Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New art manikin and pencil sketching at the mall to gather ideas for Shojo manga characters

On a recent trip tot he mall found this nice action figure of Final Fantasy VII Yuffie Kisaragi of the Kotobukiya Play Arts Series (click on this link to check out additional reference photos taken of this figure and Tifa Lochart from Final Fantasy Advent Children).

While Tifa's range of movement is limited by her hairstyle and skirt, Yuffie's uncluttered design is far more poseable and enhanced with the inclusion of a nice giant shuriken (ninja throwing star) reminiscent of Naruto's gear.

The Yuffie Kisaragi poseable figure makes for a useful art manikin given her sturdy construction and multiple articulation which allows her to stand in a variety of dynamic poses including upside down (as in mid-summersault- an impossible feat for your standard wooden manikin). Her delicate features and fit body type (testament to Tetsuya Nomura's enduring character design) are the archetype of your average Japanese ninja girl (well the "ninja" factor is more of a bonus for action-oriented storylines) making her a perfect reference tool for Manga sketching.
Having an hour left to wait at the mall, I decided to use the time to do some sketching to practice with my 2 mm leadholders loaded with HB & B leads on loose card stock sheets held on my new clipboard.
Gradually switching from my default Shonen (manga for boys) mindset, to drafting some teaching materials illustrating the differences in age and gender with basic manikin construction.
To get mentally prepared to focus more on the Shojo genre (Manga for girls) for next week's summer art classes at the Boys & Girls Club, I decided to start sketching some faces and making observations of the mall shoppers in a style that might suit Shojo stories.

While the majority of the main characters populating Shojo Manga stories might be young girls, some story lines might also call for a few older characters. Thus, I tried to incorporate a few adult features on the body type sketched on the left by observing the shoppers at the mall.
Making a few observation of people sitting around the mall central court and taking note of how sports bag look worn on the back.
A few more sketches inspired by people passing by.
The upper left face was inspired by a fashion signed spotted while strolling through a department store and sketching on my clipboard folder.

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