Software: Corel Painter 11, Adobe PhotoShop CS2, Adobe Illustrator CS3, Shade 9
Hardware: Mac Pro 2.66GHz dual core Xeon x2 memory 8GB, WACOM Intuos 4 PTK-640 and Mac OS X Tiger (ver. 10.4.11)
I drew this illustration for the cover of GUNNM Last Order Vol.14.
I have originally preferred drawing landscapes to drawing people from my childhood. In the cases of color illustrations as well, I have always wanted to draw a long-shot landscape.
But landscapes are not suitable for cover illustrations of comics, so I hadn't been able to make up my mind to do that. The first reason is that a long shot gets the area of a character's face smaller therefore it gets more difficult to draw facial expression and to give intelligible impact. The second reason is that if you increase the numbers of objects, you'll need more efforts to draw them.
The second reason in particular could bring serious situation to comic artists, so you must examine the subject matter very carefully. But this time, I got a break of my series for one issue because of the work for the comic book. And as for the GUNNM LO, I think elaborate cover illustrations are one of factors to fulfill readers' possessiveness, so I decided to challenge the picture of a long shot.
The subject matter of the picture is that Gally rides on Deckman 100 and goes around to see relief corridors in Jeru (TIPHARES). The relief corridors tell the history of space development, but also include various fun stuff. I considered I would make the background more mixed-up, but I didn't because top half would be hidden by the title.
As for the architectures of the Deckman 100's body and Jeru, I used Shade to create 3d models as their perspective templates. In order to add hand-drawn touch, I drew principal lines -- even straight lines -- by freehand. I also scanned a pencil sketch drawn by my mechanical pencil without making a fair copy by inking, and used it as a line drawing. As for lighting, I assumed warm colors like sunsets. I imagined that the sunlight went through the atmosphere of the earth and entered into Jeru so the orange light shined on the mid-air city. (This is the same reason as the moon looks red. However, if considering strictly, because of the position of the onion frames, it is not likely that the light comes from the earth... Please understand that's an aesthetic lie and forgive me.) Basically Ifm fond of the color scheme of warm colors and good at it, I seldom wavered in the design of the color.
My latest theme about color illustration technique is "a picture of which touch is visible." However, even if it looks well drawn while magnified on the screen, when I print the overall picture and look at it, details are reduced and merged, and the touch can't be seen. I wonder if there would be some secret about choice of colors or contrast... It seems that I need more training till I'm satisfied with my work.
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