Thursday, July 2, 2009

Final Fantasy VII + Gipi (part four)

This challenge continued...

Two updates in one day! I'm excited!

Good old Barret. Barret's a nicely fleshed out character with an interesting backstory and a lot of great moments in the game; he's also the third and final character from your original party, so he seemed like a great choice to round out this challenge.

As far as costumes are concerned, I didn't feel the need to change a whole lot with Barret. The only thing that truly bugged me were the metal bands around his mid-section. How does that not chafe? How do you move with metal bands around your stomach? I swapped them out for wrapped fabric instead, giving him a sort of pirate look. 

Since his outfit didn't pose much of a challenge, I took this as an opportunity to really try and explore what makes Gipi's style so appealing to me. Gipi's inking doesn't have any line variation to it; he doesn't cover up his mistakes; you can tell he doesn't spend hours aching over whether or not something is perfect. Yet there's no question that the man knows what he's doing. What I found was that the looser and more relaxed I was, the more Gipi-like the drawing felt to me. It also helped to do a few warm-up sketches (which I may post later).

This may be the last in the series, so I hope you enjoyed it! I'll be continuing with the Square-Enix theme for a while. Keep checking back!

Final Fantasy VII + Gipi (part three)

This challenge continued...

And we're back! It really feels good to be updating again! I hope to keep it up. Let's start from where we left off, shall we?

Today, we'll be experimenting with one of my personal favorites: Tifa!

Tifa was harder than Cloud for a couple of reasons, but mainly I had a hard time adapting her costume into Gipi's style. Gipi seems to favor a sort of realism in his stories; I've never seen mini-skirts paired with pieces of armor and suspenders before. Basically what I'm saying is this: Tifa's costume is ridiculous. So, I tried to approach her design a little more practically.

Gipi's characters dress, for lack of a better term, "normally". Their clothing fits their place in time and their needs. So what would Tifa need? Well, she's basically a kick boxer/mixed martial artist. I kept the cropped tank top (don't want her to be completely unrecognizable) but swapped the skirt and suspenders for athletic shorts. I gave her foam hand guards instead of gloves, and wrapped, bandage-like fabric around her forearm instead of sleeves. Her shoes are basically the same. (I still think that if she were to go around jumping off of airships she should at least spring for a leather jacket and some...I dunno...pants? But I didn't want to stray too far.)

I think the design has it's own issues, but at the same time it feels a little more believable, and I think that's necessary for her to belong in Gipi's world.

Note: I've gone through and deleted all of the non-design posts from the blog. Most of them were about shows that have come and gone, and any artwork can also be found on my main art blog. This way the 'Blender stays neat and clean :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Final Fantasy VII + Gipi (part two)

This week's challenge continued...

Making up for lost time, I'm going to dive right in with the hero of FFVII, Cloud Strife!

Taking my cues from Gipi's Notes From A War Story, I decided to try and turn Cloud's SOLDIER look into the look of an Italian youth circa WWII. (The interpretation is a loose one, of course). The biggest challenge was maintaining Cloud's "spiky" coif in a way that still made sense in Gipi's more realistic world. I tamed the spikes a bit and went with shaved sides instead, transforming him into a bit of an early punk. 

I'm having a lot of fun experimenting with the style so far, and looking forward to seeing how I can take it further :)

Final Fantasy VII + Gipi

This week's challenge:

Final Fantasy VII is the first RPG that I had ever played, and still one of the most memorable. Chances are if you were once (or still are) a fan of video games and/or anime, manga, etc., you have heard of FFVII. In fact, in all likelihood you have played it, become obsessed with it, dressed as the characters, and created a web-shrine devoted to even the most obscure of its parts. 

I'm not sure what it is about this game that gave it such a hold on its fans, but its impact is undeniable. For my part, I had never played a game before FFVII that had such developed characters. The internal struggle of protagonist Cloud is arguably of equal importance to the immense external struggles the game's cast is thrown into. 
Gipi, born Gianni Picanotti, is a well-known Italian cartoonist and illustrator. I discovered him completely by accident at my local comic shop and instantly fell in love. Gipi's understanding and portrayal of the subtleties of body language are incredible. His style maintains a roughness and energy often found in an artist's sketchbook. There is so much life in his's such a joy to see! 

Compare Gipi's studies with his finished product and you'll see that the latter retains all of the wonderful exploration and movement of the former. This combined with the fact that you can see a bit of his own face in the faces of his characters help to create an incredibly personal look to Gipi's comics.

I think this style will be a perfect fit for Cloud and his ilk.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

February: Square Enix Month

February will be Square Enix Month! I'll be tackling characters from some of my favorite old Square Enix games, so keep checking in as the weeks progress! 

Friday, January 16, 2009

New format!

Hello everyone! Happy New Year :) I'm sorry for taking such a long time between updates, but I am ready to start afresh! 

Starting this month I'll be trying something different with the format of the blog. In addition to themed weeks, there will be themed months! This means, for example, that January could be Square Enix month, February could be 80's Cartoon month, March could be Web Comics month, etc.

What do you guys think? :)