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Creation Date: 2003-05-16
What's up today? Not much. I slacked on all thinks important except for physics. Not only did I start my physics assignment three days early, I spent most of the day working on it. Why? Because that is the last thing needed to be done in that class. That means no more labs, no more lab write-ups, and happiness abound. I was unhappy with my busy-ness level anyway, so it worked out. No big rant tonight. If you want one, you know where to find them. Today, I will give you what you really want: a lesson!

This will actually be a true art lesson in case you've been unhappy with my lessons on life and survival in this world we call Earth. I decided to draw again the other day, not digital, but analog. A normal cheap mechanical pencil and an expensive drawing pad I used to create the above image. Unimportant stats are: UW Odegaard Mac G4 OS9 with Adobe Photoshop and HP Precision Scan Pro used to scan the picture, GIMP used to touch up for compression's sake, the JPG is 300 dpi and the PNG is 150 dpi lossy. But to draw it is the important part. I wasn't doing well with my JF / 3 week plan, so I decided to go back to the basics. I hadn't drawn in my scetchbook for quite a while so I went at it. The first one looked awful. I couldn't get anything to look right. So I looked in my book: How to Draw Manga and it explained a few things that I wish to pass on to you. The first thing to draw of a face is the circle. Not an oval, not a square, not the chin, not the eyes. The circle gives us size (width and appropriate height), guidelines (centerline and eyeline), and structure. If you aren't Yukito Kishiro, don't even think about starting a drawing without a decent circle. Once you have a circle as can be seen here, you can add the centerline and eyeline. If you're going to be doing an 3/4 drawing, be sure to do it accordingly. I almost never draw 3/4 drawings. Why? Two reasons: 3d skins can only be made of front drawings and I am a bad artist. When you have that, add the chin. The chin is important because it decides the gender and character of your drawing. Girls have dainty jaws that come to a point. Guys have a square jaw usually. Anime Guys with a girly jaw are constantly accused of being gay. Sad, but true. A possible fix: only use female characters. Okay, next step in the lesson is to add the eyes. Yup, getting good eyes will make everything better. And if you mess up the eyes at this point, forget about continuing onto the hair, eyebrows, mouth, and nose. There are a few things to think about with the eye. Eyes are ovals and circles usually. They usually consist of very suble curved corners, straight lines between corners, and the iris. A note on the iris: I left out the pupil and light spots to be frugal. Frugal is usually connected with a lack, but I find frugality to be a huge gain. This drawing is far less cluttered by not including the pupil and light spots. You can get away with it if it adds to the work. Sadly, I don't think that leaving out the pupil and eye spots are good practice in formal style, so I'm going to condemn myself here. When you have the eyes, go ahead with the eyebrows. Some people have thick eyebrows, most girls have thin eyebrows (some deliberately). If you want a good model of eyebrows, check out FLCL (aka Furi Kuri aka Fooly Cooly). The government agent guy has great eyebrows. In real life, I have wimpy eyebrows. I dunno why, but that's how it goes. That doesn't stop Jav from having thick blue eyebrows. Next up is the nose. Put it down a dozen cm under the eyeline. It doesn't have to be big, shaded or anything. Just two curves ought to do it. It doesn't have to be wide. Think about what angle you're at and what edge you're highlighting. The mouth also is one of those cases where less is more. A small tilt up will do a lot to the character. A line straight across will usually be misread as depression. So now the important part: hair. If you character lacks hair, you're almost done. Depending on your character, you want to dress them up accordingly. I like Heero's hairstyle specifically, so I tried it on this one. I added pigtails because she's a girl and I want it to be as clear as possible. It makes her cute. The idea about hair is that it's entirely made up of curves. It's simple that under the force of gravity and the force of the shape of the head, you're going to end up with a lot of curves. Think a bit about the left side and the right side and how you can make curves work. It takes practice, but once you've got it, you've got it for good. When you're as good as I am, you can just add hairstyles to your portfolio just by thinking. I personally have the same haircut as Tom Cruise in M:I2 (and actually a lot like Heero's haircut), but six months ago, my hair looked like Onidzuka sensei of GTO. If that isn't sweet, I dunno what is.

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