The Frustration of The One Line Art Challenge

Every so often it’s nice to attempt one of these little drawing challenges you see posted all over the internet. It can be a lot of fun, watching others attempt to create art in strange and peculiar ways, then trying to create art in the same way yourself. In a kind of weird way, it can turn learning a new art skill into a really fun but challenging game (I’ll leave a little video below so you can see for yourself).

(This best attempt I’ve seen so far at The One Line Art Challenge. It’s so unbelievably awesome)

However, sometimes these challenges seem a lot more fun than they actually are and the results may not turn out as you’d like. The one line art challenge was one of those challenges, but as it’s only a bit of fun and we’re all friend here, I decided to still share my attempts at this challenge (WordPress is nice in that way). This challenge was a little more complicated than other challenges attempted on this blog, because it has a few very strict rules, which I’ll quickly explain before showing you my attempt.

Rules:

  • Your drawing must consist of only one continuous line
  • Once the tip of the pencil touches the page, it can’t be lifted until the drawing is finished.
  • No erasing, whatever marks you make on the paper stay.
  • No tagging in a friend to take over drawing when your hand gets sores (and it will get sore).

thumbnail_20181110_162712Hmm…. yeah it was so much harder than it seemed. I should probably explain this beautiful monstrosity you see before you. I started of drawing a Nightmare Before Christmas style snake, but kind of got a tiny bit frustrated with not being able to lift the pencil and went on a little rage scribble (little being an understatement). After unleashing my full wrath upon the page, I decided to turn my scribbles into a spiderweb and drew a wee happy spider.

Although the results won’t that great, I suppose if you look at things through the eyes of an optimist you could say it was somewhat successful. For one, I managed to complete the challenge without lifting my pencil of the page, so the drawing is one continuous line. Also, as the piece is a true expression of my frustration, in some peoples’ eyes it could be classed as real art. Maybe not good real art but real art all the same. Therefore, my attempt at this challenge ticks both the one line box and the art box, so technically speaking it was a successful attempt (glob, talk about flogging a dead horse).

So that was my attempt at the extremely difficult one line art challenge, hope you enjoyed this post and…
As always Thanks for reading.

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Speed Drawing Yuri on Ice (Part 2)

As promised, part two of the Yuri on ice speed drawing (for a recap of part 1 click here). I was hoping to get this out soon, but unfortunately this week has been extremely stressful and busy, so things didn’t go as planned. It’s been one of those weeks where your patience and ability to remain calm are truly tested and to top it all off, I’m feeling a little height conscious at the minute (I was mistaken for a child at the Halloween fair. I know I’m a bit on the short side and under 5.3ft/160cm, but glob I most definitely do not look like a child. Peeps need to go to Specsavers to get their eyes tested).
Getting back on track, in this video we pick up where we left off and add light and a bit of colour variation to Yuri’s face. Which surprisingly takes a lot less time than adding shadow, so we also tackle the eye, hair and background. Thankfully my habit of canvas spinning is less noticeable in this part. Hope you enjoy! (If the video appears blurry increase the videos Quality setting, to a number above 360p. YouTube’s default settings don’t seem to work well on digital art. This should fix any blurriness.)

To finish this post of I thought I’d give a quick insight into the techniques used in this video. This piece has quite a lot of layers and required quite a few different brushes, but the main technique is to roughly determine where the areas of light and shadow are, blend and tidy the edges and adjust the opacity (Canvas spinning is optional). You can skip the tidying step by doing things more precisely and neatly first time around, but I find you waste a lot time doing that and the end results are the same (plus there’s something strangely satisfying about cleaning up the edges).

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post and…

As always Thanks for reading.IMG_0044

Speed Drawing Yuri on Ice (Part 1)

While creating the artwork for the Yuri on ice review, I realised I could actually record the process. So as a bit of fun, I recorded myself painting Yuri’s head and made it into a speed drawing. To keep the video at a reasonable length I’ve split the speed drawing into two parts. The second part I’ll post next week when I find some decent background music for it (the background music to this one is a bit meh).

Originally, I was going to do a voice-over for the video to add a personal touch, but unfortunately suffered an awful bout of shyness and self-consciousness about my rather raw accent. Narrating an entire video somehow seemed a lot more daunting, than voicing a character in an audio comic. So, instead I created a few quick drawings for the video and rescued a few old drawings from WordPress media and put them to a new use. Though, I’m not a pro at digital drawing, I hope you enjoy this speed drawing
(A little heads up, for some reason YouTube’s auto Quality setting is sometimes making the video look blurry. If this happens click on the videos settings button which is the little cog shaped button, then click on Quality and select a number above 360p. This should fix any blurriness).

Hopefully you’re not dizzy after watching that, apologies if you are. If anything, you could call this an energetic attempted at speed drawing. After sitting down and really analysing this video, I’ve noticed I tend to do it when thinking or swapping the stylus from the left to the right hand. So, hopefully in the next attempt I’ll be able to refrain from doing it (although, being able to spin and draw at the same time is a talent in itself).

Hope you enjoyed this attempted at speed drawing. If all goes well part 2 should be posted very soon and…

As always thanks for reading/watching.

Yuri on Ice

8ce9cea2-6ad6-4639-8222-1ab7b859fac2In every reviewer’s life there comes a time, where they must wonder into the unknown and watch something they wouldn’t normally view. For me this is the romance genre and sports anime. Two genres I usually stay well away from, because they’re really not my cup of tea when it comes to entertainment. So, why watch an anime that combines the two? You may ponder. Let’s just say curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to see why so many people were so taken by this show. Did this risky venture into the unknown pay off? Wait and see after a quick plot summary.

After completely bottling his last season of figure skating, Yuri Katsuki is left distraught and wondering if he should give up figure skating all together. Just as he’s about to throw in the towel, 5x world championship winner Victor Nikiforov shows up at Yuri’s family’s hot springs resort, offering to coach Yuri to greatness. Between Yuri’s lack of self-confidence, performance anxiety and an extremely angry blonde-haired kid showing up, Victor and Yuri really have their work cut out for them.

To be honest, it would be impossible to watch this show without falling in love with the character Yuri Katsuki (alternative spelling: Yuuri or Yūri). Right from the off set, you can see he’s a little bundle of nervous awkward energy, making him incredibly relatable. You can’t help but empathise with Yuri’s character. Between his internal catastrophizing freak outs, his proneness to weight gain and his general awkwardness, it’s hard not to feel for him, because let’s just face it we’ve all had our fair share of little awkward moments and freak out (maybe not to the scales of Yuri’s but you can still relate). Victor’s character is also very likeable in his own way, but personally I find Yuri that little teeny-weeny smidge more likeable (Victor is still great though).

In an anime that’s main focus is on characters competing in competitions and blossoming romances, the characters can make or break the show. In Yuri on ice, the characters more than make the show and are incredibly entertaining. Beside from Victor and Yuri, there are so many other characters to love. Even the brat character Yurio (Yuri Plisetsky), though he’s a massive jerk you still find yourself thoroughly enjoying his feistiness and loving his grumpy ways.

IMG_0044

Side views are my weakness, but I still try.

Christophe Giacometti is another character that stuck out to me. Possibly because the end of his internal skating monologue caused me to choked on my morning coffee (considering how mild the rest of the show is, it completely caught me of guard. Really was not expecting it to go that far). Nonetheless, there’s something very likeable about him, making Christophe another very enjoyable character.

Another notable point is how sweet this anime is. There are just moments in this anime where all you can say is “aww”. Moments like Phichit wanting to start his own skating show, Yuri giving Victor the ring, Yurio being somewhat nice to Yuri and so many more moments. Yuri on ice can also be very comical at times, most of its humour coming from ill-tempered Yurio expressing his displeasure of pretty much everything and everyone. The animation is pretty noteworthy too, the skaters move very fluently and smoothly while performing on the ice, which is rather amazing considering how difficult that must have been to achieve.

All shows have negative points and Yuri on ice is no exception, however these are only small. One point being, the show feels slightly rushed near the end. Perhaps because the anime is only 12 episodes long and the creators wanted to finish on a high note, so sped up the show’s pace a bit to reach that high. Another negative is that the show gets a tiny bit repetitive, however despite this it somehow doesn’t become boring. The skaters’ all have an internal monologue while performing. Giving a view into each skater’s personality and mindset while on the ice. These were rarely the same in each performance, keeping the show interesting and enjoyable to watch.

Overall, Yuri on ice is the best sports anime I’ve seen to date. Usually with sports or romance shows, I’d get very bored and disinterested a few episodes in and quickly drop the show. However, Yuri on ice was very different. It was very enjoyable and had me glued to the screen, loving every minute of it. So glued fact, that I binge watched the whole show in 2 days (something I rarely do, unless I really like the show). If I was to put my finger on what made this anime so enjoyable, I’d have to say its main protagonist Yuri Katsuki. He’s just a very human character which makes it incredibly difficult not to get invested in the anime. You just really want to see Yuri win and end up with Victor. If you’re into anime and haven’t seen this show yet, I would highly recommend giving it a go even if sports and romance anime can’t your thing.

Rating: 4.5/5

The Spooky Drawing Tag

With Halloween just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to get a little spooky tag going (since I didn’t do a horror movie reviews series like last year). Halloween is all about the scares, the spooks and creatures of the night, so the idea for this tag is to create a personalised scary drawing. That might sound confusing but stick with me, I’ve made it incredibly easy. So easy in fact that it only has 3 rules. Let’s have a look these rules.

Rules:
1.- Draw the thing(s) you personally find scary or spooky (no explanation needed)
2.- Wish everyone a happy Halloween
3.- Encourage others to join in the fun

My hopes for this tag is that by the end, everyone will have their very own unique spooky Halloween picture. Don’t worry if you feel you can’t draw, it’s only a bit of fun. We’re all friendly here and no one will be mean about your drawing ability.

So, here is my spooky Halloween drawing filled with the things I find scary.

thumbnail_20181013_233043Petrified of snakes, freaked out by big head mascots and terrified of clowns (I think it’s the horribly applied lipstick). I also included myself because my overactive imagination spooks me out a lot. When something goes bump in the night, my mind goes straight to poltergeist, missing all logical explanations and leaving myself thoroughly spooked out.

Encouraging others to join in the fun:
I’ve opted not to have nominations in this tag, to keep it fun and take away some of the pressure that can come with tags. Instead I will leave the tag open to everyone who wants to take part. Don’t worry if you can’t draw, it’s only a bit of fun and stick people art is awesome. So, you can always draw some spooky stick ghouls, if needs be (that would actually look pretty cool). I hope you all give the tag a go and have fun with it.

Hope you enjoyed and…
As always, Thanks for reading.thumbnail_20181013_233155

Finding my own way ( Chapter 4

I really love Finding my own way’s story, Akira is just so relatable and you can really empathise with her character. Which is why I enjoy drawing for it so much. But before I get carried away and go into a long ramble, I thought I’d let you all know that Anjani has posted chapter 4 of the Audio comic we Collab on.

As you probably already know, I voice the character Yukina (the one with her hair tied up). Voiceover wise, this has been my favourite chapter so far. Hope you all enjoy.

My Utopia

I know I am late but here it is chapter 4 of finding my own way.

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Weird Art Habits (Part 1- Staring at Stuff)

Since taking drawing more seriously, I’ve picked up a few strange habits, that I didn’t have before. The main one being, staring at art and intently studying the artist’s brush strokes, linework, shading, colour palette and how they captured light. It’s a bit on the weird side I know, but you’d be surprised by what you can learn from just looking closely at a piece of art.
It was while doing this that I discovered a few techniques, that looked incredibly fun to try out. So, in this post I will try out one of these techniques. One which is used in pencil drawings, for shading and creating texture. Saying as I learnt this from staring at pencil drawings, I’m not sure of the actual name for this technique, but would describe it as a messing scribbly scratchy way of shading, which uses several different grades of pencils.

thumbnail_20180901_114837Originally, I wasn’t going to make this post and only wanted to see how the technique worked. But the results at the ¼ way point looked kind of good, so I decided to turn it into a post. At this stage, some of this picture maybe too lightly drawn to make out, but what I had drawn was half a face and flowers. That may sound a little disturbing, but I couldn’t decide whether to draw a face or flowers, so settled on drawing both as I wasn’t planning on sharing the drawing.

thumbnail_20180912_223437Luckily the finished piece doesn’t look all that disturbing. It looks more like the woman in the picture got really drunk and fell into a flower bed, where she slept with her face half planted all night. Then in the morning, woke up with her face half covered in soil, flowers and foliage. Putting that aside, I really like how this technique turns out. It gives the skin a very nice texture and looks more realistic than the other techniques I’ve used and gives the drawing some life. As for the flowers, it works just as good as the other techniques I’ve used, but is more fun. So, with all that in mind, I would definitely like to dedicate time to try and perfect this method of shading.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post and….
As always, Thanks for reading.

Erased

e22c43ce-cc31-4d41-bf46-59bd9b0018f5If you had the ability to go back in time and stop something truly horrific happening, would you? Personally, I wouldn’t think twice about it and would head back in a heartbeat, to stop a few things from coming to pass and that’s exactly what our main character (Satoru) in this anime chooses to do. But before we get into that, I’d like to announce that Erased was the winner of the little review poll, I carried out a while ago and I can certainly see why. So with that out of the way, let’s begin this review the same way as every review, and start with a quick description.

Erased, begins with a grownup Satoru struggling to get his manga published and working as a pizza delivery guy to earn money. Though Satoru is struggling as a manga artist, this isn’t what has him feeling blue. Satoru heart is weighed down by guilt and the regret that he couldn’t save his classmate (Kayo) from dying at the hands of a child serial killer, when he was 11 years-old.

This guilt is made worse by the fact that, since Satoru was a child he has had the ability to foresee when something bad is about to happen, allowing him to act and prevent the potential tragedy. Just before Kayo disappears, Satoru gets the feeling that something bad is about to happen to her. But being a child, Satoru doesn’t fully understand this feeling and ignores it. Shortly after this Kayo is reported missing and months later, her body is discovered and a young man arrested and wrongly charged with the murder. Though, Satoru feels awful for not doing something to prevent Kayo’s death, he tries his best to put this horror behind him. That is until, the real serial killer returns and murders Satoru mother, somehow framing Satoru in the process. Left with no option but to flee from police, things take a bizarre turn when Satoru’s ability has him sent back in time, to shortly before Kayo disappears, when he was turning 11 years-old. Quickly, Satoru realises the opportunity presented him and he sets out determined, to save Kayo and the murderer’s other victims, as well as trying to catch the killer in the process.

Quite the plot, isn’t it? As you’d expect there’s a lot of playing detective and trying to outsmart the murderer in this anime. Making Erased a rather interesting and captivating watch, that leaves you unable to take your eyes off the screen, for fear of missing something important that identifies the killer. On top of this, Erased is quite a cute anime that really warms the heart. Little boys running around wanting to be superheroes, trying to save their friends, is just adorable and incredibly sweet to watch.

9cabd461-6ea9-4d26-9f25-b18e9a6adf90When it comes to these sorts of shows predictability is very important. Erased I would class as not that predictable. Of course, going into this anime you kind of know that Satoru will stop the murderer, because if he didn’t then what would be the point of making the show. The ending would be horrible and the whole thing would be incredibly depressing, if he didn’t. You would imagine, not many people would want to watch a show like that, leading to the failure of the anime. Although you can predict that much, what you can’t foresee is how he’s going to stop the killer. Meaning, you know he’ll stop the killer but not know how he will do it (if that makes sense). Which in itself makes the show really exciting and suspenseful to watch.

In terms of identifying the killer, with these types of shows I love to try to identifying the culprit before the grand reveal. Using some true Sherlock Holmes skills, I was able to identify the killer at about episode 5 (it’s only 12 episodes long, so around the half way mark). The flashes you get of the killer was a real give away and completely confirmed my prediction. For the non-Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts however, the killer will come as quite the shock. Even if you do work out who the killer is, the show is still very enjoyable and strangely become a little more exciting, due to the killer’s closeness to the victims.

The animation in Erased is pretty average and what you’d expect from an anime. In saying that, there are still a few aspects of its animation that I really like. For example, though it made me jump out of my skin at first, the hypnotoad moments were rather cool. The unusual character designs, was also something you could appreciate about the animation and made characters really identifiable. For instance, the way grownup Satoru’s eyes can move like a lizard’s, to look behind him. Though a little creepy is still very cool and makes him stand out from the rest of the characters. The little extras like the blue butterflies, use of colour and the film reel concept were all very nice touches to the show’s animation and all work well to set the tone.

My only slight criticism I could give Erased is that the subtitle speed is a little too fast and can be hard to keep up with. But if you know how to use the pause and rewind buttons and don’t mind using them, this won’t be much of a problem (just a slightly annoying inconvenience).

Overall, Erased is an excellent anime with a great plot and delivery that does it justice. It’s not overly predictable and manages to have little surprises for the viewer at every turn. Especially, when it comes to the identity of the killer, making it rather exciting to watch. With its added cute factor and heart-warming moments, I can really see why this anime is a favourite of a lot of people. So, for these reasons I would highly recommend watching this anime, even if the subtitles are ridiculously fast.

Rating: 5/5

Animation Makeovers!

Time to have a little fun, over here on The Things I’ve Seen. About a week ago, my niece introduced me to an app called Facetune 2. An app one can use to edit your selfies, to make yourself look stunning. But of course, if you’re like me and not really into that sort of thing, you can find a different purpose for this app. This being, messing with your own face until it looks hilarious, and amusing yourself with your brilliant creations.
After, messing up one’s own face a whole bunch of times, you may start to wonder what else you can do with the app. This is when I discovered Facetune 2 can’t tell the difference between real faces and animated faces and of course being a little messer, I decided to perform a little animated plastic surgery on a few anime characters. But you know, this post wouldn’t be as fun if I didn’t give myself an animated Doctors name, so let go with Dr Kelly Fixenfacer (Dr Nel, for short).

So, what did Dr Kelly Fixenfacer get up to? Well, let me show you with some great before and after photos of my anime patients:

Levi: Before

IMG_E0001I’m pretty sure if you’ve ever watched Attack on Titan, you’ll know who this guy is. He’s a really cool character, however one thing I’ve noticed is that he doesn’t smile a lot (like just look at his photo, he looks like his puppy just died), so let’s fix this.

Levi: After

RMRM9459There we go, now he looks like he’s just thought of a really funny joke. His transformation just wouldn’t be complete without some lippy and blush, so I added those too.

L: Before

IMG_E0004Poor L, not sleeping has given him bags under his eyes and all that sweet eating and lack of sunlight has left him quite pasty. But you know, I believe Dr Nel can help him.

L: After

TXUE5070L’s a new man! Now he’s a beautiful shade of orange, those bags are gone and his new blue hair is so less draining than his black hair. Look, he ever has a little smile on his face. Sonic the Hedgehog would be so proud of him right now.

Strange Anime Girl: Before

IMG_E0008I don’t have a clue who this character is or what anime she’s from, but glob she looks disturbing. Let see if we can fix this a little.

Strange Anime Girl: After

GTGX7573There we go, reducing the eye size, giving her a longer face and drawing on a little bit of a nose, has made her look kind of cute.

Witch of the Waste (Howl’s Moving Castle-Studio Ghibli): Before

IMG_E0009Hmm… ever notice that the slightly eviler witches in Ghibli films, tend to be a little exaggerated (not that this is a bad thing. It makes for some very memorable characters). Yubaba (Spirited Away) for example has a massive head and the Witch of the Waste (which we have here), has so many necks that I’m not ever sure if she has a body. For curiosities sake, lets see what she would look like if we made her less exaggerated.

Witch of the Waste (Howl’s Moving Castle-Studio Ghibli):

NUOT2364Hmm… she kind of looks like the witch from The Little Mermaid, now. Who would have ever guessed that.

Lord Cob (Tales from Earthsea-Studio Ghibli): Before

IMG_E0011Aww… this poor soul doesn’t even have eyebrows or eyes for that matter. Actually, this character is pretty terrifying, but I think Dr Kelly Fixenfacer can make him look friendly and approachable.

Lord Cob (Tales from Earthsea-Studio Ghibli): After

PNIA6800Now, this is so much better. Closing up those eye holes, drawing on eyebrows, smoothing out his wrinkles and giving him a beautiful smile, has made him look so much more approachable. Now he doesn’t look like he wants to devour your soul, but wants to give you a friendly hug. His transformation wouldn’t be quite complete, if I didn’t give him a new hairdo, too.

Hopefully you’ve made it to the end this post without passing out, from laughing too hard at my creations. Scary thing is, Facetune 2 is a really simple app that even a child could use. Granted, it took me a while to manipulate the photos to look like this, but you can still imagine if someone really wanted to, they could easily use this app to completely alter their appearance in photos and deceive people. Anyway, putting that scary thought of the back of your mind, I hope you had as much fun reading this post as I had creating it. If you’d like me to improve (or mess up) the face of a particular animated character, let me know in the comments below.

As always Thanks for reading!

Doodle Fun

We have finally made it back to the land of the living (okay that might be a tad on the dramatic side). What I mean is I’m feeling a lot better now and nearly fully recovered. Thank you all for the lovely comments and well wishes while I was ill.
As promised I’m making a post of the best doodles I did while flu ridden. Apologies for the random writing around the doodles. These doodles were done while professor YouTube was educating me on the workings of Hangul (the Korean alphabetic system) and Katakana (one of the Japanese syllabic writing systems) and I sort of practiced a little on the page while doodling and watching YouTube videos (Had to do something to occupy my mind. Lying in bed, staring at the ceiling was dreadfully boring, so I might as well have used the time to educate myself. Also writing systems are really interesting).

thumbnail_20180918_175958So, this is the first page, I was really into doodling little men that day. If you’re wondering about the Hangul (writing) on this page, it’s mostly just random words and me using what I learnt to complain about having the flu.

thumbnail_20180918_181119This is my favourite doodle on this page. There are a few guidelines showing, but it’s still really cute.

thumbnail_20180918_181350Although, this turned out a little crooked (probably because it was drawn from a weird angle), I still really like this doodle, too.

thumbnail_20180918_181226Not a fan of this doodle, as you can tell (but in saying that, high fever me thought the speech bubble was fringing hilarious. God, I must have been delirious, at that point).

thumbnail_20180918_180448The second page is a little busier. I’m a little more familiar with Katakana, so was listening more than watching the screen (meaning more doodling). Katakana is phonetic and is used for translating non-Japanese words into Japanese. This includes names, so I decided to give my doodles names using Katakana (boredom was very strong at this point).

thumbnail_20180918_182422I’m extremely proud of this little dog, Tobi. I doodled him in under 2 minutes and he turn really good. (If you’re wondering what the fox and fish are called, I named the fox Toboe and the fish Tuna.)

thumbnail_20180918_182936 (1)A little close up of the stick people tree. Stick people are a hell of a lot of fun to doodle. If you’re feeling stressed or horrible, I highly recommend doodling stick people. It’ll cheer you right up.

So that was my doodles. Hope you enjoyed them. I have to take it easy for the next while (don’t want to get really sick again), so thanks for your patience and…
As always Thanks for reading.