are a lot of good ones) merge those lessons with a manga style (and add some comic book writing books, too if you want to write as well). (Of course nothing can beat actually studying various manga series). I should also rant about the lack of any books on how to actually write manga. The only book I know of that touches on the subject is McCloud’s Making Comics. So, is there any doubt why I think most western manga how to books are geared to the fan artist?
Wrapping It Up
I may, eventually, write up a post on the artists and styles I like in manga, comics, etc.. And I really should have a rant on why Art 21 doesn’t have more seasons. I love that show.