illustration

Want to help save the anime world’s favorite colored pencils? Then take this survey

Hand-drawn art may be on the ropes, but it’s not quite dead yet.

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“Painter x Lyrics: Flower Edition” art book turns music lyrics into gorgeous illustrations

Lovers of Japanese music and art rejoice, because the second volume of the Painter x Lyrics (絵師×歌詞) art book series went on sale on November 20!

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Magical anime fan art has characters appearing to leap off the page in tender act of friendship

2-D heroines get a boost from 3-D perspective and an extremely talented fan.

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Beautiful manga-style festival poster is drawn by the person you would least expect

This lovely and feminine poster was made for the Sakura Jidai Festival, also known as the Festival of the Ages. While it is certainly beautiful, it’s garnering attention online because it was created by an 81-year-old man.

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Anime sword fighting isn’t like reality. Why? Biomechanics (again)

You know all those cool-looking anime warriors with a katana strapped to their back? It turns out some of them would be really easy to beat in a fight, and it’s all the artist’s fault.

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Anime romance isn’t like reality. Why? Biomechanics

Sometimes, the physics of physical affection in anime and manga just don’t make sense.

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Who needs anime? One-Punch Man scene moves better in still-frame manga than TV adaptation 【Video】

The currently airing anime TV series One-Punch Man is winning fans for two reasons. First is the way it turns the idea of a handsome, hot-blooded action hero on its head with protagonist Saitama, a laid-back, completely bald superhero who looks more like Charley Brown than Superman. Second, the show features some gorgeous animation from Madhouse, the veteran production studio behind such landmarks of anime visual style as Redline, Ninja Scroll, and Millennium Actress.

But as impressive as the movement in the One-Punch Man anime is, its animation has just been shown up by the most unlikely of rivals, the One-Punch Man manga, as in the non-animated comic the TV show is based on!

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New art book “Illustration 2016” gathers 150 of today’s best pro and amateur illustrators

If you love art and illustration, you’re probably aware of plenty of non-professional, up-and-coming artists who showcase their work on sites like Tumblr and Twitter. In fact, fan art can be of such a high quality as to surpass the original work, and now there’s a new art book on sale in Japan which aims to “capture” the entire illustration scene at the present moment, showcasing work both amateur and professional by some of today’s most influential artists.

Illustration 2016 features work by 150 artists of different backgrounds and is the perfect guide for those who are into fan art and illustration of all kinds.

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These fan-drawn fused Pokémon are so cool we wish they were really in the game

When Pokémon graced our tiny Game Boy screens back in 1996 (or, depending on where you’re from,  1998 or 1999), we all thought that nothing could be better than these beautifully crafted 151 animal-like Pocket Monsters. But then a second generation of games came out and suddenly we were graced with 100 new Pokémon who pledged their loyalty and undying love to us, their trainers. Now in 2015, there are 721 different Poké-friends to collect and train and we couldn’t be happier with them…unless we could take two of our favorites and fuse them together, that is!

The concept may have been done before, but each artist brings their own personal fliar and the results are always fascinating. What makes the following combinations unique is that sometimes there are not two but three Pokémon fused together!

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Pokétryoshka: Pokémon Russian dolls we want to own in real life

Matryoshkas have been entertaining children and adults alike since they first appeared in Russia well over a century ago. The tantalising sense of discovery that comes from opening up a wooden doll and revealing a series of increasingly smaller dolls nested inside is a simple pleasure that satisfies our sense of curiosity and provides hours of entertainment.

Now, a clever illustrator has come up with the genius idea of creating matryoshka dolls in the shape of Pokémon characters. And just like the original Russian doll sets, these cute designs slowly turn back time, revealing the evolution of each character from adult to baby. Say hello to the Pokétryoshka: nesting dolls we want to own in real life.

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Fabulous Ghibli fan art inspires us all to pick up a pencil and get drawing【Art】

When you find something you really like, it’s sometimes hard to express how much it’s influencing your life. To show off how much they love something, some fans try cosplay or rampant consumerism. Others write songs or fan fiction to tell the world the extent of their affection.

But for others, it’s as simple as drawing a picture that perfectly captures all their feelings on the paper. One such artist has put her heart and soul into some fan art that shows the kind of devotion Studio Ghibli inspires in its fans.

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This may be a rather random question, but are you capable of drawing a man in various states of undress? Most of us can probably visualize how it should look, but turning those thoughts into illustrations doesn’t always come at a snap of the fingers.

Coming to the rescue of budding illustrators and manga artists is a new pose reference book dedicated solely to men undressing. From T-shirts to kimono to boxer briefs, this is probably the most educational book we’ve seen filled with men stripping off their clothes.

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Manga materials website offers thousands of reference poses for budding artists to download

If you’re just starting out on the path to your goal of becoming a manga artist, it can be hard to properly visualize how your characters’ head, limbs, and torso should be positioned for a specific pose. Practicing by sketching with a human model is a time-tested way to hone your understanding of how to draw human anatomy and clothing, but it still poses a problem.

See, most art classes don’t feature models for such manga staples as, say, a girl in a sailor suit firing a pistol. An alternative would be to hire a model on your own, but that’s beyond the budget of many artists who’re still in the amateur stage of their artistic endeavors.

But as long as you can scrape together about 2,000 yen (US$16.26), there’s a new website that will supply you with thousands of reference photos to help kick-start your manga dreams.

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19 stunning youkai illustrations to wow your eyes and send chills down your spine

With all the headlines Youkai Watch is grabbing these days, it’s easy to forget that these distinctly Japanese spirits can actually be pretty scary or, at the very least, pretty badass. But these legendary creatures have been around in myths and tales for quite some time, and there’s no doubt that they are nothing short of awesome, in one form or another.

And to help us remember just how cool youkai can be, one anonymous Internet user posted 19 ink illustrations online for the world to see. And once you do see them, we have no doubt you’ll be wishing for me, just like us!

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Is there a busty schoolgirl hiding in Japan’s bullet train symbol?

The art of illustration is a funny thing, because it relies on using lines and coloring to trick the mind into thinking it’s looking at a three-dimensional object. But if the whole effect is a matter of perspective, changing how you look at a picture will make you think you’re seeing something else.

Sometimes the result is cute, like when cherry blossom petals turn into a litter of puppies. At other times, the result is quite a bit pervier, like what one traveler can no longer unsee in the symbol for Japan’s bullet train.

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Like any language, Japanese has multiple words that have more or less the same meaning, but which help to put a finer point on exactly how the speaker feels. For example, pocchari and debu both refer to someone with a higher than average proportion of body fat, but pocchari doesn’t have quite the same harshness that debu does.

If we were looking for English equivalents, debu would be “fat,” while pocchari would be the softer-sounding “plump.” But as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and one Japanese Twitter user recently posted a sketch diagraming, in his mind, the physical differences between a pocchari woman and a debu one.

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Want to be a manga artist, but can’t draw backgrounds? Website has environments you can download

If you’re a budding manga creator, odds are you spend most of your time working on your character artwork. That’s probably a wise choice, too, as most famous comic artists focus on drawing their stories’ leads, and hand off work on other details, such as background art, to a team of assistants.

Of course, another reality of being a budding manga artist is that you probably don’t have a publisher bankrolling your comic and paying for the abovementioned team of assistants. But thankfully there’s now a way for you to pour your efforts into story and character art and still produce something that looks polished, thanks to a new Japanese website that sells ready-to-use manga backgrounds.

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Japanese Twitter user illustrates the difference between how men and women define a “cute girl”

What do you think of when you imagine a “cute girl?” The term seems like it should be straightforward enough, whether you’re using the English word “cute” or the Japanese equivalent, kawaii. But one Japanese Twitter user claims that guys and girls use the word to mean vastly different things, and has even shared an illustration diagraming what she feels is the difference between what men and women mean when they talk about a “cute” girl.

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Chinese artist personifies pictures of cats and dogs into captivating traditional paintings

Have you ever wondered what your pets would look like as humans?

We’re no stranger to personification illustrations since the Japanese enjoy turning all sorts of things from battleships to swords to computer systems and even poop bacteria into human anime forms, but perhaps this is the first time our humble website has seen real animals portrayed as human figures. Check out these beautiful Chinese paintings of personified cats and dogs after the break!

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Popular manga artist’s shockingly great doodles from school prove he’s always had talent

I’m sure we all remember that one kid from our grade school days that was scarily good at drawing. The kid that would hastily – and incorrectly – finish up his math problems so he could back to sketching in his notebook. The one that could caricature Mr. Goetz’s sort of goofily small head from memory on request (no offense, Mr. Goetz).

If you were to dip back in to your long-forgotten box of grade school stuff – you know, the one mom keeps around specifically to embarrass you when you bring a new woman home to meet the family – and found one of that kid’s sketches, though, they probably aren’t going to look as good as you remember them. Hell, that kid’s probably not even a Disney animator like he always said he’d be, either. He probably works in the cafeteria at your old middle school because he never paid attention in math class.

On the other hand, there’s at least one insanely talented manga artist whose grade school/high school doodles hold up just as well today. In fact, they might even be better than the stuff he’s drawing now.

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