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

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.

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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 Illusionist

thumbnail_8fbc7fc9-4dd3-4c4c-b6f3-6c8bd9ed2750Romance isn’t the usual genre I’d go for, but a film with an illusionist, is a different story. Illusionists are always entertaining. Even, if I wasn’t into the whole cringey love movie thing, the promise of some mind-boggling illusions, was enough to convince me to watch this movie.

Set in Vienna, The illusionist is about a master illusionist/magician, Eisenheim. A young Eisenheim, falls in love, with a young noblewoman (Sophie). However, due to the rules of high society, their love is not allowed and the two are separated.

Years later, during one of Eisenheim illusionist shows, the two unexpectedly reunite. Unfortunately, Sophie is promised to the brute, Crown Prince Leopold. Known for his self-arrogance and heavy-handed way with women (in other words, he’s a pompous, cowardly, woman beating prick).

Now a grown woman, Sophie decides to leave the awful Leopold, for Eisenheim. Being the Crown Prince, Leopold is having none of it and sets in motion, a plan to get Eiseheim put in prison and out of the picture. Unknown to Leopold, The illusionist Eiseheim has his own plan, to help Sophie escape and start a life together. This leads to a series of unexpected, tragic and bewildering events.

I have to say; the illusionist was really well done. I can’t find much wrong with it. I really enjoyed it and I don’t even like romance movies. But to give a well-rounded review, I’ll talk about a few small flaws, this movie has.

thumbnail_bbd2a994-9d91-43ac-bcf0-0894881594ccOne flaw being, that nothing really happens, in the first hour of the film. In the first hour, there’s a lot of character and plot building. They really only introduce the main characters and tell us a little about their background. This could be perceived as a bit boring, but is kind of necessary to the rest of the movie and without it, the film would be confusing.

Also, it’s a very male cast. There’s only, one female main character and some people mightn’t like this. I can kind of see why, because a female could have been, easily thrown in somewhere, to make it seem a bit fairer. However, being a romance, this movie is most likely aimed at women and the male cast, was probably for creep value.

The Illusionist strongest point is its storyline. Oh my glob, is it one hell of a storyline. So much plotting and scheming and unexpected turns. It’s so exciting and you’re constantly in suspense, about what’s going to happen next. At one point, there’s a three-way game of cat and mouse, between Leopold and Eisenheim, the police inspector and Eisenheim and between the police inspector and Leopold. Making for very interesting watching. There’s also, a massive twist, that’s so unseen and surprising. I never seen it coming.

The illusions, in the illusionist are very satisfying. They will definitely amaze you and leave in wonder. Although mostly camera tricks, they’re still very entertaining and unique. Eisenheim biggest illusion being at the end of this film, but I’ll not spoil for you. Instead I’ll mention his best illusion, his summoning spirits act. This is so creepy and well done. Obviously, the spirit, is added in after filming, but if you could pull of an act like that, it would be incredible.

The choice of actors in this movie, was so good. The man who played, the Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell), was just unbelievable. Just his look alone, screamed pompous arrogant prick. It was remarkable. The way he held himself, walked and talk was the epitome of over self-importance and over opinionated a-hole. It was so well done. He was by far, my favourite actor in this film. He even got the madness of the super-rich, down to a tee. At one point, he was in a field hunting invisible birds and rambling to himself. The other actors were also good, but didn’t hold a light to Rufus Sewell.

Overall, I really enjoyed the illusionist. It had mystery, excitement and an excellent storyline. It has a twist, that hits you in the face and makes your jaw drop off and the ending is incredible and so satisfying. Best of all, it’s not super lovey-dovey or in your face. If you’re looking for a romance, that’s not overwhelmingly soppy, I would highly recommend this film. Hell, if you’re just looking something interesting and exciting, I would also highly recommend the Illusionist.
Rating: 3.5/5