Making of "Only half the truth"

Hello everyone :) Today I have something new for you - I added a new category to the art section of my page, called "Making of..." documentaries & Tutorials". I did this, because many people on my FB artpage requested to see more WIPs of my art and since I often take photos whilst drawing or painting anyway, I will show you the step for step pictures here from now on.

Today I'll start with my latest aceo of my dear samurai OC ♥ You will not only get some background information about him and my ideas for the drawing, but you'll be able to see the drawing progress. I hope you enjoy it - and do tell me what you think, if you like.

old sketch
The old sketch of Seiichiro (done in January 2015)

It all started last year, in January 2015 with this rough sketch. I was thinking of what I could draw as my first aceo and made some doodles -  and this was the second idea I had (the first being a drawing of an yuki onna, which I also turned into an aceo last year). It's a rather symbolic illustration of my Youkai OC Seiichiro showing something that greatly shapes his story: the two sides of his soul.

You have to know, Seiichiro is no common samurai, he's been cursed by a vengeful fox spirit and ever since then his soul has been tainted by the ghost of an oni. This demon lives within him and whilst it expanded his lifespan, it is also slowly devouring his soul... Should it one day disappear, Seiichiro will be no more - and the oni will take over his body completely. Quite the terrible fate, hm?

A rough sketch of the new and revised composition (drawn in October 2015)

Anyhow, I discarded the sketch at first - it was too plain and boring, as it was only a portrait.. But many months later I came back to it - I still liked the idea quite a bit, albeit the empty background bothered me a lot (and my, had my drawing style changed).

See, I've never been fond of single-colored BGs and I had developed quite an obsession with details, so I made some changes to the composition. Now "mortal" Seiichiro wore his hair bound in his usual pontytail and I also added a ginkgo tree on each side of the sketch. I wanted one to be alive and with full foliage, whilst the one beside Seii's demon-self barely had any leaves left... I think I don't need to explain what this was supposed to mean, hm? It's quite self-evident that it stands for his fading life.

Why ginkgo, you may ask though: it's simple: they say that the gingko tree is considered to have a life prolonging effect and that's why I've always associated my dear samurai with this tree (I also once drew him in a kimono wearing a ginkgo pattern for the same reason).

I was quite happy with the new composition and I also decided to keep the black and white idea for the background - not only did it serve as a nice contrast for Seii's dark hair, but it had something nice and yin & yang-ish *laughs* It really suited his struggle between "good and evil" so well.

As I finished the sketch, I next printed it and with some help of my light table and a pencil, I transferred it to some special marker paper, because I planned to color it using Copic markers. But since the sketch would smudge, I took some ink liners and 'inked' the lineart and erased the pencil sketch. You can see the final lineart below - and as you can also see very well I had no yet cut the aceo apart, I only did so after I finished the basic skin coloring.

Mind you, usually I am strictly against cutting "Maxis" (aceos that are twice the regular size) and refrain from doing this, but for Seiichiro I made a special exception - it simply adds to the meaning of the drawing. To cut the portrait apart shows how his soul is torn and there are two entirely different sides of him: the calm and honorable Seiichiro versus the fierce and cold-blooded oni... And still, though both halves are complete opposites, only together they make a whole - thus also the title "Only half the truth".


Long story short, here is the complete drawing process captured in photos - have fun looking at them! ♥
And with this, I also wrap up today's post. I hope you enjoyed reading this - if you wish to, you can write me a comment and tell me what you think of the drawing and the WIP photos! I'd be much obliged :)

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