Hey everyone! Long time no see! I decided just before the New Year that among my many resolutions, I wanted to start up “SeeBonnyDraw” again, a YouTube art series I’ve been managing for some time now.
The last video I had posted to the channel was almost half a year ago, when I compiled a video showcasing the 100 illustrations I had done for Gen 2 of the Pokemon One a Day series I shared with you guys (damn, remember those days?! Fun, crazy, and hectic times!) here on TAY. The last actual speed painting I had done for the series was 4 months before the compilation video...That’s last March! It’s almost been a year since I’ve submitted anything “proper”!
That said, I’ve been itching to get back to things as a lot of time has passed and my skills have evolved since then. Its fun to think that we’ve been together watching my growth and it’s great to have a record of it through all my TAY posts.
Without further delay, let’s take a look at Kylo Ren, the subject of the first SeeBonnyDraw illustration for the year!
It should be obvious but there are gonna be a lot of spoilers through the write up and probably in the comment section below!
Painting Time: 2H 54M
And here’s the video!
I know I haven’t quite brought it out of me over my showing here on TAY, but I am a HUGE Star Wars fan. I’d been dying to watch The Force Awakens and when I did get to see it, I absolutely loved the experience. In fact, I felt like a kid watching the film, experiencing so many crazy emotions and had trouble comprehending what transpired when I got out! While I very much enjoyed the film, it still had its problems although I do hope to see a second screening soon (something I never do for movies still in theatres/cinema) so I can truly digest everything since watching it a first time around was almost overwhelming!
Part of the reason I got back into SeeBonnyDraw is because a friend wanted to see me draw Kylo as the subject of an episode. I know that between the viewer, Kylo and well, the film as a whole, has been up for debate in how it was handled. Howver, I personally loved loved loved Adam driver as Kylo Ren. I loved his portrayal and the characterization of a young man with an entire culture hoisted onto his shoulders, forced to live up to an incredible legacy that shaped his entire downfall.
I also loved Rey, Finn and Poe, and they’ll definitely get their love in illustrated form in due time. Kylo was selected as he would prove to be quite striking as a subject with his frenetic saber and ultimately gave me the opportunity to showcase my evolution as an artist. In the off time of exploring my own style, I found myself playing with exaggerated shapes and sharp angles.
With Kylo, this was a great opportunity to build aggressive lines and form, as the nature of the character could match the silhouette I was building. Ultimately, rampant shapes built itself up in subject and background, and mostly echoed off of the centerpiece of the illustration: Ren’s jagged lightsabre. I was of course most excited to tackle his weapon, as it has been the talking point for the movie ever since the first trailer.
At first, I thought it would be stronger to portray it without the glow as seen in the final work, leaving just ragining bolts of red, white, orange, pink and yellow to fill out the blade. Eventually, I thought it looked a bit too harsh considering the rest of the piece has a softer blending which I found to work quite well. Having the red pop out of the blue helped the warm and cool sit better against one another with the glow.
Asides from the color, I broke a major rule of mine - and that was using pure black in a painting. I guess I’ve sorta broke it here and there in previous works, but this time it was completely deliberate and personally, I really think it helped. It was used to cement in certain areas and also create a stronger contrast. Through experimentation, I found that most of my works were fauvist in nature due to my pull away from black, and the use of substitutes always created illustrations with low contrast. Professor Carson and Epstein, I’m sorry I failed your teachings but I’ve crossed to the...wait for it...dark side!
Inspiration wise, I suppose I channeled a bit of Samurai Jack and Genndy Tartovsky, of who I didn’t deliberately summon but sort of reach out to in my natural progression of cartooning. Hell, I’m not sure if I would call this a cartoonized Ren as the forms haven’t been too exagerated, but it’s still certainly a departure from my usual approach to SeeBonnyDraw paintings in which I try to go sorta photorealistic, due to working from references. Speaking of which, this Kylo pose is referenced from a magazine scan.
For the background, I went with crazy angular trees, letting them layer against one another to created depth and also channel the same aggression as the subject. I played with how I would put in the snow, and at first I went too all over the place but just like the trees, slowly dialed it back and calculated them to give an angular flow to balance against the saber. In the end, I think it really creates a solid sense of juxtaposition for the viewer to really appreciate.
And there you have it! I think that will wrap up what I have to say for the piece, and hope you enjoy it and will take a look at the video! The videos have been getting progressively shorter and I think it’s for the best so people don’t get scared off by bigger numbers :P
Hope you all have an amazing new year ahead of you and will continue to watch me grow. Thanks for reading and checkin in!
Last time, on SeeBonnyDraw: