Friday, August 10, 2012


I drew a series of Ghiblis for a recently wrapped project. This one's "Spirited Away," a movie I never really got--but that's true for all Ghiblis, except for maybe "Porco Rosso," but I can't even remember that one too well. They're primarily just beautiful and fascinating visual arts to me. I am suspicious of anyone who says they get them though, unless they're Japanese, in which case, I just smile and nod politely.

I do love No-Face, though. I absolutely love the rules involved with mythology and folklore--that's why I have a fascination with Kappa, for instance: what do you do--what must you do--when you encounter this creature? Don't screw up, or you die! I love those strange, secret rules that you either know or you don't, and if you do, then you survive only because for some reason the cold-blooded creature is bound to respect those semi-arbitrary rules governing its interaction with people.

jKids never know what this movie is by its English title; the Japanese title is quite long. Speaking of which, the finals of these Ghibz were on posterboard about a quarter of an A3 sheet big, so if you outstretch your palm the piece is the hand's length from heel to the middle finger's tip, by the length from the origin to your thumb.

I was originally going to have the bath house in shadow and just have the lights in negative space but as I roughed in the details to make the ensuing silhouette accurate, I ended up just keeping the details in. Since I had to get these done at a relatively quick clip, I decided to freehand the house, but had I known I was going to keep the detail, I probably would have wanted to use more ruler, cowbell.

Here's its sketch, which is about the size of two thumbs tip to tip, and one thumb tall. It is so hard to preserve the energy of a sketch through to a final, but this one still got oohs-and-ahhs from the crowd, so that's a victory in my book.

Now that this project is wrapped, I can finally start working on some comics!


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