Friday, November 17, 2017

[Dual Balance] Nocturne


[Dual Balance] Nocturne 
(Original Character)

Key character illustration for my story "Fated Sword Dual Balance."

A dangerous hunter who assaults Terra early in his journey. Does he have affiliation with the creatures destroying towns all over Ogelna, or do his loyalties lie elsewhere?

November 17, 2017
Sakura Pigma pens, Prismacolor Markers, and gel pens
on 8.5x11" cardstock.

(*faded enlarged version and text added digitally via Photoshop Elements)

Fated Sword Dual Balance ©2017 Studio OZKai

Thursday, November 16, 2017

[Dual Balance] Rhapsody



[Dual Balance] Rhapsody 
(Original Character)

Key character illustration for my story "Fated Sword Dual Balance."

A young refugee from the destroyed city of Judah, she was separated from her family and ended up in the forest where Elysium now camps. While raised as a mage, Rhapsody's mother disappeared too soon into her training, her confidence and potential still not fully tapped.

November 16, 2017
Sakura Pigma pens, Copic Multiliner, Prismacolor Markers, and gel pens
on 8.5x11" cardstock.

(*faded enlarged version and text added digitally via Photoshop Elements)

Fated Sword Dual Balance ©2017 Studio OZKai

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

[Dual Balance] Requiem


[Dual Balance] Requiem 
(Original Character)

Key character illustration for my story "Fated Sword Dual Balance."

The local fortune teller of Terra's hometown of Gaf, she is responsible for the mission to retrieve the Fated Swords for which Terra sets out on.
She exudes a mysterious air tht hints at wisdom far beyond her years.

November 15, 2017
Sakura Pigma pens, Copic Multiliner, Prismacolor Markers, and gel pens
on 8.5x11" cardstock.

(*faded enlarged version and text added digitally via Photoshop Elements)

Fated Sword Dual Balance ©2017 Studio OZKai

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

[Dual Balance] Oni


[Dual Balance] Oni 
(Original Character)

Key character illustration for my story "Fated Sword Dual Balance."

"Oni" is the chosen bearer of the sword of burning earth, Jigoku-ken.
Born with a deep hatred for the humans that betrayed her, she commands the group Il Inno de Morte, destroying much of civilization in search of something.
She will face off against Elysium and Terra, forever altering her destiny.

November 14, 2017
Sakura Pigma pens, Prismacolor Markers, and gel pens
on 8.5x11" cardstock.

(*faded enlarged version and text added digitally via Photoshop Elements)

Fated Sword Dual Balance ©2017 Studio OZKai

[Dual Balance] Elysium


[Dual Balance] Elysium 
(Original Character)

Key character illustration for my story "Fated Sword Dual Balance."

Elysium wields the sword Tenken of the heavenly sky, and is leading the one-sided battle against a group destroying humanity.
When she encounters Terra, the two discover just how deep the war has gone...

November 14, 2017
Sakura Pigma pens, Copic Multiliner, Prismacolor Markers, and gel pens
on 8.5x11" cardstock.

(*faded enlarged version and text added digitally via Photoshop Elements)

Fated Sword Dual Balance ©2017 Studio OZKai

Monday, November 13, 2017

[Dual Balance] Terra


[Dual Balance] Terra 
(Original Character
)

Key character illustration for my story "Fated Sword Dual Balance."

Terra is the main protagonist and wielder of the sword Dual Balance.
In his quest to locate the other two Fated Swords, he will stumble into a quiet war a millennia old. Within, he will find out the truth behind its bloody past, his blade, as well as his "self."

November 13, 2017
Sakura Pigma pens, Prismacolor Markers, and gel pens
on 8.5x11" cardstock.
(*enlarged version and text added digitally via Photoshop Elements)

Fated Sword Dual Balance ©2017 Studio OZKai

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Prophecy


"The Prophecy"(10-year update) 
(Original Characters
)

Sorry if I'm spamming my own creations, but my interest super-piqued recently. This is a redo of a piece I did back in either 2007, and never posted on here for whatever reason (but can be seen below). I think I let this piece kinda run with my minor inspiration of The Record of Lodoss War, which when I created these characters and story, I had only seen 2 episodes of the OVA randomly in even earlier 2000's. (After watching it again last year, it's weird how much stuck with me about it.)

As with many of my remakes, I've switched from digital to traditional mediums, but I'd like to think my understanding of anatomy, wings, and overall composition has improved. Some might say the lighting on the older one may have looked more dynamic, but I believe that hides just how bad the linework was. Also happier with the color balance for this one, as well. The character designs have also shaped up well, and definitely wanted to reflect that in this update.


November 6, 2017
Micron pens, Sakura Pigma pens, Prismacolor Markers, and gel pens
on 8.5x11" cardstock.

(*Paper texture added digitally via Photoshop Elements)



"The Prophecy"
(Original Characters
)


April 15, 2007
Normal Pens and PainterClassic
2810x4000 pixels

Monday, October 30, 2017

Heaven Near


"Heaven Near"
(Original Character
)

This is a counterpart piece to an illustration I did back in 2015. I actually conceptualized this way back then, but failed to get anywhere with it. Since my interest in my story has suddenly skyrocketed (See: every other post for the last 2~3 weeks), I felt the need to finish this one in between my character designs.

 I was concerned about using the character's main color palette since the outfit for her here differs from her actual design, but the other plan would have either clashed or blended with the background. I think keeping with her proper colors lets her pop from the image more.


October 30, 2017
Micron pens, Sakura Pigma pens, Prismacolor Markers, colored pencils, and gel pens
on 8.5x11" cardstock.

(*Paper texture added digitally via Photoshop Elements)

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Show Must Go On

"The Show Must Go On"
(The Big O)
 
Another long-shelved project completed! I first fully saw The Big O late last year, and I loved it, from its visual aesthetic (at least in the first season), to its form of storytelling, to its giant robots. Big O has a lot to like, though it also has a lot to throw off casual viewers. Either way, to me, the pros far outweigh the cons, and it earned a spot among my favorite anime.

I mentioned on the previous one that I did was to reference for this. Despite how it looks, this image is NOT digitally inverted. It was colored relatively side-by-side to the OFFSET version, using it as a reference to how the shading lied naturally, and used another screencap for color reference to color this one, because in series, Big Venus appears inverted like this. The line work was done with a white gel pen, especially to clean up areas where the markers bled into the negative space. This may be my most ambitious piece yet, and it definitely paid off!

October 13, 2017
Micron pens, Prismacolor Markers, colored pencils, and gel pens
on 8.5x11 cardstock

The Show Must Go On Ver.OFFSET

"The Show Must Go On Ver.OFFSET"
(The Big O)
 
Another long-shelved project completed! I first fully saw The Big O late last year, and I loved it, from its visual aesthetic (at least in the first season), to its form of storytelling, to its giant robots. Big O has a lot to like, though it also has a lot to throw off casual viewers. Either way, to me, the pros far outweigh the cons, and it earned a spot among my favorite anime.

This one's actually a bit of an odd duck in the collection. Aside from it facing forward, this piece for the Big Venus isn't exactly "screen accurate." In fact, the only reason I colored this piece was because I needed a reference to do its true version. While technically part of the "Cast in the Name of God" collection, this one can be considered a variant.

October 13, 2017
Micron pens, Prismacolor Markers, colored pencils, and gel pens
on 8.5x11 cardstock

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Ye Not

"Ye Not"
(The Big O)
 
Another long-shelved project completed! I first fully saw The Big O late last year, and I loved it, from its visual aesthetic (at least in the first season), to its form of storytelling, to its giant robots. Big O has a lot to like, though it also has a lot to throw off casual viewers. Either way, to me, the pros far outweigh the cons, and it earned a spot among my favorite anime.

The third piece in this "Cast in the Name of God" set is the more penultimate Megadeus, the Big Fau. I was very happy to pull off its off-white base color without using my typical myriad of greys. The background gave some minor issues as it started to clash with the name. I was able to separate the two a bit, but I feel I could have done a little better. All in all, though, I'm happy with the turn out of this one.

October 12, 2017
Micron pens, Prismacolor Markers, colored pencils, and gel pens
on 8.5x11 cardstock

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Ye Guilty

"Ye Guilty"
(The Big O)
 
Another long-shelved project completed! I first fully saw The Big O late last year, and I loved it, from its visual aesthetic (at least in the first season), to its form of storytelling, to its giant robots. Big O has a lot to like, though it also has a lot to throw off casual viewers. Either way, to me, the pros far outweigh the cons, and it earned a spot among my favorite anime.

The second piece in this "Cast in the Name of God" set is the first true rival Megadeus, and the second Big, aptly named Big Duo. Not much to note on this one, it followed pretty straight-forward. I think its color palette is my favorite among the set, though.

October 11, 2017
Micron pens, Prismacolor Markers, colored pencils, and gel pens
on 8.5x11 cardstock

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Ye Not Guilty

"Ye Not Guilty"
(The Big O)
 
Another long-shelved project completed! I first fully saw The Big O late last year, and I loved it, from its visual aesthetic (at least in the first season), to its form of storytelling, to its giant robots. Big O has a lot to like, though it also has a lot to throw off casual viewers. Either way, to me, the pros far outweigh the cons, and it earned a spot among my favorite anime.

The first piece in this "Cast in the Name of God" set is the titular Big O. I think I inked this piece 3 different times before landing on a style that I was satisfied with. The colors came a bit more naturally, at least, though I will admit some of my markers were giving out on me, resulting in a lot of layering to get the coverage and colors I was aiming for.

October 10, 2017
Micron pens, Prismacolor Markers, colored pencils, and gel pens
on 8.5x11 cardstock

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Samael Waits for You


"Samael Waits for You"
(Hellsing)
 
Casually speaking, I'm not usually one for violent supernatural thriller series, anime or otherwise, but something about Hellsing -or more specifically, its OVA- stood out to me. I don't know if its how well its story is told, the interesting mix of supernatural creatures and military, or even its surprisingly apt grasp on history and the woes of churchdom (on more than just Catholicism, at that). Or maybe it's how well Team Four Star had been doing on their Hellsing Ultimate Abridged. I dunno, but it was definitely a series that actually stuck with me in a positive way. My wife enjoyed it more than me (Which is saying a bit), so she commissioned this piece from me... Back in January.

Needless to say, like many pieces I do that are of the larger format, I got overwhelmed and shelved the piece well into the inking phase. But, of course, I decided to pick it back up and finish inkin as well as color it all in one day. I should really stop caving to my anxieties.

The many eyes, as well as the shadow matter they dwell within, were my biggest issues with the piece, but all came together pretty well. I remember feeling a little "unwell" after doing all the impaled bodies on the right-hand side of the piece, but I tried my best to keep them more silhouetted. A lot of this picture took me outside of my comfort zones, so hopefully they don't come off as too subdued.

September 23, 2017
Normal pens, Micron pens, Prismacolor Markers, colored pencils, gel pens, and chalk pastels
on 11x17" cardstock

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Gunship 4x4


"Gunship 4x4"
(Metroid series / Rocket League)
 
Metroid's been getting a lot of love, lately, eh? Two new games -one of which is out now- and also a "cameo" in the extreme fantasy sport game Rocket League; who's Switch port has exclusive cars based on Mario, Luigi, and Samus' Gunship. Admittedly, I let the idea of a pin-up illustration run away with me, to which, here we are!

I will say, I haven't seriously drawn a real car in a long LONG time, so this was a daunting endeavor, but I found just enough references to make the thing work with minimal guess work as to shapes and details. I'd say the biggest challenge was deciding to still go with traditional for the piece, but I think it adds some character I know would have been lost had I attempted digital. The colors all balance really well, which I am proud of, especially going with Samus' Fusion ending suit, compliments the orange of the car.

September 21, 2017
Micron Pen, Prismacolor Markers, colored pencils, Sharpie Neon markers, and gel pens
on 8.5x11" cardstock

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Dreams Come True


"Dreams Come True"
(Sonic The Hedgehog series)
 
Admittedly, I'm not a Sonic fan. Or rather, I never grew up with Sonic. I played a few games here and there when visiting friends and relatives who had a Genesis, however our household was SNES. That being said, my small time with those classic cartridges made me understand why Sonic is so revered by his fans... And why the 3D generation has had them so downtrodden over the franchise. I still have yet to play Sonic Mania due to the PC version delay, however, I am definitely on board the hype train for it, especially for my wife, who had grown up with Sonic and knows Sonics 2, 3, and 3&K  like the back of her hand.
Oddly enough, I had this picture in mind for quite a while now, but kept it stewing until it bubbled over. And I'm glad I did, because the final product is bounds over the minor ambition the original plan was. I tried my best to let the colors do the talking rather than thick dark ink lines and crisp cel-style shading. The background had a LOT of ambition poured into it, but I think despite my many flubs and supply issues, it still turned out well.
Trying to imagine what the Chemical Plant Zone would look like from an outside view was kinda difficult, so I kinda tucked it away. lol

August 17, 2017
Mechanical pencil, Copic pen, Prismacolor Markers, colored pencils, and gel pen
on 8.5x11" cardstock

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Xenogals: 'Vierge'


"Xenogals: 'Vierge'"
(Xenogears)
 
Almost forgot about this project! lol Well, a year later's better than never, right?
The Vierge is main female character and love interest Elley's gear throughout most of the playable game. It has a very feminine design that made translating it to Mecha-Musume rather easy, so I decided to have fun with it by having her/it do it's rare Aerod (Funnel) attack. It gave me a chance to give this one some personality, and I think it makes it my favorite of the four done, thus far.
I think the bright colors turned our better than I had thought they would. My pink selection's limited, and the Vierge has 3 or 4 differing tones of pink on its body, and I think I managed to separate them pretty well. Especially compared to the Weltall's 4~5 different blue-greys...

July 30, 2017
Sakura Pigma pens, normal pens, Prismacolor Markers, and gel pens
on 8.5x11" cardstock

Saturday, July 8, 2017

*Determination


"*Determination"
(Undertale)
 
What can I say about Undertale that hasn't already been said? It's the most amazing indie RPG I've ever played, and love its twists in both gameplay and narrative, and I love how much the game is actually playing you, in the end. It's weird how attached you can get to characters in what feels like only a 7-10 hour game.

This piece started as a simple sketch. The human handing the monster a flower. The best part of this concept is the duality of the symbolism, especially depending on how you run the game. It's one that hit me hard in conceptualizing, and had to get it out quickly. I had no intention on coloring it, so instead I just did some digital shading on the piece, transferred it to a copper parchment texture, and erased part of that around the human (I'm intentionally being vague with the characters, as playing this game I feel is best to go in with as little idea as to what it is as possible). I only colored the flower, giving a bit more power to its presence, as small as it may be.

July 8, 2017
Pencil and Photoshop Elements
3300x2550 pixels (native)

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Chozen One


"The Chozen One"
(Samus Aran from Metroid/Original Concept)
 
I'll be honest, this isn't the most original idea, as I've seen other knight armored Samus' in the past. But with the Varia Suit design updated for the upcoming Metroid: Samus Returns, I love the layered armor look that they did for it, and it made me want to convert it into a more traditional armor set. And yes, I even opted to make sure the entire body was covered, if not in armor, than in cloth and chain mail. I did a lot of gaps in the armor simply to keep Samus' agility and acrobatics intact, but decided to give her under garb akin to her zero suit. I really like the sword, designed to look like her arm cannon, and the cape, which has the silhouette of a familiar nemisis...

Rather than inked lineart, I just did it in pencil, to keep it relatively soft. I reprinted it onto ivory parchment paper (with a slight brown hue to the lining) and colored it with my standard fare of Prismacolors. I tried to keep the shades soft, as well, going for more typical older medieval fantasy art. I only used a white charcoal pencil for highlights here and there.

July 6, 2017
Pencil, Prismacolor markers, and charcoal pencils
on 8.5x11 parchment paper

Monday, May 29, 2017

Komm Süsser Tod Ver.:||


"Komm Süsser Tod Ver:||"
(The End of Evangelion)
 
A redo of a piece I had done way back in 2005, this piece was both a nod to one of my favorite movies (still, to date), as well as an overall visual of how far I've come in the last 12 years. I saw The End of Evangelion in my late teens, so I definitely feel I saw it at the ideal point in my life to have the biggest impact (heh), and that it did. Evangelion as a whole influenced a lot of my current social perceptions, and rightfully shaped me into who I am today (for better or for worse).

While the prior version was inked on a legal size (14x8.5) sheet and colored digitally, this version was done on 11x17, and traditionally. Kind of an incidental flip on the franchise's current trends. My understanding of anatomy has improved dramatically, but I've seemed to have lost the ability to mimic Sadamoto's linework styling (though saying my first version was a successful attempt would be an attack on his talents).

Things like the background were much more fleshed out, and each character has been added some dynamics to their prior stoic and bland forms. The Eva's wings have also lost the inked lining to their shape, and are now all colored and a brighter color. The starburst around the sun was the riskiest part, but I feel it paid off when viewed with the whole of the work.

May 29, 2017
Micron pens, Pigma pens, Prismacolor markers, colored pencils, chalk pastels, and gel pens
on 11x17 cardstock


"Komm Süsser Tod"
(The End of Evangelion)

Unknown, 2005
Normal pens and PainterClassic
1307x800 pixels

Monday, March 27, 2017

Breathe




"Breathe"
(Link and Zelda from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild)
 
I honestly can't believe this was my first Zelda piece in over 10 years. But it's also the first Zelda game I've been this into in over 10 years. While I enjoyed Wind Waker and Twilight Princess immensely (Especially so their HD ports on the Wii U), the "wow" factor of Breath of the Wild is... Well, wild! So much of this is such a welcome departure for a reliable yet stagnating franchise.

Choosing to not ink this piece was the biggest risk I'd taken in a while, but, honestly, I think it paid off. Given this is my first illustration of Link in a decade, it's nice to make him feel different than ever before. And I've grown to love his blue tunic / no cap approach. All the little details throughout his shirt, tunic, hood, and arm wraps allows him to stand out unlike prior iterations. And I loved the challenge of adding all those little details to this piece. The background was a completely different beast, though, as there were so many different concepts to use before I decided on this angle and sky tone. If you wander the map enough, this is an exact place somewhere in Hyrule.

I also did a digital-background version for a contrast (Seen below), much like the in-game tone. Not really sure which I prefer, though. I won't translate the text here, as it is a semi-spoiler, but if you look into the Sheikah language, you can find out for yourself...

March 27, 2017
Prismacolor markers, Colored pencils, and gel pens
on 8.5x11 cardstock


"Breathe" (Sheikah Slate version)
Background created and edited in via Photoshop Elements 7