10 June 2015

Manga Postcard Illustration Process: Chinese Zodiac as Manga Characters

Here we go! I'll give you some insight in how I draw.

I've recently started creating quite a lot of postcard drawings. I myself love collecting (and sending and gifting...) postcards, so discovering that the format isn't popular in Korea and hardly ever finding a place that sells some, I took matters in my own hands. (Seriously, why are there no postcards here? Not even touristy ones? I only ever find prints in art museums.)

I use watercolours on the Fabriano Watercolour postcard paper.

As the Fabriano Watercolour postcard set has a rough finish, it's quite the challenge to get the 'clean' look I normally prefer for my manga style illustrations. For these Fabriano cards, I focus more on textures than on detailed lines. If you like to use a wet-on-wet technique, this paper should be right up your alley. The 250 g/m2 make it sturdy so it doesn't self-destruct when one uses too much water.

Draw some postcards~

For the lines, I've recently fallen in love with the Micron Multiliners. They are softer (and cheaper!) than a lot of the other brands out there and the sepia tone has a really nice hue.

Small and smaller brushes among the materials I've used...

My good old messy watercolor collection.

My watercolors consist of a wild mix of different brands, mostly rembrandt and winsor&newton, but there are some stray Schmincke and some no-name brands to be found as well. I highly recommend the winsor&newton watercolors and will give a more detailed review in the future!

This postcard is actually the second in a series of motives focusing on the Chinese Zodiac. The idea came to me when the Korean New Year festivities came around and the year of the sheep started. Inspired, I drew a simple sheep postcard for that zodiac sign. Now I'm getting to work on the other zodiac animals, and as there are twelfe in total, there will be many more of these to come.
Year of the Sheep Watercolor Postcard

I want to keep the animal references subdued and focus more on the general atmosphere to be fitting to each zodiac animal. The horse called for a wavy mane of hair, movement and bright colours.

You can have a look at the entire drawing process - from pencil sketch corrections to multiliner inking to colouring - in my first-ever speed-drawing video. I had lots of fun filming this and way less fun editing, as my camera crashed multiple times and I was left with a patchwork of video sequences all with different lighting and perspectives. But well, everyone has to start somewhere.

Thanks to this video, I've noticed how much I move around when I draw on small paper formats (the Fabriano postcards measure 150 by 104 mm). I do this to find the ideal angle for my brush, but maybe I should try to keep that in check for the next video. It looks quite frantic...

It can only get better from here on out!

You can buy the original card in my new online shop.

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