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  • My favourite artist is Oh!Great, because he is able to combine realism with great design, what does it for me is attention to detail. Where Hiroaki Samura’s sword is just a monotone piece of metal Oh!Great would put the waves on the blade from how it was forged, there would be a hilt and the handle would have an intricate grip of woven silk usually with hiragana and katakana and samurai swords would usually have a lanyard where you can see the thread twist and turn and ending in a tassle.

  • Hiroaki Samura = GOD

    Mugen no Juunin (Blade of the Immortal) is easily the best seinen manga i have ever read (and still ongoing).

    For you who haven’t read it, i highly recommend it. Samura has this ability to convey all the emotions on his MnJ scenes without needing a single text,
    sometimes you get a 6-7 pages of full action panels without a single text and the reader can still knows what he’s trying to show/convey.

    Pure awesomeness.

  • Well, you can tell that he studied traditional/classical art instead of “just” the more recent manga/animation art.

    Also, for a non-artist it sure is interesting to actually see that process in full motion for once. That also reminds me why i’m not an artist. Keeping that attention span for hours over hours…would be hell.

  • He’s been properly trained, I can see that.

    It’s basically what we were doing in second year drawing classes at art school, but with a lot of experience and skill behind it and heavily stylised.

    You can get some awesome results by combining graphite, charcoal and chalk… assuming you know what you’re doing.

  • wow, a good/interesting post from sankaku. btw, you learn this technique in art school, probably taking life drawing; it’s not something he came up with sitting at home. of course, there’s a little variation to it using the light box, but the basic idea is the same: working from dark to light using a kneaded eraser. personally, I find it quite a pain to soften the shades with a piece of paper, so I use a blending stump, which I rarely do, actually. better leave it rough and sketchy. anyways, it is no surprise that he can draw this way: he has a very strong foundation in traditional art and it shows in his good understanding of anatomy and composition (for anyone who’s read his works). don’t know what is surprising about that. the “learn how to draw manga” books and those stupid tutorials on the web “teaching” you how to draw won’t really teach you anything, you know.

  • Very impressive work as usual, but the technique is nothing overtly special. Not in the sense that it’s not very good, it’s just that he isn’t doing anything different than many others, it’s all his style and how he sees things. Everyone can do this, just with the visions in their own minds and their own unique perspective on life with enough training.

    Hopefully some people get inspired by it at least. And when you start and aren’t as good, listen to the people who can explain why. They’re your angels.

    • Yes he does. Did you notice that he never actually constructed anything on the paper? He was doing it freehand beginning to end, and that’s a pretty special skill. He didn’t construct the head and the body like most of us would, he just drew it the way he thought it should look, and he was spot on – you need a LOT of experience for that.

      • Definitely you need experience to do it at this speed. He was also constructing in his head beforehand. But he did use construction on the face, just not the type you usually would see for anime. That perspective can use a different method for the head. Plus, under body construction is often an animation tool more than an illustration tool. Using waypoints in space is something many of my colleagues do in life drawing, where you just end up using a previous body part as your basis for the spacial relationships and build the anatomy off of that place based on anatomy knowledge, that arm was done a similar way. He’s definitely used to drawing people from that angle though. Very fun to watch him work. Nice to know he lets people see him screw up too, that’s very nice of him to show his humanity in the development process.

        • @21:18

          You misunderstand what I meant. He’s very used to that angle, but he’s also very used to every angle. I have several angles I’ve done very often which make them more comfortable and natural compared to those I haven’t done as many times, I was saying he’s the same way. He’s shown that he’s very fond of upshots.


          You don’t seem to realize that what you were describing is also a form of construction. If you break down every single drawing technique, it involves some form of construction. I didn’t say he was doing a specific type of construction. If you read what I wrote more carefully, I was saying that he was building off the spacial relationships of the other pieces of the head and body. That too is structuring, but also more common in life drawing. My colleagues also enjoy the planar methods for building in the dark and light planes to build the composition as well. I don’t know what type of animation training you are thinking of, but you ironically seem to think about it like the very people you described at the end of your statement being single-minded. I won’t apologize for the many, many unfortunate people going through horrendous technical schools and learning terrible base concepts that will shatter easily when put under any scrutiny, but true animation training is almost identical to traditional art training, and I actually got mine through a technical school specifically designed to train animators well believe it or not (very rare luck there). I have been life drawing every week for over 6 years, and the only reason I hadn’t done it in that frequency for longer was because I couldn’t find any cheap enough with good enough variety of models to make it worth it.

          I will not deny that traditional training will bring you far closer to an illustration background than animation. Because animation is not illustration, especially 3D, which is my focus. I only recently have been making a sincere effort to strengthen my understanding of color, and to say I am weak at it would not be an understatement, but my pencil sketching and dynamism is one of my strengths.

        • sorry, can’t agree. It’s not obvious that he used construction or any construction at all. I’s obvious to me that he received a classical/traditional training where the emphasis is placed on the composition (negative-positive space, contour drawing, silhouetting). He’s even forcing the edge towards the end (technique used to emphasize the positive-negative space). How do I know this? I received the same kind of instruction in life drawing. I was lucky to have a die hard classical professor who hated construction, who wanted us to approach the human figure as something you design and compose, that is, something you make into art. Sadly, not everyone thinks this way, and all I hear is that you need to “construct” the body with basic shapes and boxes, before you think about the concepts behind a composition. It’s the world’s greatest lie that you need construction to draw the human form. What makes Hiroaki Samura’s piece work extremely well is not the particular way he “constructed” the body, but the way he composed this drawing: it’s visually pleasing, it flows and it has this illusion of realism. Don’t assume that he used construction, or that everyone needs it for that matter. btw, animation training is the worst kind of training you can receive if you want to be an artist. The skills, like “construction” and “perspective”, that they want to force into your brain are completely useless (it’s the same people who think that the only way to do animation is following whatever the fuck Disney thought animation is). You are better off taking a drawing/life drawing class emphasizing the classical/traditional approach than you are taking an animation class if you want to do animation. I spent too much time, money and energy having to deal with that animation shit, that my work did not improve at all during that period of my life. My development as an artist resumed once I went back to my classical training.

        • While I agree with all the things you’ve said, I’ll just comment that not all the time artists or people who can draw tend to repeat the same angle that they are most used or comfortable starting with. I’ve seen some of Hiroaki Samura’s works and i can say he’d been used to any angle you can probably throw at him; he’s more of like what “expression” would i like to show than what “angle” am i always comfortable to start with.

      • Very few artists are actually ‘geniuses.’ People need to stop pretending that this stuff craps out of them. This is work and training. Like I said, anyone can become like this. That doesn’t make it any less wonderful to see though.

      • Yeah, he does a wonderful job. He erases quite a bit too, he’s not afraid to move ahead and screw up. Everyone needs some time to play around with pieces to make them work, especially at more complex angles. Just 20 minutes ago I was trying a similar angle at an even more extreme upshot, and I think half the time was erasing.

        • @Shima-kun989

          Another thing you can try is getting some blue pencils and go hog-wild on your under-structure and then go over in ink, but that’s a different scenario. A good handicap for people like me is getting some 2H lead or harder so regardless of how hard you press, you never make too dark a line. Then you can have a second HB or 2B pencil or lead for conscious widening of your lines so you can control the effect of shadow and line weight. If you have trouble with controlling your lines, especially on new and difficult poses and angles, I’d recommend using the variety and seeing how it helps.

        • @Shima-kun989

          Kneaded erasers often don’t, and it really depends on your medium. The pencils I use are drafting pencils so maybe they’re designed better for erasing, but the white erasers that are almost gel-like and higher quality that you can find in some of the cheaper white erasers in the normal holders at any office-max do tend to work wonderfully. Plus it depends how hard we draw, I know I get into it and have a tendency to mash my pencil into the paper, so it’s a bad habit in the design phase especially.

      • There’s a large difference between the technique being special and the work being special. I made that point if you’d actually read the statement.

        And yes, I have done things ‘acknowledged by the public’ whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean. Won’t be sharing any of that here though, because of people like yourself.

        • @Nothinghere

          I made the decision a long time ago to keep my professional identity away from this site, really. A good example being that many people still consider it a porn site, and many more may think it’s just that as well, so it’s not really worth it to risk being known for my opinions here like a bad facebook mishap. Whether people believe me when I say things about art, animation or the games industry really is down to whether they think I make sense in what I’m saying, and that’s fine. I’m not famous nor very well known at all, but I have participated in the release of videogames, and spoken from that perspective here before.

          Sankaku was a guilty pleasure back when I joined a couple years ago and kind of still is. I mainly enjoy collecting inspiring pose reference and beautiful pictures from the top 20 in the upper corner each day.

        • It really doesn’t hurt to show your work if you want to simply “shut” them up.

          Even I would like to see it.

          Not unless you would let some people think you’re like this Mr Know-It-All kind of guy, just bragging around.

          And no, I am not even trying to intimate you, I draw too and i just like to see just how good you are since you’ve been good on explaining stuff around. That is all.