Manga Perspectives

I enjoyed a couple of quick lessons in the Manga Artist’s Workbook this evening. As my confidence grows, my sketching is more rapid and precise with less erasures! I am finding that this prep work for a larger project is fun.

Tonight’s focus was on the teen girl’s face still, with upward and downward gazes. It is all about perspective and the guidelines I am using really help.

The first lesson…the up angle. The workbook provides the outline of the face over graph paper. My task is to add the guidelines to correctly place the features and then draw in the details.

With the gaze looking up, the guidelines are curved upward.

Adding the facial details.

Completed sketch.

Lesson 2 this evening…the down angle. The angle is exaggerated sharply, with the features all close together in the lower part of the face.

The guidelines are curved downward. Sketching this one, with the oversized manga eyes, made me think of a gray alien! As before, the nose and mouth are only hinted at.

The completed sketch.

I am loving this practice. As a youth, I struggled with perspective and the human body and head. So all of my people stood facing straight ahead. That’s not real life, and that’s not how I want my project to look. Even though I am using the medium of cartooning, I desire more natural poses.

By allowing these lessons to pave the way, I am one step closer to creating something bigger. The next lesson is on a variety of facial expressions. I am ready!

Fall Finery

Sometimes it is the simple things in life that bring great joy, like a drive on a beautiful fall afternoon. Although autumn arrived precisely on time, by the calendar, the trees have been very slow to signal the change of the seasons. As October drew to a close, I began to think that the trees were going to just drop their leaves, without a flash of color first.

Cooler temperatures and a bit of rain at last provided the necessary catalyst. Yesterday I noticed golds and oranges and reds showing up. Today I had the opportunity to drive south into Arkansas, and appreciate fall’s finery.

It is difficult to adequately capture the beauty that I drank in today. The world was aflame with color. Where just a week ago there were dull greens and dry browns, today there were vibrant yellows, splashes of deep crimson and every shade of rusty orange possible.

The older I get, the more I cherish fall. The crisp cool air is welcomed after the heat and humidity of summer. And the earthy hues of autumn rival the explosion of color from spring’s flowers. I like wearing my boots and jackets and hoodies. And this season is my favorite for decorating my house. From here, I transition right into holiday decor.

While in Arkansas, Greg and I stopped at Crumpet’s Tea House. This was a delightful first and the perfect mid afternoon destination. We arrived about half an hour before closing, but I had time to savor a small pot of pomegranate and berry herbal tea. I will stop by again earlier in the day next time, and try their lunch.

On the drive back to Joplin, we paused in several places to capture the beauty of the day. Because I love water so much, there was often a creek or river flowing nearby. We got a close up look at the crane above, who was calmly fishing for his dinner.

I didn’t walk through nature today, however, I drove through it, I experienced the wonder of the season, and the result was the same. I felt such peace, such gratitude for this time of year. In autumn, every leaf does indeed become a flower, to paraphrase Albert Camus. What a gorgeous bouquet I visually gathered today.