Some new pages in my watercolour sketchbook, mainly sketches of people and some splatter.
Wings of Steel is now available as paperback book on Amazon worldwide. As I write this update, the InDesign layout has been completed, I’ve finished the cover image, and I’m currently doing pre-flight reading of the paperback. Enjoy!
The trick with composition is to draw arrows that point in the direction where you want the viewer to look, and take him on a tour around the canvas. Then you place shapes on top of the arrows. Skipping these initial stages can be the kiss of death for the composition, but I’m still impatient sometimes.
I really like the advice of Hirohiko Araki: “Once the final art is finished, after sketching, penciling, inking, and—if applicable—coloring, I deliver the pages to my editor. Because I value the feeling of a live performance, I don’t correct minor errors.”
In case you’re wondering, the character classes are Ranger, Assassin, Knight, and on the second row: Monk, Summoner, Mage.
This is painted in watercolour with graphite pencil in my analog sketchbook. There’s also some Muji pen and watercolour pencil in some of the figures. I’ll come back to it later to do a second pass in Corel Painter.
The objective of Inktober is to draw one inky illustration each day of the month of October! Let’s hope I’m not going to lag behind too much, bear with me.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the genre in manga, and not because I care about stereotypes, but because it’s necessary to be precise when publishing my light novel. Instinctively, I would say that Wings of Steel is shonen manga (boy’s manga / young adult). This is my gut feeling and it’s likely the most accurate. It is shonen because it tells the story of a boy growing up and facing hardship, fighting hardship, becoming stronger in his craft, achieving his goals. That’s clearly a shonen theme. At the same time, it’s not your typical shonen about battles and martial arts.
I would compare it to quiet manga like Mushi Shi. This manga is the story of a traditional medicine man who investigates supernatural events in medieval Japan. It is considered more of a seinen topic (young men’s manga) because it has more of a peaceful and introspective nature. This is similar to Wings of Steel, and different from fighting manga. So there’s that and you could say Wings of Steel is seinen.
Now, there are some very gruesome seinen manga. This is not what we’re talking about here. Broadly speaking seinen splits into 3 sub-genres: 1) Introspective and ambient like Mushi Shi; 2) Light romance like Oh My Godess; 3) Finally, the extra-violent grimdark.
People often mix up the introspective and romantic sub-type of seinen with shojo manga (girl’s manga, think Sailor Moon). And it is true they are similar, but romance is not the primary focus of seinen. There is something else that drives the action, romance is like a… add-on bonus to the plot.