Watercolor Studies: Ghibli and Final Fantasy

My Collection of Watercolor
My Collection of Watercolor

Early this year, I got into watercolor. I don’t know what possessed me actually. It might be the fact that I was obsessed with Sakuem’s mixed media art, and I wanted to emulate it using the stuff that I have. It might have also been the fact that I have been watching Ghibli. Miyazaki’s creators use watercolor to express their art and I was obsessed with the soft look it has. OR it might be that copic refills were getting rare and expensive and it was hard to get them. OR All of the above.

So I ventured into watercolor once again. I used to dislike getting out my gear to paint. It was bothersome to clean up too, but I discovered a love for it after I challenged myself to  create my fantasy worlds.

The former posts had lumen in it. It was one of my earliest watercolor creations this year. I’ll be dumping here some of my watercolor work and what I learned from each one. I hope you enjoy.


ghib1Ghibli Castle series\

I usually do not draw backgrounds. It’s boring. But I saw Ghibli’s backgrounds and I fell in love. Particularly with Howl’s moving Castle. It was breathtaking. Calcifer’s castle form was just WOW. Something I want in my life.

So I started drawing that and painting it. Challenging myself to create something so I can hang it in the studio. i learned a lot about patience and detailing . I had to try referring back to my inking skills and really go into the tiny details and using my ‘accidents’ as inspiration for the next part. It took me nearly 4 days to complete and it was even on unforgiving paper, but I managed to do it. It was my version of a Ghibli classic. And I am proud. of it.

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Check out the thumbnails on how I made it. It’s pretty cool.  It encouraged me to do Spirited away (which I did a speed paint of- click the link to find out) or watch below.

So in the end this is what happened”:

Spirited Away Castle

This was done on better paper and It was REALLY Fun. I just realized though that it was crooked. And I kinda love  how lopsided it looks. Maybe because I have a topsy-turvy style.

I also did Castle in the Sky which was my least favorite. So I’ll throw in a little HOWL For you (little as it was done in a 4×6 watercolor paper as a study)

Castle in the Sky

Howl Pendragon

Full version of howl up in the link of his name.

Final Fantasy

Another Influence of mine is Yoshitaka Amano (Who they said I had a similar style to ) If so, THANK YOU.
I love the final fantasy series and here are some of my paintings on the final fantasy franchise

 watercolors on Canson Montval took all night but it was worth it!! Vivi is a favorite cutie from ffxi

watercolors on Canson Montval
took all night but it was worth it!! Vivi is a favorite cutie from ffxi

I woke up one morning and literally said . “I think I want to paint Vivi today”
that evening, it happened.

VIvi was a challenge. Drawing him was easy, but getting that magical look to him was a challenge. I kind of want him to pop out of the page, I also want him to look mysterious. So Background, I was thinking…. “He’s casting Fire!”

My reference photo also didn’t have his staff, so I had to add that in. rendering wood is annoying and so with leather, but i managed to pull it off without ruining the paper. I work rather wet. So i need to tone down the water when I paint. I also have to remember that the paint dries LIGHTER than when it’s wet so I dont get paranoid when working on it.

I used frisket on this to protect fine lines and generally just went at it and hope I didn’t fail him. To date, its one of those paintings I want to keep forever. (perhaps I should frame him now)

zell dincht/ final fantasy commission piece watercolor/ colored pencils and copics bienfang265 gsm
zell dincht/ final fantasy
commission piece
watercolor/ colored pencils and copics
bienfang265 gsm

Another notable FF Character I did was Zell who I did as a Commission for a facebook client.  Zell was kind of tough to do. I had to use mixed media to get the hair right and  copic some of his details, but I love that background on him. I realized that the eyes are weird but he loved it anyway.  I should really be careful with anatomy next time,and NOT PAINT WHEN SLEEPY.

All in all, I have been enjoying my watercolor studies and I hope that I can master more techniques from BGs to portraits to still life (yes, still life) I want to do it all. I AM willing to learn if you have any questions, comments, critiques or suggestions. Just say it nicely! And thanks for reading my babbling.